Amazon Holiday

Monday, September 15, 2008

Choke

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A sex-addict (Sam Rockwell) tries to cope with his mother (Anjelica Huston), who is hospitalized with dementia, and has raised him from a place of utter craziness.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Jonah Bobo, Kelly Macdonald, Brad William Henke, Gillian Jacobs, Bijou Phillips, Clark Gregg, Paz de la Huerta, Joel Grey, Heather Burns

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. While the film is being marketed as a story about a man who fakes choking on food in restaurants, so that the strangers who save him will send him empathy money, there is far more that relates to choking the chicken, than gagging on food. This film would be more appropriately described as the tale of a complete ass who was raised by a crazy fugitive woman, and is more comfortable in a world of insanity than he is with normalcy or stability. But the fact that it's being described as something completely different than what it is, is a testament to how unfocused it feels.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Despite the above description, it is something of a comedy.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you mace yourself in the eye.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It won the Sundance Special Jury Award for work by an ensemble cast, which pretty much guarantees that the Independent Spirit Awards won't want to be left out of the honoring.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Sam Rockwell is one of those actors who seems about to breakout with every role, and yet... On the bright side, I'm sure that at some point he'll win a Lifetime Achievement Award for all the work he's done that's been overlooked. Anjelica Huston is a blast to watch in all her insanity. And Jonah Bobo has been one of my favorite child actors since Zathura-- although, somehow, he hasn't made a movie since then! On the other hand, Kelly Macdonald does not hold her own against these powerhouses, and her high pitched, fake American accent is grating.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Actor, and first time director, Clark Gregg, seems perfectly comfortable on the flip side of the camera. My only note, is that at one point he shows us what the main character is thinking, as if it were a black & white film reel, playing on one of his sex-partners' back. While this reel is funny and innovative, its style is inconsistent with the look of the rest of the film.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The audience is never really given a clear understanding of why these people are doing many of the crazy things they do, because the writing only scratches the surface of justification. That's why the script ends up feeling like it's just filled with crazy people doing crazy things, and without much for those of us who consider ourselves sane to latch on to, or relate to... And yes, I do consider myself sane. Deal with it!

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4 comments:

jaccstev said...

I like the uniqueness of this film poster had shown but are those uniqueness also implied in the film, I've never known until I read your review here. Thanks for this helpful review.

Seek said...

After barely stomaching half (hopefully the worse half) of "Rachel is Getting Married" last night, my three hours spent to watch "Choke" the night before, now seem far better invested.
I would rename the movie for sure. "Joke", "Flake" or "Whack" would be more on nose. And I agree with you that the synopsis doesn't come close to what the film was really about. I did laugh, and enjoyed the more sane characters in this semi-story. But it really would have been a better comedy if it had stuck to that idea--being a comedy. I think all of the dementia and attempts to add depth through back story were a waste of potential fun. I wanted to see the protagonist at his odd day job more than anything else. But at least it was worth sitting through until the end, unlike "Wretch"...um...I mean "Rachel..."!

Monique Elisabeth said...

*jaccstev: I liked the poster too, but after seeing the film, I feel the poster doesn't really represent the film all that well. I'm not suggesting you should skip this one, though. It has a lot of good stuff inside of a somewhat jumbled story. Many darkly comedic moments. Some great acting. (As Seek mentioned) Rockewell has an interesting day job, and there's a lot of humor with that. And over all, it's a pretty good representation of an "indy film", so I'd like to hear what you have to say about it.

*Seek: Rachel Getting Married Review is coming soon... I think you'll like it.

Farzan said...

Good review their. I saw the trailer for this during Burn After Reading and I thought it looked alittle weird. I think the poster looks cool, but im not sure about the movie.