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"Hide and Seek" is NO "Godsend" - CinemaDave

Feb. 16th, 2005 10:52 pm "Hide and Seek" is NO "Godsend"

Remember when Robert DeNiro's name above the title
meant a cinematic event? In the last 5 years, DeNiro
has averaged 3 productions a year with diminishing
returns. DeNiro's most reliable films have been
comedies ("Meet the Fockers" and "Analyze This"),
but his most unintentionally laughs have come from his
horror movies.

"Godsend" started off with a unique idea about
domestic loss and cloning. The son of Greg Kinnear
and Rebecca Romijn dies in an accident. Dr. DeNiro
clones the boy. On the anniversary of the boy's
death, the boy starts having nightmares about either
himself or his clone. DeNiro is revealed not to be
the altruistic humanitarian. "Godsend" fails to live
up to profound ideas and climaxes with unmemorable
schlock.

"Hide and Seek" is better schlock and deals with
another domestic nightmare. Alison (Amy Irving) plays
hide and seek with her daughter Emily (Dakota Fanning)
before bedtime. Alison takes a pill with a glass of
wine and goes to bed. Her husband Dr. David Callaway
(Robert DeNiro) wakes up at 2:06 am and finds
Alison’s body in a bloody bathtub. Emily is
traumatized and the Callaways move to the country.
David and his daughter try to make a clean start with
their new lives. They meet friendly neighbors, but
Emily is too shy to open up. Emily does make friends
with Charley, an invisible friend. When things go
bump in the night, David suspects that Charley is no
longer an invisible friend. As life becomes more
violent for the Callaways, a mystery evolves from the
question of
"Whose Charley?"

When you have studied as many horror movies as I have,
you become numb. You can predict the fear technique
and you know when the boogeyman will strike. There
are only so many ways in which you can predict when
the knife will fall. The differences between "The
Sixth Sense" and "Hide and Seek" lies in the
cinematography execution and the emotional pay off.

Substituting Academy Award nominee actors and actress
is a poor excuse emotional connection, especially when
an 11-year-old actress steals the motion picture from
these bloated Oscar winners and losers. Wednesday,
February 23, 2005 will mark Dakota Fanning’s birthday
and this actress provides a mature performance with
emotional depth.

Then there is the emotionally less mature performance
of Robert DeNiro. If emotional shallow, Dr. David
Callaway is a likeable dweeb early in the movie.
However as the film progresses, DeNiro lose emotional
value and the performance bakes into a comic ham. Amy
Irving, Elisabeth Shue and Famke Janssen could all
take a course from the Linnea Quigley School of
Humorous Scream Queen Acting. These three actresses
seem only interested in hitting their marks.
Unintentionally, all the adult performances “Hide.”
Ticket buyers may not want to “Seek” this motion
picture out.

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