Tag Archives: Red Rock West

A Week In Film #481: ALMOST All-New!

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore title screen
I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore
Quirky first feature as a writer-director from Macon Blair – best known as part of Jeremy Saulnier’s repertory – about an average woman (Melanie Lynskey) who feels compelled to right the wrong of being burgled. Tonally and thematically it sort of plays out like The Big Lebowski with fewer belly laughs. Elijah Wood is fun as her heavy metal-loving neighbour, whom she persuades to tag along, Gary Anthony Williams, Christine Woods, Robert Longstreet, Devon Graye, Jane Levy and David Yow all contribute watchable, endearing performances.

The Bleeder title screen
The Bleeder
Quite enjoyable take on the story of journeyman boxer and one-time contender Chuck Wepner, the purported inspiration behind Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character. Live Schreiber gives a good central performance, and there are nice turns from Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan and Michael Rapaport. Directed by Philippe Falardeau.

Tracker title screen
Pedestrian period piece about an Afrikaner farmer-turned-guerilla (Ray Winstone) coming to New Zealand in search of – well, something – in the wake of defeat at the hands of the British in the Boer War. There he finds himself hired to hunt down a Maori whaler (Temuera Morrison) wrongly accused of murder by dastardly British soldiers. Nothing exceptional from veteran director Ian Sharp.

Killer Joe title screen
Killer Joe
Kind of absorbing, but not wholly – William Friedkin adapting a Tracy Letts play about an unlikable family of Texan buffoons (Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon) enmeshing themselves in a ridiculous murder-for-insurance plot, assisted by creepy cop Matthew McConaughey.

Bad Day For The Cut title screen
Bad Day For The Cut
An interesting stab at a Blue Ruin-style take on the revenge thriller, set in Ireland, with Nigel O’Neill as a mild-mannered farmer who goes on a mission of retribution after his elderly mother is murdered. With Susan Lynch, Stuart Graham, David Pearse, Ian McElhinney, Jósef Pawlowski and Anna Próchniak; directed by Chris Baugh from a script co-written by Brendan Mullin.

Red Rock West title screen
Red Rock West
John Dahl’s pre-Last Seduction neo-noir, with a dusty Western vibe to it. Nic Cage is a drifter drawn into a web of deceit and double cross when he ends up in a shithole town with no money after a job falls through. Mistaken identity, honour, betrayal, a femme fatale, shifting alliances, JT Walsh, Lara Flynn Boyle and Dennis Hopper.

A Week In Film #022: Backed up on G20 investigations

The Omen (2006) title screen

The Omen (2006)
Pointless and rubbish remake. Julia Stiles is even more ineffectual than in the Bourne flicks. Pete Postlethwaite and David Thewlis do their best to impersonate Patrick Troughton and David Warner. The sequences are mostly inferior carbon copies of the originals, though the reporter’s demise in Jerusalem is riffed upon in a moderately interesting way. Note: Prague does not look like London.

Blood Simple title screen

Blood Simple
The Coen Brothers’ first feature, a natty little neo noir. Some great touches – the slimy private dick (M Emmet Walsh) and his Beetle, John Getz’s rubbish Ray, Dan Hedaya as pathetic cuckold Marty, and of course Frances McDormand as Abby, a femme fatale of sorts. The ending is wonderful. Works well with the likes of Red Rock West, The Hot Spot and The Last Seduction.

The Front Page title screen

The Front Page
Rather lacklustre adaptation of the Hecht/MacArthur commemoration of the bawdy world of newspapermen in Roaring Twenties Chicago. Given that it revolves around Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and is directed by Billy Wilder, that’s a shame. There’s some really unpleasant moments of misogyny and racism in there too, which the far superior His Girl Friday (the 1940 Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell one) managed to avoid despite being much closer to the source in time.

Daredevil title screen

Ben Affleck as a blind Marvel universe superhero; Jennifer Garner is Elektra, Colin Farrell Bullseye. Not great, but okay.

Zoolander title screen

Ben Stiller as a vacuous model recruited Manchurian Candidate-style to assassinate the Malaysian prime minister. Fairly entertaining Frat Pack stuff, with Owen Wilson as his rival-turned-ally.

Bad Influence title screen

Bad Influence
One of the more interesting films from that yuppie terror cycle (cf Pacific Heights), with weedy Michael (James Spader) coming under the influence of self-assured and dangerously confident Alex (Rob Lowe). So far so bland; but midway there’s something of a twist, and the tone and pace changes rather effectively. Lisa Zane is most alluring as Claire, a woman Michael falls for, and Christian Clemenson is convincingly flakey as Michael’s stoner brother. An early effort from director Curtis LA Confidential Hanson.

Cruising title screen

William Friedkin directs Al Pacino in a story about a cop undercover in the pre-Aids BDSM scene in New York’s Meatpacking district. Frankly that sounds awesome on the page. Sadly it’s a balled-up-sock-down-the-trousers of a movie. Pacino pretty much does Serpico in a leather jacket. It’s interesting, just not very exciting. I’m sure I remembered it as being better.

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three title screen

The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three
More New York, this time underground on the subway, with menacing mercenary Robert Shaw commanding a group of colour-coded hijackers holding a trainful of passengers to ransom. Walter Matthau as a transit cop, Martin Balsam a renegade train driver, Hector Elizondo a psychopathic ex-mafioso, Earl Hindman a making-up-the-numbers fourth man.