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Wilder's Movie Review

By: Dwayne Wilder


This ‘Painting’ is Overstated
First of all, Eddie Murphy isn’t that bad in the new movie, “A Thousand Words.’
This doesn’t mean he should start his Oscar acceptance speech either. Murphy is okay; funny at times, but just okay. There is a lot of talk that his career is over, but don’t stop going to his movies yet, there is still hope; and I think “ATW” bears this out.
The new movie has Murphy as a literary agent who will do anything to represent people especially the ones with surefire hits such as the latest ‘feel good’ guru with a book. Jack McCall (Murphy) will say anything and talk about anything and talk faster than anyone to get the job done. He doesn’t care about the power of what we say; he just wants to get the deal done.
Enter Dr. Sinja and his new age philosophy. The fast talking McCall visits him and by stretching the truth gets the deal; and more than he bargained for. Included is a Bodhi tree, with a mind of its own, which is counting McCall’s words………up to 1,000 when the tree will die……..and so will McCall………or will he?
The rest of the movie is McCall trying to get by without talking. There are some funny gags and the other characters are understandably confused. Cliff Curtis is decent as Dr. Sinja as well is Kerry Washington as McCall’s wife, Caroline. But the best supporting character is McCall’s assistant, Aaron Wiseberger, played hysterically by Clark Dube.
The film is rated PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, language and some drug related humor. It is 91 minutes long and came in sixth when it opened March 9. It was directed by Brian Robbins and written by Steve Koren.
The concept is fine; showing the importance of what we say, but this movie plot kinda loses it at the end. There is a consequence to every word we speak, but the supernatural ending leaves something to be desired.
Murphy is funny and there are flashes of the 1980s Murphy especially during his new age chanting which becomes a Michael Jackson song; that’s brilliant! But that is the extent of this movie, which has sat ‘in the can’ for three years. Yes, it has been done and ready for the theaters since 2009.
There was some concern that it wouldn’t work; they probably should have just sent it direct to DVD.
 An ‘EO’ Vehicle
The new horror film, “Silent House,” is a remake of a Uruguay movie from 2010; that’s a bad sign. You just don’t make the same movie every two years………………..
But for American audiences, we have newly discovered actress Elizabeth Olsen. Producers decided to remake a two year old movie, which is based on a true story from the 1940s, to showcase Olsen and her considerable acting abilities.
It’s a good idea. Olsen, younger sister to the Olsen twins, Ashley and Mary Kate, is a gifted actress at age 24. She blew most people away (me included) with her portrayal of a young girl recovering from a cult in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” last year.
The plot to “Silent House” lends itself to Olsen’s talents. There is minimal dialogue and extensive use of facial expression, which Olsen has to spare. There’s not even much music to this horror flick.
The plot follows Sarah (Olsen) as she is trapped inside her family’s lake house. She is unable to contact the outside world and things inside become ominous. The 85 minute film is shot in what is called ‘real time’ without a cut to show the viewer exactly what the main character is going through as she goes through it. According to reports, it was actually shot in 10 minute segments; then edited to look continuous.
The pursuit driven tale is decent and scary at times, but it takes a 180 degree turn at the ending and surprises. Directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau do a good job with the script, which is done by Gustavo Hernandez and screenplay done by Lau.
Adam Trese, as Sarah’s father, John; and Eric Sheffer Stevens as Sarah’s uncle, Peter, both do a good job. In a very small role, Julia Taylor Ross plays Sophia, a childhood friend of Sarah’s. The film is rated R for disturbing violent content and terror.
“Silent House” also opened March 9, but only came in fifth place with $6.66 million (Yes, that’s exactly what the total was!).
I went to this move for one reason and one reason only: Elizabeth Olsen! She is the best young actress there is in my opinion. She will win an Academy Award before she is 30 years old! You heard it here first.
Olsen takes each scene and effortlessly brings it to life. Those facial expressions are pure terror and she is so comfortable in this character that one can see her acting ability even if they’ve never seen her.
From the reviews, the people love Elizabeth Olsen in this role, but not the movie itself. I can understand this stance, because of who she is. There are very few people who can make you believe you are being followed without saying a word.
Elizabeth Olsen is one of those people……………………………………………

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