cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

2 Days in the Valley

2 Days in the Valley

Starring Danny Aiello, Teri Hatcher, Marsha Mason
Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Charlize Theron,
Jeff Daniels, Peter Horton, and Eric Stoltz
Written and Directed by John Herzfeld

The concept is simple, but difficult. Take ten people who, for the most part, don't know each other, introduce one character whose death will bring them all together, and see where it goes.

Begin with Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher) and Roy (Peter Horton). She's an Olympic skier who placed fourth after coming out of the starting gate and seeing husband Roy pawing a Swedish bombshell named Helga (Charlie Therzon). Add a creepy hit man (a terrific performance by James Spader) who likes to torture his victims by letting them watch the last minute of their lives tick away on the stopwatch he wears around his neck, and his first time partner, the down-on-his-luck killer named Dosmo (Danny Aiello). Couple number three is a pair including a totally vile and cretinous art dealer (Gregg Cruttwell), and the secretary he verbally abuses (Glen Headley); his nurse half-sister (Marsha Mason) and the failed TV director she has unknowingly saved from suicide. There's also a pair of vice cops tossed in, one on the rise (Eric Stoltz), one a psychologically ravaged and angry mess (Jeff Daniels).

There will be a murder, an attempted frame-up and murder, a hostage situation, an insurance scam, and one hell of a cat- fight. And a new couple will develop out of the old sets. Welcome to the world of black comedy.

By definition, a black comedy shares two elements. First, there is violence -- either lots of it, or the kind that is perverse and/or just plain out and out sloppy. The kind that, even if it isn't verbatim on screen, makes you shudder. 2 Days fills the violence quotient just fine. Second, there is the kind of comedy that is not joke-based, just unusual. There should be enough of that to offset the violence. Not here.

In 2 Days in the Valley one of the three jokes is the flopping toupee a top Dosmo's head. That's the most blatant comedy. If I gave away the more subtle joke (also by Aiello) there would be little reason left to shell out the ticket price for the flick, other than to see newbie actress Charlize Theron poured into a skin tight cat suit, when she isn't ripping lingerie off her tight bod.

If I was writing from the film student POV, I'd be raving happy by now. There is no complaint about the writing, which establishes a set of (mostly) thoroughly unlikeable characters and effectively brings them together in a logical, though forced, manner. The actors do a fine job with what they have.

But I sit with a real audience and they, as did I, didn't give a damn. The coupling that develops is logical, but the forced ending to the film is not.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for 2 Days in the Valley, he would have paid . . .


I was going to rate a dollar lower ("a buck a day") but there's enough here to kick it up to definite rental status, by my book.

Click to purchase 2 Days in the Valley vhs lbx dvd
Click to buy films by Jeff Daniels
Click to buy films starring Charlize Theron
Click to buy films starring Danny Aiello

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.