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|Index||93 reviews in total|
This is a taut drama/suspense film with a little romance and crime
thrown in for good measure. The biggest problem I'm having is deciding
which was better, the well done intertwining story lines, or the
detailed character development. Both were excellent, making for a movie
that is quite enjoyable and well worth watching.
The actors all did fine jobs, Eric Bana as the robber who is a killer, Olivia Wilde as the little sister who maybe has outgrown her need to be protected, Charlie Hunnam as her troubled but worthwhile romantic interest, Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson as his parents, Kate Mara as the aspiring FBI agent deputy, and Treat Williams as her father the Sheriff. Their performances were all worthy of this well written and directed feature.
I have never heard of the writer or director, but I plan to watch for more of their stuff. This one is not a long movie by today's standards, but the pace of the action, and the time spent letting us figure out each character are so well balanced.
Make sure your snacks are ready ahead of time as, once this one starts, you will not want to miss a second of it (or even use the pause button once it is out on DVD).
Simply put, this is a good movie. Even knowing what happens, I'll probably watch it again sometime.
"Deadfall," is the story of a brother and sister, Addison (Eric Bana)
and Liza (Olivia Wilde) ,that decide to split up and go their separate
ways after a botched robbery and car accident. Through a chance meeting
and a twist of fate, the brother and sister are again reunited on
Thansgiving day, one that turns out to be anything but a great Holiday
for all parties (the siblings, a young police woman, a husband and
wife, and Liza's new love interest, a former Olympic medalist boxer
that has just got out of prison.
The Good: The acting all around was solid. Eric Bana pulls this one off well especially considering he had to kill his Australian accent in favor of a southern U.S. one. Olivia Wilde also pulled off her role, but it's hard to tell, and I am definitely biased as she is great eye candy, and has such beautiful sexy eyes. Charlie Hunnam who plays an ex-Olympic Boxer turned ex-con, shows some skill as well and proves why everyone loves the "Son's of Anarchy" series.
The writing was well done, and the setting and scenery does nothing to hurt a good movie. There are a few action scenes that keep you from losing interest through the drama. Once again having the distraction of the delicious Olivia Wilde also does the trick as well. The intertwining stories which sometimes can be overused and cliché these days was done in a rather good fashion that made it a worthy way of making a movie. The character's themselves were well built so that you find yourself not really hating any of them, and then again don't love any of them either, which is a real credit and not easy to do without making people lose interest and feel indifferent altogether.
The Bad: I would have liked at some point to have seen a lot more of the actual robbery. Kris Kristofferson , although supposed to be playing a hardened ex-detective, still comes off a little too wooden. I also, personally anyway, can't stand Treat Williams, who is a B-movie guy at best.
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Quite a good little crime drama with a snowy backdrop and isolation as
an insistent threat. The tension is woven with the back stories of
those involved all leading to an inevitable confrontation and a
Getting there is the fun and this movie delivers enough action and suspense to keep one's interest and it has a semi-stylish tone that is better in the action department then in the character's and their development. The acting ranges from the intense too intensely wooden. Eric Bana is engaging in an aloof amalgamation of insanity and infantile. The other male lead (Charlie Hunnam) barely registers even though he is given the most screen time.
There is very little invested in the female Deputy and her Sheriff Dad, and the conflicted Parents. Some effort is made in the end to strengthen these complex situations but it is really rushed and rather anti-climactic.
It is best when things are on the move and the hunt is on and at worst in the convoluted love story in the middle. Overall it is a good thriller that can be enjoyed for its moving parts, despite the stale and stoic presentation of psychological situations that are presented in such shallowness as to be distracting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DEADFALL is about a criminal brother and sister duo Addison and Liza
(Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde) who separate in freezing blizzard conditions
after their car hits a deer and kills their driver. Addison begins a
killing spree which police are soon on the scene warning nearby
residents that he is on the loose.
Liza meanwhile is on the verge of freezing to death when she is picked up by Jay (Charlie Hunnam), a man just released from prison who was planning on visiting his folks for thanksgiving (Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek). What this all leads up to is a relationship blossoming between Jay and Liza and Addison finding out information about his sisters whereabouts and holding Jay's parent hostage in the family home.
This final 20 minute segment is where the main actors shine: Bana is incredibly disturbing as the villain taking control of the situation; Wilde displays the perfect blend of manipulation, ambiguity and in the end, good heartedness; Kristofferson honestly looked comatomsed the entire film and Spacek had an unsettling calmness about her despite having a gun pointed at her head for half of her performance. The awfully cute and decent Kate Mara is also prominently featured as a young female cop assisting into the investigation, and her asshole sergeant father is played by Treat Williams. Recommended, a decent movie with plenty of thrills and enjoyable story.
Perhaps the reason this film is not meeting with a better reception has
to do with our current situation of senseless killings that are
happening throughout the nation. Had t been placed in the theaters at a
different time it might have been better appreciated. The script by
Zach Dean is tight and multifaceted in meanings, the direction by
Stefan Ruzowitzky keeps us in suspense until the final frame, and the
cast of actors is unusually fine. It is a fine little film and deserves
The title DEADFALL is translated by the dictionary as 'A trap for large animals in which a heavy weight is arranged to fall on and kill or disable the prey.' How that title applies to his story is one of the subtle strong points in this dissection of three dysfunctional families. Siblings Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances - a near whiteout blizzard. While Addison heads cross-country, killing everyone who crosses his path or who could provide transportation possibilities, Liza is picked up by ex-boxer Jay (Charlie Hunnam) who has just been released from prison for fixing a boxing match and is en-route for a Thanksgiving homecoming with his parents, June (Sissy Spacek) and retired sheriff Chet (Kris Kristofferson). Following Addison's wake of killings the sheriff (Treat Williams) loses many of his men and ridicules his new deputy daughter (Kate Mara). The story all come together at the Thanksgiving dinner at June and Chet's place - where the three families' ties are strained to the breaking point. It's there the siblings are reunited in a terse and thrilling showdown that pushes the bonds of family to the limit.
The freezing cold of the blizzard backdrop is juts right for the tension that pervades this story. The original musical score by Marco Beltrami underlines all the facets of this tale. While every one in the cast is excellent, it is Eric Bana that pulls of a very well written role in a manner that despite his actions he never loses our empathy.
Haven't seen a crime thriller this good in ages, with such fast moving
pace but excellent character development at the same time.
The screenplay is exciting and observant of human psychology. The acting is superb, and I guess the directing had a lot going for it too. Like the perfect storm,this just all came together and did a job of stirring me up good.
The tension built up from the start with Addison and what we learn about him and his coach. The relationship between the sheriff and his daughter, and the how the men treated her, and her stoic dealing with it...wow, I could not have handled it.
The relationship between the siblings was ambiguous but inspiring at the same time. The relationship in the family between the spouses and the son was written with such deft strokes which said so much.
The actors were fabulous. Especially at the dinner table at the climax of the story. The mother, Sissy Spacek, had such easy going wisdom about her but exploded with outraged indignation when pushed beyond the limit.
Loved the way the brother got the "L" word out of the protagonist in the climactic denouement. And it left you in the end wondering how the story would go on with our antiheroes.
One of those screenplays where you just fall in love with the bad guy and it just kills you to know he is fated, and that he has written his own tragedy as well as having been written by it.
Look forward to more of Zach Dean's screenplays.
This movie I saw at the New Hampshire Film Festival in Portsmouth, NH and it was my favorite of the weekend. The writing was excellent and Bana gave yet another great performance as a violent man who was crazy and funny and charming and human. Writer Zach Dean combined the Western, crime, thriller, sports and family genres to tell a story about three dysfunctional families that are brought together by the trauma of childhood abuse. I knew where the story was going and yet in the end Dean was able to surprise me with how he got there. He did a masterful job pulling together his threads in a way that reminded me of Paul Haggis's work in Crash. Dean's story set in the modern West even included an Indian chief in what was one of my favorite scenes. Afterwards I reflected on Bana's work and wondered if he will ever reach the pinnacle of achievement we saw in the fantastic Australian film Chopper. That role allowed Bana to use all of his gifts in a way that I will never forget and which makes him for me one of the greatest actors working today.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*** Big spoilers here so watch out ***
This was one bizarre animal of a movie. The interaction between the universally misogynistic police men and the conspicuously more highly-evolved poor persecuted police woman just stank the whole movie up and never ceased to blow my mind. I don't know if it was a feminist agenda in play or just diabolically poor writing but there was an overarching anti-male sentiment running throughout the police element of the story. It was completely unnecessary, utterly misplaced, and served only to bizarrely detract from the central story. If they wanted to tell the tale of the poor downtrodden policewoman VS evil Neanderthal men, they should have gone ahead and made that movie, but to try and shoe-horn all of this into another movie is a hell of an amateur move, and just an all-round bad idea.
Some examples I that stood out:
- the police woman not being included in the hunt for the criminals, despite the fact the sheriff is her father.
- the school yard menstruation put-down in front of her colleagues by HER OWN FATHER AND SUPERIOR. Oh seriously???? I never use caps normally by the way but this scene did offend mine eyes, ears and very soul.
- the grabbing of her walkie-talkie and throwing it in the snow so she can't use it, thus avoiding "getting them in trouble"(tried paraphrasing with square brackets but IMDb does not allow). Sheeeeeesh.
- the pushing her over in the snow and stealing her snow mobile. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha - please make it stop somebody, please.
- inappropriate public reprimand from father after pursuing criminal, claiming that apparently people "start dying" when she gets involved - didn't even make any kind of sense, but I was numb to the poor writing by this stage.
This offensively ham-fisted anti-male pantomime GARBAGE absolutely slaughtered this film for me. If you're female and wonder what the big deal is, then I beg you please just try to take a couple of minutes to imagine a similar scenario with the sexes reversed. Honestly please try, and see how you feel about it.
This kind of anti-male sentiment has been poisoning Hollywood scripts for so long now but rarely is it this ineptly close to the surface or in such abundance.
Other non-sexist howlers in this:
- ex-cop abandoning his wife alone in the middle of nowhere when he's literally just been informed that there are very dangerous criminals prowling the vicinity.
- The main male character not questioning why his hitchhiker seems to have been completely oblivious to the police roadblock he literally just drove through and which she must have just passed or at the very least come from.
- The female fugitive seems to be in the grip of hypothermia while the male fugitive shows absolutely no signs of it. Bearing in mind how far she's got from the crash scene they can't be very far apart and he was no better dressed, so this made little sense.
- the male fugitive just happening upon a child molestation scenario providing him with the perfect provocation to murder the male cabin-owner and hide out in the cabin for a while. Given his childhood molestation experience this was a hell of a convenient coincidence.
- the liberated little girl's sudden clairvoyant instruction to the male fugitive to "leave your sister alone"(tried paraphrasing with square brackets but IMDb does not allow). Embarrassingly corny and misplaced.
- woman's calmness after being taken hostage by a *known* dangerous criminal. They try to justify this but it still doesn't fly one bit in my book.
- woman who's literally just been taken hostage demanding that the hostage-taker opens a window after he lights a cigarette. Perhaps that'd fly in a comedy, but not real life, and not this kind of drama.
- ESP on the part of the female fugitive when she suddenly states that she knows Jay is on the run.
- Jay's Buddha-esque compassion in instantly and completely overlooking the fact that the hitchhiking girl knowingly misled and used him to rendez-vous with her criminal brother at his parents' house, thus endangering all of their lives and directly resulting in the shooting of 2 apparent family friends. There are no words.
- girl slaughtering her own brother(who saved her from hell as a child remember), for the sake of a guy she met yesterday and cynically tried to use as part of a criminal scheme. OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH CCCCCCCCCCCCCCMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNN.
An altogether aggravating affair, especially as I rate Eric Bana and think he and the other leads did a good acting job. The basic idea is a sound one, there were some truly well-shot scenes, and the whole thing had quite a distinct style to it. Sadly though this was contaminated beyond redemption with all the anti-male cartoon nonsense. It really crossed a line.
As an aside, it breaks my heart to see Treat Williams reduced to this slurry - he was such a powerful actor back in the day. What a crying shame.
So I guess if you're a raging man-hater maybe this will rock your boat or at least provide some ammunition. To men though(especially policemen) and to rational women(and yes I believe plenty of women would baulk at the same stuff mentioned above), definitely avoid this bizarre manifesto at all costs.
Apologies for all the caps but words escaped me and anger got the better of me I'm afraid. I'm off to burn my DVD player and have a lie down.
Deadfall CATCH IT (B)
Siblings Addison (Eric Bana) and Liza (Olivia Wilde) are on the run from a casino heist gone wrong. When a car accident leaves their wheel man and a state trooper dead, they split up and make a run for the Canadian border in the worst of circumstances, a near whiteout blizzard. While Addison heads cross-country, creating mayhem in his wake, Liza is picked up by ex-boxer Jay (Charlie Hunnam), en-route for a Thanksgiving homecoming with his parents, June (Sissy Spacek) and retired sheriff Chet (Kris Kristofferson). It's there the siblings are reunited in a terse and thrilling showdown that pushes the bonds of family to the limit.
Eric Bana did his job nicely, watching him doing incest jealous/obsesses/protective brother/lover was indeed bizarre. Olivia Wilde is stunningly gorgeous and at times creepy too. Charlie Hunnam is fun to watch, he is smart and never looks bad in what he does. Kate Mara is fine as always. Sissy Spacek and Kris Krsitoppher are good.
In the end, there is nothing much to expect from a movie besides that it's a B class thriller with gorgeous faces. I found movie quite entertaining, it may not have the most lovable characters but they sure are pretty. Good Time pass.
"It's a good sign when you feel a little bad." Brother and sister Addison (Bana) and Liza (Wilde) have just robbed a casino and are making their getaway when they get into an accident. Jay (Hunnam) is fresh out of jail and is looking for answers as to why he took the fall. When all their paths cross things turn for the worse. This is a movie I was looking forward too. The cast had me interested right away. The movie started off fast and never really slowed down. It is a movie where you seem to be one step ahead of what is going on though and that kind of hurts the overall enjoyment. When you can predict 90% of what is going to happen before it does you start to lose interest, at least I do. I did like the movie and I would recommend it but don't expect a lot of twists. The movie was good and entertaining though and the cast was great but a few twists could have made it better. Overall, an enjoyable movie that could have been better if it wasn't so predictable. I give it a B.
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