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Hard Candy (2005)

rich_d

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Title: Hard Candy (2005)

Tagline: Strangers shouldn't talk to little girls.

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Director: David Slade

Cast: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae, G.J. Echternkamp

Release: 2005-01-14

Runtime: 103

Plot: A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a pedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him.




I really don't want to waste time on detailing point by point what I didn't like about the film Hard Candy.

In summary, this film will probably work for those that can turn their brains off during a film or are great about suspending disbelief. I mean really shutting down your brain and really suspending all disbelief.

The filmmakers obviously believe there is a marketplace of film consumers that will do just that.

For those with higher expectations .... avoid like the plague.
 
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JonZ

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Peopel have either really liked or hated this film believing a child couldnt be that smart.
 

Michael Reuben

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It's hard to respond to that directly without spoilers. Suffice it to say that I found the film a memorable and visceral experience, though often not a pleasant one (and I hasten to add that's not a bad thing). I also don't think the film requires a greater suspension of disbelief than 24 or Prison Break or any randomly selected Hollywood thriller.

Ellen Page, the remarkable young actress who plays Haley, is someone to watch.

M.
 

Jason Adams

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Roger Jason Adams

I dont think thats quite it...its one of those films that bashes you over the head with its message. Especially that line, "I'm doing this for every girl thats been abused..." It gets annoying. And also the many lapses in logic.
 

Nathan V

Supporting Actor
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Jul 16, 2002
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I found the film riveting all the way up until the final 5 minutes, where one of the characters acted in a highly irrational manner. I just couldn't buy it at all, and this brought down the film for me quite a bit. Despite this, the movie is a masterpiece of implied filmmaking- not a single frame of direct violent or sexual imagery, and yet so brutally effective and agonizing to watch. And this is by far the most exquisitely photographed film of the year so far. Every composition is beautiful, and the use of color is stunning. The long-lens close-ups in particular are great. And Ellen Page's acting is utterly incredible.

Ebert brings up an interesting point about the film, questioning that although the film decries pedophilia, it certainly seems to celebrate sadism.

Regards,
Nathan
 

Nathan V

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
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You are right. Perhaps I should have said "gore," or "blood inducing violence" -in other words, the MPAA's barometer for violence. As we know, they have little or no problem with violence that doesn't involve blood.

Regards,
Nathan
 

Chris Parham

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Mar 13, 2004
Messages
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Just saw this last night.....
I found it riveting.
As far as suspension of disbelief is concerned, I think most movies require this to some extent. They emphasize the fantastic.
As much as I enjoy a good "day in the life" movie, it would be pretty boring if all films were like that. I watch movies to FEEL something. I appreciate it when a film can do this.
This movie did it for me in spades. I felt fear, horror, sympathy (particularly amazing in this film) revulsion and a deep sense of confusion about how I reacted to the ending.
Contrary to the original posters feelings, I think this movie inspires much discussion - and that is the highest complement I can give any film!
 

BarryS

Second Unit
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Aug 1, 2002
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Hard Candy to me is a brilliant movie and one of the year's best. But different strokes, I suppose.
 

BrettGallman

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I'm looking forward to getting this one on DVD, as it never came around these parts while in theaters.
 

Colton

Supporting Actor
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Jan 12, 2004
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After watching this movie, I'm more interested in what happens afterward. Obviously, she left behind a bunch of clues that will lead up to her ... the fingerprints and the eyewitness of the woman next door.
No detective is going to believe the setup at the end. It's just all too messy.

- Colton

Spoiler tags added by moderator. - MR
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Just saw this last night, wow, what a ride! :eek: One of the most visceral film experiences that i've had in a while.

The only message I took from the film was that it's risky to pick up someone on the internet, you never know who they are or if they're some sort of nut job, but of course I already knew that before I watched so that wasn't exactly a revelation.

I liked the conflict that the film created for me because I found it very difficult to be on either characters side, sure, he was a pedophile and she was doing the world a service by doing what she did IMO, but she was also a stark raving looney who was obviously enjoying herself just a tad too much lol.

I read that the actress was 19 when she made this? :confused: She didn't look a day over 13 IMO.
 

BridgetJZ

Second Unit
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May 29, 2003
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I have this on my Netflix and have heard so many differing things about it, I'll likely just check it out because I'm curious.
 

Kevin M

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Finally saw this last night and, yes, it definitely offers the viewer a conflicted set of emotions. Mainly you are set up with enough doubt as to either characters true "character" and the resolution doesn't really give you a clear answer to those issues, even though: at the end the man is shown to truly be the "bad guy" you still feel an odd sort of sympathy for the man because our "hero" is far from pure and IMO every bit as evil as he was....in fact her enjoyment of what she was doing could almost be the beginning of someone just as evil. She was as much of a sociopath as he was....maybe even worse....basically it's like Stalin killing Hitler, one mad-man killing another but in the end you still have a mad-man standing in front of you.
: great film, I don't think it was "the best of the year" and it absolutely has large lapses in logic but the direction, photography and foremost the acting made it easy to overlook it's faults. Again, a great and engaging film.
 

Shane Harg

Second Unit
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Feb 14, 2006
Messages
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I don't know about anybody else here, but this is the whole reason I watch films - to disconnect me from reality and take me to a world where anything (and I mean ANYTHING) is possible. Perhaps I'm still a child at heart, but I LOVE brain candy films. I watch movies to be entertained. Period. If I want a story that causes me think, I'd rather read a book. A film usually moves too fast for me to try to take in all the information and try to put it all together, in this regard. Feel-good dramas, chick flicks, rib busters and good on-the-edge-of-your-seat action/thrillers are all welcomed in my HT room. Gimme a good western, where the hero kills the bad guy, gets the girl and rides off into the sunset, over the gritty, hard-core character study with embedded political messages any day.
 

Matthew_Def

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Mar 21, 2004
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My biggest problem with this film was not that Ellen Page's character was very smart, whatever I can suspend belief there. I mean that's just something you have to accept.

What killed this for me was, I never understood her motivation. The whole event was just so involved. I mean there was no guarantee anything was going to work out for her. In all probability, no matter how smart she was, this could have easily turned sour for her. It just seems there was no real payoff for her except to torture this guy, and no one was really sure if he was a bad guy, so it could have all been in vain.

Anyway, I thought Page was great in the film, despite the poor screenplay. I also think the film is worth watching, but it's ultimately a wasted opportunity.
 
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