Columbus Circle Blu-ray Review
Movies come out every year that see little to no play at theaters and search for life on DVD or Blu-ray. Most of these are bad films, but every now and again one of them is a hidden gem. COLUMBUS CIRCLE is so close to being great but for every successful turn it makes, it hits a floppy snag around the corner.
After an old lady is mysteriously murdered in her expensive apartment building, Detective Frank Gardello (Giovanni Ribisi) launches a full investigation. Across the hall is a wealthy heiress who has been in hiding for nearly two decades. She goes by the name Abigail (Selma Blair) and suffers from Agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder that causes a fear of being in crowds, public places or open areas. Never leaving her apartment, Abigail communicates with the building’s concierge (Kevin Pollak) via letter and only trusts family friend Dr. Raymond Fontaine (Beau Bridges). When a couple, Charles and Lillian (Jason Lee and Amy Smart) move in next door, Abigail grows concerned for Lillian’s safety. While peering through her peephole, Abigail witnesses Charles physically abusing Lillian in the hallway. After physically opening her door to help Lillian, Abigail figuratively opens many doors into her secret life.
With an intense opening that even made me jump one time, COLUMBUS CIRCLE strongly builds as an intriguing murder mystery. Unfortunately, the film is only an hour and twenty minutes, which prevents it from really exploring the characters deeper. Due to familiar plot structures and the lack of misdirection the film becomes somewhat easy to guess. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some surprises and the journey is an enjoyable ride, I only wish they didn’t rush the pace so quickly. With such a clever plot line, the characters could have benefited with more time to grow presenting a slower burn in discoveries and creating a more whodunit atmosphere.
I can’t get into too many specifics without giving away the interesting but predictable plot surprises but everyone plays an integral part and the actors do an excellent job despite their limited time. Written by Kevin Pollak and director George Gallo with executive producing credits for actors Giovanni Ribisi and Jason Lee, COLUMBUS CIRCLE seems to be a bit of a passion project or at the least one that many of these stars believed in with financial support.
As a very modern throwback to one of our best filmmakers, COLUMBUS CIRCLE is reminiscent of REAR WINDOW or VERTIGO. The plot and setup are very clever and exciting using a Hitchockian style and story as a tactic that isn’t utilized near enough, so I appreciate the effort to mirror one of my favorite directors. With the help of an incredibly engaging score by Brian Tyler, COLUMBUS CIRCLE moves too quickly ridding itself of any real mystery and character depth. Nevertheless, I do recommend the film; I’m just disappointed because it had an easy opportunity to be so much better.
Video: (1080p High-Definition Widescreen 2.40:1) The screen is looks great as it is mostly set in a vibrant modern day apartment however a couple scenes are poorly lit and slightly grainy.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) A terrific sound that utilizes the wonderful score from COLUMBUS CIRCLE.