Suddenly (2013) Blu-ray Review
It’s a common Hollywood tale; an actor that you highly respect and might have even starred in one of your favorite movies of all time, is now on the backend of his or her career and has been regulated to take whatever work comes their way. Sometimes they get lucky and the film borders on cult status, but for the most part they are forced to take parts well beneath their abilities. As these parts add up, a stigma is created and the actor’s days as a big film star are clearly over, awaiting the call from one of a handful of directors so they may be “Tarentino’d” back into the limelight. Sadly, Ray Liotta (GOODFELLAS) now waits for that call as the string of low budget films, videos, shorts or guest appearances of elevating levels of degradation have taken their toll on his once prominent leading-man status. Ironically it’s a remake of a Frank Sinatra film (Liotta played Sinatra in the 1998 HBO original movie THE RAT PACK) titled SUDDENLY that could be viewed as a figurative “hitting bottom” moment for Liotta as an actor.
Former war hero and deputy of a small town, Tod (Ray Liotta), is viewed by most as a sad, washed-up alcoholic. Over the years he has developed feelings for Ellen, (Erin Karpluk, ASSULT ON WALL STREET) the widow of a fellow soldier who served with Tod. Ellen does not reciprocate Tod’s feelings, but when four assassins with a mission to kill the President pose as Secret Service agents and take over her home due to its optimal sniper location, it’s up to Tod to save Ellen, her family and the President of the United States.
From the production value of the opening credits you might think that you’ve just turned on an HD version of “The ABC After School Special” from the 1980’s. The level of filmmaking on this is so amateurish it’s actually difficult to focus on the content of the story, which is probably a good thing because SUDDENLY is one of the worst remakes of all time. The pity for Liotta is beyond comprehension as it’s clearly evident that something in his professional career went horribly awry. But like a pro, he still brings that same signature intensity to this role of Tod, which actually makes the movie even more dreadful as Liotta “quarterbacks” a cast with absolutely no one to throw to.
Director Uwe Boll, which some refer to as the German version of Ed Wood, is also the esteemed recipient of three Razzie nominations, including being honored with a “Worst Career Achievement” award in 2009 for past works such as TUNNEL RATS and POSTAL. Some of his favorite films of all time are A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and APOCOLYPSE NOW. To have films like those stand as the level you aim for and to miss by such an unspeakable margin, is what really enables the faultiness of his films to surpass and stand below all others.
SUDDENLY is only worth a watch if you decide it’s just one of those train wrecks that you have to experience for yourself, or if you happen to be the president and CEO of the Ray Liotta fan club. Either way, you will suddenly have a new candidate for the worst movie you’ve ever seen.
SUDDENLY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1.85:1 Widescreen, 1080p) SUDDENLY is shot and edited like a teenager that saved enough money from their summer job to purchase their first RED camera, and decided to just throw people into scenes to test it out. The film has the visual quality of porn, albeit HD porn, but zero grain, lighting or instance of any kind that this is a professional motion picture. There are literally episodes of ABC Family Channel television shows that have a more dramatic feel than SUDDENLY.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio) The audio is actually able to match the high bar of horrible set by the video. It sounds like the production crew only had the individual actors mic’d, and to cover up the lack of background effects a continuous and at times even unintentionally humorous score is played that is mismatched with the content of the scenes.
There are no bonus features, which for a movie like this is the best feature of all.