A gangster flick with authentic Latin flavor and a twist that fingers high finance could figure as a kind of Hollywood risk that might pay off big. But Empire doesn’t successfully deliver its cash-driven and bullet-ridden modern tragedy, most of which has been done better before — with John Leguizamo.
If a filmmaking Frankenstein twisted the brainy themes and story pieces from Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 into an epic sci-fi fantasy as impossibly armed and dystopian as The Matrix, and orgiastic barrages of automatic gunfire periodically drowned out the messages, it would probably be like Equilibrium.
Three women (Kyra Sedgewick, Parker Posey and Fariuza Balk) are connected by strange turns, accidental epiphanies and the craft of fiction in writer-director Rebecca Miller’s film. An all-knowing narration peels off the women’s immediate personas to reveal their hidden desires and dirty secrets — but takes it to a place that stretches just beyond the page.
The title of this moody suspense film with supernatural elements refers to an Indian spirit who's half-man, half-deer (and seemingly part tree), an all-devouring entity who comes to represent a boy’s growing awareness of the world's more chaotic, uncontrollable elements.
Anson Mount gets the chance to carry a movie of his own in which he plays the sun-baked title character. Unfortunately it’s a wasted opportunity. Tully plays as innocuous and ploddingly predictable as any Family Channel production, all earnest farm parable and small-town soap opera.