BetweenReviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 01/26/05 22:01:24
SCREENED AT THE 2005 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: No, no, no. You just can't make a film this bad, with dialogue this awful, a story this pointless, and acting this horrific, and get into Sundance. It just isn't supposed to happen this way. It must never be allowed to happen again.Diabolically bad. Those two words could be repeated over and over and over again, and it would be a perfectly apt review of this straight to video-standard affair. Actually, I take it back that this is STV-standard, because I don't even think Shannon Tweed would have signed on to a script this awful.
First time feature director David Ocanas and screenwriter Robert Nelms come together to create a film that wants to be many great things. It wants to be metaphysical. It wants to be mysterious. It wants to be enigmatic. It wants to be artistic. But what it is, is bollocks.
Poppy Montgomery is Nadine, a hardbitten legal professional who has a feeling she should be looking for her lost sister. Learning that she was last seen in Tijuana, a series of dreams, visions and other quackery see her encounter an old woman who seems to be performing a role in a 1970's drive-in thriller. Moving at a snail's pace and giving the audience nothing to go on EXCEPT the supposed surprise twist at the end of the bloody movie (yes, I guessed this one inside fifteen minutes, which makes the rest of it BLOODY boring), the opening act of Between at its Sundance press screening saw the theater become a stampede of walk-outs.
With honestly awful and completely unrealistic dialogue, editing that seems to delay every reaction by almost a full second, and (sorry to say it, Poppy) sincerely awful acting in every respect, there's just nothing at all here to cling to in the hope of a film worth watching. If just one element had been worth watching, it could have snuck by with at least some reason to be, but Montgomery's awful performance is emphasized by a script that seems hellbent on hurting her career, while the director and editor combine to kill any suspense and offer up a series of poorly framed shots and pointless cutaways designed to disguise a lack of coverage.
I don't doubt for a second that people could like Between, but I have every possible doubt that I could sit in a room with that person for longer than twelve seconds. This film is a mess, a complete hack job, and I don't say these things because I enjoy being a bitch, I say them because the press were laughing throughout, with not a single joke being present.
Ridiculous symbolism, mangled direction, and a cast seemingly ill-equipped to make a dent in the rusting hulk that is this movie, I think the best advice I can give to the filmmaker is that you might like to learn to crawl before you try to run a marathon.Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure, I didn't last to the end of the film, but if that last fifteen minutes could have corrected all the bad from the first hour plus, then David Ocana can probably also turn stone to bread. Avoid.
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