Geez Louise, it has been way too long since I have roasted a true turkey and I've been itchin' for the opportunity.
CHARACTERS - first we have Mare Winningham and David Andres as the loving Bravertons, partents of Noah Fleiss and Chelsea Russo. It is California, it is hot, the A/C is broken, the Fridge is broken and Charlie Sheen lives next door.
Then we have to try to accept Charlie Sheen as a suburban homeowner with a wife and child. Of course, the wife and child have moved on because Charlie Sheen is playing Charlie Sheen.
Next we have the Asian American repairman (Keone Young) who accidentally goes to Sheens' house instead of Winninghams'. At first I was offended that they type-cast this role and then I realized it was done to add to the incredible bad taste of the movie.
Move on to John Ratzenberger and Dawn Lewis as two bumbling policemen that stop at Winningham's house - not because she called them mind you, although she did - but because her house is for sale and they are looking at houses to buy. I was never clear if they were a couple or if they were just helping each other out. Talk about type cast, you can almost see the donut crumbs on their mouths.
BRIEF PEEK Sheen is a firefighter with a problem. First he is touted as a savior for saving a baby in a fire but the flashbacks give you a different story. Then his family leaves him, again through flashbacks you wonder what took them so long. Now he is plagued with insomnia and some very vocal neighbors. You get the feeling of Falling Down in this epic but without the style.
When darling Noah's toy airplane crashes through Sheens bedroom window, after he has finally fallen asleep, you know things are going to go to hell.
WANDERING COMMENTS Although you have absolutely no problem seeing Sheen as a total psycho the director (or writer or whoever) never really fully develops this. Instead they try to toss in a human level and don't bother to expand on that either. So in the end you don't know whether to love him or hate him. With the Braverton family you get a mixed bag. The daughter is more or less nondescript in the movie since the son seems to be the biggest irritant factor here.
Noah Fleiss was a perfect choice with his gap-toothed angelic face but hey guys - he is an overindulged whiny kid from an apparently well-to-to family. Frankly, if I believed in guns.....
David Andrews fell flat as the father. He didn't seem to fit into this family picture. And his tense moments sitting in traffic - very Michael Douglas. Maybe the only redeeming quality in the movie - sweaty, aggravated, imposed upon Mare Winningham. A strange actress, she seems to blend into most movies she is in, but for once steps forward in this epic.
Basically, the movie was a flop. Underdeveloped story line, underdeveloped characters. Too many emotions trying to mingle without a basis for them with the love me/hate me theme going. The scenes were jerky and did not flow smoothly but did have a lot of aerial shots (well only from the ceiling, not the sky) of Sheen desperately laying on his bed trying to sleep ... eerie. Packed with way too much violence for what is supposed to be suburbia.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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Los Angeles firefighter Lyle Wilder is a hero to the public. But somewhere along the line, he's secretly become a sociopath--and he's trying to kill his neighbors. Catherine Braverton (Mare Winningham) and her two children find themselves in the path of a madman, and they can't convince anyone that he's capable of harming them. Charlie Sheen and John Ratzenberger co-star in this tense thriller.