Release Date: May 11th, 2007 (Quad Cinema) by Truly Indie.
The Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Gary Farmer, Genevieve Bujold, Charlie McDermott, Lothaire Bluteau, Heather Rae, Luis Guzman.
Directed by Jay Craven.
BASIC PREMISE: In the 1932, Quebec Bill (Kristofferson) sets out on a quest to steal whiskey from Carcajou (Bluteau), a criminal, in Canada and smuggle it to Vermont with his brother-in-law, Iroquois (Farmer), teenage son, Wild Bill (McDermott), and his hired hand, Rat (Sanderson).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Disappearances combines adventure, drama and magic realism with uneven results. Quebec Bill decides to return to his old habit of smuggling whiskey. Along with Wild Bill, Iroquois and Rat, he treks from his rural Vermont home to Canada where tries to steal 20 cases of whiskey from an infamous criminal, Carcajou. On the way back he must protect himself and the rest of his gang from Carcajou, who wants them dead and, of course, his whiskey back. Brother St. Hilaire (Guzman) helps them to go incognito as monks. Every now and then, Wild Bill’s aunt Cordelia (Bujold) pops up as a ghost, while quoting Shakespeare (hence her name Corderlia, which happens to be the name of King Lear’s youngest daughter from Shakespeare’s play). Writer/director Jay Craven fails to add any well-needed comic relief while the magical realism scenes feel distracting and awkward. None of the characters are particularly memorable or interesting—especially Wild Bill, who comes-of-age during the adventure and bonds with his father, but in a contrived way. At least some of the action scenes, such as a cat-and-mouse chase on a train, generate excitement and thrills. Also, the scenery of Vermont and Canada looks quite picturesque. Kris Kristofferson succeeds in adding charisma to his role of Quebec Bill and helps to make Disappearances at least mildly engaging.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Occasionally awkward, contrived and uneven.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3
IN A NUTSHELL: Kris Kristofferson’s charismatic performance, briefly exciting action scenes and beautiful scenery barely compensates for an awkward use of magical realism, insufficient comic relief and a slightly contrived, uneven plot.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "D" Menu