An heiress who’s been shut inside her apartment building for nearly two decades is forced to confront her fears after one of her neighbours is killed and a detective arrives to begin the investigation
The Hughes Verdict!
While my fellow critics at HCF can not wait for the big films to hit the big screen, I am known as the one who can not wait for the Monday Mornings so I can trawl through all the Straight to DVD releases in hope to catch a diamond so that I can shout through the roof tops at how good it is. Matt and I actually have a yearly competition to find the best one of the year and its a quest that we both enjoy. One year it was The Torment and Cradle Will Fall that I managed to discover and brag about and then the next year Matt came across the quite delightful The Objective that had me swearing like a fool because of the find. I mean I get very jealous when he finds one before me and even though he won’t admit it, he probably does when I do the same.
2012 is only three months old and so far there is nothing yet that we can say that has grabbed our attention. The likes of the new additions of Hellraiser and Children Of The Corn were not worth the wait and while we know that there are some eye catching titles to come in the next few months, I did have high hopes for Columbus Circle, a film that looked very appealing thanks to its intriguing plot and stellar cast.
When the DVD landed on my lap on Monday Morning, the tingles of excitement began to ripple through my body. Just looking at the cast which included Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Jason Lee, Giovanni Ribisi, Kevin Pollack and Beau Bridges just hints that this could be a film that may make you wonder why it bypassed cinema and when I sat down to watch, I had the phone in one hand ready to phone Matt and shout “Hey mate, I have found one!”……sadly though this phone call never happened.
Now before you lot stop reading and think “Well this must be shit then!”, its actually not. Its one of those films that you just love to watch once in a while. Its enjoyable but forgettable and not one that will have you talking to your friends and willing them to watch. Its a film that makes you want to finish until the end and then admit that it was not that good, but somehow, someday-you will watch again.
George Gallo directs Columbus Circle in hope that this could be his Hitchcock film, the camera angles and twisty plot reminds you of the many great Alfred films and while its well directed, the storyline offers no surprises and little tension and for many they will know what to expect from the moment they get the jist of the plot.
The film opens with a murder! Yes a poor elderly woman in in a New York apartment building like the one in Sliver meets her maker and while it he killer was hoping that everyone would think it was a tragic accident, the sharp eye of Detective Klandermann (Ribisi) opens up an investigation. Living opposite is Abigail Clayton (Blair) a reclusive who no one in the building as never seen or spoke too. Her acrophobic condition means that the only way she contacts those around her is by letters to the Hotel Worker (Pollack) and she does meet up with her close friend (Bridges). Detective Klandermann suspects there is more to Abigail than meets the eye but instead of we the viewer joining the fun in guessing what, Gallo does tend to want to show his hand early which results in the film losing the much needed tension. After about twenty minutes in the film you see a TV Report and just by then you will guess the secret that Abigail is carrying and while she is happy to live like she does, her life is all set to be torn about with the arrival of new residents.
The arrival of a young couple (Jason Lee and Amy Smart) into the now empty flat brings chaos because Charles (Lee) is a drunk who likes to take his fists to his beautiful girlfriend Lillian (Smart) and after one such beating which leaves the poor girl left for dead outside in the corridor, Abigail finally gets the courage to leave the apartment and save this woman. But her kindness leads to danger because like herself, everyone has secrets and Charles and Lillian are not what they seem and soon death arrives once more and Abigail finally realises its time to confront her demons, once and for all.
A lack of gripping tension is the main reason why Columbus Circlefails to entice. Its well done with the cast on good form (even though they deserve bette material and while it picks up towards the end, the plot is so full of holes that its hard to take it all seriously but if you looking for a film to pass the time away then this is perfect material, its just not the find I was hoping it would be….