Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Collection (DVD Movie Review)

By Freda Cooper 09.02.2015

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Collection (DVD Movie Review)

Collection (UK Rating: 15)

Take a look at the cast list: Sylvester Stallone, Kelsey Grammer, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Berenger. Not exactly A-list, admittedly, but not to be sniffed at either. Perhaps it was that line up that persuaded people to part with their money first to Kickstarter and then to Indiegogo so that Collection (released today and known outside the UK as either Reach Me or Out of Sight) could be finished properly. It can't have been the script, that's for sure.
Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Collection (DVD Movie Review)

The story, such as it is, surrounds a self-help book entitled Reach Me. It's taken off, is all over the media and a massive question surrounds its mysterious author, Terry Raymond (Tom Berenger). He doesn't give interviews, doesn't make public appearances, and generally shies away from the rest of the world, including the devotees of his book, one that that touches a loosely connected group of people, all looking for something more meaningful in their lives - from the journalist assigned to track down the reclusive author, to a cop who's killed 43 men and can't quit the job, and an ex-con turned aspiring dress designer and her wannabe actress niece.

In structure then, it nods in the direction of Paul Haggis' surprise Oscar winner Crash (2004), although the tone is very different. It shows signs of wanting to mix drama and comedy, but there's not enough of either for it to hang together. If anything, it should have been a satire of the self-help industry: when the most quoted line reaches the depths of "you can't stop a person who'll stop at nothing," it cries out to be pilloried. Director John Herzfeld, though, also wrote the script and clearly didn't have that in mind. The ingredients are all there, but the opportunity is lost, and he only has himself to blame.

The film dips in and out of the various stories tenuously linked to the book. The characters are 2D and some of the better known members of the cast should have known better. Only a couple show some promise, and that's down to the actors, not the script. Kyra Sedgwick's accident prone ex-con seems far too nice to have been in jail, let alone beat another inmate over the back with a chair! Perhaps she's simply turned over a new leaf - because of the book, of course - and Tom Berenger at least tries to bring some conviction to Teddy, seriously uncomfortable in crowds but assertive to the point of inspirational in a one-to-one.

Of course, it all ends happily with the characters' dreams coming true. So schmaltzy is the final sequence that, for a moment, the audience can imagine the film finding a home on the Hallmark Channel. Its 15 certificate, however, makes that a no-no, as does a decidedly vicious dachshund that bites off somebody's nose.

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – Collection (DVD Movie Review)

Rated 3 out of 10


Lurking somewhere inside Collection there's a nugget of an interesting idea, but it's buried underneath a yawn-inducing story full of risible platitudes and under-developed characters. It's a film that can't make up its mind what it wants to be, let alone what it wants to be called, and the audience most certainly hasn't been reached.

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