Death at a Funeral, Cashback, and Tell No One

Another installment in Raymond's short reviews of SIFF movies he's seen recently.

4 stars out of 5 Death at a Funeral: The family funeral gets off to a bad start when the funeral home delivers the wrong body, and it's the only mishap that actually gets fixed without further incident. Everything else goes horribly wrong, and then when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it gets worse. Hilarious if you're willing to laugh at uncomfortable situations, a disaster spiraling out of control, men behaving badly, gross-out humor, accidental consumption of hallucinogens, an old man with a filthy mouth, and lots of other stuff that will earn you an R rating. I give it a 4 out of 5.

4 stars out of 5 Cashback, a full-length version of the 2006 Academy-Award-nominated short of the same name: Everybody who has worked an hourly job knows that staring at the clock just makes time feel like it's standing still. Ben manages to turn this feeling into reality while working the night shift at a grocery store, giving him opportunities to escape from his crazy boss, his even crazier coworkers, and to pine after the cute cashier girl. A very sweet story lurks behind the insanity. I give it a 4 out of 5.

3 stars out of 5 Tell No One: A man becomes a suspect for the murder of his wife eight years earlier. The opening of the movie is uncomfortably tense because you know the wife is going to die and it's just a matter of waiting for it to happen. The screws slowly tighten on Alexandre Beck until he finds himself running for his life. And, believe or not, that's when the tension eases up. (Thankfully, in my case. I don't handle suspense well.) There are some funny moments during his period in hiding, trying to figure out what's really going on, and the tension actually drops as more and more pieces of the puzzle start to emerge. I was kind of disappointed, however, by the ending, (spoiler: highlight with mouse to read) which is a pretty standard "hero held a gunpoint while the villain explains everything that happened". There's a little twist, but not enough to vindicate it. Even so, I give it a 3 out of 5.


5 stars out of 5 Would pay money to see again by myself.
4 stars out of 5 Would see again if it were free or if seeing it with others.
3 stars out of 5 Would recommend to others.
2 stars out of 5 Okay, but wouldn't recommend to someone not already interested.
1 star out of 5 Would advise against.
0 stars out of 5 Waste of my time.

Note: The rating scheme has been revised since this article was originally posted.

Comments (5)
  1. Dudeicus says:

    I’d expect scale numbers one and two to be swapped.  Both imply that you found a movie bad, hence an automatic waste of your time, but I’d think “Would advise against” implies that a movie was so horribly bad that you couldn’t imagine anyone else finding it enjoyable.

    [2 means bad (though with moments of redemption), 1 means awful. -Raymond]
  2. Rick C says:

    Raymond, if you liked the "the troubles keep piling on" nature of the first movie, you might like Oscar, with Sylvester Stallone, as a 30s-era gangster trying to go legit.  It’s quite different from most of the rest of the stuff he does.

  3. James Curran says:

    Having read the novel “Tell No One” a few years ago, I’m interested in seeing the movie (despite it being in French, and –from the description– a bit different from the book).  The novel itself had the unique property that about about half-way through, you say to your self “This is the most outlandish, contrived story I’ve ever heard”.  Then, at the end, when everyone’s motives and justifications are revealed, you think “DAMN!! This could really happen!”

  4. CRathjen says:

    "Death at a funeral, Cashback, Tell No One" – the three titles together sounds like the plot of yet another movie :)

  5. Ah, I didn’t realise they were film titles. I read the post subject and thought, cor, this is a more spicy title than the norm! Slightly disappointed that they’ve turned out to just be films you’ve watched. :-)

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