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The concept of making the audience wonder whether the hero is really being threatened or is the victim of delusions, has been used several times recently. I enjoyed this take on it better than most and I love Patrick Stewart in any role! I hadn't expected it to be so heart-wrenching at times, but it was. One scene, in which Mace (P.S.)is doing a cognitive test for his doctor, was particularly effective. As a result, this was not only a suspense movie it had some very realistic portrayals of the slow but steady mental decline of Alzheimer's victims--and how tragic that is, as they realize it is happening. I think I appreciated that accurate and informational aspect as much as I did the mystery of Mace's activities with his complex computer set-up. I watched this while walking on my treadmill and usually do a movie in two sessions. This one kept me going through the entire time.
This is a film about paranoia. When you think you're being watched, your every move being documented, your every action recorded and analyzed. Mace Sowell, an ex-military officer from a covert operations team no one knows about, is confined to his home, because he fears for his life. His daughter doesn't think that he is in danger, instead, she just thinks he's getting senile, or maybe he's just paranoid. He regularly runs 'drills' in order to keep himself prepared for any direct strike on his house. Meanwhile, he also discovers that he's slowly developing Alzheimer's Disease, which only makes things worse. The plot is great, the idea is quite original, and the movie moves along at a great pace; every scene has some development in the plot, and often it also has some great humor. The film delivers a great sense of paranoia all the way through. The acting is great, both by Patrick Stewart and Kimberly Williams. The consistent paranoia, the various intense scenes that are easily explained once they're over, the overall mood of the film, it all leads up to an exciting climax that only few will be able to figure out until it happens. All in all, a great thriller about paranoia. I recommend this to fans of thrillers, especially fans that are fond of conspiracy theories and paranoia in thrillers. 8/10
My one line summary is a reworking of the tag line "The less you know, the safer you are". Reading the original synopsis on IMDB gives too much away. If you haven't read it - don't. Just RUN to the store and rent this video. Be like me and don't read the synopsis on the box either. Just take my word for it and that of the anonymous author of the very well written comments that precede mine. This is a GREAT movie. It's witty, falling down funny, sad as blazes, suspenseful, and exciting. Stewart and Williams are dynamite together.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember seeing this movie in a video store a few years back and only
saw that it had Patrick Stewart on the cover now as a fan of his I did
consider renting it but never got the chance.
A little time later I found it on TV and now here is my review of Safe House.
Patrick Stewart and Kimberly Williams star in this thriller. as Patrick Stewart plays Mace Sowell a retired intelligence operative who is suffering with the beginning stages Alzheimer's disease.
Kimberly Williams plays Andi Travers a house keeper for Mace who begins to care for him as he goes through his issues of Alzheimer's disease.
It plot is not something you see all the time where the protagonist suffers through a disease that makes it different and interesting and Patrick Stewart pull it off really well.
Kimberly Williams is interesting as Andi she bonds with Mace as she tries to help him through his struggles.
It is a mix of comedy and Triller where there are moments of humor and moments where you see the characters in heated ordeals.
Despite the film is a direct to video or TV style it is a very interesting film and with Patrick Stewart and Kimberly Williams performances they make the movie worth your while.
The plot is a interesting one that you don't see too much where it is original so not bad for made for TV movies.
A fan of Star Trek The Next Generation will enjoy it to see Patrick Stewart in a different light.
Overall if you're a fan of Patrick Stewart and Kimberly Williams you will want to give it a try if you enjoy a movie with a interesting plot then you may enjoy it Safe House.
I give Safe House an 8 out of 10
I will start by admitting that I'm a Star Trek fan, and in particular a
Gen fan. So yes, I have a bias towards liking Stewart, although I think
most can agree he is a skilled actor.
That concession aside, and as my summary suggests, this is not an epic movie, just a short story. I loved the set design, which was quite clever; where most movies tend to create the impression of big houses and locales, this one manages to create the impression of close spaces, as appropriate for a fortress in suburbia.
You will continue to guess at whether or not Stewart's paranoia is justified or just symptoms of Alzheimer's until the very end. Stewart is well fitted for the part, or at the very least he was convincing to me. I think this particular says something since I'm used to seeing him as Captain Picard.
I wouldn't try to sell this off as an accurate portrayal of how DIA operatives act when they retire. I wouldn't know anything about that. I don't even know if there is such a thing as the DIA.
What I will say is that the movie is best taken as a diversion, a fun romp that keeps you interested, but it doesn't grip you like an epic. Perhaps rightly so, since the subject matter doesn't fit an epic movie anyway.
As a final note, I still don't see anything wrong with genre mixing. Why can't you have a drama that's funny, or a comedy with serious action, or whatever it is you want to blend? If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't, and it works for me here. (See as an example "The Big Hit," which the writer called a "hip-hop comic Hong Kong action movie") This movie is a small little tidbit, to be taken and enjoyed as such. 8/10
Every time I see Patrick Stewart I become more and more impressed by
this actor's versatility. From Shakespeare to SciFi, from drama to
suspense to historical epic, Stewart does it all, and does it very
well. With "Safe House," Stewart demonstrates a wide range of talent,
including - what I enjoyed most - a flair for subtle comedy, unexpected
in a movie billed as a suspense flick.
I have to admit first off that if you're looking for a hair-raising, edge of your seat thriller, look elsewhere. I spent a lot more of my time sitting back chuckling than I did on the edge of my seat - and I mean that positively. This was a very funny movie in many ways, laced with some tense moments. Stewart plays Mace Sowell, a man suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, who tries to convince his daughter Michelle (played by Joy Kilpatrick) that the life she thought he had lived had been a lie, and that he had really been a military intelligence officer whose life was now in danger because of the things he knew. She, of course, assumes that her father is delusional because of the Alzheimer's, and hires a caregiver (Andi Travers, played by Kimberley Williams in a pretty decent performance) who Sowell distrusts from the start, but finally begins to warm up to. There's the outline of a pretty suspenseful movie there, except for one basic fault: I had this thing figured out within about 10-15 minutes of the opening! It's very predictable. However, I must confess that the decision to have Sowell suffering from Alzheimer's throws a wild card into this, and there were a few times when, with the twists and turns that happen, and with Sowell's obvious confusion, I began to doubt what I had assumed would happen. So it definitely managed to hold my interest. Stewart, in addition to some wonderfully funny scenes, also showed his dramatic flair as he portrays Sowell struggling with his emotions as he confronts the disease beginning to ravage his mind.
Most of the other performances in the movie are solid but unspectacular. I frankly found the character of Stuart (played by Craig Shoemaker) to be nothing less than irritating. Why he had to play almost every scene at least partly impersonating a famous actor was beyond me, and I really just wanted him to go away after a while. Hector Elizondo as Dr. Simon, Sowell's psychiatrist, was underused and offered little.
Basically, though, this is a pretty good movie. I'd rate it as a 7/10.
What an incredible movie this is! Patrick Stewart masterfully portrays a rich man who is trying to come to grips with the threat of Alzheimer's, and is plagued with paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is nothing like Stewart has ever done before, and he deserves an Oscar more than any of the nominees this year did. Kimberly Williams (the bride in Father of the Bride) plays a psychiatrist who is assigned by the man's daughter to help him keep hold of his sanity, and the movie (most of the time) is about their growing relationship, which thankfully stays out of tired old romantic cliches and feels very real and very interesting to watch. It will no doubt remind many of movies like Rain Man and Good Will Hunting, and it is just as good, if not better, than them. It manages to be funny, touching, powerful, and clever, all in about equal doses. And rather than just confine itself to this plot, it moves back and forth between his paranoia and flirting with the notion that it may not be completely unfounded. Yet despite this jumping back and forth, it never fails to be as entertaining and interesting as any movie you'll see this year. This is a wonderful, highly overlooked gem of a movie, and I suggest you give it a look if you get the chance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't read the jacket description carefully enough and was surprised that the majority of this film was about the main character, Mace (Patrick Stewart) developing Alzheimer's. It started out predictably with Mace neurotically drilling on security protocols and attack situations. He's retired intelligence, after all. But then we learn that some of what he's afraid of is not enemies, but memory loss associated with the disease he hopes he doesn't have but finally accepts. His daughter hires a woman to look after him and we are immediately suspicious because she's smart, gorgeous - why does she want a job looking after an old man developing Alzheimer's? As the film progresses, I agree that Patrick Stewart does a very good job as someone who depended on their memory to stay alive and has put safeguards in place in case of ... well ... we know. Clues from the TV that is constantly on, keeps us thinking that there must be something to Mace's fears though I didn't think the film would end quite the way it did. It was good but I wouldn't call it an action movie (aka Die Hard) but rather a suspenseful psychological drama. It was not a very uplifting movie because even if our hero makes it out alive, we know his memory is not going to last. Movies about Alzheimer's are sad and this one is also.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent spellbinding spy thriller superbly portrayed by
Patrick Stewart. This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat
from beginning to end. While it was a Showtime film it is not low
budget or low quality. The entire production, cast, script & film
quality are all first Class.
The unique story of a retired DIA agent (defense intelligence Agency) suffering from early advanced Alzheimers with extreme paranoia of being the target of gov't assassination attempts to silence him from exposing the dirty laundry of a Presidential candidate. Stewart goes through extreme measures to protect himself & remain physically fit & ready as he realizes his mind is rapidly deteriorating. Stewart is the epitome of class, fitness & superb academy award level acting in this action thriller. Stewart underwent extensive preparation of exercise, bodybuilding, martial arts, self defense, dancing, guitar, gourmet cooking & strenuous training prior to this role to be in peak physical condition & skill for this talented character role.
The audience is led to believe his daughters perception that his extreme paranoid behavior is due to his Alzheimers. She is unaware of his DIA career & believes her father's assertions as an intelligence agent are fantasies as are his fears of assassination.
He becomes the last surviving member of his former DIA team who knows the truth about their former boss who could blow the whistle on his political aspirations. His only protection is a deadmans switch on the internet which he has to deactivate every day to prevent automatic dissemination of documents & photos proving the Presidential Candidate was involved in high level assassinations.
His daughter unwittingly hires a "too good to be true" compelling freelance contract agent as her fathers caretaker who quickly wins her fathers trust & that of the audience. That trust soon turns to unexpected consequences.
Stewart is at the top of his game on this film. Excellent Acting & performances by the entire cast. Fantastic script, action & top of the line spyware.
I cannot overstate how great this film is from start to finish. Unless you are some immature neophyte or political hard nose you will definitely enjoy this movie.
This is a quality film which nearly everyone should enjoy. I highly recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***** WARNING - SPOILERS *****
They say that everything there is to know about us is held on computers somewhere , and that knowledge is power. It's also the ultimate life insurance.
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek TNG) plays Mace Sowell , a recluse and ex CIA operative , who is convinced someone is out to get him. His hi-tech home is his castle , and his sophisticated computer is his key and protector. Mace plays war games in and around his luxury home in order to keep his whits sharp , which is something his mind and memory are rapidly becoming the opposite of due to altziemers.
It takes a very talented , flexible and dedicated actor to play such a challenging , yet intriguingly absorbing role. This is done to perfection by Patrick Stewart , who ensures that your eyes will rarely leave the screen for fear of missing something. One thing it definitely isn't is a constant action movie , with dozens of SAS dropping through the ceiling at every opportunity. Though we are treated to some enjoyable and unexpected action scenes which gives the movie some zest. And Mace's mental condition is seen from a slightly humorous angle but at the same time without being insensitive , rather than delving into the dry , serious side of it.
If you're looking for a 'fatal attraction' style thriller with an original and unusual twist , then you should enjoy this movie. It's worth it just for the one liner right at the end !
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