Author Archives: ochippie

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Movie Review – Disobedience

Category : Movie Review

Director: Sebastian Lelio

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Alessandro Nivola

Year: 2017

An early favorite to provide a Best Actress and/or a Best Supporting Actress nomination for next year’s Oscars, Disobedience is the kind of drama that the Academy loves, and for good reason.  I know that audiences can become exhausted from too many sad, heavy, dark, emotionally draining tragedies/romances/melodramas, but they’re often the easiest vehicles to convey the amount of emotion necessary to really pull our hearts into a story.  This film could be up for Best Picture or could send both leading women to the stage to pick up awards; I don’t think that the weight of the main theme should be held against it.  And I even say that not having loved the movie, I simply think it’s deserving of praise and recognition, even if we have become slightly tired of the top features of the year coming to us from such a deep place.  Disobedience is somewhat draining, imperfect in its delivery, but inarguably important and captivating, something we’ll still be hearing about this winter.

A Jewish community in London is rocked when their beloved Rabbi Krushka dies while delivering a sermon, advanced age and pneumonia taking him to be with HaShem before his congregation was ready to let him go.  Taking over will be young  Dovid Kuperman, who has been the Rav’s disciple for years.  When he was a child, Dovid’s best friends were Krushka’s daughter Ronit and a girl named Esti, who is now his wife.  Ronit was shunned my the community and went to live in New York many years ago, after she and Esti had a sexual relationship, something that Dovid was purposed with keeping away from Esti, allowing her to live a honorable and devoted life as a Jewish woman.  Ronit returns to England for the funeral, where she and Esti can’t help but feel the rekindling of their love for each other, despite what being together would mean and what it would destroy.

A film can be good but flawed, which I think describes Disobedience well.  I understand that calling a movie “flawed” may seem like a cop out, since every one is, it doesn’t take much effort to say that something isn’t the best you’ve ever seen.  But this film has specific flaws that keep it from greatness, despite the strengths that still make it worth your time.  The pace is slow, which isn’t always a bad thing, but it is when the filmmaker could have saved our time by utilizing some simple editing, by trimming off the fat that we didn’t need at all, by consolidating scenes so that they each viewed better and the entire project flowed more quickly.  Boredom is a risk when dealing with a topic that’s as dramatic as this one; someone needed to take this movie in a firm hand to hold it back from becoming slow when its content started dragging along the path.  Also, while McAdams has come miles from where she started, she still isn’t an upper echelon actress, while Weisz is, so the discord there distracted me throughout, one woman commanding every scene while the other seemed constantly to only be playing a well-written part.

Weisz is probably the best aspect of Disobedience, her performance containing a ton of anger and bitterness and somehow hope, a complicated persona that was fun to watch.  She and McAdams, the Rachels, worked well together, I thought they had good chemistry, although when their chemistry exhibited itself was a little confusing; I often disagreed with the director on when the moment was right to stun audiences with sex, when to have the women connect emotionally, even when to move to the next stage of the plot.  The story itself is solid; we need to see more insight into religion like this so that more of us can learn its darker secrets, its medieval practices, its inherent ridiculousness.  That won’t be what everyone takes away from the film, but that’s what hit me, how a culture that still clings to an ancient text that has no relevance to their lives can continue, for tradition’s sake, the daily, close-minded idiocy that causes much more harm than it does good.  So the story is necessary, the acting is mostly strong, but the film views longer than it actually is, and a few tweaks would have gone a long way, would have made this contender into a real threat.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Salesman

Category : Movie Review

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti

Year: 2016

This Iranian film won the Academy Award in 2017 for Best Foreign Feature, and it was well-deserved.  I would have gone with A Man Called Ove if I had a vote, but it was a strong year for the category, although it’s a bit ridiculous that only five movies from the entire non-English-speaking world get to compete for the award.  The Oscars are a bit more pointless than I would have believed when I was younger, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy them, or that the films that win shouldn’t be given their due respect.  This movie won because it is powerful and well-made, a slow-burning drama that will kick you in the teeth at the end.

Emad and Rana are a married couple living in Tehran; he’s a teacher and she stays at home.  They also both participate in a theatre which is currently putting on The Death of a Salesman, under a bit of censure from the government, but that’s to be expected.  When nearby construction damages their apartment building, the couple is forced to temporarily relocate, searching the city for a likely apartment.  A man from their troupe gets them into a vacant space, but the previous tenant was a woman of ill repute, something he doesn’t share with his prospective renters.  One evening, a man comes to call, not knowing that the woman he expects to find has moved.  He strikes Rana over the head and flees, setting off a series of events that will destroy her & Emad’s happiness, and will propel him toward revenge.

The Salesman really is the definition of a slow burn, the only real action coming off screen when Rana is attacked.  The story takes its time to develop, the situation slowly boils, and, like the frog in the parable, we don’t jump out because we don’t at first notice what’s happening.  Once we do, we’re in deep, and the plot has hooked us.  By the end, which is incredible, we’ve become invested in the characters, and their life is so realistic that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.  Farhadi is a very respected director, and this film show’s why; he was almost a conductor of an orchestra, slowly building to a climax, more than a filmmaker using standard tricks.  I don’t exactly understand the parallels between what was happening and the show the characters were putting on; I’ve read the screenplay, but I don’t remember enough about it to make the metaphoric connections.  If you do, maybe you’ll pick up on even more, but the story is intense enough without anything extra.  The actors were great, the tension mounts bit by bit, by the end I was enmeshed, and the payoff is worth the work it takes to watch two hours of subtitled angst.  Take a chance on this one if this isn’t your genre but you’re curious; it’s a well-made film all around.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Brothers Grimm

Category : Movie Review

Director: Terry Gilliam

Starring: Heath Ledger, Matt Damon, Lena Headey

Year: 2005

I’ll always adore Terry Gilliam’s work; there is exactly no one who makes movies the wacky way he does.  You can spot his style a mile away, and that’s a good thing, especially in a world of standard films and cutout recipes; Gilliam has a genre all his own.  His older stuff is his best: Holy Grail, Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King, Twelve Monkeys.  But I find his newer stuff a little weird: Fear and Loathing, The Brothers Grimm, The Zero Theorem.  I know, I know, weird is what he does, what he is, and I can love it, but sometimes I can also think it goes too far.  There’s no forgetting his Monty Python work, it looks like Don Quixote might finally, actually become a movie, so the man’s a legend, there’s no arguing that.  But here with Grimm you’ll see some of his lesser work, and you’ll wonder why this movie was ever made.

The Brothers Grimm, who we know as great storytellers, had more modest beginnings and also more sketchy claims to fame.  In this version of their fictional history, the brothers are con men, duping villagers out of their coins by providing ghosts & witches and then defeating them.  They are known throughout Germany for their exploits, but every single one is a farce, a concoction to make themselves rich.  To be fair, elder Will is the evil genius behind the operation, younger Jake simply goes with the flow.  But their luck is about to change for the worse when they are called upon to get rid of an actual poltergeist in a black forest, a wicked force that’s been stealing children for an unholy purpose.

Other than being one of Heath Ledger’s final roles, there is absolutely nothing special about The Brothers Grimm.  Well, I should say that it stills smacks of Gilliam, his style is dumped over every scene, so that’s special in a way, but he needn’t even have made this film, he could have put his talents to better use on a different project.  The old fairy tales pop up all over the place, they’re all retold, it’s clever, but it really isn’t that interesting, and I’m not sure who thought that audiences would flock to see this story.  The stars are there, that’s for sure, but not even the biggest names do very much to produce more than a yawn: Ledger, Damon, Heady, Monica Bellucci, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Stormare.  The accents are silly, the monsters are silly, the plot is silly, the costumes are silly; it’s like Gilliam ran out of original ideas but decided to go ahead with the movie anyway.  It’s not so awful, it’s just not worth much, and you’d be better served watching something else.

My rating: ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Category : Movie Review

Director: Judd Apatow

Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener

Year: 2005

I think it’s fair to call The 40-Year-Old Virgin a comedic pillar; it’s obviously not everyone’s favorite movie, but it helped launch Steve Carell’s career and it put Judd Apatow on the map.  Also, it’s simply memorable, a comedy that represents an era, like American Pie or Meet the Parents.  Again, not everyone’s cup of tea, and the content alone will push some audiences away, but raunchy coming-of-age tales are here to stay, whether their characters find themselves in their teens, 20s, 30s, or, in this case, their 40s.  This movie really is a prototype of the genre, just from a different perspective, and with a lead actor who is obviously talented enough to put the entire thing on his shoulders when it’s called for.

Andy lives alone, collects action figures, plays video games, works at an electronics store, never learned how to drive, has no friends, and kinda seems like a serial killer.  Oh, and he’s also a virgin who has never visited any base and has recently turned 40.  Sex has always been on his mind, obviously, but over the years it’s become a bigger and bigger issue, something that he doesn’t want to define him but which he can’t escape.  When the guys at the store find out he’s a virgin, they offer to help, but their “help” is just confusing and stupid and downright wrong.  But then Andy meets Trish, a woman who owns a store across the street, and they fall for each other hard.  The only problem is, can he tell her about his status, will it frighten her away, and will he be up for the task once it’s finally the right time?

Obviously sex is a major player in this film, almost like American Pie, but for adults.  The club scene, speed dating, prostitutes, drunk chicks, porn; it’s all there, so don’t be shocked, and don’t watch this with your mom.  Also, I’ve seen the unrated version; don’t watch that either.  It’s just badly edited and makes for a much less enjoyable film experience, because beyond the stupid sex comedy element, the movie itself is pretty good and deserves regular cinematic attention.  I’m not saying it changed my life, but it’s funny and well-made, so hats off to all involved.  Carell is a natural, he makes it all work, and his character is just so pathetically lovable, he can’t help but root for him.  And the supporting cast is strong: Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Jonah Hill.  The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a must-see comedy for its impact and for what it does right, but the ceiling was built fairly low, so don’t expect to love it or to run out and buy the DVD.  It’s still silly and juvenile and perverted, it’s just also amusing because of those things, so enjoy the movie for what it is.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Atonement

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joe Wright

Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan

Year: 2007

I watched the film when it was released, read the book because I wanted more, reread the book years later, and then rewatched the film.  The story is great each time and I wouldn’t hesitate to return to it again and again over the coming years.  The novel is a great read, I highly recommend it, and the movie does it justice in every way.  I think, because the book relied so heavily on words, the movie was able to turn that into mood and not have to cram a ton of action into 120 minutes.  Joe Wright took the plot, gave us each feeling individually, and did the original content justice.  He’s now a semi-household name in the biz, and so are many members of his cast, but who knows what would have happened had they got it all wrong here.  Spoiler; they didn’t, each one held their own, and the team adapted a wonderful book into a spectacular film, one that I thoroughly enjoy.

The story is presented in three acts, with a postscript to tie up the details.  All are excellent, but it’s the first part that sets the stage and the tone, that really feeds us the meat.  The Tallis family live on a beautiful estate in England without a care in the world.  Or at least, they did, before Hitler and his talk of war, but even that is somewhere in the near future, not in the present, which is a hot summer in the country.  Father is at work in the city, Mother is resting with one of her migraines, Leon, the eldest brother, is on his way home, Cecilia, the sister, is back from school, and Briony, the baby, is writing a play for the occasion.  Three cousins are come to stay pending their parents’ divorce, so the house is quite crowded and chaotic.  Briony happens upon three moments between Cecelia and Robbie, a young man whose mother is a servant, that will change the course of all their lives: an exchange by the fountain, a passed note, and a meeting in the library.  Briony’s childish assumptions surrounding these events will lead her to accuse Robbie of a crime later in the evening, sending all of their futures into a downward spiral that there is absolutely no stopping.

Atonement was nominated for seven Oscars, winning Best Original Score, and they were all deserved.  It’s an epic romance set somehow on a grand scale and also on a very small one, with tiny moments that defined larger ones, each weaving in and out with a precision that takes real talent.  Wright is an excellent director, and the best decision he made was to trust the story, to keep to the book, to not fix what wasn’t broken.  And then there’s his cast: McAvoy with a solid performance, Knightley who’s so emotional, Ronan in an early role.  You’ll also notice Juno Temple and Benedict Cumberbatch as small but important characters, so there were stars scattered all over this film.  The music is incredible, composer Dario Marianelli doing an incredible job with the score, really setting the tone for the action and for the deep sadness behind the true history of the moment.  This film is a period piece, a romance, a war tale, and a fictional apology letter, something so complicated that it takes your breath away, while also being so magical that you can’t help but fall in love.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Book Review – Atonement

Category : Book Review

Author: Ian McEwan

Year: 2001

I committed the cardinal sin when it comes to Atonement; I saw the movie before reading the book.  But, in my defense, it was an Oscar-nominated movie, and I did go back and read the book after the fact.  This is actually my second time reading the novel; it was that good the first time around.  It’s one of those rare stories that was captured brilliantly by the film, most likely because it’s not too laden with action, relies heavily on the words, and so filmmakers don’t have to stuff it all into 90 minutes in the editing room.  It somehow works as wordy introspection in book-form and as quick simplicity in movie-form; maybe that just shows how great McEwan did with the writing, it doesn’t matter how you absorb this plot, it’s simply excellent it whatever form.

The story is presented in three acts, with a postscript to tie up the details.  All are excellent, but it’s the first part that sets the stage and the tone, that really feeds us the meat.  The Tallis family live on a beautiful estate in England without a care in the world.  Or at least, they did, before Hitler and his talk of war, but even that is somewhere in the near future, not in the present, which is a hot summer in the country.  Father is at work in the city, Mother is resting with one of her migraines, Leon, the eldest brother, is on his way home, Cecilia, the sister, is back from school, and Briony, the baby, is writing a play for the occasion.  Three cousins are come to stay pending their parents’ divorce, so the house is quite crowded and chaotic.  Briony happens upon three moments between Cecelia and Robbie, a young man whose mother is a servant, that will change the course of all their lives: an exchange by the fountain, a passed note, and a meeting in the library.  Briony’s childish assumptions surrounding these events will lead her to accuse Robbie of a crime later in the evening, sending all of their futures into a downward spiral that there is absolutely no stopping.

So part one is the introduction, but it’s about half the book, and contains most of the action.  Part two is focused on Robbie, part three is Briony grown a bit, and the postscript settles all accounts.  It’s a phenomenally written book, if a bit long-winded and British, if that makes sense, a sweeping melodrama about love and guilt and regret that isn’t exactly easy to read.  But it is beautiful to experience, there is so much more worth that work written here, so much to enjoy despite the melancholy.  Briony is a great character, Robbie allows us to see Dunkirk from an interesting angle, the end will make you weep bitterly when the author reveals the final truths of what happened that night in the country, and what has been ruined by it since.  Read with confidence, especially if you like this period, because you will feel transported there, even though the novel was written in modern times.  And check out the film as well, which is a strong representation of a stellar book.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Category : Movie Review

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Starring: Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent

Year: 2017

Studio Ponoc is an off-shoot of Studio Ghibli, with many former animators and directors coming to work for this new start-up after leaving Ghibli when famed director Hayao Miyazaki retired.  Ghibli halted development, Ponoc was born, and now even with Miyazaki returning for a new film to be released in 2020, Ponoc marches forward with their own designs.  Let’s be honest; they look exactly like what we’ve seen before, the Japanese animation that we’ve grown to love, and I doubt many of us care what the company is called, as long as we still get all the wonderful movies that have come across the sea over the past years.  I love this style, I’ve talked about it ad nauseam, and the magic continues here with Mary and the Witch’s Flower, fantasy done brilliantly.

Mary is a clumsy little British girl who is spending the summer holiday with her great-aunt in the country, having moved to the little village before her parents, who are off working and will follow in due time.  For the present, Mary is bored and feels useless, with nothing to do but explore the surrounding woods and talk to the friendly, neighborhood cats.  One day, she follows a tom named Tib into the forest, where she discovers a lovely, shining, blue flowering plant that accidentally gives her strange powers.  She also finds an old broom, which is also endowed with something magical, and riding it, Mary discovers a strange land she’s never heard of before, where animals talk and students come to learn how to be witches and wizards.  But all is not as it seems, and this special girl will have to keep her wits about her if she ever wants to see home again.

Delightful, simply delightful, which is just how Ghibli films are, and is apparently how Ponoc films will be as well.  First, backstory; this movie is based on a children’s book called The Little Broomstick, written by Mary Stewart in 1971.  I’ve never read the story, but if the movie is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain Rowling didn’t get a lot of her ideas from a certain fellow female Brit.  It’s well-documented that Rowling borrowed heavily to write Harry Potter, but that’s no knock on her; Tolkien took a lot that already existed to create his world too.  I’m not sure that what you steal is important, only that you give credit where credit is due and you weave something wonderfully new with the existing parts, which the best authors are able to do with seeming ease.

Anyway, on to Mary and the Witch’s Flower.  The English-dubbed cast is great: Barnhill from BFG, Winslet & Broadbent from virtually everything else.  Their voices are perfectly sonorous, as are those of the side cast, and it’s a pleasure just to listen to them.  The music is also wonderful, which is also a hallmark of this animation, powerful scores every time.  I tend to like the more childish of this genre, the ones based on fairy tales and such, they just seem to resonate with a magical aspect so well, and I watch them with my kids, which I’m sure helps me love them.  But why wouldn’t I; Mary is a great character, the action is fun, the visuals are astounding, the simplicity of the story is something that American animators just don’t understand, and it’s almost more a painting that a film, in a way that’s refreshing and welcomed and lovely.  I can’t get enough of Ghibli, Ponoc, whoever might pop up next, and I hope they keep producing, because I’ll always be here to watch.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Brothers Bloom

Category : Movie Review

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Adrien Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo

Year: 2008

In hind sight, we should have seen a twist ending coming in The Last Jedi, given Rian Johnson’s penchant for mystery and for tricks.  Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper; those are his only movies, up to The Last Jedi, and they all involve clues, cons, complications, etc.  How that guy got the Star Wars gig I’ll never know; I thought that The Force Awakens was well done, that Abrams should have stayed on, and he is doing Episode IX, so who knows what’s happening.  Anyway, here’s one of Johnson’s earlier works before he became a household name, but the cast sure will ring a bell.  The Brothers Bloom is a lot of fun that could have been a whole lot better had the ending lived up to the beginning, had the movie held on to its unique mood for one more act, long enough to leave us completely happy.

Tossed around between foster homes their entire lives, brothers Stephen and Bloom developed a few unique personality traits, including Stephen’s love of crafting the perfect con and casting Bloom as each one’s antihero.  Bloom goes along with the charades, even though he hates doing it; he doesn’t belong anywhere else but with Stephen.  Now grown, and having developed into world-renowned con artists, Stephen feels on top of his game, while Bloom is tired of it all.  Still, he’s convinced to do one more job; tricking the millionaire Penelope Stamp out of her money.  She’s a lonely, sheltered, awkward woman living alone in a mansion, and this is her chance to experience something for a change, even if she is getting swindled.  For Bloom, it’s a chance to find real love, and maybe even a real purpose.

The first hour and a half of the movie is great; the end is a letdown.  That’s the way it is with too many stories/books/films, and I known audiences have to give them a break sometimes if we want to enjoy what we paid for, but it’s also the artists’ job to take us completely through their tale, not leave us hanging right when we’ve completely invested ourselves and just want the bow to be put on the package.  So be prepared for a less-than-stellar and not very well-directed ending, but other than that The Brothers Bloom is a barrel of fun.  Its comedy is very original, its content is filled with whimsical idiosyncrasies, and it hit me just right, though I can completely understand if it misses the mark with many audiences.  It’s a little bizarre, but hilarious if you connect to it, and I really enjoyed myself most of the way through.  Brody, Weisz, Ruffalo; you couldn’t ask for more, and the con storyline was enjoyable; again, until toward the end when the movie seemed like it should have ended but kept weaving around anyway.  Solid job by Rian, if not a perfect one, and a movie that deserves a little more than to fly where it does pretty far under the radar.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Eyes Wide Shut

Category : Movie Review

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Year: 1999

Even being able to rattle a few Kubrick films off the top of your head, it’s still impressive to see his filmography across a page or screen: Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut.  Except for some early work, those are his movies, and he died before the last one was released, having only just finished the final cut.  Cruise & Kidman would divorce not long after the movie had its time in the sun, so perhaps there’s a curse that could be associated with the project, if you believe in such things.  It’s definitely a film that holds an edge and forces audiences to uncomfortable places, so although it will probably never be considered one of Kubrick’s masterpieces, it’s still a haunted and haunting feature.

Dr. Bill Harford is wealthy, connected, has a lovely wife, a beautiful daughter, a great apartment in New York City, he’s an attractive man himself, and life couldn’t be much better.  But one night changes everything, when his eyes are opened to possibilities he never imagined.  His wife, Alice, reveals to him that she once almost left him and her child and her security behind for just one night with a handsome sailor.  She didn’t, but just knowing that she might have shatters Bill’s image of his perfect existence.  It also allows him to picture himself with other women, and over the course of a night he is tempted in many different ways: a friend, a young girl, a prostitute, an orgy.  His dabbling in a world he knows nothing about will end poorly, he knows this, but he also can’t stop himself; once the door to infidelity has been cracked, it’s hard not to peak through.

If you’ve seen a Kubrick film, you know how weird he can be.  Weird and genius of course, but weird all the same.  Eyes Wide Shut focuses on sex; how curious we can be, how sheltered we are without knowing it, what lies around us that we might not want to see.  But also how love can be stronger than our sex drives, which is a hopeful message, if one that the characters in this movie don’t always hear.  There’s a lot of nudity, it’s fairly explicit without being shocking, so be prepared if you haven’t already watched.  The style here is very specific, very deliberate, not just long but also long-seeming on purpose, dragging out the pace until audiences aren’t sure what to do.  We spend most of the time feeling awkward and unsure, slightly turned on and mostly confused, but I think that’s what Kubrick was going for, and there’s no doubting that he’s the master of the odd.  This is another strong showing by the legend, his last one, and a good chance to see Cruise & Kidman as a couple in their prime; watch and appreciate.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Preppie Connection

Category : Movie Review

Director: Joseph Castelo

Starring: Thomas Mann, Lucy Fry, Logan Huffman

Year: 2015

Sometimes a true story simply isn’t interesting, despite its honest reality or its past lime light.  That’s the case with The Preppie Connection, a film about true events in the 80s, but a plot so basic and blah that there’s no reason for us to care.  Just because it happened and it was on the news then doesn’t mean we want to see a movie version now, and I almost feel that Castelo forgot to check with anyone else to see if they were at all curious about these characters before he decided to make a feature film about them.  Castelo isn’t even much of a director, and this movie makes me doubt if he ever will be.

The year is 1984 and the place is a prep school in Connecticut.  All the rich kids go there, they all live the same, wealthy, meaningless lives, and they all have the world waiting at their feet when they graduate.  But that’s not the case with Toby, a scholarship kid who will never fit in because his dad is a delivery man, but who is desperate to make friends with all these young Republicans.  Almost accidentally, Toby finds himself the school’s connection for marijuana, and through a friend from Columbia, it’s new source for cocaine. When he falls for a rich girl named Alex, Toby discovers that he’s in way over his head and guaranteed to drown.

That was the biggest problem with The Preppie Connection; I just didn’t care.  Some prep kids in the 80s got cocaine and then got in trouble; big whoop.  Casino, Blow, Sicario; that’s crime, that’s drugs, that’s cartels, that’s interesting.  This story wasn’t, and I’m confused as to who thought it would be.  Next up on the list is the narration by Mann, which was terrible, it had no business being in the movie, or else he needed to have done it so much better.  The entire cast could have been better, should have been better, everyone letting themselves down whenever they had screen time.  The film was more a let down than anything else, a boring waste of time that had no goal and nothing real to give.

My rating: ☆ ☆