A documentary about the soul of American music. The film follows the recording of a new album featuring legends from Stax records and Memphis mentoring and passing on their musical magic to stars and artists of today.
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Matt Sobel is more impressed with himself than I was.
I always prefer to give a film the benefit of the doubt going into it. When I saw the trailer, I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen and didn't need to see it. But I was still curious and decided "you don't know, you could be wrong. Go see it and find out." So, I saw it. And I can safely say I predicted beat for beat what was going to happen.
Now, that is not to say predictability is a bad thing. But this movie seems hellbent on surprising you. Every reveal is treated as a mind blowing revelation, when you've probably already figured it out twenty minutes back. And the movie becomes sterile if you know what's happening. As the film reached its close, I found myself thinking "this can't be the solution, no they're going to pull he rug out from under us. The other shoe has to drop."
But sadly it all ends as you thought it would. Which wouldn't be bad, except the line of dialogue which reveals the "big twist" of the movie comes, and I'm not exaggerating, less than ten minutes in.
There are many good aspects to the movie, and I must praise those when I see them. The cinematography is gorgeous for the budget the movie has, if it isn't at all too reminiscent of TV in Sobel's point and shoot method. The lack of a score calls to mind No Country For Old Men and definitely creates the atmosphere of mystery and suspense Sobel wants to capture. There is one music cue at the end of the movie I find a little out of place tonally, and admittedly laughed when it occurred, but that's a minor complaint.
Where the movie really stands tall is on the shoulders of its actors. Logan Miller, the films lead, once again shines and shows great promise as a young actor as the young gay son of Robin Weigret and Richard Schiff (who both turn in stellar performances). Josh Hamilton makes a thrilling turn as the shifty uncle and father of Molly, the girl with whom the plot revolves around. The other standout in the movie is the young Ursula Parker as Molly, where she shows a naturalism and charm without being an annoying child actor.
Matt Sobel has the capacity to make a great movie, but sadly Take Me To The River isn't it.
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