Choke, based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, retains the source’s dark satire and gives another well-deserved showcase to an ideally cast Sam Rockwell. Rockwell plays Victor Mancini, a guy caring for the ailing mother (Anjelica Huston) who damaged him in youth, and a scam artist who feigns choking in restaurants to leech money from his saviors. The acidic story incorporates Freudian psychodrama, twisted romance, and national satire while giving redemption the Heimlich maneuver. In reading Choke, I visualized a film with the creative stylization David Fincher brought to Palahniuk’s Fight Club—while everything in Choke is possible, Palahniuk's cracked-mirror universe pushes realism to its edges. Partly due to budgetary concerns, the directing debut of actor Clark Gregg places the novel into a less heightened, realistic milieu. The visually mundane results make a less-than-perfect but still interesting counterpoint to Palahniuk’s down-and-dirty narrative style.