Three friends, who live and manage a real estate community of apartments, discover a machine from a recently deceased tenant that takes photos 24 hrs into the future and creates a Polaroid. The machine is pointed at the living room of the friends, from across the yard.
After discovering this, they get to figure out what its all about, the boundaries and then feel they can use this for their own personal gain. This includes placing large illicit bets with a local underground bookie. Of course this is going to end in tears, particularly when he gets suspicious and comes over to rough them up a bit.
The premise for the movie is fantastic. But it isn’t really explored terribly well. The movie was obviously shot on a very tight budget, with character development and narrative being the main vehicles. One of the biggest issues the film producers had was sourcing the necessary quantity of Polaroid, resorting to eBay to find them,
It drags on too long with a plot that once you twig you will see coming at you in a very predictable manner. This is one of those movies that has that straight-to-Netflix written all over it. Watch it once you have exhausted all other items in the Netflix library.
Bill Murray should have popped up on my radar a lot sooner. After watching it, there is a reason it didn’t pop up – it isn’t very good.
The story centers around Duvall’s character, a 1930′s Tennessee hermit who has lived by himself in near isolation for 40 years. Apparently the story has a pixie dust sprinkling of truth but one shouldn’t look too closely for it. As he’s getting to the end of his life, he realizes he hasn’t been the easiest to interact with. So comes up with this idea to throw his own funeral while he is still alive.
His criteria for those coming, is to simply come along and share your stories about him. Every interaction, however small, is game. As an incentive, he runs a lottery, $5 entrant, puts you in the running for the draw for his estate when he dies.
Naturally he needs someone to help with this, and the local undertaker, Murray helps him with this endeavor. Business is a little slow for him and his new understudy so he’s only too keen to help on this.
The story never really gets going. It isn’t truly dramatic, nor is it comedic, it walks some where in-between. You are left wondering if you should feel sorry for them or not, or if you should invest in the supporting characters.
The movie is not completely without its merits, but it isn’t something you would go running towards, but if you find it on, then take a seat and continue watching it.
#94 in the series
Viewing Date Friday, 20th November 2015 (Richmond)
Malcolm McDowell in a single movie but I bet you haven’t heard of it. After seeing this, I am sure each of them are quite glad this has slipped you by. With such a beautiful cast, this romantic comedy had so much potential.
We have Mr Brosnan, playing Richard the Cambridge literary professor who teaches the classic romantics, following in his fathers footsteps Mr McDowell. Both would be considered womanizers – don’t think twice about hopping in the sack with their students.
Enter Ms. Alba, playing Kate, the American-in-Britain-studying student who beds Richard and they finally make a long term relationship (6 months!) resulting in Kate getting pregnant. Oops.
Arranging to meet Kate’s father in a London hotel, he bumps into Ms Hayek, Olivia, who he flirts with at the bar, but turns out to be Kate’s half sister. Oops number 2.
So they move to America and the setup of course, that eventually Kate falls out of love with the older man and instead sets up shop with a co-worker that eventually move in together, leaving Richard to live in the guest house so they can bring up their son together.
Olivia enters the fray again, this time kindling stirrings in each other that results in them dancing around one another until the dead is done and they are in love. Except now he gets deported, for messing up his green card application.
There are some moments of humor, the odd line, the odd setup, but they are so few and far between it isn’t worth waiting for. There is a rather comical scene that shows off the excellent (20 year old) body of Hayek, who was 49 at the time of making this movie. Which brings me onto the casting of this story – it is all over the place.
We have Brosnan, who is 62. Alba who is 34, Hayek at 49, and McDowell who is 72. It just doesn’t make sense, not even numerically but on screen it looks out of whack. McDowell is putting on an awful Yorkshire accent to make him look more crusty than he is, and doesn’t fit the Cambridge professor archetype at all (excusing the fact playing a dad to a son only 10 years his junior!).
The trailer, if I am honest, didn’t scream ‘oh what have i missed’, so I was already underwhelmed before going into this one. But forever the optimist I had high hopes they were holding back saving the best bits for the actual movie. Nope.
So the setup is around a private fitness center run by the aforementioned Mr Pearce. He, Trevor, is very passionate about his mission statement that getting fit is more than just the physical body. He has big dreams for his method. His most trusted employee, is Kat (Cobie Smulders yes her our of the Avengers movie) who is happy to take home calls, smoke weed, and not live the life style as pure as what Trevor may want.
Of course we need a protagonist, which comes in the shape of a newly inherited millionaire, Danny (Kevin Corrigan) who wishes to be able to take a punch. Danny has Kat come around to his large brand new empty home to train him, but as the time goes by, he is drawn to her and starts to woe her.
Kat has other desires and wants to get it on with Trevor, who at first isn’t interested, blah blah blah, I have already lost interest. It truly is that bad. Danny for a start, just walks around like stoned out zombie. At first it is funny, but it wears thin very quickly.
There are some funny moments, and for the two of them, you can watch the trailer. Given what Pearce has done in his past, this is something that was obviously just a paycheck. As for why Smulders signed up for this, maybe she seen this as her big break from the Marvel franchise. Big mistake, the Avengers are calling you back.
Not worth the time or effort, and while it plods along, if someone told you it was a serious drama, you could believe it more than it was a romantic comedy. It is a romantic comedy with out the comedy and none of the romance.
Oh Disney, where did this go so wrong? You have such talent available at your finger tips, such vision, huge resources, and this is the best you can do? A disjointed, mess of a movie, with a story line that only “clicks” about 10 minutes from the end, and I say click barely.
I actually don’t know how to describe the storyline, because I am still unsure myself what it was all about. I believe there is some morality or warning about what will happen if we don’t get our act together and do something about climate change. But I could be mistaken.
George Clooney takes on the role of Frank Walker, a young inventor who tries to impress at the 1964 World Fair with his jetpack that doesn’t quite work. Disheartened and rejected, Athena (Raffey Cassidy) see’s hope in him and shows him a world of such futuristic technology he is amazed.
Here is where we start to get off the rails quickly. We have robots as humans, and robots as well, robots. We have time travel thrown in, jetting back and forth between the present and the future.
The movie is a complete disaster.
Britt Robertson (from Under the Dome) is the modern day hopeful that seeks out the older Frank Walker to help her understand what is going on. We are truly behind Britt in this quest, because the audience is equally as clueless as to what is going on.
Tim McGraw pops up (yes the country singer) as her NASA engineer father who is her complete inspiration, and in his defense, he like us, has no real clue what is going on. You may think he is acting, but I think this is truly genuine.
Every story needs a bad guy, and Nix (played by
Hugh Laurie) is our token bad guy, except he isn’t, or is he? Is just misunderstood? I don’t know. I don’t care!
And there in lies the problem with this one, you really don’t care what is going with this story. There is no character loyalty built up.
Now with all that said, the movie looks spectacular. The sets are beautiful and quality and attention to detail is as you would expect from this level of Disney investment ($190M). For those fans and familiar with DisneyLand and DisneyWorld will enjoy the references, complete with tunes from some of the famous rides. I may never sit in the Its a Small World ride in the same way ever again.
This could have been such a great movie and re-watching the trailer I see where I was sold a bill of goods.
I was reminded of this movie while on holiday when I read the excellent book on the story of Dreamworks. This movie was not without its a problems, with an ever expanding budget that kept the pressure on the young studio to return its investment of finally $126M. So what does that coin get you?
Well, riding off the success of Bad Boys, Armageddon and The Rock (let us just not talk about Pearl Harbor yet) there was high hope for Michael Bay to deliver the goods on this action thriller.
The premise of the story is absolutely fascinating. Take The Truman Show and mix it with a dash of Moon and you have The Island. We are all painfully aware that the human body is a flawed device, breaks down frequently and doesn’t age terribly well.
So what if you could keep a spare YOU tucked away, that you could dip into for essential spare parts? This clone of yours would be harvested for when you most need it. Naturally this is going to be a very costly affair, so only the super wealthy will be able to afford such a backup.
Ewan McGregor plays both clone and wealthy owner, but for the first half of the movie all we see is from this clone’s point of view. We’re in a very space age setup, with little explanation of what is going on. Slowly the story is teased out that the outside world is in disarray with no vegetation and the only place that is green and healthy is the Island. There is a lottery every week for the lucky chosen to be taken out and sent to the Island to live out their lives in luxury and true freedom. This is what motivates and keeps the spirits up.
Though our friend Ewan isn’t quite sure about it all. He starts to question certain routines and various oddities that just don’t seem to add up. This is when the story starts to unfold and the ‘action’ part of the movie starts to kick in.
Scarlett Johansson is a fellow clone who completely buys in to the whole story line and of course is the love interest of Ewan who eventually persuades her to open her eyes and look around.
Sean Bean plays the head of the facility wonderfully well, with you buying into his character for the first half without any major alerts. The overall reveal is held back for a significant amount of time, with the odd clue here and there. That said, if you watch the movie again, you will pick up on a whole lot clues that are placed right from the start of the story.
Then once they break out, we go into full Michael Bay mode, with wide sweeping Coca-Cola’esq shots. The problem for me at this point the action is completely unwarranted. Very contrived and doesn’t add anything to the story line except to have an excuse to chase expensive (Bugatti Veyron) cars.
The whole foundation for this story is so rich in material they didn’t need to go into action-mode but instead keep it in the physiological thriller space. It started out very well, but went down hill quickly.
There is one scene where you get a sense that Bay was so pleased with himself with his Bad Boy stunts that he had to incorporate some of those in this outing. Literally there are some chase scenes, that are lit exactly the same, and you wonder if you are still in Miami.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good mindless action thriller and loved his
Armageddon outing with a tearful Bruce Willis. But The Island doesn’t warrant the Bay touch.
One is left wondering what this story would have been like without the action and given to another director to take over the line, say Ron Howard.
Definitely worth a watch to say you’ve seen it. Just don’t spend money on it.