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Dark Harbor (Full Screen)

Alan Rickman , Polly Walker , Adam Coleman Howard    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some helpful suggestions about 'Dark Harbor' May 28 2003
This is a dark, psychologically-driven film which draws you in, keeps you thinking, offers delicious twists, subtle hints, and surprising secrets, and is never what it seems, not even when you think you know all there is to know.
The plot has been well outlined in most of these reviews; sometimes perfectly, sometimes with too much information, and a few times by reviewers who apparently didn't even watch the complete film. Rather than rehashing the plot this review offers simple and hopefully clarifying suggestions.
If you are an Alan Rickman film, do not hesitate; BUY this DVD! Forget about worrying about his accent, savor looking forward to his nude scenes, but do NOT skip to the end of the movie to view them. You gamble on missing too much of Rickman's spellbinding performance if you skip even one minute of this small, but very effective film.
Previous viewers who saw the movie on VHS will be enlightened by watching it again on DVD. I have been a movie fan for more years than I want to say, but have now discovered that the nuances of many films have sometimes escaped me totally over those decades. If ever there was something to be learned from a commentary this is the film to prove it (along with 'South of Heaven, West of Hell'). Not that the film itself needs to be explained, but the element of how a director presents of a film; the mood attained by the camera angles, the symbols included in every scene, the intricate details of the shooting of the movie, the input of the actors (particularly one as great as Alan Rickman) into their roles, the subtle nuances of looks, glances, and plot building all lend a deeper understanding and enjoyment of 'Dark Harbor'.
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Subtle hints ahoy! I don't recommend this movie AT ALL to anyone who hates suspense, things left unexplained and an astounding amount of symbolism.
Because that's what this movie is, hints, lies, betrayal, intriguing, 'controversial', yet strangely beautiful at the same time.
The trailer to this movie is annoyingly misleading, but this movie is hard to explain well without giving too much.
Remember -everything- means something. (Put the audio commentary on, you might even have to, to understand some parts.) Right down to the colors of the clothing, placement of objects and the tiniest of movements. There's less than six speaking roles and besides the three main characters they're meaningless.
David (Alan Rickman), Alexis (Polly Walker) are a not yet middle aged married couple, yet are so obviously tired and annoyed with each other it nearly makes the viewer wish they would just admit it. But that's part of the beauty, the dialogue is near perfect to express this.
They vacation to their (Rather, Alexis' dead grandfathers home on a private island.) to rekindle dead flames in a sense. (Even -that- is symbolized, find it. ;)) On the way to catch the ferry, they find a Young Man (Norman Reedus) and by a series of small 'coincidental' events, ends up at their home. And while being a wedge between them, no one seems to want him to leave. Utterly everything falls apart and it makes the viewer wonder who is control of what--the feeling of control and who is betraying/hurting/lying to/being shady to whom and why.
There's questions that will make you look back on and rethink and very wrong assumptions. 'Hey...why did he beep the horn?', 'Why is she wearing that?', 'Did he do that on purpose?', 'She's just as bad! But...', 'Oh...I understand now.
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1.0 out of 5 stars If you must see it, rent and save your money. May 20 2003
Having recently become fascinated with Alan Rickman as a performer, I bought this DVD because the plot sounded interesting. Perhaps on paper, this story is more captivating. The visual presentation left a lot to be desired. The director did not seem to make full use of the camera's abilities. It felt clumsy and seemed more like one was watching a play rather than a film.
The best performance was by Polly Walker. She does an excellent portrayal of a wife who is confused by her husband's aloofness. My only objection to her performance in this film was that subtle as a sledge-hammer scene where she is being pushed on a swing by the young man. She is nearly panting in faux-ectasty, "Harder...oooooo.....faster...." Give me a break.
Alan Rickman gives a solid performance, as always, but his attempt at an American accent was way too distracting for me. Instead of being seduced into the illusion of the film, I was forever being jolted out everytime he'd mess up...which is a shame because it took something away from the rest of his performance.
The character of the drifter was completely unappealing to me. It would have been more believable if he had an ounce of charisma, charm, humor, something redeeming that would make us believe that this woman would take sympathy on him. Instead, he comes off as a creepy stalker who alternates between sounding like Keanu Reeves and your annoying little brother.
I suppose I do see what they were attempting to do in this story. Polly Walker's character was from a wealthy, established, old money family. Alan Rickman's character was the crass, whiney, nouveau riche husband who was the unwelcome, barely tolerated intruder to this world (hence, the attempted American accent).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Film Noir
Dark Harbor is a real gem of a film noir. The film has an ominous quality of foreboding to it that one rarely finds in a modern film noir. Read more
Published on May 9 2011 by Moodywoody
5.0 out of 5 stars It's fun to be deceived!!!
This is a film you have to buy because you'll need to play it over several times. As with "The Sixth Sense", the ending is so surprising you'll be wondering how on earth... Read more
Published on Dec 10 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars don't watch the end
I admit I rented the movie so I can watch Alan Rickman. Just stare at him. Which I did and was very entertained by him. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars If you must see it, rent and save your money.
Having recently become fascinated with Alan Rickman as a performer, I bought this DVD because the plot sounded interesting. Perhaps on paper, this story is more captivating. Read more
Published on May 20 2003 by bangzoom
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtlety Conquers All
In an age when movies either feel the need to blow our minds to smithereens in order to guarantee "entertainment value", or bore us to tears in an attempt to achieve "artistic... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Go watch Quigley again.
Absolutely the longest 89 minutes of my life. Were it not for Mr. Rickman's always strong performance and a surprise ending that left myself and a couple of friends startled, I... Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2002 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three characters trapped on an island
Dark Harbor features Alan Rickman as David Weinberg, Polly Walker as Alexis Chandler-Weinberg, and Norman Reedus as the Young Man. Read more
Published on May 17 2002 by Gemma Niermann
4.0 out of 5 stars A Treat for Alan Rickman Fans
Dark Harbor is worth watching mostly for Alan Rickman's terrific performance as the unhappy husband. Read more
Published on May 5 2002 by Kona
3.0 out of 5 stars A poisonous little tale
It becomes clear fairly early on that one of the main themes of "Dark Harbor" is poison - that which has seeped into the Weinbergs' marriage as well as that which lurks within the... Read more
Published on March 25 2002 by E. Marin
3.0 out of 5 stars All that, for the last five minutes
I came to 'Dark Harbor' with illicit knowledge of the denouement, just by virtue of the place I'd first seen it reviewed. Read more
Published on March 8 2002 by Gloriana
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