Capsule reviews for March 23

Brake

There’s a fair amount of tension during the first hour of this ludicrous claustrophobic thriller before it almost inevitably falls apart. The entire movie takes place in the trunk of a vehicle in which Jeremy (Stephen Dorff) is trapped. Gradually, clues are revealed as to his identity and the reason for his kidnapping, which center on a possible terrorist plot, as he tries to escape. The concept recalls the recent Buried, which had Ryan Reynolds trapped in a coffin for the whole film and which contained similar structural pitfalls. Here, there are simply too many manipulative gimmicks to generate any emotional investment in the outcome. (Not rated, 91 minutes).

 

The Deep Blue Sea

Acclaimed British filmmaker Terence Davies (The House of Mirth) scores again with this deliberately paced but quietly powerful romance set in London circa 1950, where a suicidal woman (Rachel Weisz) is torn between her marriage to a wealthy judge (Simon Russell Beale) and her affair with an impetuous former Air Force pilot (Tom Hiddleston). Weisz anchors the film, which is based on a play by Terence Rattigan, with a complex and emotionally conflicted performance. Despite a somewhat intrusive violin score and a stuffy narrative approach that isn’t for all tastes, Davies manages to convey plenty of passion among characters who aren’t compassionate at all. (Rated R, 98 minutes).

 

October Baby

Heavy-handed proselytizing trumps genuine emotional impact in this Christian drama about a Deep South college student (Rachel Hendrix) who discovers that her series of illnesses is due to her adoption and premature birth as a result of a failed abortion. After expressing resentment to her father (John Schneider) for withholding that information, she goes on a road trip with a classmate (Jason Burkey) to find out more about her mysterious past. Perhaps there are decent intentions behind this wholesome journey of self-discovery, which has reasonable production values but becomes muddled amid relentless sentimentality and pro-life preaching. It marks the feature debut for directors Andrew and Jon Erwin. (Rated PG-13, 106 minutes).

Comments

  1. Erik says:

    “Proselytising,”
    “deep south,”
    ” pro life preaching”

    … hmm.. Sound like a partisan, idealogically transparent, critique.. So since we’re openly cliché here let’s play the Hitler/LGBT/civil rights card(s) …

    As usual

    “There you go again saying the holocaust really happened ….”
    “..or saying that gay people “really” are normal.. ”
    “Or that black people are the same as white people..”

    Would you call that preaching???
    Hmmmm???

    4200 babies a day folks..
    And yes Virginia.. Many are born alive (ooops) and left to LEGALLY die on the table (or wherever they put the little breathing “things”).

  2. Johnny says:

    I’ve seen heavy-handed. I’ve seen proselytizing. I’ve seen spectacularly unsubtle Christian movies. “October Baby” is none of those. In fact, the religious life of the main character’s family is mentioned maybe three times and always in the most generic terms possible, except when she makes a half-hearted joke about being a Baptist seeking solace in a Catholic cathedral. The priest gives her advice on forgiving herself and others (having been told no specifics about abortion) and mentions Christ’s name once. It has no pro-life preaching in it. The birth mother character is treated in an understated, understanding, and non-judgmental way. In fact, the actress playing the birth mother had an abortion herself years ago and found this film a very gracious comfort to her.

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