When it was time to write this review today I saw the title Columbus Circle and drew a blank. I could seriously not muster up memories of this movie until I saw the cover and then it all came flooding back, well, some of it did. The good parts would be the beginning scenes when we meet the lead characters. The first few minutes give the impression that this is a somewhat Noir-esque, quirky flick. The dialogue is on the awkward side, but feels strangely natural. The premise of a young woman who doesn’t want to go out into the world isn’t new but still has a twinge of intrigue. I totally dig Ribisi so any time he’s at the helm I’m all ears and eyes. These are the few things that, within just the first fifteen minutes, were giving me something to hang my hopes on, and then the movie continues and my hopes shriveled.
That quirkiness disappeared with the heavy handed acting style that I’m not sure if it’s intentional or just not directed well enough. A movie that’s trying too hard to be cool and slightly odd fails when the creativity isn’t there. Movies that go crazy with the odd ball characters, weird dialogue, unexpected choices by characters and are successful balance everything just right, Columbus Circle does not.
The first signs that this movie was not going to be a memorable experience was when I got so bored listening to a conversation early on that I started wondering what I would be making for supper later that night. I am a movie lover. I LOVE movies, watching movies, thinking about movies, talking about movies, remembering movies….for me to get bored is a very very bad thing. The conversations were dummied down to the point of feeling like I was watching Sesame Street, the same concepts repeated over and over and things pointed out in a way that seems to assume we are all idiots.
Selma Blair is the best thing about the movie. She does a good job of being naturally timid and afraid, even terrified as a shut in. She has a good command of her body language and attitude when it comes to talking to other people. She has been isolated for so long that she should be awkward, and she is. I want her to be in a better movie.
Jason Lee was not very good over all. He over does the drunken asshole bit and then every thing else he said and did felt like it should have been on a stage during a play, not on a movie. In fact, that is what I was the most put off by throughout the whole thing, performances that should have been on a stage, not a big screen. A thriller dark play with the set pieces that are kind of claustrophobic and too contained with over the top delivery of lines would make more sense. Unfortunately this two dimensional style falls flat. OH, get it? Two dimensional, flat? OK, I’m just trying to be more exciting than the movie, which wouldn’ t be a hard task.
It is below average with a high quality production, which is hard to resolve when it’s time to give it a score. It looks nice and the sets are pretty detailed but borderline pretentious, so the environment is enough to elevate it enough to not be scraping the bottom of the score barrel.
Now as I have been thinking about this movie for a bit to write this I STILL have a hard time pulling up moments, scenes, enough to put it all together as a movie memory. Beau Bridges was in it but all I remember are close ups of his face and lots of nodding. Kevin Pollack is in it and I am seriously not able to string together enough of his scenes to get a full sense of his character. I think the worse thing about a movie can be that as soon as it’s over, it’s gone. I like movies to linger in my mind, there to recall when I am bored by other things in life, or want to entertain my movie lover husband with a discussion or trivia game. Columbus Circle will not be mentioned, actually, as soon as I’m done with this I think the final memories of it will drain from the cells of my brain. Time to move on to more memorable entertainment experiences, Star Trek on Netflix, my YouTube subscription list, watching grass grow.
- Nothing, Nada, Zip. No one even puts in an appearance to even defend the movie, maybe it’s better that way!!!!
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover is super boring, but it does make the movie look slightly more interesting than it actually is. Do I need to say I would n0t have this cover art as a poster? The menu does not exist.
Audio & Video: 8/10 (By Ascully)
As you know by now this is by no means a good movie, in fact it’s actually a bad movie! With that out of the way Universal have presented Columbus Circle on Blu-Ray quite well. This 1080P VC1 encode couldn’t look better with superb shadow detail and great skintones. There are a few cases of DNR that I noticed mostly close up shots of faces look a little waxy but this is only a few shots and not throughout the whole movie. For such a poor movie Universal have delivered a great presentation here.
Audio is also handled well the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 codec is put through it’s paces and even manages to light up the rear speakers at times. Dialog is clear and precise but here and there a couple of mumbly lines are hidden under the overactive score.
When we do a round up of this years movies in December, I am quite sure Columbus Circle will make an appearance probably in the same place as Red Riding Hood did in 2011. It’s really bad but if you have a morbid curiosity take a look you have nothing to lose except 90 minutes of your life.
It gets a mercy score of 1 out of 10 just because it could be a late night view that isn’t as bad as the knife selling guys.
Overall Score 3/10