Customer Reviews

16
2.8 out of 5 stars
Columbus Day
Format: DVDChange
Price:$4.12 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
From the previews and the box, I believed this was a "heist" movie, or about a thief's last big score (like the Score with Edward Norton, or the Italian Job).

In fact, it was quite different. It's a "real time" movie - Val Kilmer plays a thief who is waiting in a park. He has just finished his score, and is waiting for the buyer.

Much of the movie is him on the phone, trying to locate the buyer (there is a small twist here), talking to his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, and child on the phone. The other major focus is a little boy he meets at the park, and they form a unique relationship. And there are some flashbacks which tell us how he ended up in the park.

Overall, though, it's frustrating. First, I don't know who decided that 90 minutes of waiting in the park & talking on the phone could be exciting to watch. Second, Val Kilmer plays a dumb thief, whose personal life was in ruin. His partner (on the phone) apparently has a mental disability - and it doesn't make much sense. Not only is it hard to believe that a world class thief would have sub-par intelligence, it's painful to watch Kilmer play this role.

But most importantly, I wish these directors would understand the fatal flaws with making flashback movies - we already know that the main character survives the scene (shootout, double-cross, etc) if he's standing there narrating the flashback. So where's the suspense?

If you're a huge Val Kilmer fan, you might want to see this just for the sake of it. Also, there's a cameo by Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows on CSI ). Some of the scenes with the boy were mildly cute. But I can't think of too many good things to say about the film. The action here was sparse, the drama drags on ... it's all just a bit drab. Difficult and frustrating to watch.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
The movie opens reasonably well, Val Kilmer is chasing a guy with a brief case, yells to him, shoots him, and takes the case. He then runs away and gets attacked by 3 or 4 guys trying to steal the case back. The fight is fairly well filmed, the action is decent. Val escapes with the case. From here forward the film falls apart. We spend too much time following Kilmer's run to Echo Park. Once at the park, Kilmer makes a few phone calls from a pay phone and we are treated to an awful split screen with him and the person on the other end. There is some very sappy strings royalty free music that plays in the background. And every time the film goes into flashback, it is preceeded with a clip in 25% slowed motion. Both of these techniques are way overused and are extremely difficult to use in the most skilled hands.

Most of the film is spent with Val Kilmer walking, sitting, or phoning in the park. There's a supposed deep relationship he builds with a young boy in the park. I'm certain the director meant for this to be symbolic. The story of how Val got to this point is told in repeated flashbacks (some of the flashback events are shown more than once). There is some mystery in the story line, and for those brave souls that decide to watch this, I won't spoil the ending. Kilmer is dead man walking as the film progresses. The last 5 minutes are what elevate this film from one star stinker to a just bad two star film.

I picked this film up because I happen to like Val Kilmer and Marg Helgenberger (China Beach and CSI). It was disappointing to say the least. Marg spends most of the film behind a reception desk at some office. Her scenes are all from the exact same camera location, a one shot. It looks like they hired her for maybe 2 days - one to shoot all the reception scenes and a second to drive a car. Val Kilmer just looks sad in this film, with greased back long hair, a nasty little beard, and he's gained some weight. Age has not been kind to Mr. Kilmer, or this film was unkind to him. It's likely this is a new low for his career.

The production is just awful. Handheld camera galore. Those sad split screen and slo-motion effects. Poor sound. The shoot out at the end of the film is just so badly done. I'm guessing the director ran out of money for stunts by this time and had to go with some really lame fight scenes.

Rated R for language. There is a spicey phone call about the middle of the film that feels like a cold shower. No nudity. The violence is down right stupid.

The DVD has two audio tracks - dolby digital and stereo (no director or other commentary). There are no subtitles. The bonus features are three movie trailers.

Unless you absolutely have to own every single Val Kilmer or Marg Helgenberger films, pass on this one. It's a not so enjoyable hour and a half.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2009
Format: DVD
This movie was painful to watch. It was boring and stupid. Very low budget-but I guess Val Kilmer can't get work since "Heat". Could not even finish the movie. The idea of going back in forth in the movie to me was just a way to use up time. Terrible, Terrible Movie
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2009
Format: DVD
Definitely the worst movie viewed so-far this year.
Agree entirely with all the former comments, only to add my own disgust with the production values.
Shaky cameras obviously only included as it is a bit of a fad at present and split screens ugh! Much of Val Kilmers dialogue also very muffled when wearing an overcoat....Did this movie have an experienced Sound Team?
A story that relies on almost throughout, the actors engaged in telephone conversations over and over again.
I see "Kilmer Films" somewhere in the credits. Let's hope this fine actor keeps a much tighter lid on what the company does in the future.
I have managed to tick one star above and that is for the image quality. The pictures and film transfer are very good....That's it and only it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
Format: DVD
This was an awful movie. I kept hoping something--anything--would happen, but apparently good script writers don't work on Columbus Day. I watched it for what felt like an eternity but still nothing had happened, so I went and did something else. My wife, on the other hand, is a die-hard Val fan and powered through it. She also was on the edge of her seat expecting something to happen. She wasn't particularly impressed, but at least it didn't end with him still sitting in the park.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
What an unwatchable pile of crap. Val Kilmer should be issuing an apology to everyone who had to suffer through even one minute of this nonsense. If you want to see a good Val Kilmer movie get "The Saint".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
VINE VOICEon January 24, 2015
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I bought this DVD because an actor, Michael Muhney, was in it. The film has problems with the screenplay. Val Kilmer walks with a suitcase to a lovely park in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles, California. There he befriends an African American boy named Antoine while he waits and makes phone calls to his ex wife Alice (played by Marg Helgenberger); his daughter in Florida; his girlfriend; and others.

This film has problems with the writing. I didn't understand what was going on aside from his friendship with Antoine and his ex wife Alice. The film leaves with unanswered questions about what happened.

Yes the film is low budget filmed entirely in Los Angeles, California. The DVD doesn't provide any extras. I have to say that Echo Park looks beautiful.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
My expectations for this film were low, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The script won several awards, and the acting, especially in the scenes between Kilmer and Thompson (the kid from Role Models), is fantastic.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on February 7, 2012
Format: DVD
Fairly good movie. Moves a bit slow at times. Some tender moments here and there between John and his daughter. Good movie to watch on a rainy day.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on June 20, 2011
Format: DVD
Disheartening to see how things have panned out for Val Kilmer. He was one of those top-tier acting studs that seemed destined to be the Robert Redford of his generation. Not the guy stuck doing low-budget action vids to make a buck. I'm not even sure what happened to bring down one of the huge stars of the 90's? Hadn't heard anything beyond the typical "creative actor" label, so it's a mystery why the performer who floored audiences with his portrayal of Jim Morrison in 'The Doors' and headlined blockbusters like 'Heat' and 'The Saint', would be doing a gamut of direct-to-video schlock just a few years later. Very curious indeed.

But the core talent that Kilmer utilized to reach those heights also carries his performances in productions like 'Columbus Day' and outstanding sleepers like "Spartan", "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" and the acting tour de force of "Felon".

In 'Day' he plays John Cologne, a thief who has gotten ahold of a very valuable item, said item belonging to one of the city's meanest hardcore gangsters. His plan: Ransom the item, get paid, take his best friend and his best girl and find a new life somewhere else.

Interestingly, the plot takes a quirky twist with the introduction of Antoine, a 10-year old smartass kid who quickly attaches himself to the trenchcoat man that he correctly surmises is hiding a big secret. Cologne also makes an accurate read on the hall-pint dude: That, despite fronting himself as a slick streetwise hustler, Antoine is actually a sensitive lonely little guy. These two form a friendship over the course of the holiday afternoon - Cologne begrudgingly becoming confidant, friend and ersatz father figure to the youngster.

Most of the film is shot in Echo Park and incidents explaining his presence there are shown in flashback. Not an unpleasant delivery for the movie; often a red caution light goes on when I learn that a filmmaker will execute their project via 'many flashback sequences'. If done correctly, it can be an effective tool to tell a story.

Not quite a full-fledged thriller, it still has enough oomph to carry the plot along at a brisk pace without getting bogged down. My only issue is how the film ended - vague. The uncertainty seems a bit of a copout, too arthouse trendy for the straight-forward storytelling of the screenplay.* But that minor criticism aside, a decent rental and worth the time spent.

*Note: I wrote that before learning the fascinating history of this film. There is, and this depends greatly on how you view the business end of filmmaking, either an "interesting" or a "despicable" backstory to Columbus Day.

The movie was originally shot as an indie character drama with very little in terms of action sequences. However, in an attempt to recoup their financial investment, the producers (including Kevin Spacey) decided to sell the rights to a distributor known for recutting and re-filming projects to better fit the marketplace. The director and all the principal actors disavowed the project after the distributor started re-editing the film and adding scenes that were only hinted at in the original screenplay. Kilmer was so disgusted - he refused to do the re-shoots and a body double was used for the flashbacks sequences.

Which explains, at least from my perspective, why the film's ending seemed so off-putting and oddly paced. There are two completely different versions of Columbus Day available to film fans - the arthouse indie and the action/thriller.

The download version which I reviewed, and offered thru content providers like Amazon, is the action/thriller.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Streets of Blood
Streets of Blood by 50 Cent (DVD - 2009)
$5.34

Hardwired
Hardwired by Cuba Gooding Jr. (DVD - 2009)
$3.99

Tombstone
Tombstone by Kurt Russell (DVD - 1997)
$10.00
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.