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IN SHORT: A Talky thriller.
Any of you out there who read these things regularly know that the one combo Cranky fears most is the first time director/writer. In general, I stay the hell away from 'em if at all possible. But when they're loaded with name talent, there's no choice.
In the case of
"Switchback," there was also hope that this thriller set in the Rockies
would pack some punch. Writer/ director Jeb Stuart has a long list of action/thriller
Jeb Stuart can
write great characters, there's no question about it. Right down to the smallest
supporting role, there were interesting things to see and distinctive character
The premise is
clever: a serial killer has been making his way through the West, using a hunting
knife in an unusual manner to make his kills. Be honest -- knives are a helluva
lot creepier than guns. That's why the best serial killers use 'em. The killer
That's the trouble
with "thrillers." It's hard to get the right balance between character
stories and out and out ass-kicking scares or action. "Switchback" lays
it on thick for the former,
The character performances
are all fine, specifically R. Lee Ermey's perf as a long time Texas sheriff. The
mountain scenery is gorgeous and, all in all, there's enough here to keep your
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to "Switchback," he would have paid...
Big splits among the folk that Cranky talked too after the "Switchback" sneak. Most of the women liked it, but weren't all that enthusiastic. The guys wanted more blood. Lots more. All seemed to agree that (had they paid for the ticket, instead of getting a freebie at the sneak) they would've preferred seeing "Switchback" on tape.
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