GREEN JEANS MOVIE REVIEW: Last night I saw the film “Cut Bank” which stars Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games, The Expendables 2), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies, I Am Number Four), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Men in Black 3), John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons, Being John Malkovich), Bruce Dern (The ‘Burbs, Nebraska), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, Eagle Eye), and Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class, Bicentennial Man). It is directed by Matt Shakman (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia [TV series], Psych [TV series]) and written by Robert Patino (Sons of Anarchy [TV series], Prime Suspect [TV series]). Dwayne McLaren (Hemsworth) has been wanting to get out of the small town of Cut Bank for a while now, but the responsibilities of taking care of his father, who has a lot of respect of the community, is keeping him from doing so, fearing that he will never be forgiven if he put his father in a nursing home. He gets his escape route, however, when while taping his girlfriend Cassandra’s (Palmer) audition tape for Miss Cut Bank, his camera captures footage of a murder taking place right where they are. In a murder scheme of killing the town’s mailman (Dern), Dwayne will be able to send in the footage to get a big sum of money in the help of the investigation. But that day that he taped that murder will haunt him for there is a crazy man (Stuhlbarg) investigating the disappearance of the mailman, hoping to find his parcel, and killing along the way to get it.
“Cut Bank” showed much promise in its trailer, but yet falls victim to alluring editing, causing me, and my colleague Captain Critic, to witness a murder mystery that should’ve never been caught on camera, and by camera I mean the crew of the film’s camera. What I want to state in this review is that technically, there were a few good things about this movie and it did show potential, like I said before. I mean, look at the cast of this stinking thing! I wonder how many strings the producer had to pull or favors to ask to bring these people in. For starters, the plot is a complete waste. I felt more of the writer’s pain to successfully come up with a compelling story than the actual actors’ expressions themselves. It’s a major homage to a typical Coen brothers’ film, but they left out one thing: realism. Nothing in this film can truly happen in the real world. Sure, murder can happen, or a scheming plot can happen, but the details of this whole process of murder is bending backwards constantly to conform to the writer’s endgame. What I mean by that is this: let’s say that you were given the task of writing a story where your character was to kill someone and then cover up their tracks. You spend countless hours trying to decipher the correct way of burying the evidence or any other details, but end up getting too lazy to the point where you throw in an unrealistic excuse, hoping that your audience would buy it. That is this film in a nutshell. What would be an example? Well, one major issue was the fact that the sheriff (Malkovich) followed lead after lead perfectly and was able to figure out where the killer has been. He had no trouble locating a house where another murder crime was committed nor did he have trouble finding out who the killer was in a short amount of time. Judging by the background of this policeman, who by the way is a complete pansy, I was shocked that he could accomplish these goals. Another example could be the many violent scenes that happen throughout this movie. Most of them could never happen in terms of who are the opponents like a 70-year-old with asthma taking out a 50-year-old with ease in a fight. It makes no sense! There are so many things that you have to roll with in this film, but it gets annoying after a while. Off the topic of plot, the characters were basically caricatures. I didn’t feel anything for any character and even though you had great talent behind them, there still wasn’t enough meat or emotion in the script to pull it together. It was a shame that all these actors and actresses have to put this on their profile of work now. In terms of what I actually found good about this movie, well there isn’t much. I guess the beginning was pretty good and they did have some cool camera shots that were very Coen-influenced. I wanted to like it because of the story it was molding, but the end result was nothing likable. The ending was hogwash and I felt no resolution to the dilemma that they were in. The villain didn’t even seem like he would be able to take on anyone, but somehow he did. Speaking of the villain, I will admit that there is one scene that gets me that was actually a plot twist. I won’t spoil anything if you actually want to watch this piece of low-grade cinematography, but I will say that it was spine-tingling. Overall, this film had so much going for it, but the writer took the safe route leaving me with a night wasted and another addition to The Burnt Hall of Shame. FINAL SCORE: 48%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: