About This Blog

A place to find my reviews not featured on epinions.com or horror-asylum.com, as well as opinions and lists on everything from movies to TV to music. It's all about me! Send hate mail to vegie18th@hotmail.com or just leave a comment beneath the posts. Review grading system assumes C+ is somewhere in the vicinity of a Passing grade or minor fail.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Review: Boiling Point


Wesley Snipes is a treasury agent whose partner gets killed on an undercover bust gone wrong. Now he’s hell-bent on tracking down the guilty party, who turns out to be Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen is the younger sidekick of no-good con artist Dennis Hopper, a career screw-up in a seriously tight spot, who is setting the younger guy up on his latest scam involving counterfeit money. Hopper is trying to get his life back on track after a stint in the can, but he’s already $50,000 in debt to mobster/loan shark Tony Lo Bianco, and that guy ain’t messing around. Snipes, who is being transferred in a week, and Hopper, who is given a week to pay his debt to Lo Bianco, are obviously headed for a collision. Caught in between these two men is prostitute Lolita Davidovich, whose services both men hire. Valerie Perrine is Hopper’s long-suffering waitress ex-girlfriend whose good books he is attempting to get back into, whilst Snipes has his own ex, who he shares a son with. Seymour Cassel and Tobin Bell play criminal associates of Hopper, one imprisoned, the other not. Jonathan Banks is a slimy corporate jerk Hopper attempts to get financial help from, James Tolkan is Snipes’ superior, Dan Hedaya is Snipes’ other partner, Christine Elise is the junkie girlfriend of no-good Mortensen, and Paul Gleason plays a man Hopper and Mortensen meet at a drop-off situation.

 

1993 misfire from the strangely sporadic writer-director James B. Harris (1965’s “The Bedford Incident”, 1988’s “Cop”) feels like a 70s police procedural, but a bad one with Wesley Snipes shoe-horned in as the hero. It’s a complete waste of time (as is the fact that Harris gives himself separate credits for writing and directing. What other writer-director does that?) and a helluva cast full of interesting character actors, with veteran mobster player Tony Lo Bianco strangely disappearing in the second half, leading to a ridiculously underwhelming ending, because Dennis Hopper is supposed to be our lead villain, and he’s not threatening at all. Apparently Warner Bros. dicked around with the film, changing it from a film primarily about Dennis Hopper’s character to a film primarily about Wesley Snipes’ character. To me, the original version doesn’t sound any better, but changing the title from “Money Men” to “Boiling Point” and selling it as a Wesley Snipes action movie was definitely a mistake, as the film isn’t remotely exciting or thrilling and it’s easy to see why it went straight-to-video here in Australia.

 

Viggo Mortensen mumbles most of his lines and still ends up stealing the show (with Seymour Cassel not far behind, and clearly having fun). I believe that’s called star quality and charisma, folks. The late Paul Gleason has a terrific cameo, it’s a real shame he only has the one scene. Ditto “Saw” villain Tobin Bell as a criminal acquaintance of Hopper’s. But the story itself is tedious and antiquated, it should’ve starred Charles Bronson in the Snipes role, Henry Silva in for Dennis Hopper (though the character most reminds one of the desperate losers Richard Widmark used to play in the late 40s and early 50s), Paul Koslo for Mortensen, and Lo Bianco could still play his own part. It’s tired, clichéd stuff that familiar faces can’t save, though at least Snipes is immaculately dressed. Snipes even interrogates a junkie at one point. Geez. Why not throw in Elisha Cook Jr. as the local morgue attendant or something?

 

Snipes is a helluva talent and charismatic as hell, but not the best chooser of scripts. Here he’s in low-key mode, which isn’t his strong suit, and the character isn’t likeable enough to be the hero anyway. Dennis Hopper, meanwhile, is hamstrung by his weak role. The character seems like it should be the lead villain (and perhaps in the original version it was) purely because Hopper is playing him, but his character is surprisingly ineffectual, a ne’er do well con artist, which hardly makes for an exciting lead villain. But I doubt the changes did anything, because it’s obvious that the criminal plot here is underwhelming to begin with. Counterfeit money? Phony poker chips? Really? That and the fact that Hopper seems like too small a fish to want to see brought down and not likeable enough to want to see get away with it, really sinks this film. And like I said, Tony Lo Bianco disappears towards the end, and I’m pretty sure he’s the bigger criminal here, even if he’s not actually the criminal behind this scam. You feel like he should be. Character actor Jonathan Banks probably provides the most menace here, and even his character is just a corrupt corporate-type. On the female side of things, Valerie Perrine is always fun to have around and still looks terrific, and Christine Elise is perfectly cast in a small part. Lolita Davidovich, however, is far too obvious and clichéd casting in a poorly defined role. I’m shocked that she got her name before the title here. I mean, when was the last time you even saw her in something, 2003 maybe? In 1993, I don’t recall her being a huge star or anything, but nonetheless, she’s credited just after Snipes and Hopper. Wow.

 

This is tragically underwhelming, unacceptable stuff that even in a bygone era probably wouldn’t have sufficed. When it’s all over, you’ll be left wondering: Is that all? Really? Based on a novel by Gerald Petievich (“To Live and Die in L.A.”, “The Sentinel”), presumably written a long, long time ago.

 

Rating: D+

Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: Stories We Tell


Canadian actress-filmmaker and critical darling Sarah Polley looks inward to her own family, and in particular the story behind her conception and the story of her mother, who died when Sarah was 11. In an attempt to understand the actress mother she lost at quite a young age, Sarah learns her mum lived quite a colourful life, and her family’s story as she knows it, might not be entirely accurate and all-encompassing.

 

This 2013 supposed documentary from filmmaker Sarah Polley infuriated me to no end. The reasons for this mean that this review will be spoiler city, so if ever there was a review to leave until after you’ve seen the film, it’s this one. The spoiler information is definitely the main talking point. So those of you yet to see the film…well, I really think you needn’t bother seeing it, but if you must, CEASE READING.

 

Now that we’re alone, let me count the ways I hated this film. I’ll get to the spoilers right away, actually. This isn’t your typical documentary, because Polley for some wanky artistic reason (i.e. She’s probably a big fan of Orson Welles’ frankly shameful and pointless “F for Fake”) has decided to fake a bunch of home movie footage of her family. There’s some real stuff in there, and a lot of the fake stuff is pretty obvious even if you don’t notice that the mother seems to change appearance throughout the film. I mean, it’s awfully bloody convenient that Polley has access to the right footage for the right moment every single time, don’t you think? I understand that Polley wanted to avoid mere talking heads and all, but the fact is, she is not open and upfront about this fake footage. Yes, it’s pretty damn obvious, but we only have it revealed for us at the end, and I became enraged. (Apparently one brief scene near the end exposes the ruse, but for the life of me I don’t recall seeing it. Are there different cuts of the film? And even if the scene does exist, why reveal the ruse like that instead of making it clear from the outset? There’s really no justification for it). So much so that it made me question whether anything in this film was real or not, which I don’t really think was the intention. I mean, this is a film that after all not only credits ‘actors’ from the ‘home movie’ footage, but is ‘Written and Directed by Sarah Polley’. Yes, written. She even has her own father provide narration for parts of the film that he apparently wrote, but how do we know it wasn’t Polley herself? After all, she apparently wrote the film, whatever the hell that means.

 

I also found the interviews between Polley and her various siblings to be rather questionable even before I found out what the deal with the film was. Apparently these were her real siblings, but there seemed to be a strange disconnect between them to me that I was questioning. Where was the anger? There’s a lot to be angry about here, but everyone seems so detached. Maybe her family really do relate like that, or perhaps Polley was trying to play a dispassionate interviewer, but this is the same Sarah Polley who guides her dad through the recording of his narration and has a bunch of frankly irritating reaction shots of herself with a knowing smile. The mixture of detachment and obvious self-indulgence is really perplexing, but watch the film and tell me that’s not how it plays out. Hell, the film is really a re-enactment, as Polley already knew about most of the material in the film before making the film, which makes it seem fake and stupid. She’s reacting to stuff like it’s new to her, when it really isn’t.

 

I felt cheated by this film, to be honest. Having said all that, the narrative device stuff for me was the only halfway interesting thing in the film, which is otherwise a boring and useless story with supposedly shocking familial revelations that…aren’t remotely shocking nor terribly interesting. Why would anyone outside of her family care about any of this stuff? And why on Earth are you painting your mother as the Whore of Babylon? Yes, I’m exaggerating, but c’mon, tell me you’re not thinking the same thing! I don’t think this film honours her mother’s memory at all. The revelations here about paternity and infidelity are TV talk show fodder from decades ago, not 2013. Sure, it’s kind of notable that Polley’s mother was the first woman in Canada to lose child custody in divorce proceedings, but other than that? Yawn. I’m sure this is all very fascinating and significant for her family, but for me I found it entirely useless. For the most part, Polley’s family come across as your typical quirky actor-parent family. There’s a few uncomfortable moments here and there like the grown-up kids referring to their mother’s sex life, or dad telling Polley that she was almost aborted. But these things aren’t emphasised with any particular importance or significance. Forget all the filmmaking trickery and deception, why did Polley think this material was important enough to be a movie? My guess is that Polley’s ego is such that she thinks a film that, at the end of the day, is by her and about the truth behind her conception, is super important and will totally cure cancer and end geopolitical conflicts across the globe. Once again, look at her oh-so self-absorbed reaction shots like some nodding, dorky TV journo who thinks their puff piece is deep and profound. Yes, it’s all about you, sweetie. Aren’t you just the most special thing that ever was and ever will be? And people accuse Michael Moore of being self-serving and egotistical…geez. At least his films have a clear and interesting point or two to make, and some societal relevance (Albeit slanted).

 

The way this story is told, infuriating and dubious as it may be, is more interesting than the story itself which let’s face it, isn’t too far removed from a lot of families. Do they all deserve a film made about them? “Capturing the Friedmans” this ain’t. Who cares if someone had an affair? That’s not newsworthy in the post-“Jerry Springer” era, let alone film-worthy. Wanting to think outside the box of what people normally think of a documentary being is one thing, but this…I don’t even know what the hell this is except a profoundly irritating, dull, and for me completely useless vanity project for Sarah Polley. Polley says it’s a film about all of us, but there was no reason I could see for me to take any interest in it. Sweetie, it’s a film by you, about your conception. That’s all. And even if the memory thing was your intention, there’s not much of a difference in the stories being told, particularly within her family, for that to be valid, really. No, this one bored and infuriated me in equal measure.

 

Structurally it’s unique, but the story is unsurprising and uninteresting. It may have been important for Polley to uncover all of this, but there was no reason I could see for me to take any interest in it. I really didn’t get it, but maybe you will.

 

Rating: D

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: The Art of the Steal


Kurt Russell is Crunch Calhoun, an expert art thief whose team specialise in forging (Chris Diamantopoulos is their expert forger) seriously expensive paintings to the point where they pass all tests, and can sell them on the black market without their ‘marks’ realising they’ve been screwed. Unfortunately, after their latest gig goes bad, and his a-hole half-brother Nicky (Matt Dillon) rats everybody else out so that he can get off clean, Crunch ends up doing 7 years in a Polish prison. After this, Crunch goes legit and becomes a low-rent Evel Knieval-style stuntman, with young Jay Baruchel as his apprentice/gopher, and married to Kathryn Winnick’s Lola. And then out of nowhere, Nicky shows up with a ‘sure thing’. After trying to beat the shit out of his half-brother, and after his beloved bike gets stolen by some goons looking for Nicky, Crunch listens to Nicky’s latest plan about stealing an apparently rare book called The Gospel According to James, forging several copies to sell to select wealthy customers. He’s forever watching for the moment Nicky screws with him again, though. Meanwhile, an Interpol agent (Jason Jones) is on Crunch and Nicky’s trail, thinking they’ve got to be up to something. His associate is a veteran thief (Terence Stamp) forced by the government to help them nab art thieves. Kenneth Welsh plays another member of Crunch’s crew, a wily and randy Irishman named Uncle Paddy, who is the one who gets all the buyers.

 

I like a good heist film and I haven’t seen Kurt Russell in a while, so I figured this 2014 film from writer-director Jonathan Sobol (who was a ‘story consultant’ on the mediocre Ray Liotta film “Comeback Season”) would be a decent time-waster. Despite doing minimal box-office in the US (where it only had limited release) and going straight to DVD in Australia, it’s a bit better than a ‘decent time-waster’. It’s not one of the better heist films out there, but better than any of the “Ocean’s” films and solid, lightweight fun. Sure, it could’ve and should’ve been better, but it also could’ve gone horribly wrong. Remember “3000 Miles to Graceland”? It even has genuinely very funny outtakes, a rarity these days, as everyone appears to have had a ball here (Russell in particular).

 

You should probably see the big twist coming a mile away, but I have to confess it eluded me. I did notice some shonky projection work here and there, though. That and the “Ocean’s Eleven”-style (or if you prefer, “The Italian Job”-style) opening titles were really the only things that annoyed me here. That said, I do find it interesting that at a time when Kurt Russell reportedly refused a role in the “Expendables” franchise because he didn’t want to do ensemble work, here he is acting in an ensemble film. Oh, but it’s OK if he gets to be the lead? Yeah, thought so. Russell is well-cast here as a stunt-driver and getaway driver who also happens to be an expert art thief. He’s certainly more enjoyable here than in “3000 Miles to Graceland”, that’s for sure. No one plays ‘I’m already having a very bad day, what else could go wrong?’ better than Russell, I think. Matt Dillon seems to have failed to have capitalised on the accolades he received for “Crash” a few years back, so it’s a bit sad to see genuine talents like he and Russell in films that barely get a release. However, like Russell he gives 110% here and is perfectly cast as an untrustworthy bastard. You’ll want to punch him almost immediately. He’s such an hilarious dickweed that he pick-pockets a 9 year-old little girl! Who the fuck robs little girls? His jokes are absolutely awful in the film, but I think they’re meant to be. Jay Baruchel, meanwhile, does his Jay Baruchel thing, and gets one absolutely hilarious moment whilst trying to cross the border dressed as an Amish person. He’s supposedly an actor playing an Amish person in a play. Unfortunately, the fake beard is appalling and Baruchel has no ability whatsoever to lie convincingly under pressure, leading to the most random reference to “Predator 2” I’ve ever heard in my life. The film is stolen, however by a not very surprising Terence Stamp, and a very surprising Kenneth Welsh. Welsh has been a sturdy character actor since the 80s, but this is the biggest and best role I’ve actually seen him in. As a wily Irish con man, he’s jolly good fun, and his Irish accent is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Yes, even better than Mick Jagger in “Ned Kelly” (Just checking to see if you’re awake. Jagger’s accent was awful). Stamp doesn’t get much screen time, and frankly doesn’t have much of a character to play, but his deadpan delivery of dialogue here is one of the film’s best sources of comedy. I wasn’t much interested in his associate played by Jason Jones, but I kept hoping for more scenes with Stamp looking completely disdainful. He barely says or does anything and yet walks off with the film. What the hell? Canadian character actor Stephen McHattie is always good to see on screen, but unfortunately he makes a complete bollocks of a cockney accent. I guess he didn’t go to the same dialect coach as Welsh.

 

OK, so the film has a cast that suggests it should be a whole lot better, but if you like the stars and like this kind of film, it’s actually pretty entertaining stuff. It’s just good to see Kurt Russell on screen again, it feels like it’s been ages, and he delivers as always, as do the rest of the cast.

 

Rating: B-

Review: Passion


Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace play a couple of top advertising execs, with McAdams the more senior and cutthroat of the two. Fond of taking credit for Rapace’s ideas, McAdams fucks with her head, manipulating, seducing, and dominating her. When McAdams learns that Rapace is sleeping with one of her boytoys, McAdams then turns to cruelly humiliating her. Karoline Herfurth plays Rapace’s clearly love-struck, dedicated assistant.

 

This 2012 remake of the 2010 French film “Love Crime” is really just writer-director Brian De Palma (“The Untouchables”, “Body Double”, “Dressed to Kill”, “Blow Out”) doing what Brian De Palma far too often does, with his obsession over Hitchcock, unnecessary split-screen, and doppelgangers/twin sisters. At least “Femme Fatale” gave us some great lesbionics before sinking down the rabbit hole, this one gives us a couple of passion-less pecks, a terrible Pino Donaggio (“Don’t Look Now”, “Blow Out”, “Body Double”, “Raising Cain”) score, and a central premise straight out of the late 1980s. Corporate power games and back-stabbing? Ooh, how fresh. Are we sure “Love Crime” came out in 2010 and not 1987? Because this is some seriously outdated shit right here. I mean, at the very latest it should’ve been made 20 years ago, starred Sharon Stone and Jeanne Tripplehorn and been directed by Brian De Palma…oh wait (Yeah, I should’ve said Paul Verhoeven, but this version of the joke is much funnier I think. No?).

 

Apparently Mr. De Palma has discovered web cams, video cameras, and video conferencing. Good for you, Brian, you old fart, but the rest of us moved on like 5-10 years ago, dude. It’s no wonder the film bombed, and I continue to question De Palma’s high esteem with many viewers. I love “The Untouchables” and have enjoyed a few others (“Sisters”, “Blow Out”, “Carrie”), but this guy has come out with some absolute turds (“Bonfire of the Vanities”, anyone? “Raising Cain”? “Body Double”? “The Black Dahlia”?) and a whole lot of mediocre films like this one and “Femme Fatale”.

 

I like all three of the main actresses in this film, but the only one to really engage one’s interest- hell, one of the only interesting things in the film- is Rachel McAdams. I found her way too sweet to be convincing as the head bitch in “Mean Girls”, but she seems to have worked out how to pull it off here. It’s not a great performance in the slightest, but she’s fine in the part, and certainly beautiful. She gives De Palma’s script far more than it is worth, and is the whole show here. Noomi Rapace (who can be effective in the right role), however is pretty badly miscast. She’s somewhat believable as a woman who may not be in her right mind, but as a naïve and mousy woman who is easily manipulated? Hardly. She seems too hard-edged to me to convince in a role like this. She gets better the more unbalanced her character appears to be. Karoline Herfurth was excellent in “We Are The Night”, and is very credible here, but her role isn’t terribly interesting or large. I think she would’ve been better casting in the Rapace role, for sure.

 

The other thing I liked about the film is that, although completely pretentious and artificial, the film is undeniably visually striking and colourful throughout. The faux-Technicolour visual design applied by De Palma and his cinematographer José Luis Alcaine (Almodovar’s excellent “The Skin I Live In”) is much closer to genuine Technicolour than what was achieved in “Far From Heaven”. It looks stunning. But a stunning look cannot hide how stale this subject matter is, and not just because it’s a remake. And De Palma is ripping of Hitchcock again, especially “Dial M for Murder” and “Vertigo” (McAdams wears “Vertigo” green shoes and there’s a spiral staircase for cryin’ out loud!), but the script here is much, much sillier, especially when the law comes into it. The police investigation is especially hilarious, and I don’t think it’s intentional. Donaggio’s music score is embarrassingly inappropriate, reminding one of the jaunty “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” theme. Although De Palma claims some parts are supposedly funny, this ain’t a jaunty little comic mystery, and the score clashes wildly with the action on screen. If De Palma had played up the sex angle, at least we’d get some kind of trashy sex appeal, ala “Basic Instinct”, but there’s zero chemistry between the leads, hell there’s not even any steam…including from McAdams’ shower scene. No nudity there of course, ‘coz if you’re gonna film Rachel McAdams in the shower you probably wouldn’t want to see her beautiful naked body, would you? Especially not in an erotic thriller! (The dreaded no-nudity clause strikes again!).

 

I also have to take issue with the ending. I think I know what De Palma was going for on reflection (especially given it’s the type of ending he’s gone for a few times before), but he has botched it to the point where I wasn’t even sure if I picked the twist or not, because of the confusing manner in which the final two or three scenes are shot.

 

It’s not De Palma’s worst film (And it’s certainly better than the previous “The Black Dahlia”), hell it’s more mediocre than bad (or at least the best-looking bad movie of its year), but there’s really not much reason to bother with this film. It’s at least a decade out of touch, probably more, and a bit of an eye-roller, really. Re-watch “Bound” instead, if you want a well-made, sexy Sapphic thriller.

 

Rating: C

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: The Fifth Estate


The story of WikiLeaks and its Aussie founder and former hacker Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who creates a way for anonymous whistle-blowers to reveal important government/corporate secrets, as well as news leaks published online. Before long, it seems as though WikiLeaks is breaking all the important news stories first. However, eventually Assange and his German colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl, playing a character whose book the film is partly based on) become news themselves as WikiLeaks ends up in possession of a whole slew of sensitive U.S. intelligence documents that Assange wants to release. When their lives could possibly be in danger, Daniel urges Assange to stop and think before releasing the documents. But the egotistical Assange is undeterred (‘Editing is bias’ he says at one point), and Daniel becomes extremely disillusioned with what WikiLeaks has seemingly become. David Thewlis plays a more traditional news journalist, whilst Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, and Stanley Tucci play White House officials, the former worried about sensitive info in cables being released that could cause serious diplomatic problems.

 

It’s impossible to come into this 2013 Bill Condon (“Gods and Monsters”, “Dreamgirls”) film without having formed some opinion on the divisive figure Julian Assange, and your opinion of him will likely dictate your response to the treatment Condon and screenwriter Josh Singer give to his character. I personally have very mixed feelings about Assange, though not nearly as strong feelings as many others might hold (especially those in the media or political arenas). Whilst nothing that WikiLeaks have released thus far has terribly shocked me, I do believe that they could’ve posed possible danger to geopolitical relations at the very least. I think what Assange did was incredibly reckless and not as important as he probably thinks. I also think he’s a pompous, preening twat of a human being. That said, I also believe the sexual assault allegations against him were complete BS, terribly inappropriate for what he was actually said to be guilty of, and most likely trumped up due to U.S. influence in order to get him extradited. I also think that this latter part is the juiciest part of his story. Frankly, the WikiLeaks stuff, whilst it could’ve been potentially dangerous, was never terribly interesting to me (I rather think it was overblown on all sides) and to focus on that part really only serves to feed the man’s already ginormous ego. Condon and Singer have decided to devote their entire time to the WikiLeaks saga, with the sexual assault case reduced to a mere mention before the end credits via a postscript.

 

I say all of this to give you an idea on the frame of mind with which I entered this film. Needless to say, I didn’t get much out of this one, and the opening montage of news events that seemed to want to equate this story with other major historical news events was a bit on the nose to say the least. I don’t care about Assange or this part of his story at all. I don’t think what he did was heroic, and his enemies killed their own argument by going to ridiculous lengths to get at him. Is this story more serious than “The Social Network”? Yes, to a degree. Is Mark Zuckerberg more important than Julian Assange? Hells yes he is. Assange is a legend in his own uber-nerd mind. Facebook blew social networking up real big, WikiLeaks did diddly squat by comparison in whatever purpose it was attempting to achieve. I think the Edward Snowden story was more important than this one to be honest. If it weren’t for the trumped up assault charges making Assange look like a martyr (a major mistake by his enemies if indeed there was a conspiracy against him), I doubt anyone would care after the initial story buzz died down. But I must confess that I barely make it into Gen Y, and I get most of my news from TV, not the internet, so I’m a little bit unqualified in a way (And yet I’m writing this as an internet blogger/reviewer. The irony isn’t lost on me). But as far as I’m concerned, WikiLeaks is not journalism. It’s regurgitating hacked sensitive information that I don’t think served anywhere near enough of a purpose to make me fall into either camp on Assange terribly strongly. However, while I may not see Assange as the devil, I still say he’s a preening git and a glorified hacker at best. So my reaction to this film was one of ambivalence and disinterest, to be honest. I was largely bored.

 

The funny thing is, Condon spends the first half of the film seemingly slightly in Assange’s corner, and the second half slightly against him, so even the film’s director doesn’t appear to have a strong opinion. It seems like he (or the screenwriter) and I are the only ones who don’t much care, as this is a hot button issue with many, though I’d argue the Average Joe would give far less of a crap about Assange if the sexual assault case hadn’t seemed so dubious. It’s mostly journos and political-types who have been worked up over this.

 

The main point of interest in the film, if there is one, is the performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, and even that isn’t satisfactory. He doesn’t look remotely like the nerdy, wormy Assange, and I think the actor is all wrong for the part. He’s far too intense for such a weasely, smug little bastard like Assange. He plays him like a mad genius or tortured artist or something. Or, more precisely he plays him like Tasmanian serial killer Martin Bryant. Sheldon Cooper is more like Assange than the miscast Cumberbatch. I also felt he didn’t look old enough to have a 19 year-old son, though I’m sure Mr. Cumberbatch is a bit older than he looks. I will give Cumberbatch credit for one thing, though: His Australian accent is one of the best you’ll ever hear from a non-Australian, even if it’s nowhere near Assange’s own rather refined, almost prissy accent. He seems like he’s struggling to speak at times (he’s an intense actor to say the least), and every now and then he’ll hit the end of a word incorrectly (‘Mo-DEM’ being the most glaring example), but he’s dead-on with it a lot more of the time than I was expecting. Daniel Bruhl probably gives the best performance as this film’s version of Eduardo Saverin. Meanwhile, I don’t know what film Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, and Anthony Mackie were acting in, but it looked like a lot more fun than this one, that’s for sure. I also wish directors would stop wasting the talents of David Thewlis in nothing roles like this one. It’s hard to get into a film with no likeable characters and where all sides do wrong things. Add to that an over-inflated sense of importance of all this, and a neglect to address the one truly interesting aspect of this story and you get…not much of anything at all, really.

 

Sorry, it’s just not for me, maybe you’ll enjoy this one a whole lot more than me. I found it dry and dull, with Benedict Cumberbatch miscast in the lead.

 

Rating: C