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A Single Shot
BLU-RAY disk
02.04.2014 By: Mathew Plale
A Single Shot order download
Director:
David M. Rosenthal

Actors:
Sam Rockwell
Jeffrey Wright
Kelly Reilly

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A recently divorced hunter (Rockwell) finds himself dealing with a number of toughs after he stumbles upon $100,000 in cash.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
John Moon gets up early to go hunting. He heads out into the woods with a loaded rifle. He ignores all birds; it’s the deer he wants—they’re what pull in money. But he finds $100,000 in a much different way.

While out one morning poaching, John (Sam Rockwell) accidentally lands a bullet in a young woman. While trying to hide the body, he comes across a box filled with cash. It’s not long before a collection of bad characters, including Obadiah (Joe Anderson) and Waylon (Jason Isaacs) come looking.

John needs the money. As he reminds his ex-wife (Kelly Reilly)—and the audience, who he’s really talking to, because the dialogue is just that expository—“You moved out with my son…the day after I lost my job.” But no one in town cares much about that except for John and his best friend, a slurring drunk named Simon (Jeffrey Wright). Also in the mix is a lawyer named Pitt (William H. Macy), who turns up at just the right time to remind the audience that John is too broke to be paying with cash like that.

Director David M. Rosenthal’s (Janie Jones) second feature, A Single Shot, has plenty of characters but gives them nothing of substance to do—the bad guys snarl and make threats, while John sticks around town being haunted by the girl he shot and just waiting for the toughs to make his life even worse. John seems to have no interest in being one of the men Matthew F. Jones (who also penned the novel on which the movie is based) wrote him as.

A Single Shot was apparently inspired by the films of the Coen Bros. and film noirs of decades past. It so desperately wants to be mentioned in the same breath that the movie gets caught up creating too much atmosphere (or rather what it thinks qualifies) and not enough story or character. A Single Shot is too long and moves too slowly for the amount of plot and character development it has.

Of note, as always, is Rockwell, who doesn’t seem like the go-to choice for this sort of character but still manages to be the only commendable part of a bad movie.

THE EXTRAS
Making Of (26:19): This featurette uses interviews, on-set footage and clips to offer viewers a look at the production and evolution of A Single Shot.

Interviews: Both Sam Rockwell (23:25) and William H. Macy (6:41) sit down for one-on-one interviews to discuss the story, the style and their characters.

Trailer

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
A Single Shot may want to be mentioned alongside the Coen Bros.’ works, but it’s really just a wannabe with no thrills, zero character development and a plotline that’s been done too many times as it is. Special features include a making-of featurette and interviews.
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8:16AM on 02/04/2014
I really liked this movie, I thought it was well acted all around.
I really liked this movie, I thought it was well acted all around.
Your Reply:



8:16AM on 02/04/2014
I really liked this movie, I thought it was well acted all around.
I really liked this movie, I thought it was well acted all around.
Your Reply:



7:24AM on 02/04/2014

On Jeffery Wright

He's playing a guy who is at level 10 of alcohol addiction. He's supposed to be unintelligible. I won't argue the merits of the movie, or his overall performance, but I will say that his slurred speech was intentional and accurate for something specific.
He's playing a guy who is at level 10 of alcohol addiction. He's supposed to be unintelligible. I won't argue the merits of the movie, or his overall performance, but I will say that his slurred speech was intentional and accurate for something specific.
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5:10AM on 02/04/2014

What happened to Jeffrey Wright?

He was such a diverse actor with so much promise and then…he took on the grizzled beard, the half-cocked "I've had a stroke" facial expression and that voice that is so scratchy I couldn't understand 80% of his dialogue. The rest of the film is grim and boring, but Rockwell is oddly mesmerizing even so. Still, Wright is the stand out WTF for me.
He was such a diverse actor with so much promise and then…he took on the grizzled beard, the half-cocked "I've had a stroke" facial expression and that voice that is so scratchy I couldn't understand 80% of his dialogue. The rest of the film is grim and boring, but Rockwell is oddly mesmerizing even so. Still, Wright is the stand out WTF for me.
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