December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

May 4, 2012

Retreat (2011)

When it’s over, where’s the tension?  After a recent tragedy, a young married couple (Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton) retreat to a secluded island off the coast of Scotland to try and rekindle their relationship only to have it interrupted by an intruder (Jamie Bell) who claims a deadly virus has swept through Europe.  The film’s not about the results of a pandemic, but rather the struggle to avoid it.  With a cast of three characters, the film's main focus was to pit the characters against one another, building the conflict that would eventually explode in the end.  And the end was the best part of the film.  I didn’t see the ending coming nor guess the story would take the turn it did.  However, the last 15 minutes would have been more powerful had the suspense been better built up.  The film was slow to start and by mid-way, it was still struggling to meet the peak it needed to reach by Act 3.  The characters were not very well developed, and although I knew where each stood emotionally, I couldn’t get myself to sympathize with them.  I think this has to do more with the script than the acting.  Also, the audio was a notable problem and served to be annoying, and I’m sure I missed a lot of story development due to this.  I found myself struggling to hear the conversations since much of the dialogue was in whispers.  There's nothing more frustrating during a film when you can't hear the dialogue and you need to strain to hear the words only to ask the person next to you, "What did he say?" and they shrug their shoulders in reply.  

My rating:  2.5 out of 5

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