‘Stone’ lacks luster, organization despite stellar cast

It’s really too bad for Milla Jovovich. Not being one to be commonly lumped in with Hollywood juggernauts like Edward Norton and Robert De Niro, Jovovich got the chance to flex her acting chops with ‘Stone’, now available on DVD.

Jack (De Niro) works in a prison as a parole officer. He’s nearing retirement and wants to finish out the last few cases he has before he leaves. Among his files is one for Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), a man convicted of helping set fire to a home. Stone pleads with Jack for a way to gain early release on his 10 year sentence, which he has served 8 years of. But when Stone senses that he can’t convince Jack to help him, he sends his wife Lucetta (Jovovich) to try and seduce him. Lines begin to blur as Jack, Lucetta and Stone all find they are playing a very dangerous game.

Like I said, its too bad for Milla. She finally finds a place to really showcase her talent. The sincerity of her performance is not something I’ve ever seen from Jovovich, who’s been relegated to the ‘Resident Evil’ series. In this film, she’s sexy, manipulative and very creepy.

De Niro and Norton, on the other hand, were given artistic shotguns which they were very liberal with. Their performances are unfocused and heavy handed. Norton’s “street” accent is muddled and overdone. De Niro has but three or four facial expressions in his old age. Both had previously appeared in ‘The Score’ with legendary actor Marlon Brando. Their performances in ‘Stone’ don’t have nearly the same caliber of acting that they brought to ‘The Score’. Instead, we see Norton trying to pass himself off as a street thug and doing a horrible job at it. De Niro continues to disappoint me with these half-hearted performances in movies that just don’t make much box-office sense. Say what you will about these artistic endeavors, but not everything is art.

EXTRAS

If you managed to sit through the feature, you’ll be happy to know that there’s only one measly extra:

The Making of ‘Stone’: I think they caught the cast in the middle of one of those press junkets where they have to answer all the same questions for hours on end. I say that because even the interviews are boring.
Do yourself a favor and wait for this to drop at the Redbox or wait for it to hit cable. This film lacks any real punch. Bad pacing, over acting and bad direction plague what should have been a much better film, given the cast.

Stone

Anchor Bay Entertainment/Overture Films, 105 minutes, R

DVD: $29.98

BD: $39.99

Milla Jovovich Hated All Day Long By Angry Fans

Actress Milla Jovovich starred in all four Resident Evil films. While the movies are based on the games, her character is not. And man, that pisses off some internet nerds.

Jovovich tells website CVG that the reason her character Alice was created was to avoid restrictive game story lines, which could change due to internal Capcom politics. When the actresses met with film director and future husband Paul W.S. Anderson, she originally told him that she wanted to be Jill, one of the game’s heroines.

“Capcom changes a VP and suddenly the storyline changes,” explains Jovovich. “So he [Anderson] needed to create a character that was a bit more like the audience. The innocent coming into this who they can relate to without needing to know her history.”

The liberties that Anderson and Jovovich took in creating Alice might have resulted in box office success, but didn’t win over some hardcore RE players.

“There are, like, 15 people in the world that spend all day really hating me,” says Jovovich. “Like horrifically hating me with a passion. They’re always writing.”

The fans are not happy with Alice or the films or whatever. Conceding that you can’t please everyone, Jovovich adds, “If you want the game, play the game. The game is such a sprawling world.”

At this point, the games and the movies seem to be moving in such a different direction. The movies are the movies. The games are the games. There’s no need to get worked up about Hollywood’s take on the franchise. Is there?