Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seven Psychopaths

Martin McDonagh's unsettling funny though dyspeptic second feature, Seven Psychopaths is a comedy despite the outrageous amount of blood spilled and spewed. Hundreds of gallons, it seems. Seven Psychos is the tale of a half dozen murderous head cases -- played with quizzical insouciance by A-list wackos Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waites among others -- who cross paths, leaving mounds of bodies at every intersection. It is often shockingly hilarious, that is, it often feel it shouldn't be. McDonagh, who also wrote the script, has set the proceedings in Los Angeles for the most part and Joshua Tree National Park for the final showdown. He gives his cast free rein to ring every drop of subtlety from the contentious encounters and the unspeakable events that follow. You can imagine McDonagh winking knowingly at the audience, even though his performers give absolutely nothing away. The work of the cast is overwrought and as broad as the Mojave Desert but I really enjoyed the film, as I did McDonagh's earlier feature In Bruge, which like Seven Psychos featured some inspired work by Colin Farrell. In the latest, Farrell plays a blocked screenwriter trying to finish the script for a film titled Seven Psychopaths. Yes, it's a wormy contrivance but in the end it works surprisingly well. Recommended.

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Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...