Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Cold In July

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Richard and his wife are woken in the middle of the night by a strange noise. Grabbing his gun, Richard sneaks downstairs to confront the intruder. But in a panic motion, the gun is fired and shoots the intruder dead.
That one shot was fatal – for everyone. Because Richard’s action of self defence has backfired, putting him and his family in terrible danger..

A few miles across town a man has just been paroled from jail, and he has heard about the shooting incident.
The victim was his son. And now the man is hell bent on revenge.
As the gates to the prison close, the man’s direction of journey is Richard’s house…

 

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Cast

Michael C. Hall – Richard Dane

Sam Shepard – Ben Russell

Don Johnson – Jim bob Luke

Vinessa Shaw – Ann Dane

Nick Damici – Ray Price

Wyatt Russell – Freddy

Lanny Flaherty – Jack Crow

Brogan Hall – Jordan Dane

 

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Random

Cold In July fit the style of one of those features you catch on a hotel TV, or on an aircraft’s list of ‘in-flight’ movies. It was really random; I entered the auditorium, watched as it went straight over my head, then left – no questions asked. The plot, the cast, the directing – it was all so uneffective. This was by no means a blockbuster, but then it wasn’t overly boring – it just kind of.. happened. As the story unfolds, the main character gets more and more involved in serious shit. It is quite a dark story which the director delivers in a rather subtle way.

Again, it all felt uneffective – people get killed, blood spatters everywhere, and yet I sat there with not so much as as raised eyebrow, I could’t give a shit who died and how. Added to this was the southern American setting; wooden shacks in the middle of woods, narrow suburban houses.. the vast, flat sleepy atmosphere. It was all pretty bland.

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Darkly Comic

Cold in July teetered dangerously on the line between serious and funny.
What started out as a tense thriller atmosphere, quickly became a comedy – mainly brought on by Jim Bob (Johnson) who swaggers onto the set dressed as a bling cowboy and gets laughs from the first line he speaks.
His slick, short-fused personality ensures any interaction with the other characters is funny rather than serious. Another reason why I wasn’t overly captivated by the movie and let it fly over my head – because a deadly serious situation had the audience laughing out loud. And any film which gets this reaction quickly becomes ridiculous, and takes a massive fall down the tensity ladder.

Almost satyrical, the movie continues as Richard, Jim Bob and Russell pursue the dangerous guy they intend to punish. But as I mentioned, I took none of the seriousness into account for expectation of one of the men dropping a one-liner which had the audience laughing. For example, the three of them are stood in the garden when one announces he is going to murder the man they are in pursuit of.
“but I haven’t even had my coffee yet” another replies.
Yes – hilarious.

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What Went Right

I enjoyed one of the opening scenes, where Richard willingly prepares for the arrival of a terrifying predator.
After reporting to the local police that he has been threatened by a man, they set up protection for him – surrounding his house with officers.
Both inside and out, everyone – police and family – await the bad guy’s arrival..

I liked this scene. It stirred a great atmosphere of dread which built up slowly at rhe same time as the tension. This was literally the only part of the movie worth watching; the lead character being threatened and then having to sit and wait for the bad guy’s iminent arrival..

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Ditch The Baby

Only one question was on my mind throughout the movie: WHY the fuck did the parents leave the child alone in bed?!

The plot involves Richard shooting dead someone’s son, and in return the father of that boy coming back to seek revenge on him. When Richard is then threatened by the father of the dead boy with comments such as “you have a beautiful little son”, panic sets in and he fears for his boy’s life. So what better way to protect your little one then putting him to bed by himself at the opposite end of the house – and closing the door!
Subsequently, the bad guy sneaks in and enters the little one’s room…

Respect to the director, but this was absolutely fucking ridiculous. If you’re family – specifically your little boy – was threatened, the first thing you’d do is have the child sleep in your bed with you, no?

..no.

Richard throws the pork chop to the wolf, and puts Jordan to bed – nicely tucked up and fully on show. Marvellous parenting skills are displayed in this movie.

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Cold In July was shit. Basically.
If you’re wanting a heart-pounding thriller where the plot and its characters keep you on your toes, captivated – avoid this.
It is one of those films you’d catch on TV late at night as you sit flicking through channels – land on it, watch a bit, give a quick raised-eyebrows reaction as you yawn deeply – and then continue flicking.
The beginning scene had me interested, but then the movie trailed off into nowhere.. I think I’ve had more fun sitting on the toilet.

A ‘random’ you’d find on an aircraft or coach journey that you wouldn’t think twice about upon arriving at your destination.

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2/10

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2014 by .
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