As part of our fledgling film nights in the east end, last week was my pick and we had a look at Christopher Smith's Triangle starring Melissa George. I thought Smith's Severance was something special, and having heard excellent things about his earlier subway-terror, Creep, I've been wanting to see Triangle since it came out on DVD a few months ago. However, between the two shops we have one Blu-Ray copy, and I figured this was my chance to see it. Plus, it kinda fit in with the loose theme of the movie nights (which is to say, robberies/robots/explosions/killers/spaceships=good, foreign shit=bad).
This time, Jules and I brought growlers from a couple local brewers, Duggan's and Mill Street. It seems a fair way to repay Tom's hospitality and the assault on his olfactory senses. Anyway, we were each handed a chilled glass (snob faux-pas, but given the weather, it was perfect), and proceed to open the growler of Duggan's brand new Canadian Wheat Ale. It goes down nice as we begin to get into Triangle...
You know it's a bad sign when Jules is already monologuing and the movie isn't even 10 minutes old. There's something about an autistic son, who one of the characters in the film calls "retarded", offending both Tom's PC leanings and Jules' very existence. The film is set up with a few friends going out sailing for the day, but from the get go, we see something is wrong with Jess (Melissa George). Does she miss her son? Is she haunted by some unexplained memory? Do we care? I think we've (rather rapidly) polished off the first growler and have cracked the second, the delightful, but strong, Mill St. Helles Bock. Little did I know, 'twas the beginning of my downfall. We all agree it a fantastic beer. Hudson begins licking my leg. I start to sweat, then try to stop, fearing for the dog's sobriety.
Jess and the crew set out into perfect sailing weather, but before long, a storm is brewing, both onscreen and in Jules' small intestine. Acid reflux or a physical reaction to the inanity onscreen? I think it was about this point that we all agree something really NEEDS to happen in the film, or it won't be on for much longer. After 20-odd minutes of brooding stares and portentous phrases, it's all really going nowhere. So, good thing about the storm. The protagonists' small craft is battered by waves, but remains afloat. The storm eventually passes and out of nowhere(?) a massive ocean liner drifts into view. Our beleaguered heroes think they are saved, but they don't know how wrong they are. Upon boarding the new vessel, they find it deserted....but not for long. And it is at this point, 2 growlers deep and nearly 40 minutes into the film, that shit starts getting interesting. So how do we celebrate? Let's open another growler!
Mill St. IPA is next up, and its malty, hoppy balance goes down very nicely. Too nicely. Jules continues rolling the joint he started 20 minutes ago, and Hudson has finally stopped searching for the imaginary bag of Zesty Cheese Doritos and accepted the fact that Jules' feet are here to stay. I wisely opt to keep my shoes on, as after a summer of no socks, the smell of my feet can kill canaries.
Triangle combines elements (and not always the best ones) of Time Crimes, Primer and any number of stalk 'n' slash films, and while it is certainly flawed [not the least by bad CGI and a script on par with Oh (it is love)], at its heart lies an intriguing, somewhat mind-bending, concept. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, but personally, I'm glad I saw it. There are some tense moments, and a couple of good scares (one which caused J-Dawg to literally jump and cry out "AAAAHHH"!), and the confines of the ship provide a good sense of claustrophobia and deja vu, not unlike the Overlook Hotel. The payoff in the film is a good one.
We all discuss the film's merits and shortcomings, and agree that it was, in general, a worthy watch. We decide to crack more beers and start watching Robocop. I opt for a Mill St. Lemon Tea Beer, while Jules and Tom share Amsterdam's Boneshaker IPA. It's getting quite late, things are getting hazy, and I still have to bike across town to get home, so I quickly quaff my brew and graciously stumble out the door, leaving my two compatriots in the capable hands of Paul Verhoeven. The next morning (my day off, mercifully), I awake to one of the more injurious hangovers I have experienced, and when I finally start resembling a human once again near dusk, I ask Tom online if he was in as bad shape as I had been. No, he informs me, he had a morning frolic on the beach with his new best friend, although Jules had been so bombed he couldn't even speak when he eventually left. Glad I took my leave when I did...things could have been worse.
Really looking forward to Smith's newest film Black Death (incidentally, premiering at this year's Toronto After Dark Film Festival in a few weeks); less so to Jules' pick next week. I don't want to imagine what he's going to make us sit through - though he did hint at Night Train to Munich, so it's not all bad. Also hoping Kris shows up one of these times, that'd be fun. These are good nights, and they will be continued...