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|Index||72 reviews in total|
Picking out a great line in this film is very difficult. There were a
lot of great lines in writer Gary Lennon's directorial debut. These are
lines, of course, that you will not likely hear on his TV shows that he
Besides the lines, you had Milla Jovovich. I don't gravitate towards the tall skinny ones with the itty bitties, but she is hot, and she did a good job as a battered girlfriend. She was incredibly believable after the last incident, and as someone who was definitely in fear for her life.
Lennon's story has her finding a way out of her predicament that was sweet and sneaky. Using her hips, lips, and tits, she conned several people into soling her problem; including Sarah Strange ("Da Vinci's Inquest"), who played a bisexual (mostly lesbian) BFF to Milla that wanted much more, and Aisha Tyler (Charlie from "Friends," and the only reason I ever watched "The Ghost Whisperer"), She was a former battered wife that was now a counselor, and she was also very believable in the role.
Stephen Dorff (Blade) was also good, and I wish him luck in his quest for the impossible dream.
This movie is a gem, a raw, gritty, New York before Guliani, gem! This must have been a dream come true for the actors. The dialog is delicious and character are so rich! The acting is superb. This is a once in a lifetime role for Milla. As for the script: the writing can only be described as heartfelt profanity. So much depth and complexity; with humor interwoven into depraved situations. One scene in particular had me weeping, though I found myself laughing throughout most of the movie at the originality of these characters. Cinematography is beautiful. A true original cinematic voice. I hope to see more from Gary Lennon.
Milla Jovovich gives the performance of here career in this dark and
funny indy. It's all about girl power and revenge and desperate
characters in Hell's Kitchen.
Milla is stuck in HK with her gangsta boyfriend who runs the 'hood. All she wants is to move away from the hustle, bustle of the big city and have a nice little house a the beach. And she'll do anything (!) to get what she wants. And she does. Except it doesn't quite turn out the way she imagined.
Stephen Dorff also give a surprisingly good, funny performance too.
The director really knows how to go for the jugular. If you like Tarintino's films and black comedy and hot, naked girls with guns, you'll go for this dark and dirty little movie.
I wonder what the '.45', that is the film's title, is actually
referring to? Is it in reference to the guns one character sells? Could
it equate to the fraction of people that see this film and will
actually like it? Maybe it could refer to the overall rating out of ten
most people that see it might give it. Whatever it means, .45 is a bit
of a disaster a multi-genre piece trying to incorporate crime,
comedy, noir, romance and some kind of bizarre feminist undertone, but
really failing on all fronts. As it was, the film had a run in the
cinemas of Greece, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Mexico. Boy, those
lucky sons-of-guns. For everyone else, it was direct to DVD and it
The cover for the film sees its lead character, named Kate (Jovovich), sitting, indeed leaning up against a wall, in a leather jacket; short skirt and leggings. She holds a pistol and looks just off centre beyond the onlooker. She's there and you can see it; she wants you to notice her and she has this look in her eye as if to say 'I know you're there, but I'm not acknowledging you'. She remains alluring in an odd pose and yet aware of her sexuality as she refrains from looking directly at us. This suggested to me a female character of great power; of great awareness and of considerable sense. It suggested a film that had could have ventured down the route of noir with Jovovich playing a femme fatale role. Too bad it ends up being a direct to cable feature, reminiscent of a 1990's low-budget erotic thriller, about how, in fact, stupid and submissive a woman can be at times that present them with the chance to be strong and independent.
"So?", I hear you say "The film wasn't what you were expecting it to be that's still no reason to dislike it". Well actually, it is. The film clearly wants to fall into that realm of noir. It's told in flashback format; it is narrated; it revolves around scummy criminal lowlifes in an urban location and it centres around a protagonist that delicately tiptoes on that line between moral/immoral as well as right/wrong. Towards the end, the film moves up a gear and into a fully fledged noir infused tale of seduction and betrayal when certain events transpire with Kate instigating it all. Trouble is, these characters are supposed to 'use' their sexuality, not 'give' it away and allow themselves to play a submissive.
The films begins with a real regular annoyance of mine in films: the dreaded 'piece to camera'; the 'look how post-modern we're being' tactic. Jovovich stands there, grinning and laughing in a childish fashion about how 'big' her ex-partner was. I could've handled it once, as a setting up of the past situation but we get several other characters deliver their own opinions on said character's ex-partner. The ex-partner in question is Al (Macfadyen), played by an actor whom, believe it or not, once played the role of Orson Welles. It's established Al and Kate live together in New York with Al selling guns and Kate, who pretty much hangs around and pleasured him when he wants.
The first third is a non-event. People deliver pieces to the camera, which is just tiresome; characters describe sex acts, talk of sex and engage in annoying, old-hat pulpy dialogue sequences like when two women talk about why 'men are a bit like snow' something to do with the ambiguity revolving around 'how many inches you get' and 'how long it'll last.' Not funny, not clever. Half an hour has gone by and we have, quite literally, got nothing to go on. Smack on the thirty minute mark we have a scene in which three leering men eye up some women in a bar and make their move. Nothing yet.
Then the film has the audacity to pull the rug from under our feet by presenting a wildly out of place scene in which it transforms into something else entirely. Oh right, so all this meandering was leading to this, was it? Now it's a tale about the aftermath of such events and how women can leave a relationship; stand up for themselves; get a new life. Actually, no apparently. Apparently Kate takes this chance to re-confess her love for Al, despite what transpires; she takes this chance to actually go back to him and restart the relationship, only I guess we're supposed to sympathise with her a tad more because she doesn't enjoy the sex as much. What's equally hilarious is the incidence during which Al delivers a piece to camera of his own, asking us to excuse him.
A user on the 'plot summary' page here on IMDb says Kae is 'smart, stylish, and self-confident.' No she's not! She's an idiot who blushes when she talks of male genitalia; cannot think for herself and is only injected with these personality traits when the narrative demands she needs them. This is for the final third, when the film needs one character to be a bisexual female that likes Kate; needs another one to be a former victim at the hands of a male to fuel hatred and needs a male that both hates certain characters and likes Kate at once to instigate the finale. The film is a mess. It carries the same checklist that cheap, direct to DVD movies have: some nudity; little bit of sex; splashes of violence; maybe some girl on girl action; everyone's a caricature; etc. It's bad, bad, bad and surprisingly dull. I just kept wishing everyone grow up a little: get out more; explore; live a little; go and meet some nice people for a change; find a hobby. What might've been an interesting piece really just ends up as Bound meets Nil By Mouth.
Based what I've seen of Mr. Lennon's work thus far I would say that he
is on his way to a very memorable career.
Lennon obviously knows life in Hell's Kitchen like the back of his hand and must be drawing from his own personal experiences or others he's seen.
It's all too clear Lennon understands the darker side of life. With his deft touch as director a superb cast brings a frightening reality to the screen.
Like any great filmmaker who holds a mirror up to life, Lennon isn't afraid to ram the rawest of emotions into your gut like a dirty shiv.
Because of the poster and because of its title,I thought .45 was going to be some kind of remake of the film Ms.45.I was very wrong.The story from this movie has very little to do with that excellent film.But,well,I'll start talking about .45,a very interesting combination between criminal thriller and domestic drama which makes a very honest tribute to the exploitation films.This film has very disturbing and realistic scenes about the domestic abuse and I really appreciated that.As I previously said,this film makes a very honest tribute to the exploitation films.Films like The Smell of Honey,A Taste of Brine and Scum of the Earth showed similar subjects as the ones we see in .45.That films tried to provoke intense emotions in the spectator.That films had drug use,passional crimes,pervasive sexuality,femme fatales...and all that elements are seen in .45 but the best thing of all is that this film does not copy them...it makes a tribute to them.This film also has things which reminded me to films like Coffy,Kill Bill,Ms.45,I Spit on Your Grave and Thriller:A Cruel Picture.So,the final result is a cultural stew which is not great,but it's pretty entertaining and it makes a very appropriate commentary about the domestic abuse.I did not find Milla Jovovich totally credible on her role.Angus McFayden makes an amazing performance.He plays a villain in such a good way that I wanted to kill his character. .45 is not a great film and Jovovich's performance did not totally convince me.But the film is pretty entertaining and it represents a very honest tribute to the exploitation movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Big Al is a crook who deals with the sale of stolen house items and
guns. Many peoples in town knows him and admits that he's a dangerous
person and they don't want to face him. He has a lover, a beautiful
woman called Cat. As they walk in a bar for a drink, at the slightest
sign when a man comes closer to his girlfriend, Al jumps to conclusions
and believes that Cat cheats on him with that guy. As a result he
insults and beat her. She is forced to seek help at her best friend Vic
and she wants to move with her and leave Al. Also Reilly, a good friend
of the couple jumps in her help. Now Cat must come up with a plan in
order to get rig for good of her abusive boyfriend.
The whole movie is a about the torment of a girl. Many girls are situated in the same situation so there is not a necessary fact to make a movie based only by this idea. Milla is a very good actress and plays her part very well. That the only good aspect. Also it makes you wonder why she still wants to remain with him after all that suffer?
Definitely the type of film that is not for everyone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While .45 features some passable performances from its cast and an okay
storyline it's far from being masterfully made. The main problem for me
mostly is the dialog that gives you the impression that Gary Lennon was
trying to craft a Martin Scorcese style film featuring a lot of uses of
the "F" word and a lot of vulgar language which easily offends the
everyday sensitive viewer. But for myself who looked at the film
without finding anything about it offensive the real problem with the
dialog is it's both extremely repetitive and boring. A common problem
with just about every film with a dialog that could very well be an
encyclopedia of swearing.
The second problem are the characters, I never really grew to care about any of them as sometimes through the course of the film they just seemed stupid. Like the main character Kat, played by Milla Jovovich who stands out the most, she's smart enough to plot revenge but not smart enough to avoid a guy like Big-Al (Angus Macfadyen) who pounds her to a pulp altogether.
Final Verdict, This film is really not as good as people have been saying despite the cast giving passable performances, the main problems are the repetitive and boring dialog and the uninteresting characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
.45 was a strange film to say the least. It was somewhat messy and
filled with a lot of gritty drama, violence, betrayal and cursing. The
film has three parts, the first being a character study of an urban
white trash couple, both of whom I thought were fairly convincing,
Jovovich looking the part, while 'Big Al' looking something like a fat,
bloated uglier version of Russell Crowe plays a slovenly fat pig, small
time crime and bully to perfection and seemed to have plenty of fun
After some earlier hijinks, the tone of the film changes, moving into a domestic violence expose with a psycho partner and this is where the film excels. The scenes of domestic violence are powerful and comparable to 'Once Were Warriors' in terms of the sensory assault and shock of the violence, intimidation, degradation and dehumanizing treatment meted out and the acting of both leads and the dynamics of their relationship is highly believable. The prolonged and sustained assault that features alone makes this worth seeing for the impact on the viewer, but you couldn't call that bit entertaining.
Unfortunately, having taken a turn for the better and setting itself up as something more memorable, it then degenerates nearer the end in trying to be clever, perhaps overdoing the scheming, manipulation and surprises in Jovovich trying to escape the abusive relationship, little of which you couldn't see coming and much of what the film could have done without. It was certainly a worthwhile part for Jovovich contrary to what some people have suggested and she did herself no dis-service accepting this role.
The ending was not that shocking. It was very clear about half way (when he beats her) that somehow she was going to get away from him (if it were murder or a frame-work like what happened) One somewhat bad thing is that they made Aisha Tyler's character look bad in the end. Everyone else was left feeling happy (aside from Big Al of course) but her character was obviously upset. The final few minutes takes it back to the beginning when Kat is talking into the camera while on the beach. It then shows her walking away then the film ends.
Kat and Big Al run guns. Small-time, really, just the streets of New York. She would like it to get bigger, he's reluctant. Then one day, he beats her, in jealous rage. Not for the first time, but the worst yet. Her smarts, coolness and independence(she could easily run their "business" without him) fly right out the window, in spite of the advice of Vic(a lesbian who also comes onto her), Reilly(a dumb criminal who wants to get out that life and wants to be with her) and Liz(the social worker assigned to her case). However, she's not done yet. And she can be crafty. Right as this opens, it's vulgar; the strong language(at times explicit) is constant, the plentiful sexuality is unrestrained(complete with a little nudity of both genders), and there is a bit of disturbing, brutal violence(aforementioned fight is shocking and effective, yet because of what follows, it is not gratuitous in its detail). This goes for an uncensored look at the environment and the people, and the grittiness, the uncompromising nature of this makes it all the better for those of us who aren't turned off to it. About halfway through(because this keeps to such a smooth pace, wasting no time), I suddenly realized that not a single one of these types were likable. And it didn't take me long to remember that the same goes for classics in the crime-drama genre; Goodfellas, Casino, and in general Scorsese's films. What makes these work is that the characters are credible, thoroughly established(swiftly, if need be) and in a story you're interested in... and all of those are the case here, as well. The acting is great for all involved. This is one of Milla's best performances(watch this if you like her; granted, she is perhaps a little over-the-top at times), and she is at her most seductive and cute here(no wonder everyone in this falls for her!). Macfadyen(granted, the explanation that he "went to Scotland as a kid and never lost the accent" is stupid), Dorff, Tyler, Strange... everyone is spot-on. The editing is tight, with a lot of hand-held, and several "talk to the camera" interviews by those in this(not only the leads). Dialog tends to be very natural. The humor can be forced once or twice; this may make still you laugh. Love and abuse are important themes in this. There is tension in this. The twists are unexpected, I didn't see the ending coming(what I will say is that I am ecstatic about it). The DVD comes with trailers. I recommend this to anyone who wants to delve into life on the streets. 7/10
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