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To 'Reach Me,' sift through the jumble

To 'Reach Me,' sift through the jumble
Lauren Cohan in the movie "Reach Me." (Millennium Entertainment)

To not know where a movie is headed can be a good thing in this age of rampant predictability. But if that feeling stems from a sense that the movie has no clue what it is, you're in trouble.

Writer-director John Herzfeld's "Reach Me" — about the effect a reclusive author's self-help book has on a variety of mostly angry, bitter or violent characters who converge in Los Angeles — is a genuinely odd bird.

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With a patchwork ensemble made up of Sylvester Stallone (Andrew Breitbart-like blogger), Tom Berenger (the author), Kyra Sedgwick (ex-con/aspiring designer), Danny Aiello (priest), Omari Hardwick (hit man), Kevin Connolly (journalist), Thomas Jane (vigilante cop) and others, "Reach Me" and its hodgepodge of thudding comedy-drama is reminiscent of the 1990s heyday of Tarantino apery, when Herzfeld's similarly crazy-quilt, big-cast melodrama "2 Days in the Valley" probably felt more freshly imitative. (The tepid stab at social conscience, meanwhile, suggests that its other cousin is the moralizing Paul Haggis assemblage "Crash.")

"Reach Me," though, is a kitchen-sink mess with no discernible narrative drive or thematic resonance beyond uninspired batches of bad behavior, gunplay, eccentricity and weak uplift.

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"Reach Me"

MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual content, violence, language, drug use, smoking.

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.

Playing: AMC Rolling Hills 20.

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