Tag Archives: Michael Imperioli

Review: Oldboy

Oldboy_PosterDespite striking visuals and Josh Brolin’s all-in performance, the new “Oldboy” fails to build a riveting, believable mystery strong enough to support its big twist.

In the Spike Lee film, Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a deplorable advertising executive who has all the time in the world to drown himself in alcohol, but none to spend with his daughter. During one particularly drunken night, Joe is snatched off the street and wakes up trapped in a small room. After 20 years of solitary confinement and dumplings, Joe is suddenly released and challenged to figure out who ordered his lengthy prison sentence and why.

If you’ve seen the Chan-wook Park original, it’s impossible to experience this new version objectively, but Lee’s rendition does deserve a standalone assessment first.

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Interview: Oldboy’s Michael Imperioli

Michael_ImperioliWhereas both Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen have to live up to the expectations set by Min-sik Choi and Hye-jeong Kang in Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy, Michael Imperioli has the luxury of portraying a character from the manga that’s yet to make it to the big screen.  Brolin leads as Joe Doucett, a brash selfish drunk who’s suddenly plucked off the streets and thrown into solitary confinement for 20 years. Even though he comes out a changed man, the people in his life are left with the impression he made before his disappearance and nothing more. Fortunately for Joe, his life-long pal Chucky (Imperioli) is willing to give him a second chance.

In support of Oldboy’s November 27th release, Imperioli sat down with Collider in New York City to talk about his many collaborations with Spike Lee, what drew him to the role, whether or not Chucky really believed Joe was a guilty man, the details on the Martin Scorsese executive produced-film The Wannabe, and more.

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NYCC 2013: Mark Protosevich Defends the Oldboy Remake at New York Comic Con

oldboynycc1As a remake of the beloved Chan-wook Park 2003 original, Spike Lee’s Oldboy has a lot to live up to.

Similar to the first film, in Lee’s version, Josh Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a man who’s kidnapped, locked away for years and then unexpectedly let go for no apparent reason. Desperate to find out why he was stripped of such a significant portion of his life, he becomes fixated on finding his captor.

With the film inching closer to its November 27th release, writer and co-producer Mark Protosevich, and stars Michael Imperioli and Pom Klementieff hit the stage to discuss the film, but the large majority of the conversation boiled down to a single topic – how and why do you remake such an incredible film?

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Review: The Call

The-Call-PosterDirector Brad Anderson and writer Richard D’Ovidio definitely have something here, but “The Call” falls into B-movie territory with a mix of notable highs, but also a handful of rock bottom lows.

Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is an all-star 911 operator, but when her call with a home invasion victim ends poorly, she feels responsible and opts to step away from the call center. Six months later, Jordan is busy training an incoming class of operators when a call comes in from a young girl who’s been kidnapped. When the operator who receives the call panics, Jordan must put the past behind her, step in and do whatever she can to bring Casey Welson (Abigail Breslin) home alive.

The life of a 911 operator is surprisingly thrilling. The day-to-day happenings as presented in “The Call” are likely far slicker than in reality, but it makes for an ideal central environment for film. We all know and have possibly used a 911 call center, but for those who don’t work in law enforcement, the inner workings of the facility are probably a mystery. D’Ovidio uses the unknown to his advantage, dishing out the bear minimum, satiating curiosity while keeping the information digestible. Anderson and editor Avi Youabian take it from there, turning what could easily have been a stagnant, dull presentation of that call center and giving it life through an appropriate amount of camera movement and some stellar editing. Anderson excels on the opposite end of the spectrum as well with solid action coverage and a number of memorable shots that highlight the true horror of the situation, too.

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Review: The Lovely Bones

Put a fantastic novel in the hands of an Academy Award winning director and what do you get? Maybe not another award-winning masterpiece, but at the very least a good movie. Well, don’t expect either from Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. If anything, The Lovely Bones will be remembered as one of the most disappointing productions of the year.

On one fateful afternoon, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) walks home from school and right into the clutches of her neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). What Susie first expects to be an innocent encounter winds up being a malicious ambush ultimately sending her to the afterlife. Rather than making a B-line to heaven, Susie’s attachment to activities on earth lands her in a realm in between mortal life and the pearly gates. From there, she looks down on her family and watches her passing tear them a part.

Her sister and brother, Lindsey and Buckley (Rose McIver and Christian Thomas Ashdale), are heartbroken, but, naturally, it’s her parents that suffer the most. While her mother Abigail (Rachel Weisz) shuts down and neglects her family, her father Jack (Mark Wahlberg) rages out of control in search of Susie’s killer. The only person keeping the Salmons from crumbling completely is the booze-loving, yet caring Grandma Lynn (Susan Sarandon).

The Lovely Bones is an incomplete story. The only people capable of finding any enjoyment in this film are those who’ve read the Alice Sebold novel the film is based on and that’s only if they’re not completely turned off by its poor adaptation. As for the moviegoers unfamiliar with the material, little to nothing will make much sense.

The film starts off promising. When Susie is alive, so is the story, but once Jackson relocates her to his imaginary world of trippy CGI landscapes, you become completely detached. Co-writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Jackson appear to have just flipped through the book and extracted the scenes most suitable for the big screen treatment without any concern for the grand story that would result.

Not one character is developed enough to be convincing, even the ominous George Harvey. Tucci does a fantastic job at making you extremely uncomfortable and comes the closest to making a significant impact, but in the end, becomes swallowed up by his blatant branding as the villain. Grandma Lynn finds herself in a similar predicament. She has the potential to be a very endearing character, but becomes a caricature in Jackson’s attempt to have her fit a very specific role.

Both Weisz and McIver are victims of plain old shoddy characters. Lindsey doesn’t get nearly as much screen time as she deserves, but at least has one that provokes you to root for her. Abigail Salmon might as well have been removed completely for she makes absolutely no effect on the film and takes away from the more successful characters. When a child dies and her mother fails to make an emotional impact, you know something is seriously wrong. In the context of the film, her actions are completely unjustified and downright ridiculous.

The most poorly casted and painful to watch is Wahlberg. Jack Salmon is a role that calls for an actor with an extreme emotional range capable of portraying a man that loses the thing he loves most. Wahlberg has the emotional range of a stick. If his baby talk voice isn’t making you feel feeble it’s because he’s too busy throwing an unfounded temper tantrum to talk.

The worst part of this film’s failure is that these problems could have easily been avoided. Jackson has fantastic source material in the palm of his hand, but gets far too carried away and completely strips it of any meaning. Jackson’s heaven could have been passable if the audience wasn’t drowned in it. Far too much time is spent showing off cheesy computer tricks when the live action events call for so much more attention. Not only does the misallocation of consideration completely thin out the profound story unfolding on Earth, it makes Jackson’s heaven laughable. Nothing works in The Lovely Bones. It will be a grand disappointment for fans of the book and completely incomprehensible for the rest.

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