Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
It’s amazing to watch A-list (or A minus list) actors from our past play in small time indie films as their main source of career income these days. It wasn’t that long ago that Robert DeNiro was king of the cinematic world, but now he’s stuck doing movies like Dirty Grandpa. Guy Pearce was once doing films like Memento, and Pierce Brosnan was James Bond for crying out loud! Now the lot of them tend to make their living with low end indie films, or budget DTV works. Spinning Man was based off of the best selling novel by George Harrar, so I had some decently high hopes for it, but sadly we are lambasted by a movie that has a great premise, but utterly falls apart in the third act with a horrifically contrived ending that undermines any of the tension and subterfuge that has be set up before that point. It’s decently acted, with Guy Pearce giving a rather strong performance (the first he’s done in years), but it’s a bit too little in the grand scheme of things.
The one main thing to remember about Spinning Man is a phrase from Guy Pearce’s Professor Evan Birch early on. “Memory is the least reliable, most problematic, area of understanding in the brain”. It deceives us, tricks us, and makes it so that “truth” is something that can’t always be ascertained just by remembering it. With that in mind, the film opens up with the story of a missing girl named Joyce Bonner (Odeya Rush) who vanishes from a beach. The police are all up in arms about finding who took her, and one Professor Evan Birch (Guy Pearce) is singled out by detective Malloy (Pierce Brosnan) as a possible suspect due to the fact that a Volvo that looked like the Professor’s was seen at the beach the day of the crime.
While Birch and his family deny the accusations, there’s this sense of doubt over the whole situation. The professor has hints of sleeping with students strewn throughout the movie (intimations of a last minute move due to scandal, hints at an affair with a previous student, fantasies running through Birch’s head), and even his own Lawyer starts to doubt the veracity of his innocence. The film is really setting us up for an intellectual game of cat and mouse, with Birch and Malloy dancing around each other trying to get the other one with his guard down. Being a philosophy teacher, Birch spouts out mantras about truth being what you interpret, and the “search for logic”, while Malloy uses those same tactics to trip up the professor into revealing that he is the “killer” of the missing girl.
The movie is actually acted rather well. Minnie Driver is incredibly accurate with her portrayal of a mother/wife on the edge of sanity, while Guy Pearce is likable, sleazy and incredibly relatable all at once. The man hasn’t had a good acting job in quite some time, and it’s refreshing to see the veteran actor use his skills to good use. Sadly it’s wasted in this project, with a muddled script, choppy editing, and film that gets stuck so far up it’s own tail intellectual tail pipe that it fails at most everything it set out to be. Spinning Man really did have potential, and the tension that it builds is quite good (for the first act), but once the middle of the film is reached the movie spirals out of control into a train wreck of an ending.
Rated R for some language including sexual references
• "Inside Spinning Man" Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
The best way to describe Spinning Man is with one word, “forgettable”. The premise is solid, and the first act builds some good tension, but the movie just keeps “spinning” it’s wheels (yes, pun intended) and by the time the ludicrous 3rd act rolls around the audience has pretty much given up. It’s smartly acted with a group of solid performances, but that can’t get around the fact that the movie itself tries to be overly intellectual and fails miserably doing so. The Blu-ray from Lionsgate is well done, with good video, solid audio, and the usual anemic extras. I hesitate to recommend skipping the movie altogether as Spinning Man wasn’t a horrible film, but it’s definitely on the low end of the rental spectrum at the very least.
Starring: Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver
Directed by: Simon Kaijser
Written by: Matthew Aldrich (Screenplay), George Harrar (Book)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Runtime: 100 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Recommendation: Skip It/Low Rental