Don’t waste your time with Rotten Tomatoes when you’ve got the Instinct eye right here. Our Show reviews have found a new home online; and trust that we’re just as opinionated as ever! Get the scoop on Struck By Lightening, Turtle Hill, Brooklyn and more and find out if these releases are worth the investment.
The Visitor (DVD)
The Visitor is a slight drama about Cibrail, an attractive patrolman, meeting—and falling for—his girlfriend Christine’s cute cousin, Marco. The guys go jogging together, and Cibrail often spies on the scantily clad Marco at night. Before long, he cannot resist his attraction, and eventually joins the handsome stranger in a shower for sex. But nothing much is ever said by the two men about their desires, which makes them rather enigmatic. Writer/director Tor Iben insists on zooming his DV lens in on the characters to create meaning from the silence, but it’s a technique as sloppy as the film’s choppy editing. The Visitor features odd inserts of Berlin’s Pride parade, and would-be sexy assignations seem to be cut down (or cut out completely) from something a bit more explicit and interesting. It’s shoddy filmmaking that distracts from a sweet coming out story. —GK
Turtle Hill, Brooklyn
Will Pork Productions and Brownpenny Films
Will is having a pretty crappy 30th birthday. What is supposed to be a party with friends turns into the day he’s outed to his sister, finds out his boyfriend cheated and continually gets ragged on for smoking. Unfortunately viewers of Turtle Hill, Brooklyn are likely to be feeling equally low by the end as the material (and overacting) tends to drag on. With more than a fair share of random, unnecessary moments and a never-ending parade of party guests ringing door bells, Turtle Hill can, at times, seem a bit unpolished. It’s a little film that ambitiously attempts to cover a wide spectrum of topics—from gay Republicans to open relationships—but more often than not the jumping around is just plain distracting. This party in Turtle Hill may be one to rethink RSVPing to. —OE
Struck by Lightning (DVD)
For ambitious, overachieving (and apparently asexual) teenager Carson Phillips (Glee’s Chris Colfer, who also penned the screenplay), high school is hell. President of the newspaper and writer’s club, he can’t get anyone to submit to his publications—until he blackmails several fellow students into contributing to his literary magazine. Struck by Lightning boasts some witty lines and nice messages about living in the moment as well as points why outsider teens should not wallow in clichés and self-pity. But this slim film feels like it ends just when it is getting started. This may be because of a lengthy subplot involving Carson’s parents (the terrific Alison Janney and Dermot Mulroney) working out their own screwed up lives. At least “it” girl Rebel Wilson gets some choice comic moments as Carson’s best friend to generate laughs among the angst. —GK