I love ensemble dramas. Especially when they have the whole "stranger's lives intertwined" thing going on. However, as much as I enjoyed this film, it is not for everyone. It is slow and heavy, but I can't find much wrong with it. There were a couple of scenes that were poorly developed or written, maybe. All in all, if you're like me, and you like superbly acted and directed films you will enjoy this.I won't give too much away because I know many have not had the chance to see this yet; it is a simple story of how random lives are affected and forever changed by a pointless and tragic event.What I liked is how each individual was affected differently. Each character acted and reacted in a different way, and it is watching these behaviors play out that make up the film.I felt Kate Beckinsale stood out the most in a subtle role. She is going to win an Oscar someday. Of course Forest Whitaker and Dakota Fanning were good, which at this point goes without saying. (Maybe I should erase that last sentence then.) Jush Hutcherson and Jackie Earl Haley, as father and son also stood out. Troy Garity, as the county mental health worker was my favorite though. Again, a subtle performance and the one character I keep thinking about afterward. This film won't win awards or break any new ground but I like it. It's a small movie about human behavior and getting through tough times and coming out the other end of the tunnel, with a bit of light breaking through.
The acting was fine but the story was just not that good. This movie just seemed odd. All of the characters have their own story, yet as a whole it is unrealistic - too many unlikely reactions to an event happening at once. I can see that one or two people would loose it a little after going through a traumatic event, but all of the people involved going crazy in their own way just seems overdone. I was bored and wondering how long the movie was, and was shocked to find out it was only an hour and a half long because it felt like it went on forever. I hate to be so negative because I think the actors did the best job they could have given that the story just drug on. I probably wouldn't recommend this movie... regardless of the title they give it!
This film is about how the lives of different individuals are affected by a shooting in a local café."Winged Creatures" is not for everyone as it is a tough film to watch. Though the story is held together by an initial central event, the characters' reactions and coping mechanisms make the film seem fragmented. Maybe that's why the new title of "Winged Creatures" is "Fragments"? Each of the victim's reactions give much room for thought and reflection. Out of all the reactions, I find Dakota Fanning's detached and dissociated state the most dramatic; Kate Beckinsale's reaction is the most realistic; while Guy Pearce's reaction is scarily morbid."Winged Creatures" could have been a thought provoking and touching drama. However, it tries to show so many different characters' reactions that it becomes fragmentary. It would have been more satisfying to just concentrate on less characters but in more detail.
In an ordinary day, a deranged man has a rampage in a diner and randomly shoots the costumers. The survivors of the tragic episode are deeply affected by the shooting and have the most different reactions: the youngster Anne Hagen (Dakota Fanning) becomes popular at school telling her version of the shooting and shows a great faith on God; her friend Jimmy Jaspersen (Josh Hutcherson) becomes mute and closes himself to the outer world like an autist; the waitress Carla Davenport (Kate Beckinsale) neglects her baby and has a vulgar behavior with men; Dr. Bruce Laraby (Guy Pearce) loses his self-confidence and tries an experimental treatment to the migraine of his wife; and the compulsive gambler Charlie Archenault (Forrest Whitaker) believes that he is lucky in the game and gambles all his money but he has a jinx. "Winged Creatures" is a depressing movie about the aftermath of an urban violence that every now and then happens in North America – shooting in a public space. There are rich characters developed in a short running time that deserved a longer time to explain their motives better. The bleak experiment of Dr. Bruce Laraby with his wife is weird and bizarre, and it is hard to understand his motives. Why Carla neglects her baby is also very strange since the viewer does not know her behavior at home before the tragic incident. Charlie deserves his fate since he is an addicted gambler. However the kids Jimmy and Anne are perfectly developed and have the best drama in the story, with a heartbreaking conclusion. My vote is seven.Title (Brazil): "O Efeito da Fúria" ("The Effect of the Fury")
Sorry, this film does not work. It will not be a classic, it will die onto the back catalogs for a buck a week and one day make GRAND CANYON look like a classic by comparison. Lame slow turgid predictable and worst of all boring. Don't blame the cast, they were laboring. The photography is flat and boring and fails to inform the plot. Looks like the shoot days were from 10 am till 3 pm with a long lunch break. The budget spent on the cast looks like it robbed the shoot of anything you'd like to see normally. The director should hang eastern block DPs before he makes a TV movie like this rubbish again. This is not Crash light crash2 or crash the early years its just crap. Would have been better with some decent art direction, photography, music and a re think of the story...IE. don't do any of it.
I love ensemble movies with intertwined plots. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Crash' (even though it was heavily flawed), really liked 'Babel' and 'The Hours', 'Happy Endings' and 'Magnolia' are among my favourites. Even though 'Winged Creatures' (a.k.a. 'Fragments') does not reach the level of the aforementioned movies, it was an interesting watch (better than 'Powder Blue'). The link between the characters' lives is shown in the very first sequence and the stories follow thereafter.'Winged Creatures' is a very subtle film. This is both a strength and weakness. There are certain actions that the characters commit the reason of which is understood by the end. However, some of them seem a little too far-fetched and hard to believe. For example, why is Laraby checking up the side-effects of medicines on the Internet when he's an accomplished doctors? Even for someone who's affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (a key theme in the movie), this is a little too out there. It would have been more convincing if the story was more developed and the viewer was allowed to see Laraby's inner struggle. Guy Pearce does a good job. In a small role, Embth Davidtz makes her presence felt.The Kate Beckinsale track is quite well-handled. There's a sequence in the film where one can register the disappointment on her face after she was about to answer the reporters' questions when they immediately switch to the family of the dead guy who just walked out of the hospital. This hints Carla's struggle for attention which leads to her promiscuous behaviour and to a form of Munchausen's syndrome such that she deliberately starves her child for the doctor's attention. Beckinsale delivers a first rate performance.Jimmy and Anne were two teenagers who were witnesses of the shootout in which Anne's father was murdered. Here there is an uneven balance between drama and subtlety. I found Anne's sudden religious devotion and Jimmy taking the gun to the crime scene (to threaten Anne?) hardly believable and her mother is the typical mom while Jimmy's father is the typical dad who hates shrinks. Jackie Earle Haley and Jeanne Tripplehorn are strictly okay. Dakota Fanning is wooden except in the final scene where she plays by the formula. Troy Garrity is good but the real star here is Josh Hutcherson who draws the viewer with Jimmy's restraint and mental anguish.Charlie's storyline is poorly presented. I found the gambling scenes to be repetitive. The scenes of his daughter and the detective could have easily been left out. The prostitute scene was a cliché that has been repeated since 'Leaving Las Vegas'. Forest Whitaker is alright. Jennifer Hudson is forgettable. Marshall Allman shines.After the shooting sequence, 'Winged Creatures' initially moves at a sluggish pace. At times , it feels too fragmented because of lack of story development. The execution is pretty ordinary, if anything. The cinematography is flat. The soundtrack is far from outstanding. The film could have used some more editing. Give then plusses and minusses, it is a movie at least worth a one-time watch.
It's hard to be an ensemble drama in a time when the other films in this sub-genre have a very sturdy track record, with "Crash" being a Best Picture winner, "Babel" and "Traffic" being Best Picture nominees, and "Magnolia" being a cult favorite, among many other popular multi-storied films. Yes, these ensemble pieces all are quite distinctive from one another, but it's very hard to not compare them to each other, as their common goal is the same: to tell many stories and convey one focused message.In my opinion, films like "Crash" and "Babel" are hurt by the fact that they are forced to cheat the viewers in order to come to the film's end message, whereas a film like "Magnolia" or "Traffic" arrives at it through brilliant film-making and storytelling.Luckily, this adaptation ensemble piece manages to land itself far closer to the likes of "Magnolia" or "Traffic" than "Crash" or "Babel." While I consider that a very good thing, some may not. Some may want a film that focuses on leaving a strong emotional impact more than telling its many stories as well as possible, and they may in fact be disappointed by "Winged Creatures." But if you appreciate low-key films that are effective without hitting you over the head in any way, this film is definitely a must-see.One of the first things praise-worthy in this ensemble film is, of course, its terrific ensemble cast. Many of these actors provide performances that prove they have more potential than I had previously thought. The film is about numerous characters who witness a murder, and the PTSD that follows them around afterward, and most of the actors have to portray a different PTSD side-effect with his or her performance, and all of them do it very well.I never believed that Kate Beckinsale had anything to her name besides hot looks, but she plays a stressed-out mother very convincingly. After his ridiculous over-performance in "Vantage Point," I thought that Forrest Whitaker's fabulous performance in "The Last King of Scotland" may have just been a fluke. But his portrayal of a man whose luck is all over the place after the event is spot-on. As Dakota Fanning moves towards adulthood, she handles a particularly tricky (and religion-heavy) performance with ease. Heck, even Jennifer Hudson (how the hell did she win an Oscar?) gives a performance that indicates some talent, even though her role is small.Then you get to the direction, and all that goes with it. The film moves between its stories just as well as the higher-budget, more mainstream ensemble pieces, transitioning very well without ever killing the mood with a sudden shift. The film's score adds to this , as it keeps the same feel throughout the movie, giving the film an unchanging pace and mood, so even though you're watching a bunch of stories at once, it's one wholesome experience.I don't know if this will get recognition come Oscar time, but frankly, it doesn't need to. This is a movie that shows talent out of a lot of actors about whom you may have been skeptical, and is a very worthy addition to the ensemble piece genre.
FRAGMENTS (AKA Winged Creatures) is an uncomfortable movie: the subject matter of spontaneous unsuspected violence and the subsequent impact on the lives of those who survive a near death situation is terrifying. FRAGMENTS takes a moment in time and then reveals how that moment alters the psyche and behavior of numerous people from children to adults. It is disconcerting to watch, but at the same time it makes us face the possibilities of how isolated cracks in the universe can alter our lives. As the tag line suggests 'You have to lose your way to find it.' The film opens with a day in a Los Angeles diner where a gunman enters and randomly opens fire on the customers at the tables and the staff serving them and then kills himself. We are forced to watch this happen but through the eyes of the people attempting to dodge the attack. Among these are a waitress (Kate Beckinsale), a man seated at the counter being denied attention as he glances at his new brochures on dealing with cancer (Forest Whitaker), a doctor (Guy Pearce), a young girl (Dakota Fanning) who witnesses the murder of her father, a young boy (Josh Hutcherson) whose terror results in his becoming mute, among others. The film then abruptly clips to the fragments that remain - the lives as being lived by the survivors as well as their families - a cast of brilliant cameos by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jackie Earle Haley, Robin Weigert, Jennifer Hudson and Embeth Davidtz. While none of the characters seem to be people about whom we would care under normal circumstances, the fact that the writer and director (Roy Freier and Rowan Woods) have placed us in the midst of the initial incident allows us to watch the strange transformations that happen to these people as a result of being struck by post traumatic stress - maladaptive behavior toward spouses and children, hiding behind becoming an instant religious zealot, gambling as a disease, and the other splinters the impact of murder and suicide observed at close range can cause. Very little is resolved by film's end but the film does force us to witness something that could happen to any of us and make us re-evaluate our values and abilities to cope with trauma. This is an ensemble cast film, strongly projected, and if the producers and creators of the film merely allowed us more time to get to know each character better the film probably would have been a success in the theaters instead of going straight to DVD. A provocative work. Grady Harp
A popular place to die in America is sitting in a diner. I only know this because of countless movies where people go into a diner, ostensibly for a cup of coffee, but basically so they can get shot. You think I'm kidding. They don't really go into diners to get shot. They go into diners so they can be immortalised in movies when they get shot. Remembered by millions. Either way, they get shot, and hopefully something else happens to make it interesting.Fragments follows the lives of various people after one such incident in a diner. One woman becomes obsessively promiscuous. One man is convinced he has a miraculous power of luck at the casino tables. One teenager becomes obsessed with born-again Christianity. Another stops speaking. 24/7. The life of the waitress in the diner. The man who held the door open on the way out and let the killer in. Everyone is affected in different ways. Beneath the placid exteriors there is deep sorrow needing to come out.At least that's the story. It is, unfortunately, only mildly interesting. Both the youngsters are played by charismatic individuals. Forest Whitaker works overtime to imbue his lamentable character with something worth watching. Kate Beckinsale is easy on the eye, even playing neurotically bedraggled. The list of names goes on, and includes many actors worthy of better material than this.We tend in the UK to give bereavement short shrift. An hour or so over cheese and ham sandwiches at the funeral – then like any trauma that goes with it – it's supposed to be over. But although the American tradition is better at giving death its due, it is also more fond of the psychoanalyst's couch. And endlessly obsessing over one's worries. And endlessly expecting us to care. 'Get over it,' is not something a sensitive person would ever think, much less say to a friend. That each of these people eventually find an exit from their vicious cycle of senseless sorrow is more down to the determination to spin it out to feature length and then cut before we wonder what would happen if they had any real problems.I would like to be more sympathetic to such navel gazing as eulogised in Fragments. But if the characters are in any way believable, it is very, very sad that they are so. This is an ensemble performance in the psychopathology of feeling over-dramatically sorry for oneself. Of being at the mercy of circumstances. In a frankly tedious, self-indulgent, predictably downward spiral of a film.The movie is nicely bookended, starting with scenes of an abandoned kitchen montaged with respectable surburbania. It is meant to convey a suggestion that these horrors happen to 'nice' people too. The treatment of the two iconic US derangements – guns and religion – is refreshingly non-judgemental and manages a balancing act that neither supports nor opposes. The production values are generally good and it has the advantage of being a mainstream weepie that is neither sugary nor patronising towards the audience. The drama is well-paced, and if you can tolerate the storyline there is no reason why you shouldn't effortlessly while away some time in front of it (if my hard-hearted reservations haven't put you off).From the viewpoint of dedicated cinema-goers, violence in diners has good and bad points. On the plus side, we get a lot of great movies. Like History of Violence. Or Natural Born Killers. And more gangster films than holes in Al Capone's raincoat. But of course there's sadness too. S
There are quite a few very good actors in the movie and everyone in it delivers a stellar performance. The story is intriguing enough to hold your attention and be entertaining at the same time. But as another reviewer also stated, it does have a few flaws, that might actually let the movie down for you.First of all, you shouldn't start comparing it to "Crash" or other movies (especially because it most likely is only the same as those movies mood-wise), but take it for what it is. Of course many different actors means many different stories to tell. Therefor leaving a few stories with less focus than the other (at least that might be the way you absorb and feel the movie).Still, if Drama is your cup (of tea/coffee), than go ahead and give it a try. You can't go completely wrong with that I'd say