Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
Earlier Reesa's Reviews can also be found at:http://www.moviegeekfeed.com

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Son of No One

In 1986 at the Queensboro projects a young man hides in the bathroom of a friends house while this junkie who steals his grandmother's government checks chases him for taking his gun. The boy shoots him when he kicks in the door. His best friend and sister help him throw the body in the trash. Later there's another low life who took the discarded gun threatens the boy and in the ensuing struggle falls fatally down the stairs. The boy's father was the late partner of the detective investigating the case who covers it up. Sixteen years later, the boy is now a cop and the details of the case are mysteriously being leaked to an ambitious reporter threatening his career, his department and his family.

Writer/director Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) has recently worked with Channing Tatum in Fighting. Tatum who has never been much of a nuanced actor is slowly improving his chops as the troubled cop Jonathan “Milk” White. He's been assigned to his childhood neighborhood of Queensboro that brings up the bad memories of his life in the projects. Captain Marion Mathers (Ray Liotta) who has taken over the 18th precinct from Al Pacino's Detective Charles Stanford wants Milk and his partner Officer Thomas Prudenti (James Ransone) to question the reporter Loren Bridges (Juliette Binoche) who has been receiving information about the old murder case. She's been printing the cryptic messages which Mather's, who was also part of the cover-up, wants to silence. Soon afterwards Milk starts to get letters and text messages about the murders. His wife Kerry (Katie Holmes) is getting mysterious phone calls telling her to ask her husband what happened in 1986. Milk visits his old friend Vinnie (30 Rock's Tracey Morgan in a dramatic turn) who has become a shell of his childhood self after spending some time in a mental institute while he carried the secret of the dead junkies to himself all these years.

Tatum carries the role of the tortured Milk like a good soldiers which he has played effectively in other movies. The stoic and sensitive type that will never win awards but is still satisfying although not memorable. Ray Liotta as usual plays Ray Liotta the smarmy guy which you can never trust. Despite Al Pacino's big billing he's only briefly in the film, but as usual makes an over the top impact. The main woman in the movie is Katie Holmes who is a bit of a harpy and not all that loving of a wife. Juliette Binoche must be slumming in this and feels out of place for a journalist in Queens. The real revelation is Tracy Morgan as the mentally unstable Vinnie. What little screen time he's allowed in the story could have used exploring.

The film was selected to close the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Despite the decent performances by everyone involved it can't rescue the storyline which suffers from editing, the flashing back and forth from past to present, plot holes and implausibilities. The crimes were technically self defense so why the big deal to reopen the case? The heavy handed soundtrack was layered on thick just in case you didn't know that particular scenes were supposed to be more intense. It's a dark and muddled film that demands to be more clarified.
(Review by reesa)

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