Ah….Armand Assante…what happened to your career. You were so brilliant in Sidney Lumet’s Q & A (rent it, people). I guess things happen. You have bills to pay. A family to raise.
Consequence is a made for cable HBO film. The opening voice-over, in classic film noir tradition, sets the table for a lurid crime melodrama. Unfortunately, Assante’s awkward southern accent makes the voice over, like the film itself, a bit off putting. The story involves a dentist (Armand Assante) who decides…to start a new life by impersonating his long dead brother. Facial surgery and dental records all come into play here. There are other plot twists involving money, double crossings, mistaken identities, and murder. Oh and there’s a “dangerous woman”, played with forced sensuality by Lola Glaudini. Rick Schroder also comes along for the ride, as the corrupt “best friend” (when is Silver Spoons – Season One coming out on DVD by the way).
The director (Anthony Hickox) tries to jazz things up with some fancy camera work and shots stolen from Scorsese. But the material is already ridiculous. Story and style work together to create artistic overload.
I could try and spoil some things, but the story is so convoluted, I wouldn’t do a very good job. I lost track of the narrative after the first half hour. If anyone can tell me what happens in the movie, I’ll buy them a cyber coffee.
Okay…ONE SPOILER NOTE: There is a lesbian shower scene. And it’s one of the most boring in screen history.
The movie looks like it was processed at a grain elevator. Yes, the transfer is that bad. This graininess is constant throughout the entire film, but is most evident during scenes that take place at night or in darker rooms. It kind of reminded me of old video cameras, you know, when you filmed things at night. Consequence kind of looks like that video camera. And then there’s the speckling!! It seems like no attempt was made to clean this up at all. It’s speckling to the point of distraction. Halo effects and edge enhancements are hard to find. This may seem like a good thing, but due the muddy, grainy dullness of the picture, I would have preferred some. Aspect ratio is a modest 1.85:1.
Much, much better than the video. HBO has pulled out one stop… a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. It doesn’t sound that much different than 2.0. There’s also Spanish 2.0, which I played for a few chapters just for fun. Sounds effects, music, and dialogue are nicely distributed in your home theatre system. Dialogue is, for the most part, clear in the centre; gunshots, sounds of birds, and footsteps down hallways are nicely put in surround. Any feeling of tension, even though there is none, is enhanced though these sound effects. They tried. I can at least give them that.
Only a trailer for another HBO made for video movie called Pavement. I was excited at first because, for some weird reason, I thought it might be a video for the really cool band “Pavement”. I was sadly mistaken, but not really surprised. Pavement stars Lauren Holly and Robert Patrick and seems like a Manhunter rip off. If it’s anything like Consequence, I’ll take a pass.
I think it’s clear that I’m not a big fan of Consequence. There are more twists and turns than a chiropractor’s day at the office. But there’s nothing wrong with plot contrivances, as long as they’re well done and make sense. Consequence has the feeling of “it’s all been done before”; and it has been done before, and much better. But even though I can’t recommend the film, the sight of Armand Assante in a “Thin Lizzy” T-shirt does offer some temptation for rental. Nevertheless, combined with the shoddy video transfer, Consequence has the feeling of going to the dentist, but without any gas to mask the discomfort.
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