Tag Archives: Well Go USA Entertainment

The Road Within (2014, Gren Wells)

The Road Within is a story about finding yourself. Every guy in the movie finds himself. The women don’t find themselves but they help the guys find themselves. How do you find yourself? By rebelling.

Except Road is about people with mental disorders. Lead Robert Sheehan has Tourettes, his romantic interest (Zoë Kravitz) has anorexia and his roommate (Dev Patel) has really bad OCD. Kyra Sedgwick is their chain smoking doctor, Robert Patrick is Sheehan’s dad (who has anger management issues). The movie gets off to a strange start in Sedgwick’s clinic because no one else is anywhere near as sick as Sheehan, Kravitz and Patel. It’s only natural they’d steal Sedgwick’s car and head west through beautiful country as they each confront their demons.

As a director, Wells knows how to compose a pretty shot. Everything in Road is pretty, even when they’re supposed to be in a crappy town. The beauty of the world around us is curative. Unless you’ve got anorexia, in which case the love of a good man just isn’t enough to fix you.

Road is always trite–Wells’s script hits every trite trope she can find–but it isn’t until the last act it actually gets offensive. It works its way through a checklist of resolutions then has a happy-ish ending on a lovely beach boardwalk.

The characters are poorly written but all the actors do well, especially Kravitz and Patrick (who have the worst characters).

It’s not their fault Road’s baloney.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Gren Wells; screenplay by Wells, based on a film written by Florian David Fitz; director of photography, Christopher Baffa; edited by Gordon Antell and Terel Gibson; music by Josh Debney and The Newton Brothers; production designer, Nanci Roberts; produced by Brent Emery, Bradley Gallo, Michael A. Helfant, Guy J. Louthan and Robert Stein; released by Well Go USA Entertainment.

Starring Robert Sheehan (Vincent), Dev Patel (Alex), Zoë Kravitz (Marie), Robert Patrick (Robert) and Kyra Sedgwick (Dr. Rose).


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Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014, Tommy Wirkola)

How do you follow up Nazi zombies? Nazi zombies fighting Russian zombies. Sort of. That aspect of Dead Snow 2 comes near the end, with director Wirkola first having to deal with the fallout from the first movie. But Russian zombies don’t really have the bite of Nazi zombies, so Wirkola just amps up everything in this film.

Vegar Hoel, sole survivor from the first movie, wakes up in the hospital to discover the doctor has given him a zombie arm. Snow 2 is never particularly original–even when it is original, it feels like Wirkola took some of his Army of Darkness fan-fic and changed Bruce Campbell to Hoel–but the excess succeeds more often than not.

The absurd factor carries over to the U.S. zombie hunters who show up–Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer and Ingrid Haas–not to mention the idiot Norwegian police chief, Hallvard Holmen. Stig Frode Henriksen plays Hoel’s reluctant sidekick.

Wirkola, Hoel and Henriksen’s script is fairly light on character development. DeBoer’s an annoying Star Wars fangirl, Henriksen’s in the closet (which is nowhere near as successful as the filmmakers seem to think). Haas doesn’t have any characteristics and Starr’s a geek thrilled to discover zombies are real. But the film’s fast-paced enough it usually doesn’t matter. Except with Holmen, who only gets a couple good jokes and lots of lame ones.

Wirkola’s direction’s adequate. Nice photography from Matthew Weston.

Snow 2 gloriously goes too far as often as possible; sometimes it works.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Tommy Wirkola; written by Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel and Wirkola; director of photography, Matthew Weston; edited by Martin Stoltz; music by Christian Wibe; production designer, Liv Ask; produced by Kjetil Omberg and Terje Stroemstad; released by Well Go USA Entertainment.

Starring Vegar Hoel (Martin), Ørjan Gamst (Herzog), Martin Starr (Daniel), Jocelyn DeBoer (Monica), Ingrid Haas (Blake), Stig Frode Henriksen (Glenn Kenneth), Hallvard Holmen (Gunga), Kristoffer Joner (Sidekick Zombie), Amrita Acharia (Reidun) and Derek Mears (Stavarin).


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