Old Reviews 2008

good-life

Dark. Intense. Wow! It sounds like I am talking about a freakin’ cup of coffee.

This film was really interesting on several levels. It got bad reviews by a lot of people. Yet, on various other sites it got really great reviews. I’m not talking about some people giving it a 2/5 stars and others giving it 4/5 but people saying it was one of the worst films they saw (2-3 out of 10) and others saying it was one of the best film with some of the best performances they have seen from some of the actors/actresses (8 out of 10). The discrepancy was really large.

I fell into the latter category. I think that this was a brillant film with noteworthy performances by Mark Webber and Chris Klein.

The packaging, to agree with the naysayers, is quite misleading. Drea De Matteo is given about 2 minutes in the film, Bill Paxton about 3 or 4. The story revolves around Mark Webber’s character who is not billed as highly on the packaging. So it is misleading. As is the subtitle: He’s Finally Had Enough. After watching the film I can grasp the subtitle but it just really doesn’t fit.

The film begins where it ends and takes you for a 1 hr and 30 minute lesiurely paced ride. This will be a turn off to some. It doesn’t move quickly. But it’s about story, character, depth rather than just entertainment.

There are a couple of scenes of sexuality (but with nothing explicit), and if you can make if past the first 10 minutes of dialogue (which is basically a “shock and awe” type bombing of the “f” word), you will be okay.

Mark Webber is awesome, but it is Chris Klein’s scenes that steal the film. His character, agreeing with another reviewer, is somewhat misplaced, but he lights up the screen with his performance – it is electric.

The story revolves around a kid who is on the outside looking in, hates football, but lives in a football obessed town, who is struggling with his finances and burden of trying to take care of his mom, who befriends an owner of a local theater (who only plays the classics) who starts to lose his mind after his wife dies, meets a mysterious girl (Zooey Deschanel) who affects him but has some extreme issues of her own, who works at a gas station as an attendant, tries to deal with a jerk of a brother-in-law (the Christmas gift game is hilarious!) and tries to live life the best that he can…..oh, and struggles with the suicide death of his dad (former cop), who happens to leave Jason (Webber’s character) a present with the idea of “who needs the extra 10-12 seconds.”

After watching this film you really need to turn on a comedy or something, but the film is well worth watching and digesting.

invisible

So, this is definitely not the ‘normal’ type of movie i do a review about on my blog. But the movie was one that I have wanted to see for some time. I saw the preview for it on another movie that I was about ready to watch and found the scenes and concept pretty cool.

It tells the story of a kid name Nick who is left to die in the woods after being beat up by some “thugs” who wrongly accuse him of telling on the ring leader of their group, a girl named Annie. Annie is a troubled youth, with a troubled home life and that comes out in all sorts of ways for her.

But is Nick dead? Apparently not. But he is not alive either. Stuck between life and death, the rest of the film deals with him trying to get people (Annie, specifically) to realize that he is not dead….but time is running out. He must find ways to communicate with Annie…and at a certain point, we see that she can “hear” him, she begins to know that he is still alive and needs her help. They must retrieve his body so that he may live. Yet, unknown to Annie, the body has been moved. It’s not where her and her “friends” left it. Who moved it? And where? Will they locate it in time?

The film deals with spirituality but not at any deeply meaningful or significant level. Rather it seems to imply that death is not the solution. For yourself, or others. The Invisible also serves as a allegory for many young people as they grow up in life…they feel invisible. And as director David Goyer says, “Nick is not only invisible but a kind of a ghost who is trapped in this privileged place where he can do something we all fantasize about—be a total voyeur, listening in on his friends’ and family’s most private conversations. Watching from this other space, he catches all the characters with their masks down and sees sides of them that nobody else ever sees. It happens with his mother, with his friend Pete and especially with Annie. And that builds on one of the story’s biggest themes, which is that people tend to wear all these masks that keep others from seeing them for who they truly are.”

In the end, without spoiling the movie, it becomes a redemptive love story. Which is both cool and puzzling at the same time for how it accomplishes this feat. Nonetheless, it is not your ‘typical’ ending which is refreshing.

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