Friday, March 23, 2007

Premonition

PremonitionAfter the review I did of Happy Feet you might think I'm a difficult person to please when it comes to movies but truth is, I love a good movie as much as the next ticket holder. It just happens that nowadays good movies--those worth the current ticket price of $54.25 plus tax--are hard to come by but this one is intriguing enough to warrant a review.

Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock, is a psychological thriller with supernatural elements that in many ways follows the Hollywood thriller formulas but in other ways goes against dramatic convention. I love thrillers--The Fugitive, The Client, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense--and enjoy Sandra Bullock. She has an interesting screen presence and a flawed but beautiful face that I like to watch. While You Were Sleeping, The Lakehouse, Two Weeks Notice, Practical Magic were all decent movies that left me wondering how she can continually be clad in sweats, sweatshirts and old oxfords and still look so classy. She makes grunge wear look good. So I went into this with a fair amount of expectation and left the theater trying to decide if I was satisfied or not.

Bullock's angst-riddled housewife character isn't far off of the other characters she's played and her husband, (Julian McMahon) is the typical handsome suburban husband but much of the plot is conveyed not in dialog but in images, which the director and actors convey with a fair amount of skill. Subtle glances and actions are clues to relationships and motivations and visual hints are carefully placed for the audience to decipher and put into the developing context. I like a mystery, I like a good hunt and this movie provides a one and a half hour challenge for my sleuthing skills as I watched, mesmerized, trying to catch each nuance.

Some things about the movie are formulaic--the dissatisfied housewife, the suspicious husband, the creepy Sheriff--and other things throw you for some major loops (I can't say more without giving away too much). There are ridiculous plot episodes (I'm certain the morticians of America are more reliable when delivering bodies than the ones presented in this scenario) but individual character emotions and reactions had a genuine conviction that I swallowed whole.

There are the Obligatory Disturbing Animal Images--a requisite for any thriller that wants to creep you out--and then there are more subtle touches: check out the large picture above the psychiatrist's desk when Bullock's character visits. Velazquez's Las Meninas suggests themes more complex than your typical Hollywood thriller. There are Hitchockian (is that a word?) details such as the omnipresent ravens that enforce the tension and make you certain something is not quite right. Metaphors like the jigsaw puzzle give this film a bit more depth than your typical thriller and flatter the audience into believing they're intelligent detectives that are going to solve this mystery.

But I warn you, you may not have this one figured out. Go see it tonight, try not to talk to the person next to you too much (it was a constant temptation to discuss what was happening) and then let me know what you thought.

Technorati tags:

23 comments:

A chuisle said...

ooooh now i'm interested. wasn't really before.

well done.

Heather said...

I have been intrigued by this film since I saw the first preview. It looks like it will be good. Thanks for the review. I can't wait to see it!

Pass the Torch said...

I figured I would love this show. I love Sandra Bullock in general. Great review.

But did you say, $54.25, plus tax?????

Slackermommy said...

I've read some bad reviews on this movie but wouldn't miss it because I love Sandra Bullock and Julian McMahon is so hot! You give me hope that it isn't as bad as some reviews claim.

Erica said...

I was supposed to be going to the cinema to see this last week but gave it a miss due to the bad reviews ack wish I'd gone now - I rate your opinion more highly than the rags the reviews were in :)

beth said...

Hmmmm...I've been wondering if that was going to be any good. My mom is coming this week so my husband and I may actually make it to a movie. I'm pretty sure I'll be forced to see 300 though.

BTW, I made that white choc raspberry cheesecake for my husband on Valentine's Day and he LOVED it. Like LOVED it. Talked about how it could be in any restaurant. I think he wants to run away with you...:) Thanks for the great recipe.

An Ordinary Mom said...

We might have to look into this one ... if not in the theater, then when it comes out on DVD. I love action packed suspense movies, as well. Thanks for the recommendation!

Have you seen Miss Congeniality yet? I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. I don't know if it was because I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but it was cute.

Leslie said...

I'm a Sandra Bullock fan, too. This looks like a good movie. I'm excited to see it.

Jamie J said...

I've always loved Sandra Bullock too and love a good thriller. I've seen the preview for this movie so much the last couple weeks, now after reading your review I'll have to go see it!

Stephanie said...

I've always loved thrillers, but have shied away from them since The Ring. (awhile now)It stuck with me for weeks. I felt slimed!

But Tim loves Sandra Bullock. I guess this is a must see for us. :)

Amy Jane said...

I'm the sort of person who reads the spoilers in reviews, so (while I initially was intrigued and thought of going) I'm going to sit this one out.

And I'm glad I read the spoiler too-- I guess I'm just "that sort."

scribbit said...

Oh I hope I didn't give anything away, I tried hard not to ruin anything. Otherwise I would have given a spoiler alert.

acwo said...

I like your blog very much
keep it up!
acwo
http://tytka.blogspot.com

Lei said...

Hmmmm... I'm not a great movie critic, but I want to see it even more after your review!

luckyzmom said...

Thanks for the review. My husband and I love Sandra Bullock and don't care if the movie is any good, we see it. Now we can see it at the theater confident that it is worth the price.

my4kids said...

Sounds like a good movie but you caught me with the $54.25 price tag. Is this for everyone or just per person? Thats nuts.

PortraitofPeter said...

I must admit the reviews here in Scotland of this movie - caught my eye too.

I think I will be visiting the cinema here when it's released.

Thanks for the review.

Klutzmom said...

Enjoyed your review. It sounds interesting. I like anything with Sandra Bullock. I'll put "Premonition" on my list of "movies I hope to see in the theater but usually end up buying and watching at home."
Julie Q. sent me to your blog. I'm glad I stopped by.

Julie Q. said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm get frustrated with the dirth of good films out there so I'm happy to hear about another good one.

We watched The Village a couple of weeks ago. OOOOhhh. A great thriller.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi scribbit -- i must admit, i like the way you write .. it is clever and well-worded. i just saw this movie fri night at dimond, the 4pm.

sandra bullock and hillary swank are my favorite actors, so i will see anything they are in (except for R movies!). in this movie, i liked how she played just a normal woman with problems and imperfections. i can't remember when i last saw a movie with a character actually doing the laundry and dusting the home -- made it seem more real to me.

i took note how the movie makers didn't have her all dolled up for every scene. they made her seem like she just woke up and ran out the door sometimes because she needed to rush or know something right then and vanity was the last thing on her mind. i liked how they showed some close ups of her face and her little scar next to her eyebrow was visible. some actors would not like that or let that be shown ever because they are too vain (and in and out of plastic surgery appts).

sandra bullock seems to me like she is not afraid or ashamed to just show us her imperfect self through her roles. that is refreshing, she is refreshing, and she is such a joy to watch in her acting craft. thank you for sharing your witty movie review. i enjoyed your point of view.

Angela/SciFiChick said...

I really want to see this one, but I may wait till it comes to DVD..

Lisa Milton said...

I love thrillers and this one seemed to get some mediocre reviews out of the gate. Maybe I will have to get out to see it afterall.

Thanks.

PS: I wasn't at my computer much over the weekend. I came back to see you have been posting up a storm. How do you do it? I am so impressed. =]

Prahagirl said...

I went to see it on opening day. I am a fan of Bullock as well as McMahon. I like you, left the theater still deciding if I liked it or not. I won't tell the conclusion I came up with and why because I don't want to give too much away to those of you who haven't seen it yet! Maybe I will have to contemplate giving a short review on my little blog...then I could explain it without ruining it for others! :)