23 Minutes to Sunrise (2013)
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Abandon All Hope
Favorite Movie Quote: "Does he know who you really are?"
The Sunrise Diner is a lone structure in the middle of nowhere. On this particular night, eight souls have gathered, their reasons their own: a broken couple (Nia Peeples, "Walker, Texas Ranger", FAME and Bob Zany, The INFORMANT!, JOE DIRT), a loser and his girlfriend, (Tom Sandoval, BEHIND YOUR EYES, The PIT and the PENDULUM and Kristen Doute, BLOOD on CANVAS, BEHIND YOUR EYES), the short order cook and the waitress (Dingani Beza, JACK and JILL, "Asylum," and Jilanne Klaus, FATAL CALL, SAM STEELE and the CRYSTAL CHALICE), and then there was Daniel (Eric Roberts, The DARK KNIGHT, The EXPENDABLES) and his companion, Hannah (Haley Busch, SAM STEELE and the CRYSTAL CHALICE, BRATZ). Eight souls, with absolutely nothing in common, even between the couples themselves. The first half of the film plays as an ensemble piece, each couple battling with their own demons, and between themselves, making it a pretty boilerplate ensemble drama.
Then the wrench is thrown in, the whole movie gets turned on its head.
23 MINUTES to SUNRISE, a deceptively clever ensemble piece, takes these four separate stories, and slams them together into a mutual crisis. Roberts is the passive aggressor in this piece, who comes off a s the smartest person it the room, with an agenda known only to him. Hannah, his companion, curiously younger than Daniel, has a secret that is revealed in the Second Act. Eddie (Beza), is your Everyman, a Middle East war vet, who is trying to put his life together. Sheila's (Klaus) backstory rears its head early in the film and drives the story for Eddie. The other couples are in their own worlds, that is, until they all come together.
It is a fun movie, because you have the feeling that something is not quite right at the Sunrise, but you struggle to figure out what it is before it is ultimately revealed, but it still takes you by surprise. The ensemble cast perform their roles in the First Act very well, giving you a sense of comfort in the storyline, and therein is the fun. Once the twist is revealed, everything is turned around, and the film gets kicked into high gear.
My single gripe is that Daniel is the Man with the Plan, but even when his purpose is revealed, you're still not given an endgame. What's in it for him? It is a loose end that leaves you hanging. Other than that, it is a fun ride, with performances by a focused cast, with a Happily Ever After comes at a cost.
On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a solid "4." 23 MINUTES to SUNRISE is a morality play, and a hoot to watch
23 MINUTES to SUNRISE is unrated, but has coarse language, no sex, nudity, and some mild violent content. It will play well, virtually unedited, even on commercial television. This one is a popcorn muncher. Have fun!
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Mar 3, 2013 5:07 PM
|Judging by this film's title and movie poster I would've guessed it to be another horror picture (sort of in the vampire-mode), but after reading your review, obviously it's not.|
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