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The Shape of Things (2003)
A brilliant piece of modern film-making.
Terrifying but so true tale about the way people can control us and the reasons we just let them do it. Rachel Weisz is amazing as art student who makes changes to a lonely guy who just wants to fit in. The story in true Neil Labute fashion takes a macabre turn and makes you question everything that you have done in your relationship and gives you a well deserved punch in the stomach in the reality department as well. The acting is beyond top of its game with Rachel Weisz proving once again to be one of the most talented and gifted actresses of our generation. Her performance is beyond brilliant and she single handily carries this movie on her shoulders with her performance. Paul Rudd, Fred Weller and Gretchen Mole do great work as well and Neil Labute proves once again to be a profound playwright of uncanny wisdom of the evil that resides in the human heart.
I do hope that Weisz and Labute work together again.
The Forgotten (2004)
Weak Sixth Sense rip off that gives up most of it's cards way too early in the game and just leaves you cold right after it's all said and done. Julianne Moore is such a class act that you don't mind taking the familiar trip with her but at the end, you end up more and less at the same place at where you started. The scenes of people flying in and out of the air is really cool in terms of special effects but the reason for it once you find out is kind of a cop out and very far fetch. The whole conspiracy angle that it tries to play also does not fit the context of the story and ends up confusing more than adding to the story. I will give this movie high marks for the game performances of Julianne Moore, Gary Sinise, Anthony Edwards and Christopher Kovaleski but it's too bad that they did not have a script to support their talent.
Runaway Jury (2003)
Flimsy yet well acted.
Well acted yet flimsy adaptation of the John Grisham novel lacks a well rounded script to carry itself but has an amazing cast that lifts this mediocre film past its problems and into respectability. The script has way too many loop holes in logic to even take what you are seeing seriously and the directing lacks a sharp narrative to get across what it's trying to say. The acting is the only major thing that this film excels on and with out it, this would have been a cable movie of the week at best. Gene Hackman is great as a jury consultant who would stop at nothing to win a case and Rachel Weisz is amazing as his adversary in and out of the courtroom. Dustin Hoffman is great as well but he is not in the movie as much as advertise and John Cusack is decent for the role he has. The biggest fault the movie does have is the fact that certain plot points disappear during the course of the film as well as characters. It's a great way to spend two hours of your time, especially with the great performances of Gene Hackman and Rachel Weisz to keep you glued to what is happening but the movie has a lot of glaring problems that makes it hard to sit though in certain parts.