CHARLIE ST. CLOUD
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Charlie (Zac Efron) is a middle-class would-be sailor who shows real promise. But when his younger brother and trusty shipmate is killed in a car accident, Charlie abandons his dream. Because of a promise he had made his brother, he still meets his ghost for a game of catch each night. However, a new girl comes into Charlie’s life, and it threatens to break apart the relationship he has formed with his dead brother.
WHAT I LIKED
From a technical perspective, “Charlie St. Cloud” is a well made film. The look of the picture is pretty slick, and the sailing sequences still look pretty good. Additionally, there’s a certain amount of charm to the movie in a Nicholas Sparks sort of way.
In relation to this, I applaud Zac Efron for playing outside of his wheelhouse. Sure, he’s still a good looking teen hero, but at least he’s not dancing on the basketball court. He’s stretching a little bit here, and that’s a good thing. If he could do more with this, he might actually have a career outside of playing high school kids.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There are two big problems with “Charlie St. Cloud.” The first is the cast. Sure, Efron does a decent job, but too many of the other characters phone in their roles, from the younger brother to the bit part by Kim Basinger as Charlie’s mom and Ray Liotta as the paramedic who revives Charlie after the accident.
The other big problem is the level of cheese in this movie. There’s an interesting twist in the middle of the movie that makes it somewhat bearable, but ultimately, the film cranks up the level of schmaltz to a fever pitch, especially in the scenes with Charlie and his brother.
The Blu-ray comes with feature commentary with director Burr Steers, plus deleted scenes that also include Steers’ commentary. Additional features include a spotlight on star Zac Efron as a leading man as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette with Efron on location.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Zefron fans and people who don’t mind an unhealthy dose of cheese.