Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Sylvester Stallone, Tom Berenger, Kyra Sedgwick, Thomas Jane, Lauren Cohan, Kevin Connolly, Kelsey Grammer
Written by: John Herzfeld
Directed by: John Herzfeld
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language, drug use, and smoking
Running Time: 95
Date: 11/21/2014
IMDB

Reach Me (2014)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Self-Helpless

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Writer/director John Herzfeld (Two of a Kind, 2 Days in the Valley, 15 Minutes) crowdfunded this movie and must have called in every favor he had to find his incredible cast. Perhaps he was hoping to change the world with Reach Me, but what he ended up with is a toneless mess, more chaotic than soul-searching, more irritating than meditative.

Colette (Kyra Sedgwick) is released from prison having turned her life around with the help of a self-help book called Reach Me. She meets her niece, Eve (Elizabeth Henstridge), and they subsequently have a car accident with a trigger-happy cop, Wolfie (Thomas Jane). Many others, including a rapper (Nelly) and a hitman (David O’Hara), have become moved by the book. A would-be novelist working as a gossip reporter, Roger (Kevin Connolly) is charged by his tough-talking boss (Sylvester Stallone) to find the book's reclusive author (Tom Berenger). But will bringing him into the open undo all the work he has done?

The high-pitched quality of the direction suggests that maybe all of this was supposed to be funny, but nothing here inspires laughter. The characters might have generated some sympathy if they weren't spread so thin and forced into awkward situations. A cop always seems to be shooting people, and then goes to a priest to confession. An editor yells at everyone and then goes home and tries to paint. And a journalist falls in love with the one person who can best help him. Not even the wide-ranging talent of this hard-working cast can help fill in the movie's peculiar blanks.

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