(es) wrote: Not as half bad a movie as one would reasonably expect. It's not like I would say the acting is up to par or anything, but there's definitely some interesting ideas and character work in this film. I also do think that the pacing itself is not particularly good or anything, since a huge chunk of the film takes place in the treehouse and there's only so much that you can do in one place. I think this should've but cut down to 80 or so minutes. You movie the story at a quicker pace and there aren't chunks of the film where nothing seems to be happening. One of the things that struck me is how much the actor who plays Killian looks like Stephen Baldwin. Well, I mean, if Stephen Baldwin had a son who looked like he had some mental deficiencies. I hope that didn't come across as mocking as it did, because I seriously don't mean it in a mocking tone. Another thing about this guy is that he literally use the same two expressions during the film. One of those is like the sun is always hitting him straight in the face and he's squinting his eyes because of it and when he's gonna cry, he scrunches his face up or something, yet no tears come out. It's the same two expressions all throughout the film. This guy needs a lot of work honestly. I don't wanna say there's no potential, but he didn't really show much of it. At best, he probably makes it as a supporting player in a B-movie. The girl, Dana Melanie, is not much better. Her facial expressions are also pretty terrible. Really, the best actor in the entire movie, Killian's brother, Crawford, disappears 20 minutes into the film, never to be seen again. Well, with the exception of flashbacks and even there he doesn't say much. I do think there's some good atmospheric moments in the treehouse that help to keep some semblance of tension while also keeping you from noticing that there's not much going on to move the story forward. I do think the film really picks up once Killian and Elizabeth once they leave the treehouse and find the house where the villains live, where they discover the fate of their respective brothers. I do like that their fates are never explicitly shown to you, you're just shown polaroids of what happened to them. There's a something about that approach that I really liked and find to be effective. Like seeing a person's last photo just before they died. It's probably darker and more disturbing than just showing us what actually happened to them. Sort of like Munger Road did so ineffectively. I also like the ending of the film, because it showed that Killian and Elizabeth were now gonna take the fight back to the one remaining villain in the film, like they're sort of a good version of Woody Harrelson and Julianne Lewis' characters in Natural Born Killers and how they choose to rationalize eliminating the remaining villain by telling themselves that they're doing the world a favor. I actually really liked that ending. And they didn't even show them killing the one remaining bad guy, there were three, and I still liked it. They were just shown, with assault rifles in hand, on their way to the forest to hunt for this guy and then it cut to black. Another thing that it did considerably better than Munger Road. This ending doesn't wrap up everything in a nice little bow, but I did find it satisfying cause I could make up the conclusion in my head. Munger Road had a 'to be continued' in a film that hadn't yet reached its natural conclusion. They fucked you out of an ending. This may not have shown Killian and Elizabeth killing the Tall One, as he was known in the credits, but you know that they probably did so. And that's how you pull an ending without wrapping everything up perfectly. Honestly, the second half of this film is so much better than the first. It's like the switch was turned on. I still think the film, overall, was ok at best. But it's a good 2 stars, at least to me. Then again, I did rent it for free on Redbox, thanks to a discount, so perhaps I'm being kinder to this film than I would've been otherwise. But I do think there's some good stuff here, particularly after they leave the treehouse. The treehouse shit isn't great, but it does keep the film from getting a higher rating. I wouldn't recommend it, but there's some good enough ideas here that this was hardly the waste of time I was fearing it was going to be. There's some good ideas here. I realize that's not enough to make people want to watch it, but I was genuinely surprised, in a good way, at parts of this.
(fr) wrote: The first of these that Clint directed himself, and it shows. Now usually I'd be all for the dark gritty angle this film took, but sadly this seems to have come at the expense of the actual Harry character. Also, I am not a fan of Sondra Locke at all - and I feel she was only in this because of her ties to Clint in real life. The worst in this franchise imo...
(us) wrote: There's a lot going on here, and none of it is happening on the surface. We are given a frustratingly unidentifiable protagonist who exhibits symptoms of a disease that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't exist. She never quite figures out what is ailing her in the same way that we, as an audience, never quite figure out what to make of this film. I can appreciate it for being unsettling, but only to a degree, since I cannot say that I overall enjoyed this film.
(kr) wrote: Rather uneven movie with a great cast, great director, but mediocre writing. The dialogue was so, so painful but the actors were able to overcome it with their performances. Bradley Cooper had acting chops that I have not seen but his dancing was pretty painful to watch. Robert DiNero chews up the scenery whenever he is on screen, and I could almost sent that Cooper was pretty much in awe. Lawrence was a lovely ingenue who does know how to shake her booty but other than adorable she is pretty average as an actress. Sorry it did not make more of a statement on mental illness, there was more than an opportunity but it's happy-happy ending kind of failed it.