Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.
Kim’s Pick – Running Scared (2006)
Written and directed by Wayne Kramer, 2006’s action crime drama Running Scared casted Paul Walker as the male lead during the six years in between his Fast and the Furious franchise break (between the second film in 2003 and the fourth film in 2009) where he did other movies like Into the Blue, Flags of Our Fathers and The Lazarus Project just to name a few. Running Scared crafts a tense and violent fast-paced 122 minute thriller following a low-ranking thug, Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) who is tasked by the crime boss to get rid of a gun that killed some corrupt cops but when he decides to use it as an insurance policy and hides it away, his son Nicky (Alex Neuberger) and his best friend Oleg (Cameron Bright) finds it and in turn, things take a turn for the worse when his son’s best friend ends up using it against his abusive father. As Joey tries to trace both Oleg and the gun, it starts changing hands and getting further out of control.
Other than having Paul Walker doing a solid effort in playing Joey Gazelle and being the main focus of the action, Vera Farmiga plays Joey’s wife who plays a tough and protective lady. While the kids here, especially Cameron Bright also does a great job and pulled his own weight. Aside from acting though, Running Scared gets a lot of points for some other elements particularly in the violence and action element. It gives it a lot of style in the effects for the gunshots and firing sequences. There are some intense moments especially the most memorable being one on the ice hockey arena and what happens there. The movie also benefits in its pacing which reflects the story itself and keeps itself moving continuously, making sure to amp up the tension continuously as well, making it a thrill ride from moment things turn into a search.
Running Scared might have some issues and does hang on the being over-violent perhaps. But for those who don’t mind the language vulgarity or the violence and like a great crime thriller, its a solid choice to check out.
Elwood’s Pick – Grand Piano (2013)
Since he finished his epic trek through Mordor in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy Elijah Wood arguably has gone on to produce some of the most interesting films of his career, no doubt thanks largely to the financial freedom that being in a blockbuster trilogy of films provides. What has been most surprising of this indie period of his career and no I’m not talking about when he tried to play a football hooligan in Green Street but rather the focus on making some fascinating horror movies which included a career best in Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac remake playing the serial killer whose eyes we see the film play out through in. However for myself one of his most underrated film is this thriller from Eugenio Mira
Here Wood stars as Tom a once promising concert pianist until he got stage fright while attempting to play “La Cinquette” which composed by his mentor Patrick Godureaux. Now five years later Tom is tempted to attempt a comeback as a tribute to the passing of Godureaux whose fortune has mysteriously disappeared. However upon finding the note on his sheet music “Play one wrong note and you DIE” what he initially dismisses as prank soon turns out to be a very real threat as he finds himself in the sights of a mysterious sniper in the concert hall. What follows is a gripping game of cat and mouse as John Cusack’s mysterious sniper continually taunts Tom through the earpiece he’s given him, only appearing for the final showdown while also utilising his henchman (Alex Winter) to remove any potential distractions which might stop Tom from completing the piece which the real mystery hinges on.
Reminiscent of Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth here Mia holds the audience on tenderhooks as Tom deals with the mind games being played as Cusack manages to prove himself a truly intimidating presence especially played against the fragile spirit of Tom. Mia only adds to the drama as he draps the proceeding in the grandeur of the performance and sumptuous surrounding. At the same time Mia manages to find ever more creative ways to keep the action flowing despite the seemingly limited scope such a story would provide.
So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?
Let us know in the comments section below.