Two Days in the Valley burst upon the world of us inveterate movie-lovers. This very-unusual-at-the-time movie conflated crime and love, work and play in smart, funny, sometimes shocking ways that proved sublimely entertaining. Within the movie's second-tier but hugely talented cast was a young woman named Charlize Theron, in her first credited film role, and she's a knock-out. (You can rent the movie, which finally came out on DVD a year or two back and will be available on Netflix streaming come December 1. If you've never seen it, do.) At the time of its release, I hadn't heard of its writer/director John Herzfeld, but after seeing this little gem of the we're-all-connected-but-in-pretty-bizarre-ways variety, I knew we'd be hearing from him again.
Don King: Only in America and the not-so-hot 15 Minutes. All of which goes toward delighting me no end that I can now report that Mr. Herzfeld, shown at right, is back again -- and, hallelujah! -- he's in the mode of his earlier 2 Days/Valley success. His new film, REACH ME, is all about the reclusive author (Tom Berenger) of a suddenly mega-popular self-help book and the search to find this man. Like his earlier ensemble piece, this one connects a bunch of disparate people in ways that are funny and entertaining. Although there is some crime involved here, what happens is not nearly as dark and shocking as some of the occurrences in 2 Days/Valley. Herzfeld keeps things on a lighter, more buoyant note this time around, and if his new one doesn't quite come up to the earlier level, it's a very enjoyable and beautifully acted romp nonetheless.
Sylvester Stallone, one of my least favorite actors, playing the role of a big-deal gossip blogger (think maybe a male version of Nikki Finke?). And damned if Stallone isn't first-rate. Who knew?
Thomas Jane (above), Ryan Kwanten, Kyra Sedgwick (below),
Lauren Cohan (below), a terrific Kevin Connolly, (two photos below), Omari Hardwick, Danny Aiello, Tom Sizemore, Nelly (shown at bottom), Kelsey Grammer (in the penultimate photo) and a whole bunch more -- even the filmmaker himself does a cameo here.
Millennium Entertainment and running a sleek 95 minutes, opens this Friday, November 21, in New York City at the AMC Village VII, and via On Demand and digital download.