Monday, September 1, 2014

The Identical -- A Review

Greetings Dear Reader!

After a long bout of online inactivity, I am glad to be back. Though school will be starting in the next week or two and the busyness of life will be in full force.

Recently, I was asked to participate in a prescreening of the movie The Identical starring Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd.  The movie comes out September 5th.  I really enjoyed this movie.  Ashley Judd is a favorite as is Ray Liotta (even though he often plays villains -- hey it's a thing with me, it's hard for me to like an actor when he plays the bad guy so incredibly well).  This is a poignant story of Wade Ryan who is searching for purpose and eventually comes to terms with who he is and who he could have been, had circumstances been different.  It is also a story of forgiveness.  Sometimes in life we do the best we can, knowing that our best sometimes is not good enough for others.

I was impressed with this movie, though, I was a bit confused at first. The movie trailer I saw immediately put me in mind of Elvis as I am sure it was meant to do. Blake Rayne (who plays Drexel Hemsley a secondary character -- and Ray Wade -- the main character) looks like Elvis, sang like Elvis, danced like Elvis and dressed like Elvis.  So, at first, I thought it was a fictionalized retelling of Elvis' life.  I figured there would be creative license involved and was prepared for it. And then, the movie took a bit of a left turn and I thought I must have misunderstood and it was really a what-could-have-been story of Elvis' twin (My understanding is that Elvis was the only surviving twin of his parents).  The story line closely matches what I have heard of Elvis, so I was thrown for a loop.  I was having a hard time reconciling three key factors:  what I knew of Elvis, the title of the film and what I was sure was creative license.

Let me be clearer than the movie trailer I happened to see before watching the film: this is not the story of Elvis.  And evidently, it's also not a movie about what could have been if Elvis' twin survived.  Once I figured that out, I was a bit perturbed that so much of it reflected Elvis' public persona.  In one part of the movie, a character goes on a rant and even mentions Elvis.  I guess this was to reiterate to the audience that the movie was not about Elvis.  Or this was their way of stating a disclaimer.  I dunno.

I also have a minor pet peeve that I must address:  Please, please, PUL-EASE someone, ANYONE give Seth Green a part where he can play a role that does not require him to act as a complete dufus.  I am so tired of seeing Seth Green relegated to idiotic characters.  And I am tired of idiotic characters. I understand the need for comic relief and it's a secondary character that gets pegged for it.  Fine.  But does it have to be a role that reminds us of "Dumb and Dumber" every single time we see a movie nowadays?  We are paying good, hard earned money only to be subjected to the stereotypical druggie/70's hippie.  Many, many people lived through the 70s and were not hippies -- how come the movies always insist that only hippies existed during the 70s?  Annoying.

Now, having said all that: it was a good film. It is a well written, if a teeny bit predictable, story -- but you want it to end the way it does. It is well acted.  I even forgot I was watching my beloved Ashley Judd and was immersed in story right away.  It has catchy tunes -- I even listened to the music playing during the credits.  Partly bc the tunes were good and partly bc I wasn't quite ready to have the movie end.  If I'd been in the theater, I would have been the last patron out and walking backward toward the exit watching the impossibly fast credits roll up the screen.  It's worth the $8.00.  It's definitely worth the matinee price.  And you will want to see it again when it hits the $1 movie theater.

Just sayin'

Counting it all joy,

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