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Case Number 18254: Small Claims Court

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Remarkable Power

MTI // 2008 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // February 4th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Roy Hrab sold his unremarkable powers for a 6-pack of Asahi Super Dry.

The Charge

Fame and fortune can be murder.

The Case

Here we go again, yet again, and again. An old saying goes "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." It might hold true in the normal world, but as far as filmmaking goes imitation is the most obvious evidence of a lack of imagination and creativity. Do we really need more movies involving non-linear storytelling and characters that trigger unintended consequences for other characters? Didn't Pulp Fiction, Traffic, Syriana, and Babel, get it right?

Remarkable Power is just the latest installment of mediocre product, such as the awful Powder Blue, to use the multiple flashback/splintered storyline technique to no little effect. Late-night, Los Angeles talk show host Jack West (Kevin Nealon, Weeds) learns that his program will be cancelled shortly. On top of that, Jack finds out from a private eye (Tom Arnold, Soul Plane) that his wife is having an affair. Elsewhere in the city, slacker Ross (Evan Peter, Never Back Down) is looking for a way to succeed in life by following some advice tapes he saw on an infomercial. Elsewhere still reside a Jewish drug dealer, some Russian thugs, an accidental murder, flashbacks, a missing corpse, and a revenge scheme. How does that work for you?

Well, it didn't do anything for me. The main weaknesses of Remarkable Power, aside from its derivative format, are that neither the characters nor story are interesting. Part of the problem relates to the structure of the film itself. The story jumps around from character to character and across time, preventing any momentum from building. The bigger shortfall, however, is that there are no compelling personalities. The abundance of characters results in a bunch of underwritten roles. There is not one engaging individual in the lot. The dialogue is unremarkable (pardon the pun) and individual scenes are not compelling. The lack of enthusiasm shown by the actors involved appears to reflect the poor quality of the material.

Building gripping characters is ignored because the film is more interested in creating a clever jigsaw puzzle of a story over all else. I suppose credit is due for creating something that actually fits together; the story makes sense by the end. However, having a puzzle that works doesn't mean much when it's composed of 500 pieces and adds up to a picture of a flat tire, oven mitt, or a garden hose. When you're done putting such a thing together, you curse the time you wasted, quickly take it apart, put it back in the box, put the box in the closet, and never go back to it again. Similarly, a shrug of the shoulders without further reflection is likely to be the typical reaction to the big reveal of Remarkable Power.

The review copy was a screener, so I cannot comment on video and audio quality.

The screener did not include any of the advertised extras.

Remarkable Power has wandered around the wilderness of the film festival circuit since 2008 without receiving a wide (or limited) release. Wonder why? I don't. It is boring and trifling.

The Verdict

Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 50

Perp Profile

Studio: MTI
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• Spanish
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genres:
• Bad
• Comedy
• Independent
• Mystery

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailer

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site








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