Culture » Film

The Ice Storm, 6 Souls, Would You Rather



The Ice Storm (R) (Blu-ray)


A decade before Mad Men's portrait of a country transitioning to adulthood, Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee adapted Rick Moody's novel The Ice Storm. The star wattage still makes an impact: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Christina Ricci and more endure the chill of a Thanksgiving weekend in the early '70s. Two close (too close, in some respects) suburban families one-up each other's ennui, and things come to a head when a cocktail party-turned-swinger event forces their issues into the open as agendas collide, intricate lies come undone, and suburban malaise is put on trial. Meanwhile, the young adults set on their own journeys of discovery: the impending doom of growing up and the comforts of adolescence. Lee's thoughtful, sober film is brought to sparkling life with this Criterion Blu-ray release. — Justin Strout


6 Souls (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Julianne Moore is one of cinema's most accomplished actresses, from the emotional depths of Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia to her recent triumph as Sarah Palin in the HBO movie Game Change. She's a true chameleon who, through a series of trashy clunkers, has found herself in Nicolas Cage territory, starring in one cheap straight-to-DVD release after another. Most recent is the unfortunate 6 Souls, a shoddy, boring quasi-supernatural thriller that is about as soulless as a movie can get. Moore is a psychiatrist who, after the death of her husband, finds her faith shaken. This is made even more apparent when her latest subject either has multiple personalities or is possessed by the titular six souls, which is basically five too many. It's a sad viewing, made even worse by the fact that Moore is so much better than this. — Louis Fowler


Would You Rather (NR)

IFC Films

A group of individuals in need of monetary help, be it for health, school or legal reasons, are all invited to a dinner party thrown by a creepy Jeffrey Combs, the head of a special foundation that gives grants to those in need. However, the dinner guests soon learn that those grants come with a steep price: Each guest is forced to play a game of "Would you rather." For instance: "Would you rather slice your own eye, or be held underwater for two minutes?" When there's only one player left, that winner gets to see all of their financial troubles end. Sounds like a typical Republican fundraiser to me. But seriously, Would You Rather, while not shocking, is ultimately a disheartening look at the things people will do to just stay afloat in our culture of middle-class poverty. It's inherently watchable, but not very entertaining. — Louis Fowler

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