I don’t review films very often. I watch so many I’d do nothing else if I were to write a review for each of them. But I liked Jennifer Lynch’s latest feature so much I felt compelled to make comment. Chained is quite possibly the best film I’ve seen so far this year. I’m a big fan of Vincent D’Onofrio and this is him at his best. It’s like watching Private Pile’s resurrected brother taking his rifle (knife) out for some fun. There’s menace in those eyes and the way he holds his shoulder that permeates to the form of the words that come from his mouth. Every sinew of his on screen being sweats threat. D’Onofrio reminds me a little of the late Chris Penn. And a little like Mr Penn, if he lost a little weight the cinema going majority might realise that he is actually Robert DeNiro in his prime. Eamon Farren is emotionally engaging as the victimised Rabbit who despite all that is thrown at him desperately clings to a overwhelmed humanity. A huge chunk of the credit for the films success has to go to Ms Lynch, who true to her pedigree keeps you engaged to the end. Just when you think you have the measure of the story, the characters, where it’s all going, she takes a skull cracking left turn that’s as shocking as it is poignant.
Back in May I noted that I’d seen a hundred new films. Or should I say a hundred films I hadn’t seen before. Over the past week I passed the two hundred mark. That’s two hundred films in less than ten months. I dread to think what it’s cost me in both time and money. Although it’s probably less than I would’ve spent if I smoked twenty a day. Part of me thinks I might become a more productive writer if I spent less time at the weekends watching films. The other part of me thinks it’s absolutely necessary research. I do keep my mornings free to write. And limit my viewing schedule to the afternoons. But that’s still a lot of time watching films. It’s how I spend my playtime. And as the proverb says “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
I watch a lot of films. I tell myself it’s research. But it may have turned from professional interest. To mild obsession. Today we went to Blockbuster and hired four films to watch this afternoon. On top of the three I already have from LoveFilm. I try to keep a record of the films I watch. And so far this year I have seen one hundred films. That’s a hundred films in five months. Last year I it was one hundred and forty three. At this rate I will have watched more than two hundred films in one year. That’s new films I haven’t seen before. On top of the film I might happen upon while watching television. Or the films I watch repeatedly. The films I obsess over. Mainly those of David Mamet. I’ve watched some of his films so often now I can repeat the lines before they are said. Really annoying for anyone watching with me. Anyway. I must go. My obsession awaits. I have seven films to watch before bedtime.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED is an interesting low budget thriller from first time writer/director J Blakeson. Two men fortify a derelict apartment. Kidnap a woman. Tie her to the bed. And demand a two million pounds ransom from her father. Eddie Marsan (Vic) is delightfully menacing as the criminal mastermind with the perfect plan. Martin Compston (Danny) turns in a similarly impressive performance as Vic’s obedient conspirator. But it is Gemma Arterton who impressed me most. She rises to the challenge and gives her most believable performance to date as the kidnapped Alice Creed. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much from this film. I knew almost nothing about it going in. So was genuinely surprised by at least one of the plot points. Although we have only three actors. And a limited number of location. It punches well above its weight. The writing is tight. The direction precise. Defiantly worth seeing at least once.
Director: J Blakeson
Writer: J Blakeson
Production Year: 2009
Running Time: 96 minutes