Incredibly tense thriller. Inspired by real events and looks at… MoreIncredibly tense thriller. Inspired by real events and looks at Milgram Experiment-like obedience to authority. It is a troubling subject matter, but the film is well made. The characters with their various levels of objections to the instructions received over the phone based on their individual consciences are well acted. The ending with the cops trying to find the culprit feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the movie. And yet, this film will likely make you think as it poses many questions about authority and responsibility.
Has a cool soundtrack featuring Gangsta's Paradise. Portions of that… MoreHas a cool soundtrack featuring Gangsta's Paradise. Portions of that one song are used so many times in the movie that it gets a little repetitive. I liked the TV show with Annie Potts taking over the Michelle Pfeiffer role. A series that can develop characters over time is probably a better format for a story like this. For a veteran Marine, Pfeiffer's Louanne Johnson doesn't seem that tough. The poster includes a bunch of the inner city high school students that she teaches, but the plot only really allows the viewer to get to know two of the disadvantaged teens. And the focus on Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas, white artists, is frustrating. George Dzundza as Hal, a fellow teacher, friend, and cynic, plays a larger role than I imagined based on the usual synopsis for this movie.
Carney, the writer/director of Once, tries to stick with what he… MoreCarney, the writer/director of Once, tries to stick with what he knows, musicians in relationships that start with a lot of passion but gradually become more rocky. The cast was pretty solid playing characters with many faults. And the film can't quite settle into a comedy or drama track with the somewhat non-linear structure. The best musical number was in the beginning when Keira Knightley as Gretta sings the acoustic song she wrote at an open mic night. It is just her and a guitar and nothing gets in the way of the feelings she is trying to convey. Adam Levine, as her old boyfriend Dave, is a rock star who is so full of himself, yet we don't see or hear him perform anything truly amazing. I appreciated that Mark Ruffalo's character Dan, a washed-up music producer, finds a way to produce a low-budget guerrilla-style album for Gretta. I like that concept! However, all but the one song in the film is too heavily orchestrated, filtered, and produced.
This Irish Indie sleeper hit with Oscar winning song "Falling Slowly"… MoreThis Irish Indie sleeper hit with Oscar winning song "Falling Slowly" contains much truth about making art and finding love. The two leads are professional musicians, not actors, but they are naturals in the roles of Guy and Girl. The story is not of a neatly polished Hollywood fairytale type, yet is still so romantic even if the ending is not quite happily-ever-after.