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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes we all need to unplug, 10 Sep 2013
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Disconnect [US Import] [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
Disconnect is a star-studded story of the way technology divides us and isolates us. It follows four-story arcs much like Magnolia or a Crash-style formula. High flying lawyer Rich Boyd (Jason Bateman - Horrible Bosses) is distant from his family, notably his reclusive son Ben (Jonah Bobo - Crazy, Stupid, Love) both spending an inordinate amount on their computers and phones. Meanwhile, teenage delinquents Jason (Colin Ford - Push) and Frye (Aviad Bernstein) begin a campaign of cyber-bullying unbeknownst to Jason's dad Mike (Frank Grillo - Warrior) - an ex-cybercrime investigator turned private who in turn, is hired by identity-theft-struck couple Alexander (Alexander Skarsgård - Battleship) and Cynthia (Paula Patton - 2 Guns) who are dangerously near bankrupt after Cynthia's recent chat-room indiscretions. Whilst all this is going on, reporter Nina Dunham (Andrea Riseborough - Oblivion) stumbles across hot-topic-story of webcam exploitation of young men whilst browsing websites and sets out to liberate Kyle (Max Thierot - House at the End of the Street) from his dead-end life whilst promoting her own career. Whilst all of these people interact, it is often only by electronic means, it may just be better to disconnect.

Phew, now that that is all laid out, it's difficult not to be impressed by solely the casting of this 2 hour slow moving but powerful film directed by Henry Alex Rubin; a director who has done little of note since 2005 when he directed a documentary. However the direction is solid and stylised; often wordless shots of the actors accompany an on-screen back and forth of text messages or chat logs as the characters text & type with their faces under-lit by the blue glow of smart-phone or PC accompanied by the 'ding' of a message tone. It is this stylisation that prevails throughout the direction and really gives the film a feel of remoteness. The film has some difficult subject material to work through; cyber-bullying the most salient but also the exploitation of minors for web-based pornography. None of these subjects are fumbled, but the lack of resolution to most of the story arcs means they are hardly grasping the proverbial nettle either.

Steering clear of packaging all of the issues up at the end is a decent trick that averts Hollywood convention but also avoids providing any real morals whilst driving home the ongoing nature of all of these issues. When the acting is considered this is a fantastic film, all of the cast providing excellent renditions of their roles, notably the beautiful Andrea Riseborough and Max Thierot whose chemistry is palpable during their forbidden-attraction predicament. Skarsgård's arc felt like the most ham-fisted of plots, included solely for another negative side of technology; identity theft - whilst he supports the premise well, it actually felt quite disjointed from the rest of the production, belonging in a revenge movie more than this commentary on technology's place in society. Predictably, there is some spillover between the story arcs as time goes on but it is far from a complete microcosm.

In conclusion, this is a human tale, that features some excellent actors providing excellent renditions. However it is weighty & slow-moving at points and comes across as a downer. Whilst it is very difficult to spin any positives out of the issues raised during the film, leaving the story threads unfinished is a weak-way to bow out when the preceding 2 hours feel very much like they are part of a parable. This film will leave you thinking about how we use technology in place of human interaction, but finishes on a pretty depressing note. Definitely worth a watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 28 Nov 2013
This review is from: Disconnect [US Import] [Blu-ray] [2012] (Blu-ray)
One of the best films i have ever seen it is extremely gripping and can make you cry, no matter how many times you watch it. Henry alex rubin has done a great job on this movie
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd, 24 May 2014
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A great dvd shows how people go to work normal life and people bullying Alexander skarsguard plays amazing in the movie loved it
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Disconnect   [US Import] [Blu-ray] [2012]
Disconnect [US Import] [Blu-ray] [2012] by Jason Bateman (Blu-ray - 2013)
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