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Amnesiac

amnesiac_0If you like home-captivity pictures, this might give you your fix for the season. Who even knew this was a genre? But I suppose there’s a wide array of films that would qualify, including In Cold Blood, Desperate Hours, Funny Games, Misery and The Ref.

This might be a case of the trailer’s being better than the film, although even the trailer suggests enough hackneyed plot turns to make even the most jaundiced drive-in devotee wince. Still, it might be one of those films that’s so bad it’s good.

As a teenager in the Midwest, friends and I would convene in Tommy Cicero’s basement to watch Friday Fright Night on an old, orphaned black and white television donated to our informal film club by Tommy’s Uncle Louis. The television hadn’t actually belonged to Louis Cicero, who owned a used car lot in Blue Island, south of Chicago. It had just turned up in his mobile home office one day, delivered by a couple of Tommy’s cousins. (Tommy had enough cousins to fill half of the upper grand stands at Wrigley Field.) When Tommy asked his uncle where the TV had come from, Louis said, “Shut up and mind your manners.” And then he became more thoughtful, and said, “Look, there are three questions you should never ask a man: ‘How much money do you make?’ ‘How often do you get laid?’ And, ‘Where did it come from?’ Capiche?” Enough said.

For the next couple of years, every Friday night, Tommy’s basement became our private screening room. The movies were generally awful, yet this was a large part of their appeal. A grade B film might be close enough to being decent to make you frustrated. It’s like an itch in the middle of your back that you can’t quite reach. But a grade Z film is so far off the mark that one you’re compelled to keep watching, just to see how bad it can possibly get.

“A home-captivity picture boasting all the implausibility associated with that genre and nearly none of the thrills, Michael Polish’s Amnesiac casts Wes Bentley as an accident victim who doesn’t remember if the woman tending to him (Kate Bosworth) is his wife or not. Working for the second time without his brother Mark Polish, the director takes what should be a much more commercial tack than he did in 2013’s Jack Kerouac film Big Sur. But the would-be thriller is lifeless enough and bedeviled by enough peculiarities that, stars notwithstanding, commercial prospects are dim.”
–The Hollywood Reporter
Read the review here.

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