Picks and Pans Review: Homewrecker
The Sci-Fi Channel (Sat., Dec. 19, 8 P.M. ET)
The fledgling channel's first original movie stars Robby Benson as a computer mastermind who programs weapons systems supercomputers for the military. Sydney Walsh plays his wife. Devastated by an accidental missile launch, Benson racks his brains to design a new breed of computer, one with curiosity, sensitivity and a sense of humor. But like HAL in 2001, this macromachine (its voice provided by Kate Jackson) has a few crossed wires.
This is a slow-moving, rather uneventful film, full of foreboding but without any real payoff. The lack of action makes the acting seem far too vehement. There is one amusing blip: I Benson speaks in a gentle, measured voice throughout, but in one stressful moment, he bellows "No" in that ferocious, bone-rattling baritone growl he used as the Big Guy in the animated Beauty and the Beast.
If your cable system, like mine, doesn't carry this channel, you can catch the movie on Sci-Fi's parent network, USA, on Wed., Dec. 16 at the ungodly hour of 3 A.M. Set your VCR; this sleepy thriller isn't worth slaying up that late for.
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