Puncture (2011)

Puncture
Director: Adam KassenMark Kassen
Writer: Chris Lopata
Cast: Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, Marshall Bell, Brett Cullen, Jesse L. Martin, Vinessa Shaw, Roxanna Hope Radja, Michael Biehn, Kate Burton
Seen on: 14.8.2016

Plot:
Mike (Chris Evans) and Paul (Mark Kassen) have a law firm together, but their lives are looking very different: while Paul is a settled family man, Mike loves nothing more than to party – with drugs. They meet nurse Vicky (Vinessa Shaw) who contracted HIV/Aids froma patient by way of a needle he stabbed her with, and who introduces them to a safety needle that would make infections like hers impossible but that the hospitals refuse to buy. They know that somebody has to fight on her side. But suing the company who runs the hospitals in the area is a huge undertaking and who knows whether they’ll be able to keep up with it.

Puncture tells a big story, but unfortunately it tells it in such a boring way that I could barely make myself pay attention. Despite Chris Evans in suspenders (and often without a shirt), which is really saying something.

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Somebody Up There Likes Me (2012)

Somebody Up There Likes Me
Director: Bob Byington
Writer: Bob Byington
Cast: Keith Poulson, Jess Weixler, Nick Offerman, Stephanie Hunt, Marshall Bell, Kate Lyn Sheil, Jonathan Togo, Megan Mullally
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Max’s (Keith Poulson) life is slowly passing him by. He is still attached to his ex-wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) who is not really interested in him anymore. Just to get by, he works as a waiter in a restaurant with Sal (Nick Offerman), where he meets Lyla (Jess Weixler). Lyla and Max hit it off, at least at first. But as the years pass, things develop differently than planned.

Somebody Up There Likes Me has all the hallmarks of a mumblecore movie, which are usually really not my cup of tea (though they do tend to draw me in) – with one crucial distinction: it wasn’t necessary for me to like Max to like this film. And that makes it very enjoyable.

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Re-Watch: Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Writer: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman, Jon Povill
Based on: Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell

Plot:
Douglas Quail (Arnold Schwarzenegger) would be happily married to Lori (Sharon Stone), if it wasn’t for a recurring dream where he’s on Mars with a mysterious woman. He decides to confront this dream by going to Rekall Inc., a company that provides real-seeming memories of vacations in the most exotic places – like Mars. But the Rekall treatment triggers actual memories and suddenly Doug finds himself in the middle of the revolution on Mars as a spy.

I had completely forgotten how absolutely campy and gory this movie is. That completely makes up for the rather lackluster performances. It’s amazingly fun to watch. Plus, they actually improved the original story.

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