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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 21st, 2014

FILM: Cold In July

Cold in JulyI’ll admit to a certain prejudice for pre-liking (is that a word?) the new film Cold In July from IFC films. Based on the book of the same name, written by one of my all time favorite writers Joe R. Lansdale and starring the wonderful Michael C. Hall (“Dexter” for those in the know) iconic-ally cool Sam Shepard and in a scene stealing turn Don Jonson as “Jim Bob,” I had high hopes for this movie. It didn’t disappoint.

We get into the action quickly, in the first scene actually, it is stark, scary and just about as on point as Lansdale’s unique Americana writing is. From there we pretty much follow Hall’s “Richard Dane” as all the pain/confusion and slowly churning changes play across his certainly not classical, yet still handsome face. When Shepard’s scary Ben Russell gets introduced, the danger rises up to a fever’s pitch, but just when we think we know what this story is going to be about there is a big twist and soon we are introduced to Johnson’s wonderful rascal-of-a-private detective “Jim Bob.”

There’s a real dark underbelly of perversion as the story progresses (Lansdale is great at revealing the seedy side of a part of the country, in this case Texas, which he knows well) and a solid friendship built between our unlikely trio of antiheroes. But mainly it’s the simple pace, good story telling (the movie is written here by both Nick Damici who plays Ray Price and director Jim Mickle) and Mickle’s get-out-of-the-way directing style that brings Cold in July to life.

Cold In July, directed by Jim Mickle and starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, and Don Johnson opens in select theaters nationwide on May 23, 2014.

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FILM: Cold In July