The Ticket: A Fickle Fable With a Stunning Performance


As a whole, I had a real big problem with Ido Fluk’s The Ticket. On the surface, it had a lot of promise. The idea that a man suddenly regains his sight after years of being blind is a story that could have a lot of miles to it. Yes, it’s been done before. Done correctly, however, it has the ability to transform the tired “medical miracle” morality tale. The Ticket was not one of those transformative narratives.

The Ticket is presented as a fable. A man, James Harvey, has been blind since he was a child. He has a nice life with a nice house and married with a young son named Jonah. For all intents and purposes, he is happy. However, are never given enough time with James before he regains his sight to make that distinction affirmative. At a brisk 90 minute runtime, it is hard to do so.

Instead, we get a man who regains his sight and is suddenly a modern day Beast from Beauty and the Beast. With his sight, he is unsatisfied with his life, his wife, his appearance, everything. He becomes spoiled, selfish and unkind. This man is a complete asshole. The downward spiral doesn’t work the way it should because we have nothing of James’ former personality to go on. That doesn’t mean we are spared from the brutal disintegration of James’ life and the subsequent breakdown of his character.

Of course, like all fables, the hero, who regains his sight and does bad things with his new found lease on life, eventually receives his comeuppance. In this case, the impending doom can be seen as soon as James starts making eyes at a woman who definitely isn’t his wife at about twenty minutes into the film. So, the audience knows where this morality tale is heading and it heads there really quickly.

Despite that, the one good thing to come of this film is Dan Steven’s acting prowess. If this film was a little longer and a little bit better written, then there would be no doubt in my mind that this could’ve been an award’s show darling for Stevens. No seriously, the man is that good.

I have, honestly, never hated a main character in a film as much as I hated James in this film. It was all because Stevens gave this performance that I was, in the end, blown away by. This stunning performance really hits its peak in a scene where James breaks down, alone, in his bedroom. I read somewhere that Fluk set up a camera on a tripod and let Stevens go to town in a few of the scenes. I felt like this scene was one of them. We are on the outside looking in on this character and the amount of harrowing desolation that emanates from Stevens is something I was not prepared for. This is a man who fully understands his characters and is unafraid to dive into the deep end and dive into a world of unrestrained creation. The result is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, Stevens is the only saving grace in this film. I am, however, eager to see how Ido Fluk makes his mark on the film industry in the future.

ShOR is Bloggy: Beauty and the Beast 2? The Stars Are Interested!

Back in March, a little Disney film by the name of Beauty and the Beast, was unleashed on the world and in the two months since its release, the film has grossed over one billion dollars world wide making it one of the largest March releases in recent history. Beauty and the Beast was mostly well received by critics and there is no doubt that when the film is released on DVD in June, the money Disney is making will just grow exponentially.

As a result, people have been talking about a possible sequel being green lit by Disney and being green lit soon. The House of Mouse has no plans for a sequel, but that doesn’t mean the film’s stars aren’t interested in returning for a sequel.

Dan Stevens previously voiced his interest when asked in an interview for his filmPermission which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22nd.

He said, “That’s not a question for me. I’m not sure what turn that would take. I’m open to offers. It would seem odd for me to hear about it, but never say never.”

The only hang up with Stevens is, he doesn’t want to return as Prince Adam in his human form.

“I’d kind of like to bring the Beast back.”

I’m not completely sure how that would work out but we all know the Beast is widely regarded as Disney’s most handsome prince so that is always a plus despite how the Beast is now a human prince but it’s Disney, they can do anything. Besides, I wouldn’t mind spending another two hours listening to Stevens’ deep, silky smooth Beast voice. I swear, his voice is sinful in that role.

But, I digress.

Stevens’ co-star, and generally adorable book nerd, Emma Watson, has recently jumped on the sequel bandwagon as well. While on the press tour for her new filmThe Circle, Watson broached the subject of a Beauty and the Beast sequel.

The results are so in character that it’s painfully perfect and I need it more than ever.

“I would love to do a sequel,” she said. “I always thought that Belle would become a teacher and she would run the library in the castle and open it up to the village.”

As if that wouldn’t be the cutest thing to ever happen ever. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle already shows her penchant for education. If you remember, when she is in town letting her donkey and homemade washing machine do her laundry for her, she takes it upon herself to teach a little girl how to read. While the village people harass her for it, and ruin her laundry in the process, there is no doubt that the spark to teach is there in Belle.

I, for one, love this idea. Here’s to hoping that Disney listens to fans, their actors, and their pocketbooks and they give us a sequel! It would be fantastic.

You can catch Watson in The Circle now in theaters. Stevens’ new film Kill Switch will be released in theaters July 15th.

(Originally posted at 

ShOR is Retro: Hud Showcases Paul Newman’s Range

hud_ver4_xlgWesterns aren’t typically my thing. I’ll be the first to tell you that. In fact, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Western. Perhaps it was in high school. If it was in high school, it was definitely something John Wayne. Probably The Searchers or something like it. I just don’t do Westerns or do I typically do black and white films. Hud  was both but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, despite it not being something I’ll probably ever revisit again.

Hud was released in 1962 and was based on Larry McMurty’s novel Horseman, Pass By. Directed by Martin Ritt, the film was one of Paul Newman’s earlier ventures but you certainly couldn’t tell it. In fact, the character of Hud was written for Newman and he shines brightly as the morally corrupt, alcoholic, womanizer. He brings out a nuance in the character that wasn’t in the novel and it works.

For those who may be unfamiliar with both Hud and Horseman, Pass By, they tell the story of Homer, Lon, and Hud Bannon, a ranch owner, his grandson and his son, in the small town of Wichita, Texas. Hud is morally corrupt, a womanizer, and a man who definitely needs to evaluate his life choices. This is all made even more apparent when it is revealed that he killed his brother and Lon’s father in a drunk driving accident some fifteen years earlier.

When an outbreak of foot and mouth disease threatens Homer’s cattle, the subsequent downward spiral of Hud’s character is made even more starkly evident. He attempts to drunkenly rape the Bannon’s house keeper, Alma, and he even begins to corrupt Lon in the process.

However, none of that is truly important because Hud, despite his tendencies, is extremely charismatic and Newman plays him with a likable snark that makes it hard to consider Hud a truly typical “villain”. He’s not the typical “protagonist” either. He is what could be considered the anti-hero or the deuteragonist, second only to Lon and to some extent Homer. No matter how you slice it, Newman gives a depth to the character of Hud that McMurty’s novel failed to do. There is a brilliant scene between Lon and Hud around a water trough following a fight the two have in a diner and it really showcases how Newman gives Hud a humanity and a layer of remorse under all the barbed wire in his soul. Newman is also one of those actors who acts with their eyes and there are definitely moments when you can feel Hud’s desolation and loneliness reflected in Newman’s eyes.

In all, it’s a great film but one I won’t revisit even though this is clearly an early masterclass in Paul Newman’s talent.