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John Herzfeld
Danny Aiello, Jillian Barberie, Tom Berenger, Lauren Cohan, Kevin Connolly, Terry Crews, Cary Elwes, Kelsey Grammer, Omari Hardwick, Elizabeth Henstridge, Thomas Jane, Ryan Kwanten, Nelly, Kyra Sedgwick, Tom Sizemore, Sylvester Stallone, Danny Trejo
Writing Credits:
John Herzfeld

A motivational book written by a mysterious man quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of people that includes a journalist, his editor, a former inmate, a hip-hop mogul, an actor and an undercover cop to re-evaluate their choices and decisions by confronting their fears in hopes of creating more positive lives.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby Stereo 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 12/30/2014

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Reach Me (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 22, 2014)

With an enormous ensemble cast, 2014’s Reach Me packs a whole lot of characters into its 92 minutes. The film revolves around a motivational book called Reach Me, a text written by a mysterious man named Teddy Raymond (Tom Berenger).

When rap mogul E-Ruption (Nelly) espouses Reach Me on a morning talk show, it gains popularity. We follow as a wide variety of people read the book and use it to change their lives.

That’s what we call a quick summary, as any attempt to discuss all or even most of the movie’s characters would take a ridiculous amount of time – and would probably end up without much point anyway. Reach Me involves the various roles in such a superficial manner that it never really matters who we see on screen.

Most ensemble movies need to deal with that factor, and some pull off the multiple characters well. Reach Me does not, as it fails to invest in any of them in a productive manner. It throws role after role at us with little logic or coherence.

One suspects writer/director John Herzfeld took 2005’s Crash as his model, for both films show a lot of similarities. As problematic as Crash was, it looks awfully good by comparison to this sloppy mess. At least Crash had an overriding theme and purpose, whereas Reach Me never figures out where it wants to go.

This means Reach Me often feels like a collection of unconnected tidbits that butt up against each other. Herzfeld changes tone at the drop of a hat and never attempts any form of coherence.

Instead, we end up with a mushy series of story snippets without much merit. Not only do we fail to invest in the characters, but also we’re likely to want nametags just to remember who’s who. They come and go so quickly that we need a chart to keep track – if we want to bother, which we won’t.

Reach Me doesn’t deserve the effort from the viewer. It comes as such a sloppy collection of meaningless bits and pieces that it never earns our attention.

We get a more than decent cast, but almost to a one, they overact. Perhaps that comes from the lack of screentime; they may feel they need to “go big” to stand out from the crowded field. These decisions don’t work, as the over the top performances flop. The actors just make a thin film even more cartoonish and silly.

As hard as I try, I can’t find anything to endorse about Reach Me. It never comes together in any way that vaguely resembles a coherent movie, as it packs too many disjointed elements into one clumsy place.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Reach Me appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image worked fine.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. A little softness crept into the image at times, but not frequently. Instead, the movie almost always appeared nicely detailed and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as this was a clean presentation.

In terms of colors, the movie went with a stylized palette that varied based on setting and tone. It mostly mixed amber and teal throughout its running time. The hues consistently seemed clear and concise within those parameters. Blacks were deep and firm, and shadows showed good smoothness. Overall, the picture appeared solid.

As for the film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack, it worked pretty well. The audio tended to be somewhat restrained most of the time, but some sequences – such as those at bars or on the street – opened up the spectrum in a satisfying manner. Cars and other elements moved around the room, while other effects added a good sense of ambience.

Audio quality was perfectly acceptable. Speech showed nice clarity and naturalism, and music was reasonably distinctive and dynamic. Effects lacked much to stand out, but they appeared accurate, and they showed mild punch when necessary. All of this seemed good enough for a “B“.

The disc opens with ads for Fading Gigolo, Are You Here, The Humbling and Automata. These also appear under Previews. We get no trailer for Reach Me - or any other extras.

With a large cast of semi-famous actors, Reach Me comes with potential, but it never connects. The movie delivers a flawed, clumsy collection of one-dimensional character tidbits that flop. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio but lacks any supplements. Don’t let the noteworthy cast sucker you – stay away from this dull

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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