Released by: Universal Studios
Released on: 3/6/2012
Director: George Gallo
Cast: Selma Blair, Amy Smart, Jason Lee, Beau Bridges, Kevin Pollak
Year: 2010 Purchase from Amazon
Actor Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects) and director George Gallo (known more for his screenwriting) team up to script a tale about a reclusive woman living in a penthouse in Manhattan’s famous Columbus Circle, located on end of Central Park. The old woman across the hall died, and a young couple moved into the apartment that Abigail (Selma Blair, Hellboy) wanted to purchase for herself, just to keep anyone else from moving and encroaching on her space. The only person she speaks to is longtime friend of the family and her doctor (Beau Bridges). The young couple, Lillian (Amy Smart, Outside Providence) and Charlie (Jason Lee, My Name Is Earl) have a tumultuous relationship that involves abuse, something Abigail is apparently all too familiar with.
In trying to determine if the old woman’s death was an accident or a murder, NYPD homicide investigator Frank (Giovanni Ribisi, Saving Private Ryan) becomes intrigued with Abigail and starts digging into who she is. Front deskman (Pollak) tells him of her never coming out of the apartment, and in the dozen years he’s worked there he’s never met her. They communicate through letters that are slipped under the door and that’s all he knows of her. But jeez, he knows Charlie from somewhere…
Charlie beats the shit out of Lillian right in front of Abigail’s door, and at that point Abby becomes involved with the violence between the married couple and puts herself in danger. A friendship evolves between the two women as they get to know each other, and Abigail’s guard goes down a bit and she works with Lillian to venture out of the apartment, but the reward she earns for her efforts is no where near worth it. Events unfold and no one is who they appear to be.
Stinky. Columbus Circle tries to be an intelligent thriller and ends up being nothing more than an exercise in predictability with absolutely no build up, no mystery, and no energy. Performances are fine, as it’s a pretty strong cast, and the technical construction of the movie is more than competent. Some interesting camera positions and editing are used to give the movie a certain style. But what’s missing from the story is any angle that might keep the audience guessing throughout the picture. All of the little twists and turns are readily exposed and quickly over-explained, and none of them pack any kind of punch. It’s too bad, because with what the movie has going for it is squandered. A better-structured story may have resulted in a decent movie. Instead it’s one of those movies you catch when nothing else is on and then forget about.
The disc has a nice audio/visual presentation. The image is a 1080p hi-def one, with a ratio of 2.40:1. Good detail, colors and skin tones look correct. A few areas here and there with some murky black levels, but they are short-lived and probably noticeable only if you're looking for it. In all honesty, it’s the average quality of a Blu-ray we’ve come to expect. Nothing mind blowing, but solid. The audio is an English DTS-HD Master 5.1 track, and it sounds great. The music and dialogue balance is a bit lop-sided, and some of the dialogue is pretty quiet at times. No problems to report by way hissing or bad sync.
The extras are non-existent, unless you consider a few trailers before the feature an extra.
The Final Word:
Nothing special. Rent it if you must.