Monday, February 24, 2014
Leave Her to Heaven, and this one's much more day-glo-ish); has a tight 'n twisty plot involving trust, betrayal, and what's-in-that-bag; and features a cast to die for, including some first-class "known quantities" working at or near their best, along with some newer-and-not-so-known performers who shine as brightly as do those "stars." THE BAG MAN -- directed by David Grovic and co-written by him, along with Paul Conway, from an original screenplay by actor James Russo, all of whom I gather were inspired by a story called The Cat by Marie-Louise von Franz -- is absolutely as fast-moving and entertaining a movie as you could ask for.
John Cusack (above, left), an actor who's been working a lot lately, turning in excellent performances, even in movies that were not always first-rate, as is this one. As his leading lady, we have an actress -- Rebecca Da Costa (above, right) -- who has made a few films so far, all unseen by me. I hope this movie sets Ms Da Costa on the fast track because she gives it her all, and that turns out to be quite a lot. Sexy, smart, devious and appealing, she's just about everything a neo-noir heroine/femme fatale should be. She and Cusack work together wonderfully well.
Robert De Niro (above), who has often been accused over the past decade or so, of phoning in certain performances. Well, the actor is so good here -- specific, resonant, charismatic -- that if you didn't already know who he was, you'd come out of this movie raving, "That guy's gonna be a star!"
Crispin Glover (wheelchair-bound, four photos up) as the motel manager to Dominic Purcell (above) as a local cop, Martin Klebba as a tiny-but-naughty henchman, and Sticky Fingaz -- the typing of whose ridiculous name makes my own fingers wince. (If it's going to Fingaz instead of fingers, oughtn't it also be Stickee instead of Sticky? Well, it's all too schticky.) In any case, Mr. Fingaz turns in a good performance, as well.
Cinedigm -- opens this Friday, February 28, at AMC theaters all around the country in fifteen cities. Here in NYC, it'll play at the AMC Empire 25. In Los Angeles, you'll find it at the Universal Citywalk Stadium 19. It will also play Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa and Washington DC. Consult your local listings in those cities to find the particular AMC theater.