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|Index||14 reviews in total|
11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Sometimes charming, mostly mediocre, 6 July 2006
Author: Randolph James (Solipsisticblog) from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This quirky romantic comedy is the story of Seattle resident Charlie
Silvercloud (Robert A. Guthrie), a man destined to die on his
twenty-fifth birthday like his father and his father's father. Both
were killed by milk trucks. We meet Charlie eight days before his
demise as he is trying to get his affairs in order. He breaks up with
his girlfriend, purchases a funeral plot, cancels his cable, and tries
to spend some quality time with his quirky mother (Dee Wallace Stone).
While prepping for death he meets Bessie (Sascha Knopf), a quirky, carefree spirit with a dark secret. Though he wants to enter the afterlife with no attachments, he finds himself falling for Bessie. We also get to spend time at Charlie's job--a coffee shop--where he is hounded by his quirky boss and quirky ex-girlfriend. In this film there are no quirks left unturned including Charlie's portly boss who will only marry a woman who knows the lyrics to every Jimi Hendrix song, including the bootlegs. (Are the lyrics that much different on the bootlegged tapes?) The movie is obviously a labor of love, but it is too quirky by half. Robert A. Guthrie is not charismatic enough to carry the film and Sascha Knopf as the quirky love interest is trying too hard. Unfortunately, the movie is also filmed in DV which is the wrong choice for many films. For claustrophobic tales, horror movies, and documentaries, DV can be a great choice. But this comedy needs air--room to breath. As quirky as this movie is, it needs sharp edges and a hyper-real presentation. DV, though, stifles the comedy and places the film firmly in our mundane universe. DV uglifies and adds authenticity to a film, which is the just the opposite of what this comedy needs.
The comedy also carries a message about not forgetting your ancestry. Charlie's father and grandfather ran away from their roots and--given the movie's conclusion--we know this is what led to their deaths. Will Charlie embrace his heritage and be saved from the sins of his fathers? The message feels shoehorned into the movie which is unfortunate because it seems to be the major point of the film.
Dee Wallace Stone gives an exuberant performance and it's always fun to see David Keith--as a quirky café customer--on the big screen, but the movie never gels. A misfire.
Read more at http://solipsisticblog.blogspot.com/.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
potential but needing work, 14 December 2008
Author: go_skate2003 from United Kingdom
A film with a core idea that should work but really just doesn't. This film has all the ambition of a quirky indie comedy and especially reminds me of garden state but really lacks the finesse. Its very much a film that suffers from poor direction, editing and some bizarre sound. The way the sound has been mixed on this film is really quite bizarre with the dialogue sounding almost dubbed in due to the lack of atmosphere sound and over use of soundtrack which with a guess is down to the use of radio Mic's over a boom leaving us with to clearer sound. But the biggest faults i have to pick are that the script feels under developed and forced while a large selection of the shots leave us feeling disconnected from the characters, its really a film that feels like it could have needed an extra 6 months development.
8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Clever and warm, even when it shouldn't be, 3 July 2006
So there's this young man, see, and he knows when he's going to die due
to an old family curse, and he spends the last two weeks of his life
preparing for his grisly demise.
Sounds gloomy, doesn't it? And a bit corny.
Happily, Expiration Date avoids both of these two pitfalls adroitly, and what could have been an 'artsy' bit of gallows humor is instead a very surprisingly warm romantic bildungsroman. It is often cheeky, sometimes hilarious, and never self-indulgent.
After a brief framing narrative (think of the boy-and-grandpa bits in The Princess Bride) we are introduced to our hero, who believes that, like his father and grandfather before him, he is doomed to be crushed by a milk truck on his next birthday, just a few days hence. The preparations he makes for his imminent demise certainly occasion a few obvious bits of black humor (measuring the view from his burial plot by stretching himself out on the grass) but that takes up a lot less of our character's attention than the young woman who has entered his life and who keeps encouraging him, despite himself, to get involved with living instead of with dying. Her performance, sometimes a bit shrill, is the only sour note I felt in this movie, but I was able to overlook it because the lead character is so charming and she is clearly trying to serve as a foil for that.
The plotting is neatly reflexive, with lots of little detailed sub-plots which are brought around later in the movie and wrap the whole bundle up so that it's more allegory than realism. But that turns out to be okay (minus, again like the Princess Bride, the unnecessary framing story), and the leads generally keep things light enough that we excuse the poetic bits. I certainly hope this one finds a distributor. It deserves it.
11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
what was it about?, 6 July 2006
Author: smiranda-4 from United States
Honestly, I was disappointed in "Expiration Date." Super clever title and interesting premise, but I don't think it delivered. What was it about? The main character's desire to reconnect with his Native roots? Or, more likely, it was his need to overcome his fear of death. But, he wasn't set up as someone who has lived his life in fear -- it seems as if his life was going fine, but since doomsday is approaching he should now start worrying. I didn't buy it. Meanwhile, the supporting characters in the film didn't seem to have needs that blended into an overarching story. They were all just doing their thing, running parallel to the main character. Also, what was treated as a "curse" looked more like a coincidence. Who cursed the family? Why? When? Finally, why didn't he just plan on staying in his apartment all day on his birthday? Those are my criticisms, but I did love the shots of Seattle, cinematography was beautiful, acting was good in the times it wasn't outstanding.
6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
fresh and funny, 14 December 2006
Author: PickMePickMe from Los Angeles
I enjoy films that are different but not stupidly different just for
the sake of it. And this one has a different premise that's enjoyable,
for sure. The title refers to the fact that the young man believes he
is doomed to die on his 25th birthday because he will be hit by a milk
It sounds far-fetched, but the filmmakers make it work. Although low budget, the production values are good, and the director has a sure hand. The cast is universally likable, and the performances never drag.
He also utilizes Seattle landmarks exceedingly well, without being cloying as some hometown filmmakers might be tempted to do.
Yes, there is a Native American theme that crops up, but the film is not preachy or weepy as some films like that can be. It's far more universal than that - it's about people, it's not about a cause. Which of course means that it affects you more deeply than a preachy film would because it's not hitting you over the head. Plus it's a comedy! If I am defining the film mostly by what it isn't, I apologize. I guess I've seen so many low budget films that fail to engage me, that I am pleased and relieved to find one that does.
Oh, and special mention goes to cast member Dee Wallace (the mom from "E.T.") who plays a mom here. She has one of the funniest lines in the movie - I won't give it away here - but you'll be pleasantly shocked to hear it come out her mouth and laugh out loud. One of the funniest lines ever said by any mom in any movie, I swear.
Do yourself a favor and rent/buy this sleeper little hit.
5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A lovely and funny Pacific Northwest Tale, 9 February 2008
Author: crowvision2007 from United States
I so appreciated not being taken out of the movie by messing with the
geography like in Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks gets in a
rowboat on Lake Union then a few minutes later he puts ashore in Puget
Sound. Or in Feast of Love having Reed College be Portland State
I saw this film at the Native American Film Festival at the Swinomish Community Center. A classmate of ours in Anacortes, his family owned a dairy in my high school years. Guess what? We used to "drag the gut" in that milk truck. Those milk trucks were very funny.
My father, his sister and brother all died young. I had just come up to the age my father was when he died. Then I saw this film. Yes, you think about that. Much rang true in this film. A further truth is in my high school a brother and sister in separate accidents were killed by trucks. Had either one of them had a child, you bet that child approaching their age of death would be keeping an anxious eye on trucks.
When you face that moment of truth when you look death in the eye what saves you are your roots; your spiritual roots. The native spirit is very strong. In my times of trouble I have been blessed with that spirit showing up in many forms. When Robert danced; a powerful spirit moment was in play. It was thrilling.
Nice ensemble performance, it was a kick to see David Keith. It was a fun romp. Hearing Robert Guthrie and Rick Stevenson speak added to the fun of seeing the film.
5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
This Film is Great, 27 March 2006
Author: movieman529 from United States
I saw expiration date at the Omaha Film Festival in Nebraska. The film
is about Charlie Silver cloud who's father and grandfather were both
Killed by milk trucks on their 25th Birthdays. Charlie Has accepted
this fate and is preparing for his death,( Buying a grave, getting a
plot, buying a suit, taking his library books back, etc.). Charlie
Pissis of a girl when he buys a coffin she planned to buy for her
mother. Now Charlie just trying to die in peace but this crazy Girl
Wont let him. I Loved this film it is Original and Has lots of Black
Comedy bu t also some romance.
Experation Date took The best Film at the Omaha Film Festival It also took best feature Film by Viewers Choice. DON"T MISS IT if its near you!. It is coming out on DVD in September (roughly)
10 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Saw it at the Hollywood Cemetery, 15 September 2006
Author: filmvidprod from United States
OK, it's very rare that I complain something I got for FREE. So I guess
this movie pushed me over that limit. I saw it at the Hollywood
Cemetery for FREE and walked away very very disappointed. One audience
member's question to the director about using the Native American
references just as "bookends" instead of being weaved into the movie
better, basically says everything that this movie FAILED on.
NATIVE American REFERENCES--- The Native American references felt really out of place and contrived. It's obvious that this director and writer tried tackling an arena they never played in before. They should have stuck to the old adage of "write about something you know". IF they are in fact versed in this it certainly did not show on the movie or the beauty of this unique culture was not given proper justice.
Clichés and ON THE NOSE--- I agreed to see this film on the basis that it was an indie. So I held it to higher expectations. "Little Miss Sunshine" was an indie and saw it before it became so popular. Before it even came out to wide release I was already raving how it's going to be a hit. UNFORTUNATELY I could not say the same about "Expiration Date". "Sunshine" took us to cliché incidents but the filmmakers were so clever at their approach that the outcome would take us to a different direction avoiding the trap of being a "cliche". This movie on the other hand had no way of not falling in the trap because it was already TRAPPED from the start. The psycho mom's antics, the Hendrix couple, etc.
I hate to say it, but the best and WORST movie I've seen this year were both indies. "Little Miss Sunshine" being the best and this movie being the worst. I wish I could say otherwise.
But I do congratulate the filmmakers for having such a good turn out from their family members at the cemetery.
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Intelligent, quirky, fun!, 28 September 2006
Author: jeknopf from United States
This quirky, fun movie was fantastic! I would definitely recommend it. The acting was flawless, particularly with the delightful Sascha Knopf, who lights up the screen. Her comedic and dramatic acting chops are in full view throughout the entire film. Not only is the film entertaining, but it is beautifully executed as well. It is clear that all involved parties knew what they were doing! Additionally, this film has wide-range , lasting appeal. It is great for all ages and I could see audiences of all demographics enjoying it. While the subject matter may seem a little out there, the film is very effective in achieving its goals. It cleverly expresses true life lessons without coming across as preachy or heavy-handed. It kept the audience laughing the entire time, and brought tears at all of the right moments. I would be surprised if this film didn't go far.
4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
funny movie--loved Sasha Knopf!, 28 September 2006
Author: eclipse316 from United States
This movie is hilarious! The actors are so great, and the movie is so different and fun---Sasha Knopf is really awesome as quirky Bessie---I thought she was so funny and really entertaining! I've actually seen the movie a couple of times and I even liked it better the second time---That says a lot for me because I usually don't watch anything more than once . . . It's cute, sweet, romantic, and definitely worth a viewing. . . I'm not sure how the writer came up with such a unique subject, but he definitely pulled it off. With talented actors like Sasha Knopf bringing the characters to life, the movie really is great! I would definitely recommend it!
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