Saturday, July 31, 2010

Movie Review: Charlie St. Cloud

Rated: PG 13 
Release Date: July 30, 2010  
Tag Line: Life is for Living
Director: Burr SteersRecognizable 
Actors: Zac Efron, Amanda Crew, and Donal Logue                                            

So, we all knew it was going to happen. Yeah, that's right. Young Troy Bolton has finally grown up. I knew, and I mean I knew, Zac Efron was going to be one of those guys to watch out for. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time when I saw 17 Again.

The glimmer of a real dramatic actor showed up in 17 Again when Mr. Efron read his "letter" out loud to his wife in the court room. I said to myself, self this is it, we've got ourselves a really good actor right here. And I was right!

Charlie St. Cloud follows Charlie's (Efron) life (or lack thereof) after he loses his little brother in a car crash that was partly his fault. I won't spoil too much but I will say that he meets his little brother, Sam (played by Charlie Tahan), everyday in the woods next to the cemetery to teach Sam how to play baseball like he promised.

If you want a better synopsis take a look at the trailer:

I'm not a crier in movies generally speaking (unless it's really late at night and I can't sleep. I will never watch A Walk To Remember again at 3 am), but let me say, the first fifteen minutes of this movie are heart breaking. This is mostly due to a good performance by Zac Efron. When he wakes up in the ambulance and sees Sam lying next to him dead, you feel the pain in his frantic screaming and it's heart breaking.

The plot is strong (because it's based off a novel, of course), not completely relying on the paranormal element, but rather allowing it to coexist perfectly with the character's real life. The relationship between the brothers is really strong on-screen. I was worried at first that we'd get that sugary sweet little kid who never fought with his big brother but right away, we get to see several different sides to Sam and the brothers' relationship.

The only thing I had a little bit of a problem with is the relationship between Charlie and his sailor gal Tess (played by Amanda Crew). I liked them together but they were awfully close after only one day. I needed to see a little more to really believe it. I was willing to give a little because this was only an hour and a half movie but I still needed a little more contact to fully accept it.

But hey, I'm being picky. You heard it here, Charlie St. Cloud is a winner! I also want to say that the kid who played Sam (whose real name is Charlie, heh!) is another one to watch out for. He's a good little actor and I think we'll be seeing more of him!

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