28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A lethargic psychological prison saga,
This review is from: Stone [DVD] (DVD)
Stone features Edward Norton (Fight Club) as Gerald 'Stone' Creeson, a convicted arsonist who is becoming eligible for parole having served "8 out of 10 to 15" years. His Parole Officer is Jack Mabry (Robert De Niro), a man who is seemingly emotionally detached from the rest of the world and most significantly his marriage. Stone is not as stupid as his pseudo-street mannerisms would suggest as he tries to manipulates Mabry into helping his parole recommendation with mind games and his wife on the outside; Lucetta (Mila Jovovich - Resident Evil: Afterlife).
The majority of the film is shot in Jack Mabry's office as Stone and Mabry discuss Stone's eligibility to rejoin society. However Stone manages to slyly turn the conversation into a matter of the differences between the two men; insistent that there is little to differentiate them from one another except for the fact Stone has got caught. Days away from retirement and with the spotlight on himself, Mabry struggles to counter this argument and faces difficult moral decisions in how to handle Stone's wife Lucetta who is lasciviously pursuing him. Will he give in to temptation or stay on the moral high ground?
This film was a box-office bomb and honestly I'm not surprised. It's an interesting concept that the film wrestles with for it's duration, but ultimately it feels very drawn out as the laconic conversations really start to become monotonous. Jack's relationship with Lucetta is stilted and predictable and Norton's street accent really grates after a while. It's not to say that anyone's acting is substandard, more that the material is extremely dry and the little drama there is just feels hackneyed and unbelievable. When this is wrapped in an extremely sterile cinematic experience (the entire thing is set in an office, the prison visiting rooms or Jack's dilapidated rural house) it makes for a very boring watch - weighing in at 1hr 45 mins.
Extra content: All you get is a featurette called "The Making of Stone" and the theatrical trailer. The 'making of' is fairly boring as there wasn't a single scene where I was interested to see how they filmed it. I mean, a camera in an office? Hardly ground-breaking cinematography.
All in all, a solid script with a brilliant cast, but lacking any action and the right pace to keep you interested.