Imaginary Crimes

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Ray Weiler (Harvey Keitel) is a simple man who wants the best for his two daughters, but can never seem to make ends meet enough to make it all happen. He has a real way with words and can charm his way onto anyone’s good side, which seems to be one of few factors as to why he still remains on their good side. He dreams of being rich and giving his family all that it wishes for, but his plans to get there have never worked out too well. He draws up some strange ideas on how to raise cash, which usually blow up in his face or leave him poorer for the experience. As he keeps pushing himself to find an idea that works, he knows he loves his family and keeps trying so that he can provide the best for them. But his time spent on these projects is time he could spend with them, as they drift away from him over time. Ray has good intentions in all his actions, but has he ended up losing his precious family in the process?

This is a movie that was blessed to have such a gifted cast, otherwise it would sunk like a stone. Now the film tanked in terms of box office in the end, but at least it turned out well, despite some problems with the writing. The storyline is rather simple and predictable, which is not good in the least and even worse when you use half the film before things begin to take shape. I think the slow pace and little reward of the first half will scare some folks off, but the second half is more than worth the wait, so don’t shut this one off before it’s over. The emotional content is rather recycled if you ask me, but the cast makes sure it works well nonetheless. Even the most mundane lines are well delivered, which is a testament to those performers involved with Imaginary Crimes. The story isn’t that bad, but it lacks uniqueness and goes for a couple emotional cheap shots, which of course, still ends up drawing a few tears from the right viewers. This is an average movie, but the actors elevate it to the status of worth a look, so give this solid picture a rental if you’re interested.

What a cast! I’d recommend Imaginary Crimes based on this lineup alone, which is loaded with talent. All the names might not be considered “A” list, but their talent is and they turn in superb performances in this movie. At the head is Harvey Keitel, who is always a treat to watch and this proves to be no exception. He seems very relaxed within this role, which requires him to be reserved and well…normal. We’re used to seeing him in more complex roles, but Keitel has no problem adjusting to more conservative character here. His complex traits reside inside the character, which means he doesn’t have to scream or beat people up like he so often does in movies. Another top notch turn from Keitel, who continues to impress this reviewer. Other films with Keitel include Holy Smoke!, Smoke, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, The Piano, Reservoir Dogs, Mortal Thoughts, and The Last Temptation Of Christ. The cast also includes Kelly Lynch (Drugstore Cowboy, Mr. Magoo), Amber Benson (The Crush, S.F.W.), Diane Baker (The Silence Of The Lambs, Courage Under Fire), Chris Penn (Rush Hour, True Romance), Fairuza Balk (The Craft, American History X), and Vincent D’Onofrio (Men In Black, The Cell).

Video: How does it look?

Imaginary Crimes is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a more than decent effort, but several flaws emerge and that causes the score to drop more than a little. The image looks very dated, which means the colors and contrast are soft, as well as some problems with the source print used. This means detail is on the low side and the whole, this transfer is step down from the usual solid efforts from Warner Bros. I hope this is an isolated incident, as I would hate to see all their catalog titles suffer this fate.

Audio: How does it sound?

As is the case with most Morgan Creek/Warner Bros. discs, this one sports a new Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. This material doesn’t offer much chance for range, but this mix is a welcome addition and the experience is better because of it. The surrounds see very little use, but the music comes off very well and the sound effects have a nice base as well. The main element here is dialogue, which comes through in crisp and distinct form. No real complaints here, this is a solid mix for a dialogue driven motion picture. Perhaps this could have been a richer mix, but I am still glad to see it given this surround upgrade.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer and some talent files. The case advertises a featurette, but it was nowhere to be found on the disc itself.

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