Archive for Drama

Chernin Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation,

Kate Winslet, Idris Elba, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney, Waleed Zuaiter

Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) is a photographer, working a story in the NorthWest, but on her way home for her wedding to Mark (Dermot Mulroney) who is anxiously waiting for her back East. A storm has grounded all flights and there’s no way out. But Alex gets and idea to charter a plane, and finds a doctor, a neurosurgeon named Ben Bass (Idris Elba) who is desperate to get back for a surgery on a little boy, so Alex invites him to share the cost and take the plane flown by gritty old pilot Walter (Beau Bridges). But when a tragic accident brings the plane down on top of a snow covered mountain in Idaho, far from any civilization, they find out that the pilot has not filed a flight plan, and neither of the two have called anyone to let them know they were flying. Fighting terrible odds, injuries, and horrible weather, the two must depend on each other, and Walter’s dog who was in the plane with them, to figure out how to survive in this hostile and deadly environment, or die trying.

This movie, especially with the trailer, looks like an adventure/survival movie, which it is, of course, but it’s much more than that. The accident and the survival attempts are merely the backdrop for this intensive character study of the two characters, plus the dog, of course. It is in depth character development. The two have to depend on each other, but each have their own personal problems that affect who they are and how they react. They find they are very different from each other, and extremely different personalities, mainly because of what they do, and what they have experienced in life. Yet, without each other, neither has a chance of making it out. There is a lot of suspense, and some beautiful Canadian mountain views, and some intense struggles every day for the weeks they are stranded together, but they really find that they are strangely attracted to each other, but neither knows if it’s because they really care for each other, or if it’s the unusual circumstances that they find themselves in. The acting in this film is definitely Oscar worthy for both of them, and there is really only the two of them through 99% of the movie. Just when you think it’s over, it turns on it’s side again and goes on for another half hour. It’s beautifully filmed, a wonderful story, but it’s all about the actors in this movie. They deserve all the praise I feel they are about to get for these superb performances. This is a must see film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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The Film Community, Electric Entertainment,

Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick, Mike Houston, Jasper Newell

Tom Seymour (Josh Charles) is a psychologist, married to his wife Lauren (Julia Stiles), and the two are down by the sea when they notice a young man jumping off the pier. Despite his wife’s warnings, Tom climbs the fence and jumps in to save this young man from drowning himself. When he meets his new patient, Danny Miller (Avan Jogia) he learns that he is the same man that he saved from drowning, but also the man was the boy of 11 that his testimony sent away to prison decades before. How odd that the two are once again together, but Tom soon finds Danny inserting himself into his life in very strange ways. Was it all a coincidence, or is Danny really dangerous? This is an eerie mystery and a creeping insight into Tom’s secrets.

This seems like a movie based on a book that might be very, very good. But the movie lacks a lot. The characters are relatively well developed which is more than I can say about the story itself. The script never gets off the ground, and is a bit of an abortion. I’m not sure what the makers of this film were aiming for, but I’m disappointed that they seemed to miss the mark entirely. The film is very slow and dragging, and each moment you think that something is going to make sense, it doesn’t. All in all, the air above my head was filled with question marks throughout the whole film, and I never figured out what it could possibly mean. Who is Julia Stiles supposed to be, and what use is she to the film. Sadly, she has a mysterious role that we never get a clue of. I don’t know who this kid/man is/was, and by the end I really didn’t care. Is the doctor an evil bastard, an abused wimp, or a hero of some sort? Hell if I know. It ended, and the big surprise ending didn’t do anything to bring anything to a close either. After it was all over, I’m just completely confused as to what it was all about. This movie really looked like it had a superior idea for a story that just fizzled out after the initial rescue and never recovered. Now I’m left wondering if this actually based on a decent book that could give me some peace at understanding this tale, or if it’s just something I need to forget and move on to the next movie and forget this ever happened.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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2 Wolves Films, Strings of Films,

Josh Duhamel, Maria Bello, Laura Dern, Lucas Till, Kherington Payne, Tom Everett Scott, Jae Head, Sharlene Taulé

Very young, but popular N.Y.C. DJ Alex (Josh Duhamel) is on top of the world, but doesn’t realize how good he has it. Living with his single mom, Annie (Laura Dern) who has substance abuse problem herself, so Alex has the run of his life. But when an accidental overdose puts him in the hospital, his mother figures she can’t take care of him anymore, and has the court send him to live with his estranged father that he has never known in rural, very small town. He’s forced by the court to have a one hour weekly meeting with a local psychiatrist/parole officer. Alex doesn’t fit in very well, but finds he is a bit of a star to the local kids, and finds a way to fit in by assisting their school dance team with their music. In the meantime, he has to learn how to deal with his demons, and those that are out to get him while learning to fit in a whole new world much different that what he’s used to.

I found that this was a pretty decent film, and had the feel of a lot of the popular hip hop dance movies out there, crossed with the cheerleader movies, but with a mostly male point of view which made it quite a bit different. There are really good performances in this film. Josh Duhamel is very good as the troubled boy learning to be a better version on himself. Lucas Till is also very good knowing that he has his own demons, but trying to help in a most unusual way. Laura Dern is a good actress, but unfortunately doesn’t have much to do in this movie. That’s a shame, but she adds a lot to the part she is in. Perhaps the weakest part of the movie is that it is obvious where it is going, and there just aren’t many surprises, but it was still an interesting film to watch. The characters were well developed, the messages were loud and clear, and it was a chance to root for a stunning change in Alex’s life as he really deserved it. This film is rated R, honestly because of the drug use and one scene that was rather explicit, but was a good film for late teens and young adults who will identify with the characters in this story and will probably enjoy it very much. With the excellent cast, it’s worth giving it a whirl.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Coram Deo Studios, Birchwood Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

AJ Michalka, James Denton, Kevin Pollak, Shawnee Smith, Michael Welch, Jamie Grace, Emma Catherwood, Chris Ellis

Gracie Trey (AJ Michalka) is the daughter of a well known “one-hit wonder” singer Johnny Trey (James Denton) who gave up his career at the peak in order to serve as the musical director of his church. Gracie has been raised as a Christian girl, and plays in the group that performs at the church, but Gracie has a great deal more talent than anyone realizes, and she wants to do her own music. When Dad’s old hit song suddenly gains a lot of ground on YouTube, Frank Mostran (Kevin Pollak) who is his former manager approaches him to make a new version on the song and kick start his career all over again, but Johnny wants nothing to do with it. Behind his back, Gracie contacts Frank, and since she is now 18 decides to move to LA to seek a career of her own, but the pressures and difficulties of making a start are more than she imagines, and when things really start to heat up, Gracie is forced to look at what is most important in her life when her values are threatened to crumble.

AJ Michalka has scored a number of commercials and TV roles and is a very beautiful and talented musician, coming from a musical family of her own. She really shines in this film. It’s a little movie, but a very well done story without the usual preachiness of pure Christian films, but filled with good messages, hard choices, and inspiring characters. The story moves along quickly and really sucks you in to the story. What is the true cost of our dreams? When is it no longer worth it if the cost is too high? How do you find a middle ground, walking along the fence without toppling to one side or the other. There are all feelings you’ll have watching this film. Very good acting, and a cleverly written script with some really good music thrown in. All in all, this movie was a hidden gem, and I’m glad it bubbled up in my queue until I was finally able to see it. It was well worth it, and I highly recommend this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Orange Pictures, Shotgun Pictures, Universum Film (UFA),

Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr., Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane

Six friends and a baby are in Mexico on a holiday aboard a luxury yacht looking forward to a wonderful time. Amy (Susan May Pratt) and her husband James (Richard Speight Jr.) and their baby Sara have joined Dan (Eric Dane), the reckless one of the group and his new girlfriend Michelle (Cameron Richardson) and their froends Zach (Niklaus Lange) and Lauren (Ali HIlls). They were college friends and are looking to a swell reunion and to celebrate Zach’s 30th birthday. They stop for a dip in the ocean but are soon horrified to learn that through their fooling around, they forgot to lower the ladder and now are trapped on the side of the ship with no way to get back into the boat. Stranded at sea, able to touch the boat, but they may as well be miles away, as with horror, they realize the baby is still on the boat.

There is a series of three Open Water films. The first one was about a couple of people who were part of a scuba diving group that got left behind out in the ocean without any way back in the heavy shark infested waters. Open Water 3 will be released in a few weeks on DVD and is the third installment. I’m looking forward to that one as well, but this 2006 one came and went and I didn’t even realize it, until I saw the 3 on the new one. So I dropped this into my queue on a lark, figuring to catch up on this 2006 film before the new one is released. I was glad I did. This is an independent film, and the only connection to the first film is the ocean. Otherwise, this is a completely different story, and it was rather interesting. Now I suppose that true sailors will find that it’s really silly and that there is a very simple solution to being stranded on the side of your yacht, but I’m not of a nautical nature, so I will just accept that they’re stranded out there. Then comes the questioning of whose fault it is, and what in the world they could do to solve the problem. This is really point of view camera work, and it’s bound to make you think about what you would do if you were in that situation. This is a small film with a basically unknown cast, made by folks who love to make movies, and it shows. The suspense if very good and the movie’s not that long, so it evolves quickly and is a pretty good escape film that allows you to relax and enjoy the ride. This is another hidden gem of a movie that I didn’t even know existed, but the suspense and pure terror of the plight of these folks made it really fun to watch. Give it a try, it’s a good one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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