“The Surface”: All is (not quite) lost on Lake Michigan

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The Surface” opens Friday at Point Cinemas. PG-13, 1:26, two and a half stars out of four. The film’s director of photography and co-producer, Jimmy Sammarco, will be doing a Q&A after the 7 p.m. show on Saturday, May 16.

First off, all hail Gil Cates, Jr’s “The Surface” for not only shooting in Milwaukee, but shooting the hell out of Milwaukee. The city looks great in the film, from the shots of Milwaukee’s gorgeous lakefront to the vast blue waters of Lake Michigan, which the film makes look both soothing and ominous.

Cates and screenwriter-producer Josh Gendelman plunk two intriguing characters (played by two strong character actors) in the middle of this blue and watches what happens. “The Surface” is at its best, both as a suspense drama and as a character study, when it keeps things that simple and elemental.

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