ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Homecoming (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Morgan J. Freeman

Starring:
Misha Barton/Shelby
Matt Long/Mike
Jessica Stroup/Elizabeth
Michael Landes/Billy
PLOT-CRUNCH
Dude (Long) goes back to his hometown with his new squeeze (Stroupe) to see his football Jersey number get retired or some shite like that. Dude's ex girlfriend (Barton), who's still in love with him, doesn't take the new girlfriend thing too well; so she pulls a Misery meet Fatal Attraction, meets my Ex... that f*cking bitch...
THE LOWDOWN
Morgan J. Freeman is back to the CRAZY BITCH subgenre! His first go at it was via the "pretty good if it had another title” genre comedy AMERICAN PSYCHO 2. And now here he goes again with HOMECOMING, another bad girl gone badder opus but one that played it dead straight - no chuckles here. So did this dame do it right? Or did she forget to use her hand and not bite?

HOMECOMING was "on" for a while. The main characters were introduced and I dug them and their relationship; they were likable and credible… at first that is. Then when the flick tossed a curve ball at me by way of its first mammoth plot turn, I strapped myself in, eager to get rocked and rolled! Didn’t see that one coming! Alas, I was ready but the film was not FULLY able to come through after that. Granted the performances were on the ball, the chain of events fairly gripping and the random suspense effective when it arose. So I appreciated that. Moreover, this was a slow moving piece, but good slow. I was never bored by its calculated pace and actually found it to be somewhat endearing. Slow moving is not a bad thing when you have characters and situations you're engaged by and HOMECOMING was one them cases. Add to that a strong score, Freeman displaying lots of confidence behind the camera and cinematography that hit the spot and you get a hit right? Well not really...almost...

HOMECOMING wound up being WAYYY too see through for its own good. I mean this subgenre has been done to death – you have to toy with conventions a tad to back-hand the viewer. Didn’t happen. When my dumb ass can second guess pretty much every move a film will make - then you're in trouble. But I could have lived with that. I’ve seen lots of by the numbers flicks that I wound up loving. What pissed me the hell off was that the movie kept insulting my minute IQ for its own sakes. The characters (and the script) kept doing the STUPIDEST things to serve and force the plot in the direction it had to go. The way this one covered its bases was so inept that it became maddening. That jive really tarnished the overall experience for me. I mean, it’s tough to fully get into a movie when half the time you're spitting out "OH COME ON! BULLSHIT!” at the screen.

Finally for a movie that's about sex and brutality; I can't say both of them elements were played up enough to hit home. Sure stuff was hinted at but a movie like this needs more than freaking hints! Shite, it was almost a PG movie! Not PG 13 – PG man! And when taking into account the blatant un-originality and obviousness of the picture; you'd think they'd go for the kill to compensate and raise the bar - guess not.

Arrow Note: Wanna get this straight: some AITH readers seem to think that if a movie has no blood or boobies - I won't like it. That's a wrong assessment amigos. If a movie BEGS for or/and NEEDS blood and boobies and doesn't have any - then yeah it’s a problem. A good movie does not need plasma and tits to be good – but a so-so or bad one, well tits and splat can help. End of note.

So all in all HOMECOMING wound up serving a solid set-up, strong performances and an easy flow. Too bad it wasn't the smartest tool in the shed, that it “cheated” common sense too often and that it kept holding back on being "disturbing and daring" as opposed to embracing it. This HOMECOMING wasn't all that and a bag of Chips!
GORE
Light blood, bruises and some dry axe action. Red grub is NOT on this one’s menu.
ACTING
Misha Barton (Shelby) didn't sell me at first but she grew into the role as the clock ticked on. I think her "cock in mouth" voice tonality initially threw me off. Matt Long (Mike) was affable and natural. Dug him! Jessica Stroup (Elizabeth) shined here; hitting all the right emotional notes bang on. Michael Landes (Billy) played a “grungy” version of the role he tackled in FINAL DESTINATION 2. He aced it again! I like that dude.
T & A
Misha Barton showed off her goods via a bra and panties. Who knew a rake on 2 legs could look so damn f*ckable??? I'm there!
DIRECTING
Morgan J. Freeman kept it simple and it worked. Lots of static shots, occasional slick angle and slow camera movements. The film had an air of maturity that I grooved to. Too bad the storyline was not up to snuff.
SOUNDTRACK
We get a competent piano driven score and some background rock tunes.
BOTTOM LINE
Yet another could have been! HOMECOMING had what it takes to be a solid ditty: gripping initial premise, strong actors, potent imagery... too bad it kept ducking common sense, was too déjà-vu and didn't go for the jugular. Don't know about yall, but if you're making a film that's been done already 100 times, holding back on brutality and sexiness would be the last thing on my mind - going for the kill with them - first in line! I say see Misery, Fatal Attraction or the male counterpart Fear instead. This one was watchable, nothing more or less...
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

The script was written by Katie L. Fetting who also wrote teh Elizabeth Hurley flick METHOD in 2004.

Mischa Barton is actually British! Great USA accent! I never would have known!

VISIT THE HOMECOMING SITE HERE

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