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.

June 15, 2012

Man on a Ledge (2012)

When it's over, Man on a Ledge didn't keep me on edge.  The film falls victim to a weak story and even weaker characters.  When ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is sentenced to 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides the only way to prove his innocence is to have a retrial on top of a Manhattan hotel building.  As the police and the public scrutinize whether Nick will jump, a diamond heist is under way across the street.  Interesting premise, but not solid enough to be in the league of heist films such as Ocean’s 11 (2001), Italian Job (2003), Bank Job (2008), or Takers (2010).  There are two stories going on in this film – one, about a man who wants to prove his innocence and two, to steal a $40 million diamond.  The two stories vie for equal control of the film, and because of this, it doesn’t work.  One story has to be stronger than the other, making the other a secondary storyline.  Either it’s a “search for the truth” story first or it’s a heist story first.  It could have gone either way, and would have worked if the film had established it early on and kept on track.  Personally, I would have preferred the “truth” story with the heist story at the sideline, and this was what I thought the film was leaning towards with the opening scene.  However, once the heist scenes were introduced, the character story sort of disappeared and was brought back intermittently.  Some of the better scenes were not of the heist, but the scenes between Nick and Detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), the negotiator who tries to talk Nick out of jumping and who aids Nick in proving his innocence.  Even though their scenes weren’t romantically linked, I thought they had good chemistry as each helped the other in finding the truth and dealing with past regrets.  Ed Harris and Jamie Bell round out the main cast as the corrupt businessman and Nick’s younger brother.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5

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