Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Mastidon’s one of the good guys. He’s done great work for us here over the last year or so, covering various festivals and conducting interviews, and I’m always glad to see something from him arrive in the inbox. Especially when it’s word on a new film by Brad Anderson, who I dig quite a bit.
TRANSSIBERIAN Written by Brad Anderson & Will Conroy Directed by: Brad Anderson Starring: Sir Ben Kingsley, Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, and Eduardo Noriega Release Dates: USA July, UK No dates set yet, Germany April 17th 3 stars out of 5 Hi Guys, I've been slammed with work since the end of the festival so I haven't had time to bring you a few reviews from the remaining films I caught while in Berlin. I hope to get them out over the next few days. The first one I'm bringing to you is for TRANSSIBERIAN which was the last film I screened while at the Berlin Film Festival. TRANSSIBERIAN first premiered at Sundance and had its second airing in Berlin. The best way to describe it is your classic suspense / thriller picture set in an exotic location. This time that location is the Trans-Siberian railroad which runs from Beijing to Moscow. ***SPOILERS**** The film opens with Russian police investigating a murder. We are told from Detective Ginko (Sir Ben Kingsley) that this crime is drug related and that the person who did it is now on the run. We then meet Roy (Woody Harrelson), a missionary worker who has never been out of the USA until this, his first trip to China. As a gift to his wife Jessie (Emily Mortimer), he takes her on the Trans-Siberian railway for their journey home back to the USA. Joining Roy & Jessie in the shared cabin is another couple - Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara). From the moment they meet, you can tell there is something not quiet right about this couple. They tell Roy & Jessie how their passports looks fake since they are brand new and each only have one stamp in them. Jessie is clearly intrigued by Carlos. Carlos secretly shows her some Russian nesting dolls. He says it's a secret because the dolls are illegal to be taken out of the country. At a train station, the boys go off on their own. Roy is fascinated by trains and is enjoying looking around. When the train departs, Carlos gets back on the train with no sign of Roy. Did Carlos kill him? At the next stop, Jessie decides to get off and wait for Roy. Carlos and Abbey say they will wait with her as it is dangerous for a woman to be left alone. After talking to the station manager, they find out the next train is not until the following day. After checking into a hotel, Jessie tries in vein to get a hold of Roy. The following morning Carlos knocks on her door to ask if he can use the shower. Carlos is flirting heavily with her just short of kissing her when the phone rings. The movie continues from this point with several "unexpected" twists designed to surprise you. Maybe if I was still 10 years old I would have been..... ***END SPOILERS**** Over-all, I loved the cinematography of Siberia with the its never-ending vast wilderness. The film itself I found entertaining but extremely predictable. The twists weren't that hard to figure out far before they happened on screen. That said, Ben Kingsley is simply amazing in anything he does so if you need a reason to see this film, that would be the one. Woody's character reminded me of CHEERS playing the not so bright guy. I would hope that by now he would have come past this point in his career but clearly he hasn't. My vote is that this is a film that is certainly worth a look but most probably on your DVD player unless you are the type of person who can't figure out basic mysteries. Ciao, -Mastidon