Christopher Eberts

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Deception (2008) Review


Weak
According to web reports, this Hugh Jackman/Ewan McGregor thriller was originally titled The Tourist and The List before the filmmakers and/or studio finally settled on Deception. The alternates are not exactly the most eye-catching or original titles, but both would be just as appropriate for this particular film. I can't imagine what the impetus was to find something even more generic -- or if it's even possible to come up with a more bland thriller title. Betrayal, perhaps? Dark Secrets?

This is a film that starts off with some agreeable, professional trashiness before settling into routine. This is not to say that the opening, with meek, lonely accountant Jonathan (McGregor) striking up a friendship with the slick Wyatt (Jackman), is entirely smooth going. Almost immediately, the movie suffers from casting the sly, handsome McGregor as a fumbling nebbish. The guy has both acting chops and charisma; naturally, several of his Hollywood roles ask him to trade both for an American accent. Hopefully he meets up with Colin Farrell and James McAvoy to commiserate -- or maybe he swapped stories on-set with Jackman, another good-looking overseas bloke who has alternated terrific performances with bouts of blandness.

Continue reading: Deception (2008) Review

The Big White Review


Very Good
It's kind of bizarre that The Big White never landed a proper theatrical release. I mean, how many Robin Williams/Holly Hunter/Woody Harrelson movies go straight to video?

Well, one that I know of.

Continue reading: The Big White Review

Chasing Holden Review


OK
If you have a special connection to The Catcher in the Rye, and if you can take Road Trip uber-geek DJ Qualls seriously in a dramatic role, then maybe you'll fall in love with Chasing Holden, a direct-to-video adventure in mixed messages and teen angst if ever I've seen one.

Qualls stars as Neil, son of the governer of New York(!), sent to prep school at the age of 19 (yeah, don't try to think about it) after a stint in a mental hospital. After a whirlwind experience with bullies, Dead Poets Society-style rules, and meeting the girl of his dreams (Rachel Blanchard, another Road Tripper), he is handed the assignment of his dreams: Write a story telling what happened to Holden Caulfield after the end of Catcher in the Rye, Neil's favorite book (of course).

Continue reading: Chasing Holden Review

Christopher Eberts

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