• The Entitled



    Released By: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Released On: 09/06/2011
    Director: Aaron Woodley
    Cast: Ray Liotta, Victor Garber, Stephen McHattie, Kevin Zegers
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    The Film:


    The last time I had to review a film that was made in Canada (the SyFy suckfest known as Behemoth), it was bad enough for me to consider renouncing my Canadian citizenship and swearing off reviewing films for life. And while Anchor Bay’s recent release of the Canadian film The Entitled isn’t going to set the world of cinema on end, it’s still a solid enough movie to restore my faith in projects funded by Canadian film boards.

    Filmed in Sudbury, Ontario, home of the giant nickel, The Entitled brings together some amazing actors and some not-so-amazing actors in a plot that isn’t entirely original, but wanders off of the beaten path enough that it does contain a few surprises. Paul Dynan (Kevin Zegers of Dawn of the Dead, Wrong Turn….and…Air Bud) can’t seem to catch a break no matter how hard he tries, getting turned down for job after job, and carving out a meager existence as a bike courier. Forced to live with his parents, Paul’s world gets a whole lot darker when his mother receives a foreclosure notice from the bank, forcing him to take action. Instead of pulling a John Wisdom and robbing banks for a living, Paul teams up with two goth-looking outcasts to kidnap the kids of three wealthy fathers for a three million dollar payday. But if kidnapping for ransom was easy, everybody would be doing it, and Paul finds out that employing two idiots with black nail polish as his cohorts was maybe not the best idea.

    As mentioned, The Entitled plays a few cards that aren’t found in the normal deck of film making, and that’s definitely a good thing. Despite the acting talent of the “grown ups”, this movie doesn’t have a terrible amount going for it in the talent department, and the majority of the scenes featuring the kidnappers lack any real excitement, though there are a few moments of suspense that play out well. Whether this is the fault of the actors, or a lacklustre script is entirely debatable, but one gets the impression that this could have been done better. That being said, the scenes with the fathers, made up of Canadian acting powerhouses Stephen McHattie and Victor Garber, as well as Ray Liotta (who gets better with age) are nothing short of awesome, and watching the interplay between the three makes up for any other shortcomings.

    All in all, The Entitled could have been better…Writer William Morrissey seems to be on the right track, but the train hasn’t quite pulled into the station. Likewise, Director Aaron Woodley has some good ideas and is adequately competent, but may need a few more titles under his belt before he reaches his potential.

    But it’s still miles ahead of Behemoth.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 with a Dolby True HD 5.1 audio track, Anchor Bay’s blu-ray of The Entitled looks and sounds great. The juxtaposition of cinematography used between the scenes involving the kidnappers and the scenes involving the fathers comes across quite well, and although there are several night scenes, the contrast is solid with good black levels. The audio doesn’t utilize the surrounds or subwoofer to any great extent, but the effects, score, and dialogue are well-balanced.

    First up in the Extra features is The Entitled: Behind The Scenes, which runs just over 11 minutes and features Aaron Woodley, William Morrisey, and most of the cast discussing the making of the film and the themes found in the story. William Morrissey gets quite a bit of screen time as well, and despite his annoying habit of talking with his eyes closed, does a decent job of conveying the good intentions behind writing the script.

    A completely stupid, predictable, and clichéd Alternate Ending is also provided. A bad ending to a decent film can ruin it, and it’s definitely a good thing that this alternate ending wasn’t used.

    There are also 2 Previews for other Anchor Bay blu-ray releases included.

    Overall:


    It’s not a film that you’ll rave to your friends about, but The Entitled is worth watching if only for the scenes involving Stephen McHattie, Victor Garber, and Ray Liotta.

    Click on the images below for full size Blu-ray screen caps!