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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Glass House: The Good Mother
The Glass House: The Good Mother
Sony Pictures // R // October 3, 2006
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted October 24, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Hey, anyone remember that movie in which the doe-eyed, nubile, and recently orphaned Leelee Sobieski was taken in and then creeped out by the strange pairing of Diane Lane and Stellan Skarsgard? You do? Wow, then you're among the 4,200 people who bought a ticket for The Glass House, the suburban chiller that's about as thrilling as a glass of warm iced tea.

Apparently someone over at Sony thought that the words "The Glass House" would help to sell a few extra copies of some Angie Harmon psycho-bitch flick that'd been sitting on the shelves for a while, so they took The Good Mother and slapped The Glass House in front of the title. And they even threw in a colon, just to be helpful.

So now we get the direct-to-video drama-tripe entitled The Glass House: The Good Mother, which to me sounds like the first half of a rather bizarre SAT question. The mother in question is indeed played by Angie Harmon, and she's quite the character indeed, what with all the adoptions and the foster children being welcomed into her home despite the fact that her own son died under horrifically tragic circumstances not all that long ago...

Oh well! Two new oprhans (a small boy and a teen girl) are invited into the home of Mama Harmon, and it's not very long before mom starts acting, well, a little bit anal, controlling, and evvvillllleeee. There's a husband who seems to have no problem going along with his wife's loopy schemes, which means it's up to plucky young tween-girl to thwart the evil foster parents and get a cop played by Jason London to show up at just the right moment, when the suburban evil is most urgently afoot.

It's a ridiculously drab and unengaging story. We're meant to believe that this freakwoman could simply adopt orphans at will, despuite the fact that she's clearly unhinged and has a nasty habit of attracting small corpses. First-time director Steve Antin (he played the sneering Troy in The Goonies!) keeps everything well-lit and clean-looking, but after about 14 minutes the flick starts to feel like a furniture commercial. The screenplay by Brett Merryman (his first since 1995's Beach House) feels like it was cobbled together from stray moments of the original Glass House and just a few random threads stolen from whatever was on The Lifetime Channel at any given moment.

The DVD

Video: The anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer is suitably slick and shiny.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 or DD 2.0 French, with optional subtitles available in the same two languages. Audio quality is a bit flat, but perfectly audible.

Extras: There's a humorously self-congratulatory audio commentary that takes place between director Steve Antin, producer Billy Pollina, and editor Joan Sobel. The trio seem well-convinced that they've made an intense and exciting thriller that people will remember for longer than, say, seven minutes. If they even rent the thing at all. You'll also find six deleted scenes and a bunch of trailers for The Woods, The Plague, Population 436, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Da Vinci Code.

Final Thoughts

A lame cable flick is not improved by adding a tenuous connection to a lame theatrical flick. If drab-yet-strangely-tasteless psycho-thrillers are your cup of tea, I'd say give it a rental, but The Glass House: The Good Mother isn't even bad enough to be fun-bad. It's just obvious and ... blah.

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