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Vantage Point (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / To Be Announced / Director: Pete Travis / Actors: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver ... / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      17.10.2011 05:45
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      If you're looking to switch your brain off then this might be perfect for you

      Vantage Point is a 2008 Political action thriller directed by Pete Travis and starring Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Mathew Fox and William Hurt.

      -------------------------------
      The Plot:

      The movie opens with US President Henry Ashton ( William Hurt ) attending a political summit in Salamanca Spain, while making a speech in the town square an assassination attempt is made on his life, along with a bombing, within the crowd are 8 strangers ( Including Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Mathew Fox, Dennis Quaid and Zoe Saldana ) who during the movie we get to witness each ones different "Vantage Point" of what happened.

      -----------------------------------------

      Both my wife and I had high hopes for "Vantage Point" after watching the trailers for it when the movie first came out, for one reason or another we never got around to watching the movie until a couple of weeks ago when we got it through the mail from our DVD subscription service.

      We sat down and began watching it, at first the movie opens well with some exciting moments and we're thrust into the action from the very beginning, and the concept is quite a good one, essentially 80% of the movie is just one scene, shot over and over again from different "Vantage Points" which enables the movie to progress through each character and as such a new plot point is opened up each time.

      However there is also where it falls down, after a few times of being wound back to the exact same moment you start to get a little tired of it and just want to move onto another scene, there's only so many times you can watch the same assassination attempt before you start to wish you had the gun yourself !!

      The cast do a good enough job, and I liked William Hurt as the president, however some of the actors clearly were here just for the paycheck, Dennis Quaid was particularly "Hammy" in his performance and I wasn't convinced for one minute he was a secret service agent.

      Also Forest Whitaker is a tremendous actor, but really didn't move out of first gear with his performance in this one, and he's heavily responsible for the cheesy ending and my feeling of being letdown with the final moments of the movie.

      Overall its not a bad movie, but as I said in my title to the review, I feel i've seen this type of situation handled in a much more exciting way on the TV show "24".

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      02.08.2011 17:00
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      A very nice movie told well

      Intro

      I like a DVD on a Saturday along with a few snacks, so this weeks we chose Vantage point from the huge database of DVD's my son has compiled from his quite extensive collection. Thee were a few on his list we had been meaning to watch for a while, but this was the one that got the most votes a few Saturdays ago.

      Vantage Point

      Director Pete Travis

      Cast

      Dennis Quaid.............Thomas Barnes
      Matthew Fox................Kent Taylor
      Bruce McGill................Phil McCullough
      Said Taghmaouii........Suarez
      Forrest Whitaker.........Howard Lewis
      Signourny Weaver......Rex Brooks
      William Hurt.................President Ashton


      Performances

      Overall each contributed successfully to a pretty good film, initially I was confused then it all started to fit together and the performances of each in turn gave me time to access and deliberate on their performances. I had to single out Dennis Quaid, who before this movie was not an actor I had on the top of my list. This film however has endeared him to me somewhat.


      Plot

      Thomas Barnes had already taken a bullet for the president some years ago; he had also undergone all the usual processes for return to work. He was jittery, not quite sure of himself, but they had faith or so he thought. The President had to give a big speech on how the world could win the war on terrorism; unfortunately just before his address he was shot.

      The plot from here drifts and winds as you are taken on the same journey from different viewpoints. It all seemed jumbled when the bomb went off, but as you see the same scenes from different perspectives the story starts to slowly come together and you start to evolve your theory of what actual happened. As each new members story is told you are forced to re-evaluate your point of view, and this novel and quirky way of telling the story worked really well. At first you are confused and then it all slowly starts to unfold.
      Being that you are seeing the same thing over and over from different angles and positions, the scenery becomes a bit repetitive, but you get drawn in and you start to wonder. After each story you are left with more questions although you may also have found some new answers. I found this a most enjoyable experience as my wife and I deliberated on what was actually happening.

      Some strong performances, carried a pretty boring scenario, and the retelling certainly took your mind of the fact that is wasn't much of a plot. This said it was all done very well and you were always feeling part of the soluton.


      Summary

      I really enjoyed this and was impressed by the way the whole thing was done. Each actor/actress performed their roles more than adequately, and the retelling saw you involved in the interactions between all of the cast. Quirky and pretty good would be my verdict. I liked it. You can purchase this for around £6 on Ebay and there are a lot far worse films to find in that jumble of garbage.

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        01.08.2010 13:16
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        An average to good thriller.

        Released in 2008, this is a fast paced political thriller starring a host of names including Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Fox and William Hurt. The action takes place during a political treaty taking place in Spain, one which aims to negotiate a global solution to terrorist activity. The president of the United States (William Hurt) is due to make the most important speech of his life but events take a sinister turn.

        Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox star as the president's bodyguards and security team. Quaid is heralded as the 'star' of the movie although his character is explored to less extent than others, such as Forest Whitaker's character, in the movie. Quaid plays Thomas Barnes, a physically tough but psychologically fragile man who has already thrown himself on a bullet to protect the president. It's this near assassination attempt that haunts him and which informs his behaviour throughout.

        Matthew Fox's performance is very reminiscent of his character Dr. Jack from the TV show 'Lost' although Fox's charm and good looks prove why he should have a more prolific career in movies. He provides solid support to Quaid and his character's journey in the film is entirely convincing.

        Forest Whitaker is the heart and soul of the movie and his performance is actually way more superior than the quality of the movie as a whole. It is clear to see why the man is an Oscar winning actor. He plays sight-seer Howard Lewis who, like a lot of us do when abroad, wanders around filming every last thing with his camcorder. Whitaker takes a character that seems almost irrelevant to the main story at first and weaves a magnetic personality into the smallest actions and very few lines. Despite the focus on safety being focused on the president and Barne's psychological struggle it is really Whitaker's simple and warm character as the 'man on the street' that pricks the heart.

        Weaver and Hurt, probably the two most star-worthy names on the cast, have smaller roles in the movie. Weaver is almost reduced to a cameo although she is very compelling in the short amount of screen time she gets. Hurt is a typical presidential type and the role doesn't require too much of him. The actual character demands attention simply because it's Hurt who is playing him!

        Apart from Whitaker's character is is really difficult to feel any kind of sympathy or admiration for anyone else. There is not enough exploration of character - the writing doesn't reveal the inner selves of these people. This is the movie's biggest flaw as it feels like there is little at stake. More attention is paid to the action than it is to the human story. The action, however, is pretty spectacular. A ear-ripping car chase late in the movie is particularly fun and breath-taking and it also pays tribute to classic movie car chases with a few copycat scenes.

        The movie's narrative structure is unique and interesting. It basically keeps showing the pivotal moments of the plot from a new perspective and through the eyes of a different character. To keep events clear in the viewer's minds we can actually watch the events rewind and then we are shown a timer which begins at twelve noon. The first time I watched this I found it very interesting to guess which character we were going to be following next. Nearer the end of the movie all of the perspectives merge into one. This technique never gets boring and the events are never predictable. It's very clever writing and editing.

        The first time I watched this movie I thought it was an average thriller. I found the action and momentum very exciting although I thought there was a lack of philosophical explanation to the dramatic events that occur. I also felt a little cold towards the main characters, in particular Quaid's character. When I re-watched the film I found it much easier to relate to the characters as my anxiety and nerves connected to the action were blunted a little.

        I think this is a good movie to watch on a night in and certainly everyone I was with when I watched this movie thought it was a good film and enjoyed trying to figure out the plotline and the twists. Definately worth watching if you enjoy noisy, action packed movies. Those who enjoy human stories should focus on the storyline with Forest Whitaker's 'Howard Lewis' and the adorable little Spanish girl who enters his life at this critical moment in time.

        My DVD contains a few speical features:

        An Inside Perspective Featurette

        Director's Commentary

        Plotting an Assassination Featurette

        Deleted Scene

        The movie is certificate 12 although it has a much more 'grown-up' feel than this categorisation would imply.

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          06.07.2010 07:58
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          The President gets shot but whose Vantage point finds the shooter?

          FILM ONLY REVIEW

          Spain is where this film is set with the leaders of America and Spain coming together to announce and welcome a new change in the way they deal with terrorists and war. The square is full and ready for the National leaders to make their speeches. The President is secure on stage and being protected by his bodyguards but unfortunately he gets shot twice and this is followed by 2 bomb explosions. The President is rushed out of the square and we see the carnage which is left.

          The story then gets told by different people who were present at the time and we get to see their versions of what happened. Will the shooter and bomber get caught and is the President going to survive?

          This film started off really well and I was very interested in t he storyline, I found it was gripping and explosive but once we started to have the playbacks of the events from the different people I did actually start to loos interest and got bored seeing the same thing over and over again. However, this did change once we got to the President's view and the story did have some great twists and greatly improved. Despite the slight boredom I found this was a great way to tell the story and I have never seen any other film like this before.

          The acting was great, the role which stood out for me included, Thomas Barnes the security guard, played by Dennis Quaid. He was a strong person who did show a slight vulnerability which showed he had a human side. I liked his screen presence and though he did a great job. Forrest Whittaker played the role of Howard Lewis, an innocent bystander who managed to film the whole event on his camcorder. For me he was a pleasant and very likable man. I found his view point to be quite different from the others as he was not connected to any of the people involved.

          Other actors included, Matthew Fox, Bruce McGill, Edgar Ramirez and William Hurt. They all played such different characters and managed to give their charatc4rs a lot of difference which overall gave the storyline some depth.

          The film was set in Spain with the majority of the beginning in one of the squares. I found the scenery and buildings to be wonderfully shown and looked genuine and authentic. There are other parts of the city which we see but not very many outside and the majority of it s only seen in a quick rush so we don't get much more good scenery or architecture.

          There is a lot of action in the film and this does vary as we go to the different characters and their version of events. I found all the action scenes to be very good and well made, the fighting and gun shots all looked great and real and the car chases really were exceptionally made and at times they had me looking away as some of the risks the driver took were scary! The special effects used in these scenes was super and made them all look real and fitted so well into the film.

          The music was nothing special and I cannot even remember a single track which was used throughout the film, I don't know if this s a good thing as it blended in so well or was just so boring I stopping listening out for it.

          As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak about. The running time of the film is 90 minutes and I personally found this to be a good length. The film has a 12A certificate but personally I would have put this at a 15 as some of the things which get shown or touched on are not suitable for a 12 year old to see.

          I have to give this film a 4/5 stars as I was completely hooked once the story got going and it changed my whole view of the film. It has a good and different way of telling us the story, there is lots of action and explosions for the men and for us ladies we have some good eye candy! Definitely worth £5 of anyone's money.

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            10.05.2010 23:43
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            Average

            I really like films that involve 'what if' concepts and show us things from different perspectives, or flick backwards and forwards in time so when I saw a trailer for this whilst watching another film it sounded just like my cup of tea. I got it cheap on ebay but Amazon is also selling it for £4.65 currently.

            The film has some well-known names to give it some credibility, namely Matthew Fox of Lost, Dennis Quaid, who is in another of my time flick favourites Frequency, Sigourney Weaver and some other familiar faces.

            The film has an interesting concept in that it tells the story from one point of view, then rewinds and tells it from another point of view, and does this several times over hence the name Vantage Point.

            The film centres around a Western-Arab celebration in Salamanca of a treaty against global terrorism but of course this is when the terrorists think this is an excellent time to strike. They shoot the president and then a bomb explodes so who has done this and why?

            We see the same twenty three minutes from several perspectives, be it members of the American security team, possible baddies, the President himself and crowd members. Each time though, it's essentially the same train of events, you see it through someone else's eyes and catch details that you didn't catch the first time and so on so it's a bit like a jigsaw and each time you get a flashback it's like you get an extra few pieces of the puzzle.

            Though there are some good cast members in this, I wasn't overly impressed at the roles they played. For example, Forest Whitaker was used in an overly sentimental way, one of the cast members, a little girl, does something towards the end of the film that is so unlikely it's just silly and when we do find out who the baddies are, their motivation and the motivation of others involved is never really made clear nor is the belief behind their attack. The worst bit had to be when one of the characters gives you a big big sign partway through the film and he may as well put a sign round his neck, saying it's me, I'm dodgy.

            It's not a terrible film but I think it could have played out better and perhaps more thought should have been given as to how they used their cast members.

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              17.02.2010 10:36
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              An excellent edge of your seat thriller

              It's 11.59am in Spain, where the President of the United States Of America (William Hurt) is preparing to make a speech concerning an international treaty designed to eliminate global terrorism. The speech is to begin at 12pm therefore the President is quickly brought onto the stage among all his security to make his speech. Unfortunately the President doesn't manage to finish his speech as he is shot twice in the chest, his security rally around him and Agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) is quick to follow up any leads which could lead him to the shooter.

              The next 25 minutes are crucial and Barnes must look at every view point in order to discover who's responsible and whether this is just an assassination or whether it goes deeper. Barnes questions numerous people including witness Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker) and news reporter Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver) in order to find the person/people responsible...

              I was highly sceptical about this film prior to seeing it, I'm not a big fan of political thrillers, I'm not too keen on the whole points of view aspect that this film revolves around and after people I know had watched it and gave it negative feedback this really wasn't at the top of my 'to see' list. However it's currently selling in Asda for £3 so I picked it up anyway in order to form my own opinion on Vantage Point.

              The film starts off tremendously with a packed arena where the President is about to make his speech, immediately you're captivated into the scene because you know something is going to happen. The film shows how tight and intricate security are which just makes you even more aware that something is going to happen. The director uses varying panning shots around the buildings to show just how vast the audience is and what panic it will cause if something does happen. The buildings surround the President's platform giving the film a claustrophobic atmosphere and given that there's only one exit pandemonium naturally will ensue. This also gives the director opportunity for quick shots on numerous windows around the buildings ensuring that paranoia plays a big part in the first 10 minutes of the movie. The paranoia is escalated with the introduction of Thomas Barnes, an experienced agent who previously took a bullet for the President and has been on leave until today. His nerves transfer onto the audience and Dennis Quaid does really well at showcasing to the audience his experience coupled with his fear and the fact that he's not as quick to react as other agents when the shooting occurs.

              We're gradually introduced to numerous characters over the course of the film, we're given 8 points of view and in each segment new information is uncovered. During the first two or three segments it was very interesting to view what each person had seen and was doing at the time of the shooting however when it got to the forth, fifth, sixth and so on this idea began to drag and became quite irritating. Everytime a character had a eureka moment the film would go right back to the beginning and start with another character, meaning that we have to wait, sometimes for a significant period of time before the film catches up with the previous segments.

              Despite the annoyances in character changes the film doesn't let this affect the pace, it runs for approximately 90 minutes and it's relentless with it's mission to keep the audience on tenterhooks at all times and it achieves this superbly. Towards the second half of the movie we're introduced to more obscure characters and this is where the film became a little hard to follow, this also became a little irritating because even though there's 8 points of view you expect them all to be explained in an easy to follow way and unfortunately they're not. This is where the subplots come in; we're made to watch numerous subplots which make the film very hard to follow and at times divert our attention away from the main storyline of the assassination.

              There doesn't seem to be much substance or development in the characters or the subplots meaning that you're likely to be left scratching your head at times. This isn't helped by the fact that two characters look strikingly similar and these happen to be characters that aren't well developed either so really they may as well not be in the film. Even the more established characters really aren't very well developed, with the exception of Dennis Quaid and Forest Whitaker's characters you really don't get a feel for their personalities at all as the film seems to paint over the development process in favour of a polished storyline.

              What the film lacks in substance it makes up for in action, there are rigorous action scenes involving guns, chases and explosions and what I did notice was the lack of fist fights, this must have been a conscious decision in order to give the film a more refined and professional feel to it and it comes across onscreen very well.

              The film is shot beautifully, with the varying camera angles keeping you hooked on every shot, you wont want to take your eyes off the screen in fear of missing some vital information as anything you witness could and sometimes will end up being a fundamental clue. The stand-out performance undoubtedly comes from the fantastic Forest Whitaker playing the dumbfounded American tourist who witnesses the events on his camcorder, making him an intricate part of the film because not only does he assist the President's security he also sets off on his own mission and in the meantime becomes linked to a young Mother and her child.

              Overall I enjoyed this film, it isn't too complex that it's impossible to follow however the fact that certain characters are more established than others makes you more involved in some subplots and less so in others. The film wont fail in grabbing your attention though and even though the repetitiveness may not be to everybody's liking, there will be so much tension and suspense to hold onto that you'll end up forgetting about the individual segments.

              With an excellent premise and superb execution this is definitely one to look out for.

              The DVD is available from play.com for £5.

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                15.02.2010 22:46
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                a decent thriller.

                Vantage Point is a political assassination thriller set in Spain. During a political gathering the President of the USA is shot in broad daylight and a bomb goes off. The film portrays a period of around 25 minutes from numerous different angles, each one revealing a little more about the background of the assassination and bombing. The film shifts every now and again back to midday and shows a different perspective from different people - The President (William Hurt), Howard Lewis - a mild mannered tourist (Forrest Whittaker) and Agent Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid).

                I was intrigued to start with, but the effect started to wear off by the eighth or ninth time. For a relatively short film (ninety minutes), this repetitiveness was a little wearing. The film owes a lot to the TV show '24' and could almost be a film version of that show with Dennis Quaid more or less playing Jack Bauer. In this respect the film is very gimmicky and relies on this way of filming for its entire length. In fact it totally relies on the 'real time' aspect and sometimes forgets about its storytelling and script.

                Quaid is pretty reliable in most films - almost always playing a poor man's Harrison Ford in every film he's in. Here he plays the President's bodyguard with a past history of being shot in the line of duty. He does a lot of running and shooting in this film and appears almost totally indestructible - at one point pulling himself out of a totalled car after it was pumped full of bullets.

                Pete Travis directs a decent film here, having come from an English television background in stuff like The Bill and Cold Feet. The action is very well presented, especially the final car chase and the initial shooting and bombing. The acting less so, and the film suffers from some poor supporting characters. When you're up against heavyweights like Oscar nominated Forrest Whittaker, you end up looking pretty bad.

                Vantage Point was a decent film, but relied too much on the gimmick of 'real-time'. Theres nothing worse than trying to copy from a well established television show in your film - you're always going to come off worse - especially when the show was so great.

                I quite enjoyed Vantage Point. It was a reasonably entertaining piece of hokum that started to become quite believable until the last twenty minutes or so. Ninety minutes seemed to be quite short really and the film could have expanded itself on some points as it did seem rushed in several aspects. That said, I enjoyed what there was and it was an entertaining watch.

                Vantage Point is available now from amazon.co.uk for £3.88.

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                  08.01.2010 03:01
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                  Enjoyable film

                  The main pull that got me to watch this movie was how a whole story could be told from different vantage points, and how with each different view point it reveals a little bit more of the story.
                  The story itself wasn't very complicated it was just how they tell it.

                  It all happens in the space of around 25 minutes.
                  The U.S president is in Spain about to give a public speech when an attempt on his life is made and the shooting occurs and explosions go off.
                  The clock rewinds back and it starts the scene only from a different vantage point, slowly bit by bit revealing more and more of what is going on.

                  So like I said there's 8 different vantage points and each one is different to the other in more ways than just the obvious, the downfall for me a bit was the plot, it could of been a little stronger, the story could have had a stronger beginning, maybe more of a starting story so we have a little bit more of an idea about who is who.
                  The main part of the movie is story and not action, what you think is going to happen doesn't happen and then vica versa, and then it gets flipped around again.

                  Cast
                  Dennis Quaid ..... Agent Thomas Barnes
                  Forest Whitaker ..... Howard Lewis
                  Matthew Fox ..... Agent Kent Taylor
                  Sigourney Weaver ..... Rex Brooks
                  William Hurt ..... President Ashton
                  Ayelet Zurer ..... Veronica
                  Eduardo Noriega ..... Enrique
                  Édgar Ramírez ..... Javier
                  Saïd Taghmaoui ..... Suarez
                  Bruce McGill ..... Phil McCullough
                  Zoe Saldaña ..... Angie Jones
                  Richard T. Jones ..... Holden
                  James LeGros ..... Ted Heinkin
                  Holt McCallany ..... Ron Matthews
                  Leonardo Nam ..... Kevin Cross

                  The chase scene keeps you on the edge of your seat and how they choreographed the vehicles in the chase scene where no one actually gets hit (or do they).
                  And the cinematography was good, catching some amazing shots like in the first scene with the big main explosion for the first time.

                  I found it a little bit confusing and had to rewind it a few times, the story moved so fast and was crossing over one another and before you could completely work ot what was going on the time went back and started again, it got confusing.
                  I think they tried to get a bit clever.
                  I'm just glad I wasn't at the cinema because the last time I checked you can't rewind anything.

                  On the whole a good movie, slightly confusing cross stories but still an enjoyable movie.

                  But this was just my vantage point

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                    05.11.2009 11:21
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                    The best film I've seen in a long while

                    I'd seen the trailer for Vantage Point several years ago and liked the look of it. This morning I finally got chance to sit down and watch it, and I can tell you it's a fantastic film. I watched it from my Sky+ and so this is a film-only review.

                    Vantage Point revolves around an assassination attempt on the US President whilst at an anti-terrorism conference in Salamanca, Spain.

                    The film is seen through the eyes of several people, including the President, his bodyguards, some members of the public and also the terrorists. The first half of the film replays several of the key incidents from the different peoples' perspective, each time giving us more of the story. It pretty similar to the old US TV drama called Boomtown (which was an excellent show).

                    The story has many twists and turns and the film is excellently written, keeping you on the edge of your seat, constantly guessing what's going to happen next.

                    It was nice to see a film that's not set in New York or LA and setting it in Spain allows for some great shots of the beautiful Spanish architecture that Salamanca is blessed with. The central square where much of the action is based is particularly beautiful and much better setting than Times Square (for example).

                    There's plenty of famous actors in the film including the lead Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whittaker and a small part for Sigourney Weaver. The main actors are complimented by some excellent supporting work from the lesser-known cast members - the terrorist leader in particular giving a believable performance.

                    The film is pretty short at 90 minutes and doesn't include any unnecessary love sub-plots that you often get - this is mainly due to the frantic pace that is kept up throughout the film. It's only 12-rated so it's not full of unnecessary swearing or too much violence.

                    If you like action movies with plot twists and turns, you'll really love Vantage Point.

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                      01.10.2009 16:59
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                      A fantastic film until you near the end...

                      I have strong views that Vantage Point is a film you can either love or loathe. If you are not even remotely interested in political action movies with amplified violence, chases, death and destruction, or even a bit of a psychological whirlwind, I suggest you stick to something along the lines of 'Shrek' or 'Mamma Mia'. if, on the other hand, you find yourself in awe after every episode of '24', then this movie is perfect for you. Speaking as a massive fan of 24 myself, I was ready to enjoy a feature length episode of something I regularly watch. By this, I do not mean that it was basically 24:The Movie, though I dare say the Director of Vantage Point, Pete Travis, is partial to an hour of Kiefer Sutherland on a regular basis. Everything bar the actual setting and characters were so similar that I feel you would be pushed not to see the similarities. It even includes a similar ticking clock in the bottom of the screen just before the important parts, in true real time fashion.

                      Having just read that first paragraph, I am confident in the knowledge that you will fall into one of three categories. The first being 'I totally love Jack Bauer, and think he is basically a God', in which case, you probably have been sold already and need not even read further. The second and third groups though, are a little harder to sell to. Either you have the knowledge, and hate it with a distinct passion, or, right now you will be saying something like, '24? Isn't that a number. What is a Jack Bauer?', in which case I will say please, bear with me for a moment. If you fall into the initial of the two latter categories, I get the unfortunate impression that, unless you have some form of sexual fantasy about Matthew Fox or Forest Whitaker, you will be less interested in this movie than a toblerone packet filled with tip-ex.

                      I guess this review should therefore be aimed at those people with no prior knowledge on what to expect, as the other types of audience will either be already sold, or getting as far away as possible. To give a brief overview of what this film, and subsequently '24' is all about, I would start by saying that the ultimate goal is the protection of the President and his people. Well, maybe not so much his people, but definitely the President. Aided with the tool that is 'everything goes in order to save the main man', the productions both centre around one main agent who the cameras choose to follow for the benefit of the audience. Unsurprisingly, things to not go exactly to plan and many instances of trickery, bribery, conspiracy, terrorism and blackmail, occur more than frequently. Not to mention endless action and exasperated and continued hunt for the ultimate 'bad guy'.

                      This film stays true to the expected stereotyping in involving many of the above themes, as well as a number of new theories to add to the terroristic mix. The massive difference with this film though, is actually a very clever, and original idea. From start to finish, the movie lasts for about twenty minutes, yet runs for an hour and half. What an odd description I hear you think, but actually this concept allows for an astronomical amount of detail allowing the audience to fully understand each and every factor in the ultimate tragedy which involves the President being shot, and the platform going up in smoke. Don't worry by the way, this is not a spoiler, in fact, is one of the first things you see in the opening sequences. The film then centres around the following ten minutes, taking it in turns to show each of the different characters perspectives of what happened. For example, we initially see the following scenes of what one of the official bodyguards does in the aftermath, but then, to offer a better description, we see the same events through the eyes of a tourist. This continues until we are able to build up a clear image of what happened to the President.

                      By using the eyes of different characters, you see different things each time, but you essentially already know what has happened, so I understand that it could get a bit tedious and annoying after the third or fourth recount. Even so, I am yet to see a film which follows suit in this manner, and I do appreciate the intelligence and mystery behind the different way to portray the story. With the whole film centred around the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it leads to the complete movie being exciting and adventurous as you join the cast in a rapid quest to search for the stray gunman.

                      I would like to take this opportunity to commend a phenomenal performance by that of the Texan actor, Forest Whitaker. Ever since I watched his mini role as Curtis Ames in the US hospital drama E.R., I have avidly watched his career, and would regard him as definitely one of my favourite actors to date. There was no exception here as the talented actor excelled in a role that was perhaps far from what you could call his 'comfort zone'. Fellow Texan Dennis Quaid was essentially unknown to me before I first watched Vantage Point, and although I had no grounds on what to expect, I am certain he played his part excellently. We are given a snippet of information early on stating that he previously took a bullet for the President when things turned nasty at another speech, and although he survived, he is obviously still shaken up. Anyway, his entire performance had you understanding what he was going through, and you felt yourself really understanding the tough decisions he had to make both leading up to, and following the disaster. Having never watched Lost, the name Matthew Fox does not register with me as well as it will in some fans mind, though I do understand he must be doing something right, or he would have been withdrawn long before he managed to complete over one hundred episodes of the massive US show. I therefore knew that with all that experience, he had to be more than borderline brilliant. Although a main character, we did not actually see him that much, as for the bulk of the film, he was off investigating, and communicating via radio, but when he did pop in for an appearance, it can be safely said that he showed no sign of disgracing himself.

                      There was one problem that let this film down towards the end however. As you know, most good action films somehow manage to incorporate a great car chase. And most of the time, this car chase happens to be the pinnacle of the whole movie, the thing you talk about with friends, the thing you really remember. True to fashion, this film did have one, and oh my, it was award winning... It certainly wins every gong for the worst car chase ever. Looking forward to a good bout of cat and mouse between the goodies and the baddies, my initial hopes were dashed slightly as the Opel Astra hatchback set off in pursuit of an even older, Opel Astra. I know we were in Spain, but is it too much to ask for a little bit of grunt? Anyway, the film goes on, regardless of whether it would be faster to actually have a 'walk' chase, and things start to look up. For a millisecond. Then any hope of an enjoyed session of high speed tailgating is dashed as quickly as it arrived. A couple of skid noises here and there do not compensate for the mere audacity that the director had in creating these vital scenes. For a start, the whole concept of physics was clearly thrown to the pigeons, as it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that a front wheel drive Vauxhall is totally incapable of drifting in that manner no matter how shiny its alloys are. Also the fact that a high speed, side on collision appeared not to damage, or even shock the driver, but turn him into a 360 spin, completely move his car, then find he has actually made ground on the escapee's before the unearthly detail that his car now appears to be in a better condition that when it entered the t - boning incident. I could go on about the invisible ball of cotton wool that was clearly wrapped around the cars for quite a while, but I think I will stop before I get started on how the cars casually drove down a flight of stairs, in a packed street.

                      Unfortunately, this ending sequence let the movie down a lot, thus losing its ability to gain a maximum rating, but it still fares pretty well due to the brilliant nature of everything leading up to this moment. I would not let the chase tarnish your opinion of the film, instead, just take it with a pinch of salt and try to en joy everything prior to this incident.

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                        01.09.2009 16:31
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                        Not as ballsy as it could have been but a damn good try

                        note: also appears on The Student Room and Flixster in part

                        To find evidence that Akira Kurosawa is one of the most inventive and influential filmmakers of all time, one need look no further than 2008 and look at Vantage Point to see that his narrative tropes are still being imitated and adapted for modern audience. Kurosawa released Rashomon in 1950 - the first film where an event unfolded, and then multiple perspectives were given, with the viewer having to decide which was the right one. It has been copied many times since, and in Vantage Point, it is transposed onto a spy thriller format, where the President of the United States is shot as he stands up to a podium.

                        We see numerous perspectives of the event, with each one providing a little more insight into what actually happened, resulting in the completion of the jigsaw puzzle at the film's close. The film has numerous stars, including Dennis Quaid as a secret service operative, Forest Whittaker as a tourist filming the incident, Sigourney Weaver as a news executive, and William Hurt as the President himself.

                        The film is far from perfect, but it delivers some very nifty twists, and the format is a refreshing one that hasn't been harnessed in quite this fashion in some time. The performances are decent, although there's nothing particularly outstanding despite the distinguished cast. The action, though, is intense, and there's plenty of suspense and intrigue throughout - I can't imagine few fans of twisty thrillers would be disappointed with this film. Not great, but certainly good, and a nice film to relax with after a rough day.

                        Whilst a fairly rudimentary thriller with alternative perspectives as a gimmick, Vantage Point succeeds due to its slick direction and entertaining performances. A severely underrated thriller with exhilerating action scenes, even if it needs to be somewhat edgier to entirely succeed.

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                        17.08.2009 11:59
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                        Vantage Point...

                        Vantage Point:


                        Vantage point was a film that I had originally watched in the cinema when it was first released; however I have watched it again on DVD and thus have no reviewed it. The got a mixture of both positive and negative reviews, with some people suggesting it was a fresh new idea for a film, which kept you gripped on your seat from the start to the finish. I was actually a huge van of the film what really attracted me to this film was its plot, its concept and the cast which the film had. You can have a great plot to a film, but if you don't have a cast to make the film good then you may as well not watch it at all. The film stars Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker and Sigourney Weaver. This great set of actors makes this film have the wow factor, regardless of if you do or don't know what the film is about. They have the appeal to bring in fans to watch the film, and this is watch actually attracted me to the film at first.

                        The plot revolves around the US presidents Henry Ashton's visit to Spain. He is there to take part in a global treaty that will help to reduce global terrorism. As the film opens we see Thomas Barnes, (Dennis), who is a secret service agent helping to protect the president. He had previously helped save the president from an assignation attempt, and has never fully recovered from the trauma of what he went through. He along with his friend and fellow agent Kent Taylor (Fox) are in Spain to help protect the president, Kent has asked to work with his friend Thomas as he still feels he is a great agent, regardless of his personal issues. As the films evolves, the president arrives at the place were is about to give his famous speech, Thomas then notices that something doesn't seem right, and in that instance, two shots are fired and the president of the United States is shot and injured. The scene then becomes a full out ciaos with the public running and screaming, it is up to Thomas and Kent to find the culprits, they soon notice that Howard Lewis (Forest), who seems to have recorded the events of the attack, via his personal video camera. In that same instance, the agents split up to look for the culprits, when a huge bomb exploded in the town centre.

                        The film now revolves around the main central characters, and how they saw the events that lead up to the attack and the bomb explosion, and thus showing their vantage point, which best shows the true scene of the attack. It is now up to Thomas to try and find the presidents attacker, however there is a huge twist in the film and the president soon gets kidnapped and the race is now on to find the culprits who seem to be liked to the attacks.

                        In my view this was a great film, it was fresh and the concept around the film was something that films do often, but with no great affect. However, this film delivered everything that it needed to, it had a great action plot, a great cast, a great story and sub setting and these were all twined together to create one fully comprehensive film. What really appealed to me about the film was the concept of THE VANTAGE POINT. When you watch the film, you soon realise that you get to see the different characters points of views, how they are connected to the attack, wither directly or indirectly, wand what they see, and how these little clips help to fit the puzzle around the attack. The film is exactly that a puzzle, with each character have a piece of that puzzle, the audience must watch each puzzle piece in order to find out who was behind the attacks.
                        The characters are great, with the two main characters being Thomas and Kent. Thomas character is very edgy; he has been part of an attack before and this one just brings back memories, however he is devoted to his job and wants to find the culprits, but the question is can he.

                        Overall a great film, it had everything that I wanted from a film, it was the sort of film that you could watch from start to finish, without being bored or getting lost halfway through. The film has a constant flow of action, which is throughout the whole film, and this is something that really appeals to me in a film. The concept was fresh and original and that's another bonus.

                        * Dennis Quaid..... Thomas Barnes
                        * Forest Whitaker..... Howard Lewis
                        * Matthew Fox..... Kent Taylor
                        * Sigourney Weaver..... Rex Brooks
                        * William Hurt..... President Ashton
                        Budget $40 million[1]

                        Gross revenue $162,676,504 (Worldwide)[

                        Directed by Pete Travis
                        Produced by Neal H. Moritz

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                        01.08.2009 15:51
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                        Several different witnesses of an assassination, but who saw what really happened?

                        Story

                        In Salamanca, Spain, the President of the USA is about to give his speech to a large crowd of people. But as he approaches the podium, opens out his arms in a proud gesture to the spectators and prepares to speak, a shot is fired at him. As he goes down and his bodyguards rush to his aid some other sinister things are going on around him. Then there is an explosion, and then another one. The place is in chaos, so how can anyone see what is really going on? The film goes over this set of events several times, from the perspectives of different people present on that day, and each time a little more information is added, giving clues to what really happened. But will all the clues be pulled together in time to catch the person or people behind this event?

                        I remember seeing the advertisements for this film, and had it not been for the fact at the time I didn't have the time, I would have been very keen to see it in the cinema, because I was intrigued just by the trailer. Although they can get annoying and don't always work, I do like these sorts of films that go over the same event over and over and get you to actually analyse what happened each time. It certainly gets you thinking, although admittedly it means the film is not one to just sit back and view passively. I watched this film with my family and mum was getting quite wound up each time the whole thing went back to the start and it got more confusing. Actually, I think as long as you were fully concentrating, which admittedly can be a bit of an effort, you can make sense of what is happening.

                        Acting/Characters

                        Thomas Barnes, one of the first viewpoints we get of this scene, is played by Dennis Quaid. I thought he played his part very well, although this might also just be because we got to see a lot more of him than any of the other characters. The idea that he has already been through a similar incident and that is exactly what he is dreading happening when it happens at least gives us something to expect from him.

                        His partner, Kent Taylor is played by Matthew Fox, but his character never really developed and I found there was just not enough to know about him for there to be any impact when there ought to have been. I suppose this is the trouble with the way the film was done, you can add in much from before the incident that is repeated because so much time is taken up repeating it! I can't really say whether he was particularly good or not as we didn't see that much of him, which is a shame, as perhaps he might have been better than I thought.

                        I've got to admit that over all the acting in this film really wasn't very impressive. Dennis Quaid was a good choice for a key character and there were a few interesting people in the mix, but there were perhaps a few too many weaker links playing less prominent but equally essential roles. Other witnesses, bystanders and people involved in the events really needed to appear as natural in their responses and it all looked a bit too fake to me. For instance, I was disappointed with the journalists, who were the first people on and so this did not set me up with high expectations. It's a shame because otherwise this really was quite a good film.

                        Film qualities

                        I have to say the effects were very realistic, and the film is, well, explosive. It was certainly interesting to see how, when a bomb explodes, the shock waves and fire actually spreads out into the crowds. On the other hand, it was all a bit glamourised and so you had this big amazing explosion then a few people lying dead but also lots just getting up and running around again as if it had barely scratched them. I felt this was a bit unrealistic and didn't quite hit home the true effects of an attack like this. I don't exactly get excited over gore, and perhaps it would be wrong of me to do so, but at the same time, not showing any might make people think this is not as bad as it looks, which isn't fair either.

                        Classification

                        Considering the level of violence in this film, I was somewhat surprised to see that it had managed a certificate of only 12. A lot of violence is shown, but then admittedly, when I think about it, there is little in the way of actual gore. I was a tad surprised at how well people had come off considering there were explosions and all sorts. There's no nudity or sexual scenes, and so perhaps 12 is more appropriate. I don't think there was much strong language, and not of the worst kind anyway.

                        Conclusion

                        Although I now know what is going to happen I think I could probably watch this film a few times and still enjoy it. Partly this is because I never take everything in first time and partly because it was quite good. I suppose for me it was something a little different, and even if the acting wasn't brilliant and the effects weren't perfect it sparks your imagination. If you have the patience to keep seeing the same thing over again, although actually from different angles and probably with subtle differences, it does get interesting. Each time you are wondering what is coming next, so it does have its own way of creating suspense. I think this one is worth renting, or even buying if it is your thing. Otherwise, if you're lucky you might catch it on telly in future!

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                          04.07.2009 11:33
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                          Original but obtuse

                          With the success of TV series like '24', we are seeing more and more split screen, from a different perspective, TV and movies about national security, all those double-agents and Hi-Tec kit very appealing to male audiences. Apparently the commercial breaks for these shows produce some of the biggest returns for companies. 24: Redemption, the film of the '24' TV series, also staring Kiether Sutherland, did good business for this niche market. Movies like The Sentinel with Michael Douglas that didn't quite work on a similar narrative so I went into renting Vantage Point purely on the back of the interesting way the movie was made, seven different perspectives of an assignation from the seven people most involved, each getting a 15 minute segment of what they saw or did. For that ambition alone I thought it was well worth a look.

                          Another plus is the mega cast, Sigourney Weaver onboard in a cameo role. Dennis Quaid is always great in the lead as the ansgty all-American guy and with William Hurt playing his third US president in his career and eye-candy Mathew Fox from Lost jemmied in for the ladies to draw that TV drama comparison it's not too lightweight as far as a movie goes. One casting weakness would be Forest Whitaker, hopelessly out of place as the naive American tourist in Europe, his bizarre array of frantic grimaces and stares almost comical.

                          -The Cast-

                          Dennis Quaid ... Thomas Barnes
                          Matthew Fox ... Kent Taylor
                          Forest Whitaker ... Howard Lewis
                          Bruce McGill ... Phil McCullough
                          Édgar Ramirez ... Javier
                          Saïd Taghmaoui ... Suarez
                          Ayelet Zurer ... Veronica
                          Zoë Saldana ... Angie Jones
                          Sigourney Weaver ... Rex Brooks
                          William Hurt ... President Ashton
                          James LeGros ... Ted Heinkin
                          Eduardo Noriega ... Enrique
                          Richard T. Jones ... Holden
                          Holt McCallany ... Ron Matthews
                          Leonardo Nam ... Kevin Cross

                          -The Plot-

                          US president Ashton (William Hurt) is in Salamanca-Spain with the world's top 100 leaders for a big War on Terror treaty signing, the West Still not grasping the fact that a Cruise missile hitting an Afghan village is just as indiscriminate as a tube bombing in London. As expected there's a real and present terror threat to the summit and the operation is underway as the president takes the pedestal in the central square, American tourist Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker) filming everything on his digital camera from the thronging crowd, along with the US TV crew headed by studio boss Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver), who has to keep rolling come what may. By the president's side are Secret Service veteran Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), who is just returning from work after a previous attempt on President Ashton's life, and new boy on the detail, Kent Taylor (Mathew Fox), who has persuaded Barnes to return to the front line before he loses his nerve.

                          As expected the president is shot, followed by two explosions, the body count high, a US reporter killed on air and all the chaos caught on live TV and Howard Lewis's minicam, he saddled with a young girl who has lost her mum in the chaos.
                          Barnes reacts, catching suspect number one, Javier Enrique (Édgar Ramirez), who claims to be the Major of Salamanca's personal protection office. But when it becomes clear all is not as it seems it's left to Barnes to act decisively and lock down the crime scene, let alone figure out who and where the shooters are.

                          We then relive the 15 minutes leading up to and just after the attack by seven different perspectives, the five above incumbents and from two terrorists, their identity revealed later on as each account and angle unfolds as the jigsaw puzzle is put together on who exactly caused the atrocity as alibis turn into confessions and innocuous actions have double meanings the next time you see them happening.

                          -The Conclusion-

                          With its star packed cast and interesting premise your interested early on, a clever and original idea for a movie if handled well, which its does, although one or two clichés washed in do give it that TV feel. There are plenty of twists and turns that evolve into unlikely and unrealistic scenarios that are needed to keep the film moving forward. The seven segments of 15 minutes each for the films main protagonist is perhaps one or two too many and it does lead to an outrageous and obtuse Hollywood ending. But by then the film has got away with it and you feel reasonably entertained and fair play to the director and writer for trying it.

                          Quaid is an excellent presence in any movie and yet again William Hurt is underused, Sigourney Weaver and Forest Whitaker very strange castings to say the least. Where as horror films tend to fall flat these days because they cant use cell phones and internet as it would wreck the plot and suspense levels this exploits modern cell phone communication to the max, driving the action along with continuity and skilfully filling in all the plot holes. Sadly the narrative is dumbed down some and if you missed a bit the actors will spell it out to you in the dialogue. On the whole though ambitious but fun.

                          = = = = = Special Features = = = =

                          -Audio Commentary-

                          Director Pete Travis tells us all about his film and ideas.

                          -A insight perspective of Vantage Point-

                          Straightforward behind the scenes from cast & crew.

                          -Plotting an Assignation-

                          A bit about the plot and special effects

                          -Surveillance Tapes-

                          One of those irritating silent behind the scene fillers there for absolutely no reason.

                          = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
                          Imdb.com scores it 6.7 out of 10.0 (43,738 votes)
                          RuN-TiMe 90 minutes
                          Any 2 films for 2 nights for £5 offer at Blockbusters
                          = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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                            27.06.2009 11:26
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                            a good solid action and suspense film

                            Vantage Point is a film about the assassination of the American President in Spain from different Vantage points, and by viewing it this way, the audience will piece the puzzle together and work out the truth.

                            ~~~THE COVER~~~
                            The cover is rather cheap and unappealing in my opinion, due to the over large sized figure of Dennis Quaid. It would be much better if it was just the target with the different viewpoints in the segments... but it isn't the cover that drew me in but the plot!

                            ~~~THE PLOT~~~
                            We see the incident from a range of different points of view, each time rewinding back to the incident, which I think is rather clever, and the idea is really good, however, the execution is not so. It felt a bit annoying everytime it rewinds and it would be better if they just got to it... blanked the screen and ticked the timer...

                            However, the number of rewinds are not too overwhelming and each time, a new bit of information is given which is nice, so whilst it IS going back in time, the story progresses.

                            On the other hand, this way of giving information makes it far too straightforward, and we are GIVEN the information, so there really is no working out to do. The puzzle is made as you watch, so the audience does not need to do any work whatsoever, unlike what the trailer seems to instigate. Whilst this could be viewed as a negative, by being too simple, it makes the story flow, and does not overcomplicate what is a solid movie.

                            ~~~CLIMAX AND RESOLVES~~~
                            The film has a good gradual build up to the climax, but once it gets there, the resolve is rather silly.. the ending feels forced, and desperate. The ending could've ranged from baddies winning, to all goodies dead, anything could've happened. What DID happen, is slightly stupid, as their plot up till the end was very clever.

                            ~~~THE CAST~~~
                            The film boasts an impressive cast:

                            Dennis Quaid does an OK job... doesn't make me jump on the bandwagon of being a fan or anything. The car chase scene was good, but he just seemed to be dazed at other times.

                            Matthew Fox first appear to be a cameo, just a sidekick to Quaid's character, but the twist makes his character much more mysterious and you really kind of feel excited about his plot.

                            Sigourney Weaver has the smallest role ever. She has about 10 minutes screen time in total, and that's it. Not much to say as there wasn't enough of her, but she did pull off some good shocked emotions.

                            Forest Whittaker was friendly and you really warmed to his character, which is friendly, and he is actually a vital role in the whole film, somehow gelling everything together...

                            William Hurt is president. You wouldn't thought he would have a vantage point, but there is a nice twist there too, and he does an OK job.. but he survived a major car crash without seatbelt, whilst the two seat belted passengers in front died... :P

                            It's nice that there are some foreign actors and actresses as well and i thought they did quite a good job being mysterious and some did better than the well known Americans listed above!

                            ~~~SPECIAL FEATURES~~~
                            The DVD boasts some great features for this DVD, such as commentary, From the Inside Featurette, and Plotting an Assassination featurette as well as a deleted scene. None of these are particularly interesting, and are somewhat unecessary but its nice to have some special features anyway.

                            ~~~OVERALL OPINION~~~
                            I thought the film was a solid action and suspense film, and not totally "thrilling". The idea of the Vantagge points was good, but the execution not as good, with the rewinding getting annoying as you go along. The gradual revelation of facts just handed to you dumbs the film down a little as well, and is not the puzzle you expect to solve yourself as the trailer advertised.
                            Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable film and you DO want to find out what happens, however this is presented.

                            Overall, an intriguing and intense film which grasps you from the start, and for around £3, it is one you should watch.

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