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Apr 20, 2007

Fletch's Film Review: First Snow

If we're not careful, we're soon going to neck deep in the Piper Perabo renaissance. After (kinda) making a name with the dreadful Bruckheimer-produced (shock!) Coyote Ugly (co-starring Tom Brady's former flame, Bridget Moynahan), Ms. Perabo pretty much disappeared off the face of planet, only to barely resurface with the equally bad Cheaper by the Dozen films, playing one of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt's kids, despite being 27 years of age when the first was released. But that's neither here nor there. With parts in last year's The Prestige and this year's Because I Said So (I say don't see that, but I'm just guessing), coupled with her supporting turn in First Snow, a comeback is afoot.

However, that's all much ado about nothing, at least as it pertains to Snow. Piper has a supporting role as Guy Pearce's girlfriend in the New Mexico-set noir thriller, with Pearce playing a sleazy floor salesman who (without spoiling) learns some bad things about his future, and does his best to change them.

Directed by first-timer Mark Fergus (though he was one of the myriad writers of Children of Men, reviewed here), First Snow is slowly paced and well acted, but lacks enough of a story to really pull you in. Refreshing as it is to see films set in New Mexico and other not-so-used locales (though New Mexico seems to be growing as a filming destination, what with The Tao of Steve, 21 Grams, Flirting with Disaster, and Little Miss Sunshine amongst the more recent films set/shot there), with such a sleepy setting, there needs to be some faster pacing, or just more story, to keep you from getting bored.

In the end, there aren't really many surprises in First Snow. If you're looking for a casual, straightforward piece of noir, this is it. If you're looking for anything new or groundbreaking, look elsewhere. Amongst the few surprises:
  • Guy Pearce, with his stringy long hair, looking like a young David Carradine at times. I kept waiting for the "grasshopper" line.
  • J.K. Simmons playing pleasantly against type as a quiet drifter (of sorts). With his larger-than-life performances in (amongst other things) Oz and the Spiderman films, I was a bit taken aback seeing him so low-key. The guy is amazing.
  • William Fichtner shows up and doesn't play a bad guy! Good for him - he's another great character actor. ("It's Confederated Products, it's, it's... it's a different company. It's a different quality of product.")
Fletch's Film Rating:

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."


1 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: First Snow"

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