Monday, December 12, 2011

Encino Man

*** This review may contain spoilers ***
California teens Astin and Shore want to build a pool as a way to gain popularity before the end of their senior year and find caveman Fraser buried beneath the soil in which they're digging their pool on. They introduce and groom him into the modern life of a Cali teen; and when everything seems go to as planned, the free-spirited caveman who's helping the teens build popularity, is getting a bit too popular. Fraser is a pleasure to watch, and Pauly Shore is… well, Paul Shore--this could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your interest for watching the film. Where the film falls short is with Astin as Dave; who's a vain, shallow and selfish little punk, striving to have his own page in the yearbook… no wonder you're unpopular, Dave. Dave's tendencies of a sociopath become even more evident when he attempts to abandon the caveman because the girl who Dave likes has a crush on the caveman. It's not an overall unpleasant film, but still incredibly frustrating when one of your protagonists is extremely unlikable.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Psychotic German doctor Laser kidnaps two American tourists (Williams and Yennie) and one Japanese tourist (Kitamura), subjecting them to a sinister experiment entailing sewing one's mouth to another's anus, resulting in a "human centipede". Decently acted--at least for its classlessness--and filmed stylishly in the Netherlands. The concept of the human centipede is completely childish and unoriginal, and the controversy surrounding it is thrived by people why are offended by fart jokes and have never anticipated the possibility of coprophagia. There are better and worse things in this world to raise controversy over, and this film isn't one of them. The film ends way too easily, but very few will complain that it ended too quickly. The structure and pacing are also terrible; the opening scene (actually filmed during the final day of shooting) is virtually useless save minor and insignificant character development, and the film doesn't really have a third act. Those who made the film and those who complain about how disgusting it is should both be subjects to criticism for contributing to the creation and notoriety of such a terrible film.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In Dreams

Beauitfully shot and genuinely scary adaptation of Bari Woods' novel DOLL'S EYES, about Bening having the gift (or curse) of communicating with serial killer Downey through dreams. After a series of tragedies, her mental stability is called into question and after having no one to turn to, she must follow the killer through her dreams in order to find him in reality. Unfair harsh criticism triggered major plot twists occurring in the second act rather than the typical first or third act; but the beauty of this unsystematic approach allows the viewer to be as terrified, disoriented and confused as the mentally shattered main character. Adam Goldberg from All Movie Guide said, "it simply lacks a new and terrifying take on the dream/reality premise." That's for the viewer to decide, and it's up to the viewer to go into the film with an open-mind and a broad horizon, likely something Goldberg didn't do. Distinct for being the last film Downey completed before being sent to Corcoran State Prison on drug charges.