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Cold In July

  • 30-06-2014 10:48am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,216 Looper007


    Can't Believe No one's done a thread on this gem of a film.



    Starring Michael c Hall, Don Johnson and Sam Shepard.
    How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane puts a bullet in the brain of a low-life burglar, Freddy Russell. Although he's hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family's safety with Freddy's ex-con father, Ben, rolls into town; hell-bent on revenge. However, not all is as it seems. Shortly after Dane kills the home intruder, his life begins to unravel into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Twists and turns continue to pile up as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end.

    This reminded me of A History of Violence with the way you think it's going to go mid way through turns into something else. Hall gives a strong performance but this film belongs to Shepard and Johnson, with Johnson nodding it slightly as a Private detective turned Pig Farmer. you wonder why he never went for roles like this when he was a big star in the 80's, a very good actor. Jim Mickle is a director to watch out for, he's got the Nicolas winding Refn's about him.

    Drive was certainly a influence on this film going by it's 80's soundtrack (also nods to John Carpenter, I think the inclusion of Kurt Russell's son Wyatt Russell might be another wink Carepenter's way) and use of cinematography is very Refn especially the use of Red and Sheppard's Russel is Ryan Gosling's Driver at a later stage In life, playing it near silent. It's a Cult Film in waiting and well worth getting yourself to Cineworld to see.

    Here's a standout from the excellent soundtrack



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭ Banjaxed82


    I loved a lot about this film as mentioned above but I just couldn't buy into the 3rd act. The character motivations made ZERO sense, especially Hall's.

    Great blend of genres, characters, super soundtrack.

    But that 3rd act..??? It was surreal but for all the wrong reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭ nix


    Banjaxed82 wrote: »
    I loved a lot about this film as mentioned above but I just couldn't buy into the 3rd act. The character motivations made ZERO sense, especially Hall's.

    Great blend of genres, characters, super soundtrack.

    But that 3rd act..??? It was surreal but for all the wrong reasons.

    Total spoilers:
    I think Halls motivation was that he needed closure on the whole thing, he wanted to make sure there were no lose ends that would lead back to endangering his family again, considering all of the heavy hitters involved Feds/Mafia, hence him burning the place down at the end. I think he was thinking perhaps he may find out who he actually killed in his house? But i dont see how, I admit it was surprising going from framer to hit squad, they probably should have went into his why more but i guess that was the point to the film.

    Johnson owed Shepard his life, and Shepard wanted to be the one to kill his son. Tied up nicely.

    I really liked this film, a nice lil surprise considering i knew nothing about it going in and also the lack of decent releases lately. Great performances by all and has been said, a solid soundtrack.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,464 ✭✭✭ e_e


    I enjoyed individual parts and the film had a great style but it didn't cohere at all for me. Also like banjaxed said the motivations were too muddled to really buy into the characters and plot.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,835 ✭✭✭✭ cloud493


    One thing I didn't get
    The whole getting him to shoot the intruder so Freddie could be declared dead. How could they be sure he'd be killed? And surely the federal government wouldn't actually sponsor the kind of things they were filming with the girls. Maybe I'm wrong


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭ nix


    cloud493 wrote: »
    One thing I didn't get
    The whole getting him to shoot the intruder so Freddie could be declared dead. How could they be sure he'd be killed? And surely the federal government wouldn't actually sponsor the kind of things they were filming with the girls. Maybe I'm wrong
    What made you think the cops sent him in to be shot? They just used the death as an opportunity to say it was Freddy when it wasn't, and plastered it all over the papers so the mafia would see it and stop searching for Freddy.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,835 ✭✭✭✭ cloud493


    Oh ok. So
    so the person richard shot was a random homeless person/.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,839 ✭✭✭✭ Darko


    Been looking forward to this since the day it was announced, really liked the book and far as I'm concerned Jim Mickle is one of the best directors working today. As you would expect I had planned to go see this last Friday only neither cinema in Galway has got it in even though both had posters up for it, the reason seems to be down to the fact that Mrs Brown's Boys is on multiple screens in both.

    Jim Mickle and Nick Damici are currently working on adapting Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series for Sundance TV and it seems that a few of the cast here may be popping up in it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭ nix


    cloud493 wrote: »
    Oh ok. So
    so the person richard shot was a random homeless person/.

    Yeah
    We never find out who he killed, thats why he was ringing the cop and went down to the station when he hung up on him, he was certain it wasnt Freddy, we never find out who he actually killed


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,835 ✭✭✭✭ cloud493


    Oh ok. Thought that was a bit odd. I liked it overall though, better than a lot of the stuff in the theatres right now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,139 ✭✭✭ Decuc500


    I really enjoyed this, after Blue Ruin and Cheap Thrills it's yet another quality American genre film this year.
    It's got some great set pieces, is very stylishly shot and has a great Carpenter like score.
    I'm also a fan of Joe Lansdale so it was nice to see one of his novels given such good treatment.
    Darko wrote: »
    Jim Mickle and Nick Damici are currently working on adapting Lansdale's Hap and Leonard series for Sundance TV and it seems that a few of the cast here may be popping up in it.

    The Hap and Leonard books are in good hands if this works out.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 709 ✭✭✭ wowy


    Firstly, to the person last night in Cineworld (Row G, seat 5 or 6; you know who you are if you're reading this); thanks a mill for the running commentary and sound effects; really added to the movie.....

    I really enjoyed this film. Didn't know what it was about, but fell into it immediately. I really liked the several changes in tone, as it keep me engaged the whole time.
    nix wrote: »
    Total spoilers:
    I think Halls motivation was that he needed closure on the whole thing, he wanted to make sure there were no lose ends that would lead back to endangering his family again, considering all of the heavy hitters involved Feds/Mafia, hence him burning the place down at the end. I think he was thinking perhaps he may find out who he actually killed in his house? But i dont see how, I admit it was surprising going from framer to hit squad, they probably should have went into his why more but i guess that was the point to the film.

    Johnson owed Shepard his life, and Shepard wanted to be the one to kill his son. Tied up nicely.
    I agree re Hall's motivation. You see how he can't sleep and he's easily distracted during the film, but immediately falls asleep at the end when it's all over. Yes, it was a bit of a leap for him to become a vigilante murderer, but it didn't spoil it for me.
    nix wrote: »
    I really liked this film, a nice lil surprise considering i knew nothing about it going in and also the lack of decent releases lately. Great performances by all and has been said, a solid soundtrack.

    Agreed.

    Great performances from the 3 of them, but particularly liked Don Johnson's character.

    I just had a quick look at the Guardian's brief review, and they
    complain about it being "muddled" and loose ends not being tied up, there being unanswered questions (i.e. who did Dane kill in his house?). I don't mind that; I don't always want a perfect picture with everything neatly falling into place.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,816 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Belatedly adding my thoughts to this, aptly enough because someone mentioned John Carpenter in a conversation: I then remember I had recently watched a very intentional homage to his early work. From the brooding synth score to the same font used in the credits of Carpenter's films, it's obvious Jim Mickle was trying to evoke the styling of the great horror director. Heck, the early parts of this film had a vibe similar to Halloween: of the safety of American suburbia corrupted by invasion, becoming an enclosed, paranoid place where nasty things skulked in the shadows. At that point the film dripped with atmosphere, and was definitely strongest at its start. There was enough there to sustain itself -particularly when mixed with the notions of the reluctant 'hero' who accidentally defended his home- disappointing then that the plot trod the path it did, losing a lot of steam once the mysteries unravelled themselves. Don Johnson's borderline comedic presence also damaged much of the aforementioned oppressive atmosphere of the first third, which made the entirety feel very disjointed and uneven.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,839 ✭✭✭✭ Darko


    Based on a novel by Joe R. Lansdale, one of my favorite pulpy authors and directed by Jim Mickle, who has delivered two of the past decades best films it's fair to say that I went into Cold in July with high expectations.

    Cold in July is a gleefully entertaining Southern noir with a distinct 80s look and feel, it's the kind of back to basics, nuts and bolt genre film that you've always wanted John Carpenter to deliver. The film opens with the death of an intruder during a home burglary gone wrong. Richard Dane the all American family man shoot and kills the son of a notorious criminal who it turns out has just gotten paroled from prison and is in a vengeful mood.

    In an interesting change of pace, the post murder scenes are played not as some heroic moment by our antagonist but rather are played out in total banality. There's no long speeches or deep insights into it, rather it's shown to as the messy endeavor that it is. The most striking moment in the4 early scenes is not the murder but rather the aftermath when Richard and his wife clean the blood and brain matter from their couch and wall. Done in complete silence and sound tracked to "Forgetting You" it's a striking scene and one that lingers long in the memory.

    In the days that pass Richard finds himself obviously displaying signs of PTSD but considering that this is Texas in the 80s he medicates himself with beer early in the afternoon and a new security set up. It's all very matter of fact and works brilliantly and building an underlying sense of unease. It's with the introduction of the deceased's father Ben that the film takes a detour into classic 80s slasher film territory. Ben, brilliantly played by Sam Shepard seems indebted to Michael and Jason given his ability to disappear in the blink of an eye, shows up to make Ricard's life hell and one can easily see how the remainder of the film will play out.

    Only this isn't your typical genre picture and as such the film takes a interesting turn around the mid way point and evolves into a far more intelligent and interesting film than one would expect. To say anything more risks ruining the surprise suffice to say that once the great Don Johnson pops up, Cold in July transcends genre expectations and delivers one of the years best thrillers.

    While the twists and turns and sudden and unexpected tonal shifts were present in the original novel it's Mickle and Nick Damici's script that really shines here. They have an intricate knowledge of genre cinema and have crafted a film that manages to touch upon a number of genres without ever felling self serving or confused. There's a deft touch evident that elevates Cold in July from being a great genre picture to being one of the best cinematic outings of 2014.

    Performances here are flawless with Shepard and Johnson being the obvious standouts. Shepard has spent most of the past number of years typecast so it's refreshing to see him given something a little different. He's wonderfully demented yet grounder and his relationship with Johnson's character is nicely played. Johnson here feels like a throw back to his most icon role. It's easy to believe that he's playing an older Sonny Crockett, a feeling that's compounded by a wonderful moment of Johnson driving at night while Jeff Grave's brilliant 80s infused synth score pays homage to Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme". In fact the entire scene feels like an homage to the wonderful scene in the pilot for Miami Vice where Crockett and Tubbs drive toward danger as "In the Air Tonight" plays. Michael C. Hall is equally good in his role as Richard and played the tortured soul better then most. He doesn't quite have the presence of Shepard or Johnson but then his character calls for a more understated and banal performance.

    Cold in July is easily one of 2014's best cinematic offerings. An adult thriller that wonderfully subverts genre cliches and expectations and isn't afraid to go against type. It's bold, interesting and brilliantly crafted and is almost certain to feature on my favorite films of the year list.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,568 ✭✭✭ Delta2113


    This film is on BBC2 tonight for anyone interested to see it at 11.20PM.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ cdgalwegian


    Darko wrote: »
    Based on a novel by Joe R. Lansdale, one of my favorite pulpy authors and directed by Jim Mickle, who has delivered two of the past decades best films it's fair to say that I went into Cold in July with high expectations.

    Cold in July is a gleefully entertaining Southern noir with a distinct 80s look and feel, it's the kind of back to basics, nuts and bolt genre film that you've always wanted John Carpenter to deliver. The film opens with the death of an intruder during a home burglary gone wrong. Richard Dane the all American family man shoot and kills the son of a notorious criminal who it turns out has just gotten paroled from prison and is in a vengeful mood.

    In an interesting change of pace, the post murder scenes are played not as some heroic moment by our antagonist but rather are played out in total banality. There's no long speeches or deep insights into it, rather it's shown to as the messy endeavor that it is. The most striking moment in the4 early scenes is not the murder but rather the aftermath when Richard and his wife clean the blood and brain matter from their couch and wall. Done in complete silence and sound tracked to "Forgetting You" it's a striking scene and one that lingers long in the memory.

    In the days that pass Richard finds himself obviously displaying signs of PTSD but considering that this is Texas in the 80s he medicates himself with beer early in the afternoon and a new security set up. It's all very matter of fact and works brilliantly and building an underlying sense of unease. It's with the introduction of the deceased's father Ben that the film takes a detour into classic 80s slasher film territory. Ben, brilliantly played by Sam Shepard seems indebted to Michael and Jason given his ability to disappear in the blink of an eye, shows up to make Ricard's life hell and one can easily see how the remainder of the film will play out.

    Only this isn't your typical genre picture and as such the film takes a interesting turn around the mid way point and evolves into a far more intelligent and interesting film than one would expect. To say anything more risks ruining the surprise suffice to say that once the great Don Johnson pops up, Cold in July transcends genre expectations and delivers one of the years best thrillers.

    While the twists and turns and sudden and unexpected tonal shifts were present in the original novel it's Mickle and Nick Damici's script that really shines here. They have an intricate knowledge of genre cinema and have crafted a film that manages to touch upon a number of genres without ever felling self serving or confused. There's a deft touch evident that elevates Cold in July from being a great genre picture to being one of the best cinematic outings of 2014.

    Performances here are flawless with Shepard and Johnson being the obvious standouts. Shepard has spent most of the past number of years typecast so it's refreshing to see him given something a little different. He's wonderfully demented yet grounder and his relationship with Johnson's character is nicely played. Johnson here feels like a throw back to his most icon role. It's easy to believe that he's playing an older Sonny Crockett, a feeling that's compounded by a wonderful moment of Johnson driving at night while Jeff Grave's brilliant 80s infused synth score pays homage to Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme". In fact the entire scene feels like an homage to the wonderful scene in the pilot for Miami Vice where Crockett and Tubbs drive toward danger as "In the Air Tonight" plays. Michael C. Hall is equally good in his role as Richard and played the tortured soul better then most. He doesn't quite have the presence of Shepard or Johnson but then his character calls for a more understated and banal performance.

    Cold in July is easily one of 2014's best cinematic offerings. An adult thriller that wonderfully subverts genre cliches and expectations and isn't afraid to go against type. It's bold, interesting and brilliantly crafted and is almost certain to feature on my favorite films of the year list.
    Like he said. :pac:
    Especially "wonderfully subverts genre cliches and expectations and isn't afraid to go against type". Great film. Don Johnson is surprisingly good in this as well.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,816 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    Zombie thread; 7 years, oof. Had wondered what Jim Mickle got up to next, had a look and seems he helmed the fairly poor In The Shadow of the Moon (a Netflix Original).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭ flasher0030


    pixelburp wrote: »
    Zombie thread; 7 years, oof. Had wondered what Jim Mickle got up to next, had a look and seems he helmed the fairly poor In The Shadow of the Moon (a Netflix Original).

    Did you not like In the Shadow of the Moon. I watched it last year, and I thought it was really entertaining. Bit of time travel thrown in to it.

    I haven't seen Cold in July. Had never heard of it until I saw this thread. Going to watch it tonight. Seems like mostly positive reviews.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ cdgalwegian


    Did you not like In the Shadow of the Moon. I watched it last year, and I thought it was really entertaining. Bit of time travel thrown in to it.

    I haven't seen Cold in July. Had never heard of it until I saw this thread. Going to watch it tonight. Seems like mostly positive reviews.
    I quite liked ITSOTM as well, though it took its time getting there.


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