Review: ‘WETLANDS’ blows by with little gusto.

Synopsis: Babel “Babs” Johnson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is a police detective who finds himself assigned to a precinct in the Wetlands, the no-man’s land surrounding Atlantic City, within eyeshot of the once fancy and now dilapidated hotels and boardwalk, but a world away.  A year ago, he was a top cop in Philadelphia, but mysterious circumstances intervened and now he finds himself back home and back in the lives of his estranged daughter, Amy (Celeste O’Connor), and still-bitter ex-wife, Savannah (Heather Graham)

 

Surrounded by locals, Surfer Girl (Reyna de Courcy), a surfboard builder who has dreams of moving to Hawaii to ply her trade; and Kate (Jennifer Ehle), a local news anchor; and local thugs Jimmy (Louis Mustillo) his boss, Lollipop (Barry Markowitz); and with a new partner, a fun-loving gambling addict named Paddy Sheehan (Christopher McDonald), Babs slowly adjusts to life back on the beat.

 

Meanwhile, as the region prepares for a massive, late-season hurricane, the storm threatens to destroy the Wetlands… and the lives of some of its inhabitants.

Wetlands tries really hard to be a noir that never really pans out. It’s painfully slow and rather cliche in its character development. With such a heavy-hitting cast, it is difficult to walk them try so hard at something that doesn’t give them, or the audience, enough to care about. What information we do have about Babs, comes in what feels like misplaced and piecemeal black & white flashbacks. The nonchalance of the shadiness that’s occurring in this town makes it all the more underwhelming. 

While beautifully shot, with sweeping shots of the rundown boardwalk, that’s just about the only pretty thing about Wetlands. I was left with an overall feeling of, “Meh.” This cast deserved a whole hell of a lot more by way of character development. There is never any feeling of genuine urgency, and with one of the major plot points being an impending hurricane, it certainly seems like that should have been quite the priority.

WETLANDS – starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad, ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley,” TV’s “Oz,” “Lost”),Heather Graham (The Hangover, TV’s “Californication”), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty, Fifty Shades of Grey, TV’s “A Gifted Man”) and Christopher McDonald(Requiem for a Dream, TV’s “The Good Wife,” “Boardwalk Empire”).

The film is written and directed by first-time filmmaker Emanuele Della Valle and will be released in theaters on September 15th.

 

 

Review: ‘CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR’ puts Nick Jonas in the hot seat.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR 

Careful what you wish for posterIt’s probably safe to say that every young man’s fantasy would be to have an affair with a hot older woman. The age gap alone could cause all sorts of problems… especially if she’s married. In Elizabeth Allen‘s new film, CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, the innocent boy next door gets more than he bargains for.
carefulwhatyouwishfor nick jonasHome for the summer holiday, brainiac Doug becomes entangled with the stunningly beautiful wife of his next door neighbor. Lena is in need of a rescue from a her controlling husband Elliot. Once drawn into a circle of deceit by from both husband and wife, Doug is determined to get her out from under Elliot’s thumb, all while indulging in a hot and heavy affair. Things go wrong pretty quickly. What’s a good kid to do when bad things find him?CarefulWhatYouWishForIsabelLucasNick Jonas is one hot commodity. His on screen presence is so natural it’s a wonder it has taken this long for him to land such a leading role. Nick easily carries the entire film on his shoulders. He has true star potential. After his success in Ryan Murphy‘s Scream Queens, Nick is not slowing down in establishing himself in the acting industry. Forget the days of The Jonas Brothers sugar pop image. Those days are long gone. Isabel Lucas plays the haunted Lena. Massive sex appeal and an elegant air, you know there is more lurking behind those sad eyes. Dermot Mulroney is scary as Elliot. Usually a lead in a rom-com role, it was nice to see him stretch his very capable acting chops. Careful_what_you_wish_for_Dermot MulrooneyCareful What You Wish For is a surefire noir. A total departure from director Elizabeth Allen‘s previous films. It’s in the same league at another Starz Digital fave of mine, Bad Turn Worse. Just when you think you know what’s going on, there is a twist, keeping you interested. While some of the peeks of nudity may seem cliche, but they are very much in line with building up the tension in the plot. No one will be complaining when they see Jonas shirtless, that’s for damn sure. His audience will go nuts.


In Theaters and On Demand June 10, 2016

Starring: Nick Jonas (Goat, FOX’s “Scream Queens”)
Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the FallenRed DawnImmortals)
Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Showtime’s “Shameless”)
Graham Rogers (ABC’s “Quantico”, Love & Mercy) 
Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas, Romeo + Juliet)

Directed by: Elizabeth Allen (Ramona & Beezus, Aquamarine)

A steamy thriller set in a wealthy vacation community, CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR is a story of seduction,  deceit and betrayal. The summer before he leaves for college a young man (Nick Jonas in his debut lead performance) begins an affair with the beautiful wife (Isabel Lucas) of his powerful investment banker neighbor (Dermot Mulroney). The plot thickens when a suspicious death embroils the young lovers in scandal.

RT: 91 Minutes
MPAA rating: R

Liz’s Review: ‘MURDER OF A CAT’ is a quirky suburban noir.

MURDERCATposter

I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a weird gal. It’s fine. It’s sort of my thing. I like what I like and I’m proud of it. That being said, if someone killed my best friend, I’d hunt them down like the scoundrels they are. (Prime example, I use words like scoundrel in regular conversation). In the new film MURDER OF A CAT, Clinton (Fran Kranz) also, a bit of a weirdo, finds his beloved cat-friend brutally murdered. It is his moral duty to find out who, what, when, where, and why.

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