Archive for Mystery & Suspense

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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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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Toy Fight Productions, Brightlight Pictures, Sayaka Producciones Audiovisuales,

Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a young woman with a serious drinking problem. She lives with her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) who is fed up with her constant partying and drunkenness and finally kicks her out of the apartment. Gloria has nowhere to go except to her old home town where she settles in. She quickly runs into Oscar (Jason Sudekis) who is an old friend from elementary school who owns a bar and kind of takes Gloria under his wing, giving her a job. She’s trying hard to clean up her life, but still finds herself blacking out, and drinking after work until dawn. Meanwhile, a couple huge monsters are attacking Seoul Korea, a giant monster and a giant robot. But gradually as Gloria keeps reflecting on her past and the events in Seoul, she gradually comes to the understanding that someway she’s connected to the happenings across the world and is having trouble dealing with it, and the sinister secrets Oscar is hiding.

This is an ODD movie. There is very little here that makes sense, and it does require a complete suspension of belief as there is no logical connection to what is going on here. This is sort of like a cross between a fairy tale, and perhaps an allegory or message movie of some sort. Hathaway is very good in this most unusual performance I’ve seen her pull off, although you may recognize a couple of her past characters in the mix. Jason Sudekis is hard to rate, as he does fine in portraying his character, but his character is so very disturbing and unlikable so it’s hard to put your finger on his performance. This movie is advertised as a comedy, but I can’t see it. It’s dark, and disturbing, and certainly not a comedy at all in my opinion. But I found it a very entertaining movie with lots of good things to sink your teeth into. I found it very compelling, even though I still don’t understand it, that actually works for this movie. There is a wrap up in the end, but you’re still left with a “What the Heck” kind of feeling when it’s over. There’s certainly not a very happy ending for Gloria, but it’s certainly understandable. All in all, I found this a good movie and I really enjoyed watching it, although if you go into it looking for a light comedy like Ella Enchanted, you’re going to be seriously disappointed. Likewise, you could try to pin it as a horror or monster movie which it isn’t either. The creatures only take up a few percent of the screen time, and they are rather unimportant to the mood and message of the film. Don’t go in looking for either of these, but look for a very unusual independent film, not much like anything you’ve seen before, and if you can suspend belief and stop looking at the scientific truths of the movie, you’ll see an entertaining film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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Regency Enterprises, New Regency Productions, Blind Wink Productions,

Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Celia Imrie, Adrian Schiller, Annette Lober, Susanne Wuest

Lockhart (Dane deHaan) is a young executive on the rise at his firm, but he’s caught with some financial missteps at the time of a big merger. The board sends him to the Alps in Switzerland to a hide-away SPA/Retreat/Mental Facility in Switzerland to bring back the former head of the company who has gone to this place to rest and recover, but who is needed to be the fall guy for some of the crimes he has committed. Lockhart’s plan is to go in, and bring him out and back to New York on the same day, but as soon as he arrives at the clinic, it becomes clear that there is something much deeper going on. Being kept from seeing the man he’s looking for, Pembroke (Harry Groener) but he soon finds out bits and piece of the history of this place that is indeed sinister. Mostly old people around, but one unusual young lady named Hannah (Mia Goth) is intriguing to him, and appears to be in the center of the mystery surrounding this place, but as the driver tells him, lots of people come, but very few ever leave in this dark, classic, suspenseful horror film.

This is a very unusual film. Directed by Gore Verbinski, it’s a very long movie, about 2 1/2 hours, and it’s a very cerebral type of story that is no so much blood and guts, but really a head spinning maze of twists and turns until we finally get to the end of the film. This movie really reminded me of the look and feel of Shutter Island, and I kept being reminded of that over and over again, as I watched it, and if you are not aware of the actual finale of the film, you’ll be surprised and amazed at what is really going on here. It’s not a perfect film, but I really enjoyed it a lot. Many folks looking for the new style of horror with mass murderers running havoc through a summer camp were disappointed. This is a thinker, and takes a lot of work to follow and figure out what it really happening. All the pieces are not just thrown at the screen, but if you like good old fashioned suspenseful stories that get you pulled into the moment, this movie does that very well. As we got tot he latter part of the story, I found myself glued to the screen not to miss a bit of what was happening. The actors did a really good job. It was well cast, and the setting at the clinic was certainly very well chosen as well, and the cast and location add a great deal of the suspense part of the story. This is a nightmare for sure, and a movie that will move you if you give it a chance. If you are too impatient for the story to slowly unfold like a flower, not like a skyrocket, then you might as well skip this one as it starts out slow and plodding, but by bit, turn by turn, but if you like that, like I do, then you won’t want it to go too fast, and you will appreciate each bit by bit, morsel by morsel and you won’t want it to end too soon. I liked this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Columbia Pictures, Skydance Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE),

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dykhovichnaya, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare

A crew of astronauts are in a space lab and come across a single celled creature that appears it could have been alive. Through their investigation they are able to determine that it was in a deep form of hibernation on Mars since a time in the past when Mars had more oxygen. But once they wake it up, they find that it grows very fast, and is not particularly friendly Trapped in space with this creature with no chance of ever bringing it to Earth to study, it is protected by three levels of firewalls to make sure it cannot escape. But it is very smart and figures out a way to attack the crew anyway, and unless a plan can be found to stop it, it is going to kill the entire crew.

This film is not Alien. It’s good that it’s not because Alien is copyrighted and you can’t steal someone’s move. This is a terror filled suspenseful space monster film that holds it’s own, although it fought an uphill battle against critics and the public alike which I think is a shame. I was anxious to see this while in the theater, but never had time for it, yet now that it’s out on DVD, I am really happy I got a chance to see it. It’s a well done feature, and the suspense and horror aspect is really terrifying. Granted there are a few scientific blunders in here, and a couple plot holes that you could drive a truck through, but remember that this is science-FICTION and so it has to stretch reality a little bit for the sake of the story. Actually the cast did a good enough job. They were all pretty good. The effects are also pretty impressive, and it’s a good well told little story that kept me on the edge of my seat. Give this film a chance if you like Sci-Fi as much as I do, and I think you’ll find it good enough to be worth your time. I liked it and found it very frightening.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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