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Drama, humor, and a sexually charged performance
Last night, I saw the film "Stander" in a sneak preview at the Kendall. It's been tragically mismarketed, and I've heard the distribution company, Newmarket Films, is pulling it from release for the moment.
That's a tragedy. The film is deeply flawed, but even with its flaws, it's a far better film than almost any that I've seen this year. It's the story of Andre Stander, a South African policeman who robbed over 40 banks in the late '70s and early '80s, at least 20 of them while a policeman, just to prove a white man in South Africa could get away with anything. It ratchets between humor and drama in a way that evokes the cognitive dissonance that living in an apartheid state must have caused. The cinematography is very self-consciously '70s; the film is a little washed out and the framing is frequently odd, but this only adds to the effectiveness of the film. Thomas Jane gives an incredible performance; I've seen him in other movies, but I've never seen him be as sexy, as charismatic, as magnetic or as powerful as he was here, and he manages to do so while rarely having sex or anything near it; it's just his presence. (In other words: Sex. On. A. Stick.) He fell into the category of "men who are not my type", and yet I found him incredibly hot.
I saw it for free. If I had paid $10 to see it, I would not have felt ripped off (and that's rare, for me). If you have the opportunity - if it gets re-released, or if it comes out on video - see it. It's a very good film.
Hollow Point (1996)
One of the finest modern American B-movies
This film is one of the finest American B-movies of the 90s. If you're looking for a serious film, look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for some action, a lot of laughs, and a tongue in cheek variation on cops fighting gangsters, this is well worth watching. Everyone chews the scenery a bit, but that's really what the film is all about, and everyone is quite funny. Donald Sutherland and John Lithgow have great chemistry and need to do another film together.