Reviews written by registered user
|45 reviews in total|
i am sick of production companies filming in Canada. they transport a
couple of u.s. leads north of the border, and fill out the rest of the
cast with Canadian filler. the result is not a u.s. production with a
lot of Canadians, but a Canadian production with a few Americans.
maybe you can't tell the difference in accent, demeanor and ambiance, but i can. it ain't American and it feels like a cheap copy every time.
and the worst part is that Hollywood is starving because of it. in the same way that shipping manufacturing jobs overseas destroys that American workforce, shipping media production jobs north is starving and eliminating the core of professionals who survive on t.v. gigs. and the result is that sometime in the future, TV series will be forced to film in Canada, because the crew needed to support numerous TV shows will be gone.
plus, the show stinks.
when i first saw this film i took it at its obvious: drug-addicted,
veteran cop starts getting high on the confiscated supply and descends
into a nauseating grail all the way to his bottom. the movie's
justification was its reality--his degeneracy looks and feels real.
but today, through another eye, i saw a man ground by PTSD, years after years of homicides preaching that life means nothing, it's cheap, we're just flesh, meat on the bone.
and he is finally, fully converted to this belief. and the one life that by default means nothing most of all is his own. and through his conversion he finds his grail-- his own meaningless death. his preacher prescribes the method of his execution, and the sentence will be carried out using the tools of the streets. and he accepts this, his lessons have burned him beyond his own recognition.
and redemption finds him along the way. but it is too late to stop the clock. maybe, his own act of forgiveness will benefit him in his next incarnation. will he now be allowed to pass through the eye of the needle?
to begin with, i'll start with the initial assault on my
sensibilities--and that is that zellweger's accent is atrocious. i
don't remember it being half this bad when she was playing briget
jones. maybe the upper-class accent is a little harder for actors who
have not found a new home in British film, as has gillian anderson: who
has done a grand job in this respect. but i must admit it is only
slightly more atrocious than the scot's attempt at a victorian,
upper-class male accent. so as far as leads go, they are both well
matched in that regard.
i hope zellweger didn't believe she was awarded the role only for her acting talent. it is a time-honored need of British cinema, to find an American actor to fill one of the leads in order to secure some sort of u.s. release, despite their professional shortcomings. a limited u.s. release can easily make profit of a poor, broad u.k. one.
historically; it is observed that actors, when affecting an accent, often find their acting capabilities reduced, as the consciousness and its faculties for concentration are finite. in this film, zellweger and the scot, seem to prove this notion.
the next observation is that emily watson steals every scene from zellweger whenever they appear together, but that is no surprise. one actress is swimming in familiar waters, and the other is floundering beyond her depth. this notion also applies to the scot. most actors, as most directors, should stay in a genre, or character type where they excel. but finances are demanding in an industry where job opportunities may be few and far between: and talent aside, most actors need take roles whenever they present themselves--whether suited or not. the exception to this being the actor or director who transcends genre, but these individuals are exceptions, and can be counted on one hand: at least those within popular memory.
now as to scene. it is masterfully, and economically manipulated. the film begins with a broad, external carriage ride around the park, but soon develops into well shot interiors which give the warmth of a candle and gas-lit world. this low-cost claustrophobia is offset by the excellent costume and interior design. this theme continues throughout, only using exteriors when absolutely needed, thus limiting the amount of extras and props. the result is a film which has a feature feel on what must have been little less than a television budget.
the photography is workman like, and displays little effort since this era is the bread and butter of British cinematic exports. god bless the queens.
as far as marketability: it definitely hit its mark. as the comments on this site prove, it is a highly rated romantic vehicle. it is set in a purportedly gentile time, at least for the upper-classes (observe the works of dickens), and pulls on every string that drives the modern type. the two leads are proved money makers in this genre, and the shoot was no doubt short. this project must have turned a decent profit even if it only had a straight to video u.s. release.
overall; i would rate the effort as mediocre, and i'm sure that if you asked the principals their opinion, they would agree.
this project should remind viewers that film is a business; although i have a feeling that the scriptwriter hoped for more. i know i did.
if it wasn't for face paint and implants, the three leads would be
pumping mocha mixer into Java at an L.A. convenience store for tips.
and the screen writer should be making change for the same franchise.
unfortunately; pulp fiction, spawned a legion of foul-mouthed wannabee scribblers, and this script is a glowing, specious example of that diseased, copy-cat genre.
the one redeeming thing in this film is the cinematography. it is very well shot. the format is well used, and the d.p. understands that the secret to good visuals is good lighting--something often overlooked by d.p.'s who jumped rungs on the ladder and skipped the lighting department. because of this, i actually watched most of this feature, even beyond the five minutes it took me to become bored with having that much silicone rubbed in my face.
a modern Thelma and Louise it ain't.
this film is half delicious--half not.
the first half is a seemingly clumsy attempt to narrate the initial crimes of the featured psychopath. the narrative moves quickly through his initial murders using a workmanlike exposition, it shows this man's growing proficiency in the art of quick killing. and that is the first part of the film.
the director manufactured a clinical approach to the first half, as shown by his use of clinical titles--suggesting a police report--summing up the effects of the psychopath's murders with little or no lead to the killings.
this is the clumsy part of this film, unfortunately the director did not have the luxury of cloning future Hollywood examples to give him a better formula for this type of narration.
but the second half of the film is where the director shows the relationship that intrigues him.
the second part is enigmatic. it posits the ultimate relations when average persons attempt an average relationship with a homicidal psychopath. and this part is enthralling. the tension is beyond.
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