Review of "99 Homes (DVD)"

published 25/03/2017 | IzzyS
Member since : 27/07/2006
Reviews : 809
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About me :
Thanks for all the rates through the years. Its the end of an era - im thankful to all who talked to me. Apologies for the mass postings but I have a ton of film reviews in drafts! ill try to re-rate as many ppl as I can.
Pro Tense, cast/characters, thought-provoking, use of background music,
Cons Slowish plot may not suit or appeal to all, jerky camerawork
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"Them vs Us-A Gritty Depiction of the American Foreclosure Crisis"

- Story -

Dennis Nash finds him, his wife and son the victims of a sudden forclosure in Orlando, Florida, with them being evicted from their house. Having been forced to stay in a nearby rather run down motel, he desperately struggles to find work and only after some time does he get offered work from a rather shady local man called Rick Carver, who apparently represents a local realtor and who needs Dennis to do some of his dirty work for him - that is, announcing to other local residents that their properties have gone in to foreclosure and thus they are trespassing on private property by being in their homes and they must leave right away. The irony is understandably not lost on him and he reluctantly agrees to help out, in exchange for financial help to allow him and his family to stay in the neighbourhood. He stays quiet about what exactly he's doing to earn the money the family rely on and things get increasinly desperate, with his conscience eating away at him. Will his family realise what he's got himself into? will Dennis manage to keep providing for his family and at what cost? you'll have to watch the film to find out, of course.

- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

This is quite a grim and bleak film, obviously reflecting on the recent US property market crash. It shows the importance of families staying together in such tough circumstances, with various characters playing their own roles in trying to stay strong and as the saying goes 'grit your teeth and get on with it'. The family face some tough choices but there are some scenes in which things seem more positive than perhaps you might automatically presume (or fear).

I'd say that one of the main themes explored in this film is greed and/or selfishness. Certainly many Brits could relate to the feelings made clear by other members of the community featured, as far as the hatred of bankers is concerned(!) and I'd say there's quite a strong sense of 'them' vs 'us' present.

The film does well to portray the lack of easy available employment in the Orlando, Florida area, which I can imagine being the case. I think Florida has been among the states worst hit by the foreclosure crisis. There is an element of exploitation present and, content wise, there is some strong language, sex references and bloody violence, although nothing tremendously graphic.

I felt this is more of a psychological thriller, a film that involves trying to decipher peoples intentions - where you question what may be a bluff or a double bluff and the like. It is somewhat absorbing, mainly as the main family featured seems a decent lot with the father, Dennis, coming across as particularly conscientious, wanting to provide for his family - consciencious but somewhat naive, while also determined.

I found myself feeling quite attached to the various characters and wondering what would become of them and (or moreso) their properties. The community is depicted in quite a desolate way and the fact that one particularly loud and assertive, brash individual seems to have so much control over the residents and their property is quite unsettling and I couldn't help but think felt so unfair ultimately. Unsurprisingly, this film does make you think about who the winners and the losers have been as far as recent economic downfalls are concerned, the property crash and so on. It shows the community to be really quite vulnerable, in a way that perhaps we may not have realised beforehand.

The film uses some quite tense background music (or muzack?) to help add to the tension in key scenes. Pace wise its pretty slow - its one of those slow burners I believe their called. You have to be keen to follow Dennis to discover the outcome of his employment and his family situation. It has something of a b-movie feel about it, in terms of it not being a big Hollywood blockbuster type film and also I noticed that the camerawork is a little jerky at times.

Cast wise, Dennis is played by Andrew Garfield. He does well playing the young, determined, desperate father, although he has his flaws as a character but he's certainly well portrayed. The villain or otherwise 'bad guy' Rich Carver is played by Michael Shannon. He comes across as ruthless and selfish and he came across as really quite convincing, so I thought anyway, shrugging things off a little too fast and easily. Other cast members include Noah Lomax and Albert C. Bates as two kids who are friends that get split up after their individual families are forceably evicted.

This is quite a hard hitting film, certainly by the end - it gets really quite tense and sinister by the final scenes, in which I felt really invested in hoping for the best for Dennis and his family, hoping for a good outcome and thus I feel this was a good film, if but rather grim and bleak, of course.

- Would I Recommend It? -

Yes I'd recommend it, as a film that brings across the personal, the emotional turbulence felt by those personally affected by the American foreclosure crisis. Its quite a tense film and although it doesn't feature a great amount of action and special effects, it is quite bleak and grim and so on, it does feature good portrayals i.e. a good cast, interesting characters, I felt it was overall a fairly gripping film - one that covers some important themes and on that basis, I'd recommend it.

- Availability -

If your interested in seeing this, you can buy it on DVD for £5.99 at Amazon UK, at time of publishing this review.

- Final Note / Thank You -

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all rates and comments.

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Comments on this review

  • DodoRabbit published 02/04/2017
    I think I'll give this a go if it ever lowers in price :)
  • danielalong published 28/03/2017
  • NBCMad92 published 27/03/2017
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Product Information : 99 Homes (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Noah Lomax, Tim Guinee

Video Category: Feature Film

Director(s): Ramin Bahrani

Classification: 15 years and over

EAN: 5055201828972

Production Year: 2014


Listed on Ciao since: 24/03/2017