99 Homes (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 7, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“99 Homes” is a film in which filmmaker Ramin Bahrani wants to give viewers the opportunity to make their own mind on what happens to these characters. I see the point of cruelty, the amorality of reality brokers and corruption which took place during the housing crisis and the people that were screwed over and families and lives that are destroyed in the process. But how far one would go for the sake of money vs. pride? A thought-provoking film which I definitely recommend watching!
Image courtesy of © 2014 99 Homes Productions LLC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: 99 Homes
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 112 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 Aspect Ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1, English DTS Digital Sound, Subtitles: English, Espanol, Francais
COMPANY: Broadgreen Pictures
RATED: R (Language Including Some Sexual References and a Brief Violent Image)
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Directed by Ramin Barani
Written by Ramin Bahrani and Amir Naderi
Story by Bahareh Azimi
Produced by Ashok Amritraj, Ramin Bahrani, Justin Nappi, Kevin Turen
Executive Producer: Mohammed Al Turki, Ron Curtis, Manu Gargi, Arcadiy Golubovich
Music by Antony Partos, Matteo Zingales
Cinematography by Bobby Bukowski
Edited by Ramin Bahrani
Casting by Douglas Aibel, Tracy Kilpatrick
Production Design by Alex DiGerlando
Art Direction by Christina Eunji Kim
Set Decoration by Monique Champagne
Costume Design by Meghan Kasperlik
Michael Shannon as Rick Carver
Andrew Garfield as Dennis Nash
Laura Dern as Lynn Nash
Noah Lomax as Connor Nash
Tim Guinee as Frank Greene
A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker who’s the source of his frustration.
From filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (“Goodbye Solo”, “Man Push Cart”, “Chop Shop”) comes his latest film “99 Homes” in which he co-wrote the screenplay with Amir Naderi and is based on a story by Bahareh Azimi.
The film stars Michael Shannon (“Man of Steel”, “Take Shelter”, “Boardwalk Empire”), Andrew Garfield (“Amazing Spider-Man” films, “The Social Network”) and Laura Dern (“Jurassic Park”, “Blue Velvet”, “Wild”, “The Fault in Our Stars”).
The independent film has received positive reviews from film critics and won the “Best Film” award at the Venice International Film Festival from the Young Jury Members and Michael Shannon has been nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” at the Golden Globe Awards and Independent Spirit Awards and “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The film begins with an introduction to Rick Carver (portrayed by Michael Shannon) who evicts people from their homes. One of the homes he went to, a father commits suicide after receiving a notice of eviction and for Carver, it’s business as usual.
For recently unemployed single father Dennis Nash (portrayed by Andrew Garfield), he is not paid for the construction work he had done and because he is behind on payments, his home which he and his family have lived in since he was young has been foreclosed and he and his family is about to be evicted by Rick Carver with law enforcement and they must vacate the premises.
And now he, his young son Connor (portrayed by Noah Lomax) and his mother Lynn (portrayed by Laura Dern) are being evicted immediately and are forced to move into a motel room.
With their belongings being taken by Carver’s men, Dennis goes to his office to retrieve his work tools and seeing Dennis’ not afraid to confront his men, Carver offers a job to Dennis to be a repairman at his properties and Dennis takes the job.
Not long after, Dennis becomes an assistant for Carver and takes up a job to carry out evictions and discovers real estate schemes.
But what happens to Dennis’ life thereafter?
“99 Homes” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Cinematographer Bobby Bukowski is known to use direct light to his advantage and for the most part, at times the scene looks soft but its typically the light in play. Close-ups show good detail at times and I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“99 Homes” is presented in English 5.1 DTS Master Audio and Espanol 5.1 DTS Digital Surround. Aside from a few fight scenes and ambiance due to the homeowners distressed about their property being taken over, the majority of the film is primarily dialogue-driven.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Espanol.
“99 Homes” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by writer and director Ramin Bahrani
- Deleted Scene – A deleted scene with additional commentary by Ramin Bahrani, also the editor of the film. The deleted scene is shown after the film is completed.
“99 Homes” is a film in which filmmaker Ramin Bahrani wanted people to think about and discuss afterward.
Doing his research on the housing crash and four states that became the epicenter of the crash, Bahrani started to see the life of real estate brokers who had the task of evicting people from their homes.
Set during the housing crisis (around 2010), the film centers around Rick Carver and his business of evicting people and not having a moral fiber of what happens to that family. He takes in a recently evicted single father, Dennis Nash and wanting to reclaim the home, he is offered a job by Carver and to also to bring people to sell their homes before they are evicted.
The film exposed the dirty side of the business, from evictions to how Carver would generate a tremendous amount of income by removing various key fittings and appliances from abandoned homes and then charging the government for the replacement.
Michael Shannon gives a wonderful performance as the always business-minded Rick Carver. An amoral person who cares less about the families he evicts and always thinking of making a profit, he zeroes in on the young Dennis Nash. Knowing he has construction skills but knowing the young man is in need of money and pretty much because of that, has the young man wrapped around his finger.
But the question is if Dennis Nash would exhibit the same amorality? Money or pride? And those are the things that Dennis Nash will need to face.
Andrew Garfield also gives a wonderful performance and is allowed to show the more versatile side of his acting and is able to showcase various emotions of the character.
But there is also an underlying message about how these people who take advantage of people and whether or not they ever face any punishment. And how far a person would go for the sake of money.
The Blu-ray release features good picture quality, while dialogue and music are dominant and are crystal clear. The Blu-ray release includes an audio commentary and a deleted scene.
Overall, “99 Homes” is a film in which filmmaker Ramin Bahrani wants to give viewers the opportunity to make their own mind on what happens to these characters. I see the point of cruelty, the amorality of reality brokers and corruption which took place during the housing crisis and the people that were screwed over and families and lives that are destroyed in the process. But how far one would go for the sake of money vs. pride?
A thought-provoking film which I definitely recommend watching!
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