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Flash Movie Review: Cold in July

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I am in total agreement with the man who came up with this law, Sir Isaac Newton. The way I describe it is by saying our lives are made up of pluses and minuses. Where Mr. Newton’s law is used in a physical context, mine emphasizes the cause and effect from the choices each of us make in our daily life. If one tries saving money by buying the cheapest frying pan, it may not last as long and force you to buy a replacement sooner. Driving faster than the speed limit on a highway increases the chances of you being stopped by the police, receiving a speeding ticket from them. A person who breaks into a house with the intentions of robbing it may startle the owner who accidentally shoots them with a pistol. It is true for every action there is an equal reaction and in this excellent dramatic thriller this is what happened to homeowners Ann and Richard Dane, played by Vinessa Shaw (The Hills Have Eyes, 3:10 to Yuma) and Michael C. Hall (Kill Your Darlings, Dexter-TV), when a man broke into their house. A few days later the dead robber’s father Russel, played by Sam Shepard (The Right Stuff, Mud), happened to show up in town. Richard was sure he knew exactly what Russel was looking for and would do whatever was needed to protect his family. This Sundance Film Festival nominated movie had a great film noir vibe to it. The scenes had a sparse, atmospheric quality that only heightened the tension in the story. Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard were outstanding in their roles. As for Don Johnson (Machete, Nash Bridges-TV) who played Russel’s friend Jim Bob, I thought this was one of his best roles on film in a long time. Set in Texas during the late 1980s, the sets were a perfect accompaniment to the overall process of telling a story. Now let me say a couple of things about the story. I felt I was watching one of those old time films that was free of any special effects, had a no nonsense way of conveying emotions and just let the actors take the script to create a truly believable performance. Add in some unexpected twists in the story and the movie studio had a complete exciting, tense movie thriller on their hands. There were several scenes where violence and blood were shown.

 

3 1/3 stars

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