Two New Tribeca DVDs Starring Veteran Actors in End-of-Life Roles - Page 2
As the men become acquainted, they indulge in fantasies about living each other’s lives. The Professor, who has lived by his mother’s rules of propriety for so many years that they were habit once she died wonders about being the silent stranger, a tough guy, or a man who has “had” a lot of women. The Thief begins to enjoy the comforts of life—the posh home filled with art and artifacts, comfortable slippers—and harbors a desire to improve his intellectual standing.
The Thief is not totally committed to the bank robbery—he has a bad feeling—but with pressure from his partners he decides to go through with it. The Professor is scheduled for a heart bypass the same time as the robbery is to take place, and scenes alternate between the robbery and the surgery, as each man approaches his destiny. The Man on the Train is a more-talk-than-action remake of the French film, L’homme du train. It seems to take a long time to get nowhere, but maybe that’s the point.
Both The Man on the Train and The Last Rites of Joe May are character studies tinged with violence, melancholia, and irony. The difference between the two is that The Man on the Train is not bad, and The Last Rites of Joe May is very good.