Rade & Leelee
Here And Now | 01/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is worth watching just to see Rade Sherbedgia. I'm giving the film four stars simply because he's the star and does a great job. He's a tremendously talented actor and this is a great role for him. Leelee's beautiful and does a good job with what she has to work with. Shane is believable. And Eric Balfour has a couple of really funny moments. The movie is thin and the love story could use more. It's still entertaining, however, and the ending makes the movie worth the 84-minute ride. I agree with the other reviewer that the lighting is uneven and too dark in places. I also agree that the director didn't create a cohesive style, tone or any real thematic underpinnings. It feels like a lot of the movie ended up on the editing room floor for whatever reason. Still, there are some genuine laughs. The soundtrack is great. And there's Rade and Leelee."
Movie Room Reviews - The Elder Son
Neil and Tracy | IA | 12/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Elder Son from Peace Arch Home Entertainment and Director Marias Balchunas is a quirky comedy-drama movie on DVD December 9, 2008. Bo (Shane West) and Skip (Eric Balfour) are a pair of car thieves looking for a new heist. Bo poses as the long lost son of a Russian immigrant clarinetist, Max (Rade Serbedzija), as part of their new scam.
Bo is quickly accepted by the loving Max and forms a bond with his new sister Lolita (Leelee Sobieski), and new brother Nikita (Reiley McClendon). Unfortunately, his plan turns sour when Bo unexpectedly falls for his eccentric and charming "sister". Bo must weight his loyalties to his friend Skip and his desire for a more stable existence and a chance for love. Of course, Lolita's fiance Greg (Brian Geraghty) might be an obstacle as well.
Meanwhile, Max is hiding a secret about his position as a clarinetist in the local LA symposium. A proud man with a strong Russian heritage, Max wants to protect his family and provide for them without suffering personal humility.
The Elder Son is definitely an original story. Shane West and Leelee Sobieski are talented young actors. The support players are nice as well. Regina Hall participates by playing a 31-year old teacher with a strange and somewhat "wrong" relationship with 14-year old Nikita. The movie is short (84 minutes), which means the story plays out quickly. This can be a positive or negative depending on your perspective of the movie.
We like The Elder Son though it isn't our favorite movie in recent weeks. The ending offers plenty of irony and accentuates the very quirky comedy and drama mix that makes The Elder Son unique.
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