Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, ...
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Barkley Michaelson is in a deep life rut. He's struggling to finish his PhD thesis when his father, the learned Eli Michaelson, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Barkley and his mother, Sarah, a renowned forensic psychiatrist, now have the ill-fortune of living with a man-eating monster whose philandering ways have gotten less and less discrete. As if Barkley's world is not bad enough, on the eve of his father receiving the Nobel, Barkley is kidnapped and the requested ransom is the $2,000,000 in Nobel prize money. Needless to say, Eli refuses to pay it and so starts a venomous tale of familial dysfunction, lust, betrayal and ultimately revenge. In the words of Michel De Montaigne, the 16th century philosopher: "There is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead."Written by
Randall Miller & Jody Savin
Mary Steenburgen's main reason on deciding to do this film was because she was always a fan of Alan Rickman and always wanted to work with him. See more »
In the Mini in the Mall, a stunt driver can be seen in the driver's seat of the car. He first appears when the vehicle is stationary, about 20 seconds before the end of the scene, then immediately after, when the car is headed for one of the walls. See more »
The French essayist, Michel de Montaigne, once said, "I think there is more barbarity in eating a man alive than in eating him dead." The wisdom of it. When you were a kid with an open soul, they told the world consists of good guys and bad guys. I always liked the bad guys. Scar Face over Superman.
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After the first fifteen minutes I though perhaps I had paid seven dollars to see an extended CSI or one of those Vegas casino shows that rely on innumerable zooms and ubercool techno music to convince you that something exciting is happening when it really isn't. The only movie with a mildly complex plot to use these techniques to its advantage was "Confidence" and even then it risked being corny at times. The acting really wasn't bad, rightly so with such a cast, but many times I couldn't even make out the substance of the performance because house-beats were blaring in my ears.
I was initially suspicious of a film that claimed to be a comedy and a thriller and a drama. Now, if your critical film viewing level peaks somewhere around The Fast and the Furious, then read no more. Clumsy plot twists, inappropriate editing and music selection won't phase your iron-trap of a mind. I am by nature a humble and optimistic movie-viewer, but at some point (involving a mall and a remote controlled vehicle) I experienced a mental collapse due to cognitive dissonance. The lingering themes of cannibalism, familial dysfunction, dark sides of human nature, etc were washed away by a wave of unbelievable ( as in un- believable) action sequences. I began to break out in a nervous sweat and wondered if I hadn't wandered into another theater in my delusional state.
Basically, I feel as if this film was written by several different people who never once contacted each other. There are some decent ideas in all three or four of the genres which it sought to present. But apparently no single one human being ever read the script before production. If you do see it for yourself, hopefully you can figure out why Ted Dansen and Danny DeVito were in it. I'm fairly confident their performances had no impact whatsoever on the film.
21 of 43 people found this review helpful.
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