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Dark Water (2005)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Blame marketing, not the film!, 15 July 2005

Walter Salles' 2005 thriller "Dark Water" is an excellent study of the human mind. The direction is inspired and effective, and the acting is what you would expect from seasoned actors Connelly, Reilly, Postelwaithe, and Roth. The movie moves at a brilliant pace, and builds the audience up for a shocking climax. This remake of the 2002 Hideo Nakata film, was scripted by Nakata himself, and the material is spot-on. The actors handle it superbly and the viewer goes home thinking many different thoughts. However, the film was marketed as a horror/thriller, which many believed to be comparable to "The Ring", another Nakata story. It is not. There are a few scenes that may seem creepy to some, but that is all. Unfortunately, this wonderful film is receiving mixed reviews due to this reason, and it is sad. Overall, this film is an outstanding story about love and despair. If you go home feeling cheated, sleepy, or just plain angry; it's because it was not what you expected it to be. Blame marketing, not the film!

25th Hour (2002)
127 out of 157 people found the following review useful:
A Haunting Dose of Reality, 16 July 2003

Having seen Spike Lee's "25th Hour", I must say I was pleased. Lee's plot is both involving and heartfelt, showing the essence of reality. His script is fresh, yet somewhat slow in spots. His characters shine, however, in a truly believeable tale of consequence. Edward Norton, in another masterful performance, shows an almost frightening level of genuine human emotion as the protagonist Montgomery Brogan. The supporting cast consisting of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, and veteran Brian Cox provide a solid foundation that allows Lee's story to flow freely. While most would consider this tale a literal one, take note: It is quite apparent, through subtlety and the rather obvious "restroom mirror scene" that Spike Lee has a message he wants to get across. What I think makes "25th Hour" so appealing on a theoretical level is the fact that his message is surprisingly open-ended; allowing the individual viewer to decide what he or she wants to retain from the film. This is a genuine film experience; a haunting dose of reality.