Month: April 2008

Teeth

“Teeth” stars Jess Weixler as the dangerously beautiful Dawn and other not very well known actors. It’s written and directed by amateur Mitchell Lichtenstein, with “Teeth” being his first step into the liquid of film-making. A high school student named Dawn (Jess Weixler) encounters some strange happenings with her body. Unaware of whether this is her body maturing or if it is something else. She soon discovers she still has alot to learn about her body. It’s not Dawn’s mouth that is teething, it happens to be something much further south. They say every rose has its thorns. This one is so sharp, that even the lightest touch will leave a permanent mark on men’s most cherished body parts. This is a fashionably original nightmare that’s both seductively disturbing (for the men) and darkly humorous (for the women). Female genital mutation is certainly original and is explored in this film. This is an entry into the horror comedy genre, a genre that I am very familiar with, that is always smart and satirically horrific. Even though it does have a tedious start, the film picks up the tempo with a very disturbing scene. The slow beginning develops the hazardous character Dawn, who has been teething in all the wrong places. It’s not very often that something new is shuffled into the mix of horror and comedy. But when it...

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Vantage Point

  Vantage Point takes the interesting, if not entirely original premise of showing the same event from eight different angles, each one revealing something new about the twenty-three minutes it focuses on. When you throw in the fact that the cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Dennis Quaid and Lost’s Matthew Fox along with the fact that said ‘event’ is the assassination of POTUS (President Of The United States, if you’ve never heard it said before, you will by the end of the film!) and you should have the material for a decent, action-packed blockbuster… the word ‘should’ there is the key one.  Much has been made about the fact that towards the end of the film Vantage Point abandons its central thread and turns into a car-chase based full-on action flick. This however, isn’t its main problem. The assassination of the President should, in anyone’s language be a fantastic and shocking piece of cinema but instead of enhancing the experience the idea of showing it from eight viewpoints makes it boring. We see pretty much the same thing every time and instead of making the plot any clearer it simply adds elements to be revealed in the final act. Dennis Quaid’s Secret Service agent sees something key on a monitor but the audience don’t, the director instead choosing to hold it back to ‘shock’ the audience with at the end...

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Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

John Cho and Kal Penn reprise their roles as Harold and Kumar; two twenty something guys who are always on the lookout for good pot. In “Escape”, the two decide to take a trip to Amsterdam in order to track down the object of Harold’s affection and, well, you know, smoke pot. Due to a case of mistaken Identity, the boys are labeled terrorist and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay.  One of the Problems with this movie is a problem that seems to haunt a number of sequels. It can’t recapture the magic of its predecessor. Not to say that “Escape” isn’t funny. It does have its moments. Neil Patrick Harris is back as the ever-stoned, ever-horny, NPH. (He plays himself, only not. At least…I hope he’s not really that drug and sex obsessed.) Penn and Cho are also great here. They have the kind of on-screen chemistry actors pray for. No, it’s not the acting but the script that lets the movie down. Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg beat the audience over the head with a, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” theme. The same theme was present in “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”, only Hurwitz and Schlossberg focused on the jokes, not the life-lesson. In “Escape”, the emphasis is placed on the life-lesson no matter how much it may hurt the joke....

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Awake

“Awake” stars the hot and sexy Jessica Alba and the usual monotoned Hayden Christensen. It’s written and directed by Joby Harold. This is his first step into the spotlight of directing with Awake being his first entry into filmography. Joby Harold explores a lurid real-life phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness in his directorial debut “Awake”. Clay Beresford is a happily married and extremely wealthy man who has a weak heart and must undergo a long, and in this case, very painful experience involving a heart transplant. Although there is a moment that will make the faint of heart queasy and possibly encourage you to think twice about surgery, “Awake” is a film that tries much to hard to please it’s audience. When it’s all over, it’s as if Joby Harold has his hands on his knees, out of breath and gasping for air. There are enough twists in this movie to make your head spin and the majority of them can be predicted without effort. For a directorial debut, this does have minimal style. Hayden Christensen reprises the role that he has played numerous times before and, like most of the time, without a glimpse of true acting skills. Once again he is a rich and lazy voiced character with a preppy look. The sketchy chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba was intentional for some crucial plot points in the film....

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Jumper – Worst film of the year arrives early?

  Doug Liman obviously felt he had unfinished business following his premature removal from the Bourne franchise. With Jumper he presents a thinly-disguised superhero romp complete with characters as ambiguous as Jamie Bell’s accent. Unfortunately however, Liman is not Paul Greengrass and Hayden Christensen is certainly not Matt Damon.  It says a lot that Christensen is consistently out-acted by The OC’s Rachel Bilson, who hasn’t exactly been fighting off the award givers this season. His delivery of a typically flimsy, lazy script by David Goyer is frequently so stale and forced it gives the impression that he is reading from an auto-cue that he can’t quite see. His potential as a leading man is evident after a decent performance in Star Wars: Episode III and a nuanced turn in Shattered Glass but here he turns in a performance so flat he doesn’t even deserve credit as a supporting role.  The plot centres around Christensen and Bell’s characters ability to teleport to any place they have seen before, including the inside of bank vaults various people are kind enough to show them in advance. It has potential but the mythology of a comic book tale without the comic book feels screwdrivered in to facilitate convenient developments. Samuel L Jackson’s character needs a way to follow the boys through their ‘jumps’, suddenly he has a ‘machine’ which allows him to do...

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