Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald, Brad William Henke, Clark Gregg, Bijou Phillips, Gillian Jacobs, Jonah Bobo, Paz de la Huerta
Written by: Clark Gregg, based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Directed by: Clark Gregg
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, nudity and language
Running Time: 89
Date: 01/21/2008

Choke (2008)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Going for the Throat

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Character actor Clark Gregg (Spartan, Iron Man) makes his directorial debut with this, the second movie based on a Chuck Palahniuk novel. Choke isn't as visually rich or as thematically layered as Fight Club (1999), but it's more immediately gratifying, and equally twisted. Sam Rockwell stars as Victor Mancini, a sex addict who deliberately chokes on food in restaurants to make benefactors out of his saviors. His disturbed mother (Anjelica Huston) is in the hospital, and a pretty nurse (Kelly Macdonald) tries to help. Rockwell keeps his performance cool as he maneuvers through Victor's turbulent life: ridiculous job, sex, addiction meetings, and banter with his chronic masturbator best friend Denny (Brad William Henke). Gregg's witty, dirty screenplay keeps it up till the final reel. Bijou Phillips co-stars.

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