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|Index||17 reviews in total|
I'm stunned by the reviews this film received. It makes me wonder what
audiences are looking for. Giant robot cars, maybe? Stereo-typical
heroes and bad guys (with capes!)? This is an independent film and the
reviews read like they were written by a church group. This film is
innovative and clever and extraordinarily well written. Sublette and
Cates' work here deserves better reviews than these. I feel bad that
they have to be subjected to this type of unenlightened ridicule for
such a wonderful film. I suspect that the film just didn't get a chance
to find its audience (which is not the Bridesmaids/Hangover crowd).
Lucky is a different type of romantic comedy that successfully takes
brave risks and they all pay off. On to specifics:
The screenplay was an extraordinary piece of writing. I won't give anything away, because if you like quirky independent film, you should see this movie. But, some of the scenes were beautifully nuanced. In particular, the final scene, which was an extremely difficult scene to pull off. Sublette manages to make it work. The pacing, editing, and direction are all as good as it gets. And the way the screenplay subtly builds these characters so that we believe their relationship (as bizarre as it may be) is masterful.
The acting is superlative. Hanks and Ari Graynor are ideally cast as nebbish serial killer and quirky love interest, and their performances are exquisite. I was amazed at their work in this film. The emotionality of the scenes required refined acting chops and they delivered.
I'd kill to work with any one of these creative talents and think they should be lauded for this film.
Very rarely do I have any desire to post a review. I've seen it, I know
what I think, and usually someone else has said everything that needs
to be said. Not so with "Lucky."
This film shocked me with its amorality. And I liked it.
Before I watched this, I thought, perhaps, that it would be akin to "Dexter" - a serial killer that the viewer is asked to empathize with, maybe forgive, and perhaps even root for. I mean, what else could I expect from what the synopsis seems to suggest is a serial killer rom-com. I was wrong. No one in this film is asking for forgiveness. No one in this film seems to even imagine that a universal or objective morality exists which would pass judgement.
This is one of the only, if not the only, film I have seen that exemplifies rationally self- interested actors carrying on their affairs as though no religious or societal morality existed or, at the least, was valid. Even in the films based on Ayn Rand's fiction (a person who championed "the virtue of selfishness" and fought against religion and collectivism/humanism), there was always a wink or a nod when some character violated the Judeo-Christian-humanist morality. The same can be said of most of the horror and "shock" films - the shock and horror are usually caused by reactions to the violation of societal norms. Here, there is nothing.
One previous reviewer implied the film was boring. I wouldn't go so far, though I would accept "anti-climatic." Indeed, amorality is certainly that. If one starts from a place where killing and kissing are of equal objective moral value - none whatsoever - then it stands to reason that neither occurrence has any higher meaning.
In "Lucky", the lack of regard for morality, as understood by the majority of the populace, is not obvious. It isn't a clear part of the plot. It isn't relied upon to engender fear or revulsion. I almost didn't notice it until near the end of the film. It is as if the film was made entirely by people unaware that such a concept as "objective morality" even existed. Of course it wasn't. If for no other reason than that, "Lucky" deserves praise.
Lucky is the kind of film that proves indie movies can hold their own
against the studios. This dark comedy is a movie-lovers movie. Well
written, superb acting, great directing and a memorable soundtrack make
this a fun, if quirky film.
The pace of the movie is good in that it takes it's time to tell the story without unnecessary scenes or long silences. It baffles me that some people find this movie dull of boring. It doesn't have car chases or CGI characters throwing crap at the audience. "Lucky" is not for kids, anyone who think it's dull should find the next 3D IMAX extravaganza to keep their attention.
Hanks is ideal in this role playing a mild mannered serial killer who still lives with his mom (Ann Margret looking great) with a lifelong crush on Ari Graynor who doesn't give him a second glance until he wins the lottery.
If you like movies like "Heathers", "Fargo" or "Lars and the Real Girl", you'll enjoy "Lucky."
I like Colin Hanks. A lot of people just say that he's a complete
knock-off of his father but that comment always completely misses the
point. His father was darn likable even when being prickly or sarcastic
he's still just effortlessly likable. Colin has a similar likability,
one that certainly veers more to the prickly or complainy side--but
still he's a guy you can either like or at least watch in most things
that he appears in and not have a problem with. The casting of him in
this movie should've been so perfect--unfortunately the movie itself is
way too slow to set its premise up, even slower to get its other main
character up to speed with what the audience already knows which kind
of kills the suspense that's suppose to be building up. I should single
out the other lead in the film--the nicely daffy Ari Gaynor plays her
and if the movie works at all i would say its completely because of her
ability to show you why she would do the things she does in the movie
even if you're sitting there questioning why she would or should, you
completely buy her character's motivation and reasoning.
If you're reading this you probably already know the set-up and that's about all there is to know for this movie quite honestly. I was hoping for something a little more funny...or maybe even a little bit darker---the plot was really promising after all but its as if once the idea is established, the writer/director couldn't think of where else to take it other then the usual cat and mouse games that normally occur in these kinds of movies. (will the wife eventually snap? will the husband eventually snap? is the husband even the real killer? is the detective played by a seemingly bored Jeffery Tambor getting ever closer to the 2 of them? and what's the deal with Ann Margaret as Hanks'mother?) All of what happens in the movie happens really slowly until maybe the last ten minutes at which point if you're still watching, you're just trying to figure out how the director is going to wrap it up. The wrap up actually is pretty good--there's even an actual honest to goodness laugh from the delivery of one of the one liners here. (One of the few one liners that completely lands too) Its unfortunate that the director couldn't find this perfect balance in tone between discomfort and humor before the end of the movie but what can you do? movie's already finished at that point. I didn't dislike the film really--but there were scenes where i was more bored then interested in the storyline and that's not a good thing for any kind of movie. Essentialy the film could've done so much more with its plot line that its unbelievable that it doesn't.
I'll assume that you know this is a dark comedy about a serial killer.
If you can swallow that premise, you're halfway there. If not, walk
away while you still can.
Good, you're still here. Maybe you have a slightly sick sense of humor, or maybe you're simply able to differentiate fiction from reality. One way or another, I think you'll be entertained by this film.
Like any good dark comedy, it makes no attempt to moralize, rationalize or justify the characters' criminal actions. Think of the scene in "Pulp Fiction" when they accidentally blow a guy's head off and sit there bickering with bits of brains in their hair. Think of the scene in "The Prophecy" where Christopher Walken, playing the angel of death, snatches a poor dying cancer patient from her blissful demise and forces her to become his servant simply because he can't drive a car. If you cracked a smile at these or any other shockingly morbid bits of dark comedy, then read on.
Though not as hyper violent as "Pulp Fiction" or as action packed as "The Prophecy", this film "Lucky" keeps the same sort of biting, surreal, amoral humor. There haven't been too many romcoms that center around murder and psychosis, and for that I give this bonus points for originality.
It earns extra points for Ari Graynor's EXCELLENT performance as the detestable gold-digger whose wacky descent into madness makes us suddenly start to root for her. Again, this is in keeping with the theme that even detestable characters can become our heroes. Ari's performance is one of the best examples of how to sway the audiences sympathy even though, in real life, such a character wouldn't be worth the trouble of spitting on her.
Similarly, Colin Hanks, with his boyishly innocent face and perpetual deer-in-the-headlights expression, makes you cheer for him even though he butchers people with no remorse. Throw in the lovely Ann-Margaret as the creepy mother, and you have a film with flawless casting. Oh, and how could I forget Jeffrey Tambor? Note to self: never, ever forget Jeffrey Tambor.
My only criticism of this film is that the ending comes upon you quite fast and may seem slightly implausible the way it's hastily explained in the final scene. But maybe that's the point. Like an unexpected punchline to a joke, it's probably designed to whack you senseless. But I would've loved to have seen more of Ari losing her mind, having ghostly hallucinations and transforming from clever manipulator to total flake. That's really what made me love this movie.
I also seem to recall that the music was pretty cool. I had never heard of the band Transcargo before, but I really liked their song "Kissing the Day" (listen to it on Myspace). I also liked "Whatever Gets You By" by The Features. These and other songs are quirky, happy-ish tunes that are brilliantly juxtaposed against the macabre story.
If you like dark comedies that make light of murder, don't hesitate to check this out. So many dark comedies rely on unspoken satire for laughs, but this one dives boldly into comedy territory. I haven't seen too many of those madcap, slapstick style dark comedies. Similar films include the Roberto Benigni film "Il Mostro" about a nerdy schlep (Benigni) who is being investigated for multiple gruesome murders, the Chinese film "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop" which is a comedy remake of the Coen Brothers' thriller "Blood Simple", and an obscure gem called "Mambo Cafe" about a family that tries to stage a murder at their restaurant to improve business.
Lucky is a serial killer's tale through the eye of a cynic. It's a dark
comedy that anyone can easily enjoy.
The good. Surprising scenario, nicely put together. When you think it's going to go left, it goes right. Imaginative ideas in the story. Excellent ending. This is not your Hollywood mush, it has realism mixed in the movie flair.
The bad. A few logical hitch, but easily ignored.
The ugly. Nothing.
The result. If you like films that are different, offbeat, this is for you. Everyone else should at least give it a try.
The plot: A gold-digging woman ends up attaching herself to the wrong
person when she marries a rich serial killer.
Despite how oppressively dark the summary sounds, this is actually fairly light-hearted and harmless. The plot is essentially a parody of classic noir movies, with a femme fatale and guilty protagonist being pursued by a dogged cop. Everything is played for laughs, and there are few serious scenes. The movie starts off a bit boring and unfunny, but it gets better toward the middle once it can abandon the clichéd romantic comedy elements and switch to being more of a black comedy. The tone is still more lighthearted and wacky than I'd like for a black comedy, but it did at least keep me vaguely amused for the remaining runtime.
There's no real blood, gore, nudity, or violence. If you're looking for something like Very Bad Things, I think you'll be very disappointed. However, if you're looking for a quirky romantic comedy with a dark edge to it, you'll probably enjoy Lucky. My own tastes are more in line with Very Bad Things.
"I think you won the lottery." Shy and Goofy Ben (Hanks) has had a
crush on the receptionist Lucy (Graynor) at his office for a long time.
She doesn't know he exists. When Ben comes home and finds that he has
won the 36 million dollar lottery Lucy finally talks to him. When
secrets come out their relationship, and morals are challenged. This is
a hard movie to review. While it wasn't a bad movie and did have some
funny parts, the trailer is misleading and this wasn't what I was
expecting. The trailer made it look like more of a comedy then it was.
Hanks does a good job playing this type of character, but the movie
overall felt a little flat and boring. Like so many other movies
recently it feels like there is something missing to make this better.
It also felt like with this idea they could have done so much more. All
that being said this movie is not terrible and if you go in expecting
less of a comedy then the trailer shows you will probably enjoy this.
Overall, not a bad movie, but nothing like I was expecting. Because of
my expectations I didn't like it as much as I thought. I give it a B-.
Would I watch again? - Most likely no.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The director, Gil Cates, does what he can to pep up this bizarre story
without distracting directorial displays, but the screenplay doesn't
give him much to work with.
It's not impossible to make very funny movies about serial killers. "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Kind Hearts and Coronets" are both successful. But this movie doesn't seem to know where it wants to go. It's an ineffective hash of comedy and horror and it gets nowhere.
As comedy it fails because there's nothing particularly funny about it, outside of one scene towards the opening, in which Ari Graynor interrupts a board meeting to tell some intimate and disgusting secrets about the chairman. It's a nicely caught moment.
But -- well, what is the story about, anyway? A greedy and noisy young blond marries the office nerd, Colin Hanks, for his money after he wins the lottery. It turns out that this nebbish has no idea how to handle this sudden flow of cash and, on top of that, is the notorious serial killer the police are hunting. There are three bodies buried in the back yard, in addition to those cadavers he's left on the spot. So what does Graynor do when she digs up the bodies? (There is no hint of cadaverine.) She drags them and buries them somewhere else, an act which, along with one or two other utterly inexplicable acts, leads to her conviction as the serial killer and after a year or so, Hanks visits her in prison for the first time. She heaps her calumny upon him. And then what? She quietly asks him to keep visiting her and smiles gently. The last scene is an appealingly artsy overhead shot, as the director's joints creak while he reaches for SOMETHING to serve as a climactic moment.
Ari Graynor is almost always loud and teetering on hysteria, which isn't funny. Colin Hanks looks like the guy in some TV commercial who tries to fix a home appliance and gets shocked.
What does it all mean? The mismatched love, the lottery, the serial murders? Your guess is as good as mine. It all reminds me of a stew I once made out of canned foods whose sell-by dates were rapidly approaching. I called it an "olla podrida." This movie turned out better than the stew. The movie is at least a "ragout chez mois."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If it weren't for the very bad reviews on here, I would probably make
this a 6/10, but I think this movie is worth a watch...casually on
Netflix or some other free form.
Did I love this movie? No. Not the best movie around, but I love Colin Hanks and the premise looked really interesting. It was rather slow moving at points, and as others mentioned, the characters can be annoying.
However, Lucy being a very annoying character was actually planned perfectly. At first I hated it, but once it played into her manipulating Ben, and how that dynamic just seemed incredibly realistic, I really felt what they were going for. It REALLY hit me when she witnessed the first murder though. You could see her character as this zany annoying girl who just manipulated into a marriage she didn't want just for some money, and then she walks into this nightmare and she realizes.
The battle between wanting to stay with a rich husband, and processing the murder is just a brilliant couple of scenes. She is zoned out, but slowly chooses to help her husband and try to live with it, but you can tell she isn't coping that well (who would!?). But every additional display of money is just edging her towards just dealing with it and enjoying a lavish lifestyle.
Also Colin Hanks was great as the serial killer, and the craziness with imagining Lucy all over was really well done. He also was believable in the way that he just snaps and kills and then kind of comes back to reality.
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