Stan is a hit man hired by the mobster Dad to kill Rick, the husband of Jay. While waiting for his final instructions from Dad in a low budget hotel, Stan is visited by Jay, who begs for the life of Rick. He breaks his own rules and explains that only Dad may break his contract, and Jay decides to visit Dad in his night-club to claim for Ricks life. After meeting Dad, Jay comes back home to Rick, when secrets are disclosed.
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Stan (Scott Cohen) is a hit man hired by the mobster Dad (David Provel)to kill Rick (Henry Czerny), the husband of Jay (Angela Bettis). Whilewaiting for his final instructions from Dad in a low budget hotel, Stanis visited by Jay, who begs for the life of Rick. He breaks his ownrules and explains that only Dad may break his contract, and Jaydecides to visit Dad in his night-club to claim for Rick's life. Aftermeeting Dad, Jay comes back home to Rick, when secrets are disclosed.I bought this DVD without any previous reference, just based on thename of one of my favorite actresses, the stunning Angela Bettis. "TheCircle" is simply spectacular, an unique experience of pure independentcinema as art, disclosing an intriguing and disturbing story in anenvironment nightmare and shot in only one take in real time. Thelogistic of the script, planning routes and rehearsals necessary tomake this film would be enough to give a ten to the writer, director,cast and crew. In 2003, Lars von Trier presented to the world thesensational and original "Dogville", a bitter play about a town withdisgusting dwellers with an awesome story of human exploitation and payback. Yuri Zeltser gives this unknown masterpiece of experimentalcinema, with a great tale about sinners trapped in the purgatory (ormaybe in hell - in this case, Dad certainly is the devil). Everycharacter is actually dead: Stan and Jay committed suicide or diedthrough lethal injection; the cop, Hilga and Rick were shot; Dad wasill; Mom probably had an OD and Sing probably was murdered by Dad.Angela Bettis deserves an Oscar for her performance, and the cast hasmagnificent interpretations. The camera is fantastic, following thecharacters uninterruptedly through the most difficult angles andsituations. Last but not the least, this film is highly indicated formovie lovers that aim to see a refreshing and absolutely originaledition of a film. My vote is ten.Title (Brazil): "O CÃrculo da Morte" ("The Circle of Death")
I don't know how he did it, but he pulled it off. One continuous shot. No editing. Terrific performances from all the actors. I'm an independent filmmaker and can't even dream of doing anything close to this. I've never met Yuri Zeltser, but if anyone of you have or are planning to, please shake his hand and buy him a drink from Alexander Kustanovich, Brooklyn, NY.
After reading both the initial reviews that rate this film as brilliant and the later reviews suggesting the film was over-rated and a disappointment, I found myself unable to grasp the worth of "The Circle." I have watched Angela Bettis in both "May" and "Sick Girl" and was captivated by her performances in both brilliant and entertaining movies. Additionally, I am eagerly anticipating her directing debut in the upcoming movie "Roman" where she and Lucky McKee exchange roles (Angela directs, Lucky stars). This movie? Horrible! The review immediately before mine best summarizes this movie: shot on video, looks and feels like a cheap soap opera/film student project, has a transparent plot, and is generally uninspired and amateurish. I cannot imagine what Angela Bettis was thinking to get involved in this project. The entire "shot in one take" gimmick is just that: A gimmick conceived to hide the worthlessness of viewing this stinker. I noted that the gentleman from "The Sopranos" was in this movie as well, and, being a devoted fan of that series, was looking forward to his role also. Imagine my disappointment when that entire segment of the movie was actually worse than what was already adding up to be a huge waste of my time.This is not the worst movie I have seen but it is down there near the bottom of the list. Thank God I rented rather than purchased!
This movie is amazing -- creepy, mind-twisting, with a beautiful performance by Angela Bettis. And it's all done in one uninterrupted shot -- unbelievable! I saw "The Circle" at a festival screening, and can't wait to own it on DVD.
Angela Bettis stars as a troubled young wife of a man being set-up fora hit thanks to "Dad"(David Proval). She convinces the TheContract(Scott Cohen)to not go ahead with the planned hit, but mustcoerce Dad to take away the order to kill. Her journey is the largepart of this film as Bettis walks a hell of a lot in this film shot inone long continuous take from director Yuri Zeltser. The film issnake-bit by hammy overacting theatrics from a game cast who seem totry too hard for realism and melodramatic depth. The cast is alsosaddled with corny, sometimes embarrassing, dialogue as well. Not tomention, the film is full of weird characterizations creating anoddball experience which may or may not be the intent. Strange movie.The title is essentially referring to a never-ending cycle..or somesort of nightmarish limbo, is you wish.
This movie -- absolutely fantastic! On the technical level it's puregenius -- a single uninterrupted take, almost a hundred minutes, isspellbinding. The director, Yuri Zeltser, has performed a miracle,plain and simple. Well, not too simple -- making this movie must havebeen a mammoth undertaking. Now, the story starts off as athriller/mystery, but then dives deeper and deeper into humanpsychology and metaphysics. Mindbending, almost hallucinogenic stuff.The acting -- stunning, especially the brilliant Angela Bettis. Whyaren't we seeing more of this amazing actress? One exception -- DavidProval (from the Sopranos), who thinks he is Al Pacino and overacts abit (to put it mildly). Overall -- grand entertainment. 10 stars out often.
Very unusual experience this film. Refreshingly, I didn't know what toexpect at any given moment. The energy of the film was almostgorilla-like. The filming of the movie seemed very raw and simplistic,with a mysterious feel. I found myself eerily captivated. And the mostinteresting part is the dialog, simple, yet if you don't pay attention,you miss so much, even the most inane conversation is important to theplot line, brilliant! This is the first truly independent film I'veseen in years. I recommend this film to anyone tired of the cleanHollywood feel of so called "independent films" these days. If you wantan honest, no frills movie experience, check out this movie, you won'tknow WHAT hit you when your done!
Angela Bettis (MAY, MASTERS OF HORROR: SICK GIRL, TOOLBOX MURDERS) is a woman on a mission to keep her husband from being assassinated. We go along w/ her as she pleads w/ the hit-man, trying to convince him to relent. Unfortunately, this is only the first step in THE CIRCLE. I got over the "shot-on-video" look of the movie, and did like about half of it. The problem lies in the "one-uninterrupted-shot" approach. While this would have made for a fantastic short film, it makes things tend to drag in a 100 min. feature. I was impressed by the off-camera set changes and other devices used in order to make scene connections. Ms. Bettis herself is quite good, and there are some interesting characters in the strip club. The twist ending isn't bad, but it's a bit of a slog getting there! Worth seeing once...
Don't pay any attention to one-star reviews by total idiots. This isone of the most, if not THE most amazing piece of film-making I've everseen. And I'd like to know why the ONLY one-star review is the onefeatured on the main page. Who decides which review should be theleading one? At first I thought it was done in 3 or 4 takes, which would have beenimpressive enough, but upon watching it again, I see it really is onecontinuous scene, start to finish. I don't see how anybody could pullthat off. One mistake, one prop out of place, one line-fluff is all itwould take, and you'd have to start all over again. This requiresplanning and execution beyond imagining, at least for me.I could say that it got a bit over the top in the melodrama at times,but did it really? I'd have to say it all fitted with the surreal moodof the whole film.I can't really say much more, else I'd risk giving away too much. Ifyou like, or at least don't mind, something really different for achange, then please don't miss this.
Obviously, I'm going to have to watch this inane waste of time againjust to see what all the reviewers are raving about. From the openingshot when the hit man's phone rings and he looks at it like a cavemanlooking at the control panel of a Boeing 747, I knew I was in for areal piece of overacting. And I wasn't disappointed. Quick jerk of theneck, raised eyebrow, and a ponderous, "Hmmmm. What is this object onthe nightstand that's emitting a ringing tone?" 43 seconds later, hefigured it out and answered the damned thing... Everybody overacts.Even the "real" people. I think perhaps it was less an "amazing 90minute one take" piece of directing and more of a "Hey! We've got a 90minute tape in this camcorder--let's make a movie!" Don't waste yourtime.
This film was absolutely fascinating. To pull off an entire movie inone continuous shot seems an unattainable feat, but Yuri Zeltserconquers it masterfully. The amazing part of this story is that Ididn't notice it was unedited until I read the back of the DVD case -then I went back through the movie and was astonished by the directionand camera work throughout the one-and-a-half hour film. The fact thatit was an action/drama even makes it more astounding because thesemovies often require the most takes. It is a sharp, intelligent andsuspenseful tale that plays out like dream. A dream in which the maincharacter, Angela Bettis can't wake up from and turns out to be ahorrible nightmare in the end. David Proval also was impressive in hisrole as a contract killer with a rough edge, but a soft side thatshines through with the help of Angela Bettis' character. This film hasearned my recommendation and will surely surprise you as film unravels.
After all the hype I expected a very good film starring the fantastic Angela Bettis. I am still looking. Bettis' performance while very good is wasted in this cheesy film student style movie. Shooting in digital gives the director lattitude but also allows for sloppy filming. The hype of being shot in one take is clearly wrong as there are at least two points where the film is cut. The story line is not new and the 'twist' ending is very predictable from the middle of the story. The filming looks like a bad soap opera and the writing isn't much better. Following characters walking down halls and sidewalks for long periods of time is not interesting and it was clear that the actors were struggling with it. While the plot device is not new it is always nice to see Angela Bettis doing anything. Her talents are so wasted here and I don't know why she signed on to this poor film experiment. The only circle I will complete is going back for my money.
this is an ''ok'' rental . I would be disapointed paying $15 's for it .Definetly over rated on here.
I've noticed in the past that movie-watchers tend to be very loyal totheir genres and that when a movie crosses genres, as this one does, ittends to provoke a hostile reaction from a certain segment of theviewing public. The problem is that this movie appears to be an actionthriller, but it isn't one at all. Not to give too much away, but it'sactually a supernatural drama. (And when the genre of your movie is aspoiler, that's a bit of a marketing nightmare!) Certain reviewers havecriticized this movie for being a bad action thriller--which makessense because it isn't an action thriller. Others have assumed that themovie simply lost its way, when it has been very carefully crafted fromthe very first second (looking into a mirror) to be exactly what it is.Much has been made of the no-cut technique as if it's a gimmick, whenit is in fact integral to the story. A cut in a movie, more thananything else, implies a jump in time, but time is a metaphysicalimpossibility in this movie--hence the comments about being punishedfor what will happen later and the protagonist's frequent musings onwhether she has met these characters before.Some have felt that the actors are too wooden ormelodramatic--"one-note," I believe a reviewer said--without realizingthat this is exactly what they are supposed to be. Again at the risk ofgiving too much away, I'll just point out that these characters are notwhat they once were. They have eroded. What remains of them is a kindof imprint--thus, for example, the cop can't remember exactly who hisfamily is even though he instantly identifies himself as a father. Eachcharacter has preserved only a core of habits, unresolved emotions, andconcerns, and it is from this core that the characters speak and act.Even the most trivial comments convey this.Another problem with this movie is that it doesn't mesh neatly with ourpreconceived ideas of metaphysical reality. So, for instance, we couldall deal with Angel Heart because we could tell right away that RobertDe Niro was the devil, but here, we can't seem to find the rightarchetypes to help us along. Another review suggests that Dad is thedevil, but I doubt that very much; I think he would say he's just asick old man who likes power, who has done a lot of horrible things,and who still mourns the loss of his daughter. And I think he's veryclose to being right.The mood of the movie is perfect. It conveys the impression that wehave stayed up all night and have reached that vulnerable time shortlybefore dawn when all decent, normal people are in bed, or possibly arein a different reality altogether; when the world seems empty of allvitality or meaning; and when even the most familiar settings seemunfamiliar. The anonymous sets convey as well this idea that we havestepped into some sort of shadow world where all the late-night fastfood places are locked up, all the gas stations are closed, and all thedaytime rules no longer apply.Altogether, this movie perfectly tells the story it has to tell.Unfortunately, those who had hoped that story would be an actionthriller will continue to be disappointed.