Inherit the Viper

Josie and Kip

So near yet so far, Inherit the Viper could almost be a Paul Schrader-esque tale of pitiless redemption, à la Taxi Driver or First Reformed. We get both of those things – little pity and a lot of redemption – but who it’s meant to be directed at is never quite clear. There are two leads. Margarita Levieva as Josie Conley, who we meet selling a pill to a local woman in the out-of-the-way town where her family are the go-to people for drugs. Opioids like “Oxy” are their current hot seller. Next thing we or Josie knows is that the woman is dead in the toilet of the bar – she’s OD’d. … Read more

Family Plot

Bruce Dern at a graveside

If you were idly flicking through the TV channels on a wet afternoon and hit upon Family Plot, chances are you wouldn’t immediately think it was a Hitchcock movie – it looks more like an episode of Columbo. That bright TV lighting, those mid-range actors who look like they’re trying not to be fingered as this week’s criminal, one who’s once again not as smart as the man in the mac. I’ve looked up Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Barbara Harris and William Devane and not one of them ever did make an appearance on Columbo but they don’t quite fit the standard Hitchcock bill either, or not the bill containing Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, … Read more


Bruce Dern in Nebraska

Staggering along under a weight of folksiness, much like its old-guy hero is staggering along on his beat up legs, Alexander Payne’s latest movie is sweet and wry but let’s not all get too excited. The film certainly doesn’t. Bruce Dern is the old guy, an amnesiac oldster with a “beer isn’t drinking” drink problem who reckons he’s won some obviously fake mailout sweepstake – “you could already have won a million dollars” kind of thing. With nothing else to live for, and getting under the feet of his wife (June Squibb), Woody decides he’s going to get to Nebraska any old how to pick up his winnings, even if it means walking. … Read more