Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: The Perfect Host

Recommended to those who like being endlessly led down filmic garden paths devoid of logic or empathy.

June 30, 2011

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1256098-Perfect_Host_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Wounded L.A. bank robber John (Clayne Crawford) seeks refuge in the posh home of piss-elegant Warwick (David Hyde Pierce), after pretending to have a mutual friend with him. When Warwick eventually divines John’s subterfuge, things escalate to the point where John holds his unwilling host hostage at knifepoint. The tables are turned when Warwick proves no easy prey, and regains mastery of the game. And this is only the beginning of The Perfect Host’s innumerable plot twists.

Rookie director Nick Tomnay may feel he is onto something fresh and startling here, but my mind kept flashing back to James Kirkwood’s 1972 play (and subsequent film), P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, which also had a gambit of intruder + unwilling host = hostage situation, rife with violent and homoerotic overtones. These kinds of malevolent two-handers play better onstage than onscreen, where a certain claustrophobia and monotony can set in, unless offset by bravura acting and fiendishly clever writing.

Despite Hyde Pierce’s strenuous Waldo Lydecker meets (improbably) Dirty Harry efforts, The Perfect Host possesses little of these helpful attributes, substituting instead a plethora of red herrings and alienating flashbacks which merely try your patience. The sadomasochistic outrageousness, serial-killer hints and switcheroos keep tiresomely piling on, and one soon ceases to care about what happens to anyone.

Crawford is devoid of charisma, which might have had you rooting for him in his hapless plight, while Megahn Perry as his accomplice in crime is completely colorless, no tantalizing Mary Astor-esque noir dame at all. Playing investigative cops, Nathaniel Parker and Joseph Will are amateurish, and the bizarrely cast onetime pop-music star Helen Reddy (“I Am Woman”) doesn’t get much chance to prove she can still roar as a Jehovah’s Witness-believing, meddling neighbor.



Film Review: The Perfect Host

Recommended to those who like being endlessly led down filmic garden paths devoid of logic or empathy.

June 30, 2011

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1256098-Perfect_Host_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Wounded L.A. bank robber John (Clayne Crawford) seeks refuge in the posh home of piss-elegant Warwick (David Hyde Pierce), after pretending to have a mutual friend with him. When Warwick eventually divines John’s subterfuge, things escalate to the point where John holds his unwilling host hostage at knifepoint. The tables are turned when Warwick proves no easy prey, and regains mastery of the game. And this is only the beginning of The Perfect Host’s innumerable plot twists.

Rookie director Nick Tomnay may feel he is onto something fresh and startling here, but my mind kept flashing back to James Kirkwood’s 1972 play (and subsequent film), P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, which also had a gambit of intruder + unwilling host = hostage situation, rife with violent and homoerotic overtones. These kinds of malevolent two-handers play better onstage than onscreen, where a certain claustrophobia and monotony can set in, unless offset by bravura acting and fiendishly clever writing.

Despite Hyde Pierce’s strenuous Waldo Lydecker meets (improbably) Dirty Harry efforts, The Perfect Host possesses little of these helpful attributes, substituting instead a plethora of red herrings and alienating flashbacks which merely try your patience. The sadomasochistic outrageousness, serial-killer hints and switcheroos keep tiresomely piling on, and one soon ceases to care about what happens to anyone.

Crawford is devoid of charisma, which might have had you rooting for him in his hapless plight, while Megahn Perry as his accomplice in crime is completely colorless, no tantalizing Mary Astor-esque noir dame at all. Playing investigative cops, Nathaniel Parker and Joseph Will are amateurish, and the bizarrely cast onetime pop-music star Helen Reddy (“I Am Woman”) doesn’t get much chance to prove she can still roar as a Jehovah’s Witness-believing, meddling neighbor.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Small Time
Film Review: Small Time

You might not buy a used car from the guys in Small Time, but you will enjoy the movie about their exploits, even their exploitations (of others). More »

Fading Gigolo
Film Review: Fading Gigolo

Some top screen talent gets lost in the silliness surrounding the amorous adventures of an unlikely gigolo and his even more unlikely pimp, with writer/director/actor John Turturro the shtupper “ho” co-starring with Woody Allen as the mercenary shtup-enabler. Yarmulkes off to Turturro’s brave but deeply ill-conceived comedic foray into Brooklyn’s Satmar Hasidic community and other alien territory. More »

A Promise
Film Review: A Promise

Handsomely filmed but wan period romance. More »

Final Member
Film Review: The Final Member

Breezy documentary about the aging owner of a small Icelandic museum dedicated to penises and his quest for one last, coveted exhibit is a charmer, thanks to the warmth and sly sense of humor the protagonist brings to his unusual hobby. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Transcendence
Film Review: Transcendence

Johnny Depp is an idealistic researcher whose consciousness is uploaded into an artificial intelligence in this slick techno-thriller with delusions of seriousness from Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer. More »

Draft Day
Film Review: Draft Day

Pro football manager faces crises on the most important day of his career in a well-tooled vehicle for Kevin Costner. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here