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Flash Movie Review: Unknown

In a single moment’s time, the calm road one has been walking on can turn into an icy precipice; causing a slide into stark confusion. I stopped at the health club to pick up some paperwork on my way to teaching a class at another fitness center. It was a cold winter morning where during the night a layer of thick new snow had covered the ground. Returning to my car, I reached into my coat pocket to get my car keys but they were gone. I had the keys when I locked the car a few minutes ago. Panic began to course through my veins as my mind crashed into several possibilities on where my keys could be. With each passed second landing heavily on my shoulders I retraced my footsteps; looking for the imprint of the bottom of my boots in the snow. Halfway to the club’s front doors a discoloration in the snow caught my eye. Tucked into the snow like a priceless gem in a white velvet jewel box were my car keys. All of the confusion spiraling in my mind fell to the floor of my brain with a thud as reality started to seep back into me once again. Where I panicked over my lost car keys; imagine what Dr. Martin Harris, played by Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken franchise), must have felt when he thought he was losing his mind. Waking up in Berlin from a coma due to an accident; Martin discovered the woman he thought was his wife Elizabeth, played by January Jones (Pirate Radio, Mad Men-TV), had no idea who he was since she had never seen him before. Adding to the confusion, Elizabeth was already married to a Dr. Martin Harris, played by Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, The Missing). This action mystery movie was a fun mental diversion for me. Even with its improbabilities and convenient coincidences I enjoyed the story’s twists and surprises. Liam was very good in this role as were Diane Kruger (Inhale, Troy) as taxi driver Gina and Bruno Ganz (Downfall, Eternity and a Day) as former Stasi agent Ernst Jurgen. The directing kept the story going at a fast clip, helped with some good editing. There was no confusion on my part in watching this thrilling movie. I knew I wanted to see an entertaining film that would enable me to mentally escape for a couple of hours and I got it. A couple of brief scenes that showed blood.

 

2 2/3 stars — DVD

Flash Movie Review: Handsome Harry

Guilt is that off colored shadow that quietly attaches itself to your future decisions. It can be the insidious force that feeds on your insecurities as it devours your organs. There are people who can tame their guilt with the deliverance of forgiveness; I wish it could be that easy. It takes a large amount of work for me to let go of guilt. On the other hand, I have had better success in being forgiving though my percentages are not high. This dramatic film presented an interesting character study on the topic of guilt and forgiveness. The impressive cast swayed me to this DVD. Thomas Kelley’s, played by Steve Buscemi (Fargo, The Big Lebowski), dying wish was to be forgiven. In order for that to happen, Kelley and his old naval buddies would have to break their code of silence and revisit painful memories from over 30 years ago. Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Storm, Syriana) played conflicted naval friend Harry Sweeney, who took Kelley’s wish to heart. Carrying out the wish meant Harry having to locate the others from their group: Peter Reems and Professor Porter, played by John Savage (The Deer Hunter, Hair) and Aidan Quinn (Unknown, Sarah’s Key). For the most part the story was interesting though predictable in places. A series of flashbacks were used to give the viewer hints of the guys’ naval past. The actors performed well with what they were given, though I found a couple of the scenes unrealistic. As for guilt and forgiveness, I felt the writer and director handled it in a believable and even way. When I was done with the DVD I experienced no guilt for spending my time sitting and watching this intriguing film.

 

2 1/2 stars — DVD

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