99 Homes DVD Review

DVD Review by Jarred Tito

The Premise
Around the world everyone knows that honest hard work gets you nowhere. In sunny Orlando, Florida, construction worker Dennis Nash learns this the hard way when he is evicted from his home by a charismatic, gun-toting real-estate broker, Rick Carver. Humiliated and homeless, Nash has no choice but to move his mom and nine-year old son into a shabby, dangerous motel. All is lost. Until an unexpected opportunity arises for Nash to strike a deal with the devil - he begins working for Carver in a desperate attempt to get his home back. Carver seduces Nash into a risky world of scamming and stealing from the banks and the government; he teaches Nash how the rich get richer. Living a double life, Nash hides his new boss and job from his family. He rises fast and makes real money; he dreams bigger. But there is a cost. On Carver's orders, Nash must evict honest families from their homes - just as it happened to him. Nash's conscience starts tearing him apart.

The Review
The plot is set in the opening scene with a very emotive Dennis Nash, (Andrew 'Spiderman' Garfield) who is a law abiding citizen with son at side, trying to save his home from bank confiscation when he can't afford his house repayments. It's a touching scene which showcases the real acting talent of Garfield and sets the backdrop for this movie during the 2008 US housing market crash. Dennis faces being thrown to the streets with alarming precision by real estate agent, 'Rick Carver', who is played by Michael Shannon who you might remember as the 'screwed up' FBI agent from the popular tv show, 'Boardwalk Empire'. Shannon is absolutely brilliant in this role and runs away with every scene that he is in. His character is a perfectly written antagonist which is both conjuring and conniving, brutal and sharp yet has a personal story that, in his mind and maybe the author's mind too, seems to justify his actions. To further complicate the situation Dennis finds himself with the most unlikely business proposition which is working as Rick Carver's right hand man evicting other home owners.
This film makes an effort to reveal the economic strain encountered by those everyday people who were unlucky enough to have money owing on their mortgages when the share market crash of 2008 hit. Conversely it also makes an effort, using Rick Carver as a 'devil's advocate,' to reveal how out of control or complacent people had become concerning the borrowing of money from banks. It also reveals harder side of the USA's legal system and its intolerance of the 'struggling' class.
I went away from this movie pondering our whole moral and values system. Has the   western culture of capitalistic gain gone too far or are economic crashes a necessary evil that cannot be avoided? Is our economic security and rights to make a reasonable living protected in the current political system that we live in? Or are we building castles in the sand? Delicately training his eye on the rigorous details, Ramin Bahrani successfully presents these questions of ethics and moral dilemmas throughout as the thread of this story line unfolds.

The Verdict
​Although it felt a little drawn out in parts when the story gets a little lost in the strains of the human heart, 99 Homes delivers a solid dramatic punch which is also laced with humour throughout, courtesy of Michael Shannon 'one liners' which are priceless. I was very entertained by the solid dramatic performances throughout and was happily lead into the worlds of the characters and their struggles. This is certainly a film that will challenge your ethics and values so be prepared. It will also give you a better incite to just exactly how the market crash of 2007 and 2008 affected the middle class in the USA.  I definitely recommend this one.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 14th April 2016
Rating: M – Contains offensive language & sexual references
Duration: 112 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern, Michael Shannon, Tim Guinee, J.D. Evermore, Jordyn McDempsey
Director: Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop)

The Extras
The film is based on a real life father who exposed a corrupted real estate agent

This is the first time Andrew Garfield has grown a beard for a film.