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Pete Smalls Is Dead (2010)
Pete Smalls is Dead and this movie is barely breathing.
I watched it because I'm a fan of Peter Dinklage's work. He was fine in this film. I loved the voice over storytelling. But I'm not a fan of Hollywood films about Hollywood. At least not fiction films about making films in Hollywood.
If this sounds convoluted, well yeah, it is and so is this film. I really can't fault any of the actors; I think for their part they were all believable in their roles. The story was just boring.
It's listed as a comedy that is dark, quirky and cynical. Well they certainly got the cynical part right but cynicism without humor is an exercise in tedium. I guess the quirky part is Steve Buscemi, another actor I enjoy, in a beige/blond curly clown wig looking like he'd been smoking 40 packs of cigarettes a day. Steve is usually great with the wry humor and quirky character portrayal; sadly, his character was pathetic. In fact all the characters were sad and pathetic.
I found myself skipping ahead every few minutes and then watching a few minutes and then skipping ahead. I didn't miss anything. You know it's like watching a soap opera every single day for three months and then missing the soap opera for a couple months; when you start watching again you realize Joan is still in the coma, Frank is still having the affair, and Cassandra is still making trouble for all of them.
This was 94 minutes of watching Peter Dinklage's character, KC Munk, trying to drum up 10k to get his much beloved dog back from the loan shark that took it to cover the debt. Munk spends the entire film riding on the back of a moped while his friend "Shemp" peddles him from place to place trying to either secure the 10k or get his stolen script back so he can sell it to get his 10k so he can get his dog back. I just couldn't care about the characters even though they spoke in soft and meaningful tones, it just didn't get me there.
I don't like the system Netflix uses, the like or dislike, but I'm going to have to only give this two stars even though I like the actor's performances I hated the story and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. For IMDb I always double whatever I rate on Netflix; so my IMDb rating is FOUR stars ~ PhaedraBlue 03/10/14 ~
The New Daughter (2009)
I wonder if the Old Daughter had better energy?
I just finished watching Luis Berdejo's "The New Daughter". Berdejo adapted it from Irish native writer John Connolly's short story of the same name. Just short of beginning "It was a dark and stormy night..." Berdejo's story begins with an upper middle-class family uprooted by divorce. The father, a writer, hoping for a new beginning relocates his teenage daughter and young son to a beautiful country estate on the outskirts of a small town. There are innumerable films out there with a young teen girl torn from her emotional attachments left open to fall prey to the neighborhood unknown entity. TND is full of vague American cliché's. The bully at school, the single dad, the available concerned teacher, the vague rumors of something "not right" by the townsfolk, the vague historian, and a dubious American Indian legend surrounding a native American mound burial site that just happens to be located on this country estate. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? TND starts out slow and builds to a mediocre pace that barely gets the pulse going even as it approaches the climax of the film. The actors all seem to be sleepwalking throughout this; the norm for Kevin Costner. Costner has provided us with some great performances such as Crash Davis in "Bull Duram", Charley Waite in "Open Range" and Jake in "Silverado. This is not one of them. I gave this a 4 out of 10 rating because I'm feeling charitable. ~ToniHunterOne 09-3-2012