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Haven (2004)


10/10: Writing, Directing, Acting all Shine in Haven
Friday, August 25, 2006

I attended a press screening of Haven on August 24, 2006. Here is my review: Producer Robbie Brenner, after reading the script for Haven, told Frank E. Flowers, writer and director, "I'll quit my job if you let me produce this movie." Many people couldn't believe the person who had written Haven was only 24 years old. Orlando Bloom (cast as Shy) was so taken by the script that he signed on to produce as well. He didn't, however, sign on to portray Fritz, the role he was initially offered. "I loved the script, but the role I most responded to was the character of Shy, who at the time was written as a young Caymanian kid about 15 years old," recalls Bloom, who was reluctant for Flowers to change the integrity of the script, but curious to see how he could do it. "I was amazed. In literally 48 hours, Frank came back with another script...

8/10: Unmistakenably from the makers of CRASH
Friday, February 23, 2007

Try and get over the seemingly drug induced headache manner with which the movie is filmed and behind that shell you'll find quite a good story. At first when I began watching this, my head hurt so much I almost stopped watching like 15 minutes into it, but as soon as I realised that the spasming film shots were intentional and very key to the plot, I got used to it. Nevermind the fact that I had to use the English subtitles button for some of the thick Cayman Lingo, the film-makers must have realised that this would be a problem as well because it wasn't too long before I noticed that they too had added in their own involuntary subtitles & translations in many scenes. And the drug use + the swearing, my goodness, trust me it's not for the faint hearted.But beside all of that, there is the story of a shady business man and...

3/10: Too dreadful for words...but I'll give it a shot anyway: one fruitless attempt after another to be clever in this wanna-be movie
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First let me explain my rating-system. I consider a 5 a movie that's somewhat watchable, a 6 is already a good movie. I gave Haven a 3 because the soundtrack was good and the acting wasn't horrible. Now over to the bad stuff...I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone. Usually in my reviews I try to say something like: 'this movie isn't recommended for people who don't like slow-developing plots' or 'it's not for people who want the plot wrapped up neatly in the end'. But I can honestly and objectively say this movie was just one of poor quality. The biggest problem is the plot itself. The storyline is multi-linear, characters are being followed and they're all supposed to be connected in one way or another through an event or multiple events. Examples of brilliant use of this method is seen in Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Crash and...

5/10: A Nutshell Review: Haven
Thursday, January 18, 2007

It all boiled down to one Friday the 13th night.Haven takes place in the Cayman Islands, paradise on Earth, with beautiful beaches, friendly people, and of course, being the ideal place to stash cash, ill gotten or otherwise, free from taxation. In its seedier side, to paraphrase from another movie, weed is the currency, openly passed around in nacho chip bags. This movie ditches the idyllic moments, to peer beneath the veneer, of hell on Earth instead.I like movies which have many characters, each with their own objectives, but being led by unseen forces as they relate to one another, and events bring them to within striking distance. They might belong to distinct story arcs, but given the geographical proximity, their lives, their decisions and the consequences all become intertwined.There are three clear arcs in the movie, but the characters involved flit seamlessly from one arc to the next. You have the corrupt businessmen looking to escape...

7/10: Choppy seas don't always mean a rough ride
Monday, June 20, 2005

I am glad to hear that this film will finally be released, albeit on DVD. I saw 'Haven' at the Toronto film festival and have been awaiting it's release ever since. I did think that the film was a bit choppy, which was mildly distracting, but that the overall ride was great. In following up his critically acclaimed short 'Swallow' with 'Haven', his feature film debut, Frankie Flowers proves that he is more than capable of writing and directing a full length film.While it is a difficult task to jump back and forth in a timeline, from sub plot to sub plot, while keeping an audience interested; entertained; and able to follow, I believe that Flowers has done a splendid job despite sacrificing some of the continuity for stylistic shot making. Tarantino has tried, despite box office success, somewhat in vain in this regard for years. Movies such as Magnolia have come along and disappointed and perhaps the...

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