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MILLENNIUM

MOVIE INFO

Director:
David Schwimmer
Cast:
Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Jason Clarke, Viola Davis, Chris Henry Coffey
Writing Credits:
Andy Bellin, Robert Festinger

Synopsis:
A suburban family is torn apart when fourteen-year-old Annie (Liana Liberato) meets her first boyfriend online. After months of communicating via online chat and phone, Annie discovers her friend is not who he originally claimed to be. Shocked into disbelief, her parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) are shattered by their daughter's actions and struggle to support her as she comes to terms with what has happened to her once innocent life.

Box Office:
Budget
$9.5 million.
Opening Weekend
$58.214 thousand on 28 screens.
Domestic Gross
$120.016 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Stereo 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 106 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 7/26/2011

Bonus:
• “Between the Lines” Featurette
• Outtakes
• Trailer
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Trust_ [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 10, 2011)

Best known for his character on Friends, David Schwimmer stepped into a different role as the director of Run, Fatboy, Run. With 2010’s Trust, Schwimmer steps farther away from his comedic bread and butter as he helms a much more serious film.

14-year-old Annie Lambert (Liana Liberato) meets a high school junior named Charlie on the Internet. They develop a relationship that goes beyond simple chat and turns more emotional – and potentially romantic.

Except Charlie’s not 16. Or 20, as he later “confesses”. Or even 25, as he subsequently claims.

No, Charlie (Chris Henry Coffey) is at least 35 – and maybe older. Annie realizes this when they meet in a local mall. At first, she feels taken aback but when Charlie sweettalks her, she agrees to spend the afternoon with him. This eventually leads them back to his motel, where they engage in sex. Though she seems uncomfortable with this, Annie goes through with it because she believes Charlie loves her.

Annie’s world gets turned upside down soon thereafter. Charlie becomes less communicative, which sends her toward depression, and her best friend Brittany (Zoe Levin) – who saw the pair together at the mall – tells school administrators what she observed.

This leads the Lambert clan on a dark journey. Law enforcement officials become involved and fissures develop among family members. Father Will (Clive Owen) becomes obsessed with finding and punishing “Charlie”, while mother Lynn (Catherine Keener) simply tries to keep things together.

When I reviewed the dull, forgettable Fatboy, I opined that Schwimmer might be better off if he remained in front of the camera. I’m glad he didn’t heed my advice, as Trust shows that he might have talent as a director after all.

Given Schwimmer’s pedigree, it comes as no surprise that I feared the worst from Trust. I worried that he’d try so hard to make a Big Statement with his first “serious” directorial effort that the film would end up as melodramatic and overwrought.

On occasion, Trust does flirt with those concerns, but the vast majority of the film seems surprisingly understated. Schwimmer does aim for some larger social truths here, especially as he views the casual manner in which society sexualizes kids. It’s not a coincidence that Will heads an ad firm that runs a campaign focused on underclad young models – models who could easily pass for underage. We also see how Will’s married work partner Al (Noah Emmerich) flirts with much younger women.

In other words, Trust demonstrates the fine line between “acceptable sexualization” and the criminal kind practiced by “Charlie”. Schwimmer threatens to beat us over the head with this but he never quite goes that far. One scene in which Will freaks out at a party comes closest; surrounded by erotic images of models who seem to be the same age as Annie, Will loses it. That’s probably as close as the film comes to overt editorializing, though; instead, it prefers to suggest social hypocrisy rather than shout it.

While the movie does flirt with these subjects, it prefers to focus on the impact on the family, and that’s where it works best. The film certainly doesn’t do much to hint at its darkness as it starts. Indeed, if you don’t know the plot in advance, you could easily see it as just a teen romance in its early moments; we watch as Annie goes about her happy life and flirts with her Internet “boyfriend”. It’s not until she meets Charlie at the mall that we comprehend it won’t end well for her.

To Schwimmer’s credit, he allows these moments to play out in a fairly natural way. Occasionally, he uses music and editing to add impact, but those moments don’t seem heavy-handed, and many come from the point of view of the characters, so they’re allowed to be more melodramatic. For the most part, the movie generates a realistic feel that allows it to become more powerful.

And powerful it is, partly because Schwimmer lets the heartbreaking events speak for themselves and not overwhelm us with forced emotion. The film also offers an interesting perspective as we get so much from Annie’s point of view. While everyone around her cries “rape”, she remains attached to “Charlie” and defends him. It’s a surprising take but totally appropriate, as a semi-brainwashed 14-year-old would feel that way.

The movie also benefits from consistently excellent performances. In particular, Liberato does wonders with Annie. Surrounded by much more accomplished actors, Liberato does more than hold her own; she delivers a knockout turn that owns the movie. Without question, she gets the most difficult role, and she handles it with aplomb – all at the age of 14. As I watched Trust, I assumed an older actor played younger; Liberato takes the part’s challenges so well – and the story involves so much unpleasant material – that I figured they’d use a young-looking 20-year-old. Nope – they cast 14 for 14, and they cast well. Liberato aptly conveys all the conflicting emotions that roil inside her character.

Owen is also excellent, and Keener does well in an underrepresented role. If I had to pick a weak link in the film, it’d be the lack of real purpose given to the Lynn character. She seems rather passive throughout much of the movie, and this doesn’t make a ton of sense; I get the impression the screenwriters simply couldn’t come up with time to flesh out Lynn so they left her on the sidelines.

That minor misstep aside, Trust offers a solid dramatic experience. It avoids easy answers as it delves into the havoc sexual abuse wreaks and ends up as a powerful, wrenching film.


The Disc Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Trust appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with an inconsistent presentation.

Sharpness became one of the erratic elements. Parts of the image looked tight and concise, but others could be somewhat soft and fuzzy. Though most of the movie was accurate, the ups and downs could frustrate. No signs of jaggies or shimmering appeared, and edge haloes were absent. Though minor, I did see some print flaws, as the transfer suffered from a handful of specks and blemishes.

Colors were fine. The palette started with natural tones but became chillier as it progressed. That matched the film’s events and made sense; overall, the hues were appropriate. Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows were okay; a few shots seemed a bit too opaque, however. I thought the movie always remained watchable but it wasn’t as good an image as I’d expect from a recent film.

I thought the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack worked fine for the material. Given the movie’s story, I didn’t expect fireworks, and I didn’t usually get them. A few party scenes opened up the soundscape, and shots that attempted to put us in the heads of characters also used the surrounds well. Mostly the movie opted for active involvement with the music as well as a general sense of environment.

Audio quality was fine. Though speech occasionally seemed a little metallic, the lines were usually reasonably natural and concise. Music showed good range and heft, while effects were acceptably accurate and clear. This never became a memorable mix, but it was more than sufficient for the story.

Only minor extras appear here. A featurette called Between the Lines runs 16 minutes, 45 seconds as it provides notes from director David Schwimmer, writer Andy Bellin, producers Heidi Jo Markel, Bob Greenhut and Tom Hodges, and actors Clive Owen, Viola Davis, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, and Jason Clarke. The show looks at the project’s roots and development, story/character issues, cast and performances, Schwimmer’s approach to the material, and a few other production topics.

Don’t expect much more than the standard promotional featurette here. “Lines” gives us a few decent insights such as Schwimmer’s reason for making the film, but it doesn’t do much more than offer a general take on the flick. It’s decent but not especially informative.

Nine Outtakes also can be found. We get “Annie Coming Downstairs” (0:59), “Clive and Agent Tate” (1:27), “Clive and Sex Offender” (1:15), “Lynn Eating Hot Wings” (0:16), “Parking Garage” (0:47), “Peter and Lynn in Kitchen” (0:54), “Peter Playing Video Games” (0:21), “Will and Lynn in Bathroom” (0:38) and “Will and Lynn in Kitchen” (0:41). Why are these called “outtakes” and not “deleted scenes”? Why do some refer to “Will” by the actor’s name and not the character’s?

I have no idea, but we do find some interesting material here. Most of the clips give us minor additions that aren’t missed. However, “Garage” delivers a good link that helps us see how “Charlie” lured Annie into his web, and “Offender” provides useful details that the final film lacks. It’s the most important addition since the movie leaves us wondering about the character involved. I understand that it was cut because this aren’t crucial details and they would’ve slowed down the movie as it went toward its end, but it’s still very nice to get an answer to the questions we develop.

The disc opens with ads for Blitz, Elephant White, Shadows & Lies and Sacrifice. These also appear under Previews along with an ad for Trust.

David Schwimmer shows signs that he can become a good dramatic director with the powerful Trust. Only a few minor weaknesses mar this emotional flick, as it usually delivers a moving, impressive piece of work. The Blu-ray comes with erratic picture, decent audio and a handful of supplements. Nothing about the Blu-ray excels, but the movie deserves your attention.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.875 Stars Number of Votes: 8
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