The Night Watchman

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The Night Watchman ★★ 2002

Decent yet flawed thriller that borrows a bit too much from its acknowledged influences (“Magnolia,” “American Beauty,”and “Talk Radio”). Strong characterization makes the story of a burned-out, bitter talk show host struggling to come to terms with his failures and save a suicidal caller during his last broadcast a cut above other thrillers. Cheap sets and not-so-adequate performances keep it from becoming anything more. Canadian music video director Eldridge uses very little visual style, which heightens the bare-bones look of the film, as well as the nostalgia for the above mentioned influences. 103m/C VHS . Christopher Healey, Cory Diamond; D: Scott Eldridge; W: Jeff Caulfield. VIDEO