Redressing the balance



FilmHappy Easter. Between my Dalek and Tardis easter eggs and Roses chocolates, I found a welcome copy of Wes Craven's Red Eye which I raved about upon its cinema release and I'm happy to say still doesn't disappoint on the smaller screen. On this occasion I was able to see how meticulously the routine of taking the flight is explained in those opening twenty minutes, the details of moving from booking to bar to departure gate to seat explained in greater detail than might be expected and lulling the audience into a false sense of security.

It's also not clear in this opening section which genre the film is going to fall into -- there's a pervading sense of the sinister and that there's a wrongness to Cillian Murphy's character but there's a charm to him which means that it could equally turn out to be a bus film like Frank Capra's It Happened One Night set on a plane. When the 'surprise' happens it's portrayed in a slightly offhand manner -- as through the audience too is under the influence of Rachel McAdam's alcoholically fogged brain and only just about understanding that Murphy's character isn't joking.

But I think most impressive is how the film manages to run its plot through in eighty minutes without too much flabby chat or characterisation. Only the important information is revealed to the audience, who isn't quite clear why the greater events are happening because any exposition in that regard is unnecessary. There's a threat, some good people could be hurt by some bad people and McAdams is the heroine who stands in their way -- its actually about her own personal battle against herself and her ability to lift herself out of the doldrums that have afflicted her for two years.

Also on the dvd is a trailer for Just Like Heaven, the romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon as a ghost. Whilst there wasn't much in there that would make me want to see the thing, there was one oddity. At the end the man with the gravelly voice read out the actor's names: "Reese Witherspoon ... Mark Ruffalo ... and Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder." This struck has a tad harsh -- is Jon Heder going to spend the rest of his career with the name of his breakout movie read out before his name, typecast as the man who asks about talons and poultry, because I'm wondering, under those conditions, who the hell's Mark Ruffalo ?!? I appreciate they're marketing a film and it's good that Heder's being highlighted but really.

Ruffalo's a perfectly engaging actor but since when was he a household name who didn't need an audience reminder? Which film would he have read out before his name? Is he You Can Count on Me's Mark Ruffalo or In the Cut's Mark Ruffalo? I'm only singling out Ruffalo because the billing suggested he was a more recognisable participant than Heder, when I would guess 8 out of 10 viewers it would be much the other way around. Just to level the playing field, here is the rest of the cast (according to the imdb) of Just Like Heaven rendered in much the same way ...

Overnight Delivery's Reese Witherspoon
e.r.'s Donal Logue
Big Night's Dina Spybey
Pi's Ben Shenkman
Jerry Maguire's Ivana Milicevic
Crimes and Misdemeanors's Caroline Aaron
Star Trek:Deep Space Nine's Rosalind Chao
Adventures in Babysitting's Ron Canada
Groundhog Day's Willie Garson
Freaky Friday's William Caploe
Hellcab's Shulie Cowen
Bachelor Party's Billy Beck
Soul Plane's Cristian Cruz
The First to Go's Catherine Taber
Coffee and Language's Chris Pflueger
Walk The Line's Kerris Dorsey
Fat Albert's Alyssa Shafer
Picture Perfect's Paul Cassell
The Right Stuff's Drew Letchworth
My Giant's Raymond O'Connor
The Joy Luck Club's Lucille Soong
Forever Young's Joel McKinnon Miller
Men in Black II's Victor Yerrid
Happy Is Not Hard to Be's Robert Benjamin
Forces of Nature's Kara Hamilton
Safe's Lorna Scott
Endless Love's Jeff Marcus
Snow Falling on Cedars's Ken Takemoto
Waterworld's Chaim Girafi
Enemy of the State's Jacob Chambers
Thank You for Smoking's Karen Harrison
London's Ingrid Coree
Freaky Friday's Lee Burns
Serendipity's Amita Balla
Alias's Tim Connolly
Rollerball's Tony Brubaker
Ready to Rumble's Tim Sitarz
Freejack's Jimmy Ortega
Rent's Ken Clark
Bee Season's Aida Bernardino
Rent's Michael F Grant
Bee Season's David Hodges
The Darwin Award's Steve Irish
That Game of Chess's Rick Margaritov
The Assassination of Richard Nixon's Janean Christine Mariani
Yang guang di yu zhi ren rou shi chang's Danton Mew
Freaky Friday's Zoe Waters
Bee Season's Kristina Wegscheider
Bee Season's James D. Weston II

And introducing ... Gabrielle Made, Diego Sebastian, Benjamin Hughes, Cara Vivien Rosenberg, Ron Hacker, David Niles, Nicole Wilder, Doug Krizner, Claire Johnston, Marilee Lesley & Harry Siitonen

That should do it. Although what's with all the Bee Season extras turning up here?

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:00 pm

    was it the richard and judy quote on the cover that made you buy it?

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  2. I think you've posted this is the wrong place but actually I didn't notice the R&J endorcement until I bought it. Or the positive reviews on the back from the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail. I could always hide all that with my hands...

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  3. There's a Kerris in Walk the Line?! Pah.

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