Writer: Justin Daly (Screenplay)
Starring: James McCaffrey, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Zoe Bell, Robert Forster, Dan Hedaya, Bill Sage, Oksana Lada
Plot: Douglas Brown is a movie star who wakes up to find he is being blackmailed by someone he doesn’t know. He calls his agent Jack Girardi who calls Hollywood private detective Frank Manascalpo to sort things out. Frank does well, at first, but he finds the wrong man. He finds an aspiring writer/director Max O’Leary, who is under the mistaken impression that the sudden attention he is receiving might be because Douglas Brown wants to make his movie. He doesn’t. In the end, Max does get his big break in Hollywood. Unfortunately, he is going to have to kill someone to get it.
Tagline – It’s murder to make a movie
Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Oozes Potential
Story: The Big Take starts when actor Douglas Brown (McCaffrey) gets drugged by Vic Venitos (Holmgren) into ding an action which he will want to keep quiet, to which Vic blackmails Douglas into making a movie for his writer friend Max O’Leary (Moss Bachrach).
Turning to his agent Jack (Sage) and fixer Frank (Hedaya) Douglas looks to clear up the mess before it gets exposed. Frank turns to his own fixer Edie (Bell) to get the results as she leads the investigation to what is going on.
Thoughts on The Big Take
Characters – Douglas Brown is an actor that does have pull in Hollywood, he is the one that gets drugged and blackmailed which sets of the events in the film, he just wants to keep his reputation together. Max O’Leary is the aspiring writer that believes he is about to get the big break when he learns Douglas Brown is interested in his script, along with his wife get put in the middle of the blackmailing incident with the people trying to expose the blackmailers. Edie is one of the fixers that is set to expose who is behind the blackmailing, she does take out the bad people leaving the innocent alone. Detective Aborn is the man caught up only getting small information about what is going on, he gets increasingly frustrated with what is going on.
Performances – James McCaffrey as the actor is solid enough in his role, we don’t get to see enough of his character to make us truly care about what happens. Ebon Moss-Bachrach is the best of the cast, this is because he is accidently playing dumb to the situation showing how easily he is to believe through each scene believing this is his chance to make it. Zoe Bell continues to show why Tarantino turns to her so often, in her few scenes we get to see that she can demand the centre screen. The rest of the cast is good taking advantage o the time on screen.
Story – The story follows an actor that gets blackmailed as we are trying to see private investigators try to cover up the blackmailing as inspiring writer gets his moment to figure where he stands in this story. this is an clever idea for a story, it tries to have good twists along the way and does want to create a style which would give us a flashy unique story telling concept, only we find the story does feel too short in places, the scenes which would give the characters the fully flushed out moment just doesn’t come out like the masters of the trade would bring us. We can however see the potential in the storytelling ability here, because the design of the story feels positive and enjoyable.
Thriller – This does keep us guessing to where things will be going throughout, each scene does seem to create more to the story which helps us wonder where the film will go next.
Settings – The film does take place in and around LA which helps give us the idea of the different levels people involved are in fame wise.
Final Thoughts –This is a film that is filled with potential when it comes to storytelling, it does fall slightly short of this potential which is does disappoint even if the acting can’t be faulted.
Overall: This is a film that shows potential.