Charlie St. Cloud Reviews
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Drama
Question: How many child stars grow up and prove they are actually legitimate actors? There are a handful of names that pops to mind: Jodie Foster, Shia LaBeouf, and Kurt Russell. But I might need to add one to that list now: Zac Efron. Yes, I am serious.
This past weekend I watched Charlie St. Cloud - actually for the second time. I saw it last summer when it was in the theaters but I wasn't reviewing movies back then. Well, at least I wasn't writing down my reviews. I enjoyed the movie then and found it just as quaint this weekend mainly because of Zac Efron and his performance.
Now I was introduced to the singing, dancing actor through a not-so-thrilling venue (well, not thrilling for moi): High School Musical. My daughter was obsessed with this movie when she was five (now nine) so I listened to that movie and the songs over and over and over again. Zac Efron was the star of that movie and my daughter thought he was sooooo cute. Hey, I had some celebrity crushes too that my mother didn't quite understand.
Fast forward four years and Zac Efron is all grown up and starring in Charlie St. Cloud.
The movie starts out with him and his little brother in a sailing race. We soon find out that their family doesn't have the means to really support his sailing dreams but luckily he had received a sailing scholarship to go to college. But even though he has only a summer left before college Charlie likes spending time with his little brother: teaching him the fundamentals of baseball and sharing his older brotherly advice. He and his brother are very close even though they are six years a part. Now where the story goes from here should remain a mystery if you have not seen it yet.
The story takes a sudden and heartbreaking turn that had me in tears (again). There is an unbreakable bond between these two brothers, Charlie (Zac Efron) and Sam (Charlie Tahan). Charlies ends up living with certain consequences that forces him on a different path. But he remains loyal to his little brother.
What surprised me most about this film was the main actor. He really had to portray some powerful emotions and he did that quite well. There are many close-up shots of the blue-eyed young adult that will have all the young girls swoon. Except my daughter: she came in during the movie. She asked if that was Zac. I nodded. She replied "He so old now" and she walked away. Guess you could say she is over that crush.
Anyway, I will say it again. This is a quaint movie with a sweet tale about brotherly love that may be worth your time. I believe Zac Efron will go on to do some pretty wonderful performances in the future.
My favorite thing: I have to say it: Zac Efron.
My least favorite thing: They did try a little too hard to push the boundaries of a believable story.
Random thought: This isn't my only review of one of Zac Efron's performances: Me and Orson Wells.
Length: 99 minutes
Review: 5 out of 10
Zac Efron hams it up big time here. He is not all that convincing, attractive, but not convincing! He plays a guy who gets into a car crash with his young brother, from which the brother dies. Wrecked by guilt, he gives up his plans and stays home, where he starts to see his dead brother, who pleads with him not to leave. He also meets a girl, who may or may not be dead herself.
Kind of nice story, not exactly believable and a bit religious in spots for my tastes, but for what it is... fine.. Wasn't expecting a masterpiece, didn't get one, but is a bit of light entertainment.
Director: Burr Steers
Summary: Ben Sherwood's intriguing novel is the basis of this ghost story about Charlie (Zac Efron), who is devoted to his brother, Sam, even after Sam's death. As the caretaker of the cemetery where Sam is buried, Charlie has lots of time to commune with the dead. Sam visits frequently to hang out with Charlie, but when Charlie meets a mysterious young woman (Amanda Crew), he must decide whether to move forward or remain trapped in the past.
My Thoughts: "I liked the movie, but I thought it would have went over better if there was a bit more character development. The concept of the film is a bit far fetched too, but then again, it is a movie. So it being somewhat interesting, it just never really developed enough to be great. The acting was good from Zac Efron and the boy Charlie Tahan. I have seen a few of Zac's films (none being the musical ones, couldn't bare to sit through them) and he is really coming into his own. Starting to like him. You don't see much of Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta which was a shame. In the end the movie did make me feel some compassion for the character Charlie and the brother Sam. Anyone who has lost someone close can relate to that feeling of loss. Okay film, but needs work. Think I may read the novel to see what I missed."
Charlie St. Cloud is a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother. So much so that he takes a job as caretaker of the cemetery in which his brother is buried. Charlie has a special lasting bond with his brother though, as he can see him. Charlie meets up with his brother (Sam) each night to play catch and talk. Then, a girl comes into Charlie's life and he must choose between keeping a promise he made to Sam, or going after the girl he loves.
I mean, maybe---just maybe, if this movie's last 45 minutes were different, I may have given this a higher rating. Maybe. Don't know how it would've turned out without the terrible last act.
In the end, the movie's twist just doesn't work for me. It was lame, impossible, and not explained too well.