aaronjwyckoff

IMDb member since December 2016
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Reviews

Chantal
(2007)

Nobody is that naive
Chantal is not a horrible movie, but it fails on several levels. First and foremost, I cannot believe anyone could possibly be as naive as Chantal manages to be. Yes, I can certainly see her being unprepared for a lot of what is thrown at her, but expecting to get a room for a week at a good hotel for four dollars? Seriously? Not even a hundred years ago. Her naivety is way overplayed to the point where it's impossible to take any of the movie seriously. Frankly, she comes across as entirely unlikable to the point where you almost root for reality to smack her around a bit.

Add to that every cliché you can think of for a Hollywood lowlife all acting in the most despicable manner possible. The only interesting character in the whole movie is Pablo just because he actually has memorable personal quirks.

Chantal's downward spiral runs too quickly as well. She goes from refusal to acceptance far too easily again and again. Over a period of a couple months? Yes. Over a week? Not likely.

If you want to see a few brief scenes of nudity, I guess this movie is okay, though it doesn't even do much there compared to many others. If you're looking for an overplayed story of an unbelievably innocent young girl being swallowed up by Hollywood, you might enjoy it, but otherwise, don't waste your time.

Wages of Sin
(2020)

Powerful and compelling
When I saw the low rating this movie received from other people, I was expecting a typical poorly written, poorly performed, poorly shot movie. This was anything but. The entire cast (okay, so that's only five people, including two who never appear on screen) gave an outstanding performance. Lauren Martin (Celee) in particular demonstrated excellent depth of character and frankly, if this had been a major studio production, might have won an award for it.

The writing was powerful and overall well paced, with a good mixture of tension and twists. This might not have been a big-budget film, but it doesn't show in the cinematography, which left little to be desired. The basement scenes were a little dim to be fully appreciated but, well, it was a basement.

The only thing I can really come up with for the negative side was the length. I think tightening things up by about 8-10 minutes would have made it a faster, even more compelling movie without significantly hurting the character development.

Personally, I loved the ending (and definitely didn't see it coming), though I can see how some people might find it unsatisfying.

Overall an excellent movie, better than many major studio mass market films.

Interception
(2009)

Not bad for the budget
If you're looking for a big budget Hollywood thriller, this isn't it, but for what it is, Interception is not as bad as some other reviews here would lead you to believe. This is one of those films that could easily have been a much better movie, but there were two major flaws. First, too many of the bit roles were done poorly, no doubt by friends of the producers and very possibly for free. In this case, they got what they paid for. There were a lot of stilted lines and just plain poor acting. On the flip side, the lead actors overall did a decent job - not great, and not always consistent, but not horrible, either. The second, and more significant, flaw of the movie was the script. While the actors often did a creditable job of delivering their lines, the lines themselves were not very good, and there were some gaping plot holes, including to some extent the basic premise of the whole film. Amateur mistakes, such as including unnecessary dialogue and a heavy reliance on profanity (nearly 80 instances of f---/f---ing alone), took what could have been an exciting story line and turned it into a sub-par production.

On the other hand, this was far from the worst movie I've ever seen, and had some redeeming qualities. The lead actors showed promise and could have been better with a better script. There were a few twists and several moments of intentional humor that help keep any thriller on track. In the end, not too bad for a low-budget film, but one that could have been much better, even at the same price.

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