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Flash Movie Review: Shadow Dancer

It takes but a single second where all senses vault into a heightened state. At the moment you would do anything to protect your loved ones. Too young to go alone, I had taken my niece and nephew to a rock concert. The band was playing in a small venue, where the main floor was one large open space without seats. I directed the two of them to the balcony which formed a narrow lip around the perimeter of the room, where it would be easier to keep an eye on them. During the show my nephew wanted to go downstairs to get closer to the stage. Reluctantly I agreed as long as he was able to remain visible to me. My niece and I saw him wade into the pulsating group of fans. As the music pounded off the walls, a swell of people appeared to swallow him up. Every cell in my body sparked with fear. I had no sense of time passing but suddenly my niece pointed to a spot in the crowd. There was my pale-complected nephew, slowly floating across outstretched hands like a water lilly on a dark rustling pond. When he finally made his way back up to us I could see how much he loved being in the middle of the crowd, making the concert a memorable one for him. Gratefully I did not have to leap off the balcony but I certainly had a taste of what it felt like to have my adrenaline fueled senses ready to do whatever had to be done, to protect my niece and nephew. It was that same type of feeling that made Collette, played by Andrea Roseborough (Disconnect, W. E.), become an informant in this tense drama. During the 1980’s in Northern Ireland; Collette agreed to spy on the IRA for British MI5 agent Mac, played by Clive Owens (Inside Man, Children of Men), for the sake of her child. It was quick to connect to Andrea’s character due to her excellent acting. However, I was disappointed with Clive’s performance; it lacked intensity. Combine that with the dull directing and I was left wishing there had been more scenes filled with tense emotions. There was at least a sense of dread and fear as the story continued to build. By the time things got exciting I realized that is exactly what the movie needed, more thrills. It would have been a better suspense movie about a mother protecting her young.

 

2 2/3 stars

Flash Movie Review: Five Minutes of Heaven

The act of forgiveness has always been mercurial at best for me. When I was younger, if someone broke my trust or crossed me I would wipe them out of my life. Just like deleting data from a disk or setting fire to the film negatives of all the memories I had of them; I would never think about them again. These days I have had some success on being a forgiving person. Inspired by real life individuals, this Sundance Film Festival winning movie dealt with the powerful acts of forgiveness, redemption and revenge. Alistair Little joined the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) at a young age. The time was during the conflict in Northern Ireland and Alistair’s goal was to kill a Catholic. The victim’s little brother witnessed the whole murder. Fast forward to a peaceful time and the media came up with a marketing idea to have the younger brother and killer meet and shake hands as a true sign of peace in the country. It was from this point that this film really worked for me. The adult Alistair was played by Liam Neeson (The Grey, Wrath of the Titans) and the surviving brother Joe Griffen was played by James Nesbitt (Coriolanus, Match Point). These two men took the intense script and added a knock out emotional punch to it. Mr. Nesbitt was riveting as he dealt with his red hot anger for revenge. I was glued to my television screen as each man dealt with their demons and thoughts on meeting once again. There was one quick bloody scene in the beginning of this dramatic film.

 

2 3/4 stars — DVD

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