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Case Number 21130: Small Claims Court

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Fatal Secrets

MTI // 2009 // 87 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis (Retired) // April 15th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Daryl Loomis has to wear a mask in public. His gleaming white skin is too distracting.

The Charge

Everyone has something to hide.

The Case

Julia (Dina Meyer, Starship Troopers) is completely devastated when an online rendezvous becomes a sexual assault. Months later, she still can't sleep, and when she finally confides in her friends, they devise a revenge scheme. First step is to get information, but when there's literally nothing on this scumbag, they have to take further steps. When they finally find the truth, it's both scary and infuriating, but they've gone too far to stop now. They put their final plan into action, but soon realize that every action comes with consequences.

Sometimes, these consequences extend to the viewers themselves for having to suffer through a piece of mean-spirited garbage like Fatal Secrets. Director Meir Sharony throws us right in, opening with a disturbingly lurid rape scene. Not one with meaning or relevance such as in Irreversible; it only exists to set up a story and make us feel bad for the main character. On a certain level, maybe the film succeeds at both, but at the cost of the rest of the movie. That heavy opening quickly shifts into light drama about girlfriends and their book club before finally settling into a very silly caper film. Sharony tries to get it back to the heavy stuff by the film's end, but fails. The finale is just too preposterous and, by now, any of that initial sympathy I had at the outset left a long time ago.

The only notable thing about Fatal Secrets is its oddly starry cast. It's not A-level talent to be sure, but aside from Meyer, we have Ernie Hudson (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Vincent Spano (Alive), Lela Rochon (Any Given Sunday), and Ed Begley Jr. (Arrested Development). Hudson and Begley are only in it for a couple of minutes combined, but the rest make up the entire starring cast. How so many solid performers got roped into thing is beyond me, but don't expect much from them; it seems they are fully aware of what kind of movie this is, and their impression is not positive.

From MTI, Fatal Secrets is a mediocre package that fits the film just fine. The image is anamorphic, at least, and is a fine transfer for a new movie. The sound is a little tinny, but it's probably better that way. There's a trailer for the film, along with some other cruddy looking movies, so at least I didn't have to watch anybody act self-satisfied about it.

This is one of the worst uses of a cast I've seen, and they get no help from the rest of the production. The writing, directing, editing, everything looks exactly like a movie that was submitted to Lifetime but rejected for being both too graphic and too pointless to air. If only Ann Jillian hadn't been too busy to star. Don't be fooled by a cast of actors you may like; there's nothing to see here.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 40

Perp Profile

Studio: MTI
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Bad
• Crime
• Drama
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


• IMDb

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