A Single Shot Blu-ray Review
John Moon (Sam Rockwell) carefully tracks through the thick forrest hunting his prey. When a deer crosses his sight, he shoots and misses as it quickly prances away. A moan is heard. John runs toward the sound, which is the same direction as his shot. He did not miss; John’s shot was a direct hit on a mysterious young woman who dies in his arms.
With a strong opening, an interesting character and some beautiful cinematography, A SINGLE SHOT has the makings of an intriguing film. However, something gets lost in the story telling that fails to retain the audiences attention. The pacing is purposefully steadied but comes off a bit plodding. Perhaps it is after seeing other films like last year’s AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS or even 2010’s WINTER’S BONE who tell a methodically dark story within the confines of a different world more effectively, but A SINGLE SHOT is hindered by being a lesser film in comparison. That’s possibly an unfair argument as it is clearly a different film from those but it left me wanting more not because it was so compelling but because it was empty.
After John decides to keep his actions a secret and ditch the body, he discovers a bundle of money near where she apparently had been hiding out. Deep down John doesn’t want to be a bad guy but his stubborn pride has pushed his wife and child away, which he hopes to reconcile with his new found money and his desire to be a better husband and father. But taking the money leads to unwanted attention from a few unknown shady assailants who are out for blood within this small backwoods town.
The picture looks great utilizing a pale and weary color palette. Director David M. Rosenthal clearly has potential as he visually provides the film with some interesting stand alone shots. Obtaining one of today’s more underrated actors in Sam Rockwell is another major positive for the film as he brings a likability and intrigue to an otherwise unlikable character. On a side note, starring in films titled BOX OF MOONLIGHT, 13 MOONS, MOON and now a character named John Moon, Sam Rockwell seems to have an odd unintentional connection with the earth’s night light.
It’s not that I didn’t like A SINGLE SHOT, it’s more that I felt indifferent. I believe that others who view the film may come out on the other side of the coin, enjoying the character and his unfortunate turn of events. With the help of a great performance, I can appreciate the idea of a character reconciling with his poor choices, but some of the choices are unexplainably foolish. At the end of the day, the negative outweighs the positive. Ultimately the film simply isn’t memorable, never taking that next step to move me intellectually or emotionally.
Video: (16:9 Widescreen) The color palette is magnificent, creating a stunning noir look to the film.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The levels are excellent, blending all the sounds extremely well.
Making Of (26:19): This dives into the origins in making the film and getting the rights to the story. It contains lots of interviews with the cast and crew about their experience along with what the director wanted to accomplish.
Interviews: Sam Rockwell (23:25), William H. Macy (6:41): Both actors answer questions about their experience working on the film.