Monday, June 10, 2013

Pacific Heights (1990) Review:

Along with multiple other stories in film, normal and happy couples just can't seem to cut a break with running into some of the most mentally unbalanced individuals. I pity these people; I really do. Look at The Mean Season (1985), Unlawful Entry (1992) or even The Cable Guy (1996). Each share something in common and that's the unstable intruder who doesn't care what he does or how he does it because their upbringing as a child or young adult was very screwed up.

Melanie Griffith
Pacific Heights (1990) is the story about a young couple who moved into this specific area and buy a large house to use as an apartment for other tenants. All goes well like they planned until they come in contact with a very slippery and shifty individual who ends up making their lives spiral downward. Odd as it is, I was able to predict what would happen in this kind of situation. I don't know if that's because the writer Daniel Pyne, could not write a more original plot. I say that because like the other films mentioned above, the antagonist relies on and abuses the rights he is given by law to evade the law. This makes the story very formulaic, but I do give credit for the third act because it went in a direction I did not expect.
Playing the young spirited couple are Melanie Griffith as Patty Palmer and Matthew Modine as Drake Goodman. Together they permit the sly dog Carter Hayes (Michael Keaton) into their home as a tenant. To be honest, I found Griffith and Modine to be good at playing an unknown couple but I also don't feel like they made their characters stand out enough either. That's because of how formulaic the screenplay was written.
Michael Keaton as the creepy tenant
As for Keaton, no doubt does he make it look like he has the mental state of a sociopath. He was creepy but I think he could have been creepier. Every now and then he did burst out in anger and that's really what I wanted to see but instead for the most part, the audience will get a controlled anger. However, I also give credit to Keaton for making it look like being a criminal is as easy as one two three. It's unnerving. As for the musical score provided by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, was rather disappointing. It did have a few tunes that got the blood pumping and the muscles tense but there was no theme and there wasn't enough music the emmerse myself into the situations that occurred.
However, the reason why I still give this movie the credit it deserves because of how real these situations can be. And the closer it gets to being in your house, the scarier it gets. Having a killer running around is one thing, having a cop breaking an entering because they lust for the a married couple's partner is another, but having a tenant that stalks you during the day and plans by night, can be really upsetting. I sure wouldn't want to be that couple. Whether its Jim Carrey, Richard Jordan, Ray Liotta, Michael Keaton or any other actor that plays mentally disturbed antagonists, these guys are just downright uncomfortable (in a good way).
Even if the writing is formulaic, the fact that someone can be this unsettling will still creep people out. The music may not be very compelling either but Michael Keaton and his supporting cast do what is possible to keep the audiences' attention.
Points Earned --> 8:10

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