Roland Joffe’s “Captivity” was not screened for critics before it opened on Friday, for fear of reviews like mine.
This is not surprising, because that’s become the strategy with sado-porn movies. No advance screenings means no reviews on opening day, which builds a cushion for the movie’s box-office, since potential ticket-buyers won’t be turned away by negative press.
Of course, it’s long been argued that the audience for these movies doesn’t read reviews, being composed of eager young gorehounds who just wanna see somebody get fed an eyeball-and-ear smoothie.
But even they seem to be burning out; “Hostel Part II” didn’t exactly break the bank last month, and “Captivity” didn’t even crack the top ten, pulling in a meager $1.5 million to rank twelfth at the weekend box-office.
This brings me no pleasure, because “Captivity” is the first film in seven years from Roland Joffe, who directed “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission” back in the day, and subsequently slipped into a spiral that had him drifting through the 1990s in search of a vision. With “Captivity”, he doesn’t even seem to be trying to accomplish anything at all; at least in that, he’s succeeded.
Spalding Gray wrote a monologue about this man. And now, this man is making a movie where Elisha Cuthbert shotguns a small dog to save her own life.
This is not how one finds one’s bliss.