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Jul 27th
09:12 pm
I <3 Rex Reed (aka NY Observer review)  
New York Observer
Someone Get Zac Efron a Better Movie!
Rex Reed

Zac Efron, the impossibly beautiful young Ben and Jerry's confection who is doing everything humanly possible to grow from Flavor of the Year to Force of the Future, stands head and shoulders above most of his peers in the get-famous business. I didn't see the High School Musicals that catapulted him to teenage royalty, but he showed real range and dedication to craft in the underrated Me and Orson Welles. Promise now turns to polish in the sincere but saccharine romance vehicle Charlie St. Cloud. The movie isn't much, but no more debate. Zac Efron can act.

Burr Steers, who did an admirable job with Igby Goes Down, tries again to invest a quaint story with appealing oddball allure, but the story resists charm on every level except Mr. Efron's performance in the title role. Charlie is captain of his high-school sailing team with a bright future and a waiting scholarship at Stanford when his worshipful 11-year-old brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan), is killed in a violent automobile accident with Charlie at the wheel. Traumatized by guilt, unable to shake his feelings of responsibility, Charlie devotes himself to a pact he made with his sibling to stick together forever. Five years later, he has given up his talent and passion for boats and taken a job as caretaker in the cemetery where Sam is buried. Locked in his own grief, Charlie is visited by the ghosts of dead school chums who lost their lives in the war; by the paramedic (Ray Liotta) who pulled him from the wreck after he flatlined; and by the ghost of Sam, who joins him water sledding with garbage can lids on their feet and plays baseball with Charlie every day at sunset with his old catcher's mitt. Angry and sad, without love, optimism or any hope for the future, Charlie has withdrawn from real life too early. Of course, nobody who looks like Zac Efron can retire from anything before he's eventually discovered-by a talent scout with dollar signs in his eyes or a girl with raging hormones in her jeans.

The girl is Tess (Amanda Crew), a spirited contestant in a championship sailboat race around the world. Charlie shows her the depressing cottage where he lives with all of Sam's possessions packed into moldy boxes, and his bed, where, this being a Zac Efron movie, he gets a chance to try out the sheets and strip, to the screams of foxy teenage ticket buyers. Did I fail to mention that Charlie's mother is played by Kim Basinger, in a walk-on so brief it redefines the term "cameo"? (She doesn't even live in the same town.) Eventually, Charlie gets his chance to rejoin the living when Tess is lost at sea and he sets out to prove she's still alive, even though it means deserting the ghost of his kid brother to do it. As far as the plot goes, that's about it. Meanwhile, the movie coasts along on close-ups of Zac Efron's face in an inexhaustible attempt to prove the camera can capture a great deal more than the reflection of just another pretty face. The camera loses.

Like Brad Pitt, and Robert Redford before him, this is a young man who may have to grow a beard or otherwise disfigure himself to be taken seriously. The camera practically makes love to him, moving in for angles and emotions to make audiences swoon. Zac looking up. Zac looking down. Zac in profile. Zac with tears clouding his perfect blue eyes. Zac looking pensive. Zac looking misty-eyed. This is a crime, because there is serious evidence that he adds up to more than eye candy. The script by Craig Pearce and Lewis Colick is so sappy you want to laugh. It's even inspired by an E.E. Cummings poem about taking chances that made me gag. In fairness, it's not about video games, computer technology, screeching rock 'n' roll or teenage vampires. So my tendency is to be tolerant (and grateful). One thing that defies debate: Zac Efron is going places as an actor of value. But he deserves better movies than Charlie St. Cloud.

source

Note: Just heads up... I think with reviews, I'll follow a similar pattern to before which is, I will probably focus on posting most of the major ones asap but some of the smaller ones I catch, I will save and post in those long review posts that no one really reads but I feel compelled to do since I am the unofficial self-anointed Zac Efron historian.
 
 
Mood: busybusy
35 35 comments Comment
 
 
cazey3414 on July 28th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
I sincerely thank you for being a Zac Efron historian. :)
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
ditto, ditto :)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on July 28th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
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hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on July 28th, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
oh yeah. at this point tbh idec about the movie just about zac's performance... which is sad but idk what can you do?

like he says, zac deserves better movies.

if he's not getting offers for them because people are dumbasses about his history then screw them. and if he is getting offers for them and turning them down, he's the dumbass.

either option would be horribly sad to me, so i hope whatever is wrong changes soon.
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(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on July 28th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - calcified on July 28th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - audrey_za on July 28th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
bettybaby63bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
i love the title of this post!!!! and i've always loved rex reed!

k, so for him the movie is a sappy-ass piece of shit...but i'm pretty happy with what he says about zac.

idk, for me i thought the book was a great read, and an interesting story. i won't completely take his comments about the story line to heart, b/c i often enjoy these types of movies, while critics clearly do not.

if this the result of me missing the screening so be it LOL
IceGoddess: cheer up charlieccmskatechick on July 28th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
After his positive review of MAOW, I was hoping we'd get something good for Zac/Charlie. What he had to say about Zac, that exceeded any expectations I had.

And Cady, you are the best historian ever girl! :D

Edited at 2010-07-28 03:25 am (UTC)
oh my god; that crazy bitch.: film | sucker punch - babydollmetrocard on July 28th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
One thing that defies debate: Zac Efron is going places as an actor of value. But he deserves better movies than Charlie St. Cloud.

This is how I feel about life. But, Zac was wonderful, and at the end of the day, that is what matters to me.
Beejeezbee on July 28th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
It was clear from the beginning that CStC was a chick flick and won't win any awards but I was hoping for it to be a bit better than the first reviews indicate.

And this is just another reason why the Nicholas Sparks movie is such a bad idea. Sparks movies are never "good" and consequently he can't give a great performance either. If the material isn't good, there isn't much to work with. I hope he won't strive to be known as the actor who can deliver cheesy lines best.

One of those movies is ok but doing two in a row? Bad idea. He'll be losing all the good will he worked so hard to gain over the last 1.5 years.

And those type of movies don't even that much money at the BO to make up for it.

(Sorry for the venting. I'm just still frustrated over the Sparks thing)

Edited at 2010-07-28 03:34 am (UTC)
Shruti: Boy | 3rd Rockcalcified on July 28th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)
i feel ya
(no subject) - jeezbee on July 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - jeezbee on July 28th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metrocard on July 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on July 28th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metrocard on July 28th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metrocard on July 28th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - metrocard on July 28th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bettybaby63 on July 28th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on July 28th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jeezbee on July 28th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
It's Audrey not Aubrey: NYLONaudrey_za on July 28th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
Marry me, Rex
IceGoddess: cheer up charlieccmskatechick on July 28th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
Re: Marry me, Rex
Re: Marry me, Rex - audrey_za on July 28th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Marry me, Rex - ccmskatechick on July 28th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
I shall know when you give me one.: [misc] » bubbbllllesssactionvaughn on July 28th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
renee_77renee_77 on July 28th, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
I haven't even seen the movie yet, so I am not going to let a critic decide for me about it. I will make my own opinion. Sorry but critics are really too too synical for me.
elena_claytonelena_clayton on July 28th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC)
This review is shocking to me because it's the most scathing review I've ever read of his films, including High School Musical 123. Is he always so harsh?
butterflybee260: pic#102593696butterflybee260 on July 28th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)

I just saw this tonight at the screening and this guy is spot on. Zac did amazing, and I was so proud of him, but the movie was not great. It wasn't Zac's fault and he did his best so its a mixed bag. But I'm so proud of him.