Bryan Cranston’s talent is a given. However, though this a different Kevin Hart than audiences have previously seen (as of this post), he strikes just the right comedic note without endangering the story’s tone. Hiring a self- sabotaging deadbeat with a criminal record to be a quadriplegic’s live-in caretaker was meant to stick it to his secretary, who ignored his “Do Not Resuscitate” directive. Funny enough, they turned out to be just what the other needed. While such an unlikely friendship did exist, “based” on a true story is a bit of an exaggeration; it’s more like a biopic twice removed. But make no mistake: it’s still entertaining and poignant.
Memory is a perhaps the trickiest aspect of the Human Experience. Would technology designed to serve our need for emotional connection (dare I say “closure”?) enhance or hinder the natural process of grief? Far from flashy gadgets integrated into outer space- inspired decor, a glimpse into the not-too-distant future raises intriguing questions about the nature of adaptive technology/ artificial intelligence while challenging our perception of memories. Subtle foreshadowing/ allegory allows the obvious to speak for itself and stunning visuals are almost a distraction but completely appropriate given the main theme.
I’m not one for existential metaphors so I took a risk. Fortunately, this one paid off. Rather than another angsty cliche about loss, it turned out to be layered, nuanced poetry. As the main character teeters between delusion and spiritual experience, the story keenly walks a fine line between heavy-handed symbolism and enigmatic meaning. Other films have explored the effects of grief over time but this is by far the most beautifully written and superbly acted.
When a plot is a character study rather than a tale with a definitive moral, trivia will overshadow all other aspects. In this case, the fun facts (e.g. Meryl Streep learned to play the guitar and does her own singing alongside career musician, Rick Springfield and her real- life daughter plays the part onscreen) enhance the realism that keeps it from being overly simplistic. Any humor lies in relatable and/or ironic elements, which can only be disappointing when compared to a formulaic Dramedy, in which everyone learns their lesson far too easily.
The depth of the story drew me in and made me want to follow the main character further. Too bad this wasn’t a TV pilot! To cast a movie that could so easily have been yet another formulaic action flick was no small feat; actors we’ve seem before were wisely utilized for their specialty while being given enough room to break out of their characatures. Moreover, their experience and professionalism allowed the seamless fusion of cultures to tell a story that’s a genuinely fresh perspective on the balance between Justice and Revenge.
To pidgeon- hole this as a post- apocalyptic story would be too crass for such a nuanced satire that intimately explores the Human Experience; few films capture such a raw and visceral perspective. One of its co-leads compared this to Harold and Maude, which is apt given its subtle dark humor. However, the isolation the characters […]
How does a foreign man suddenly end up a U.S. citizen, welcomed into the family of a long- missing child? While it’s impossible to fully understand the grief of those keeping vigil by the window, waiting for a phone call that may never come, it is curious that every expert agrees there are many loose ends. Is it merely that hindsight is 20/20 (as the old saying goes) or is there a more sinister explanation? Though the testimony of an identity thief certainly isn’t everything, it seems to corroborate the suspicion of at least one specialist…
Masterfully crafted, the details of this publicly documented incident are recounted chronologically by a rotation of several family members, some government employees, a smattering of friends/ neighbors and one relentless private investigator. During the lengthier portions of each person’s story, voiceover serves as narration for actors’ portrayals of the events being described. By the end of the film you have about as much information as everyone involved to decide for yourself what you think happened.
Someone has to say it: ALL actions have consequences. It can be hard to do the right thing without the ability to see a situation from every angle. Small decisions can have a huge impact on our lives; even on people we don’t know. I started the novel on which this movie was based but […]
Stories about missing persons are nothing new. Neither is utilizing a smartphone to make a movie anymore. But shooting an entire film through every kind of lens but a movie camera– and sometimes exclusively screens of websites, texts and social networking apps– is definitely a first! But make no mistake: this unique approach is by […]
A well-meaning online discussion caught my attention: “Name a thoughtful non-romantic gesture by your significant other.” As if the two are mutually exclusive. Kindness and simplicity are vastly underappreciated. Often, excessive public displays of affection hide shallow, insecure relationships. Now we have social media to facilitate overcompensation. In contrast, those with the least appreciate it […]