Monday, November 16, 2015

After (2012)

Number Rolled: 49
Movie Name/Year: After (2012)
Tagline: N/A
Genre: Sci-fi & Fantasy (Netflix labels it Thriller)
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Quite Quick Productions, Seabourne Pictures
Executive Producers: Michael Gangwisch, Greg Ham, Scott Healy, Jason Parish, Chris Schmid
Director: Ryan Smith
Writer: Jason Parish, Ryan Smith
Actors: Steven Strait, Karolina Wydra, Madison Lintz, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Jackson Walker, Chase Presley, April Billingsley

Freddy and Ana wake up to a strange new world after surviving a bus crash. They work together to discover what is going on, and how to overcome some daunting obstacles.

Selina’s Point of View:
After was an interesting film.

I found myself thinking it was longer than it was, but I wasn’t bored. I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened. Normally when I think a movie is too long it’s because I’d rather be staring at a wall than watching it. I think I was just tired though so, moving on.

We’re going to have to stop for a minute and talk about Steven Strait (The Covenant, Magic City, Sleeping with the Fishes).

This is my first exposure to Strait, and I was impressed. Yes, he had some weird facial expressions from time to time, but I found him supremely likable anyway. I believe he made a relatable and interesting leading man. I want to see him in more movies.

That being said, the movie had some great moments.

I knew the underlying plot about five minutes in, but they twisted it into something I actually became invested in. In fact, I wouldn’t even label this movie a recipe film. Although the initial plot is overdone, it certainly takes it somewhere new and fresh.

Critics panned this film. This is one of those times when I absolutely believe the critics are wrong. After was a great film that deserves more recognition than it has gotten since its release.  

Cat’s Point of View:
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I hadn’t heard of it before; though, when I saw that I recognized the lead actors, my curiosity was piqued.

The dice have been steering us to quite a few movies, lately, that are focused on a pair of characters. The previous films had a more limited setting, focusing in on just the characters. This film was a bit more expansive – the town, itself seemed to be a third cast member.

I was just as confused as the characters as to what had happened. I enjoyed putting the pieces together as they did – unraveling the mystery of how these two people’s fates intertwined and why. Kudos to the writing team, here. The dialogue felt natural, and the revelation of plot points felt like moments of discovery rather than something being shoved in my direction.

I liked the casting choices they made with this film. Steven Strait (10,000 BC, Stop-Loss, City Island) has this intensity about him which is great for roles such as warlocks and mobsters, and at the same time he’s able to pull off goofy so adorably.  His character, here, pulls from a wide range – and he was definitely up to the task.

One of my favorite guilty pleasure movies is Sky High (2005); which was his debut film. I can’t wait to see what he does in the upcoming SyFy Channel show The Expanse (2015-) set for release in December.

Then, of course we can’t forget his co-star, Karolina Wydra (Sugar, Europa Report, Incarnate). I remember her as the powerful and jealously possessive vampire, Violet, from True Blood (2008-2014). This role was a decided departure from that sort of personality. She tapped into a vulnerability in this film, and I think she did a spectacular job. I will have to go and look up more of her work.

All in all, I loved this movie. It kept me guessing, and drew me in as the plot wove together to reveal its secrets. I would definitely recommend this film.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – none
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

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