Monday, August 14, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: Cold in July (2014)

Short Attention Span Review: Cold in July (2014)

Sam Shepard was a true legend, a gifted actor who was probably a better writer, and his passing has been marked with a wealth of tributes that honor his legacy.  As I read about his filmography, I realized that I had never watched Cold in July despite the fact that it had piqued my curiousity when it was released back in 2014.  Thus, I decided to go ahead and check out this slow boil of thriller set in 1989, and I'm certainly glad that I did.  The de facto star is Michael C. Hall from Dexter, and while he rocked a hideous mullet and embedded himself in his role, Shepard made for a bigger presence.  Not surprisingly, both of these quality performances were overshadowed by Don Johnson once he showed up about halfway through Cold in July, stealing the show in a part that falls just short of iconic.  The direction courtesy of Jim Mickle was sound and the real star attraction had to be the riveting score by Jeff Grace, who was clearly paying tribute to 80s cinema by way of John Carpenter.  The pace was a bit uneven here and there, and while I can appreciate a nice slow boil, things did drag a bit at times.  Given that the movie is based on the work of Joe R. Lansdale, it isn't surprising that it concludes with a gory showdown, though I was surprised that there were so many plot threads left dangling.  I don't think I can grade this one any higher than a B-, but it was one bloodthirsty B- and that may not even be a bad thing considering that Cold in July is a B movie by design.

Final Grade: B-

Next to the killer score, Cold in July's biggest assett is the trio of actors who bond on a subversive quest to make things right that requires them to bathe in blood.

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