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Trust Me (2013)

Anchor Bay Entertainment
DVD Released: 8/26/2014

All Ratings out of




Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/27/2014

Given the dearth of entertainment television shows, magazines, and websites, today we have unprecedented access to information about the comings and goings in Hollywood. Aside from the endless parade of gossip which brings us the intimate details of celebrity's lives (and the world "celebrity" is often over-used), we are keep abreast of when new projects are announced, the success or failure of various projects, and how everyone and their brother feel about the latest hit movie or show. However, there are still plenty of things which go on in Tinseltown to which we aren't privy -- Typically because they aren't exciting enough to make the news. The lives of talent agents would certainly fall into this category. The film Trust Me takes us into this bizarre world.

Clark Gregg stars in Trust Me as Howard Holloway, a Hollywood talent agent. Once a child star, Howard is struggling as an agent, as his nemesis, Aldo (Sam Rockwell), consistently steals his business, and Howard's down to his last client. While attending an audition, Howard meets Lydia (Saxon Sharbino), a 13-year old acting prodigy, who has come to Hollywood with her father, Ray (Paul Sparks), from the Midwest. Lydia takes a shine to Howard, and despite her father's protests, she insists that Howard be her agent. As Howard attempts to broker a deal for Lydia to star in Ang Lee's new movie, he feels pressure from all sides, as most are convinced that he will wreck everything. While all of this is happening, Howard to attempt to woo his neighbor, Marcy (Amanda Peet).

Although he'd been a character actor for nearly 20 years, Clark Gregg certainly wasn't a household name or even all that recognizable, save for the fact that he's been married to 80s star Jennifer Grey since 2001. All of that changed in 2008 when he essayed the seemingly small role of Agent Phil Coulson in Iron Man. This blossomed into a recurring character which would appear in three (thus far) Marvel Studios features films, several shorts, and the lead in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show. Clearly, this newfound notoriety allowed Gregg to explore his more creative side, as he's the writer and director of Trust Me, and one would have to assume that he's drawing on some segments of his own career here.

With Trust Me, Gregg has created a very interesting film, which straddles several genres. It appears that the movie is being marketed as a sort of dramedy, and that certainly isn't out of the question. There are some humorous moments here (not "gut busters", but chuckle-worthy), and there's plenty of drama as Howard attempts to salvage his career while also working with a young girl who is coming from a questionable background. There are also the awkwardly tender moments between Howard and Marcy, as Trust Me explores how problematic relationships between adults can be.

The most surprising thing about Trust Me is that it is also a very suspenseful movie. This is surprising as the movie is not a thriller by any stretch of the imagination. However, from the outset, two things are made abundantly clear; Howard is a desperate man and that there are many forces working against him. The movie does a good job of painting a fair portrait of Howard. We get the idea that he's not the most scrupulous person in the world, but compared to Aldo, he's a saint, and we want to see him succeed. (Although the earring with Howard sports does give him a slight sheen of sleaze.) Once Howard meets Lydia and he realizes that she may be the "Golden Ticket", suddenly the world is out to get him and we find ourselves cringing to see what is going to work against him next, be it Ray, Aldo, or Lydia herself. These elements make Trust Me a very enjoyable film right up until the ending. I won't give anything away, but this is a movie where the finale will divide audiences and I come down on the side of not liking it.

This fatal flaw aside, Trust Me is fun viewing just for the cast. I always wonder why people in Hollywood don't invite their friends to join them on a movie and I have to assume that's what Gregg did here. The movie is full of familiar faces, most of which are probably found the material relatable. The most surprising performance comes from Paul Sparks, who most of us know as the wise-cracking Mickey from Boardwalk Empire. He plays a completely different character here, as the menacing Ray, which really shows his range. Trust Me introduces us to the hidden talents of Clark Gregg, shows us the ups and downs of a Hollywood talent agent, shows off a great cast, and concludes with a frustrating ending. It's that last point that keeps this from being a true winner.

Trust Me made me question how Ang Lee fits into all of this on DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing no distracting grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture is a bit soft when compared to what we've become accustomed to with Blu-ray Discs, and the depth is about average. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Being a dramatic comedy, we aren't overwhelmed with dynamic audio effects here. The finale offers some nice stereo and surround effects from the crowd. Street scenes deliver stereo effects that show good separation. I didn't note any particular subwoofer effects.

The Trust Me DVD doesn't offer any extra features.

Review Copyright 2014 by Mike Long