Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Review: The Wrestler (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Written by: Robert D. Siegel
Genre: Drama / Sport
MPAA: Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity, language and some drug use.
Released: 17 December 2008(limited)
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry, Wass Stevens, Judah Friedlander, Ernest Miller.Plot: A drama centered on retired professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson as he makes his way through the independent circuit, trying to get back in the game for one final showdown with his former rival.

Plot: A drama centered on retired professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson as he makes his way through the independent circuit

Review: 9/10

My Thoughts: In many stories told, the main character who starts from nothing rises up becomes the person we know and loves, he’ll save the day, get the girl, and rides out into the sunset having his own happily ever after, simple as that right. But, what about what happens after the story ends, what happens to our hero when his light has faded and his sun has set, what becomes of him when he is obsolete and no longer useful.

The Wrestler is a fictional story about wrestling superstar Randy 'The Ram' Robinson (Mickey Rourke) a man who at one point during the 80’s was one the biggest wrestlers in the business, his fame was beyond that of any other typical wrestler and was consider a legend in the wrestling industry. He had it all, a wife, kid, money, fame, and all the women he could ever want begging to be with him, he had everything a wrestling superstar could ever want and then some, but the one thing he did not have and proved to be his ultimate flaw was that he never had the strength to be there for those who cared for him and needed him most and instead took the easy rout out and left, and in doing so began his slow dwindle out of superstardom and into being forgotten by all those around him. The wrestler proves to be a heart touching story about a man who’s fighting a losing battle with father time and refuses to give into the failures of his past, but when he suffers a sudden heart attack he then turns to redemption and wants to try and pick up where he left off and fix the broken piece of his life. Director Darren Aronofsky, the man behind such phenomenal films like; Pi, Requiem for a Dream, and The Fountain. Does it again by bringing us a coming of age film about life within the ring and how for some, the love of the fans is all they have left in life. The plot proves to be much much greater than I had originally anticipated. I went into this film with a medium level of anticipation but was suddenly blown away by a masterpiece of storytelling; emotions run high for The wrestler with almost no stopping to catch ones breath. Every scene for scene will either have you feeling great sadness, anger, and or pure enjoyment, I being at one point a fan of the art of ringside wrestling was brought back to the wonder years of the sport when it was purely for the entertainment and not always money, the film runs on a nice and steady peace, with an outstanding soundtrack of some of the best 80’s classic rock bands, and if you have lived through the 80’s or was born during it’s time then you’ll very much appreciate this film.

The most memorable part of The Wrestler would have to be its take on the main character among all things, because despite his choices and his outcomes you can’t help but relate to him in so many ways. Who hasn’t made mistakes in their lives, who doesn’t wish they could undo the wrong of their past mistakes. So despite the main character sounding like a dead beat you feel for him because he lives in regret. The best part of the film in my opinion would have to be the ending because of the past outcomes leading up to the big finally of the film it had me all teary eyed, yep I said it! I fell made me tear up damn it! [Laughs] but I won’t dare spill the beans to you on how it end because that it up to the viewers to find out for themselves, but I will tell you this; it will have you running high with emotions, I guarantee it! The cinematography is simply fantastic, it gives the film this biopic like setting that makes it feel very much real and ever so believable, you’d swear this film was based on a true story after watching it. But the part that makes The Wrestler truly great is the fact that this film is what you’d call out of Director Darren Aronofsky’s normal settings; I mean after looking at his past track record this film seems hardly the type of film he’d direct, which doesn’t mean it’s bad. No no no, hardly the case, in fact it proves that he is a batter director then one has thought of, because being able to leave ones cul-de-sac, or safety harness, and still succeed in telling a fantastically compelling story is very rare and admirable indeed and I commend him for doing such a thing because many in his case has done so and failed. 2008 was a year of many surprises, many horrible disappointments and many outstanding and surprising works, and Aronofsky’s The wrestler is now one film among them, I hope it’s nominated for an Oscar because there is no doubt in my mind that it deserves to be a contender for the Oscars. Overall it was well worth the watch, I will say it won’t be for everyone, that’s a guarantee, and it is for most part a love it or hate it type of film, for me I loved it and can’t wait to see it again someday.

The story is about; Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a 1980s-era pro wrestler, has become a burnt-out shell of his former self. After he has a heart attack during a small-time match, a doctor tells him he could die if he fights again. In an effort to build a new life, Robinson takes a job at a deli and rebuilds the relationship with his daughter. But the prospect of a rematch with his old nemesis, the Ayatollah, proves too tempting to resist, even if it means risking his life.

As for the acting; so rarely do actors make a comeback for a failing career, actor Mickey Rourke who has had a somewhat downhill career over the years went from being a hotshot to a nobody, the 90’s sure was not kind to him I will say, but his performance in The Wrestler proved to be powerful and a breakthrough, I will say if any films is to be his comeback film this would be it. He puts so much emotion and himself into the role of Randy "The Ram" Robinson that it’s more than just a role, it’s a part of him. Marisa Tomei is in my opinion a much underused actress in the business, she is a great actress who I will admit was not at all fond of her in the beginning, but over the years I have slowly began to like her acting, perhaps it’s due to age, but I found that as she gets older her acting has gotten better than ever, much like Rourke. She too puts a lot of emotion and herself into her performance which was a joy for my end. Evan Rachel Wood was spot on in her performance, I must say, I’ve been watching her career closely and I have to say; she has really blossomed in the last couple of years, being in such great films like; “Down in the Valley” “King of California” and the 2007 musical hit “Across the Universe”. I can tell you now, she is going places. The rest of the cast is built up on B and C-list actors and actresses who prove to be less than any real significant to plot, but still does a spot on job in doing their part in making this film as best it could be.

Final Say: The Wrestler has got to be one of the best films of 2008; it had an atmosphere that consumed me from start to finish, I enjoyed it a lot, and despite the style of wrestling being overall fake the film does teach it’s viewers one very important lesson, that as fake as it is, as scripted as it may be, you don’t work that kind of profession without make sacrifices and losing something dear to you. It is a sport that will work the individual down to the bone until they’re merely a shell of the person they once was. I highly recommend it!

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: David Scarpa (screenplay) Edmund H. North (1951 screenplay)
Genre: Drama / Sci-Fi / Thriller
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence.
Released: 12 December 2008 (USA)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Robert Knepper, James Hong, John Rothman, Sunita Prasad, Juan Riedinger.

Plot: A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

Review: 6/10

My Thoughts: American science fiction editor and writer Harry Bates wrote a short story called "Farewell to the Master" which later became the bases to the hit 1951 black and white film “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, which is known till this day by Sci-Fi fans as one of the groundbreaking films of its genre, much like the phenomena that was “The War of the Worlds” it was both entertaining and very terrifying, it was a coming of age cinematic sensation, and now after over 50 long years since its release a remake by the same name has finally arrived, but can this new millennium remake live up to the integrity might of the original? Well you’re about to find out.

The 2008 remake has style, flash, and a dazzling amount of special effects that is a spectacle wonder, however, the film lacks a great deal of substance, where the 1951 original hit it big with a quality storytelling, this sad attempt of a remake fails on a hug scale, what was an amazingly fantastic plot has been modernized into a travesty of mind numbing action, the only thing that seems to remain the same is a small handful of scenes and elements which are pretty much re-done scene for scene, other than that the film feels as though the filmmakers as well as the studio only used the title so that they could cash in on the successes of the original, this film in its own theme is much like the remake of War of the Worlds, where everything that made the film great is replaced with obnoxiously bad product placement and, lousy dialogue that proves to be a serious nuisance, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the real problem lies within the plot of all things which I cannot stress enough was a great disappointment, the original’s plot was fantastic, which had the bases of terror embedded into its mysterious yet entertaining plot warning humanity of its ways and gives us the choice to abandon all forms of warfare and join the universe of peaceful alien races or suffer the consequences, this however was shot down in the remake with a more environmental approach, which proves to be a disappointing lackluster among other things, and to make things even more worse they even tried to add a few humorous moments into the film which proved to be more uncomfortable to watch than anything else, and some of the more serious moments (which felt more humorous than anything else) felt more like gap fillers for the films major action scenes which it’s basically just building up to and from, and when you think about it, this is not what sci-fi fans paid for, they paid for a film with style, excitement, mystery, and a rollercoaster rid of chills and thrills with a decent plot, but this unfortunately had none of that, but that just the beginning, please read on and see why the film WASN’T all that it could have been.

I’ll be blunt with you, this film started off very interesting and had me intrigued to continue watching it, and for a brief moment it had the chance of being a really great film, but that was flushed down the toilet after about 30 minutes into the film, it felt more like a chore than a pleasure, I was beginning to look at my watch continuously throughout the performance counting down the time remaining wondering when the ending would be approaching, and let me tell you, for a film that was only an Hour and forty three minutes long it felt like three hours, most of the film was predictable to the point I was able to call it long before it happened and it seemed as though the cast phoned in their performances the whole way, and if things where bad, it gets even worse when the filmmakers decided to make gort godzilla size! which the very first thing to come to mind was are you kidding me? this is most definitely NOT! The day the earth stood still, but rather the day the earth stopped due to a lack of good story telling, one of the biggest problems I found would have to be the lack of fear among the characters in this film, let’s be honest here; who wouldn’t be terrified at the idea of an alien bean invading the planet with an armada of mini ships all over the world? The fact that people were divided between accepting the current the situation or just going about their normal lively routine only further proved my point that it was a very cheese film, I don’t know about all of you, but if the planet suddenly got invaded by a hug alien sphere fallowed by an army of mini spheres I’d be already heading for the hills! The only ones acting out aggressively and being in a state of fear was the military. The point I’m trying to make here is that; remakes have and always will be nothing compared to the original, revamps, remakes and re-imaginings are all the same to the extent that they are and always will be second string, and never be able to live up to the full potential, in short this is a prime example that not all films (especially classics), should be modernized, something’s are best left alone.

The Story is about; renowned scientist Dr. Helen Benson finds herself face to face with an alien called Klaatu, who travels across the universe to warn of an impending global crisis. When forces beyond Helen’s control treat the extraterrestrial as a hostile and deny his request to address the world’s leaders, she and her estranged stepson Jacob quickly discover the deadly ramifications of Klaatu’s claim that he is a friend to the Earth. Now Helen must find a way to convince the entity who was sent to destroy us that mankind is worth saving--but it may be too late. The process has begun.

As for the acting; the acting was poorly done, despite the incredible cast put together for this film, I found myself in a real yawn-fest, I seriously thought that with a cast such as this the acting would at least be s sure thing for entertainment, but even that proved to be wrong; Keanu Reeves, who I’ve always enjoyed watching on the big screen turned out to be a real disappointment, I’ve always looked forward to watching his films, and even when the film in general would be a downer his acting would always save it for me, however he could not do the same for this film, perhaps this is a sigh that even he knew this film was beyond saving. The lovely Jennifer Connelly did okay, despite I calling the cast’s overall performance a bore-fest, but I do however feel that she could have done a heck of a lot better than she did, it felt as though she just phoned in her performance for a paycheck. Kathy Bates who I just adore her acting was, well, subpar; her performance did not measure up to traditional standards of her previous performances. Jaden Smith was, well, as much as I like seeing the offspring of big name celebrities picking up the mantel of their parents, Smith did not live up to his father’s name, and as I found his performance to be rather annoying above all things to do with this film, I know some will feel I’m over criticizing a child’s performance but, he is no Will Smith, or as I like to say; the acorn does fall far from the tree. Whoever decided to cast Robert Knepper as a military colonel must have done it as either a favor to the actor or lost a bet, but Knepper does not match the role he was put into. James Hong has a small part in this, and gave lest bad performance which I must say was appreciated on my end. John Cleese is yet another fantastic actor that suffers the fate of a lacking performance, it seems to me that there’s a pattern here, could it be a bad script, or bad directing, you decide. Both actors Jon Hamm and Kyle Chandler did an equal amount of ok acting, but for the life of me it sure was hard telling them apart! It’s not that they look alike or anything, but their characters are so much alike that half the time I confused them for each other which shouldn’t happen in a film.

Final Say: The Day The Earth Stood Still could have been so much more, this film did not come out as gratifying as the 1951 original, it had promised so much to the viewers and yet it lacked in all the places needed, if the earth stood still it would have been because of this lackluster, watch at your own risk.

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 19, 2008

Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Tim Hill
Written by: Jon Vitti (screenplay) Will McRobb (screenplay) And Chris Viscardi (screenplay)
Genre: Comedy / Family / Fantasy / Music
MPAA: Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Released: 14 December 2007 (USA)
Starring: Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson, Jane Lynch, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney.

Plot: A struggling songwriter named Dave Seville finds success when he comes across a trio of singing chipmunks: mischievous leader Alvin, brainy Simon, and chubby, impressionable Theodore.

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: Alvin and the Chipmunks – A group of fun loving critters that has been a household name since the 1958 Christmas classic; “Christmas Don’t Be Late.” With many singles and albums to follow throughout the 1960’s to the 1990’s, and a cartoon hitting TV networks in the late 60’s, with a revamp cartoon in the 80’s for a newer generation including a hit theatrical film called The Chipmunk Adventure (1987), but as the 90’s rolled in and the times began to change, so did their fan base due to the generation the show was revamped for had grown up, the cartoon began to die as well as the sales in the music, soon the show was canceled and they started to only release a new album every few years or so, with an occasional direct to Video/DVD movies which were very miner success, it was clear that the world had forgotten about our cute little friends and slowly by slowly they slipped away into a mere memory of the past. That is until in 2007 when they had been brought back to the spotlight, revamped and modernized for a brand new generation of viewers to appreciate their cute little voices, and of course to welcome back the older generation, which is a known fact is one of the main reasons why the movie was such a success at the Box-Office pulling in 356 + million worldwide for a budget of only 60 million, some could say it made a ridicules amount of money, and there is no doubt in my mind that a large amount of their audience was made up of the “baby-boomer” generation taking their children and grand children to see this film. Now let me tell you, I am a really big fan of Alvin and the Chipmunks, heck I grow up watching the re-runs of both shows as a child including the animated movie on VHS which I watched so many times that I literally ran the tape down [Laughs].

They after all were before my time, heck the animated movie itself came out in theaters only one year after I was born. But that didn’t stop me from watching it, you could say I’ve always had this passion for old films (80’s classic films) and old music (from classical music to 80’s cool rock) because they have this certain quality that films today don’t have, it’s hard to explain really, it’s more of a feeling from appreciation of the classics, you know? So with that said I wasn’t too happy to hear about this being made into a live action film at first because after witnessing the catastrophe that was Scooby-Doo (2002) and its sequel which fallowed two years later Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), and if that wasn’t bad enough I was even more so disappointed with Garfield (2004) and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006) which was so mind numbingly stupid I felt incredibly embarrass just watching it by myself which was on DVD of course (you couldn’t pay me to see it in theaters), so after having to endure these bad experiences with adaptations of classic cartoons turned live action film you can see why I had lost faith in the genre, so I avoided this film at all cost while it was in theaters because after all I felt it just wasn’t worth nether my time nor money.

So after giving it a chance, I must admit; it wasn’t at all bad, it was nothing that I expected it to be, I thought it was going to be as bad as the other films I mentioned above so naturally I had low expectations for the film, but instead I got something that was quite enjoyable and worth giving a chance on, if you are a fan of the genre or a downright Chipmunks fan. As I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks I was flooded with memories brought back to me, the very moment I heard Justin Long voicing as Alvin singing “Bad day” I was quickly overwhelmed with emotions from my childhood, something I honestly wasn’t expecting, as you know I grow up to these little critters singing and dancing around, not to mention the albums which I listen to like crazy, if you saw me listing to music at that time it was a good chance I was probably listing to one of the Chipmunks albums. Now there was a few things that had been changed for the very original concept, one of which was the fact they made Alvin, Simon and Theodore into life size chipmunks, unlike the cartoon and their original image which had always made them out as over grown chipmunks that where as big as small children, I normally wouldn’t like this sort of idea because anytime a film studio tampers with the original concept it never ends well, but this time it does, and does so in a very good way, also I liked how they introduce Alvin Simon, and Theodore into the plot, on their own like real wild animals and then finding themselves in the company of straggling song writer Dave Seville who together they form a unlikely family bond, and I must say the one chipmunk who was made 100% accrete was Theodore which I must point out if you like the chipmunks as much I do then; there is no way you are going to be able to make it through seeing little Theodore without tearing up a little, I know I did. Also I like the fine CGI work done on the little guys, although I will say there was one or two scenes where I thought it could have been worked on a little better, and also the fact there was one montage way too many (about 3) in the film’s second and third act which showed a bit of a weakness in the story, however it saves itself by backing up into full gear around the third act for a finishing wonderful fourth act.

The story is about; in a tree farm, three musically inclined chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, find their tree cut down and sent to Los Angeles. Once there, they meet the frustrated songwriter David Seville, they impress him with their singing talent. Seeing the opportunity for success, both human and chipmunks make a pact for them to sing his songs. While that ambition proves a frustrating struggle with the difficult trio, the dream does come true after all. However, that success presents its own trials as their unscrupulous record executive, Ian Hawke, plans to break up this family to exploit the boys. Can Dave and the Chipmunks discover what they really value amid the superficial glamour around them?

As for the acting: Jason Lee is a very talented actor whom I’ve come to enjoy watching over the years, however, playing the part of Dave Seville is not one of them, it’s not that he did a bad performance or anything, no far from it, it’s just he didn’t quite match the role, no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t see him as Dave, all I could see was the character from his TV show "My Name Is Earl” and believe me when I say I really tried!, however this little bump doesn’t kill the film, after all he isn’t exactly the film’s main attraction, so in a way it balances out. David Cross did a great job playing the villain of the story, though I tend to find him a little annoying at times, I have to say isn’t that the who point of being the villain in this story, so in this case I say; mission accomplish Mr. Cross! Cameron Richardson was a sweet heart in this, but I felt at times she was being sidetracked a little from being the love interest and just forgotten during the film. Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney were spot on as Alvin, Simon and Theodore, I really didn’t think the three had it in them to do the parts justice; however I was wrong and they did a great job, perhaps this is a sign that movies such as these can be made in a manner that will be loved, oh well here’s to hoping it’s sequel lives up to this one.

Finale Say: Alvin and the Chipmunks was an incredible film to watch, I really didn’t think I’d have this much fun watching it, but I did and I’m glad I did at that too. If you have children and at least free spirited enough to enjoy movies like this, then this is without a doubt for you and I recommend it!

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Review: New York Lately (2008) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Gary King
Written by: Gary King
Genre: Drama
MPAA: Not Yet Rated
Released: TBA 2009
Starring: Susan Cagle, Jenn Dees. Jared Asato, Mark DiConzo, John Weisenburger, Jeremy Koerner, Vanessa Streiff, Kether Donohue, Molly Ryman, Bridget Trama, David Winning.

Plot: A drama following multiple characters as they weave through their daily lives searching for happiness

Review: 8/10

My Thoughts: As a film critic I see one to two films on a daily bases, which for the most part can be fun, however sometimes it can be rather agenizing due to the countless hours spent watching films that don’t deserves the time of day for my or anyone’s attention, however every once in a while there comes a film that is unexpectedly breath taking and emotionally powerful, one that grips the individual into its world of wonder, if you don’t know what I’m talking about than it’s pretty obvious that you’ve never seen a good film, than alone appreciate the fine art of filmmaking.

For me that moment of cinema satisfaction was New York Lately, a film written and directed by independent new comer Gary King, New York Lately is a film that grabs a hold of its viewers and takes them on a journey deep into the lives of a group of individuals dealing with their unhappiness one day at a time, the film proves to be strong on a emotional level with a deliciously divers blend of drama meets humor, as a fan of the fine art of Indy filmmaking I was captivated by this film from start to finish, the plot is covered with levels of atmosphere that continues to have layers of depth within itself, as the saying goes a picture carries a thousand words, well if that so than this film topples that tenfold with every shot with a fantastically written screenplay that can’t be fully understood through an explanation but rather being experienced firsthand, the film moves through its various stories without attempting to make a single character or story anymore meaningful than the rest, it is much in the same theme as the movie “Crash” with not trying to make one single entity conquering over the other, but instead giving its audience a generalize principle of the pursuit of finding happiness, and the loneliness many feel in the process, in short this film is what independent filmmaking should be, the fact this film was made with a small budget of only a $100,000 is astonishing and quite frankly impressive, because if I didn’t know any batter I would have thought this film was made with a much larger budget then a hundred grand, but that only future proves my point that Mr. King is… well, The King! Unlike other filmmakers who have a ridiculously large budget to play with and still end up making a film hardly worth being paid to see (trust me there’s a lot of them out there), King shows that a worth watching film doesn’t need a large budget, nor does it need an all-star cast of A-list celebrities, with that said it goes to show that with the right script, the right cast, and the right director put behind it anything is possible.

What New York lately reminded me of was the old days of movie making, when making a film was more than just making the big bucks, it was more than just trying to rush a film out so that the revenue could start rolling in, and it certainly was more than just trying to win awards, what it used to be about was a message to it’s viewers, may it be good or bad, for better or worse, directors of the past would set forward to make a film that had a message, or better yet, an ideal, it’s what filmmaking was all about, it didn’t matter if it made money, or if it won awards or not, rather the masses liked it or not it didn’t matter, just knowing that people went out to see it was its own reword, now days directors have forgotten that, they have strayed away from the morals and ideals of filmmaking, but not King, though new to the business he obviously knows that making films is more than just filming a story scene for scene, but about expressing one’s self through art in each and every scene, and what we get is a decent plot that moves nicely along as the story unfold, and a cast that is spot on goodness, and a scores setting that is perfect for the overall mood of the film, and the most important part is the fact this film is (unlike a lot of films seen this year) unpredictable makes me giddy just saying it, yes that’s right I said giddy, as a film critic who watch an average of one sometimes two film a say I have become quite the expert of predicting the outcomes of situations in films long before they ever arise, and because of this sometimes the films can become more of a chore than a pleasure, but not this film, no, not by a long shot, the fact I was unable to call it was impressive because it shows there are still undiscovered talents left out there, the only problem I had was (that is if you can call this a problem) I did not want the film the end, seeing these characters through their victories and happy ending, to their dark decisions and unfortunate defeats, you can’t help but feel as though you’re a part of their lives, like you’ve been there beside them the whole journey, I guess this is due to the fact Mr. King has built a stylish atmospheric world of character that we all can relate to in one form or another, and because of this I can see nothing but good thing for him in his career, so to the once hotshot Indie director’s, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, watch out! A new comer has arrived to the scene.

The story is about; a group of everyday people, living everyday lives living in New York city, each must fight their own battles of unhappiness, trying to find their own piece of happiness. Jared (Jared Asato), an unhappy corporate employee, grapples with his conscience on doing what is right for the company versus what is right for himself. Truly (Susan Cagle), an aspiring singer, struggles to create one meaningful song in her life while trying to maintain old friendships and new. Veronica (Jenn Dees), a self-conscious actor, works odd-Jobs looking for her one big break, until she gets it, Mark (Mark DiConzo), a voice-over performer, obsesses over the recent break up with his girlfriend Andrea (Molly Ryman), perhaps a little too much. Ringo (John Weisenburger), a self-proclaimed “know it all” when it comes to ladies hides an unexpected secret. Suspecting his wife of infidelity, Elliot (Jeremy Koerner), a one-time bestselling author, hires a spunky privet detective named Sam (Vanessa Streiff) to collect the incriminating proof only to discover more about himself than anything else.

As for the acting; it’s hard for me to judge the acting because to be completely honest, the cast as a whole was great, but I will however say a few things about some of the cast and the characters they played. Susan Cagle was amazing as Truly, her acting was nicely done, not over the top and not underdone, she is also a wonderful singer, listing to her singing as the credits roll was more than worth it. Jared Asato was fantastic as Jared, I could really see the harsh agony he went through doing a job he didn’t want to, Jenn Dees great, her pretrial of a struggling actress was spot on, not many people know the kind of things actors and actresses have to do or go through to get where they are in the business. Mark DiConzo did a great job, in my opinion I think his character really stood out, the pain of loving someone who no longer feels the same way is probably one of the most painful things to experience, and DiConzo did this spot on with great integrity and depth. John Weisenburger did a nice job, his character gives the viewers a few good laughs as well as a few touching moments, I don’t know why but for some reason Weisenburger reminded me a lot of actor Edward Burns, could be they look a little like each other, you decide. Jeremy Koerner was outstanding, I could really feel his character’s misery, and living with someone who you suspect is cheating on you with someone else can be a real emotional train wreck for anyone, and Koener did this role with great skill. I found Vanessa Streiff to be simply adorable, her acting was quite nicely, and her character is just one of those you can’t help but love. Kether Donohue, Molly Ryman, Bridget Trama, and David Winning, all did great jobs. Like I’ve stated earlier, all these actors gave magnificent performances that is hard to judge individually.

Final Say: overall I had a fantastic time viewing this film, the movie had a spot on cast with a spot on director, the film showcases the talents of an upcoming director as well as rising stars, and watching New York Lately was basically watching the talents of stars filmmakers of tomorrow, I can tell you now that these people will be somebody’s in the near future, I highly recommend!

Copyright 2008
All Rights Reserved