my week at the movies: ‘Choke,’ ‘Igor,’ ‘Righteous Kill,’ ‘Lakeview Terrace,’ ‘Rachel Getting Married’

That’s a very disturbing poster for Choke [opens wide September 26] over there. But this is based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, so I guess it was always going to make for a disturbing movie. In it, apparently, Sam Rockwell is a con artist obsessed with sex and faking his own imminent death. Yup, sounds disturbing and — knowing Rockwell — probably weirdly funny as well. Still, I’m a bit worried that this is the first film directed by actor Clark Gregg, who also wrote the screenplay — it seems to me that Palahniuk would need someone with a bit more experience to pull off. We’ll see,

Also on the agenda for this week: Igor [opens wide September 19], which I’ve already written a love letter to… or to what I hope it will be. My optimism remains high for that one, but I’m getting a little worried about Righteous Kill [opens wide September 12], which I wrote earlier about here. It won’t screen till less than 48 hours before it opens, which is almost as bad as not screening at all (because it means any critic who writes for a weekly will miss his or her deadline for getting a review out by opening day, and critics at daily newspapers are pressed, too; come to think of it, it’s not too great for online critics, either, because it means we have no time to think about our reaction to a film before we have to write about it, if we want to have a review up on opening day). On the other hand, I get to attend the premiere of the film, my first. Maybe I’ll catch glimpses of Bobby and Al.

I’ve still got no reason to suspect that Lakeview Terrace [opens wide September 19] won’t justify my early enthusiasm.

And I’m kinda looking forward to Rachel Getting Married [opens limited October 3], because Anne Hathaway is growing on me and it’s directed by Jonathan Demme, who’s pretty much a god. Oh, and its working title was Dancing with Shiva, which sounds a little bit dangerous and intriguing.

I’m not looking forward to how intense the next few months are going to be, moviewise. When I see how many movies are scheduled to open between now and Christmas… oy. It seems even crazier than usual. On some Fridays, four and five movies are opening wide… and that’s not counting the smaller releases that will also be opening at least here in New York. It’s gonna be the most exhausting awards season yet.

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Tue, Sep 09, 2008 1:55pm

Yes, that “Choke” poster is incredibly disturbing. Even more so is the animated version of it that I’ve seen on the New York Times website, possibly other places. Silhouette of a woman walking along until – chomp! – silhouette of a giant man bites her in half. Lovely.

Tue, Sep 09, 2008 2:17pm

Yes but it shouldn’t be a disturbing film though, just sophomoric and absurd.

Wed, Sep 10, 2008 2:47pm

Doesn’t Lakeview Terrace remind anyone of Changing Lanes from a few years back? I haven’t seen Changing Lanes, it was one I had written off, and later read that everyone thought it was a solid movie, so I can’t say for sure here. Maybe its just the similarity of some scenes in the trailer, where they escalate against eachother.