Richard Gere delivers such a charming, layered performance that he overcomes a contrived plot that piles too many financial and personal crises on the central character. But Gere is magnetic, and the film's themes resonate at a time of economic difficulty, most notably in the idea that all major world events revolve around money.
Gere plays 60-year-old financial mogul Robert, who lives the high life with a private jet, glamorous philanthropist wife Ellen (Sarandon) and sexy French art-dealer mistress Julie (Casta). He seduces the press with his intelligent wit, and has managed to conceal the fact that he's in severe money trouble. Everything hinges on selling his company, but the buyers are dragging their feet. Then he is involved in a fatal car crash that could undo everything. He turns to an estranged friend (Parker) for help, but a tenacious police detective (Roth) is beginning to piece it all together.
Having Gere in the central role makes all the difference here, because he is able to add the subtext and moral ambiguity that's lacking in the script and direction. Otherwise, it's shot like a too-obvious TV movie with close-up camerawork, a bland Cliff Martinez score and constant moralising about family values. By contrast, Gere is a shady character who is up to all kinds of unethical things and yet holds our sympathies because we can see that he's not all bad. Even so, the script puts him through the wringer, with a never-ending stream of personal and professional problems.
Continue reading: Arbitrage Review
Robert Miller is billionaire hedge fund businessman who at first glance seems to have the perfect life; successful, plenty of money, a supportive wife and a daughter/ business partner willing to take on the company when he retires. However, something much darker is going on underneath as he is struggling to cover up many years of fraudulent activities while trying to sell away his business to a bank. Not only this, but he has also embarked on an illicit affair with the young and beautiful Julie Cote who he attempts to whisk away with him for a while. As fate would have it, Robert finds himself drifting off to sleep in the car as they drive out of town and subsequently fails to prevent a crash that instantly kills Julie. As he attempts to cover his tracks by setting fire to the vehicle, his whole life is on the line with suspicious police officers, a mistrustful wife and a daughter with an unfortunate eye for detail threatening to collapse the empire he has worked so hard for.
This gripping thriller drama premiered in the US in September 2012 and serves as the full-length feature directorial debut of Nicholas Jarecki ('The Informers' screenwriter) who was also responsible for writing the fantastic screenplay.
Starring: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta, Nate Parker, Stuart Margolin, Chris Eigeman, Graydon Carter, Bruce Altman, Larry Pine, Curtiss Cook, Reg E. Cathey, Felix Solis, Monica Raymund, Gabrielle Lazure, Shawn Elliott, Maria Bartiromo, David Faber, Josh Pais, Alyssa Sutherland, Paula Devicq, Zack Robidas & Betsy Aidem.
Continue: Arbitrage Trailer
Chris Eigeman makes an impressive debut as writer/director of Turn the River, ably abetted by an intense, edgy star turn from Famke Janssen as a pool hustler who wants to grab her abused son away from his weak, alcoholic father and get the hell out of town fast.
Continue reading: Turn The River Review
The film revolves around a highschool teacher (a rather haggard-looking Chris Eigeman) who's so deep into therapy that Dr. Ernesto Morales (Ian Holm) basically runs his life. A chance encounter with one of the school's bankrollers (Famke Janssen) turns his thoughts to love. When she is revealed to be a widow and single mother, though, things get a little tricky.
Continue reading: The Treatment Review
On a cold, beautiful, New York winter night, Tom Townsend (Edward Clements) walks down a Manhattan street in a raincoat. By accident, he bumps into a pack of NY upper-crust college student by trying to get the same cab they were going for (where would film be without this coincidental bump-in?). The group seems to be led by the charming and overly cynical Nick Smith (Christopher Eigeman), but in fact the group is an entity, in and of itself. By assuming he's for another Manhattan socialite, the group accepts Tom as one of their own, connected only by a girl he dated through letters, Serena Slocum (Elizabeth Thomas). Nick pontificates on their privileged lives and the evil Rick Von Sloneker (Will Kempe) while Tom ignores the obvious crush of Audrey (Carolyn Farina), who seems to be the group's only level-headed girl. Adding to this, Audrey is coyly pursued by Charlie (Taylor Nichols), the group's obvious book-smart member who hates that Tom is as smart as him yet seems not to boast about it so much. We follow the film through winter break as the group attends several different social events, which include a verbal stand-off between Rick and Nick and Tom's slow drift from Serena to Audrey.
Continue reading: Metropolitan Review
Eigeman is Gus, who starts out the film having the worst possible day. On his way to an important meeting, battered portfolio in hand, his wallet is swiped by a swindler escaping from subway havoc. The interview goes poorly with gallery owner Arthur Pomposello (an unrecognizable Farley Granger, of beloved Hitchcock fame) because Gus just doesn't "catch you." His shading shows talent and his composition is pleasant to look at, but he doesn't display the normal despondence and stereotypical artistic pain seen in his peers.
Continue reading: The Next Big Thing Review
I wouldn't look to Kicking and Screaming for the answer. Rather, the movie is a hilarious example of what not to do when you graduate. The guys, Chet (Eric Stoltz), Grover (Josh Hamilton), Max (Chris Eigeman), Skippy (Jason Wiles), and the show-stealing Otis (Carlos Jacott), can't seem to give up the college life. They hang out at college bars, woo freshmen, and sneak back into classes. Otis can't even seem to get out of his pajamas.
Continue reading: Kicking And Screaming (1995) Review
Of course, when I get worked up over a movie, I'm always disappointed. Sadly, Disco was no exception.
Continue reading: The Last Days Of Disco Review
Barcelona tracks two cousins, one a straight-laced salesman, the other an easygoing naval officer, along with their various love interests and unintended involvement with political intrigue. On one hand, this film is a success. The dichotomy of American and Spanish culture is fun to watch, as they are extremely different on every level--political, musical, sexual.
Continue reading: Barcelona Review
After exuding clever charm and dodging most of the cheap Cinderella contrivances that linger around every corner of its plot, the ostensibly crisp romantic comedy "Maid in Manhattan" turns so unforgivably trite in its last 10 minutes that any moviegoer without a fortified sweet tooth will likely be sent into sugar shock.
Provided with more depth than most genre heroines, star Jennifer Lopez shines brightly as Marisa Ventura, a single mom from the Bronx who works as a maid at one of New York's most posh hotels. Mistaken for a ritzy guest while trying on a $5,000 Dolce & Gabbana suit in someone's luggage, she catches the eye of Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), the flirtatious and good-looking heir to a political dynasty, and quickly becomes the object of his affection -- and of much speculation in the New York tabloids during Marshall's run for congress.
Trapped into maintaining the illusion for the time being, Marisa ends up risking her shot for a management position as real life starts catching up with her. But in the hands of discriminating director Wayne Wang (who brings emotional authenticity to both independent films like "Center of the World," and studio pictures like "Anywhere But Here"), this fairy tale is refreshingly substantial fare with quality, character-building and considerably less predictability than recent dumbed-down hits like "Sweet Home Alabama." Or so it seems for a while.
Continue reading: Maid In Manhattan Review
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