WRECKED

NO RESCUE FOR THIS FILM. Adrian Brody. When this actor has good material to act in, he is excellent.

HOWEVER, Wrecked starts with Adrian in a car wreck in a forest. He does not leave the car for 30 minutes. There are two dead people in the car.

Adrian does not leave the vicinity of the car for 45 minutes (in an 83 minute movie). There are no scenes with other actors, just glimpses. He does not crawl uphill to the road, presumably where the car came from. He does nothing (except put a splint on his injured leg). He goes downhill to a stream, purported is befriended by a dog, has hallucinations which don’t appear much different from the rest of the forest film. At minute 75 he crawls to the road where he finds a dead person.

Supposedly Adrian has amnesia. Next comes a mountain lion which is satisfied by dragging the road kill (dead person) into the bushes. (Minute 80) The sunset looks nice (minute 81). Adrian is rescued by a passing motorist (minute 82). Perhaps that is a hallucination. The movie ends at minute 83.

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AT MIDDLETON

One reviewer said it briefly, “Wonderful movie not to be missed.” It is more complicated, but this movie about the past catching up with two adults is a must-see. Neither adult knows one another, but each has taken a child (son, daughter) to an entrance orientation at a liberal arts college. This movie is a romance.

The adults/parents (Andy and Vera) slowly get together and have their own college tour/orientation. Along the way, they steal bicycles to ride around, are chased by the cops, venture where they shouldn’t and end up in a drama class: Hints about their lives leave crumbs until they are required to act the roles of husband and wife in the class. Vera is unhappy and alone, in her live with her real husband. He is uncontented but resolved to plough through life with no satisfaction. As part of the role playing, he asked Vera (as he might ask his own wife), “When did you stop loving me?”

That line and sentiment may seem incredibly disjointed, but in this screenplay it works. Vera makes inferences about mistakes she made in her past: Misimpressions, bad advice, taking the wrong road, regrets and sulking and how to handle life’s miseries.

An overall point of this story presents a problem of time for the writer. When young couples fall in love, the whole experience seems automatic. When older, love is hardly automatic. Those systems seem or are forgotten. This scriptwriter knows this, and works on solutions to make the story go.

It seems that Andy and Vera should fall in love, tell the kids, and divorce their spouses. NO – too Hollywood. It is suggested they will see one another but that remains appropriately unclear. The issues of the day’s orientation for the kids work out more directly. Their parents meet other students and get shit-faced. The son and daughter must must drive each parent home (in opposite directions). It was a memorable day. The son asks Andy which way should I drive: “Take the long way.”

THE FALL – First Episode

Northern Ireland BBC Production, Gillian Anderson

When I bought this worthwhile production, the clerk looked at the cover and said, “Scully.” I never got into the X-Files so I have never associated Anderson with that program. Anderson was born in Chicago, Illinois, and has made Great Britain her home.

In The Fall Anderson plays an experienced police investigator from somewhere who goes to Belfast, Northern Ireland to solve a string of murders. Everything appears authentic and quite British.

However, there are two scenes where Anderson is eating food. The first is a hamburger that looks like it came fresh from the stockyards of Chicago: Hey, I guess it’s easier to take the girl out of America rather than take America out of the girl, right Scully?

In the second scene Anderson eats a salad, the sort of condiment one finds in Beverly Hills, the Palisades, Melrose, Frisco and now in Belfast. British filmmakers are inventive. I didn’t see the full plate, so it may be a meat salad and the protein is haggis.

The remaining episodes of Part One of The Fall are engaging, but somewhat elongated. Season Two of five more episodes, not available in the United States, have been shot. To see the end one can either buy Season Two, $55.00 on Amazon for a Region 2 DVD, or preferably wait until it’s on cable, the internet or the DVDs cost $15.00.

RIDICULOUS

DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLY

This is a BBC sequel to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, except none of the actors appearing in the first production are in Death Comes. Those actors know that bad sequels should never be made.

There’s a murder at Pemberly and the bad buy of the series, Wickum, is guilty. The Duke is put in the awkward position of defending him. Events that transpire show that Wickum should be hanged, although not for this murder. His wife, Lydia (Lizzy’s sister), is a fitter looking woman with a sharper voice and more intelligence. In the end she adopts a very modern view of gossip, scandal and adultery.

The three-hour show ends with Lydia and Wickem going to America. Undoubtedly there will be further BBC productions: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH, or HOW GONE WITH THE WIND SHOULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN. In PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AMONG THE INDIANS Wickem is killed. Lydia becomes a hostage.

The point of all these BBC productions is any cliche will do.

THE OUTSIDER

Jason Patric

The Limney in a similar setting, upscale LA – tells a similar story. Bad guy, James Caan is running an identify theft scam to fleece the system and millions of people of small amounts of money.

British father, Craig Fairbrass (needs to project his voice) learns his daughter, Caan’s software engineer, is killed in LA. Father arrives and learns the dead woman is not his daughter. Where is the girl? As Fairbrass looks, he destroys half of LA like Godzilla might.

He finds his daughter and learns of the fraud. He, the daughter and friends can rip off Caan, which provides action for the final act. This is a low budget movie. In fight scenes one can see fists being thrown and missing, but the actors react as though being hit. At the end Caan is shot and like in the olden days, there is no blood. I kept wondering, when is he going to start bleeding! [After the toll booth shooting James Caan may have no blood in him.]

It is always welcome to see Jason Patric in a movie. As the lead detective he and the cops don’t have much to do, except saying, Get the judge and his sorry butt out of bed, to sign warrants. With another story about the ever-growing seedy side of LA, the police presence could be dispensed with altogether.