Archive for February, 2014

Before The Door Pictures, Washington Square Films, Black Bear Pictures,

Robert Redford

Robert Redford is cast as “Our Man” in this silent film. Well, not silent, but bereft of any dialog other than a cuss or two and a few words spoken into a broken radio. This is a story of a lone man on a cruise deep into the Indian Ocean who while sleeping has the boat struck by a floating shipping container. The boat is badly damaged, not only with a hole in the hull, but most of the equipment on the boat, both mechanical and electronic is also broken. He is facing a storm, stranded alone, and must try his best to survive in the middle of the ocean.

I must tell you this right away! I have NEVER done this before. I have never tried to review a movie that I have not seen. But let me tell you my experience with this one!

I popped the DVD into the player and hit play. I was presented with a brief opening narration, then presented with a guy going upstairs and downstairs, fiddling with this and that, fixing something to eat, pumping out his boat, and doing the most mundane tasks for what seemed like hours. This felt like it was all going in real time. We watched him eat and drink, fix things, all silently without any dialog at all, not even voice over telling us what he was trying to do. I felt sorry for the guy, even if he was Robert Redford, but I was bored to tears. After about 20 minutes of this, I found I was completely tuning out on the whole thing, so I turned it off. The next day I tried it again. I fast forwarded over to where I thought I was before, but having not marked down the point at which I stopped it…it was somewhere when the foul weather was busting up things, I decided to give it another go. I just couldn’t take it, so I packed the DVD back in the envelope, carried it out to the mailbox, and then I just stood there debating on whether to try it again or just send it back. Finally the though came into my head that I had no need to torture myself with this boring piece of film one more minute, so I dropped it into the mailbox. Would I give it another try sometime? Nah, life is to short. I’m sure there may be some fans of sailing out there that would love to watch home movies of some guy’s adventure (even if it is Robert Redford) go through the day to day tasks on a sinking ship in a storm, but it’s just not me. There are so many other movies out there to watch that I am not going to give this one another try.

So ignore this review, if you wish. Take the one star I gave it, and disregard it. I couldn’t stomach it, but if you thin you’ll like this self indulgent indie film without words, by all means go for it. Likewise, if there is someone out there who watched this all the way through to the sappy ending and loved it, I would really appreciate your comments on this posting letting me know why you liked it and what I am missing. I really would be happy to hear your opinions on this. For me, this is the first movie that was simply impossible for me to watch all the way through.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Screen Gems, Misher Films,

Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer, Gabriella Wilde, Michelle Nolden, Alex Russell, Portia Doubleday, Ansel Elgort, Samantha Weinstein, Max Topplin, Cynthia Preston

Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a shy young girl being raised by a religious fanatic mother (Julianne Moore) who punishes her by locking her in a closet and making her pray all day. Carrie is curious, but doesn’t fit in with the rest of the kids and is made fun of all the time, but Carrie is trying to learn to control some supernatural powers that she has, and when she is pushed too far, all hell breaks loose in this remake of the Stephen King story that made into a 1976 movie and now being brought up to date.

I have often made the assessment that some movies don’t need to be redone. We used to call it remaking, but now they prefer to call it reimaging. To me, reimaging would be making a new physical copy of an old print, but it sounds better I guess. Well, this movie does get the new 2013 technology update that wasn’t there in 1976, but I think it was a lot better film without Twitter and Facebook and YouTube. Imagine Carrie’s embarrassment when her shameful incident goes viral! It was a lot simpler terrifying story in 1976, I would much rather watch that version of the story. Don’t get me wrong, Chloe Grace Moretz does a really good acting job, but it’s not really her fault. I had a hard time with Julianne Moore because I know her so well, and I just had a hard time buying her as the mean old mother that she was supposed to be. I suspect she did a good job too, but it wasn’t the right role for her I’m afraid. But the biggest problem is that they had so much fun with all the fake CGI stuff, and some of it was frightening (a car crash for example), that they didn’t pay much attention to the nuances of the story. Carrie was an innocent little girl, but a really nice kid that you could see asking to the prom for real, and then suddenly threw the switch and became an evil bitch. Likewise, Carrie’s Mom garnered so much sympathy that you actually end up feeling really sorry for her which is not supposed to happen. She had a rough childhood which helps explain why she was so wacky, and she had good intentions. This is all wrong.

There are some other examples of this miscasting that is similar in a way. Take the musical Camelot for example. Arthur is supposed to be a little boy who never grew up. The impish Peter Pan way he runs around hopping from table to chair is supposed to show us how much he was so childish, that he never could have been a husband to Guenevere. We are actually supposed to feel sorry for her and Lancelot as what happened was Arthur’s fault because he was such a childish little boy. But when they cast Richard Harris in the movie version of Camelot, we loved him. He was such a warm and loving character that we hated Lance and Jenny for the horrible thing they did to him.

In Carrie, the remake, we feel a lot of sympathy for Mom Margaret, and don’t like Carrie at all by the end. It’s kind of backwards, and doesn’t come off that way in the original. But those of us who were frightened by the original movie are old now, and millions on millions of people have never seen the film. This is a modern version of a really good Stephen King story, that should be told. So if you’re not, like me, going to keep comparing the old with the new, for heaven’s sake, watch this version and you’ll really enjoy it. But if you like good classic cinema, and if you can find the original version, in my opinion it’s far superior to this version. This one is for the new generation, and has a purpose. I’m stuck in the middle on this one, but I don’t want to totally discourage you from seeing it. It’s a darn good book.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Wild Bunch, Copperheart Entertainment, Government of Ontario: Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit Program,

Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Samantha Weinstein, Eleanor Zichy, David Hewlett

Lisa (Abigail Breslin) is really unhappy. Her parents are never consistent, and they’re always talking about silly things that don’t make sense. But her inner sixth sense tells her that something really spooky is going on and she’s out to find out. A girl who she sometimes sees leads her to a hidden book under her floor where the answers about an evil serial killer who once lived in the house is still out to kill young girls and she is the only one who can stop it, if she can just get someone to believe her.

This is a really creepy horror film, made in Canada, and actually not bad at all. It’s a little hard to follow at times, and it does have some wicked twists and turns along the way, but it is scary, and very suspenseful, and very dark! Abigail does a fine job in the lead role here, and her parents are so creepy it’s unbelievable. It’s not “loud noise, jump out at you” scary, but the terror builds and builds little by little due to the decent story here, and not by simply cheap shots that is so common these days. This is a classic thriller horror film that really pleased me. This DVD was just released, and is also available via streaming, and if you’re a fan of horror films, then you probably won’t want to miss this one. It’s a unique story, and an interesting down the road of the supernatural like the horror stories of old.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Movie Rentals Releasing Tuesday February 25, 2014


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20th Century Fox [United States] | Official Facebook [Brazil],

Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Justin Timberlake, Anthony Mackie, Sam Palladio, David Costabile, Ben Schwartz, Oliver Cooper, Louis Lombardi

Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake) is a Princeton student with no money to pay his tuition, so he figures a plan to win in on-line poker. But when he figures out that the off shore team that runs the site is cheating, he sets out to find the owner, hot shot Ivan Block (Ben Affleck) in Costa Rica. But when Ivan offers him a job Richie has to think about the desire for an enormous amount of money and contrast that with Ivan and whether or not he can be trusted. This is a high energy crime drama.

I was somewhat disappointed in this movie. I have seen both Ben and Justin in some really exciting movies. This one just couldn’t grab my attention. It has exotic locations, and ought to be a decent film, but it fell short in a lot of ways. Some of it is just not that believable, and a couple of characters really didn’t cut it including a (fake?) FBI guy Agent Shavers (Anthony Mackie) that I just thought was awful. The whole thing just dragged out, and though the end was fairly decent, it just took so long to get there that I didn’t really care which way Richie played it. I just wanted it to end. I just didn’t feel there was enough going on here to keep my interest, and I don’t recommend this one very highly. After seeing the film, I can see why it did not catch on in the theaters, as this was just not good enough for the lead characters that were in it. Skip this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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