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Despite some amusingly drab lust in Tarzana, July’s fey and feline charms coagulate into a glum paste of abstract anxieties about aging, death, infidelity, and ecology. It might work better as performance art in a loft, though some night images are excellent. If July keeps going in this direction, she will become the next-most aggravating woman in movies, right after low-budget vanity star Tanna Frederick.


Point Blank *

The first point against Point Blank is that it steals a great movie’s title. Not the 1998 Mickey Rourke dodo, but John Boorman’s 1967 Point Blank, a brilliant thriller starring Lee Marvin’s definitive performance as a monolithic menace. By contrast, Fred Cavayé’s new film is slick and slippery Euro-trash. As in 2008’s Everything for Her, Cavayé uses a husband trying to save his wife from a French justice system prone to fascism (the Nazis got a lot of police cooperation in France).

Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) is a hospital nurse whose wife (Elena Anaya) is in late pregnancy. Talk about trimester blues: she is abducted and hauled to a grim refrigeration plant by thugs who are into deep merde with corrupt Parisian cops. As Samuel becomes a Real Man (no mere male nurse!) by looking for his wife, we pinball along with the many clichés: chases, ambushes, subway violence, shady Gypsies, Mafia hoods (sauced, as usual, by an opera aria). Roschdy Zem is a Marvin-like hard case, clipped and lethal. Marvin famously shot holes in a bed. Zem plugs a mattress through the flesh of a fat, decadent gangster. So much for progress.

Reviewed in the movie listings: Final Destination 5 and Glee: The 3-D Concert Movie.

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