Review: Cop Car

Cop Car is a recently released film on Blu-Ray after a limited run in theaters. Written by Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford and Jon Watts also directed. Watts’ career has included a few television projects and a horror film called Clown. I am not familiar with Watts’ work other than this film, but we will soon be hearing much more from this director as he is attached to direct the new Spider-Man film from Marvel. Marvel has been very good at finding great talent to put behind the camera and they may have found another one in Watts.

Cop Car will more than likely draw its audience from Kevin Bacon fans more than Marvel fan boys, and though Bacon has a great performance in this film, the story is what drives it. One of the interesting things about this film is we do not get the whole story for any of the characters involved, but the short time that they cross paths is a mesmerizing story line. The film starts out with two young boys, played by James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford, who have recently ran away from home and start walking through the country. They come upon a sheriff’s car in the middle of nowhere, seemingly abandon. After a few dares coming from both boys, they find the keys and decide to take it. Then there is a flashback to just before the kids found the car. Kevin Bacon is a Sheriff who is pulling a dead body out of the trunk of the car and is bringing it to an abandoned well. He dumps the body after some effort and when he walks back to where he parked his car, it is gone. The story continues from here as Bacon has to outsmart the dispatch as well as find his car before anybody finds that it has been stolen.

Even though this is a country-noir with vast landscapes, it has a very small cast to keep the story very tight and suspenseful. Camryn Manheim plays a witness to the kids driving the car and Shea Whigham shows up in an important role later in the film. Other than these 5, everybody else is pretty much background extras.

One aspect of this film that I loved is all the characters in this film are noir protagonists in different ways and all could be the main character of their own noir story. We just do not know that whole story and never find it out during this film. The two boys are running away from home at the beginning of the film, but we don’t know why. The Sheriff is getting rid of a dead body and again we don’t know why. Do to my policy of no spoilers I will not go into Whigham’s character, but lets just say he may have the most noir story line of them all.

This film is a must see for fans of Whigham or Bacon and I feel most noir fans will find it worth watching. All this adds up to wanting to see more work from Watts and hoping he gives the new Spider-Man a little noir flair.

Favorite Tidbit: Kevin Bacon’s wife Kyra Sedgwick is the voice of the Police Dispatch in this film.

Review: Where the Truth Lies

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Where the Truth Lies is a movie based on a book by Rupert Holmes.  Holmes is a bit of a talent, he writes mystery-thriller books like this one(I have not read any of his work), He has written plays and won Tony awards for doing so.  He’s produced music for the likes of Barbra Streisand.  He’s written songs for the likes of The Drifters and The Platters.  He wrote the short but well liked television sitcom Remember WENN.  Oh yeah and he’s written and sang his own material, you might know him for a little song Escape (The Pina Colada Song).  So he is a talented entertainer in a lot of ways, he has had success in every field of entertainment.  But can he write a great noir that translates to a great neo noir film?

The Canadian Director Atom Egoyan wrote this screenplay and directed it.  I really like his films and he has made a few really good neo-noir films in his career.

This cast is pretty amazing, especially looking at where some of them are 10 years later.  This film stars Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as a Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin type duo.  Firth has gone on to win an Oscar for The King’s Speech and has become quite the star.  We have two femme fatale’s in this movie, Maureen played by Rachel Blanchard, who has shown up on the very good Fargo television series. The second femme fatale is Karen played by Alison Lohman who has done some amazing work but seems to have gotten married in 2009 and has disappeared from the movies.  Anybody know why she hasn’t been in anything lately?

This film starts out with our showbiz duo doing a telethon but we realize something is a miss right away.  Our team has a love/hate relationship for sure.  We than find our first femme fatale Maureen in a hotel room tub full of ice and long dead.  We than flash forward to our second femme fatale Karen who is a journalist and is writing a book about our entertainment team with an emphasis on the incident of the dead girl.  We continue flashing back and forward as Karen tries to find out what really happened that fateful night to Maureen.  Is she to close to the story?  Will the same fate fall on her?  Will she find out how Maureen died and why?

Favorite Tidbit:  Egoyan made many cuts to this to get it an R rating instead of the NC-17 rating, he failed.  It was later learned that the cut of the film American audiences eventually saw was the same cut that premiered at Cannes.

I really enjoyed this film as I have most of Egoyan’s films.  If you like your neo-noir on the thriller, murder mystery side, you will like this film.  Give it a try if you have not seen it yet.