Friday, June 18, 2010

Cold harvest


My Isaac Florentine education continues with Cold Harvest, a movie that had already been on my slate because it features Barbara Crampton, the lovely Megan in Re-Animator, among other things.

It's told in the tone of a western, but technically is a Post-Apocalypse movie, and features Hong Kong Kung Fu-styled action sequences. It stars martial artist Gary Daniels as a bounty hunter, as well as his effete twin brother.

In some ways, this is the Florentine movie I've seen that tries the hardest at mood and character, and I admire that a lot. Some of the character moments even manage a certain resonance, despite Daniels' weak performance. However, the cross-genre format really works against it here. I'm a huge cross-genre fan, as a rule - and can think of three I love more or would more like to see blended into a working whole - but here they do seem to knock up against each other instead of blending into something wholly new.

It's clumsier than Florentine's other movies, partly because he seems to lean less on action to keep the story moving, but there's a heart here that I haven't seen as strongly in my previous attempts. I'm glad I didn't get around to this one before discovering Florentine as a director and put together some idea of what he does, because I'm not sure outside that oeuvre, pretentious as it sounds to say, I would have appreciated it.

Which is too bad, because inside it, warts and all, it might be my sentimental favorite. Definitely not the best, but the one that's the closest to what I'd want to see and it's clearly trying so hard.


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