Elspeth Dickens dreams of finding her "voice" despite being stuck in an isolated farmhouse with her twin toddlers. A web-cam becomes her pathway to fame and fortune, but at a price. . You can read more in Google, Youtube, Wiki
Elspeth Dickens dreams of finding her "voice" despite being stuck in an isolated farmhouse with her twin toddlers. A web-cam becomes her pathway to fame and fortune, but at a price.
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Jamie J (au) wrote: Pretty much the same as every other resident evil movie. I don't know if it was just me, but I had no idea what was happening for like 90% of this movie. The quick cuts and Shakey cam were crazy. and made all the action really hard to follow. for a movie that is like 95% pointless action sequences that is pretty bad. don't bother with this unless you are a fan of the series, for whatever reason.
Pasha B (jp) wrote: Just a whole lot of nothing followed by a boss battle with a giant alien.
Robin T (br) wrote: Afghan Star is an American Idol like tv show that is extremely popular in Afghanistan. People from all over the country come together to vote for contestants representing several provinces to determine who is the best singer. Voting is seen by the people as a democratic process. Bans on singing have been lifted, however many of the other restrictions still apply such as dancing and dress. Hard for us to imagine, many of these singers are risking their lifes to follow their dream! I was impressed with how these people fought for their freedoms every day. We take all these rights for granted, but this movie reminded me how lucky we are!
Jim H (jp) wrote: Michael Dougherty offers a tasty pumpkin stuffed with a handful of trick-y Halloween short stories, a surprisingly atmospheric visual treat and the necessary spookiness that accompanies the haunting celebration.
Cameron J (es) wrote: First he's messing with Jason Bourne and now he's a spy for the communists, so I think it's safe to say that Chris Cooper is your go-to guy if you want a corrupt man of high esteem within major government agencies, or at least that's how things appear. I'm getting to where I trust Cooper so little that I doubt anything he does, and it doesn't help that he's getting to look too leathery to be real. You would think that whoever Cooper really is wouldn't select a disguise that isn't getting to be so obviously a costume (The years have not been good to him is what I'm getting at), but hey, the fact of that matter is that you can never be too careful around Chris Cooper. Of course, through "Shattered Glass" and this film, alone, one thing is made for certain, and that is that Billy Ray sure knows how to make a film about someone going behind big organizations' backs, which leaves me to believe that he is, in fact, tricking the film industry into thinking that he's not actually Billy Ray Cyrus. Shoot, Billy Ray Cyrus probably couldn't even elude his own daughter, so I guess this Billy Ray deserves to be respected on his own as a man behind some pretty decent movies... and the co-writer for "Color of Night". Jeez, you really can't trust anyone, because Ray's debut didn't fulfill its duties of being a good film, or at least I don't think it did, because I'm among the lucky, well, many who didn't see "Color of Night". This film, however, is fairly enjoyable, and yet, it's hardly difficult at all to miss the flaws that have worked their way into things, or, for that matter, this story's direction.The film has no real pretense about being genuinely unique, and that obscures its conventionalism, which takes enough damage from story areas that are, in fact, relatively refreshing, though you can rarely, ever truly shake the feeling that this storytelling is a bit too familiar, and not just because this film is based on an infamous true story, hitting distinct formula tropes that give you something of an idea of where things are going to go, even if you're not too familiar with this tale. Conventional areas in storytelling aren't too terribly formulaic, but they are undeniable as components to the predictability that is firmly established through this film's shameless overemphasis on its being a true story, for although director Billy Ray isn't crowbarring in a wink and a nudge to people who know their conspiracy stories every chance he gets, and certainly has plenty of moments where he compensates for familiarity through effective intrigue, the film doesn't really want you to forget its story's outcome, and that slows down momentum, though not as much as spells in atmosphere that are anything but all that exciting. This is more of a conversational, maybe even meditative "thriller", so I wasn't really expecting or even hoping for a swift pace, but when the film really slows down with atmospheric momentum in the directorial storytelling department, it really slows down more than I feared, slipping into blandness, if not dullness that leaves you to slowly, but surely, drift away. The film isn't consistently bland, but it is more limp than it should be, distancing you with bland spells, and giving you plenty of time to think about that by dragging things out through fat around the edges of material that ends up joining with the aforementioned atmospheric dry spells to produce repetition. After a while, the film begins to meander a bit, and by after a while, I mean shortly into the body, and before too long, you find yourself given more than enough time to meditate upon just how thin this subject matter is, in spite of its importance. I, of course, prefer Ray's directorial debut, "Shattered Glass", which was made good by Ray's managing to flesh out minimalist subject matter with so much compelling confidence that you couldn't help but feel rewarded by the end, and sure, Ray's confidence is still here, enough so for the final product to border on rewarding, but not so pronounced that you can forget about this story's not really having all that much kick, largely because meandering slowness and conventionalism remind you of minimalism too much to keep general underwhelmingness at bay. Still, like I said, the final product borders on rewarding, not quite having enough kick to make it to bonafide goodness on the whole, but still being juicy enough to hold your attention just fine, even with such small things as cinematography and score.Again, the film isn't terribly conventional, but when it hits formulaic beats, it hits them fairly hard, with even Mychael Danna's score and Tak Fujimoto's cinematography being hardly anything all that unique, which isn't to say that Danna and Fujimoto don't take notes from commendable formulas, with Danna delivering on a chillingly minimalist and occasionally elegant score, while Fujimoto gives the film a drained, almost gritty look that is handsome and occasionally helps in reminding you of the dark intrigue of this subject matter. Even when it comes to style, this film's efforts are a bit too thin for their own good, but it's hard to deny commendable notes in the score and photography departments, which are hardly all that impressive, but sometimes decently compliment the film's effectiveness, the potential for which is a bit hefty. Like I said, this film's story concept is minimalist, as well as too familiar for its own good, partially thanks to beats that you can't really see make it too the screen without being cleansed of conventionalism, and largely thanks to this true story's being a bit too fresh for a sense of dj vu to be diluted all that much, but this is still an important study on an intriguing espionage tale that has quite a bit of potential to translated into a rewarding, if a bit predictable dramatic thriller, as reflected by high points in the translation of this subject matter to the screen. I wish I could say that Billy Ray puts as much kick into this film as he put into "Shattered Glass", which, even then, isn't really extremely strong, but there is some degree of inspiration within Ray's efforts, which, in writing areas, joins the efforts of Adam Mazer and William Rotko in putting together a script with fairly well-rounded characterization that could have easily slipped into expository thinness, while the direction side of Ray's efforts grace the film with moments of genuine intrigue, maybe even tension as it unravels its juicy story. I think we can all agree that Ray should have never gone so far as to take this conversation drama and turned into a somewhat dumb, unsubtly overblown thriller, but the intrigue to this subject matter does stand to be more thoroughly explored, which isn't to say that there aren't enough commendable moments throughout this film that keep your engagement value from slipping too far. Of course, it's not like you're investment would be completely lost if Ray didn't give you those glimpses of genuine goodness, as this character study is consistently kept alive by, at the very least, strong portrayals of the characters who drive this story, with Ryan Phillippe being engagingly convincing as the young, ambitious and promising FBI employee who finds himself facing serious danger at the hands of the unpredictable spy whose portrayer steals the show, because even though Chris Cooper is too underwritten to be, as the Rotten Tomatoes consensus put it, "masterful", his charismatic and occasionally layered presence as a man of great faith, power and danger is chillingly effective. Cooper proves to be compelling as an unpredicable anatagonist, and while he's not so charged in his performance that he compensates for the many moments of underwhelmingness in intrigue value, his acting is just one of several strong notes that go into making this film engaging enough to get you by, even though it stands to kick just a little harder.To close this case, conventionalism exacerbates the predictability that is established firmly enough by a lack of effort to soften the familiarity within this reasonably fresh true story, while repetitious dragging and an all too often dry atmosphere bland things into a meandering limpness that does about as much as anything in holding the final product back from the bonafide goodness that is almost achieved, as there is enough attractiveness to score work and cinematography, intrigue to subject matter, - whose value is sometimes really emphasized by strong moments in writing and direction - and convincingness to the performances - particularly the one by Chris Cooper - to make Billy Ray's "Break" an adequately engaging, if quite flawed dramatization of the downfall of a great American traitor.2.75/5 - Decent
Kara H (nl) wrote: That was some funny stuff.
Cameron J (ca) wrote: "As the snow flies on a cold and gray Chicago mornin', a poor little baby child is born in the..." Oh my, well, that song reference just about took quite the uncomfortable twist, partly because it would spark up the controversies surrounding when an embryo's life begins. Ouch, now abortion is a strong subject to just up and toss out there, but really, people, it's about as harsh as this film's subject matter, which isn't quite as fun as the title would lead you to believe. Granted, the short story on which this film is based is titled "Killings", but outside of that, it's kind of hard to tell just how dark this film will be, unless, of course, you look at who is attached to this project. Sissy Spacek sure does know her way around an unnerving character drama, and as for the director, Todd Field, he always looks like he's kind of angry about something. Oh, he's probably just upset because he looks like some kind of a botched fusion of James McAvoy and Liam Neeson... and because he was in "Eyes Wide Shut", speaking of "in the bedroom", if you know what I mean. Man, I can't even humor "Eyes Wide Shut" with some lame "wink" type of joke (Winking; how about one eye wide shut, Stanley Kubrick? There's another one), so Field should probably stick with making films about lust rather than being in them, because this is an actually pretty intense drama... sometimes, when it's not being blanded up by conventions, alone. There are inspired aspects here and there throughout this film, yet there are also plenty of borderline glaring lazy aspects, particularly within the originality factor, for even Thomas Newman's score is a touch too trite for its own good, and outside of that, this plot follows trope, after trope, after trope, with conventional characterization, until standing as hopelessly predictable. Now, I'd be a little more willing to get over that if the story wasn't too familiar for its own good partly because it's too realist for its own good, in that it draws overly grounded characters with overly grounded conflicts which are too minimalist in structure to open all that much potential for intrigue, and when it actually attempts to beef up, it tries a touch too hard. The film has some distancing melodramatic, or at least feels as though it does because of expository shortcomings, which not only limit the background development to characters who are thin enough overall, but undercook motivations for conflicts that are, of course, so important in this ensemble character drama, making it even harder to buy into potentially intriguing subject matter. Still, no matter how underdeveloped, this film takes its time to drag its feet something awful in order to achieve its very unreasonable runtime of about around 130 minutes, with meandering material and monotonous excess in filler that begin to lose a sense of progression, gradually losing momentum that, of course, falls all the quicker as pacing grows slower behind a dry directorial approach. Despite having a certain thoughtfulness to its coldness, Todd Field's naturalist directorial approach is just about the last thing a film this thin and structurally meandering needs, as it quiets things down something fierce to meditate upon nothing going on, until the film finds itself devolving into blandness, then continuing to fall until it hits dullness, and, well, even flirts with tedium. When the thoughtful direction bites, it really does sink its teeth into you, but it's generally rather misguided in its cold take on heated material that is still not intense enough for you to forgive all of the predictability, underdevelopment and repetitious structure that ultimately secure the final product as underwhelming. Still, as misguided as this film is, it finds its path enough time to endear, and do justice to a story worthy of a more realized interpretation. A study on how a family struggles with coping after a tragedy befalls someone who intervened in someone else's family conflicts, this film's story concept is a little too familiar in the dramatic film industry, as well as too recognizable from real life to have all that much theatrical momentum, not helped by more dramatic minimalism than you might expect from looking at the broad synopsis, but it's still worthy, dramatically and thematically, as a portrait on the shaky depths of humanity that Todd Field takes with thoughtfulness, and too much of it. Field's steady storytelling is simply too steady for its own good, being somberly bone-dry, and even stylistically flat, so as cruel irony would have it, it's Field's ambitious steadiness which secures the final product's underwhelmingness through dullness, although such dullness might simply derive from Field's having only so much material to draw upon with his thoughtfulness, because when the script presents Field with the opportunity, his atmosphere nips, sometimes bites. Well, maybe the bites are much more occasional than that, as there is so much minimalism to material and coldness to storytelling, but make no mistake, there are effective moments here that are worth waiting for, once Field's efforts as co-writer with Robert Festinger present segments to latch onto. Formulaic, underdeveloped, overlong and even uneven, once it departs from a first act that features prominent characters and subplots which are jarringly ripped from the layered drama, Field's and Festinger's script is, well, something of a mess, and yet, if its directorial inspiration was a little more colorful, then the script could have perhaps driven the final product to, or at least close to a rewarding point, as there's still plenty of believable wit to the dialogue, as well as memorable characters who are not all that well-developed, but remain well-drawn enough to be reasonably worthy. Indeed, it does ultimately come down to the character aspects of this drama, because as the flat style, steady direction and sparse writing ought to reflect, this drama isn't about too much more than mere intimacy to very human conflicts, and while it often slips up even that department, when the characterization is meaty, the film is particularly endearing. Of course, it might not so much be that meat to characterization that sells the drama's most effective moments, as much as it's the selling of the characterization through the performances in a solid cast which, of course, has little to work with in this blandly minimalist affair, but still has the brightest highlights, with Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson particularly standing out in their subtly intense, when not powerfully emotive portrayals of good, older people whose relationship and individual humanity go challenged by an overwhelming tragedy that parents should not have to face. Quite frankly, the film starts out kind of promising with its thoughtfulness, but once you get used to its formula, it only loses momentum more and more, until sputtering out very much short of rewarding, yet well before it slips into mediocrity, it is secured as decent as more than a few highlights in storytelling that endear, despite the misguidedness. In conclusion, the story is bland enough in its minimalism, without the conventionalism, expository shortcomings, exhaustingly overdrawn and sparse plotting, and dully cold atmosphere that slowly, but surely, drive a promising drama into underwhelmingness, challenged enough by effective moments to thoughtful direction and writing, and by strong performances, to do enough justice to an intriguing story that makes "In the Bedroom" an endearing and sometimes effective drama, even with its shortcomings. 2.5/5 - Fair
Cassandra M (mx) wrote: This film was shown last night on UK TV. Unfortunately I missed the first 20 minutes or so but the rest was so good I feel it is still worth commenting on. The film centres around the different reactions of two sisters to their mother's death - don't however get the impression that this is a film to be endured rather than enjoyed. Although the subject matter is serious and the film very emotionally moving, there are flashes of humour throughout and it is not boringly earnest for one moment. I read somewhere that the director is an admirer of Mike Leigh's "Naked". While it is no poor relation, if you appreciate the work of Mike Leigh you would probably also enjoy "Under the Skin".
Miss J (fr) wrote: cute ...but overall meh. besides the window dressing... truly mediocre
Nik B (jp) wrote: How to see Europe on a $2 video rental. Sydney Pollack's driection in this young-Pacino drama has its moments. Although, I think I would be hard pressed to find ANYone with a camera in France & Italy and not make it look beautiful. But the scenery is fantastic. An American race car driver sees a wreck where a friend dies and he gets a little worried about death. Visiting his friend in the hospital, he meets another woman who tags along for the ride. She was a patient, but we don't know why. She's fucking nuts, that's for sure. There were romantic moments, but they were weak and they didn't amount to anything. At some point, she says to him, "I'm sorry you didn't scream with me. I'm sorry you didn't chase the balloon. I hope you find your rabbits." This is metaphor that alludes to previous scenes, which basically means: "I'm sorry that you're not more expressive, that you don't take more chances. I hope you find what you are afraid of." This is the kind of writing that permeates this film. I don't know when the cliche started, but it's here. Lillian is overly expressive, artistic and outgoing. Bobbby is reserved, safe and sane and is somehow drawn to Miss Crazypants. At some point he even takes her to task, screams at her for her seeming indifference, and its just hollow. You can't get mad at her when she's acting in the way that you were intrigued by all along. After that, it all just falls into scenes of romantic growth leading to the melodramatic ending.
Domenico L (ag) wrote: It's about class, declining authority, habit versus change and the blindness that can only be caused by an overdeveloped, whiskey soaked ego. Guinness and Mills are brilliant. The Technicolor is warm and rich and "no frills" director Neame stays out of the way. Beautiful.
Gregory W (ag) wrote: excellent noir thriller this is a B pix that really works. this is one martin scorsese's faves. the music score is very sparse only a single electric guitar but like welle's the third man (which it reminded me of) it works a the movie goes on and the characters get closer & closer the music add to heighten tension. final bonus: alot of the exterior shots r shot in my hometown of sta monica and it was interesting to see what it looked like back then.
Robert C (kr) wrote: Considering the year it was made, it is quite a perverse film. Some great visuals and a very interesting (if not overly complex) premise. Part of both it's charm and short coming is the horribly dated dialog, but the potential is there for a great film.