First Snow
Jimmy (Guy Pearce) is a smooth-talking salesman who finds himself making a detour after his car breaks down on a desert highway. To pass the time, he pays a visit to a local palm reader, Vacaro (J.K. Simmons). Vacaro makes a few positive predictions for him, but then appears deeply disturbed by a vision. Jimmy demands to know what he saw, but Vacaro refuses to tell him, and won't even accept payment for the reading. A few days later, Jimmy becomes uneasy when various predictions begin to come true. He returns to Vacaro and begs to know what is in store for him. Vacaro admits that, yes, Jimmy's days are numbered, and he is to meet his fate--whatever it may be-- upon the first snowfall.

The news causes Jimmy to descend into paranoia and fear, and he begins to behave irrationally--endangering both his job and his relationship with his girlfriend (Piper Perabo).What tragedy is about to befall him? Should he worry about his heart murmur? The threats from a disgruntled ex-employee? Or his ex-best friend, a convicted felon, who has recently come back to town? He turns his life inside out, racing to alter his destiny before the first snow.

Guy Peirce as always gives an amazing performance proving himself yet again as one of our greatest actors. In this film he plays a smooth talking salesman who constantly brushes his hair, smokes his fags, and talks on his cell neglecting his hot girl, using his friends, and rubbing his chest scratching heart murmur.
 
The fortune teller is played by J.K. Simmons who is none other than the fast talking newspaper tycoon in the "Spidermans" and the shady legs of a cig company in "Thank You For Smoking". But this role Simmons is a patient slow talking cowboy who likes to fish, thread his own flies, and make ten a pop at telling you the future.

While sitting through this movie I had decided impatiently 2/3 of the way through to give this movie a "pass it" rating. Other than some good acting and an interesting story the movie felt bland and stale visually. It was almost as if there was very little effort to make a visual masterpiece or even using the camera to strike any sort of emotion.
 
Written from the writers that brought us Children of Men and are bringing us Iron Man and Princess of Mars, the story of First Snow was one of its redeeming qualities which after being brought to life by Peirce easily turns the movie into a "Check It" ranking. I loved the quiet subtle conclusion to a high stress, intense, paranoid movie.

I felt the director stumbled through some of the scenes at times not quite sure of what to show at what moment. Or maybe he was just thinking entirely inside the box following some sort of film school formula for each scene set up. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't complete rubbish. It seems that now that I have seen it, hindsight tells me it was a lot better than it was in the theater seat. This tells me that the story and characters were strong but not the camera, lighting, and direction. I wanted as anyone does the filmmaking elements to tell the tale and have me not want to blink or even think about the fact that I needed to hit the head or wanted dinner. Instead of cohesion the movie felt like a horse race with Guy in first, the story second, the horse named Camera pulling up the rear with the director jockey hanging on for his life just trying to keep up with Guy.
Reviewed by: shea