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Choke (2008)

A movie directed by Clark Gregg

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Not An Awful Film

  • Feb 18, 2009
Choke is not a horrible film, it's also not a great film. There seems to be a fair amount of advertising or hype around this movie, and it just doesn't seem deserved.

The problem with Choke, it can't figure out if it's a big budget, high profile actor film, or an indie film. Angelica Houston turns in a fine performance as Victor's mother. Clark Gregg (Just Shoot Me and The New Adventures of Old Christine) does a decent job being a mean by the book character. Sam Rockwell, the star of the film, is reasonably good (Matchstickmen, Snow Angels, Lawn Dogs, and The Assassination of Jesse James). The rest of the cast varies from unknowns bringing in really good performances to just reading their lines. The filming was done on the cheap, or at least appears to be done on the cheap. No great sets, no perfect lighting or sound, just simple sets.

It's just so hard to figure out what this film is about. Victor is a sex addict that basically couples with everyone, so there's those scenes along with conversations about being an addict. Victor is also trying to frequently visit his mother in the home, but she doesn't recognize him. There's also flashbacks to Victor's childhood as an orphan. And the movie's title comes from Victor faking choking in restaurants to make money. The viewer also finds out that Victor is supposed to be the cloned son of Christ.

At this point, if you are confused, join the club. Although the film had a decent story line and moved along well, it just got so lost along the way.

Production values. The editing was consistently well done. The film is about the right length. Exposure and focus are decent. And the sound was well recorded, dialog was clear. This is actually saying a lot, a film that has all these things right should be the norm, but sadly it isn't.

Who would enjoy this film? It's a tough audience. There's a lot of random coupling, remember Victor's problem. There's a lot of talk about coupling and self pleasuring. There's also a thread about people in a home. There's a smack at reinactments of colonial times. And some commentary about religion, although I haven't really sorted that out. At least there is no violence.

The DVD has some bonus features. The classic throw away making of featurette. Some deleted scenes that gratefully were left out. A goof reel, not funny at all. And an interview. Nothing really worth watching.

Not an awful film, but certainly not a good one.

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More Choke (2008 movie) reviews
Quick Tip by . May 21, 2010
Not nearly as great as the book, but hilarious nonetheless. I still recommend picking up the book!
review by . April 27, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Anjelica Huston doesn't suck      Cons: Everything else does: plot, pacing, acting, but mainly terrible writing      The Bottom Line: If you've seen Fight Club and liked it, watch it again instead of Choke.  If you didn't like FC, then you will find reading a ceral box funnier.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The film is based on the novel by the same name written …
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Dan lebryk ()
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Member Since: Aug 5, 2010
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About this movie


Not many movies about addiction and terminal illness can end up comedies, butChokepulls it off. Protagonist Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell), a disgruntled, unrepentant sex addict, works at a cheesy colonial theme park, while his dying, addled mother Ida (Anjelica Huston) thinks he's her lawyer instead of her son. Ida's doctor Paige (Kelly Macdonald,Trainspotting,No County for Old Men) says the only way Victor can save his mother is to impregnate Paige for a controversial stem-cell treatment--and according to his mother's diary, Victor himself is the result of a questioable fertility experiment with a particularly intimate holy relic...by now you may have recognized the darkly satirical hand of author Chuck Palahniuk, whose prickly comic novels (Snuff,Invisible Monsters,Lullaby) smash taboos with brutal glee.Chokedoesn't achieve the broad cultural scope or cinematic spectacle ofFight Club, but fans will find plenty to enjoy--considerChokea more intimate examination of Palahniukian themes. Rockwell, star ofConfessions of a Dangerous MindandMatchstick Men, always seems on the brink of true stardom; here he gives another freewheeling but emotionally rich performance that will add to his offbeat but compelling repertoire. The strong supporting cast, including Joel Grey, Brad William Henke (Me and You and Everyone We Know), Bijou Phillips (Hostel: Part II), and screenwriter/director Clark Gregg (The Adventures of Sebastian Cole,Spartan), flesh out Palahniuk's ...
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Director: Clark Gregg
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: September 26, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Clark Gregg, Chuck Palahniuk
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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