Since this movie is out of most theaters and all our trusted blog
reviewers have already touched on it I will keep this review short,
sweet, and listed.
At the center of Reign Over Me is the
relationship between Charlie Fineman (Sandler) and Alan Johnson
(Cheadle), former college roommates who meet again by chance after many
years. Charlie has lost his entire family. He is a man whose grief is
so great that he has isolated himself and withdrawn from his former
life. While Alan's life seems perfect in comparison, he is nevertheless
overwhelmed by his family and professional responsibilities and needs
support in order to learn to see the blessings he has.
Beyond the obvious appeals of on screen man-friend relationships and a life encouraging message Reign Over Me
had a couple amazing little cinematic treats that I need mentioning.
I loved the meshing between the video game shots and the editing of the
scene. Somehow director/actor Mike Bender tied this element of
Charlie's escapist lifestyle with the emotion and feel of the scene and
it works so quietly subtle. It's hard to explain but if you see the
movie pay attention to the video games. There is one scene in
particular which is my favorite shot in the entire movie. Cheadle looks
down the long hall where Charlie is playing a video game in front of a
huge projector. Charlie is facing a huge monster that he is facing in
the screen. The shot was awesome.
I also love that every person
in this movie had a massive handicap or weakness to overcome with their
character. This added a very real element to the world of the film.
My favorite scenes were the scenes where Adam flips out, dentist scenes, and video gaming scenes.
My least favorite elements of the film was Liv Tyler, not because they
were bad scenes or she was horrible, but because the scenes were
needfully redundant and not as fun.
Part of me wishes they would have shot on film instead of digital. PART OF ME...only part.
Cheadle and Sandler do great jobs. It's always good to see someone like
Sandler break out of his mold and do a film like this. Jim Carrey went
down this road. Next up...Bob Dillon(sure looks like it at least) Reign Over Me
was a well done movie, with life sized characters, and a larger than life heart.