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I love dark, twisted movies, and this is definitely right up there...
an awesome thriller!
All of the religious rituals are pretty disturbing (but incredibly fascinating). The idea these people really exist and actually practice these rituals freaked me out!
All in all, I thought it was thought provoking, the performances were great, and the ending was entirely unexpected. I got the feeling there might be a sequel; if that's the case, I would definitely see it too.
Long story short: If you're into thrillers with some brains, then you'll really like Not Forgotten.
I went to preview screening at 20th century Fox and I would say this is
a solid thriller along the lines of "8 mm"
As an audience member, I
was intrigued right up until the very last line (which totally creeped
me out, by the way). There's a MAJOR twist that I really didn't see
coming; at that point, I realized this was no ordinary thriller. Paz
Vega's performance is awesome--- maybe one of her best ever (I'm biased
though; I think she's fantastic). Very subtleshe really draws you in.
And Simon Baker is a great match for her.
In short: if you like smart, suspenseful, creative, original movies, see this movie.
This is a great movie. I haven't found any good suspense/mystery
thrillers lately, and Not Forgotten has finally relieved that. I
personally love a good suspense thriller with mind game twists. The
depth of the story was refreshing, and it always kept me guessing as to
what was going to happen next. And the ending, well I'll just say I
never saw it coming.
Simon Baker's acting was spot on, and Paz Vega was a great compliment. They really worked as an enticing lead pair. Although Cloe Moretz might not get as much screen time as the other main actors in the film, she still maintains a powerful role throughout the film. This movie is definitely worth seeing.
Their website is awesome too.
This screening that people are talking about was actually a TEST
screening, not an advance screening... aka, it's a TEST to see what
people like and don't like, and then they fix things... as for the
music, what we heard during the test was actually temporary music. I
heard a rumor that Mark Isham (Crash, River Run Trough It, etc) is
doing the music for Not forgotten, so that should be pretty great....
I would DEFINITELY recommend this movie. Personally, I thought it had some really great twists and turns, and had a really cool dark feel to it, and a fascinating view of the dark underbelly of Mexico's low lives...Seriously, I did not see the ending coming at ALL. If I had to compare it to something, I would say it's like "Traffic" meets "A History of Violence". Oh, and obviously, Paz Vega's really hot.
In Del Rio, in the border of Texas and Mexico, the female teen-soccer
coach Jack Bishop (Simon Baker) is very popular and he loves his eleven
year-old daughter Toby (Chloe Moretz) and her stepmother Amaya (Paz
Vegas). When Toby is kidnapped, Amaya's cousin, the rookie Sheriff
Casper Navarro (Michael DeLorenzo), is in charge of the investigation,
but sooner the FBI arrives in town to lead the hunt. However, Navarro
and Jack travel to Mexico following a lead and the hidden past of Jack
returns to haunt him.
"Not Forgotten" is an intriguing thriller that uses the mysticism of the Mexican cult "La Santa Muerte" and has a promising beginning. The cast has names like Paz Vega and Simon Baker in the lead roles and Claire Forlani with a minor participation. Unfortunately the resolution of the original story is simply awful and messy, wasting all the potentiality of the plot with a terrible conclusion. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Regresso do Além" ("Return From Beyond")
Jack Bishop (Simon Baker, "Land of the Dead") is your typical American.
A beautiful wife and daughter, nice home, coach of the soccer team. But
things go horribly awry one day when his daughter Toby (young horror
veteran Chloe Moretz) goes missing... has she been brought across the
border to become a prostitute? Or is she the victim of a known sex
offender? Jack will stop at nothing to find out, even if he must reveal
his own secret past.
I had little familiarity with the people who made this film, beyond Chloe Moretz, who has been the girl in more or less ever horror film for five years -- and I'm not complaining. Paz Vega played a strong lead, although the rumor is she replaced Jordana Brewster, a friend of Killer Reviews. With all due respect to Brewster, I think Vega was the right casting choice -- she had the elegance, the versatility and the pluck to be the multi-faceted character she needed to be. Rounding out the notable cast is Claire Forlani ("Mallrats"), with a far too small role as the prostitute Katie.
Simon Baker, who was not known to be (I have not seen TV's "The Mentalist"), was a commanding lead in every sense of the word. A devoted father, mysterious possible suspect, heroic ex-thug. I felt he was a natural for every position he was put into. As the plot twists and turns (which is really another strength of this film -- I had to keep guessing) he is able to roll with it and make every thing believable.
Horror fans will enjoy this film, though it's not horror in any strict sense. It's a dark mystery thriller, with a cult, some epic violence -- one of the most brutal beatings I have ever seen on film -- and some creepy imagery. I was visually seduced. There's also some decent action and suspense... not too much romance (sorry, ladies) and a spattering of humor, but only just the bare minimum, keeping the film tense and taut.
I found the film to have an interesting social and political commentary, though I don't feel it was intentional. Over the last several years, there have been a few horror films with a Mexican flavor, such as "All Soul's Day" and "The Dead One". By and large, these were failures. "Not Forgotten" has a strong American/Mexican theme, with border crossings and international crime being a key undercurrent. How accurate these are, I do not know -- I live in Wisconsin where we see more Canadians than Mexicans. But the way the border was portrayed struck me as fascinating and believable, as well as timely in a culture where fear of immigrants comes to a head again and again. This film portrayed Mexicans as both heroes and as ruthless killers, not stereotyping them one way or another, and I found that to be very honest.
"Not Forgotten" is a straight-to-DVD release, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's less than great. Even with my sporadically short attention span (I often require friends and/or booze to get through a film in one sitting) I could not remove my eyes from this movie. A pure win from beginning to the amazing twist at the end. Could a prequel or sequel be in the works?
I thought Not Forgotten had a very cleverly crafted story. It didn't
just rely on scary music to keep you in suspense; rather the story with
its dark, creepy rituals (I don't want to give it away!!) made me more
nervous and scared than anything. Paz Vega and Simon Baker both gave
excellent performances (in addition to being extremely pleasing on the
ladies, there are a couple of scenes with Simon Baker without a
shirtdon't say I didn't warn you! And I'm sure the guys would agree
with me that Paz Vega has never looked better).
The end has a really surprising twist. If the rumors about a sequel are true, then count me in. I would love to see part II!
I don't care how bad the reviews are, the chance to see Paz Vega (Sex
and Lucia, Spanglish, The Other Side of the Bed) means I will watch it.
As a bonus it has Claire Forlani from Meet Joe Black. I like her, too.
We are treated to violent flashbacks, gratuitous nudity from strippers and prostitutes and vaguely supernatural facial distortions in an attempt to distract us from the bad acting and bad script.
Similar to Taken, it also has elements of A History of Violence. Of course, come may recall Eyes Wide Shut at certain points. In other words, there is nothing original as this film is capitalizing on Simon Baker's popularity as The Mentalist.
Jack/Roberto is not the only one with a secret.
There are certain primitive cultures which definitely believe in Vodoo and the Black Arts. Others subscribe to the superstitious belief in a Christian God, sacred relics, prayer and chants. In this film written by Tomas Romero and directed by Dror Sonef, one is offered both. Filmed and played out in a Tex-Mex town along the U.S. Mexican border, the story concerns Jack Bishop, (Simon Baker) a Former hit-man and assassin, now a soccer coach, his daughter Toby (Chloe Moretz) and his second wife Amaya (Paz Vega). Despite his first wife's death, Jack believes he has found happiness until his twelve year old daughter is kidnapped, which sends his world tumbling. Jack places good faith in the sheriff Casper Navarro (Michael Dell Lorenzo), his brother-in-law to return her. The case is slow, but surprisingly reveals several strange clues to the F.B.I agents (Mark Rolston and Gedde Watanabe). They believe they should be looking for their suspect close to home. The movie is a shallow copy of 'Taken' but with gratuitous nudity, dramatic violence and savage brutality, does add a creepy, shadowy black magic and murderous multi-plots to an otherwise suspenseful action movie. Given patience, you might enjoy the film, otherwise it's not for the squeamish. ***
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*May contain spoilers* Incredibly good writing and story! This is definitely a dramatic thriller. The pacing of the film is perfect. Revelations are made at just the right moment- it's like a blurry image slowing coming into clarity. The acting is brilliant, nothing fake or contrived there. Massive kudos to everyone involved in this film! I'm not sure if I ever saw this in previews or if it had a wide release in theaters, BUT if it had I would have paid to see it! I caught this on a movie channel and was surprised to see a movie channel show a brilliant film like this and wondered IF Hollywood was paying any attention. More films like this need to be made and given wide release. Watching this film is more than a breath of fresh air. Hollywood, give up on the stupid comedies and show real brilliantly made films for once!
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