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|Index||18 reviews in total|
I have to say I was impressed, pleasantly by this indie production. I did chance upon the movie and I did not expect much from the story line. I thought it would be some kind of children offering and I was prepared to sample and leave it. However I found a little gem of a film. It is funny, well acted and briskly paced. The story of the little genius is more incidental than central to the theme. I particularly like the black humour that one wouldn't expect associated with with child actors. All in all it shows that mega budget are not needed to produce an intelligent, humorous and entertaining production. Well done Dennis Lee. I will watch out for this director/writer.
I picked this movie due to an expiring groupon, and the movie theatre
had a poor selection of films. i came into this with no expectations,
in fact, low expectations, due to the 5.8 rating on IMDb.
but i was quite blown away by this comedy, right from the very start. 10 seconds into it, i knew i was going to enjoy this film and i truly did.
it's a snappy film that moves fast. exaggerated but funny and with good reasoning. also has a nice heartwarming side to it too. it has a unique, and rather strange storyline. but this is a movie where execution trumps idea. the characters were quirky and multi-faceted. child actors were great too.
i do wish we got to see how the little guy turned out! i am really glad i got to watch this movie. i think it ranks one of my top favourite comedies! and i'm still baffled at its poor ratings! to be fair, comedies are usually not highly rated. PLUS i am a big fan of indie comedies. i really enjoyed 500 days of summer, thank you for smoking, etc. although i really though juno was overrated. i think this was funnier and better than juno!
It is movies like this that reminds me of the sweetness of little films
off the mainstream. And this very film, it is one that captures
innocent adolescence and somewhat touches moral standards. But to put
it simply, it is intriguing story-telling that really moves me.
This is not a standard film. There is hardly a way to compare, nor is comparison required if you ask me. My sole impression is that it is a feel-good and relaxing movie, mostly comedic with seemingly unrelated silliness, yet it also possesses the qualities of an inspiring drama: family relationships and coming-of-age themes, and perhaps more if you're eager to look further. Other than that it is a heartfelt comedy, not one of those laugh-out-loud ones, but one that manages to bind loose and scattered things and thoughts into a bittersweet experience, and a truly interesting tale of Henry James Herman, or Jesus Henry Christ if you like.
The backdrop of the plot is the extraordinary abilities of Henry, and from there it evolves unpredictably and fast to a reunion of Henry and Audrey, who he believes is his sister. And of course it continues.
The performances are not exceptionally surprising but the power of story has made that problem minor, as my love of the film emanates from the bravely unconventional story than from the acting.
Movies like this need to be made. For people who enjoy something different and relaxing from time to time, this film is not to be missed.
The second film of Singapore Night, Jesus Christ Henry got into the
lineup because of Singaporean Sukee Chew's involvement being one of
three producers of the film, an indie production that made its World
Premiere in the Tribeca Film Festival a few weeks ago, which drew quite
a mixed response with comments that it had tried to hard. Written and
directed by Korean American Dennis Lee based upon his short film back
in 2003, I thought this movie garnered reactions that it didn't quite
deserve for trying too hard, being crafted in the same hyperactive mold
such as quirky comedies that have been seen around the region such as
Citizen Dog and true blue Singaporean film 18 Grams of Love even.
There are a number of focus shifts in the film that tangent off its intended protagonist Henry James Herman (Jason Spevack), a petri-dish baby conceived through in-vitro fertilization technique opted by his feminist mom Patricia Herman (Toni Collette), turning out to be the unintentional genius with a videographic memory, retaining every single little detail that he's experienced since conception. Jason Spevack would probably be yet another child actor to look out for since Freddie Highmore grew up, and this film will serve as his showreel if not for being upstaged by the other cast members given the narrative shifts that put the spotlight on them.
Specifically I thought the film devoted a lot more time (not that I'm complaining) to the Patricia character, beginning with a rather lengthy introduction to the Herman family and the demise of each and every individual character beginning with Patricia's mother right down to her brothers, each in a rather comical manner that you'll likely be surprised at its rather nonchalant manner in which to bump them off, with black comedy by the bucket loads of course. And this set the course of the film to be rather gag filled in almost every scene put on screen, that for some it may be tiring and trying since it could have felt like a water torture treatment being force fed with in-your-face comedic moments. I appreciated what it had tried to do, but opinions on humour especially, and how to deliver it, will obviously be polarized.
Yes like a typical comedic indie film, this one is filled with its fair share of quirky characters. Outside of the mother-son Hermans, and Patricia's father Stan (Frank Moore) who forms a very strong bond with his grandson Henry, the story also goes out to another dysfunctional father-daughter pair when Henry embarks on a mission to discover his biological father. This brings Michael Sheen into the fray as Dr Slavkin O'Hara, a professor whose book "Born Gay or Made That Way?" becomes a living hell for his daughter Audrey (Samantha Weinstein) when she is the subject of his book, and becomes the constant taunt of her schoolmates.
Story-wise, the coming together of these two families in a sort of identity-crisis form the bulk of the situational comedy they find themselves in, but the pairing of both Weinstein and Spaveck together moved the story forward with both putting in strong performances and holding their own against two very powerful thespians in Sheen and Collette, although Weinstein probably upstaged Spaveck a little with her portrayal as the extremely cynical and sarcastic little girl quite unfazed by her tormentors. Again there are plenty of laugh out loud wicked moments that you will probably wonder if you're laughing at the film, or with it especially in its darker moments that could be quite unsettling.
Production values are quite spiffy given the big name executive producer behind this film, though Dennis Lee and Sukee Chew were quite tight lipped on how much this film actually cost since it looked like a multi-million dollar movie. If you're still game for quirkiness in all characters of your indie films, then Jesus Henry Christ will still be your cup of tea if you see beyond, or tolerate some eyebrow raising moments with its less than friendly jibes against lesbians/feminists as well as a white man who thinks he's black, otherwise those jaded will find fault with almost every frame of the film in trying too hard with wild absurdity in characters. Split down the middle, depending on your mood and attitude.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jesus Henry Christ is a delightful motion picture directed by Dennis
The story follows Henry's life and his extraordinary memory abilities since birth. He is a young boy genius who was conceived in a petri dish and raised by his single mother (Toni Collette). One day he discovers he has a half-sister and with that information he goes after finding who his biological father is.
Counting with amazing performances from all its main cast, and with characters carefully developed, even the somewhat absurd plot feels terrifically realistic. The story is specially satisfying, surprising and feels, in a way, real in its third act exactly for not following the standard Hollywood formulas nor predictable romantic involvements.
The plot may be nothing remarkable, but the movie really succeeds with its characters by making the four main roles special in their own unique way. And with that it is really hard not to cheer for them and empathize with what they are going through.
The movie is also without a doubt very funny. While the prologue uses some outrageous situations to be funny (and works quite well might I add), the rest of the film has a more low-key comedy style but equally effective.
In sum, it is great film that will make you laugh many times but more importantly it will make you smile.
I liked this film from the moment we witness a potted history of
Patricia's childhood. Patricia is Henry's mum and Henry is a kind of
genius. He is certainly different but who wouldn't be with a mum like
Patricia? The relationship between mum and son is a delightful watch as
is Henry's growing urge to find his father. And there is Uncle Stan
another character of infinite eccentricity for us to enjoy.
The beauty of this film is that it doesn't take itself seriously and neither do the characters and yet they are all tangible enough for us to like. It echoes life it really does. When Henry discovers his real background and the identity of the sperm donor then enter Audrey, his half sister, and another lovable quirky character with an equal flair for genius.
This is a film made for the many eccentricities you can wring out of such a wacky group of characters not by making cheap fun but by genuinely exploring where these people might go with their lives. It is fun, it is funny, and its ninety odd minutes seem to fly by and so it has to be doing something right.
"Jesus Henry Christ" is a quirky indie comedy with a genetics,
homosexuality and heresy bent. It starts off with heavy '70s-influenced
comedy which you just have to hustle through to get to the heart of the
story. The plot might seem a bit eccentric, but that is probably
necessary if the comedy is going to be actually funny. Henry is a
genius test-tube baby. He might be a freak but his mother (Toni
Collette) wants to raise him normally.
Obviously Henry doesn't have many friends; that's why he's the classic indie protagonist. It also doesn't help that Catholic school headmasters don't like it when he denounces God's existence. Henry has always been able to handle himself just fine until the question of who his father is keeps popping up.
The introductions of his probable half-sister (Samantha Weinstein) and father (Michael Sheen) are possibly the funniest and most brilliant character set-up scenes. Audrey is Dr. Slavkin O'Hara's natural daughter but has decided to raise her as a psychology experiment in a world free of gender bias. Needless to say, she wishes she didn't have a father. Weinstein was uniquely beautiful and sympathetically hilarious as an adolescent with the hardest life imaginable. Sheen was funny, original and amazingly empathetic as a father/professor that is a perfect mix of 30 Rock's Wesley Snipes and the pedantic one from Midnight in Paris.
The spinning camera choices get annoying, the character and situation oddities can be off-putting, but it's also damn hilarious especially if you like anything that tries to turn "normal" social and cultural values upside down. "Jesus Henry Christ" is clever, particularly well-acted by most of the cast, and so original that you stare in disbelief but then laugh-out-loud out of awkwardness, relatability and genuine appreciation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After reading some of the reviews I doubt if they saw this movie. I
can't believe that some reviewers are upset by the name.
Aertimyz-moon's review bashes' the film because of the name. I'm sure God and/or Christ would have laughed at this movie. It's just pure fun.
Toni Collette was great as usual with a very good lead. I felt the story was up-to-date. I'm sorry if the "petri-dish" thing offends, but perhaps it's more common than some people may think. The story of a young boy-genius, who discovers this is how he was conceived and the search for his donating father is a great romp. Maybe we Aussie's see a bit more humor in this movie than some others. That said there is a lot to be desired in this film, but if you just want to turn off and go for the ride. It's great way to spend 90 minutes.
I came across this by accident and was blown... away loved the film, having no preconceptions it was a bundle of joy...recommend it as a feel good film....one of the best I have watched in a long long time...maybe i shouldn't give it a ten as you may looking for too much!! This reminds me a lot of Little Miss Sunshine...another film that i didn't expect to enjoy so much. The start of the movie doesn't reflect what will follow...i thought it was going to be a horror movie. I am never sure of Tini Collette in films but she seemed to fit the character in this movie. I was also surprised by Martin Sheen's appearance. Samantha Weinstein is a star of the future, i just hope the red hair does not hold her back!. Again watch and enjoy lets push the score up from 6.1
"The truth is, Henry, you are a miracle of modern medicine." After ten year old Henry (Spevack) is suspended from kindergarten he has a talk with his grandfather. When he is told that his grandfather has located his half-sister Henry finally thinks he has a chance to find his father. This movie started off very funny and almost held it the whole way. The humor is pretty dark at times and you laugh at things you don't feel like you should. The kid that plays Henry is very good in this and so is the girl that plays his sister. I really like these kind of movies about dysfunctional families for some reason. Michael Sheen's character is especially funny and I hope he plays more roles like this. There isn't really anything new or amazing to this one but it is very entertaining and funny almost the whole way through. I recommend this. Overall, not really anything original but the actors make this very much worth seeing. I liked it. I give it a B+.
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