I usually have a weird thing about remakes... if I KNOW something is a remake, I want to see the original first... which isn't always fair to the remake if it happens to be in my radar. After all, if I'd seen the remake of THE VANISHING before I saw the original, nothing good would have come out of that... or would it? I've never seen SATAN MET A LADY, so is my take on THE MALTESE FALCON fair? I think I'd better just go with my gut and simply go SEE things that interest me without subjecting them to a set of rules. So here's THE LOFT. I happen to know it's a remake of a Belgian film and that the original director (Erik Van Looy) returned to the helm to set it in America. However? I never saw the Belgian film, nor is it within my reach. Nor, apparently, did it have the devastating advance reputation of THE VANISHING. So... since I knew nothing about the story or characters ahead of time? And since nobody else is seeing it and it's pretty much guaranteed to vanish from theatres tomorrow? What the hell... I chose it.
And I'm glad I did. We've got ourselves a fine and dandy old-fashioned locked-room mystery fleshed out with the sexual politics that couldn't be addressed head-on back in the day. We've got a potent, well-acted twist-and-turn brew that (as far as I'm concerned) lived up to all of its promises.
So. The basics. We've got five best friends led by architect Karl Urban, who connives to create a posh, top-secret meeting and trysting place that the gang of five (all of whom happen to be married men) can use for whatever reason they wish... so long as they follow the rules. The cadre also includes psychiatrist James Marsden, the repressed Wentworth Miller, the crude and outspoken Eric Stonestreet, and the borderline psychotic cokehead Matthias Schoenhaerts (who looks for all the world like James Franco's brother but apparently isn't). As our story begins, a dead, mutilated woman is found handcuffed to the bed in the loft... and everyone has legitimate reason to suspect everyone else, thanks to the wives they've betrayed (including Rhona Mitra), the tycoons they've attempted to blackmail, and the women they've brought into their lives AND their loft (such as Isabel Lucas and Rachael Taylor).
"I'm not like that."
"We're men. We're all a little bit like that."
Whoa... loaded statement--and one you're invited to ponder as the tale runs its course... and in addition to the question of who actually "did it," you'll also have to ask yourself with whom you sympathize (if anybody) and what consequences or rewards you think they might deserve. But don't mistake this for a "heavy message" movie--your reaction is completely yours and you'll also be intrigued by such clues and/or red herrings as to which characters know Latin, who has access to which pharmaceuticals and who has the biggest mouth...
...look--the more I say the more I spoil. Just check it out for yourself if you can. Enjoy the old-fashioned Hitchcock (including a Hermann-esque score by John Frizzell) and the contemporary frankness and watch it all unfold.
As in not off. If you want to post about mainstream flicks, this is the forum.
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