The Gift (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|The Gift is one of those Stir of Echoes,
solve the crime through psychic powers, things.
I don't know why the film didn't do better at the box office. It isn't a great film, but it is directed well, acted well by marketable names, and features one actress with great talent (Cate Blanchett), and another actress with two great talents (Katie Holmes)
Blanchett plays some kind of a white trash,
welfare-collectin' bayou mama who supports herself by
readin' Tarot Cards, droppin' her g's, and workin' her
own at-home version of a psychic hotline. She's currently
moseyin' around with a passel of guilt because she had a
psychic vision of her husband dyin', but couldn't
convince him to do something about it. Wait a minute. If
she saw a vision of her husband's death and he didn't
die, then she's not really a psychic, is she? So what the
hell can she do about it? A lot of us have daydreams, but
it's only when they come true that you qualify for
Anyway, it happens that them thar' po-lice are stumped on a case, and Dionne Warwick's line was busy, so they asked Cate to help out. Wellsir, ol' Katie Holmes is missin' or dead or somethin' and this is a small Southern Movie town, so every single person in town is both capable of murder and well armed. Not to mention psychotic and seriously inbred.
|Is it the
wife-beatin' violent psycho (Keanu Reeves. Whoa!), or the
papa-hatin' violent psycho (Giovanni Ribisi, no surprise
there), the DA who was havin' an affair with the victim,
the jealous wife of one of the psychos, or one of the
other slow-talkin' third grade educated people in the
town, all of whom seem like the type to enjoy carnal
relationships with barnyard animals and the recently
Hard to say.
The problem is that Cate doesn't see full answers in her psychic visions, just snippets of things which may be in the past, present, or future, like the guy in The Dead Zone. So she gives them generic answers like "I see a pick-up truck, some guys fishin' for catfish, some Bar-B-Q, and some longneck beers", which pretty much means that it could be anybody over the age of five in a small Southern town. Then she sends them off to dredge the pond.
Hell, in a small southern town, dredging the pond is always a good bet. Here in Texas, when our ponds start to go short on bass and dead bodies, we re-stock 'em artificially.
That kind of psychic reading, I can do. Come and tell me there's a murdered hockey player and I say "I hear 'Oh, Canada', I see some ice, some Molson's, a Zamboni, and some guys with bad teeth", and send the sheriff off to check out the leads and dredge the rink.
Anyway they arrest one of the psychos based on her vision, but then she keeps havin' those movie montage visions with repeatin' phrases, like the psycho's wife sayin' "the ol' slut deserved to die, just a-fuckin' mah man", and every other person in the plot sayin' somethin' 'bout how they wanted to see ol' Katie dead.
In fact, only one guy in town didn't want her dead. Needless to say, he's the one that killed her.
Anyway, it's not a bad flick. The script is predictable and especially cliché-ridden, but that's partially balanced off by competent direction, a really good cast headed by Cate Blanchett, and Katie Holmes's breasts.
Did I mention Katie Holmes's breasts? The first shot of Katie's redoubtable hooters comes 00:01:06 into the film - before the credits! Now that's entertainment. Not to mention the director's accurate assessment of a valuable asset.
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