The Niagara Motel and the attached Riverside Grill, located in Niagara Falls, are owned and operated by Serbian father and daughter, the always angry Boris and hard working Sophie. Through ... See full summary »
Five years after Yippie founder Abbie Hoffman goes underground to avoid a drug-related prison sentence, he contacts a reporter to get out the story of the FBI's covert spying, harassment ... See full summary »
Pete, an eight-year-old Catholic boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1970s, attends Catholic school, where as classes let out for the summer, he's admonished by a nun to ... See full summary »
Suburban America gone haywire. In the midst of a serial abductor/killer's rampage, a beautiful young teen, Riley Lawson, goes missing. When her desperate parents, Will and Kate, are ... See full summary »
In a flashback, Ernesto, a young con man, tells us how he got to the edge of a big score: childhood in an orphanage, youthful smash-and-grab burglaries until his partner is caught, then ... See full summary »
The true and inspiring survival story of kidnapped teen, Anne Sluti, and how she manages to stay alive by manipulating her captor, engineering her own rescue and negotiating her safe release after 6 days of hell.
James Van Der Beek,
After losing her unborn child, Madeline Matheson insists on carrying the baby to term. Following the delivery, the child miraculously returns to life with an appetite for human blood. Madeline is faced with a mother's ultimate decision.
Christmas on the Canadian prairie: Harlan, a small-time grifter, plans a big con with his moll Fiona, scraggly and half his age. Expensive watches "on loan" from a jeweler, cash borrowed at a high vig from a tribal fund manager, and an old violin are props in the con; a pawnbroker with a safe full of money and various well-armed or well-protected thugs get their ores in as well. Problems, crosses, and double-crosses mount: Harlan finds himself on the stick's short end as the night progresses. Whose money will end up where? And for whom will this be a silent night? Written by
One word sums this film up: average. It's a very average film, with nothing special about it whatsoever. The inherent problem in this film: too many twists and turns. Every second scene has a new twist, and there are so many that the film loses its sense of purpose. Yates tries to be so clever with all of the plot twists and turns, but there are so many red herrings and cons within cons that it's just overwhelming - and falls beyond the zone of believability. This film is trying too hard to be a classic noir, and the director can't decide whether he wants to be John Huston or Guy Ritchie. The only problem is, his script is nowhere near as sharp as the Maltese Falcon, his visuals nowhere near as crisp and noir as Huston, and he doesn't have any of the humour of Ritchie.
And Pollack is no Bogart, Balaban no Bacall or Mary Astor. And the characterization is faulty - aside from Pollack's character (Harlan Jr.), the other characters simply don't stay true to form - they change throughout the film in ways that aren't just unexpected, but uncharacteristic. As well, Pollack simply isn't believable as the kind of character he's playing. His character is too genuine, too naive - and the way he ends the film (no, I won't spoil it) is a stretch. Yates is borrowing more than a little bit from Miller's Crossing, but Pollack is no Gaberiel Byrne - and he's also far from a Bogart or Fred MacMurray.
As well, the middle sags horribly. From the frenzied pace of the beginning to the frenetic pace of the end, we have this slow and dreary interlude with a 'romantic' aspect that perhaps wants to be a red herring, but just feels false, shallow and out of place.
As far as Canadian film goes, however - at least non-Quebecois Canadian film - this is a pretty solid one. Which doesn't say too much about Canadian film. We certainly have a lot to learn about film-making, but there are always moments where I feel that we're heading in the right direction. Not the best Canadian film I've seen, but nowhere near the worst, its flaws aren't serious enough to make you want to stop watching.
In the end, this film tries very hard and brings forth some interesting and quirky characters, but falls short of its potential.Yates has something interesting going here, and he shows bright promise, but he needs to tighten up his script and gain a better understanding of film
especially film noir - before he can near that potential. Yates will
get better, but he needs to take a step back and examine himself and his work first. 6/10.
9 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?