Thursday, 20 April 2017

Joy Ride (4½ Stars)

My personal definition of a good film is that it's a film that I want to watch at least three times. That's very subjective, but it fits. If you check my alphabetical list of posts you'll find a few films that I've watched three or more times. That doesn't mean that they're the only good films I've watched. I didn't say a film is good if I've watched it three times, I said that I want to watch it three times. These three times might be years apart. Then you have to consider that my list of posts isn't my full viewing history, since I only started writing my blog in 2010. I wish I'd started earlier. According to my list of posts the film that I've watched the most often is "The Life of Pi" (currently seven times), but the film that I've actually watched the most often is "The Truman Show". I must have watched it at least 20, maybe 30 times. I was obsessed with the film in 2000. I taped it when it was on television, and I watched it two or three times a week for months.

Today is the third time that I've watched "Joy Ride" aka "Roadkill" since starting my blog. I believe I watched it once before then, but it might have been twice. I can't be sure. It was made in 2001, and it's one of those rare films that was popular with both the public and the critics. It was written and produced by J. J.  Abrams, which is probably the reason. His films and television series tend to have a general appeal.

An integral part of the film's plot is the use of a CB radio. Are they still in use? The film takes place in the time before the proliferation of mobile phones, but the networking feature of CB radios is something that would still be useful today.

The reason I first bought the film was that it stars my favourite actress, Leelee Sobieski, but it's so good that I would enjoy it even without her. Her appearance makes a good film even better. She's the film's highlight, and her performance outshadows that of Paul Walker and Steve Zahn.

The film was released as "Joy Ride" in America, but it was renamed "Roadkill" in England and most other countries. The reason is the difference in meaning between American and British English. In America a joy ride is driving a car for fun. In England a joy ride is a criminal activity that involves stealing a car, driving it somewhere, then dumping it.

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