Return To Paradise


Return to Paradise is precisely the kind of film I tend to like; one which could go many ways, and one which, if done right, could have a true and profound moral. And it didn’t dissapoint.

Vince Vaughn plays a New York limo driver nicknamed Sheriff, who learns that Louis, a pal of his whom he partied in Malaysia with years earlier is about to be executed for drug trafficking (dealing). And this is the situation — if he and his friend Tony (David Conrad) come back to Malaysia and accept their share of the responsibility for the drugs, them Louis will not be executed, but he, Sheriff and Tony will have to spend three years a piece in a Malaysian hell-prison. If only one of them comes back then it will be six years a piece. If neither of them come back, Louis hangs.

Anne Heche, in a terrific performance plays Louis’ lawyer, who is strangely desperate to save Louis’ life by getting eyither Sheriff, Tony or both to come back. She is the best character in the film, as we can support her efforts.

Directed by Joseph Ruben (Money Train, The Good Son), Return to Paradise is a surprisingly moving and thought-provoking film — would you give up three years of your life to save a casual pal whom you didn’t know all that well anyway? At some points, the movie requires us to suspend disbelief and ignore its implausible moments, but that’s understandable, and there isn’t enough of it to really cause a problem. The ending of the film is peculiar, but I liked it, as a decision is actually made, and the problem is not resolved with a few throws of the fist or pulls of the


Vince Vaughn is magnificent, as is Anne Heche, and I’m eagerly awaiting their next collaboration in Gus Van Sant’s remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho.

-- Eugene Novikov

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Screening Log


Ric Roman Waugh, 2013

Score: C

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh, 2013

Score: C+

10 Years

Jamie Linden, 2012

Score: B-

The Place Beyond the Pines

Derek Cianfrance, 2013

Score: B+

Warm Bodies

Jonathan Levine, 2013

Score: C

Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravanese, 2013

Score: B-

The Window

Ted Tetzlaff, 1949

Score: B+

The Chase

Arthur Ripley, 1946

Score: B

Street of Chance

Jack Hively, 1942

Score: C

The Taste of Money

Im Sang-Soo, 2013

Score: C+

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