***½/**** Image A+ Sound A+ Extras B-
starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ann Magnuson, Aunjanue Ellis, Tamara Tunie
screenplay by George Dawes Green, based on his novel
directed by Kasi Lemmons
by Walter Chaw A strange mixture of Shine, Basquiat, Angel Heart, and Grant Morrison & Dave McKean's graphic novel Arkham Asylum, The Caveman's Valentine is a feverish tale of a homeless madman-cum-detective who, on the morning of February 14th, discovers a "valentine" just outside his New York cave: one of Ella Fitzgerald's strange fruit, stuck in the crotch of a tree--a young male model murdered and frozen to a branch. Believing at first that his imagined nemesis Stuyvesant, who shoots evil rays into his mind from atop the Chrysler Building, is responsible for the murder, Romulus (Samuel L. Jackson) is put on the trail of an avant-garde photographer in the Mapplethorpe mold, David Leppenraub (Colm Feore). His minor sleuthing interrupted by the occasional delusional fit and bouts with an ecstasy of creation (Romulus was a brilliant Julliard-trained pianist prior to his psychosis), Romulus uncovers clues and harasses suspects on his way to convincing his police-woman daughter (Aunjanue Ellis) that even though he's a nut, that doesn't mean he can't solve a high-profile society murder.