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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, October 2, 2014 - Edition No 917 

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DEAD MAN'S CURVE

SYNOPSIS:
Chris (Michael Vartan) and Tim (Matthew Lillard) are two college roommates struggling to get into Harvard grad school; one into business, one into law. Trouble is, their last semester grades leave a lot to be desired; they resort to a little-known clause which allows the roommates of a student who suicides, to benefit scholastically. They set their sights on Rand (Randall Batinkoff), their third roommate and a manipulative bully who emotionally abuses his girlfriend. Though Chris is wracked with guilt, he and Tim follow through on an elaborate scheme, planting evidence that Rand is suicidal, get him drunk, and then Tim throws Rand off a cliff. Everything works to plan, except that Rand's body is never found and Chris discovers that there is more than one suicide in store.

"What starts out as a just another thriller set on a school campus, develops into a cross between In the Company of Men and Single White Female. Take heed, there's nothing subtle about the script nor the concept of Dead Man's Curve. It's actually full on. But what it does, it does well, allowing the events and subsequent outcome to constantly remain in the balance and teeter on the seesaw of fate. Dan Rosen's writing and direction is fluid, with interesting camera angles and a visually interesting style. The script has its droll moments, with the plot constantly twisting and turning. There are plenty of surprises and punch at the callousness displayed. The portrayal of evil and conscience free behaviour is what reminds me at times of In the Company of Men, although the latter, however disturbing, remains a standout in terms of cinematic achievement. The performances, especially of rubber-faced Matthew Lillard as Tim, are memorable; his is a chilling, convincing performance. Dead Man's Curve is entertaining enough, and will no doubt satisfy many who are fans of the genre, but falls short of anything more."
Louise Keller

"Itís not enough to have good performances and super production design: the top packaging is expected. What we want is a believable and real story, if we are going to sit through a $12.50 show with uni students doing dramatic things like suicide and murder and plotting and stuff. This is a cynical script that unveils a twist in the characters at the end which simply doesnít wash. Itís also manipulative throughout and incredibly obvious, heavy handed and plain nasty Ė for the sake of getting our sympathies offside, purely for its own amusement. At first clever, it sinks into its own quagmire of ballyhoo. Playing loose and free with an audience like this is not good cinematic manners. It basically hoodwinks its audience. Three for trying; back to the drawing board."
Andrew L. Urban



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

DEAD MANíS CURVE (M)
(Canada)

CAST: Matthew Lillard, Keri Russell, Michael Vartan, Randall Batinkoff, Tamara Craig Thomas

DIRECTOR: Dan Rosen

PRODUCER: Michael Amato, Theodore Schipper, Jeremy Lew

SCRIPT: Dan Rosen *

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Joey Forsyte

EDITOR: Glenn Garland

MUSIC: Shark

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Harbour

RUNNING TIME:

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Beyond

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 27, 1999 (Syd only; other states to follow)

  • Dan Rosen also plays the triangle in the orchestra.







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