Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Derick Martini's HICK: good cast, fine acting, smart dialog -- lousy movie

TrustMovies can certainly understand why actors as good as Eddie Redmayne, the upcoming Chloë Grace Moretz -- even Alec Baldwin and Juliette Lewis (in smaller roles) -- would want to lend their talents and stretch their wings in roles we might not immediately associate with them (this is particularly true in Redmayne's case). This does not, however, make it worth sitting through the result: a pretty terrible new movie called HICK from a till-now worthwhile writer and/or director named Derick Martini (Smiling Fish & Goat on Fire and Lymelife), shown below.

The movie begins promisingly enough, during a birthday party at which our heroine, played by Ms Moretz, below, receives a gun as a present from her drunken mother and decides soon after to figure a way around her mom (Juliette Lewis, shown at bottom, with Ms Moretz) and her even more drunk step-dad (Anson Mount, who may be giving the film's best performance -- utterly un-showy but conflicted and very real). These two get to depart the proceedings early; we are not that lucky. Once Moretz goes on the road and meets Redmayne (below, right) and then Blake Lively (at right, two photos down), who plays a possible protector and friend, things begin to heat up. Fast.

There's a crude believability to the proceedings early on. Then things get just a little too bizarre to be credible. Then more so. Then comes the threat of something very violent. Followed by the thing itself. After awhile, the actions of almost everyone seem awfully arbitrary. "We're doing this, yes, but we could just as easily be doing that," hovers over the proceedings.

What do these people want, and why -- save the loony tunes screenplay -- would they ever come together for anything? Good question but it's not one the filmmakers seemed to have considered. They just want to make a movie full of quirky/crazy/violent character and situations. We consider the question, however, but find no answer, and pretty soon, all our good faith has been trampled.

It's fine if actors want the opportunity to stretch themselves and try new things. (Everyone here is perfectly good, and some are much better than that.) But unless these stretching thespians can attach their desire to something worth sitting through, I'll have to pass. Hick, from Phase 4 Films, with a running time of 99 minutes, opens in theaters this Friday, May 11 -- in New York City at the AMC Loews' Village 7 and in Los Angeles at the AMC Loews Broadway 4. Simultaneously, the film will also be available via VOD. Consult your local TV reception provider for details....

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