|Spanish subtitles The Details||3 years ago|
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Rambunctious... Horny... Raccoons...
9/10 Tobey Maguire is a pitch perfect anti-hero in this bizarre, absurd, dark movie about love and raccoons. The movie plays like a demented fairy tale, replete with butterflies, rainbows and cross-bows. The audience I saw it with was in stitches. But this isn't really a comedy. I wouldn't even call it a black comedy. I'd say the movie is more of a magical absurd comedy, if that is even a genre. It plays like a fever dream, swinging wildly between realism and camp. I was surprised about 100 times during the watching of this film, and to tell much more about it would just spoil the fun of it for you. Suffice to say, you will not get what you're expecting. If you want something normal, this isn't it... I will warn that sometimes the movie makes your stomach turn, as you're forced to live in the shoes of a morally suspect character... but I think that was the point. There are no good or bad people in this movie. There are only morally gray people, who behave like raccoons... hungry, horny, needy and desperately seeking worms... I was lucky enough to see it in a recent festival screening. I think it will be really interesting to see how general audiences respond....3 years ago
A series of events that could potentially really mess up one's life.
6/10 The Details is a dark comedy with an incredible cast and good writing. What I really enjoyed was the fact that the filmmakers didn't seem to sugar coat anything and try to deceive you that a perfect family exists, and that people don't struggle with temptation and guilt on everyday basis. It's a greatly exaggerated story of an ordinary man with ordinary problems that get him into an extraordinary mess. Casting is incredible, and all actors deliver great performances. Unfortunately, none of the characters, with the exception of Tobey Maguire's Jeff Lang is truly developed, which could have made that film even better. Some of the scenes seem a little redundant, for example the boat scene at the beginning of the movie, but that doesn't really spoil the movie as a whole. All in all, it's an interesting piece of work. It will probably not inspire you or stay in your memory forever, but it will definitely make you think about your actions, and how quickly things in life can get ugly.3 years ago
The Details is not a still life portrait
10/10 The Details goes places where most films these days dare not venture. It's a black comedy but it does not bother to play sight gags of the grotesque. It's a black comedy but it is not afraid to become suddenly dramatic. It strikes me as a generally fearless movie, not afraid to deal with the darkness and ridiculousness of male sexuality (Tobey Maguire plays the part of the likable loser-internet porn lover-sexual deviant exceptionally well), not afraid to allow its characters to express a kind of cartoonish intensity which borders on surreal at times, nor is it afraid to allow its characters to reveal deep human insecurities. The filmmaker seems to be interested in constantly showing you different sides of his characters and his story, as if it was a cubist/surrealist dream/nightmare--his characters have multiple faces, his storyline can be viewed as hilarious or dark and unnerving and sometimes even, sweet. Whereas many films released these days are formally obsessed with fitting into a genre, this movie seems unconcerned in adhering to formal movie tropes-- it is at once a hilarious comedy about a man obsessed with ridding his yard of raccoons, about marriage and silly things-- then -- deftly-- the audience finds itself sliding into an absurd realm of murder and darkness and uncomfortable laughter. The truth is, most movies are one simple thing, easily digested and marketed and discarded--but this is not that. Watching this movie you just know, it was invented with a spirit of anarchy and joy and yet, despite this apparent lack of concern for normal rules of the screen, the story- telling itself still manages to keep us consistently tense and pushed toward an inevitable, at first funny, ultimately shocking conclusion. Playing the part of a cat-crazed, manic- depressive, Susy-home-maker sexually obsessed neighbor, Laura Linney turns in a performance that should make even the most cynical movie-goer prick up his or her ears. Also, Elizabeth Banks stands out in this film, especially in the end, when, after her husband, played by Maguire, finally reveals the truth he has been hiding from her all along (all the horrible things he did in secret over the course of the twists and turns of this movie's wild plot). Her reaction to learning the truth from her husband is at once hilarious and gripping and would probably never be forgotten by anyone who sees it. At the end of the movie, the audience is asked to be complicit in the characters sins (which I won't tell you any more about so as not to spoil things). The characters just "go on" in the aftermath of the mess they've created. That said, one could argue that the end of the film is bleak, and that that is unsatisfying. But I would argue that it is just another part of the filmmaker's willingness to throw caution to the wind: It's as if--after an hour and a half of laughing-- he's saying "yeah, it's funny, but..." Since the sins explored in the details are common sins that get wildly out of control--sins any of us might relate to--the movie plays like an allegory for our shared, collective lack of morality and while it is funny... it is also serious. Some movies are perfect-- they perfectly capture you in a web of sentimentality or comedy or darkness-- this is not that. This is not a still life.3 years ago
"Make an effort to see one of the funniest, blackest, and most deliciously subversive comedies in years"
9/10 There's scarcely anything than better than a fierce, biting black comedy on a bright, sunny morning and Jacob Aaron Estes' The Details delivers one and then some. Not only does the film give us a wonderful premise with efficient character actors, but it's the way that we dive into these socially and morally complex people that makes it such a wonderfully black experience. Rarely has a film bottled me with so much guilty, unadulterated pleasure and rarely have I liked it so much.3 years ago
Tobey Maguire, one of my favorite actors, plays Jeff Lang, a doctor in suburbia with a lovely wife, a cute kid, and a Toyota Prius. As a doctor, he lives a moderately enjoyable life, but he feels rather unfulfilled with the lack of pleasure in his life sexually and literally. His wife, Nealy (Elizabeth Banks) rarely is in the proper mood, even when the kid is asleep, so Jeff frequents various pornographic websites to satisfy his typical male urges.
But it's to the extent he goes to satisfy his deeply unsatisfied urges is when The Details takes off and becomes almost fearless. Jeff decides to commit an act of infidelity with a close friend named Rebecca (Kerry Washington). They wind up having sex and it's all downhill from there once her husband Peter (the great Ray Liotta) finds out. Upon discovering the situation, he gives Jeff two possible options on how to keep him quiet about the situation and both are equally dismaying.
The shocking thing is even after this small adventure into cheating, Jeff still isn't completely satisfied and winds up accepting sex from his quirky middle-aged next door neighbor (Laura Linney). While this is all happening, Jeff's other newfound interest is attempting to rid his backyard of raccoons who have been persistently digging up his sod.
The Details brings to light two different things about the masculinity of males that can not be ignored; their quest for sexual pleasure and their desire to accomplish difficult and demanding tasks. The fact that the film explores these deep, inner urges of most males' psychs is a challenge from the writing department and it allows the viewer a deeper, larger motivation for the despicable steps taken by the anti-hero Jeff.
Because Maguire has now completed his odyssey with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man franchise, it's pleasing to see him try out different lines of work to hopefully become known as a character actor, with roles like this and Seabiscuit under his belt. Here, he immerses himself into the deeply complex and ambiguous role of Jeff Lang and his diversity and hidden talents come forth in this black comedy of errors. This film is now available on video on demand and will be in selected theaters on November 2, 2012. Make an effort to see one of the funniest, blackest, and most deliciously subversive comedies in years.
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, and Kerry Washington. Directed by: John Aaron Estes.
Great Performances Can't Save The Details
6/10 The Details begins with a pleasant enough introduction and promises of a humorously dark spin on suburbia . With a stellar cast that offers up top notch performances the movie moves along with a theme-park roller-coaster like flow between comedy and tragedy. Certainly humorous and at times truthful, the movie has a Jekyll & Hyde flow that creates a whole lesser then its pieces.3 years ago
A seemingly perfect couple, Jeff the Doctor (Tobey Maguire) and the beautiful Nealy (Elizabeth Banks) are in a rough patch in their stale marriage. Two ill advised home improvement ventures lead Jeff to a run in with some pesky raccoons and a even more pesky encounter with a crazy cat lady neighbor(Laura Linney). Doctor Jeff's life begins to unravel as he tries to navigate his way through bribery, blackmail and his urge to feel some sort of spark that is missing from his marriage. A woeful tale of infidelity gone bad unfolds that leads the Doc down a slippery slope. He tries to cure his woes with a few doses of philanthropy, but no good deed goes unpunished, its the details that always gets you in the end.
The performances by the cast are top notch, Toby Maguire as Dr. Jeff gives a complex performance that is humorous, emotional and sympathetic. Elizabeth Banks has flashes of brilliance, the last 10 minutes give glimpses of what more her character could have offered had the filmmakers seen the opportunity. Lauara Linney is comic genius in a turn that is right up there with her best. Dennis Haysbert and Ray Liotta give very pure performances. This movie couldn't have asked for better side players which only makes it more disappointing that the filmmakers didn't create a better landscape.
The Details has brilliant moments of humor, but its see-saw approach between gags and edge of darkness stuff keep it in a gray area which can only be successful in the most polished of hands (e.g. American Beauty). Ironically its in the details, where the Details fails. There are numerous moments in the film where just a few tweaks could have kept it from flying off the tracks. The lasting impression is an attempt at modern story telling that wastes excellent performances by not keeping a tighter grip on the story.
I expect some buzz about the film after its initial premiere. Tobey Maguire gives a fabulous performance and gives all that he could, however once this sort of film is removed from the gloomy shadows of the downer films that typically makes up most of Sundance it probably won't fair very well. Shame really, this could have been a more significant film.