Friday, April 21, 2006

Bottom of the rack

Starting a new feature here, directing readers to movies you probably missed, but shouldn't have. I'm trying to stay as under-the-radar as possible, attempting to navigate that fine line between the purposely obscure and the accidentally overlooked.

"A Shock to the System" (1990)

Starring: Michael Caine, Elizabeth McGovern, Peter Riegert and Swoosie Kurtz

This is one of Caine's best roles, coming during a period when he was the white Samuel Jackson (some of his credits shortly before, and after -- "Jaws 4: The Revenge," "Noises Off" and "Mr. Destiny"). But his work as Graham Marshall is inspired, and this story of yuppie encroachment and office politics remains terriffically relevant. Very black comedy (the hero is a murderer), but Caine makes him eminently likable.

Money scene: Caine's reaction upon hearing of his wife's demise. Brilliant.

Great supporting work, too, from McGovern (whatever happened to her?) Riegert and Kurtz (one of the Malcontent's favorite character actresses).

"Shock" came out on DVD two years ago, although in most video stores it's available only on VHS. Dust off the VCR, it's worth it.

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