They are taken to trial, where Baldwin and Misskelley are sentenced to , and Echols to , all the while proclaiming their innocence. So maybe I am too old to appreciate this movie. The film was produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson, Christopher Woodrow and Paul Harris Boardman, and the screenplay was written by Boardman and Scott Derrickson. The prosecution's two chief witnesses - a boy who claims in fantastic detail to have seen the murders and been forced to drink the victims' blood, and his mother, who claims to have heard Echolls confess - are found to be compromised. I am still a proponent of the death penalty after the details of what happened here.
There are scenes -- like the one in which Pam sees a completed but ungraded homework assignment by her dead son and drives to the school so that his teacher, who at that moment is dealing with a roomful of Stevie's former classmates, can grade it -- that border on manipulative. Lax visits Pam, who expresses doubt about the verdict; Lax replies that, while he does not know who committed the murders, he knows in his heart that his clients are innocent. A couple of years ago I watched the 2 follow ons. Meanwhile, Pam Hobbs, Stevie's mother, begins to suspect that her husband and Stevie's stepfather Terry killed the boy, especially after finding Stevie's prized Swiss Army knife in Terry's toolkit. In fact, the title and compressed story reminds of a Lifetime Original television docudrama rather than an investigative powerhouse that wishes to build upon its predecessors. If so, why do they have so little comparative screentime, with key timeline events omitted or condensed? I watched the first documentary when it came out and I was a kid I was a Metallica fan and their music was used.
The film was released in Canadian theaters both English and French on January 24, 2014. Why else would the bloody Bojangles man and vague suspect Christopher Morgan feature in key scenes? It's something that has to be done perfectly otherwise cut it, In my opinion, it should have been cut out. Is the movie about the prime suspects? If not, why include scenes of auction house accolades and coffee conversation with his ex-wife? But although flawed the movie has some redeeming moments such as the leads, the interesting story, the court room scenes that were pretty good into building the story and the puzzles and a chilling ending that just makes you wish that you knew more about the true events of the film more. And that comes with the consequence of more important personalities being rushed into caricature as a result. Which leaves a courtroom drama as the only discernible nucleus of the film, and that is far from enough to keep the movie engaging when anyone with a passing interest in the case has a vague idea of how it turned out. The horrifying murders of three eight-year-old boys are made more sensational when whispers of witchcraft and human sacrifice whip West Memphis, Arkansas into a satanic panic.
With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guilt of the accused. Opening scenes evoke true tension with haunting imagery of shoelace-tied corpses pulled from a shallow creek bed, and the efforts of an emotionally destroyed town to reconcile themselves with incomprehensible madness. The performances are decent although not great. With their lives hanging in the balance, investigator Ron Lax is trying to find the truth between the town's need for justice and the guilt of the accused. Little Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Times Limited Partnership.
At the same time, Ron works tirelessly to locate the proof that will get the three young men acquitted. Pam soon begins to question her own beliefs about what happened to her son. . Those pictures all provide a much more substantive overview of the case than does: 's by-the-numbers movie might be fascinating to viewers unfamiliar with the controversy, but as it evolves into a straightforward courtroom tale, it will be tedious to those who have seen the earlier documentaries. A month later, — Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. After an extensive search, their bound and beaten bodies are found the next day.
Their names are not nearly as well-known as , , and , the young men -- known as the West Memphis Three -- who served 17 years in prison after being convicted, most likely wrongly, of the crime. The big part of the system that failed here in my eyes is that the Appeals process just continued to go back to the same Judge. The courthouse scenes were filmed at the in. Soon afterward, Pam leaves her husband. Timing, a unique idea, and an original presentation can go a long way in avoiding redundancy and in justifying a fresh perspective on any story or concept. Studio: Image Entertainment Director: Atom Egoyan Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Mara Leveritt Producer: Paul Harris Boardman, Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein Stars: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer, Amy Ryan, Bruce Greenwood, James Hamrick, Dane DeHaan, Kevin Durand, Alessandro Nivola Review Score: West Memphis, Arkansas — May 5, 1993 — Pamela Hobbs watches as her son Stevie Branch sets off after school to ride bikes with his friend Michael Moore. Based on the actual events of the West Memphis Three, where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993.
The film at the on September 8, 2013, followed by a wider release later that year. Simple-minded Jesse Misskelley confuses himself into a possibly coerced confession that lights the frenzied fuse. Steve Branch, Chris Byers, and James Moore were three eight-year-olds who became murder victims. Who was the mysterious, bloodied black man who showed up and quickly disappeared from a fast-food place near the crime scene on the night of the murder? The child's voice narration in this movie just really should have been something they cut in this movie. Reese Witherspoon stood out as one of the victims' mothers. The first image from the set was revealed on June 26, 2012. Is the movie about the whodunit? I say the documentaries are captivating, I know that sounds bad given the real crime involved, but it was kind of unbelievable.
The first 20 minutes of lead you to believe that he's going to take the same approach with this movie, exploring how a horrific crime alters a small town, but instead he stays focused on how one woman deals with such a profound and sudden loss. The community and the police department are convinced that the murders are the work of a , due to the violent and sexual natures of the crime. Why does her husband have Stevie's favorite knife? Unfortunately, for the role of Damien Echols, James Hamrick was simply the wrong choice. As a standalone film this is not a bad effort but at times the plot does indeed look convoluted. Based on the actual events of the West Memphis Three, where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993.
Despite the lack of exposition, both actors give heartfelt performances. Hobbs in one-by-one fashion is needlessly sappy. Private investigator Ron Lax offers his services pro bono to the defense team. Is the movie about Ron Lax? The system is broken in many ways but it is the best we have. The West Memphis Three have already been the subject of three peerless documentaries by and , as well as the nonfiction film , made with the cooperation of. I understand why it was inserted, but it really wasn't handled very well. There seems to be more than enough evidence to raise a reasonable doubt and acquit the three defendants, but the powers that be continually prevent these facts from being heard by the jury.
The movie itself kind of falls flat for me compared to the documentary series that followed the story all the way through. The movie makes such an effort to inoffensively mix true story and traditional film formula that it cannot help but end up anemic. Why doesn't the jury know that another teen also confessed to the crime? The shocked community quickly pointed their fingers at three teenagers whom appeared to be the perfect suspects. I expected a little more from the esteemed director Atom Egoyan but this was one of his weaker efforts. Accusations of witchcraft, Satanism, and human sacrifice lead the police to teenage suspects Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jesse Misskelley, who confesses to the crimes after a 12-hour interrogation. And that does validate the question of why there should be any need to dramatize a true story that has enough inherent intrigue to power four separate documentaries. Damien is portrayed as a defiant punk, while Jason Baldwin is barely portrayed at all.