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Films I Neglected To Review: Dystopia Is Finger-Licking Good!
by Peter Sobczynski

Please enjoy short reviews of "The Colony" and "Thanks For Sharing"

In the not-too-distant future posited the ghoulish Canadian sci-fi thriller "The Colony," mankind's efforts to cure the horrors of global warming have the deleterious effect of plunging the world into a new Ice Age in which the few survivors brave the elements from within a few scattered underground colonies. When a nearby colony sends out a distress signal, Colony 7 sends out a small search party led by Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) to investigate what has happened and when they arrive, they discover that the place has been overrun by other survivors who have grown to develop a taste for human flesh. The rest of the film finds them trying to escape back to their own colony while avoiding becoming the Thursday Surprise.

Essentially a bizarre riff on Robert Altman's infamous post-apocalyptic saga "Quintet" that teems with cannibalism instead of ennui, the film is little more than a competently produced and far more sober-minded version of those cheesy SyFy Channel spectaculars that struggle to reconcile extravagant ideas with paltry budgets. To be fair, I liked the fact that it does take its premise relatively seriously--perhaps too seriously for its own good at times-- and the presence of Fishburne and Bill Paxton does serve to class things up a bit. However, the overwhelming familiarity of the material eventually works against it and most viewers are likely to find themselves giving it the cold shoulder long before it end.

"Thanks For Sharing" tells the story of a group of people who are in the same 12-step group to deal with their varying problems with sexual addiction. Mark Ruffalo is a guy who has been in the program long enough to attempt to start dating again but finds that seemingly perfect new girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow has issues with his issues. Josh Gad plays a young doctor forced to deal with his tendencies after finally hitting rock-bottom when he is busted trying to film up his boss's dress. Tim Robbins is a long-time member who has let his belief in the program transform into self-righteous zealotry that rears its ugly head when his one-time junkie son (Patrick Fugit) announces that he is getting clean on his own.

Considering that the film is dealing with a serious subject that many people dismiss as being a joke, I suppose it makes sense that the screenplay by Stuart Blumberg and Matt Winston (the former also directed) tries to encompass comedy and drama but the clashes in tone are just too jarring for its own good--for large chunks of time, it feels as if we are being asked to either laugh at things that aren't very funny or take seriously things that are too silly to be believed. Aside from one weird but memorable bit that appears to be an audition for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film for Ruffalo and sexy scene-stealer Emily Meade , the best thing about the film is the performance by Alecia Moore (you know her better as pop princess Pink) as another addict who forms an unexpected friendship with Gad--she brings a surprising level of conviction to the part that livens up the film every time she appears on the screen. Too bad that "Thanks For Sharing" can't keep it up the rest of the time.

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originally posted: 09/21/13 02:38:59
last updated: 09/21/13 03:03:41
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