Tell Everyone

to skip Tell No One, or at the very least ratchet down the hype and lower–no, more than lower: shove to the floor–your expectations. Imagine a more gallic Ron Howard taking a mediocre thriller, pumping it full of old r&b standards, long shots of hero doctor widower mooning about his allegedly-dead wife, scissoring the timeline so that plot revelations seem startling (when, in any kind of cold expository light, they are pretty damn loony). This is a cheesy late-night cable thriller with a personality disorder, mistakenly assuming it’s a vivid use of thriller filler as fodder for more serious explorations of mood, reveries about love, leisurely paced to please the NPR crowd.

I probably hated this more than it deserved, but… to quote Chris Howell, fuck I hate the middlebrow. At the 1:35 mark I gave up, couldn’t even bring myself to trudge through another 35 minutes of suspense just to get the painfully ludicrous exposition I had already mostly pieced together.

12 thoughts on “Tell Everyone”

  1. Thanks for saving me from this. It was next in my queue. Of course, we can be sure there will be a Hollywood remake.

    By the way, Netflix is currently making a bunch of Werner Hertzog films available for instant viewing. A colleague in the German Department recommended ‘Lessons of Darkness’ and ‘Stroszek’ and both are available.

  2. I thought this was a really fun film in which to lose myself for a couple of hours. I was hooked from the very beginning and very much enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot (even though the film is woefully overlit and relies too much on overtly literally uses of U2 and Jeff Buckley retreads). But hey, Bruno fucking rocks! That being said, this is one of the rare European crossover success stories that might actually benefit from a smart Hollywood remake. Get Tony Gilroy to rewrite the damn thing; hell, get him to direct it as well. Reynolds’ prejudice against the middlebrow is appreciated, but it all can’t be blood and gore and monsters and robots and $500,000 budgets. I was entertained.

  3. i like the idea of npr, i just can’t figure out where on the radio it is to be found. but i nod sagely when people talk of such giants of contemporary culture as ira glass and well, that’s the only name i know.

  4. the board? doth thou mean the blog? and no, between arnab, chris and reynolds . . . I’d say the gutter gets it’s due more often than not . . . we are constantly working through how cinematic detritus speaks truths that the middlebrow and their radio-loving ilk tend to smooth away . . . like a polished blue stone on the shores of pristine lake

    I just broached major fb etiquette by respnding to a former high school student of mine (now a high school teacher at the same school) who had posted her quiz results as to what Muppet character she would be (for the record it would be Rowlf). I commented that I would be the muppet character that would kill all the other muppet characters in front of a group of impressionable, white, middle-class toddlers . . . boy was I told I needed some serious therapy (among other suggestions) I chuckle to myself but feel bad this young woman and a few of her friends feel have been forced to imagine puppet gore and childhood trauma

  5. At least you didn’t tell them you’d behead the Swedish Chef, put his skull on your sofa and then laugh at it (apologies to Edmund Kemper)

    check out the list to the left. I rest my case. NPR all the way.

  6. Speaking of NPR, the tense indie existentialist drama Splinter scratches the itch I’m sure we all share: why don’t they make pictures where some kind of moss/fungus thing corners a small mismatched group of humans (young professionals in love, and young outlaws-with-hearts-of-gold in love) in an Okie gas station? And even when they do make these films, they rarely have the vision to make the moss/fungus manifest by turning its consumed mammal prey into amalgamated body parts (built on the go, from the pieces of prior meals) which sprout spines like angry sea urchins.

    However this, my friends, is that movie. It is what you expect, and I think it is exactly what I needed. No more, but no less.

  7. “This is a cheesy late-night cable thriller with a personality disorder, mistakenly assuming it’s a vivid use of thriller filler as fodder for more serious explorations of mood, reveries about love, leisurely paced to please the NPR crowd.”

    apart from the jibe directed at the “NPR crowd” (but i won’t pile on), this is a rather virtuosistic lil sentence, mike! i always learn. or try to.

    i liked this movie. for the most part. i liked it enough. i am with jeff on this. it was nice. i was able to watch it all the way through without getting bored. the foot chase was great. the girl beautiful. the nice doctor who helps children, sweet. the cops inspiring. bruno SO fucking rocked!!!! i ran in my mind through all my acquaintances to figure out who could be my “bruno” in a pinch but i’m afraid i’m the closest thing to a bruno i know (once i sprang someone who was going to be beaten up from of transient motel in a shitty part of L.A.). i liked kristin scott thomas tremendously. the nice doctor looked a bit like dustin hoffman, and that was fine by me. the literal use of U2 was cute (haha, thanks jeff for reminding me of it!). the senator looked like someone i’ve seen before.

    the movie i couldn’t get through, on the other hand, was the new 007, quantum of something. one can’t have three motorized-objects chases in like 20 minutes. that should be forbidden.

  8. Speaking of talky French movies about family dysfunction, this came to “play instantly” so I watched. Reynolds, you misled me. It is far, far worse than your review. Middlebrow is the least of its problems. Christ, it is such a convoluted mess that we have to rely on long reveals from the “good” cop (really, Francois Berleand is better, and more convincing, in the Transporter movies) and the father-in-law to make relative sense of the movie. And Bruno: what a white middle class fantasy. If only I was pals with (and had the respect of) that hard guy from the neighborhood. I take back my remark about a Hollywood remake; this is already a Hollywood remake.

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