Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jason Clarke, Paz Vega
Corporate player Julian Wright (Jason Clarke) stands on the verge of the deal of his career but his life just crossed paths with a woman (Paz Vega) who will turn his world upside down triggering emotions Julian never knew ... more »
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Unique & passionate first film for this crew
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 06/27/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After watching this film I wanted to rate this much lower, but then I took in the featurettes and listened to the commentary and got a better idea of what Jada Pinkett Smith was trying to accomplish. And in the end - I think she managed to pull off a decent first film with a big budget look.
I would be wary of various plot descriptions that attempt to capsulize this as a corporate-themed film because they actually do it a disservice. This is a story about a rigid, professional and successful corporate divorcee who meets a beautiful, free spirited (and married) woman who tries to broaden his narrow life. Paz Vega excellently plays the sexual and passionate love interest (as always). Along the way we see flashbacks of his troubled childhood, his constantly dysfunctional persona that torpedoes any chance of the viewer liking him, a violent and bizarre family, and a plethora of character inconsistencies.
(SLIGHT SPOILER): Several summaries I have read outline the consequences he faces in his career over the personal end, but this film is almost entirely about his personal life and shows nothing about his career outcome in the last third of the film. Once you figure out that whole plot disappears I think it helps you appreciate the film better.
The music mix is slightly abrupt and misplaced throughout the "discovery" or "suspense" scenes, but the constant character meltdowns past the 50 minute mark takes your mind off that anyway. The epiphany in the end felt meaningless to me, but that is where I recommend you immediately watch the two featurettes to get a better grasp on what they were trying to show. The making-of lasts 21 minutes and covers all aspects of production, and in an almost hi-def clarity. The "Roll-of-film" featurette lasts 4 minutes and tackles the cast and crew's idea of what the human contract means. The previews section has over 20 films to screen through, several of which customers will assuredly be asking about (the Malkovich/Roberts one especially).
Overall, the picture, sound, story, score and supplements all make for a mixed bag film, but a purchase worthy product for fans of Jada (has a bit role and directs)."
Wildhare 63 | Colorado Springs, CO USA | 07/25/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't sure about this movie at first but, as it unfolded I was intrigued by the main character. He plays a very strong character, not all that attractive but his character was powerful, Paz Vega is ready to bow down to this king, sit at his feet and make his every wish come true. Watch closely and listen to every word Ms. Vega speaks, she is captivating. At the end an important revelation. I would have to say that the casting and directing were superb, the story is extraordinary and I enjoyed it so much that I watched it twice and then I had to buy my own copy so that I could watch it again and again, and not because of the intimate scenes, because of the story. I hope that Jada will write more screenplays that are as good as this. thank you."
A smart, dark and seductive directorial debut
The Mermaid | Oregon | 11/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I actually had to watch this movie a second time because I had a tough time understanding the dialogues the first viewing around (the so-so quality of the sound mostly?) and I missed some important exchanges. It made more sense the second time although I feel JPS missed the key scene at the end for which I expected a little more gut-wrenching, tear-jerking intensity through a more developed and explosive dialogue.
However, I must say that the style and rythm of the movie are excellent and it is perfectly paced. Although underlined with sex and violence (which are personal to the main character), the story is unusual and, simply for that, kudos to JPS for not directing another canned Hollywood product. Her directorial debut is quite remarkable, even if/because it is not mainstream.
Indeed, this film is not for everyone; it is sexually charged - but not shocking or uncomfortable by any means - and emotionally raw, and many viewers will not fare well with the mature,complex characters and issues.
I didn't know Jason Clarke before watching the film and I was very impressed by his intense and moving performance as Julian, a corporate player with complex personal issues, who goes through a few serious meltdowns after meeting a beautiful stranger who pretends to "free" him from the conventional "contracts" his life may be tied by. Paz Vega is gorgeous as usual, but I sincerely think she somehow missed her character Michael, the free-spirited jet-setting type of woman Julian falls for, and she did not ring true to me, even in the light of her own personal issues. I just did not get attached to her and found her sexual freedom a little overdone (the way she walks... seriously!), not very fresh. Every other role is perfectly cast, and it is always a treat to have accomplished actors covering even the "small" roles.
The soundtrack is different, off-beat and meets the unconventional layout of the story. Great use of Placebo's version of Kate Bush's Running up that Hill.
Also, kudos for the art direction as a whole. L.A. looks truly beautiful as seen from Julian's apartment, but also in the smaller, more intimate settings/locations (the art gallery, the brand management building, the museum, the cemetery...), and not often does this city come out as attractive as it does in this movie.
I recommend seeing the film for the various reasons I gave; and if it were for only one, I think that Clarke's top performance is to be recognized.
The special features are worth watching: the conversation with the director, producers, actors, etc. sheds more light on the project in an interesting and intelligent way.
Hooray for Jada Pinkett Smith
Michael A. Christian | 09/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The movie, "The Human Contract", was very interesting. The psychological aspects of it was intriguing, and the script was interesting. I think this would be a hard movie to film for a first time director, but Jada Pinkett Smith pulled it off with ease. Hooray for Jada!!!"