Directed by Finn Taylor.
Written by Finn Taylor.
Starring Robin Tunney and Tim Blake Nelson.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 7/9/02
We like to support local work here at Bellview,
so I went out tonight to see the new film “Cherish” since my friend
Kat worked on the San Francisco production a while back.
“Cherish” falls under what I call “low-budget Hollywood” flicks, not
independent flicks, since I like to reserve that for films that
really are totally outside of the studio system.
As such, the film is written and directed
by Bay Area resident Finn Taylor and stars Robin Tunney (her best
work might be “Empire Records”, but she has been in bigger, shittier
films like “End of Days”, too) as Zoe, a down-on-her-luck dot-commer
that runs into some trouble. After hangin’ out one night with a
hottie co-worker (Jason Priestly, gloriously hammy) and getting
tipsy, she gets to her car only to be accosted by a male assailant.
In a struggle to control her vehicle while fighting with the
criminal, she accidentally runs over a cop and is put under house
arrest by the authorities...which means an ankle bracelet, no
leaving the house and stewing over the fact that the cops aren’t
pursuing the real perpetrator in the case.
The film’s pace early on is excellent,
with some good laughs and a completely random cast including Tunney,
Priestly, Liz Phair (one assumes that Taylor is just a fan, because
acting is not her forte) and Tim Blake Nelson, so wildly different
in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but well-placed here as an
anal-retentive Lo-Jack administrator. It is when Tunney is put
under house arrest that the film just flat-out stalls. Tunney is
very good in “Cherish” but she really doesn’t have much to work with
once she is left in an empty San Francisco apartment with no TV, no
friends and some calls coming in a couple times a day from the
police department. Making Nelson her only visitor for half of the
film brings mixed results—their growing romantic tension only gets
the chance to surface in one scene about two-thirds of the way
through the film, and getting there is slow-going. But, the film
does have a strong final half-hour, thanks to the fact that Taylor’s
script allows for some adventure in the 11th hour as Zoe pursues
evidence on her assailant.
But, I can’t say that I didn’t like the
film. In fact, the film has some really strong things going
for it, like Ricardo Gil as Max, a cursing cripple confined to a
wheelchair; I love when short guys in wheelchairs get the chance to
say “Holy fucking shit!” in any movie, so there. Priestly is
great, familiar faces like Lindsay Crouse (“House of Games”, amongst
many other credits) show up, and the soundtrack...Hall and Oates,
baby! Hey, I’m a hip-hopper to the fullest, but Hall and
Oates? Shit negro, that’s all you had to say! When they
slapped “Private Eyes” up in this piece, I was damned near singing:
Private Eyes (clap)
They’re watchin’ you! (clap clap)
They see your every move (baby)
Private Eyes (clap)
They’re watchin’ you! (clap clap)
Watchin’ you, watchin’ you, watchin’ you,
In fact, I walked out of the theater
wondering what percentage of Taylor’s film budget went to the
soundtrack; the film has 20 songs listed in the credits from the
80s, and song licensing doesn’t come cheap. I also wondered what
“Cherish” would have been like if they had shot the house arrest
scenes at a traditional San Francisco apartment, not the New York
City-style loftspace in which Zoe is confined. That part of the
film is already pretty confined, both literally and
figuratively...one can only wonder!
Overall, “Cherish” is not bad. A
comedy-thriller that does a dose of those at varying times, take
this one in if “Minority Report” sells out in your hood.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard