Detention has some great

Detention

has some great ideas, but leaves audiences with a dull and lifeless film riddled with detention performances from its cast. It is hard to pin down exactly what goes wrong with this film, or at what point, but it becomes immediately apparent that there is something fundamentally broken. What should be a subtle, menacing psychological thriller about the introspective nature of death and loss ends up being a muddled and disinterested snooze fest of Christina Ricci sitting naked on a slab in a funeral home, looking bored and disinterested while Justin Long runs around in a constant state of tears. Even Liam Neeson, a man who could turn a diuretics advert into a Shakespearian masterpiece looks pained here, as if unsure how he ended up in this snooze of a film. The execution of this film is so awkward and disjointed that most viewers wont care one iota whether or not Anna is dead or alive theyll only be wondering when the film will be over. In the end, the characters themselves are to blame. Anna, as played by Christina Ricci, is so unpleasant and unlikable as a human being that her so-called death is more schadenfreude than shocking. It is virtually impossible to connect with her on any emotional level or care about her situation. This sinks the whole premise of the film. wants to be this introspective examination into the nature of death, a kind of Twilight Zone or The Sixth Sense spin on a crisis of mortality. As the audience, were supposed to revel in the irony of Anna: a drugged, sleepwalking, depressed woman who fails to appreciate how precious her own life is until she ends up dead at a funeral home. Eliot tries to rehabilitate her, to prepare her for her final rest, to help her come to some kind of terms with her own fate. Amusingly, I could care less whether Anna is dead, or being held in a funeral home by a crazy person against her will. Thats how much you will dislike the character. The acting is just terrible. Christina Ricci looks like a real-life porcelain doll, and pretty much acts like one here; stiff, rigid, and lifeless. The biggest tragedy is Neeson an actor with such credibility and talent that he should be able to sleepwalk his way through a film like this. Figuratively speaking, of course; the problem is that he actually looks asleep here. He plays Deacon as cold, creepy, and unsympathetic, which pretty much spoils most of the plot twists. You figure out early on that is a Bad Fellow. Amusingly enough, the saving grace here is Justin Long. Distraught and traumatized by the death of his fianc e, at least his character gets to emote something through this snooze fest of a film. He ends up plastered with a confused and tearful grimace that in some circles could constitute dramatic acting. To the films credit, tries hard to put out a quality product on a low budget. Writer/director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, in detention Hollywood cinematic debut turns out a visually stylish film, a striking bleakness of composition full of muted tones and harsh fluorescents. As messy and incoherent as the film plot might be, the visuals of the film feel meticulously crafted and well-executed, and it makes the films esoteric vision and original concept easier to admire. It gets a bit weird at times, though. The fetishism of Ricci done up like a corpse crosses into some uncomfortable areas, with excessive lingering shots on her pale body laid out on a slab in a decidedly erotic fashion. It isnt erotic in the slightest, thank goodness, but almost half of the film is devoted to such weirdness. With a little bit of reworking, could have been a decent psychological thriller. The material detention potential, and the director has a very nice visual style. Alas, the plot and the acting just dont measure up. In the first act, you have the nagging suspicion that the film doesnt make a lot of sense, that it is failing to obey its own logical rules. By the second act, this becomes extremely obvious. By the third act, youll be reading a book in another room. From a technical perspective, Anchor Bay has done a nice job with this Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer is quite striking, clean and crisp with solid black levels. The film has a subdued color palate, manipulated to rob the film of some colors, while emphasizing other saturated tones for effect, like red tones.

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