(es) wrote: ShelterShelter 2010? 1/2 Watched 07 Apr, 2016Shelter (which also apparently goes by the name 6 Souls, but only on very specific platforms?) has some good ideas, but they are executed horribly. The first half or so of this film is a semi-engaging psychological drama about a man who switches personalities between different muder victims, as well as some of their physical traits. It's a compelling idea, but writer Michael Cooney eventually drops this admittedly alluring premise for a schlocky and cliche-ridden supernatural horror film. There's nothing explicitly wrong with supernatural horror films in general, but what Cooney, as well as directing duo Mns Mrlind and Bjrn Stein, has created is needlessly incomprehensible and convoluted. The film is half and half in terms of visuals: there's some solid camerawork at play at times, and other times the camera is stuck in a vanilla still shot that feels too distant or too close. The cast gives it their all, but nobody feels truly invested in this material. Julianne Moore (an Academy Award winning actress, mind you) seems to be trying hard, but lacks the emotional punch we know she's capable of. Jonathan Rhys Meyers mostly manages to nail the different personalities of his character, but there's no subtlety in his performance whatsoever. All in all, this is an entirely forgettable horror/mystery flick with very few redeeming qualities. Skip it.
(mx) wrote: I was channel surfing when I stumbled across this interesting Independent drama [written by Rick Shaughnessy and Brian S. Kalata] on the Sundance channel. The director Bob Giraldi ("Hiding Out") somehow managed to successfully pull off a realistic restaurant movie with a gangster subplot, all while staging practically the whole film inside or right outside a popular Italian restaurant in Tribeca, NYC. Great performances by Danny Aiello ("The Last Don", "City Hall","Lon The Professional", "Do the Right Thing", "Moonstruck"), Kirk Acevedo ("Fringe", "The Black Donnellys", "Oz", "Band of Brothers"), Summer Phoenix ("Esther Kahn", "The Believer", "The Laramie Project", "SLC Punk!", "Wasted"), Mark Margolis ("The Wrestler", "The Black Donnellys", "Oz", "Nobody", "Gone Baby Gone"), Vivian Wu ("The Pillow Book", "Song jia huang chao", "The Joy Luck Club", "The Last Emperor", "Shanghai Red"), Edoardo Ballerini ("Boardwalk Empire"- New HBO drama, "A Year and a Day","Protect and Serve", "Life Is Hot in Cracktown","Romeo Must Die"), Polly Draper ("thirtysomething", "Second Best", "A Perfect Fit","My Idiot Brother"- in production for 2011), Mike McGlone ("The Brothers McMullen", "The Bone Collector", "She's the One","The War Within", "The Kill Point"), Ajay Naidu ("Office Space", "The Guru", "The Wrestler", "The War Within", "Today's Special", "Montana"), Manny Perez ("Washington Heights", "100 Centre Street", "Pride and Glory", "El cantante", "Illegal Tender" "Crooklyn"), Jamie Harris ("The Prestige", "Mr. Nice","Rise of the Apes"-2011), John Corbett ("United States of Tara", "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", "Lucky", "The Visitor", "Sex and the City"), Sandra Bernhard ("Roseanne", "The King of Comedy", "Hudson Hawk", "Nice Dreams", "Wrongfully Accused"), John Rothman ("Prime","Welcome to Mooseport", "Reservation Road" , "The Devil Wears Prada"), Walt MacPherson ("Homicide: Life on the Street", "DONNIE BRASCO", "Montana"), and Fanshen Cox ("Gone Baby Gone"). Good cinematography by Tim Ives ("How to Make It in America", "Blue Bloods" - New TV Show).It was structured almost more like a play than a movie, the performances and pace seemed to reflect that a little, and somehow the formula worked [even though it might be a little too slow for some]. I enjoyed the contributions each character made to the overall plot...there's an old school restaurant owner/recently-retired bookie, two mob goons looking to collect money from the sous chef and possibly take over a controlling piece of the restaurant, a mysterious guy wearing a two-striped tie sitting by the bar all night seemingly taking in the scenery while observing everyone, an arrogant art dealer, a struggling artist/waitress, a cool intelligent bartender hustling people out of money by answering all sorts of questions, a womanizing star chef who comes up with exciting new dishes that woo food critics and make everyone keep coming back for more, a sous chef with a gambling addiction who does most of the work in the kitchen, and a temporary power outage almost serves as a character all it's own. All of these personalities are ingredients that mix together well and make for an engaging albeit slow-paced cinematic dish, with an ending that is a satisfying cold dessert. Overall it's a good drama, old-school film-making at it's best.