So, a nice crime comedy yesterday, and a crime action film today. It’s all about mixing it up when you’re on a 7 week run of films.
And today it’s…
13th November, Day 14
Reindeer Games (John Frankenheimer, 2000)
Nick and Rudy are cellmates counting down to their release. Nick (James Frain, who turned up as Theo Galavan in Gtoham) is looking to final meet his penpal girlfriend, and has already picked the cabin where they will “meet” for a week, while Rudy (Ben Affleck) is just looking forward to having a hot chocolate and going home to his parents. Just before they get out, Nick is stabbed in a canteen, and Rudy leaves prison alone. As he is boarding the train, he sees a woman stood alone, and realises it must be Ashley (Charlize Theron), the girl Nick had been writing too. Rudy goes to tell her the truth, but when she thinks he is Nick – and the fact that he knows all about her, having been read each letter while sharing a cell – he takes his place. I guess the hot chocolate can wait!
Gabriel (Gary Sinise) turns up at the cabin and attacks Rudy. He is Ashley brother, and has found out about Nick’s past as working in a casino – which he now plans to rob with Nick’s help. Of course, Rudy isn’t Nick, but he after trying to put them off, he comes up with a plan that, at least on the surface, could be successful. Can Rudy pull off the job despite his own inexperience and the incompetence of Gabriel’s team? Will anyone work out Rudy’s real identity? And will Ashley still care about him if they do?
This was John Frankheimer’s last film in a career that included The Birdman of Alcatraz, The Manchurian Candidate, and even made Ronin just two years before. This isn’t a particularly good film though. It feels overstuffed, and despite three talented leads, there’s an uneven tone that makes it very hard to get into the film. You can almost see the joins where the film was recut, it severely hurts the film, especially in the final third, when the characters are still explaining plot points.
Still, at least it is a Christmas film I guess. It makes a change of pace from the usual Christmas family film, as this is about a man trying to get back to his family for a traditional Christmas.
Overall, I give this
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far.
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games