CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO (or maybe not, given the mostly unhappy endings to these six drama-tized black-box-transcripts that show-and-tell us of what transpired just before the landing/crash. For the rest of us, the movie is one very odd experiment. Filmed in the kind of 3D that makes Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder look like a Michael Bay special-effects extravaganza, this film has perhaps the least reason for being shot in three dimensions than anything seen so far. It's a confined-space movie, for god's sake, in which we're trapped, over and over throughout six different scenarios, in a tiny cockpit, where traffic is restricted so nobody much moves, and the set, such as it is, changes little.
Gravity, this ain't. (Although, once Ms Bullock is inside a space capsule, the two films begin, unfortunately, to resemble each other.) Further, the film is taken from a theater piece first staged here in NYC nearly fifteen years ago that has since traveled the country. The film's theatrical roots are never out of sight, right down to the casting -- for budget reasons, no doubt -- of the same six actors to play the 15 to 20 different roles required to fill the six episodes. You'll figure this out soon enough, and of course go with it, but the doubling and tripling of the cast members means that the film never begins to lose its on-the-cheap, off-off-Broadway quality.
Film Forum, where Charlie Victor Romeo (we might as well call this a documentary of sorts: maybe an "acted documentary") gets its U.S. theatrical premiere for a two-week run beginning this Wednesday, January 29. It will then play at the Downtown Independent theater in Los Angeles from January 31 through February 6.