Ariel Gade

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Ariel Gade - Saturday 24th January 2009 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival Santa Barbara, California

Ariel Gade
Ariel Gade, Devon Iott, Aimee Teegarden and Kameron Knox
Ariel Gade
Ariel Gade
Ariel Gade

Dark Water (2005) Review


Very Good
As perhaps a concession to the modern age, the haunted-house story Dark Water is set not in some gloomy old mansion but in the claustrophobic confines of a dank apartment building, and it's all the better for it. But in many other ways the film is a fairly classic scary story, albeit one that heightens a mood of mournfulness over incessant spine-straightening scares. Fresh off the wide acclaim for his young Che Guevara travelogue The Motorcycle Diaries, director Walter Salles seems an odd choice for this, his first Hollywood project. But it's a similar transition to that taken by another South American, Alejandro Amenábar, who he came to Hollywood and made The Others, another solidly classical spooker gussied up with sharp talent and moody atmospherics.

And Dark Water (a remake of Hideo Nakata's 2002 film Honogurai mizu no soko kara) is nothing if not moody. It begins in the gloom of a divorce, with just-separated Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) and Kyle (Dougray Scott) fighting over who is going to live where - shared custody of their young girl Ceci (Ariel Gade) making commuting a big issue. Righteously furious Dahlia needs a cheap place near a good school and so ends up looking at a place on Roosevelt Island, the apartment-block-choked strip of land in the East River that makes most Manhattanites shudder and think, "There but for the grace of my broker, go I..." She and Ceci tour a grim apartment there with a chatty manager (a spot-on John C. Reilly) who tries to talk up the depressing view of rain-shrouded towers and smokestacks and the building's neo-Fascist architecture; only Reilly could say "Brutalist" with such perfectly smarmy cheer.

Continue reading: Dark Water (2005) Review

Envy (2004) Review


Terrible
The last half hour of Saturday Night Live is inevitably a wasteland. Talented comedians are given Z grade material that goes nowhere. Imagine if the entire show were that dismal. That, in a nutshell, is Envy.

It begins with two working stiffs, Tim (Ben Stiller) and Nick (Jack Black) plodding their lives away at a 3M facility. By-the-book Tim is creeping into middle management while dreamer Nick wallows on the factory floor concocting wacky ideas for useless products. All of that changes when one of Nick's hare-brained schemes, a spray that dissolves dog excrement called Vapoorize (No. Stop. I think I'm gonna bust a gut.), pans out and makes millions.

Continue reading: Envy (2004) Review

Dark Water Review


Zero
I've just walked out in the middle of "Dark Water"after a noxious hour of prosaically PG-13, hackneyed horror-flick cliches.

Torpid, trite and not the least bit scary -- just unrelen=tinglyunpleasant -- the first 45 minutes of the movie only came to life in twoscenes involving the messy divorce of miserable single mom Jennifer Connelly(proving Oscars don't bring talented actresses good roles). She subsequentlymoves into a drab, creepy cinderblock slum with her sad-eyed daughter (ArielGade), even though it's made very clear that there's nothing keeping herfrom finding a nicer place in the suburbs.

Soon the kid has an "imaginary friend" she won'ttalk about, their ceiling is dripping gooey black liquid from an abandoned(and eerily flooded) apartment upstairs, and the building's greasy manager(John C. Reilly) and bug-eyed, hollow-cheeked building superintendent (PetePostlethwaite) both seem to be hiding something sinister.

Director Walter Salles (the Brazilian behind "TheMotorcycle Diaries," making his inauspicious Hollywood debut) dragsout these routine, oppressively glum establishing scenes to a mind-numbingdegree. (If this apartment building is spooky enough to justify its ownominous soundtrack theme from the moment mom and daughter arrive, how comeConnelly isn't astute enough to realize something's amiss, even if shecan't hear the music?)

Continue reading: Dark Water Review

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Ariel Gade Movies

Dark Water (2005) Movie Review

Dark Water (2005) Movie Review

As perhaps a concession to the modern age, the haunted-house story Dark Water is set...

Envy (2004) Movie Review

Envy (2004) Movie Review

The last half hour of Saturday Night Live is inevitably a wasteland. Talented comedians are...

Dark Water Movie Review

Dark Water Movie Review

I've just walked out in the middle of "Dark Water"after a noxious hour of prosaically...

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