Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Choke

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7.5 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Sam Rockwell as Victor Mancini
Anjelica Huston as Ida J. Mancini
Kelly Macdonald as Paige Marshall
Bijou Phillips as Ursula
Kathryn Alexander as Agnes / Mousy Girl
Kate Blumberg as Edwin's Wife
Jonah Bobo as Young Victor
Willi Burke as Deranged Socialite
Heather Burns as Internet Date / Gwen
David Wolos-Fonteno as Edwin
Matt Gerald as Detective Ryan
Clark Gregg as Lord High Charlie
Joel Grey as Phil
Viola Harris as Eva Muller
Brad William Henke as Denny
Paz de la Huerta as Nico
Gillian Jacobs as Beth / Cherry Daquiri
Matt Malloy as Detective Foushee
Mary B. McCann as Detective Dorfman
Peggy Pope as Sister Angela
Mike S. Ryan as Lonnie
Sebastian Sozzi as Tito
Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Detective Palmer

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Director/Writer/Actor Clark Gregg and Actor Sam Rockwell
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Clark Gregg and Sam Rockwell
- Gag Reel
- A Conversation with Clark Gregg and Chuck Palahniuk; My Name Is Victor, and I'm a Sex Addict; A Mother's Love; From the Los Angeles Film Festival
- Fox Movie Channel presents Casting Session

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Language Tracks
Spanish Language
Running Time: 92 Minutes

The Movie:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk ('Fight Club'), 'Choke' is a dark and wickedly funny joyride from the depths of sexual compulsion to the heights of the Second Coming! Besides working at a colonial reenactment theme park and trying to hook up with everything on two legs, sex addict Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) courts the loves and money of complete strangers via a demented con that might just kill him. But first, Victor must save his dying, delusional mother (Angelica Huston) by seducing and impregnating her comely physician, a task easier said than done, in this gleefully twisted tale of dysfunction, salvation, love and libido."

"Choke" is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language.

Mini-Review:
"Choke" is a really tough film to review. For every reason there is to watch it, there's a reason that you may be turned off by it. For example, Sam Rockwell is one of my favorite actors. He's funny in this role and he manages to make a loser character somebody you're interested in following. However, a large part of his role in this movie features him grinding away in graphic sex scenes with numerous women. He is a sex addict, after all, so I suppose it's expected. But this will undoubtedly alienate a lot of audiences. "Choke" is also quite funny. There are some hilarious scenes with perfect one liners. But then there's a scene where Victor plays out a rape fantasy with a woman that just comes across as inappropriate despite being done under the banner of 'dark comedy.' Then there's the intriguing mystery surrounding Victor's father. You're pulled into it, but there's no satisfying resolution to it by the end of the movie.

I think "Choke" is the kind of film that's going to appeal to indie fans more than mainstream audiences. It has a great cast with Sam Rockwell, Angelica Huston, and Kelly Macdonald, but the sex and dark comedy probably won't play well with a lot of folks. Despite being mixed on this one, I have to acknowledge Clark Gregg for writing, directing, and starring in this film. It's quite an impressive feat for him.

There are a surprising number of bonus features on this DVD. Besides the usual like an audio commentary (fortunately with Rockwell), deleted scenes, and a gag reel, you'll also find a series of featurettes on the making of the film. Additional features include footage from a showing at the Los Angeles Film Festival and an episode of Casting Session from the Fox Movie Channel. In short, there's a lot here for indie fans.

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