| Flicks

FLICKS: Come What May & 31

Posted on 29 September 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Come What May opens tomorrow in local cinema. This serious film presented in multiple languages about 1940 European refugees seems very timely given current affairs regarding immigration. It is not a political film. It is the story about individuals coping with a homeland that has gone mad.

As the Nazis overrun France, a local mayor leads his citizens into the country. The villagers take with them a German child whose father (August Diehl) opposed the Nazi regime and has been jailed for lying about his nationality. The father escapes jail to search for his son, accompanied by a Scottish soldier (Matthew Rhys), who is trying to get back to England.

Lacking the budget of a major studio, Come What May still provides some riveting action sequences. One sequence features a Nazi airplane shooting at a young boy in a moving automobile. As the machine gun misses its target, you can see collateral damage — a home destroyed, an automobile and a bruising example of the fog of war. The final result, however, is that Come What May is a life-affirming movie.

It is 31 days before Halloween and that happens to be the name of Rob Zombie’s new crowd-funded, horror epic. 31 refers to a vicious game involving killer clowns who hold hostages captive in a warehouse. The object for the victim is to simply survive. Set on Halloween in 1976, the hostages are a troupe of carnival employees who are ill-equipped to play the game.

Horror movies work best with a simple plot and 31 liberally borrows from the Richard Connell’s short, story classic The Most Dangerous Game and Stephen King’s The Running Man. The conflict is visceral, with several theatrical touches that suggest pseudo-intellectual depth.

As the masters of ceremonies, Malcolm McDowell, Judy Geeson and Jane Carr watch the game and wager on the sidelines. The voice of Malcolm McDowell is by far the most horrific aspect of 31. Reminiscent of the classic radio programs like Inner Sanctum, Suspense and The Twilight Zone, McDowell’s vocal intonation provides a pure “theater-of-the-mind” experience.

Unfortunately, the visualization does not live up to McDowell’s vocal artistry. Due to murky cinematography and fast-paced editing, the showdown between the killer clowns with funny names (Sex-Head, Doom-Head, Sick-Head) and the hostages become the dullest part of 31.

Don’t lose hope, Halloween movie fans, there is much positive Oscar buzz for A Monster Calls featuring Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones, and directed by J.A. Boyana, known for films like The Orphanage and The Impossible.

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