91. Collaborator (B-)
-- Actor Martin Donovan makes his directorial debut with this film, the best part of which is an absolutely incredible performance by David Morse, a character actor usually relegated to playing military types or police officers. Here, he's a 50 year-old man who never moved out of home, except for a stint or two in jail. He robs a liquor store, goes a little unhinged, and ends up taking his next door neighbor's son (who he's known since school) hostage. What follows is gripping, dramatic, and often darkly comedic.
The principal problem with the film is Donovan's performance; it seems clear that he needs someone else to bounce ideas off here, because he can't direct himself. For most of the movie he's rather wooden, and that's a shame, because the script is solid and the direction of the other actors just fine. Other minor problems are indicative of a first-time filmmaker; the film spends a lot of time cutting to bits with the Donovan and Morse's parents outside of the house during the crisis, which often distract from the thrust of the movie. They're good scenes on their own, but a more experienced director would have probably left them for the DVD. Lastly, the movie relies on news broadcasts, both for exposition and as a plot device. This is fine, except that most of these broadcasts feel just a bit off, not quite what you'd actually find on TV (TMZ-style footage of Donovan kissking Olivia Wilde that is played during the crisis doesn't feel at all like something a producer would okay). This is a problem not unique to this movie, of course.
On home video, though, this one is definitely worth seeing -- for David Morse alone.
Theatres: 40 +1
Home Video: 45