Man on a Ledge Movie Review

man-on-a-ledge-movie-review As a police psychologist works to talk down an ex-con who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion…star-whitestar-whitestar-white

Man On A Ledge, starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks, follows a familiar Hollywood plotline. For a movie that is of a very familiar format, it needs to be innovative and truly great to make up for its lack of uniqueness. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t quite come through.

Man On A Ledge is a dialogue-driven movie (my favourite) and is relatable to movies like Phone Booth or The Negotiator. Unfortunately, unlike some of my favourite dialogue driven movies (The Taking of Pelham 123, Assault on Precinct 13) Man On A Ledge fails to deliver in a number of ways. The acting is appalling (more on that later), the plot is unoriginal and predictable, and the characters had no draw whatsoever.

As I just mentioned, the acting is pretty brutal. Elizabeth Banks falls flat throughout most of the movie. She never seems to nail down her character – I blame it on poor casting and her lack of depth as an actress. Sam Worthington’s performance is not overly impressive either. I spent the entire movie wishing an actor better suited for this type of movie would show up (cough, Denzel Washington, cough).

The plot borrowed elements from a number of great heist movies and tried to meld them all together. Despite being a fan of heist movies and dialogue-driven movies in general, I was not impressed with the execution of Man On A Ledge. Some of the twists and reveals were well thought-out while the rest of the movie was predictable and unoriginal. The movie does pick up quickly though, and maintains a steady pace throughout. genesis-rodriquez-man-on-a-ledge

The characters were one of the worst parts of the movie. Elizabeth Banks character was intended to generate sympathy but I couldn’t help but hate her character for the longest time (although, it could just be the acting that I hated). Her altruistic ways did eventually have me come around to like her character. All of the other characters are forgettable except for a very attractive actress, Genesis Rodriguez, who was clearly there just to keep the audiences from wanting to leave the theatre (photo to the right from the movie). I would not be upset to see her in a number of movies going forward as “the hot girl” – she was the only one who was cast properly.

All-in-all, the movie was not as terrible as I may have made it seem. It is merely a rental. Definitely skippable while in theatre.

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Contagion Movie Review 2011

contagion-movie-review-matt-damon A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

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Contagion is a very unique movie for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is shot with elements of both a documentary and a typical Hollywood drama. Unfortunately the style does not lend to a particularly compelling presentation. I was left feeling that the movie was neither personal enough nor informative enough. There appeared to be a lack of focus regarding what exactly the movie was supposed to be.

This is not to say the movie was not interesting, because it was. The movie was successful in taking the audience through what it would be like to be involved in the middle of a massive disease outbreak. It was certainly interesting to see what society would have gone through with outbreaks in the past, before we had become effective at curbing these disasters.

Matt Damon’s character was hard to read and his performance was not up to his usual standard. The movie also failed to develop a connection between other main characters and the audience which took away from the personal elements as the movie progressed.

Overall the movie missed the mark, but the concept was unique and intriguing and still worth a watch, if only as a rental.