Conviction

Ten years ago the Law & Order franchise was the king of the cop show castle with the mother ship at the peak of its ratings dominance, Law & Order: SVU well into a successful third season and the new series Law & Order: Criminal Intent finishing up a successful freshman year. All seemed well in the world that Dick Wolf had birthed, but everything was starting to change. In the following ten years, the unstoppable force that was the mother ship series was cancelled after a hefty twenty-year run (had it gone on for one more season it would of surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest running scripted drama on television), Criminal Intent dropped in ratings and was forced to shift to the USA Network, new spin-off series Trial By Jury and Conviction were ratings bombs and the monstrosity of this past year known as Law & Order: LA was, well, a monstrosity. The only glimmer of hope the franchise had left lied in the hands of Benson, Stabler, Fin and the rest of the Special Victims Unit. The question is whether that’s a hope they should hold on to.

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This Week in DVD

This is a busy and full week for DVD releases with a common theme… many of them are movies you’ve probably heard of over the past year, but judging by their minuscule box-office you most likely didn’t see any of them. The other common theme? Pretty much none of them are as good as the internet told you they were. I know. It’s shocking. But sometimes the internet does in fact tell lies. Titles out this week include The Tillman Story, Conviction, Let Me In, Hatchet II, Welcome To the Riley’s, Never Let Me Go, Monsters, and more.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr celebrated Halloween by dressing up as a slutty nurse and watching the latest Saw movie. Then he dressed up as a slutty lawyer and watched the latest slice of Oscar bait known as Conviction. Now, he’s changed costumes once again to dress up as a slutty schoolgirl to hand out grades to these movies and contemplate whether you all would be better off catching up on the awesome recently Halloween-appropriate Blu-rays releases like The Exorcist, Psycho, Alien Anthology or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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Conviction, the story of a man falsely accused of murder and the sister that puts herself through law school to defend him, is one of those fall films that will inevitably be labeled as “Oscar bait.” That’s as unfair as it is with most cases. This isn’t the overwrought drama that it may seem or the one that those hilarious parody trailers poke fun at. In fact, it’s fairly subdued and strays away from sugarcoating. Betty Anne Waters isn’t portrayed as a total hero, but instead, almost obsessive and delusional. Kenny Waters isn’t shown as a boy scout and you could buy him actually killing someone in the film. They’re shown as good people, but not without their not-so-appealing flaws. This could’ve been a Hallmark film through and through, but thankfully, most of it isn’t played with the subtlety of a jackhammer. It’s not heavy and it’s not schmaltzy. It’s always a surprise to see small (female driven, especially) dramas like this get made, and from what director Tony Goldwyn says about the hardship of getting financing, it’s a shock this even made it to the screen. Here’s what Goldwyn and star Sam Rockwell had to say about the long process of getting the film made, avoiding melodrama, and keeping things raw:

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It’s officially fall, and that means it’s the start of award season. And with this season, there are some actors who always have a film for consideration. Hilary Swank’s latest film Conviction tells the true story of a woman who goes to any lengths to prove her convict brother’s innocence. You’ll want to keep an eye on this girl as those of us at FSR hear she is a mighty fine actress.

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The Reject Report

This week we are presented with a film that’s vile, disgusting, depraved, and whatever other hyperbolic keywords that might induce gagging throughout the audience. But, if you’re not someone who finds old people firing machine guns as disturbing or cringe-inducing as I do, then you also have the choice of watching the palette-cleansing melodrama of Jackass 3-D. It’s a horror-less weekend here just a few weeks out of Halloween, but it’s also looking to be the biggest weekend of the month.

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published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C
published: 04.18.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
A

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