Monday, March 30, 2009

KILLSHOT (2009)

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Hal Holbrook, Rosario Dawson. Lois Smith, Don McManus

Directed By: John Madden
Written By: Hossein Amini
Based On The Novel By: Elmore Leonard
Cinematography By: Caleb Deschanel
Editor: Mick Audsley & Lisa Gunning


While based on the Elmore Leonard pulp novel. This film strives to be down and dirty noir but it comes off as rushed and mistakes moody for deep when it comes off as neither. The film also tries to make some of the characters mystical, spiritual and quirky there again it fails. It’s a shame after Mickey Rourke’s comeback in the wrestler that tis film is seeing the light of day where as if it was released when it was supposed to be about two years ago it wouldn’t be as embarrassing he doesn’t embarrass himself and while this material seems right up his alley these are the type of projects I would expect when he was struggling to make a come back at least this one looked like it was supposed to make it to theaters

This film has quite a history originally it was set up with Tony Scott directing and Robert DeNiro and Quentin Tarantino playing the native American Hitman and his sociopathic temp partner, then that fell apart. It then looked like it was going to go with Viggo Mortensen playing the husband lead and Justin Timberlake as Richie the Sociopathic temp partner of the native American hit man. In the end we got the cast and director we have now originally Johnny Knoxville had a role as a corrupt cop but he was cut out of the film totally because test audiences hated his character. Which would explain why the film is so short when the book is very thick and usually are more intricately plotted here things seem cut and dry and simple fake and also cheap, which really doesn’t help also we hardly know anything about any of the characters, which makes it hard to care about them when they are imperil good or bad. The film also went through a bunch of re-shoots and while they couldn’t decide whether or not it was good enough to make it to the Bigscreen this ended up going straight to home video which with a humble heart I have to admit is where it belongs. It’s a shame as u wanted to like the film I like the cast I only wish they had better material and john madden does have style and I rather enjoyed changing lanes but this just was not the story to utilize his talents with.

Rosario dawson has a thankless role that amounts to her character being a whore who changes alliances rather quickly between low lifes. Then the film tries to make us feel sorry for her when her life is on the line. In fact the film tries to make her one of the most innocent characters. So I instantly hated her character and while I respect Joseph Gordon Levitt as a actor again this performance felt like a performance and in his quest to create a character he went a little to far and made it feel like a caricature. He tried too hard

The film tries to show the changing shifts in the characters of Mickey and Joseph when earlier he is so worried about Mickey killing Rosario’s character he pulls a gun on him. Only later in the film when Mickey has to make a decision he shows mercy, where we expect him to bring death. It is Joseph who seems to lose his humanity while in a rare moment Mickey shows mercy. That is really the only noteworthy scene other then a rather shocking one near the end that involves the death of a major character. But these scenes are not enough to save the film.

The basic story is Mickey Rourke plays a burned out hitman who does a job and kills one more then he was supposed to and incurs the wrath of his employers while on the run he needs to make some cash so he decides to go in with a con who is extorting money when they go to collect the money they fail to collect and attack a couple who see there faces and can identify them so they attempt to murder them but they survive again and go into the witness protection program while the killers still hunt them down. until finally a standoff comes. Now this being a crime film you expect this usually the films are updated westerns in a urban landscape and have to do with all sorts of morality and character.

The only thing I don’t like about films like these is that the characters are so dislikeable but then they make the characters look so stylish and cool to be emulated so no matter what has happened on screen how evil they are through style alone by the end of the film you are sad to see them go not based on whether you even really liked them. The score also gets really annoying after awhile like every moment is so dramatic or is going to be life changing trust me there isn’t too much for it to.

It’s a shame as this is one of those almost was it could have been something it’s one of those films I wish I or someone could go back to the drawing board and give it another try now that we know what not to do.

Skip it unless you are a Mickey Rourke completist.

GRADE: D-

Sunday, March 22, 2009

HIT & RUN (2009)

Cast: Laura Breckenridge, Kevin Corrigan, Christopher Shand

Directed By: Enda McCallion
Written By: Diane Doniol-Valcroze & Arthur Flam
Cinematography By: Olivier Cocaul
Editor: Miklos Wright


This movie has been done many times before and better Look at “Creepshow” “I Know what you did last Summer” and “Stuck” it’s not surprising since they are all based on a urban legend. I know this film is straight to video so what did I expect. I expected if not quality then at least have some fun with the story.

“Stuck” managed to do it a lot better with the bar raised in content and drama alone giving you the perspective of both the victim and the accidental assailant. The problem with this film is that it seemed like a calling card made by a wanna-be director trying to break into the film business and he tries way too hard with overkill when it comes to camera movements, angles and placements also overactive editing. It makes me believe that the director saw a lot of guy ritchie’s movies and took notes during “Requiem For A Dream” The scene commits s even though set at night half the time were hard to see. It doesn’t feel real it feels like a film a bad one like a sci-fi channel original movie that has so much bad effects you can’t take it seriously at all.

Another oversight is that the film has actors who are known to be good but given this ridiculous material try to swim but sink. The director also tries to distract us by having the lead wear short distracting clothes which she does look good in and may even be true to the character but it would have helped if you are going to do something like that make the film a little more exploitive. Plus come in it’s a little ridiculous to make the menacing character a well respected kindergarten teacher.

It starts off promising by giving a more realistic portrait of college-age drinking and how irresponsible some people can be and what it could lead to. But it goes downhill fast especially considering this isn’t a very long movie.

By having Laura Breckenridge have most of her scenes alone at times it makes it seem like a one woman performance. She is a good actress and is quite fetching but deserves a better film then this. Watching the films and it’s endless clichés I can’t help but think of the many ways the story could have been done different and made something at least a bit more original.

For instance after she commits the crime we could see the drama and the effects it causes to her psyche from the guilt and constant paranoia that slowly drives her mad. Or you could have her character get away with it and realizing there was a witness who is blackmailing her and how she tries to get out of it she is guilty but doesn’t deserve the things she is forced to do. Or even the thought to be dead comes back and slowly plots his revenge. Or have her dealing with the crime and realizing she has a talent for it or enjoys it and slowly begins becoming a killer. Any of those could hae worked but instead we get a by the numbers films that tries to distract and impress with music video editing and camera shots.

The interesting things about these movies is that it is always a female who hits a male and I beliee that is because if it was the other way around. It would be hard for the audience to sympathize with a man hitting a woman under any circumstances we would hate him and feel he gets what he deserves where as with our double standard of thinking we automatically feel sorry for the woman and understand it’s a accident and can truly only hate her when she shows no compassion. Or if the victim just becomes really cruel and goes way too far in the revenge. It could have helped the film if she was a character who had character instead of someone we barely know and then are asked t feel sorry for her though we know little to nothing about her. Just because we spend time with her doesn’t mean we know her. Then the film almost makes it seem like it was a good thing she hit him since he is kind of crazy anyway and was a ticking time bomb. Instead of us feeling sympathy for him now we are totally in her corner though she was irresponsible.

This feel like a really bad episode of “Masters Of Horror” or a public service announcement against drinking and driving

SPOILERS

The Third act really turns ridiculous with him returning and killing a person who was only trying to help him and was not involved I what happened to him but I guess it was because he got in the way of his revenge that he had to be killed. The director tries to make the excuse for his homicidal behavior by one of the earlier reports on him missing saying he is manic depressive. Still all in all it’s bad filmmaking. Especially when he reacts more like a zombie then a man who survived a near death experience and wants revenge. I mean what’s with him stopping home to his family? Just to get his tools ? And the bleeding phone? Then killing his wife?

Skip it


GRADE: F

Thursday, March 19, 2009

DRIVE (1997)

Cast: Kadeem Hardison, Mark Dacoascus, Brittany Murphy, Tracy Walter, Sanna Lathan

Directed By: Steven Wang
Written By: Scott Phillps
Cinematography By: Michael G. Wojciechowski
Editor: Ivan Lidizinsky


Now this is what the film “Shoot ‘Em Up” should have been this film is action packed, funny, campy full of energy you don’t take it seriously for a minute as one situation gets more ridiculous then the last one.

The film is Successful with very few stars and a limited budget.

The Chemistry and charisma of the two leads help. This is the film where I discovered Mark Dacoscus (I Saw “Only The Strong” Years Later) who handles most of the action where as kadeem Is the everyman and the comic relief like a low budget but good version of “Rush Hour” tag team of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Then add in Brittany Murphy as a over the top horny teenager who helps them. Her scenes are perfect and add to the lunacy and infectous energy. It’s rather sad when she Exits the film. You will find yourself praying that she makes another appearance. This was a star making role for Brittany Murphy her full comedic talent on display.

Considering this film so over the top nothing seems out of place or too bizarre. The Story is mark dacoscus is transporting a energized battery in his body that gives him endless energy he is trying to deliver it to a rival company who will remove it. When his company tries to kill him they try to stop him along the way so that he is practically a fugitive who kidnaps out of work Kadeem hardison for his car and promises him a million dollars half of his pay when he delivers the battery. Then in the final battle must face off with a guy who has a new and improved version of the battery sure allof this is ridiculous but it is also fun and entertaining.

This is a must see a definite rent if you can find it and if at all possible buy it at 14.95 it’s worth it.

GRADE: C+

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Walken, Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner, Martin Sheen, James Brolin, Nathalie Baye, Ellen Pompeo, Nick Zano

Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Jeff Natahnson
Based On The Book: Catch Me If You Can: The Amazing True Story Of The Youngest And Most Daring Con-Man In The History Of Fun And Profit. By Frank Abegnale Jr. & Stan Redding
Cinematography By: Janusz Kaminski
Original Score: John Williams
Editor: Michael Kahn


Not the usual Spielberg film or it doesn’t feel like it not as usually overblown as a typical spielberg film. Though it is nostalgic and fun filled and breezy. Dealing with a boy who has to grow up fast.

A con man whose only real wish is to make his father proud and get his parents back together and with all the feats he is successful with. That is the only one that is impossible.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a revelation especially in his scenes while the cons are finally taking there toll on him. Where he doesn’t know who he really is anymore. What he actually likes and he really sells the performance when he escapes and see’s his mothers new family and you can see the childlike wonder in his eyes until his heart truly breaks. It’s a good thing because Johnny depp was the first choice to play the role but watching it he would look to old to play the role.

At one point Gore Verbinski (The Pirates Of The Caribbean) was slated to direct but with delays on “Gangs Of New York” taking so long he had to drop out so did James Gandolfini who was slated to play tom hanks role originally since he had to go back to film “The Sopranos” Also set ot appear in the film were Ed Harris as Leo’s Father And Chloe Sevingy Probably slated to play Amy Adams Eventual role. Even before spielberg took over as director he was only slated to produce he considered Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky), Lasse Hallstrum (The Ciderhouse Rules) and David Fincher (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) It’s good Steven Spielberg took it as it is one of my favorite films by him.

The vivid elementary of the cons and the escapes are visually stimulting without going overboard.

Though Tom Hanks accent is a little overbearing he and the rest of the cast do excellent work supporting the star while making definite impression of there own. Christopher Walken is good playing a normal human being for once. Not over the top and actually warm which is rare for him.

I had pre-concieved notions going to the theater to see it but I figured my friend read the book it was based on and said it was good. Even though the trailer looked iffy that was good material to base the film on. I figured at least Christopher Walken is in it and it should be a good warm up performance from Leonardo DiCarpio before his sure to be good performance in “Gangs Of New York” that was due out later that month. If only I knew this was going to be the film I enjoyed more. It Blew me away with how much I liked it/ I Was a DiCaprio fan early in his career before “Titanic” made me alienate him as he achieved world wide success. I Didn’t want to be part of the popular film quotient plus teenage girls loved him so much. Though I still did see “The Beach” this is the film that reassured my faith in him

This is definitely a must see. In fact a must buy.

GRADE: A

OSCAR NOMINATIONS:
Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Walken
Best Orignal Music Score - John Williams

DEVIL IN THE FLESH (1998)

CAST: Rose McGowan, Phil Morris, Alex Mcarthur, Sherrie Rose, Aloma Wright, Wendy Robie, Rick Overton

Directed By: Steve Cohen
Written By: Kurt Anderson & Richard Brandes (Story)
Kevin Carlin-McCall & Steve Cohen & Robert McCall & Michael Michaud (Screenplay)
Cinematography By: Joseph Montgomery
Editor: Micharl Thibault



This Film isn’t anything you haven’t seen before.

A Teenager gets a dangerous obsession with her teacher and refuses to let anyone get in her way.

The film Starts off like a less refined “Lolita” but soon morphs into a teenage “Fatal Attraction” with a higher body count and more flirting and no sex. As the story goes along we find out the girl played by Rose McGowan has a dark secret which you could probably guess 5 minutes into the film. She also stands out because as most of the characters in this movie are tanned as the movie takes place in florida. Especially her Competitions for the teacher. So as she walks around in the sun drenched town she is so plae like a gleaming ghost.

Another of my HBO Original premieres the film is bad it tries for a twist ending that is predictable. You know who all the eventual victims will be as soon as you meet them.

Even though she is good in the film and I do like her as a actress Rose McGowan is a little long in the tooth to play this role. Though the film is billed as a erotic thriller there is a serious lack of nudity and sex. Sure there is flirting and skin on display in skimpy outfits sorry fellas it is false advertising though for the ladies the leading man who is not believable as a teacher he looks too smarmy does take his shirt off a lot. This was before Matthew McCongnahey Did it in most of his movies.

This movie should just have just reveled in the other product out there and been a typical skinemax movie that it wouldn’t be as blaringly bad. Just a typical sex thriller, but as it stands now it is a really bad movie

Only watch if you are a Rose McGowan Fetishist. She appears in a lot of bad movies and is usually good in them. Sometimes the only good thing, but hey she has to work.

It amazes me it took so many writers to come up with something so cliché and bad. You would think one of them had talent and a original idea. It’s entertaining in a trashy way but nowhere near good.

THE GOOD GIRL (2002)

CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gylenhaal, John C. Reily, Tim Blake Nelson, Mike White, Zooey Deschanel, John doe, John Carroll Lynch, Deborah Rush, Aimee Garcia

Directed By: Miguel Arteta
Written By: Mike White
Cinematography By: Enrique Chediak
Editor: Jeff Betancourt


This is a movie where I wonder what is the point I enjoy mike white scripts but this feels more like a vehicle that was written around a star to give them some kind of artistic indie credibility and bring out there strengths more then a film with a story that ether needed to be told or actually have a story to tell. It’s got plenty of great characters but has nothing to do with them. It’s almost like they just stand around and react to the star but don’t actually seem to do anything.

I understand this is supposed to be partially a examination of small town life but we have explored that in many other films already, the only difference is that this is updated more modern but still the film revolves around a scandal that threatens to come out but never is in any real danger of being exposed.

I can see why the film has such a good character actor cast the characters are quirky which is usually a actor’s paradise.

The film revolves around a bored housewife. Whose husband is a pot smoking house painter who wants to have kids his best friend has a crush on the housewife who has a retail job to try to enliven her life. Which it doesn’t then she meets Holden a cashier who fancies himself after Holden Caulfield from “A Catcher In The Rye” he is much younger and they begin a torrid affair which the longer and deeper the relationship gets the more unstable and unbalanced he becomes. Which leads to a robbery of the store and her trying to cover it up. Mix in a born again adulterer A Christian security guard who does heavy recruiting for his church. A Sarcastic make up person who makes the store announcements and wears way too much make up and a cat lady.

This film feels like a loose plot tread or a used one of “Desperate Housewives”

Jennifer Aniston tries but she feels like she is out of her element there is nothing wrong with her performance but it feels like she is out of place and trying to mask that with her character wanting to get out the town and her life doesn’t help. Jake Gylenhaal here gets to play the type he always seems to enjoy angst ridden as a actor he seems to prefer off beat and downtrodden characters even though he more has the looks of a movie star. In some films that he is in that is annoying luckily not here.

This may have been better served just like his other script and film “Year of the dog” as a short story or a novel it would then be more penetrating instead of feeling like a quirky run of the mill independent film.

Rent at your own risk.

GRADE: C-

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (2008)

CAST: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samantha Morton, Emily Watson, Tom Noonan, Michelle Williams, Diane Wiest, Hope Davis, Josh Pais, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jerry Adler, Lynn Cohen

Written & Directed By: Charlie Kaufman
Cinematography By: Fredrick Elmes
Editor: Robert Frazen
Production Design: Mark Friedberg
Art Direction: Adam Stockhausen
Original Score By: Jon Brion


I’m not going to lie this is not a film for everyone it is a very strange film and I consider myself smart and I didn’t even understand the film completely is film has a abstract and surreal quality. It’s almost like watching a daid lynch film but not as dark and scary

This film started off as a collaboration project by Charlie Kaufman and Director Spike Jonze to make a horror film while Charlie Kaufman came up with the idea of the horror of life and the absence of family and the degenerative state of the body. Spike Jonze went off to make the movie “Where The Wild Things Are” while Charlie kept on trying to finish this project. I have to say for a first time director he is very impressive. Not over abundance on style or trying to cram too much into the film to tell a story. Charlie Kaufman had intended “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” To be his directorial debut but decided better to let Michel Gondry do it as it was a more Visual story that involved emotional truth and nakedness. This film has amazing visuals but is more invested in the emotions and situations the characters find themselves in.

As usual the film has a depressing protagonist expertly played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his performances I actually like a lot who is a playwright who discovers he is slowly dieing whose wife leaves him with there daughter for Berlin with her strange friend he wins a grant and decides to make a theater production of his life it is housed in a warehouse and everyday he directs actors playing himself and the people in his life as well as his neighbors and the actors playing all the characters and each day he adds to it and adds anyone he comes into contact with over the years he decides to try and find his daughter and is kept from her at every turn until near the end where the reunion doesn’t go the way he planned. As a sidenote I have to say that Jennifer Jason leigh plays the most evil character I have ever seen on the screen even worse then action movie villains. The film is and has plenty of absurdism his wife is a miniature painter. His wife’s back tattoo that he strangely never noticed. The woman who lives in a house that is always on fire and smoking. The same woman in life playing her role in the play within the play within the play.

If that sounds confusing that is only the start of it. The film is a great meditation on life and all it’s trappings it is a depressing tale mixed with humor. The tone of the film is a Woody Allen movie that he wishes he could make with plenty of offbeat and sometimes out of place humor. Mixed with some of the most depressing scenes ever committed to film but this was strangely a film I could identify with. It doesn’t fit easily into any mold even though you could characterize it in many. It’s a heartbreaking film with a magnificent score. Great art direction and tremendous acting. This is a film that as a chameleon I think will get more appreciated over the years, it’s like a film that feels like you are reading a book learning more and more about fate and life. Like reading a classic book that you don’t fully understand but know there is something special about it and if you could figure it out you would like it more but frustrates you the more and more it goes on.

Another interesting tidbit of the film is the casting of emily watson and samantha morton two actresses who resemble each other smaantha morton who in real life is the younger one out of the two of them plays the older character that emily watson is playing but in the film she is younger then her. i just thought that was interesting and the type of absurdism the film finds itself in constantly.

The Film feels autobiographical though may not be as Charlie Kaufman is infamously reclusie or this may all be a comedy as this is just his type of humor.

I would definitely recommend this film but warn you. It’s very arty and independent I stopped trying to figure it out a half hour into it. But if you give it a chance the film starts to grow on you and after it is over the more you think about it the more you find yourself likeing and impressed with it

2001: A Space Odessey

CAST: Kier Dullea, Gary Lockwood, Douglas Rain

Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke
Based On The Story “The Sentinel” By Arthur C. Clarke
Cinematography by: Geoffrey Unsworth
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Art Direction: Joe Hoesli


There is no way shape or form to describe the impact of this movie. It’s all the great things you have heard about this film and more. It is a important piece of film history and amazingly insightful.

When you look at the effects and camerawork it’s hard not to be astonished and impressed keep in mind the film was made in 1968 years before special effects had really made a breakthrough or would be seen as majorly important to a film and entertainment.

This is a philosophical movie that is truly awesome to behold it it was that will keep you thinking and in awe of the themes and visions you are seeing

The less you know about this film the better it is truly something to behold. It takes you from the dawn of evolution to the future of space travel. The score is immaculate which makes it almost a silent film but you don’t mind the lack of dialogue. The first line of dialogue isn’t uttered until 25 minutes into the film. You don’t even mind the fact that everything is more shown then explained leaving you to come up with your own theories. You could even play this movie with the volume off and still follow the film and mostly understand it. I believe this and for many other reasons is why people love to watch this film high it expands your mind sober I can only imagine what it does while you may be under the influence of certain substances.

You don’t even mind the slight oversight of the early monkey scenes where it is obvious that it is men in animal suits though there movements are believable it is a bit distracting but it doesn’t matter the scenes you will see soon are so impressive it brings the early scenes up in performance just by association.

The film and novel on which it was based were written at the same time Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke informed each other of there developments while writing. At first Clarke wanted kubrick to use a short story he had written before because Kubrick’s original contention was to make the most proper science fiction film ever made. In fact Kubrick was going to be listed as co-author of the novel of the film, but he did not feel like giving permission as he thought it would hurt the film.

This is a must see in fact why don’t you own it yet if you don’t go out right now and get it trust me you won’t be sorry. This is a film I give my highest recommendation to it would be on my top100, 50, 25 list of greatest movies of all time

Monday, March 2, 2009

SEX DRIVE (2008)

Directed By Sean Anders
Written By Sean Anders & John Morris;
Based On The Book “All The Way” By: Andy Behrens
Cinematography By: Tim Orr
Editor: George Folsey Jr

Cast: Josh Zuckeman, Clark Duke, Charlie McDermott, Katrina Bowden, Dave Sheridan, James Marsden, Seth Green, Brian Posehn, David Koechner, Amanda Crew, Alice Greczyn

This Movie is like a breath of fresh air after drowning in crap of the similar type of movies. this film has actual jokes based on characters that come from build up's that are planted throughout the whole film. Which actually shows talent in the screenplay.

This film took me totally by surprise I thought this would be another wasted useless teen sex comedy. While it stays true to it’s roots of being a teen sex comedy it is actually a good film also it’s rude and crude yet it has heart it harkens back to the 1980’s type of teen sex comedy without being a homage or trying as hard as recent films of the type have. It has faith in itself and it’s jokes which are surprisingly funny in each scene. The film goes for broke and while to many it will seem amateurish and misogynistic it does include a female lead who is involved in half of the gross outs itself.

This Film is like the "Thr Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the original where you think there is tons of gore and blood in that movie but if you go back and watch it. Yes the film is unsettling, but not really that gory. In This film there is not alot of actual nudity or sex, yes there is alot of talking about it.but not that much showing of it. when there is it is nice though.

The story is a virgin who has graduated high school meets a girl online who is willing to have sex with him and after striking out again and again he finally decides to go on a road trip to meet her. He brings his best male friend and his best female friend who might just be in love back with him. The film is fairly predictable in the usual sort of ways. But tends to shock more then expected.

There are so many surprising and memorable supporting characters in this film who cold each easily be a star of there own movie. It just has so many memorable classic comedy scenes that eve though it was not a hit at the box office I think it will gain a reputation on DVD. Deservedly so. I am not going to ruin the movie by talking too much about it or what is in it. It’s definitely a film to seek out and see. Buy if you can.

The cast is quite attractive and features great hilarious work by James Marsden as the Uber male tough guy, This is the best and most likeable i have seen him it opens him up more to me and i appreciate him as a actor. Clark.. duke as the suave womanizing geek sex god and the ever endlessly talented Seth green the king of sarcasm. Plus the unbelievable beauty of Alice Greczynn and Amanda Crew two of the most visually captivating newcomers I have seen in a long time. The characters i specifically remember that were hilarious are drunk amish girl and andy and randy the friends who have no filter

I am not judging the film just because I think the girls are cute I have given plenty of movies with hot girls bad reviews I will admit when I am bias towards a film.

This is definitely a film worth checking out. I look forward to the further work of writer director Sean Anders even if it is only within this genre....

GRADE: B+..

BEETLEJUICE (1988)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara, Glen Shadix, Robert Goulet, Sylvia Sidney, Dick Cavett

Directed By: Tim Burton
Story By: Tim Burton
Written By: Larry Wilson, Michael McDowell & Warren Skaaren
Director Of Photography: Thomas Ackerman
Original Score: Danny Elfman
Production Design By: Bo Welch
Edited by: Jane Kurson

Dated a little but still brilliant. This film is truly a person’s imagination run amuck like his brain threw up on the screen and this is what came out. This is true creativity at work. can you honestly say that you could have come up with this film?

A couple build there dream house die then comeback as ghosts haunting the place. when a new family moves in and wants to not only redesign the house but demolish it. So when the two ghosts can’t do it on there own and the supernatural case worker they have been assigned isn’t really any help. They call a ecto-plasmic human exterminator named (You Guessed it) beetlejuice who is gross, crude and perverted. but then they form a bond with the family’s daughter. Who beetlejuice lusts after. It all ends with a confrontation at a exorcism/wedding with scary huge sandworms. Exactly I didn’t think you could.

Michael keaton is in perfect form he has never been as good as this again. A young alec baldwin and winona ryder are humorous. If you haven’t seen it yet. I am shocked. it’s been around awhile unless of course your parents are ultra religious and if they are why are you on here reading this.

From all the visual gags alone. You realize that mr. burton has a wildly inventive visual style and somewhat grace. It comes as no surprise he started as an animator. As this film is a live action cartoon filled with impressive special effects for the time period. This film is filled with dark comedy as it not only satirizes suburbia, nouveau riche and the art crowd. The affluence it portrays and appears to have the first three dimensional goth character in a film. This film is like a fairy tale or fable I love it.

It holds a special place in my heart. i used to watch it all the time as a kid. I loved it when it came on wpix channel 11. Which was like once a month. And everytime it came on I always watched it even though I already had it on video. It also launched me on one of my first crushes. Winona Ryder for a span of three years she was my dreamgirl. Now I just wait for her comeback. Hopefully tim burton makes another film as manic and magical as this

Everything about this film is magical it an play for kids as much as it does for adults plus it is darker then anyone who watches it realizes. As you watch it it is playful and fun but the more you watch you see the subtlety of subjects it challenges. All the office workers in the office seem to be suicides. it makes fun of suburbia as usual in tim burton films. There is the strange Dark character his alter ego. who in one scene keeps proofreading her suicide note to make it more dramatic.

This is the tim burton i miss who had artistic senesabilites but still had a toe in what it took to tell a mainstream story. this film is like a big screen carnival for him which is also reflected in the amazing score by Danny Elfman. this film could almost be a silent film for some scenes with the score taking over the dialogue for the scenes and they would still be as good.

Tim Burton is one of my favorite directors and his classic films like these seem more original and come from his imagination more then the studio films he has been making recently.

GRADE: A