Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Disconnect (2012)

Genre: Drama
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Jason Bateman, Paula Patton, Frank Grillo, Max Thieriot, Colin Ford, Hope Davis, Michael Nyqvist, Jonah Bobo
Director: Henry Alex Rubin
Rating : 68%

First thing first, Cole Mohr stars in this.

Yep. Cole fucking Mohr, the King Cole, that beautiful little shit we all love.  Actually, that was the reason this movie came into my attention. Marc Jacobs also plays in this, as a pimp nonetheless. If you are a male models devotee like me, or fashion devotee in general, then this is strong enough reason. Go watch it. Granted, they only play side parts, but still. Coley will make you proud and Marc will make you snicker. 

Look its our Coleeyy
and he is an actor nowww

But if you are not, okay then. 

Remember all those warning we heard about the Internet age, either from teachers, parents or TransTV reportage? Disconnect sums all of those in a 1.55 hours of engaging and beautifully shot drama that definitely works better than my parents I-have-to-look-like-I-know-what-I’m-talking-about lectures. If one day I had a kid I’d just tell them to watch this, seriously.

I don’t know if this covers all Internet dangers, but let see. There is the brothel-like house that serves as headquarters for a pornographic Web site specializing in underage performers; the pristine suburban home of an upper-class family whose teenage son is being mercilessly bullied online; and the similarly well-appointed environs of a professional couple who are channeling grief over a recent loss by escaping into virtual poker games and chat rooms. All the subplots are connected to the others, in one way or other. It kind of feel like Babel, but instead of talking about culture, this is about internet. 

It casts Max Thieriot as one of the teen cybersex workers who was being exploited by an ambitious female reporter for a report about Internet sex sites. Remember him? He is that dorky guy who played younger Hayden Christensen in Jumper. It looks like he attends Matthew Lewis School of Navigating Puberty and graduated cum laude. The woman who plays the reporter is not that well-known, or at least not for me, but she is amazing. In fact, aside from Alexander Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Bateman, none of the cast is faces you often see in commercial movies, which is good because it contributes well to the portrayal of their character. The woman who plays the troubled housewife looks a little like Halle Berry though, but I’m sure she is not her.  

Aside from being gorgeously shot, I was also very captivated with the scores. It’s simple, yet able to compliments the movie well. It sounds a lot like something from Thomas Newman, but different. Lousy description, I know, but when it comes to music I don’t know much other than sit and listen, really.  I check the composer and it’s Max Richter. I don’t know who he is but I love him already. 

To sum it up, I praise the filmmakers for successfully infusing “Disconnect” with credible suspense, despite its often painfully obvious observations about technology and society. Disconnect is a tragic drama that makes you think more than before  about how the Web has become a mass means of distraction, deception and even destruction, as vulnerable people increasingly share their most intimate secrets, only to be manipulated by the predators who lurk behind every login.

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