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on 12 October 2017
A fantastic Samuel L Jackson thriller; it has everything -- morals, deceit, retribution. Not to be mised!
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on 3 April 2015
Fast delivery and would use again. Good company to deal with. Thank you . Love this film :)
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2003
Any thoughts that "Changing Lanes" would be a predictable film should have gone out the window as soon as you saw Samuel L. Jackson was involved. The story is about two men who do not have time for a freeway fender bender. Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) is a lawyer who has some important papers to file to prove an ailing millionaire signed over control of his foundation to Banek's law firm. Doyle Gipson (Jackson), also has to get to court so he can show he got approved for a loan to buy a house so that his wife will not move with his two sons to Oregon. The accident itself is really nobody's fault, but everything that happens after words in this escalating war of words and deeds can be laid at the feet of Gavin and Doyle, who dive off into the deep end.
The movie ads proclaimed "One wrong turn deserves another," and it helps set the audience up for the carnage these two reap on each other's lives as their frustrations give way to anger. They have good reason to be frustrated: Doyle gets to court too late and his last chance to keep his family together is gone; Gavin arrives at court only to discover he has left the most important document behind. It turns out that this document is so important that not having it can put him and the bosses at his firm, including his father-in-law, in prison. These are two men whose lives have come to major crossroads. This is news to Gavin, but the impact is not less than it is on Doyle.
The trailer for "Changing Lanes" emphasizes the horrible things these two men manage to do to each other during the course of what is clearly the worst days of their lives. Gavin uses a computer wizard to destroy Doyle's credit rating. Doyle loosen the bolts on the wheel of Gavin's car. If somebody does not end up dead by the end of this film, then we are all going to be very much surprised. But that is what makes this film worth watching is that it is surprising, as when Gavin and Doyle both discover the true value of the lives they have been trying to lead are found in the women they have married (Amanda Peet and Kim Stauton respectively).
Ultimately, it is the ability of the script by Chap Taylor and Michael Tolkin to surprises us and lifts "Changing Lanes" above the standard Hollywood tale of urban violence. These two men could be cartoonish figures, but they become fully developed characters; not because of what they do to each other, but because of what they articulate about their lives in talking to others. Gavin confesses to his former mistress (Toni Collette) while Doyle bare his soul to his AA sponsor (William Hurt). In their initial conversation after the accident Gavin and Doyle are too worried about where they should be to have a civil conversation. Their next words are insults that they shout (and fax). But the film holds the promise that once these two men hit rock bottom that they might final turn on one another and talk.
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2003
Changing Lanes, directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill), is an urban morality tale that centres around a road rage conflict that escalates out of control following a fender bender between an obnoxious yuppie lawyer (Ben Affleck) and a recovering alcoholic (Samuel L Jackson) desperately trying to rebuild his family life. From what should have been an easily resolved accident their row escalates into an obsessive conflict in which the ante is continually upped as they set about bringing misery and revenge to each others lives.
Despite the mixed reviews I found this to be a very intelligent and well-acted movie. Unlike most mainstream Hollywood movies it has both a point and some meaning. It offers a very insightful snapshot of the dog eat dog world that we currently co-exist in, where people are in constant competition with each other and (selfishly) no longer show any thought, courtesy, compassion or consideration for each other. In many ways Changing Lanes is an Indie movie in Hollywood clothing. However, it boasts two strong male leads in Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, who both portray their opposing characters with depth, range and subtlety. In particular, it is refreshing to see Ben Affleck in something more substantial. The poor guy has taken such a fearful battering from critics since the ill-conceived Pearl Harbour but despite this he has made something of a comeback this year with both Changing Lanes and The Sum of All Fears. Like it or not, Ben Affleck IS a big star with a bright future. Samuel L Jackson, once again shows what a very versatile actor he is. He can be cool, he can be powerful, he can dominate the screen or as he does in this movie he can show a range of depth and subtlety beyond the vast majority of other actors. However, it is Toni Collette (Muriels Wedding, The Sixth Sense, About A Boy etc.) and legendary film producer/Director Sydney Pollack (in a rare acting appearance) that, to my mind, are the stars of this particular show in their respective supporting roles as Affleck's ex-mistress/confidante and boss/father in law. Pollack in particular gives a powerful performance as a charming father figure who switches at the drop of the hat to be a ruthless and vindictive morally corrupt businessman.
If there is a downside to this movie, it's the ending. If this was truly an Independent movie and not a Paramount produced project, then it surely would have had an ending more befitting reality and more befitting the tone of the film, with no redemption for anybody. Instead however, what we get is ultimately a cop-out (Hollywood) and they all lived happily ever after ending. Despite that though, given the worthiness of this tale and the top-notch acting performances from a fine cast, I still think its worth a go and worthy of 3.5 stars. : )
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on 15 August 2017
This film is about two men who races their cars across a bridge. One man (Afflick) by mistake leaves a receipt for a kettle with the other man (Sandy L Jackmon) and then he drives around and Afflick has to find him because the store closes at 6pm and he has to bring the kettle back for a refund.
At a certain stage the Sandy L Jackmon character realises that Afflick is after him and kicks in the Nitro and there is a mad car chase that lasts 23 minutes.
At the end Afflick's car is wrecked so he walks back to the office supply shop where he is a salesman.
He falls asleep.
When he wakes up Sandy L Jackmon is behind him and has left the receipt nailed to a photocopying machine.
But see Afflick had already faked a receipt for the kettle and got a full refund.
He hugs Jackmon and sez sorry for that long car chase.

At the end Afflick goes online and gets Jackmon a girlfriend so as to thank him for turning up with the receipt.

Jackmon heads off in his Jensen Interceptor and beside him is a hot Thai babe. Afflick waves at them and thinks to himself he has no kettle to make some tea.

Oh well he says...better luck next time!
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on 26 March 2003
Notting Hill is held only in my appreciation because it is not ambitious: it is a simple love story, 2 hours of fantastic escapism. Changing lanes on the other hand is a stark contrast: although not as ambitious as to make it pretentious, it is an extremely thought provoking film, aided greatly by the stunning performances of both Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson.
This though provocation should not shy away those who want to see a film purely for entertainment; it is optional (come to think if it, isn't it always?).
To keep it simple here are the major strengths of this film: the standard of acting, the fact that Samuel L Jackson has strayed from his type casted role of a "fly" guy, the fact that Ben Affleck fits comfortably in a role with more than emotion or action and most importantly because the film allows the viewer to form his/her own opinon. Too many films nowadays are engineered to make the viewer feel in a particular way. Every viewer of this film will feel differently about it, but if you appreciate excellent cinema, you will appreciate this film.
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on 20 May 2004
A kind of 'Good Samaritan in reverse', this is a modern-day parable about the perils of selfishness. I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced tale of how the smallest of incidents can spark a chain of events that can really ruin your day. A little like The Accidental Hero, you find yourself sympathising with both the good guy and bad guy, with the challenge being in deciding whose side you are on. Ben Affleck, who for all his trying is never going to be an Olivier, really finds his niche here as the self-centred big city lawyer, while Samuel L Jackson as always manages to come across as both scary and likeable at the same time. While you always suspect that there is to be a happy ending, you do need to suspend belief a little as it's difficult to imagine how either party end up escaping serious injury or prison. But after all it is only a movie, and great fun at that. Settle down with the beer and pizza, and enjoy!
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VINE VOICEon 5 July 2004
This is a movie with no heroes, no nudity, no CGI and practically no fancy stunts, yet somehow it manages to hold your interest.
After feeling genuine hatred for the two lead characters, more so for Banek (Affleck) than Gipson (Jackson), I found that the ending wrapped up too quickly, too conveniently and too smoothly, and while it was reasonably watchable the first time, I probably wouldn't want to see it a second time.
Both Affleck and Jackson play their parts convincingly, and make it almost believable that a fender bender could lead to such chaos. In the real world however, Banek should have wised up to his work situation from the beginning, and Gipson would have certainly fallen off the wagon. Personally, I could never be charitable to a man who purposely sets out to destroy my family's chance for happiness, or lies about my kids safety, which makes the somewhat neat ending leave a bad taste in my mouth.
The bankruptcy story thread was unconvincing. The highly paid professional just accepting his failure with a shrug off is just not realistic. There are other parts of the movie where the lead characters cause significant damage to office property without repercussions, and some of the support actors tenuously cling to the storyline like afterthoughts.
Considering that this movie is about greed, arrogance, despair, revenge, deceit and blackmail, it does very well to maintain a reasonable entertainment value. The "positive message" comes too late to be of significant redeeming value.
Jackson's performance carries the movie as far as it can go.
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on 7 August 2010
One more lawyer in one more law firm and one more crooked situation. He is married to the daughter of the boss who is a crook and stealing money from some foundation. Circumstances put him in a road accident when he is on his way to the court with a man who is an Alcoholic Anonymous, divorced, in a lawsuit with his ex-wife about the custody of the kids and is on the way to the same court. The lawyer drops a file that is essential for his case and he strands the other man on the highway on foot. Both are late in court. The lawyer manages his way out under a strict deadline condition. The other one loses his case. And then everything goes down because each one will try to pressurize the other into repairing the damage and they will cause even more damage by doing so. The film then is a thriller in a way since we expect any moment more violence and more retribution and more vengeance. Dependence is the worst thing that can hit a man, be it tobacco, alcohol, drugs or plain catastrophe or anti-social reactions. Lawyers are all crooked and perverted and sick in their minds and you can decide to do more good everyday than you do evil, if you are a lawyer you can be sure you will never keep that word. So you better give five dollars to the beggar round the corner in the street: that will probably be the only good action you will do today. Good action? My foot! Since that money is going to enrich a bar tender because the bum is going to drink it. And if you are a mischief maker, a catastrophe bringer, a crash perpetrator, you better stop drinking, stop smoking, stop getting under the influence of anything and retire into some kind of padded monastery or reclusion center for the mentally insane because there is no way you will change and the world will change. So better get used to it and let things go down the chute from bad to worse and then to the worst. Apart from that dark vision of life the film will keep you up for a while, awake too, because of the rather fast rhythm.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
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on 16 July 2007
South African director Roger Michell directs this hit suspense thriller starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. Michell is actually very skilled and has a tremendous amount of mainstream appeal. He also directed last years Venus, which was another solid film albeit very different from Changing Lanes. Ben Affleck plays Gavin, a successful Wall Street attorney who must file a power of appointment for his company, which is run by his father-in-law played by Sydney Pollack. The document will sign a company over to his law firm and that company is owned by a dying man. Ethical questions certainly surround the document and as things unfold we find out even more. Doyle is played by Samuel L. Jackson, he is an insurance salesman and a recovering alcoholic who wants badly to restore his family before his wife takes his children away to the west coast. We get the feeling that Doyle is a wounded man and his actions are unacceptable at times. Actually both characters are deeply flawed and that is what makes their collision so engaging.

On his way to court to file this crucial document, Gavin gets into a car accident with Doyle. He doesn't prioritize the accident and instead must leave the scene to make it to court on time. Doyle's car will not drive and he is in the middle of a highway median when Gavin takes off in a rush. It of course begins to rain. Doyle himself was on his way to court and when he eventually gets there he finds out that he is too late. His goal was to surprise his wife with a mortgage loan he just received so his family would stay. He was attempting to get some resolution to whatever chaos he may have caused his family before this movie begins. Unfortunately for Gavin the power of appointment was left at the scene of the accident and is in Doyle's possession. Doyle, sour for being left in the rain on the highway and missing his chance in court, refuses to give Gavin the document. Needless to say they both have reasonable vendettas against one another and the battle they have escalates throughout as the film goes forward. These two men are basically dehumanized to one another and it doesn't help matters that they both come from entirely different worlds. They are opposites in life, so they are fundamentally opposed to one another when the first sign of conflict surfaces. It turns out that Changing Lanes evolves into a unique commentary on the darkest sides of human nature. It is unique because we visit these dark decisions by way of likeable and real character portrayals. To avoid spoilers, I won't reveal anymore than I have already.

Samuel L. Jackson is obviously an outstanding actor and he is great here but the most surprising thing is Ben Affleck matches him and then some. It's a shame Ben's reputation as an actor was so horrible at the time Changing Lanes came out because his performance definitely deserved some praise. Sydney Pollack is also outstanding as an exceptionally believable and accessible villain. A lot of the credit goes to the screenplay here for exposing pragmatic reactions to specific circumstances instead of superficial morality. There are no purely ethical and moral figures in Changing Lanes, but then again I can't think of too many in real life either. If they did exist in Changing Lanes then its commentary would be disrupted completely, but I still held out hoping reason would creek into the picture. Chaos reigns here and humanity is called upon to prevail. It puts suspense on a much larger societal scale for me. I know that the ending bothered those hoping for something more retributive but try to see Changing Lanes as a story about healing, not revenge.
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