Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Next Three Days (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010)

The Next Three DaysRussell Crowe plays a man who's wife is convicted of a murder he's convinced she didn't commit. After she tries to kill herself, he decides to break her out of jail. Although the movie felt somewhat slow for a portion of it, ultimately I have to say that I enjoyed it, and can highly recommend it. Here's why:

1. It's a smart movie. It makes you think, and you're not told every last detail up front. In fact, you don't even know if the wife was innocent of murder or not for most of the movie. You're led through the story with pieces to the puzzle, and by the end it all comes together. It was really interesting.

2. It was not predictable. I found myself constantly evaluating what was happening, and trying to figure out what would come next. When you think you know what's coming, you realize you don't. It had some interesting turns and twists.

Although it started out slow, I think the way it progressed was important for the development of the characters and the story. It was, in my opinion, a good decision to develop the story this way, and worth sitting through.

3. It challenges your values. I had to keep wondering if I thought Crowe's character was doing right or not, and I found I kept evaluating whether I wanted him to succeed. Was he a desperate man who was forced to become a hero? Or was he a man who has gone over the edge into darkness? It certainly makes you think.

4. The acting was amazing, as you'd expect from Crowe. We think he's one of the very best actors of our time. Elizabeth Banks played the wife, and she was so believable. I was surprised that Liam Neeson had such a very tiny role, and Brian Dennehy, a powerful actor, barely said anything. Still, their presence in the film added to it.

5. There was some good action. Not a ton of it though, but enough to keep your adrenaline rushing once in a while. The last portion was edge of your seat exciting.

Ultimately I'd say this is a very satisfying movie experience. It's different, not a formula, and by the end you're on the edge of your seat.

"The Next Three Days" is a tight, hard-hitting thriller that had me on the edge of my seat throughout the film. I really didn't know, right up to the final moments, how it would end and because the film had expertly guided me to care about all the characters, even some random losers in a meth lab, I did care about how it would end. The actors are all good with Russell Crowe especially so, and the realistically gritty sets perfectly match the film's desperate tone. Elizabeth Banks' too-good-to-be-true wholesome, sunny good looks are well used. "The Next Three Days" reminded me of Hitchcock, and of 1993's "The Fugitive," but it doesn't rise to that level of classic. Rather, it's a well-oiled machine, designed efficiently to crank out the audience's engagement, tension and release.

There are a couple of especially good moments. The opening scene could have been satisfactory if all it did was to set the stage for what is to follow, but it does so much more. I'd love to watch that scene again (and again). A women with a plunging neckline spars with Lara, a more modestly dressed woman, about whether or not women can ever get over their competition over men and bond with each other. The scene demonstrates its contents: Ms. Décolletage uses double entendres to make a pass at Lara's husband, and Lara shows the audience she is quite capable of losing her temper, an important plot point. The brilliant writing in this scene is a bonus. There is a scene involving a sewer drain that economically resolves a question the audience has had for some time. A scene with a car door is similarly powerful and informative. Brian Dennehy's performance as an intimacy-impaired, working class dad is almost wordless and quite brilliant. And the film really does bring poignancy to the scum of the earth, drug dealers.

Buy The Next Three Days (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010) Now

Watching the trailers for this film, I was sure it would be a hit. Then, it came and went without much fuss, and I didn't catch it till it showed up in our $1.50 theater. To my pleasant surprise, it is a strong film, with a good plot and some great acting. Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, and Olivia Wilde more than make up for Liam Neeson's laughably short cameo--laughable, since his name got a top billing.

"The Next Three Days" revolves around the murder indictment of John Brennan's (Crowe's) wife, played by Banks. All evidence points to her guilt in the death of her female boss, and she gets put away in the county jail, set in the middle of Pittsburgh. The Steel City is a great setting for a film. Director Paul Haggis uses it nicely, making the numerous bridges a part of the film's plot when Brennan, a normally meek-mannered community-college teacher, decides to help get his wife out of prison. Meanwhile, his wife is not fully on-board with his plans, and his son is still grieving the absence of his mother.

In the theater, audience members gasped at a few of the surprises--one of which was psychologically believable, but still felt like a bait-and-switch tactic. The audience also gasped at one or two scenes that did not play out in the typical Americanized cinema fashion. Crowe's character is not the slick, former spy, superhero that we saw in Liam Neeson's "Taken." Instead, he uses his brain to make his plans, and when brawn comes into the picture he tends to bumble things. The audience seemed to want him to kick butt.

Personally, I was thankful for an intelligent thriller that built slowly around characters and plot, unfolded logically but in unique ways, and ended with some emotional satisfaction. But this satisfaction does not come in the typical cinematic last-minute wrap-up, in which everyone gets their due and the good guys lay all their emotions on the table for us understand. There are some understated moments that leave us somewhat unsettled, even as things are tied together. Like Haggis's other films, this is not a paint-by-numbers genre flick. I, for one, appreciated that.

Read Best Reviews of The Next Three Days (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010) Here

This is an execellent movie that fires on all cylinders. Even though I saw it for free, it's worth 2 NYC movie tickets. It'll keep you on the edge of your recliner/sofa and looking for moments to breath freely. It's a thrill ride worth taking.

For anyone from the City of Three Rivers, it gets extra points for the location. Russell Crowe does a great job as a loving husband and father who becomes a teachable student of prison breaks. Along the way he must wrestle with moral and ethical dilemas. He was instructed not to let anything stand in the way of his final goal but he does manage to keep some level of humanity even for a thug. Looking for a source of needed cash, he picks the lesser of two evils. His wife helps to check his final push for completion and remind him of the important things in life. Desperation and love are great motivators.

Although brief, Liam Neeson adds his typical weight to the movie. He gives Russell Crowe's character the needed 5 minute education he will use to carry out his plan.

Elizabeth Banks(wife) does a solid job as a woman ripped from her family and facing a life of confinement. Fans of House will notice Olivia Wilde as the mother in the park.

Hats off to the director for tying up the loose ends and putting a bow on the package. The kiss and button were nice final touches. I'm not sure how anyone can give this movie less than 4 stars. It's a movie not a prison documentary. Nothing in the film is beyond the realm of possibility.

Want The Next Three Days (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (2010) Discount?

"The Next Three Days" has wonderful acting, gritty, realistic settings (Pittsburgh), amazing pacing, and most of all terrific directing.

Paul Haggis, director of "Crash," directs it, and he does a stunning job.

Russell Crowe is fabulous as the shocked, stumbling husband whose wife is abruptly arrested for murder. You can see him change as the movie progresses, from an inward, cerebral teacher, to an impulsive, confident, try-anything action-man. He does what teachers do best: he learns from his many mistakes.

Elizabeth Banks is equally terrific. She goes from being a flip, feisty housewife and working woman to being a downtrodden, hopeless, loveless, suicidal lifer. She is so rattled by her arrest and imprisonment that she even confesses. You never know till the end whether she did it--or even what she did.

The pacing is superb. There is a relentless, ticking force to every move each character makes. You don't know whether it will lead to death or freedom or some horrible compromise.

The police are equally good. Slowly figuring things out, then never letting up to preempt then catch the fugitives.

Even Liam Neeson, whom I always thought overrated, is great. It helps that he has such a brief part.)

And Brian Dennehy's silence is so convincing that until the very end, I thought he was mute from a stroke.

All the tiny details, from buttons to quarters, fit--but you don't know how till the end.

A shocker. Brilliant.

Save 33% Off

No comments:

Post a Comment