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|Index||25 reviews in total|
After going through a disappointing summer movie line up this year "
2011 " so far, i was more than happy when i found this film playing in
a theater near by.
And after watching this very enjoyable movie, i was left surprised in why it had a very limited release ? unlike most big budget summer movies, this movie focused on substance rather than style. it had a very engaging story that unfolds in a very intriguing way.
the story is that of a well known Pastor played by Pierce Brosnan who gets involved in a debate with a disbeliever and writer played by Ed Harris, soon after, the pastor gets involved in a sinful accident and tries to use his religious influences to get himself out. stuck in the middle of all this, is an ex-deadhead played by Greg Kinnear.
the Characters and acting were the best thing in the movie, a wonderful cast lead by Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connely and Marisa TOmey. they all deliver very memorable performances, and they added a lot to their characters. the characters were fun and seemed very familiar, easy to identify with.
the film was more of a dark comedy, very funny and laugh out loud moments involving religion, relationships and even murder.
I am just so surprised with the limited release, this film deserves a wider release and should reach more audience. I highly recommend this.
I grew up Southern Baptist and I thought this movie was laugh out loud funny. Of course, there was some predictable religious jokes. Lots of confusion & communication-based chaos with a karma-tic ending (though a bit trite). Actually saw this movie September 2010 at a early release film screening where we were able to review the film afterward. I hope they re-shot the ending, as the conclusion was a bit abrupt. Overall, it was a great laugh. Pierce Brosnan is EXCELLENT as Rev. Dan Day. Stand out performances by Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei as well. Not sure if this film will be a small release, but it's worth finding to see.
Salvation Boulevard is a star packed ensemble "dramedy" based loosely
on Larry Beinhart's novel of the same title. Greg Kinnear plays Carl, a
former "deadhead" (followers of the band Grateful Dead) who has settled
into a nice quite life with his uptight and super religious wife Gwen,
played by Jennifer Connelly. Gwen religiously attends the Church of the
Third Millennium which is led by the charismatic Pastor Dan Day, played
by Pierce Brosnan. Having enraptured the town with his holy message,
Day sustains a small empire for himself made out of an adoring
congregation that worships him like a prophet. With an ego of the size
of Jesus' cross, Day aspires to build a "city upon a hill", a planned
and private community, complete with a school and hospital. Not only
will this provide a safe and convenient sanctuary for God's worshipers
but as the chief developer of this colossal undertaking Day stands to
make a healthy sum of money.
However, the meeting of renown atheist extraordinaire Dr. Paul Blaylock, played by Ed Harris, puts it all at risk. After a public philosophical debate, Blaylock and Pastor Day retire to Blaylock's office for a friendly nightcap. Carl tags along to the meeting as Day's newly evangelized prize. Here a genial discussion about a joint book venture turns awry when Day accidentally shoots Blaylock in the head with an antique pistol.
In a moment of panic, the Pastor disguises the incident as a suicide attempt with Carl in the room as seemingly the only witness to Day's deceit. Carl's life then spirals into disaster as not only do his wife and closest friends not believe his truthful story but there are others trying to kidnap and frame him.
Salvation Boulevard's story line has a similar feel to that of the Coen Brother's film The Big Lebowski . Like "the Dude" in The Big Lebowski, Carl plays a very passive protagonist who gets caught up in mortal danger through no fault of his own. He is seemingly moved from precarious situation to the next by all forces other than himself. Carl passivity is contrasted by the outrageous antics of the characters that surround him. Pierce Brosnan with his good looks, deep voice and smooth command of language personifies an excellent slimy and manipulative pastor. As Day's ego and paranoia grow throughout the film so does Brosnan's comedic affect as he literally starts to believe the devil is after him.
With such a wealth of idiosyncratic characters Salvation Boulevard was able to attract a large award winning cast, including Marisa Tomei who plays a free spirited security guard. Jennifer Connelly and Jim Gaffigan play Day's fanatical and easily persuaded followers. Some would say these characters are a cruel misrepresentation of the Evangelical community. They may have a point, but taking this comedic movie too personally deprives the viewer from finding all the comical religious Easter eggs in the film. One of which is a building with devilish horns on the roof where Carl is taken to by Day's zealots. The laughs in Salvation Boulevard are not gut busters but are subtlety sprinkled throughout the film.
On the down, this film has a less than satisfying ending and seems to end abruptly. The side characters don't get endings that are worthy over their performances. Instead they are given in the form of text. An extra ten minutes might have wrapped the film in a more imprinting manner. Salvation Boulevard is layered with jokes that lie not only in th dialogue and action but also in the art direction and cinematography, giving the film the rare quality of finding something new every time you watch it. Unfortunately, this film will probably go under appreciated as critics have slammed it for its obvious slant against Evangelical Christians. However, I have faith that in time Salvation Boulevard will find its audience, but they probably won't be as devoted as your average "deadhead".
7 out of 10
This Film is not for:
-People who don't find mocking religion funny
-People who have no interest in religion
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you are not part of it what could be a better subject for satire than a big Texas like Evangelical Church? Director and co-writer George Ratliff did just this thing and interestingly enough he told us that the previews are doing well in the midst of the bible belt. In addition to a well-written story with some good comedy and many surprise twists, this film project pulled together a great cast who created the zany characters who are up on the screen for 95 minutes. Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan) the church leader who is on the verge of building his Christian City on the Hill with a medical school, a law school and everything else when something happens that make him respond in not the most holy manner. Carl Vandermeer (Greg Kinnear), a former Deadhead (follower of the Grateful Dead) has settled into a clean life as a family man and a regular church goer when he gets tested and then can't believe he had been a follower of the good Dan Day. His journey is the heart of the film and the center of most of the comedic moments. Then there is his wife Gwen (Jennifer Connelly) who is hilarious as the dyed in the wool follower of Dan Day and his movement as well as being a weird artist. Honey Foster (Marisa Tomei) is a security guard with a heart of gold and she herself is former Deadhead who still likes to smoke her pipe. Ed Harris gets into the character of Dr. Paul Blaylock who in many people's opinion ( but not the Evangelical crowd ) would be the voice of reason, but he gets a bullet in his head which does slow him down. Most people in the theatre seemed to have had a good time. There were a lot of laughs and the satire was as expected but the story was not predictable. So a good time was had, but it probably won't be very memorable. FilmRap.net
"I am the anointed servant of God and I tell you to be silent!" Deadhead turned born-again-Christian Carl (Kinnear) is friends with the pastor of his local mega-church Dan Day (Brosnan) and is invited to accompany him to scientist Dr. Paul Blaylock's (Harris) house for a discussion. When a terrible accident happens Carl finds himself fingered in the incident and does everything he can to prove he is innocent. Things aren't always easy though. Having never seen a preview for this I was excited for this based off the cast alone. While I will say this is a good movie and a very dark comedy I was a little disappointed. The main flaw this had was that the movie had a good idea but had only ten minutes of it. There was a lot of repeating going on and a few scenes that seemed like they were only put in to increase the running time. I have to say that Brosnan and Kinnear played very similar parts to the ones they played in "The Matador" (which is a better movie) but it seems to fit them. It may sound like I'm bashing this movie. I don't mean to if that's how it comes off. I did enjoy it and laughed a few times but based off the cast I was a little disappointed (but after movies like "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Son Of No One" I need to stop thinking just because the cast is great means the movie will be great.) Overall, a decent dark comedy that is worth watching but tone down your expectations. I give it a B-.
While this is not Casablanca, this is a great little sleeper of a film.
Great cast, funny script, good production values, I'm just astonished
it bombed at the box office.
The story of a preacher gone bad, a dead head turned believer, and a cast of character actors that are very well cast. It's a slapstick of a film, but we live in a world where that isn't enough.
The plot is right on the money, with with a series of turns and twists that entertain at every junction. I've never seen Pierce Brosnan as well cast as the Evangelical that goes astray. Greg Kinnear is superb in the role of the deadhead turned believer who has his faith tested. Ed Harris is perfect in the role of anti-Christ author, Marisa Tomei is just hilarious as the redeemer of Greg. Jennifer Connelly plays a very convincing wife who just can't believe that the pastor is in the wrong. Isabelle Furman plays a wonderful role in the daughter who is caught in the middle.
Great funny lines, incredibly fun acting. If you are looking for a fun night and need a video, this is it. I have to imagine this film might be more successful over time, and as people discover it. If you are a born again Christian, this might not be your cup of tea.
I gotta hand it to writer/director George Ratliff for being so bold.
I'm not just talking about offending audiences. I'm saying if God does
exist, then there's certainly a hot seat in store for Georgie Boy.
Actually I'm kidding. "Salvation Boulevard", while being unapologetically one-sided, isn't so offensive that religious folks can't laugh about it. I'd like to think it pokes fun at the hypocrisy of certain religious leaders, not religion itself.
But what do I know. I'm pacifist and yet I enjoyed Deathwish 1 thru 5.
Right off the bat, "Salvation Boulevard" gets points for its wacky, original plot. A celebrity televangelist, played by Pierce Brosnan, and a recently-converted (but thoroughly confused) ex-Deadhead, played by Greg Kinnear, get wrapped up in an unintentional crime against an atheist (Ed Norton). Due to a series of panicked, bad decisions, it just keeps getting deeper & deeper for both of them. Our hero, the Deadhead, is sort of an Everyman character who muddles his way through the madness without ever seeming to comprehend what's going on. Conversely, Brosnan the televangelist thinks he's in control, but his situation (and his moral fiber) rapidly unwind as he starts suffering from delusions that the Devil is hot on his trail.
Adding to the fun are some equally wacky characters: Marisa Tomei as the flaky retro-hippie girl, Jennifer Connelly as the insanely obsessed follower, Jim Gaffigan as the even-MORE-insanely obsessed follower (I'm talking "Terminator" obsessed), Yul Vazquez as the comically sinister Mexican crime boss, and a host of others thrown in.
"Salvation Boulevard" is a roller-coaster dark comedy that reminds me of the unknown gems "Grand Theft Parsons" (about 2 guys who decide to steal the body of famed musician Gram Parsons) and "Leaves of Grass" (about a hillbilly and his yuppie brother who get wrapped up in a crazy drug caper). And of course there's the classic oldie "Fletch Lives" (where Chevy Chase takes on a questionable TV ministry). All of these films are worth a watch and should get some lols out of everyone.
This is one of those films that don't appear much on paper and you
watch when you have exhausted all other avenues. I had never heard of
the film and it appears to have had a very limited cinema release. I
therefore wasn't expecting much.
I was surprised as the cast list which boasts an impressive array of talent. Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connolley, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei and Ed Harris are all quality actors and it would take a particularly bad script for this to be a turkey.
This is a dark comedy and it doesn't always work, the plot is pretty flimsy and at times especially early on it drags a bit but once it hits its stride there are plenty of dark comedic moments as Greg Kinnear (an excellent performance) goes on the run.
This film probably won't be anything you haven't seen before but it is pretty entertaining and worth at least one watch.
Especially if they are religious. Of course if you really look close
into the movie, you could also make the case that this might actually
be quite good to religion. Or to those who believe in God that is. You
can always read things into it, if you are willing to. I think one
should be open minded to movies like this. It's not really offensive.
Men (and women) are weak, that's just the way it is.
Plus the cast is phenomenal! Every role is a name actor, even if it's the smallest, it seems they got someone with value. When Jim Gaffigan is the least known (a really good comedian), than you know you have hit the jackpot. You might argue that some characters are not really drawn all that well or thorough, but there is only limited time. While they could've done some things better, that is something you can always say about a movie
The movie wasn't as good as the subject matter. Sure it has great actors, Greg, Marissa, Jennifer & Ed but the person who got me stuck was the daughter. I watched it on a morning I wasn't feeling well, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Afterwards it left me wondering all day who was the actress playing the daughter? I'd recommend it to a non-deeply religious friend. It's definitely worth a lot of thought, especially for those that have questions. It is a satire comedy that follows the theory that a terrible thing can happen to a nice person. How a guy can be so ignorantly attached to a family that has a very small grip on reality. I know people like Jennifer & her dad's character's; those that don't want to believe and who replace fantasy with reality. I don't blame them, life can be really hard.
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