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Here we have two movies for the price of one. Unfortunately one movie
plus one other movie does not make even one good movie. Method is the
story of a beautiful actress in the come-back role of a lifetime. So,
Rebecca (the beautiful actress) portrays a serial killer in a
supposedly true tale of Belle (the beautiful serial killer.) A major
portion of Method is the movie Belle. Herein lies the problem--the
movie in the movie is actually more interesting than the movie we are
paying to see.
We are to believe that Rebecca(Elizabeth Hurley) is so mentally unstable that, spurred by her overbearing mother's interference, begins to associate completely with the murderous Belle, finally assuming her character. (Hence: "Method"). There is a predictable ending to "Belle", and a surprise ending to "Method", which is also predictable.
Two stars out of ten for "Belle", one star for "Method". An extra star for Elizabeth Hurley(sorry about the bias, I just think she's beautiful). Total = 4 stars out of 10.
The expression "method" was coined by the acting teacher Lee Strasberg
to describe his unique interpretation of the acting techniques of the
Russian director Constantin Stanislavsky. In the 1950s, Strasberg was
the guru of the famed Actors Studio of New York where many great film
actors honed their craft with the master. Strasberg's authoritarian
style was legendary as he watched the actors perform scenes and
monologues and then proceeded to psychoanalyze the actors and their
Mr. Strasberg would be truly appalled by the trite and cliché-ridden "Method." The film seeks to weave two stories in a "play-within-a-play" style. Unfortunately, neither one of the stories is interesting, and the main problem is the script. Much of the dialogue was laughable. Also, the production values of this film seemed amateurish with special effects and scenes of violence that were not credible. Sadly, the good premise of a story about an actress who loses touch with reality and "becomes the character" was not realized, despite the good efforts of the cast.
The classic film "A Double Life" (1947) was successful in developing this premise as the actor playing Othello is so enmeshed within his character that he commits a real-life murder. The screenwriters for "A Double Life" were the brilliant team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, from whom the writers of "Method" could have learned a lesson worthy of the great teacher Lee Strasberg.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If there is something like an average B movie nowadays 'Method' would
fill in this role. The story combines in two interleaved threads the
story of a 19th century serial killer, a widow attracting older man
with promises of re-marriage and killing them to rob them of their
money with the story of the making of the movie, in which the the
principal actors live their own love story which becomes soon a murder
story. The rather thin premise of the movie is that the acting method
of identifying with the real life character can lead to the violence of
the story penetrating real life.
Although decently filmed and acted the movie suffers because lack of ambition and imagination. Much more could have been achieved by a more skilled director out of the violent fiction story slowly penetrating life. Although crime and suffering happens on the screen, we really do not care too much about this as viewers, one of the reasons being maybe because it is not clear whether the suffering happens in the fiction plan we are less involved with, and also maybe because the flat performance of Jeremy Sisto, the weakest from all the cast, in my opinion.
It's a film easy to forget. I will probably remember nothing about it in a week or so.
**SPOILERS** Brain-numbing film that's a movie within a movie with a
number of confusing dream sequences added on as well.
Beautiful but unstable motion picture actress Rebecca Fairbanks, Elizabeth Hurley,had been off the silver and big screen for three years. Rebecca is now attempting to make her big comeback in the movie role as turn of the century serial murderess Belle Gunness "known as the Black Widow of the the America Heartland" who killed 42 people in he early 1900's.
Determined to make her comeback in the movies a smashing success Rebecca trying to get into the role, using method acting techniques, lives on the set where the film's being made in off all places Romania! the home of serial blood-sucker Darcula. Later she even becomes a murderous fanatic to get the "feel" and "state of mind" of what Belle Gunness was in at the time she murdered her victims.
Pushed by her stage mother Mona, Carmen Du Sautoy, and having her co-star movie leading man and heart-throb Jake Fields,Jeremy Sisto,who had an affair with Rebecca three years ago that lead to her getting pregnant having an abortion. Jacks affair almost had him lose his wife Bethany, Hanna Yellard, because of it putting her, Rebecca, into such a deep depression over the whole mess that she hadn't made a movie since. Jake promising his wife Bethany who's there to make sure that he keeps he feeling, as well as pants on, for Rebecca in check and that he's only in love with her and no-one else. Bethany also wants to make sure that the hot and heavy work Jack's doing in his love scenes with Rebecca on the set are strictly professional and nothing more, ha ha ha.
On the set Rebecca is more then in her role as the psycho-killer Belle Gunness by overdoing some of the murder scenes that's she's, using axes and knives, in. Rebecca's method acting techniques cause a number of actors in them with her to get medical treatment. There's also a number of people in and around the movie set that end up getting brutally murdered including both Rebbeca's mom and Jake's wife. Rebecca early in the movie drives out to a nearby town and picks up the local bar/saloon stud who also ends up dead with his throat slashed, was this her way of perfecting her acting as a serial murderess?
With the exception of one of the actors in the movie, who Rebbeca smashed his head in with her new found method-acting skills, we don't know for sure if she's really responsible for all the murders off the set. Even when the movie is over her involvement in them is still up in the air and unexplained to the audience by the director and writer of the movie "Method".
We also see the ghost of the real Belle Gunness, Loana Prvelescu, pop up every now and then in the movie giving Rebecca tips and advice in killing off her cast members in the film. "Method" looks as if it wasn't finished and just slapped together to get it released as if it's some kind of abstract art-film that only those who are really "hip" and "with it" could understand what it's all about.
Even the scenes in the movie that Rebecca is staring in come across more convincing and realistic, then those that are supposed to be not before the camera, with Rebbecca and Jake having their affair rekindled after three years.In fact the love scenes that take place in the movie with Rebecca and Jake, playing their roles of Belle and her lover Ray, are far more hotter and convincing then the ones where their in bed and getting it on as Rebecca and Jake.
The movie ends with a really out-of-this-world dream sequence that gives you the impression that Rebecca either kills herself or Jake or both with the encouragement of the ghost of the evil Belle Gunness. It's then that it switches to Rebecca playing Belle as if that scene was put in by mistake with the film editors not knowing that she was either dead or imprisoned for what happened in the previous scene!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This may be one that goes to television viewing when one has nothing to
do in the evening.
The story is, as described by others, a story within a story which interchanges time to time - an actress back into the world of acting after a few year's hiatus (due to tragedies).
The Movie on a supposed female serial killer from early 20th Century USA is acted out by Liz Hurley and her co star. They still have feelings and an eventual affair ensues. Oh, I forget - the co-star has his wife on the set as well. :-) There's also a reporter on their tails with blackmail material and lets not forget the cold blooded agent/mum of Liz.
After 20 minutes it will become apparent that Liz eventually "merges" into her role so well (Method acting)that mysterious serial killings will occur on the set.
Ending is very predictable and quite cheesy too, I mean (Big Spoiler Ahead) ... we are made to believe the spirit of the dead serial killer possessed Liz all the time, a spirit that travels from the US to the sets in Romania? :-) It may be worth glancing at if you like to watch good IL pouty lipped Liz. Apart from that, get a decent movie or a book.
A total waste of a rental fee. The story involves a method actress who
believes in 'becoming the character'. She plays a serial killer and
bodies start turning up. Did she or didn't she?
It's an interesting idea, but why-why, why, oh why--would producers spend so much money on period sets, fine actors, beautiful photography, and then use such an incoherent, cliché-ridden script. My mother and I watched it together, and together we couldn't figure out what was going on half the time. The movie jumps back and forth between the film and the film-within-the-film and the filming-of-the-film-within-the-film (still in period costume, so you don't know at first), and from reality to hallucination. At the end it's not really made clear who killed who, and some of the answers aren't really credible. Why waste a lovely woman like Elizabeth Hurley in such a piece of poo-poo?
Jeremy Sisto and Elizabeth Hurley very earnestly work hard to make this shockingly bad film decent, but they simply can't. It is a maudlin mess of poorly written and directed dreck from Duncan Roy. Plot summary already attached to this film's IMDb posting, I will dispense with much of the redundant plot summary, but when Hurley barks out of the shack door to drifter Sisto's character "Hey, can you mend a fey-ance?" (it is turn of the century Indiana after all, so expect heavy accents), I knew this thing was heading down state in a durn hurry. Perhaps five minutes later, gentleman callers are arranged by mail to come see the impossibly beautiful Hurley to arrange marriage. With heavy brows does our fence fixer Sisto disapprove of Hurley's mail order suitors, referred to as her brother. Do we even need to delve into the budding melodrama of this period piece? Wait! O dreaded gimmicks, worse than a triptych, first person narrative, or chapter supertitles, we are fed a steaming dish of a film within a film. My word, I don't think this kind of thing has ever been done before! Oh wait, well, you know. The only interesting things about Method are Hurley's beauty, Sisto's effort, and the infamous off screen battles between the insane director Duncan Roy and Liz Hurley. The final product, though, stinks to high heaven.
Three stars for the gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley in her fetching white
outfits, but that's about it. After seeing "Method" I can understand
why I never heard of the film before. This hodge-podge thriller is off
the mark on so many levels it makes the head spin.
First off, if you're going to take the chance of showing us a film within a film and attempt to illustrate the subtle differences and similarities (a la "The French Lieutenant's Woman"), then you need actors skillful enough to show us the difference between their "acting" and their real selves. Pretty as she is, Hurley is a terribly inexpressive actress (the film gets points for having someone actually say on screen that she can't act) and is so bad in the period film sequences you'd like to believe it's intentional, but I think not. Jeremy Sisto's acting style consists exclusively of lowering his chin and looking up at everybody, hoping, one would assume, that this conveys some kind of brooding intensity. Unfortunately it only makes him look like Tony Perkins in "Psycho." Sisto should also take it easy on the eyebrow tweezing...they look exactly like Hurley's.
The plot (a troubled actress becomes too immersed in playing the role of a serial killer) is too convoluted by half - leisurely when it should be tense, abrupt when we could be helped out by some exposition. Really didn't like the film at all but can't say I minded looking at Elizabeth Hurley and that ever-adorable hunk John Barrowman
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I admit I have watched many of Liz Hurley's movies. Almost every one of
them has been a disappointment (she was actually very good as an addict
in "Shameless" about 15 years ago).
Hardcore Liz fans should stick to "Bedazzled" and "Passenger 57". Sisto has plenty of good work in circulation; I am amazed that he stooped to this tripe. The DVD set of the short lived TV show "Kidnapped" is worth the price of admission. It even has Carmen Ejogo, an Englishwoman who can act circles around Hurley.
Do not waste your time on this poor excuse of a mystery. You'd be better off doing your income taxes. And at least the tax return has a conclusion worthy of being called that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Method is a thriller about Rebecca, an actress played by Elizabeth
Hurley, who is starring in a movie about a non-fictional 19th century
serial killer who lured rich men to her house and killed them for their
money. Her co-star is Jake, Rebecca's ex-boyfriend whose wife, Bethany,
is jealous of Rebecca and keeps a close eye on Jake.
Rebecca's mother/agent gets an idea to have Rebecca live on the set -- the house where the murders take place -- so that she can "get into character." While Rebecca is living on set, she begins to have hallucinations of the murderer. There's some implication that this is in part because she's not taking her medication. Most of the movie consists of the serial killer movie -- not as it's being filmed, but as it plays in finished form, which is odd because it keeps switching back and forth between the serial killer movie and "reality," when the movie isn't finished yet. Several people get killed, but in the end, it's so confusing that I don't know what's real and what's a hallucination/dream, who's really dead, and who really did the killing. (4/10)
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