(US - 2013)
TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE
(US - 2013)
SOMEWHERE (2010), but that's just it: nobody saw it, and the film wasn't as good as he was in it. Dorff puts forth effort in serious indies that play to crickets and tumbleweed, but then gets a reputation as a washout hack when he does a random DTV thriller or pitches e-cigs to pay the bills. The guy had some momentum going in the '90s, but hasn't been able to catch a break since Leonardo DiCaprio started getting all of his roles. He's turned in some good performances and maybe some day, luck will finally be on his side but, unfortunately for Dorff and the viewer, TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE is not that day. It's hard to say where the Cleveland-shot TOMORROW went wrong, but it's never a good sign when a film is held in limbo for a couple of years because the filmmakers are filing lawsuits. Matthew F. Jones adapted his novel Boot Straps, but was so appalled at the end result that he sued the producers and director David Jacobson (2006's DOWN IN THE VALLEY) and tried to prevent it from being released. It eventually got a token limited release in April 2013 before being dumped on DVD and Blu-ray six weeks later, with no extras whatsoever, unless you count "Scene Selection." It seems everyone associated with TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE has actively distanced themselves from it.
I haven't read Jones' novel, so I can't compare the book and the film, but Jacobson seems to be going for some blatant David Lynch worship here--I should clarify "Lynch when his films were still coherent"--specifically WILD AT HEART and some of the more grounded-in-reality portions of LOST HIGHWAY. Dorff is ex-con Charlie, assigned by crime boss The Buddha (Willem Dafoe, who was in WILD AT HEART) to whack someone. Charlie kills the guy but botches the job by leaving a witness, and then hits the road with bewitching part-time porn actress Florence Jane (Michelle Monaghan--why isn't she getting better roles?) and then...well, not much else. There's a lot of mumbling about trying to find and kill the Buddha. For a while, Jacobson flirts with the idea that Florence Jane is a figment of Charlie's imagination, and she wears a blonde Marilyn Monroe wig at one point for no apparent reason. After a potentially intriguing, modern noir set-up (with opening credits accompanied by Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Hear Voices"), Jacobson plants his mouth firmly on Lynch's nutbag and acts like his work is done, stumbling into coast-mode and stranding the audience with two uninteresting characters, lots of open road, and no shortage of Angelo Badalamenti/TWIN PEAKS-styled vibrato in Peter Salett's highly derivative score. With the game Monaghan providing its only spark, TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE isn't the worst film of 2013 (though it tries to be), but it may very well be the dullest. (Unrated, 92 mins)
(US/Thailand - 2012)
THE KINDRED (1987) and scripted RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 (1994) and worked with Hurt before, scripting the underrated B-movie CONTAMINATED MAN (2000), which is still in regular night-owl rotation on cable--but HELLGATE, originally titled SHADOWS when it was shot in 2010, is just dead on arrival. (Unrated, 93 mins, also streaming on Netflix)