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One More Time
When watching the film One More Time, what I was struck by is the way that the film tries to capture the abstract means of artists as they try to create or perform in a particular medium, be it art, or music, or stage. The story is set against the backdrop of a father-daughter relationship where both are musicians, creating/performing music, and reclaiming some sense of popular recognition. Written and directed by Robert Edwards (Land of the Blind), we see Jude (Amber Heard, Magic Mike XXL), a struggling New York singer who is now doing background vocals on radio station jingles. She travels out to the Hamptons to see her family, with the matriarch Paul Lombard (Christopher Walken, Wedding Crashers) being a crooner of his own of some success, who diligently edits his Wikipedia page. She reluctantly helps Paul with a comeback bid while trying to do something on her own.
When I say the film tries to capture the abstract in art, the opening of the film sees Jude in New York City, getting to a recording session, writing music, maybe looking at a project of some sort, before going to see Paul. By seeing Jude trying to eke out a living for herself, that lays the foundation for what we that Paul has accomplished, and what, in some form, Paul attempts to reclaim. Paul is not without his vanity, and he's certainly helped in that regard by his wife Lucille (Ann Magnuson,�Panic Room) and manager Alan (Oliver Platt, Kill the Messenger). Paul's other daughter Corinne (Kelli Garner, The Aviator) is more accomplished than Jude, but in more a professional setting than Jude, so there is some friction between the daughters. The film shows Jude and Paul singing separately and together, and their shared talent serves as a bonding for the two.
That said, when the film throws up the construct of Jude rebelling against her Dad, it is more a halfhearted attempt to develop character conflict, which Heard doesn't convey well. This is not completely her fault; Paul is in his 60s or 70s and he isn't a guy who isn't completely in tune with his youngest daughter, who he probably had when he was in his 40s as some sort of midlife crisis. Combine that with the guy is Christopher frickin' Walken and there is bound to be a bit of distant mysticism to Paul. Combine that with Heard's Jude, a mix of a free spirit and a know-it-all, the main portion of the film that is the reason why you're here doesn't work.
Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that the film is a complete disappointment; the individual performances of Heard and Walken aren't bad and their singing, assuming it's their respective voices, isn't bad, and contributes a nice layer of depth to their skills. But put them together in this film, and the results don't mesh. It's like putting together peanut butter and chocolate, and douse it in gasoline.The Disc:
Starz presents One More Time in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and it looks very nice. Both father and daughter smoke weed a bit, and the wisps of smoke are well-pronounced onscreen. Edge enhancement is minimal and of little distraction, and color reproduction is accurate. Image detail in Jude's pink hair (Heard's wig?) can actually spot individual strands, along with wrinkles in wrapping paper on joints. Starz does fine by the film as far as I can see.The Sound:
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and everything sounds fine, despite a lack of scenes that exhibit any range. There appear to be numerous moments of ADR in the film, to say nothing of the songs being prerecorded, neither of which would be no big deal normally, but wanted to point them out for your consumption. Dialogue is well-balanced for the duration of the film and sounds clean, but the soundtrack lacks notable moments of low-end fidelity, directional effects or channel panning that would distinguish it from the pack. It sounds...OK.Extras:
Nothin' muffin.Final Thoughts:
There are a couple of interesting wrinkles in One More Time that make it worth a quick look, but overall, I would emphasize the words ‘quick' and ‘look' as the story underachieves, despite a weird telenovela-esque subplot with Jude and one of her in-laws. Technically, the disc is good, though no extras make things a disappointment. If you want to see Christopher Walken and Amber Heard do things other than act, I'm sure there are things on the internet that readily fill that void.