I stumbled on the enigmatically named "Cold Play" in the thriller section of Netflix and sat transfixed for an hour and a half, genuinely stupefied.
Not because it was intriguing or well-made, but because I couldn't figure out the MOTIVE for making it. It just had to be for a tax credit, I thought. It had vanity project (or seat of the pants indie) written all over it: David Morin and Geno Andrews star in, write, and direct themselves through large portions of this movie, to ill effect. It reeks of C-level Cable TV...nonsensical plotting, wooden/overwrought acting and a script that stabs frantically at all the right emotional hot buttons (ooh, the rich guy is such a bastard --- the private eye is so crazy-sexy-creepy), but doesn't deliver anything you haven't seen before. It's so dead-on that it numbs you.
Morin (who looks disturbingly like George W. Bush Jr. here) plays Winston Thorpe, an obsessive egomaniac who is as bland as his character's supposedly upper-crust name. Andrews plays the sleazy private dick he hires to tail his wife (another TV stalwart, Vanessa Branch), with an accent that seems to intentionally parody a poor- man's Stephen Rea. The movie opens with both men being questioned by the cops, in the wake of Branch's apparent murder.
The "mystery" (and it's not much) not withstanding, what really sunk this film for me was its inauthentic tone and inattention to details...which is really criminal considering the money that was spent on it. Yes, a million is kind of chump change for a movie, but keep in mind this was made on a Mac-budget. The amount spent on the rental of Thorpe's spectacular beach house and cars alone could have funded a much more decent feature. But, back to the problems.
Here's a sampler: 1) Thorpe has $20 million to plunk down on a Russian czar's gold and diamond-laden egg, but only has money to pay ONE full time staff at his mansion? No, he makes his wife run all over the state (the one he mistrusts vehemently) purchasing priceless works of art and Coy fish for him. Totally logical. The fact that both Thorpe and his wife drive themselves everywhere, with absolutely no protection, is a bit of a stretch, considering the income bracket they appear to occupy. 2) Branch is seen at intervals getting what appear to be regular injections from her gardener (the one staffer mentioned above). Her detail-crazed husband never asks about the needle marks though. 3) Andrews parades around with a swastika on his throat...lives in a dump...but drives a brand new Cooper. Just the type of guy a multi- millionaire would hire to tail his wife. The biggest problem is with Thorpe's character though...Branch says he is "capable of anything" and a "monster" but he comes off more as a pathetic poor little rich boy. At least give the guy some menacing thugs he can order about.
This kind of sloppiness is either borne of incompetence or of an attitude that the average TV watcher wouldn't know the difference anyway. It robs this movie of even being sleazy fun...the sex scenes are almost antiseptic.
Ugh, I hate leaving reviews like this for movies that have NO published reviews...save for one critical review that looks like it was written by an insider. It smacks of kicking a panting puppy. Obviously these guys are earnest in their intentions and probably want to do a good job...but it's just not there...ANYWHERE...in "Cold Play."
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