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An average movie

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 4 October 2012 08:30

Since I saw ‘Exotica' years ago, I always had a weak spot for Atom Egoyan’s work, even though, I have to admit it, I haven’t seen many of his movies. Anyway, this movie was apparently his most successful one, at least, financially speaking, and I was quite eager to check it out. As a matter of fact, it was one of those remakes of a French movie which I haven’t seen yet. Anyway, unfortunately, I thought that the whole thing was eventually rather disappointing. Indeed, even if the whole thing tried to be something more, eventually, it was just another rather sleazy erotic thriller which borrowed from other movies from the same genre such as ‘Fatal Attraction’ or ‘Poison Ivy’. Let’s start with Amanda Seyfried. First of all, she should get some credit because she tried something really risky and completely different than what she had done so far but even though she did her very best, I never believed that she was a seasoned prostitute. However, Seyfried should not be the only one to be blamed as her character was actually poorly developed in my opinion. I mean, what was her motivation? Why did she suddenly make those decisions? Only because she had a nice chat with Julianne Moore in the ladies room ? It was pretty thin and eventually we never got the chance to know her. Concerning Liam Neeson, the job was even more thankless. Indeed, during the whole thing, he was described as a huge douchebag but, at the end, there was this twist which explained that we have been misled during the whole movie. I thought it was rather cheap and manipulative but that was obviously the point here but, above all, I thought it was really unbelievable that Julianne Moore, after 20 years of relationship, wouldn’t know if her man was just a flirt or always went for the 2nd base. What remains is Julianne Moore and I have to admit that, once again, she delivered a terrific performance. I did like the directing (above all this incredibly hot first scene at the very beginning which was ruined right away by some very dull voice-over) but Moore was completely convincing and made her inner struggle really fascinating to behold. Basically, she had some kind of total meltdown and Julianne Moore played it perfectly. To conclude, even though Roger Ebert was really enthusiast, I thought it was not much better than the other movies from this genre but thanks to the directing and Julianne Moore’s performance, I still think it is worth a look though.

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Chloe (2009) review

Posted : 7 years, 5 months ago on 23 December 2010 05:11

The film was ok, simply didn't like how heavily predictable it was. Took my partner a while to figure this out so I guess the average person will love it.

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Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 8 October 2010 11:14

Catherine (Moore) plans a surprise birthday part for her husband David (Neeson) to which he calls and says he has missed his flight and wont be home until the morning. The next day Catherine looks at his phone and he receives a text from a girl thanking him for the previous night. Catherine is furious, but still does not quite know how to approach the situation, that is until she meets the mysterious and sexy Chloe (Seyfried) and she asks Chloe to see how her husband acts. Chloe comes back saying David was more than a little flirty but wouldn’t go through with anything. Catherine asks Chloe to keep meeting her husband and eventually Chloe tell Catherine very descriptive sexual encounters between her and David. Catherine becomes drawn to these tales as the only form of sexual contact with her husband and Chloe becomes drawn to Catherine in what becomes an unhealthy manner.

Chloe is a film where the plot is centered on human emotion being trust. Catherine does not trust her husband, which is evident when she gets Chloe to seduce him over and over. What takes it one step further is Catherine does not seem to be completely angry with these stories but aroused by them. Chloe has a lot of sexual tension, a lot of graphic description as well as many sex scenes. This movie combines sex with plot and substance as well as development. For a film that is about 80 % sexual description and or sexually based scenes this film has a surprising amount of plot development and character movement. These characters are far from bland, for from one Dimensional. They feel what these actors are able to show as genuinely real emotion.

Chloe is displayed as a mysterious sexual person. We know little about Chloe, no background information, no current information other than she is rather sexual in her day to day life. As the film progresses and Chloe begins to fall for Catherine, which is where the film takes its turn.Catherine and Chloe begin to see each other in a different, and Chloe makes a move on Catherine who initially rejects the move but ultimately succumbs to Chloe’s seduction.

What this film does so well is make the build up real as well as suspenseful, leaving some room for creativity. It takes us in one entire direction only to throw us for a complete loop, a loop that eventually does become visible if you watch closely, but still intriguing none the less. This film keeps you engaged with the struggles of these characters, their inner emotional struggles. It has a mixture of romance and lust if that is your cup of tea, and if you like detailed descriptive sexual scenes, this film is definitely for you. It could be considered a softcore porn, as there is enough fake looking sex scenes through out the run time.

Liam Neeson was a bit underused until the final confrontation, where his character has a chance to explode emotionally giving Neeson full usage of the emotional range scale. But at times his meagre attempts to act all innocent seem doomed to fail (yet we get it only after the final outcome). Moore does a fantastic job, playing the confused, angry wife. Her chemistry with Seyfried was what made the film watchable. The interactions between the characters was at first mysterious, interesting to say the least and then after a while it became something more, a story of two people who embrace each other. These characters were exactly what they needed to be, nothing more nothing less and that’s acceptable for todays standards.

Chloe: I guess I've always been pretty good with words. In my line of business. It's as important to be able to describe what I'm doing as it is to do what I'm doing. When to say what. What words to select.
Chloe: Some men hate to hear certain terms. They can't stand specific moves and then they can't live without others. It's part of my job to know where to place my hand, my lips, my tongue, my leg and even my thoughts.
Chloe: What kind of pressure, for how long, when to stop. I can become your first kiss... or a torn out image from a Playboy magazine that you found when you were 9 years old.
Chloe: Am I your secretary or am I your daughter? Maybe I'm your seventh grade math teacher you always hated. All I know is that if I do it just right, I can become your living, breathing, unflinching dream, and then I can actually disappear.

Chloe is a lot more likeable than initially thought, at first I watched this simply to pass the afternoon away, but before long I was drawn to the film, to the characters, to the emotions and most of all to the performances. Watch it at your own discretion, because this film has a lot of sexual scenes, but they do help further the plot which is one thing beneficial about them.

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Posted : 7 years, 9 months ago on 11 September 2010 02:56

CHLOE gets a 6/10 due to the fact that I'm doing something with it that I rarely do with movies, because I feel like the circumstances call for it. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. There are a lot of factors that have me almost convinced that something "weird" happened while this movie was being shot that made it fall way short of greatness.

For its first hour, CHLOE was well on its way to being a magnificent portrait of a marriage plagued by that pesky emotion that is so often examined on film: jealousy. No movie that has covered that ground has ever come close to beating out the staggering brilliance of EYES WIDE SHUT... but CHLOE at least looked like a solid attempt for its first hour. However, during the final third it takes such a drastic, inconceivably senseless plot turn, that I'm convinced that something out of the director's and actor's control happened.

Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson) are a wealthy couple. He's a professor and she's a gynecologist. He goes on trips for lectures sometimes, and recently, a few things have happened that have made Catherine suspect that David may be cheating on her. Enter the mysterious, beautiful Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), who never expressly says what her profession is, but one gets the feeling that she'd prefer to be called an "escort" than a "prostitute," as she goes out on dates with men and then later has sex with them. This time, though, she's approached by a woman with a business proposition. Catherine wants Chloe to "pretend" to seduce David to see if David responds positively to Chloe's approaches, thereby confirming whether he's really into the habit of cheating on his wife.

Chloe accepts this, and soon, she and Catherine are meeting up periodically so that Catherine can pay Chloe to hear about all the things Chloe "does" with her husband. Since Chloe narrates these things, we never know for sure whether Chloe is actually doing anything with David, or if she's just lying to Catherine... but that's not important, nor is it what makes the movie appear to be a brilliant piece of work at first. What IS important and what DOES make the film have all the potential in the world for greatness is Catherine's reactions to the stories that Chloe tells her about what she does with David. In what should be the film's most pivotal and intense scene, a desperate Catherine takes Chloe into a room, craving to be able to feel what her husband hasn't been giving her for years. We realize that the "heat" in their marriage is gone and that Catherine misses it terribly: "I want to feel what David does to you." Chloe agrees to oblige her, which leads to a scene that guys will probably salivate over (with Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore baring it all and doing more than just kissing), but more importantly, the scene is fantastic in portraying the bottled-up angst that Catherine has felt for years. As we watch the scene, it's clear that this isn't a "lesbian thing," but rather a way to give Catherine the satisfaction she hasn't had for so long... but then something really strange happens in CHLOE. The film contradicts the message that it was apparently trying to deliver in this scene, and instead descends into a stalker thriller. "WTF" has never been a more applicable reaction.

Of course, the main reason why I feel so certain that something strange happened during the filming of CHLOE is because it did. Last year, we discovered that Liam Neeson's wife (actress Natasha Richardson) perished in a completely unexpected accident. This happened DURING the filming of CHLOE, and we later found out that Neeson actually agreed to return to the film, despite the terrible real-life event that had happened to him. The reason why I suspect this of causing the inexplicable shift during the film's last half hour is the fact that those final 30 minutes seem to tweak things so that Neeson's character, David, doesn't have as much emotional involvement in the film as he should have, based on the plot line that the film was following before. In fact, the film's final showdown (a frankly lame violent sequence that is worse than some of the stuff you see on cable) features a curious contrivance that leaves David out of the proceedings, and instead adds Catherine and David's son Michael (Max Thieriot), even though his involvement in this particular moment makes little to no sense. Chloe's ultimate "decision" during this climactic sequence makes even less sense. I could be making a severely unfounded assumption, but there's just too much here that makes me feel like the film's final act was entirely reworked for Neeson's benefit, and yes, if it was because of his wife's untimely death, of course it's really sad and we should be understanding of it, but it doesn't negate the fact that it makes the cinematic experience of watching CHLOE's final moments entirely jarring and confusing.

Now, with what I said above, I would normally give the film a rotten rating, but like I said, I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, because it seems that the circumstances that may have led to this "reworking" were out of the filmmakers' control. Also, Julianne Moore's performance is (predictably) magnificent and anchors most of the film's pivotal moments. I can't give a rotten rating to a movie that I know I'll want to see again when it comes out on DVD; I'll just have doubts as to whether or not I'll simply turn it off once there are only 30 minutes left on it.

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Chloe (2009) review

Posted : 7 years, 11 months ago on 19 July 2010 08:59

After the wonderful "Tekken", it was really pathetic to see Liam Neeson in this lesbian B-movie. As most comments point out below, viewers went mostly to watch Amanda Seyfried.

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