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It has been some time since I've written a review on this site, but I
felt this movie and its current underwhelming performance at the box
office warrants some good press. "Jennifer's Body" is a very
entertaining film, and is sure to be one that many discover in its DVD
release, which according to interviews, director Karyn Kusama has
material she is anxious to release.
Make no mistake, JB isn't an Oscar contender, then again, it's not trying to be. It is attempting to throw the viewer into a world of heightened teenage brutality, and in that it succeeded. Diablo Cody, who seems to draw a love her/hate her reaction from audiences, writes a script that perhaps has one too many pop culture references or quirky word choices. But, that is Cody's world. Why say someone is good looking when you can say they're "salty?" It may not make a whole lot of sense, but Cody captures "teen speak" in her dialogue and it is a lot of fun to watch her characters say such unusual things with such ease and normalcy. Cody's writing is what separates this film from other "evil-teen" horror films. Also impressive is when Cody is able to create some genuinely sincere moments between the characters amid the violence and chaos occurring.
This film does not apologize for its odd premise nor does it try to compensate for it. JB plays it straight, recognizing the plot is entirely superficial. This premise doesn't hold the film back. The plot throws enough fun details in the mix that drive this film forward, making it a fantastic platform for the starts of the film, obviously the cast and Cody's writing.
About the cast: As Jennifer, Megan Fox is quite great! Not only does she have the looks to support her character, she creates a girl you love to hate. Jennifer is the ultimate high school goddess, but underneath the sexy exterior and projected confidence lies a tortured soul...physically personified by the demon within her. Fox is sexy when she needs to be, but wrecked when it calls for it. One short scene has possessed Jennifer, disgusted with herself, smearing makeup across her face in a very desperate fashion, desperate to hide her insecurities from the world. It is an impacting moment. Fox is another love/hate personality these days who draws just as much backlash as praise. Say what you want about her prior efforts, but Megan took charge of her character and was creative with her.
Amanda Seyfried stood against Fox well. Naturally, Fox is a force to be reckon with these days and Amanda, playing the gawky, nice girl who hides her beauty, holds her own. The girl can act, and also creates a very sympathetic and relatable character. She manages to create some very humorous moments while being natural. Her admiration for Jennifer is quite clear and Seyfried manages to capture it nicely, without making the character seem obsessive.
The guys in the cast, most who are present so Jennifer can have a meal, are each unique. Props to Kyle Gallner who disappears in his emo-goth role. I had only seen him in the bland "Haunting in Connecticut." Adam Brody, who plays the lead singer of the band that sacrifices Jennifer, had a lot of fun with his role. He creates a character that is so selfish and evil, but seems like a guy who would be fun to have drinks with...if you knew he didn't want to kill you.
Finally, Kusama's direction is swift and competent. She captures the film well not overusing horror techniques and keeping the look of the film fresh. The film's soundtrack is also offbeat and unusual for the genre, but is filled with some great music. The song sung by Brody's band, "Through the Trees," has a great rhythm and lyrics. It's the sort of song that if actually released would undoubtedly be a chart topper.
Is JB the best film you will see all year? No. Is it the worst as many have been claiming? Not by a long shot. JB is different. It's star has been the center of a media obsession. JB is taking the brunt end of this. Behind the harsh criticisms of reviewers who seem to be shifting their disappointment lies a very entertaining and well-made film, despite its subject matter being quite superficial. Forget what you've heard against it, forget what you were expecting. If you like horror, Cody's style, clever films, character films or any combination of the above go see Jennifer's Body. This film deserves a better box office. I for one would like to see more films like this made, and that will only happen if people go see them. Make it happen ya'll.
When Jennifer's Body was first announced to me, I met the idea with
cautious curiosity. The idea of Megan Fox playing an evil high school
beauty queen who eats the boys she seduces sounded... interesting, to
say the least. When the trailer finally emerged, I got excited.
Seriously. The combination of thrilling and funny hadn't been explored
well at the theater in a long time.
Unfortunately, it still hasn't been explored well; at least not very well. The movie understands what it's going for: a comic horror film with just enough gore and jumps to be jarring and plenty of witty dialogue to stay fresh. The problem is, the two don't seem to meld together very well at any point. It's hard to say whether this has more to do with Diablo Cody's script or Karyn Kusama's direction; neither is at it's full potential here. Although, on recollection of the film, the too-random use of humor sometimes seems to have been the biggest problem.
But let's talk about what works. The leads are both very good. It was Megan Fox who got lots of good buzz about proving she could actually act, but Amanda Seyfried really impressed me more with her edgy role. The performances of both are worthy of accolades. They bring honesty and realism to what could have become total caricatures, and their performances help paint the deeper themes of the movie quite well.
Yes, there are deeper themes. It's not too hard to spot what Ms. Cody is trying to talk about here: The relationships girls have with each other. The whole 'Frenemies' idea that so defines high school girls. It's an interesting concept to examine, and it could have made for a truly entertaining AND thoughtful film.
But it simply isn't. While it wants to get there, it gets too lost in trying to be hip and current and 'alternative' to really become a film. And while the tension builds decently toward the finale, it all leads up to a climax that... doesn't really climax.
However, this is not to say Jennifer's Body isn't worth watching. Hell, I was entertained, and there are some sexy little scenes in there. The disappointment lies in thinking about what the premise promised, a promise that sadly wasn't quite fulfilled... 6/10 stars
Clearly this is a movie that polarizes opinion, but I'd urge anyone
with a taste for black comedy to give Jennifer's Body a chance. Having
finally seen it, I enjoyed myself so much that I was left a little
mystified that so many people seem to hate it.
Let's be straight about this, Jennifer's Body isn't awards material, but neither is it trying to be. It's a deliberately cheesy and darkly comic movie that definitely harks back similar movies from the 80s. Some of the darkest parts of the movie had me stifling guilty giggles; that's good black comedy in my book.
I thought the performance from the two leads was solid and enjoyable. Megan Fox played up Jennifer's sexiness, but gave her a subtle undercurrent of insecurity which gave tension to the character. Amanda Seyfried's Needy might not have been the cheerleader but was really the more settled and self-assured of the two characters.
Friendships held since childhood can become somewhat ambiguous as people age. This movie captured that well. To me the kiss between Jennifer and Needy really showed the low-key battle that was constantly raging between them, one they weren't consciously aware of most of the time.
Funniest scene for me involved some extremely shallow hipsters involved in some very dark dealings. Deliciously silly.
So, in conclusion, give this movie a try. There's a strong chance that you'll have a very good time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Jennifer's Body" is the kind of film that should remind us all that it
takes a lot more to be clever, hip and interesting, then merely
spouting a few modern slang terms and a sexy pout. They try to play up
a campy teen angst kind of thing here, but it never rings true. It's
more like pseudo-angst, thought up by a focus group of Hollywood suits,
that tries to play to what they think teenagers would find "cool," only
to fail miserably in the attempt.
The premise of this tale, is about how a teenage babe (played by Megan Fox) is sacrificed to Satan, by a loser indie band in the hopes they may be granted fame and fortune, only for her to become a flesh eating demon, because she wasn't a virgin when she was sacrificed. No, really, that is the basic plot outline here.
The film tries to come off as an edgier mix of "Mean Girls" and "Scream," but ends up as merely a putrid pile of trash, that is way too self-absorbed and into itself, and comes across as thinking it is way more clever and hip than it actually is. Most teenage horror-comedies are an extremely superficial affair, but this one is shallow at BEING shallow. There's nothing here beneath the surface at all. No insights, no meaning, no message. Heck, there's no real laughs or scares, either (unless you count the row of 18 year-old guys up in front of me, who giggled at the make out scene with Fox and Seyfried). Like some vapid teen pretty girl, the film never looks out of it's own self-induced tunnel vision, thinking itself way too smart and cool, and the film loses any chance to be relevant or entertaining. It's not just style over substance, but a self-deluded and half-formed idea of style over substance. Why have a coherent story and plot? Look, Megan Fox is swimming naked in a lake! Isn't that just so awesome?! It seems little thought was put into the script, direction, or anything else. It is merely a vehicle for Megan Fox to look ultra-sexy (in that slutty way she usually does). No one ever bothers to go beyond this, as everyone else is just some stereotype or cipher character, used for the demands of Fox's character, who looks like she has a totally vacant expression throughout the whole movie (the very same one you'll probably have, after you watch this crap). The only thing it goes to show, is that Fox is truly a horrible actress and is certainly not up to the task of headlining a film. It takes a lot more than a few cute slang terms being thrown around, and some pathetic attempt at controversy (with a little girl-on-girl make out moment), to make a worthwhile story. Honestly, the thing feels like it was written by a couple of 13 year-old boys, who got a look at their father's Playboy collection for the first time, and thought this would be a great idea for a film. It is just a blatant attempt to appeal to the "teeny-bopper" crowd, who love films like "Twlight" and the like, and has absolutely no regards to the intelligence of the target audience (or any other audience, in general).
This is, without a doubt, the worst movie I've seen all year. If this doesn't register on many a film critics and film fans "worst of" lists for 2009, I fear for the mental sanity of the industry. "Jennifer's Body" is honest as a title for this travesty of celluloid, though, as the only thing the film ever concerns itself with is how "hawt" the title character looks. Unless you are a hormone-raging teenage boy, with Megan Fox as your ultimate fantasy plaything, avoid this dreck at all costs! Heck, even if you are one, you should avoid it, as even hormone-raging teenage boys deserve to be marketed to better than this.
Am I the only one that thinks Diablo Cody is a terrible writer? Though I did enjoy it, Juno was extremely overrated, and this piece of crap cements it for me. I hate Diablo Cody as a writer. Her contrivance and witty attempt at being hip and relevant just doesn't fly. I will give her credit for trying to look at dialog from left of center, but people don't talk like that....well except maybe Diablo Cody. But I didn't go to see a movie full of Diablo Cody's, I went to see a movie with moving characters you care for. If they die, I should care, which I didn't. and the "twist" ending made the Happening look like Citizen Cane, and I'm talking in this day and age where my future unborn children already know what rosebud is. It is still more of a reveal than this movie. It was a shame because there were same great actors in this movie and Megan Fox. Though I will give both Cody and Fox credit, because she actually fit the dialog well, but it doesn't make me hate it less. I found myself bored, and bored in a horror movie is unacceptable. I've seen some awful horror movies too, but never have I been this bored. I gave this movie 3 stars, one for Amanda Seifried, one for the (in my opinion) under appreciated Kyle Gallner, and one for the few interesting shots throughout the movie. Notice NONE for Diablo Cody!
Predictably, the only reason I went to see Jennifer's Body was because
of Megan Fox. Not because I think she's a great actress - she's done
nothing to prove this - but because... well, it's Megan Fox. The only
reason why she was "discovered" by Michael Bay and put in the
Transformers movies was because she's hot, and that's precisely the
only reason why she was given her first starring role with Jennifer's
Body. Because, really, although she isn't particularly awful - I've
seen worst performances in porn movies - her performing skills don't
deserve as much attention as she has been receiving. Yes, that
basically means she doesn't give a very good performance in Jennifer's
Body. And to be honest, that's something of a disappointment - before
watching the movie, I had a little bit of hope that the reason why Fox
had given such horrible performances in the Transformers movies was
Michael Bay's inability to direct actors. After watching this movie,
though, I concluded that Fox is nothing more than eye candy - whether
she's directed by Bay or Martin Scorsese, she'll always give a bad
The film tells the story of teenager Needy (Amanda Seyfried), whose best friend is the ridiculously hot Jennifer (Megan Fox). The former has a somehow timid but likable boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons) while the latter loves the fact that she can sleep with whoever she wants whenever she wants. One night, Jennifer takes Needy to a bar to watch the semi-popular rock band Low Shoulder. The lead singer (Adam Brody) gives Needy the creeps but Jennifer likes him. After the show is abruptly ended by a fire, the group takes her to their van and they disappear... Needy fears the worst. Next day, though, Jennifer appears to be all right. It turns out that, instead of dying a pretty horrible death, she was turned into a demon who has to eat boys in order to maintain her hotness.
I understand what Diablo Cody (screenwritter of the fabulous Juno) tried to do. Instead of crafting a straight-forward horror story, she tried to write something a little more humorous and a little more quirky, but the problem with this approach is that the movie doesn't really know what it wants to do. At times, it can be hilarious - because the filmmakers are providing with a joke or gag or some weird-ish, quirky line -, while at others it can be unintentionally - and awfully - funny. And when it tries to be scary, it utterly - and somehow embarrassingly - fails. You'd have to be either a very small boy or girl or a very frightful person in order to be scared by the movie.
Although the aforementioned Fox is not very convincing as Jennifer - okay, that's unfair; she is convincing when portraying the mega-hot high-school girl because she's basically playing herself; it's when she turns into a boy-eating monster that things become laughable -, the rest of the cast are pretty much all right. Because Amanda Seyfried - who was delightful in the underrated Mamma Mia - can act, Fox's performance seems even more artificial than it already is. What's more - Needy is virtually the only believable character in the whole movie, which is a blessing considering she's the main one. Johnny Simmons is also very likable as Chip - his eventual fate was the only scene in the film that got me emotionally involved with what was happening on screen - and a very small supporting performance by J.K. Simmons - as a school teacher - is as memorable as things get in this film.
Those who want to watch the movie to catch a glimpse of a naked Megan Fox are definitely going to be disappointed. Although there's plenty of gore, guts and language, Fox never gets naked. During a weird skinny dipping scene, her nude body is hidden from view by tricky camera angles and other techniques, and the only really sexual scene in which she gets involved - not even Fox can make cannibalism hot - is a lesbian kissing sequence with Seyfried. Can't say it's not a hot scene - because it is - but it somehow seemed tame for today's standards. Really, though, these are only very small problems which I could have forgiven had the film worked as a horror flick - the main problem with Jennifer's Body is that it's neither scary nor laugh-out-loud funny.
Having seen and appreciated Juno, I was expecting more from screen writer Diablo Cody. This is a case of a very successful - and from what I gathered from her previous movie, talented - screen writer trying to do something different and failing. Yes, her intentions were really noble, but the end result - being, in this case, a motion picture - is nothing short of a disaster. While Amanda Seyfried tries to give her best - unlike Fox, she doesn't embarrass herself -, the rest of the production is so mediocre I can't believe someone thought it was worth releasing in theatres. If Jennifer's Body was a way to prove that Diablo Cody could write a successful horror film, it failed. And if it was to prove that Megan Fox was something more than eye candy, then it also failed. And really, Fox isn't that hot either. For my money, Seyfried is a million times prettier, and she has the advantage that, unlike Fox, she can act.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some movies are just mean to be fun, I believe we started forgetting that the last years. That is why Jeniffer's body and Zombieland are the best things that came from the west in terms of horror this year. I'm sick of watching badly written, posh, pseudo-intelligent horror flicks trying to be something they can't, mostly by stealing classics. This is why I found Jeniffer's body a fresh break. I'm not saying it's even remotely original but at least it's entertaining, unlike everything else. From the made up teen language to the awkward sex scenes, the violence and the brilliant narration of Needy, it just put a smile on my face as I walked out of the cinema. Some movies are just meant to entertain and this one does its job perfectly, it never tries to out jump itself, doesn't get boring for a minute, and gives a nice finger to all those unbearably tedious and uncreative teen flicks. If you miss the good old pop-corn horrors of the 80's I definitely recommend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all let me say that I love this movie. Yes I used the word
"love". I love the actors, I love the location, I love the look of the
film, and I love Diablo Cody. I can understand all the people who don't
like Diablo Cody's writing because she uses "hip" language and things
like that, but that is in fact why I love it! For the film nerds out
there, No, I did not go to film school. I like many different types of
movies. I like all the same movies you like, and then probably a lot
you don't. But the difference between you and me is that I can
appreciate a movie for what it is.
We can all agree that Jennifer's Body is not going to win the Oscar for best picture....SO WHAT!!! I love it anyway, and here is why.
A script can only be so good on paper. It really does need great actors to take the film to the next level, and thats just what happened with this movie. Jennifer's body does start out with a good script. Yes that's right, I think Diablo Cody has a great and unique style of writing...ooooooooooooo, get over it. Amanda as the character Needy is fantastic. She is a great actress with a lot of talent. Megan Fox is almost too beautiful to be real, and that really helps the character of Jennifer stand out. She is improving as an actress and the movies she are in are meant to be taken as fun. Not some film like Citizen Kane. The character Chip is great along with the goth kid Colin. These two dudes play great awkward teenagers. The teacher played by J.K. Simmons was cool. The sex scene with Needy and Chip was (for the most part) unlike the typical "Hollywood" sex scene. It was real and funny. The movie has great direction from Karyn Kusama. And how about the make out scene with Needy and Jennifer?! that was crazy HOT. Low Shoulder were hilarious as the indie band that try to sacrifice Jennifer to the devil. Adam Brody was great and the fact that the band goes to such great lengths to get popular only shows how fake indie bands are anyway. They just want to be rich and famous like other rock stars. I don't know what else to say, I could go on forever. I hope Diablo Cody goes on to write more scripts and i hope they get made into great movies because she has a fan for life right here. Thats about it I guess. I love Jennifer's Body!!!!!!!!
Winning an Oscar for a first film is a perilous position for a screenwriter to be in, for with adulation comes high expectation, and with high expectation comes hype that is almost always self-defeating. Such is the case with "Jennifer's Body," the sophomore script from Diablo ("Juno") Cody, which takes an uncomfortable union of concept, content, and direction (by Karyn Kusama), and transforms it into a film I really WANTED to like, but in the end couldn't. Marketed as a hip, self-aware horror flick, it never delivers much beyond the norm of the genre (it follows firmly in the tradition of Kevin Williamson, who gave us "Scream" and "The Faculty" over a decade ago), and passages of heartfelt emotion are shortchanged for ridiculous horror segues (an indie band sacrifices a virgin to make a pact with the Devil, for instance) and Cody's own contrived linguistic quirks. The quirks worked for "Juno," which told a dramatic story populated by fully realized characters and peppered with moments of bittersweet humor. "Jennifer's Body" almost succeeds based on the strength of its central duo: the titular cheerleader (Megan Fox) and her bespectacled, dorky BFF, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), who undergo serious issues when Jennifer becomes a literal man-eater; the bond between them is so palpable and effective that it almost saves the film when it goes off into the realm of bloodshed and digital trickery. If Cody's script can't find a balance between the horror, the humor, and the pathos, director Kusama steers the film even more erratically, resulting in a tone that remains unsettled until the very end. Ultimately, "Jennifer's Body" has its share of visually arresting moments and fine performances (particularly Seyfried's), but it has much less to offer than its obvious (and far superior) influences: Jacques Tourneur's (and Paul Schrader's) "Cat People" and the "Ginger Snaps" trilogy (which took the metaphorical monstrosity of puberty and its own clever dialog into much more exciting territory).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
However, if you don't care much for movies that appear to be in
existence for the sole reason of giving pubescent boys one and a half
hours of Megan Fox in various sexually referencing scenes, then give it
I watched this film on a pre-release viewing, and I did not know what it was I was in for until I saw the films' title across the screen.
'Jennifers Body' appears to be a dark comedy. There are humorous parts that are related to some sort for sexual innuendo or blatant sexual act (such as the charming description of Jennifer, played by Megan fox, who had to sit on a bag of frozen vegetables after losing her 'backdoor virginity.') But there are good suspenseful horror moments I must admit. There were a lot of screams from the girls in the theater, due mostly to what I call 'cheap scares', the typical "I know someone is going to jump out now, I'm just waiting for it" scare. Yet, the blood and gore was convincing, and I have to say that the scene where Jennifer appears in her best friends house covered in blood, giving a demonic blood filled smile and spewing out black goo WAS pretty good horror. As this scene was in the first 10-20 I thought we were in for a reasonably good movie. Meh. Not really.
The acting wasn't bad. But you could tell that Megan Fox loved every second of being semi-naked or sexually flirtatious on screen. Her character was the 'hot chick' who could woo anyone with the flutter of her eyelashes. Yes, we all know she is attractive, but every second of this film was like "HEY GUYS! LOOK AT MEGAN! ISN'T SHE HOT!" It got old pretty quick. And Adam Brody was terrible. You'll see why.
Yes, there were demons AND the mandatory lesbian scene with Megan Fox. Contrasting I know. But apparently, that's what the people want, so lets give it to them! A little insulting to say the least.
To be honest, a pretty disappointing script from Diablo Cody, especially after Juno, which was witty and clever.
Overall, 5/10. I would not pay money for a ticket and petrol to go watch it at the cinema, but probably would borrow it off a friend to watch if they hired it. Cheap thrills. Watch it if you want to tune out and not think for 90 minutes. Average, average, average.
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