Monday, November 21, 2011

Random Non-Horror Reviews

It's no secret that sometimes people need a break. Recently, I got a break not only from my work, but also from my whole freaking state and the people I see every day. And it was glorious. When I got back, I fully intended to get right back into watching those good ole horror movies again, but I just wasn't into it. It was time to watch some of those other movies that are out there, and thank goodness that the two films I randomly picked out from Netflix all turned out to be really good.

The Killing Jar (2010)
I will freely admit that I only wanted to watch The Killing Jar because Michael Madsen was in it. Plain and simple, that was the only motivation I needed. Who doesn't love this man, really? You know you do, so go out and watch this movie.

The Killing Jar tells the story of several patrons at a small town diner who become suspicious of a strange and rude man who enters the establishment late at night. Reports of the brutal murder of an entire family spook them into thinking that this man (Madsen) is the culprit.

Along with Madsen, this movie actually has a very nice and recognizable cast. The lone waitress of the diner, Noreen, is played by the wonderful Amber Benson, best known (at least by me) as Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Harold Perrineau is John Dixon, another stranger in the diner. Danny Trejo is the tough diner cook and Lew Temple is the sheriff with a big mouth and no courage. Later on, there's also Jake Busey, who is the same sleazy character he pretty much always plays. In fact, Madsen, Temple, and Trejo all play to their respective types in this movie which was disappointing at points. Madsen even seems a little bored with his role in certain scenes, but then other times, he's right on the mark. Bad day, maybe?

More so than Madsen himself, I'd have to say that his shotgun is a big star of the film. I mean, look at that thing! What the hell is that? With the shells on top? That's so AWESOME! Anyway. The Killing Jar is a lot more bloody than I thought it was going to be and there are some great effects work on several people's deaths. Heads are blown off and throats are cut. Keeps it interesting.

For a small film with really not a lot going on, I was surprised at how into it I was. There are several twists in the plot, and even though they become rather predictable once the story gets going, they no doubt added to what otherwise would have been a rather boring film. Once we really get into the meat of the plot, there's enough there to make you want to watch the rest of the movie, if only to see how it ends.

Trust (2010)
Hello, my name is Michele.
Hi, Michele.
And I am a Law and Order: SVU-aholic.
Thank you, Michele.
I am so addicted to everything about that show - the hard-hitting stories, the intense drama, and the unabashed show of emotion. 

What does all this have to do with this 2010 flick Trust, you ask? Well, again, I didn't need much more motivation to watch it after reading the synopsis which could very well have been an episode of SVU. Clive Owen plays the father of 14-year-old Annie who becomes the victim of an online sexual predator. And while the father obsesses over finding the man who hurt her, the daughter delves deeper into confusion and despair.

Though this sounds like your standard Lifetime movie fair, the progressing story turns out to be a little different. One of the biggest things that annoyed me, or that I had trouble understanding, was the fact that for most of the movie, Annie doesn't even believe that she was raped by this man. She is admirably a little put off when she finally meets up with her online friend, "Charlie," and finds out that he is about 15 years older than he said he was. Still, she goes with him to his motel room and... you know what happens. She's convinced that the two of them just had sex, and though she has strange feelings about it, she is still protective of Charlie and is constantly angry at her father for trying to catch him.

The movie is not so much about the apprehension of Charlie than it is about the disintegration of the family and everybody's mixed feelings about the situation. Annie is young and impressionable and I can't honestly remember what it was like to be 14 so it's hard for me to get into her mindset. I am, however, very attracted to Clive Owen's portrayal of Annie's father, Will. He never hides his emotions about what happened to his daughter, even when those emotions and actions are causing more problems with the family. Will's character is probably the most honest and heartbreaking one of the whole piece.

The conclusion may not be enough to satisfy what people want to see happen - Charlie is never caught - but for what the story was about it makes sense. It's about Annie and her father finally understanding each other and each other's feelings and coming back to what they used to be before their world fell apart. Trust is a very effective drama, and quite a surprising one for it being directed by David Schwimmer!


  1. I watched "Trust" because of your recommendation here and enjoyed it. Thank you!

  2. Loved The Killing Jar....but I knew who it was all along