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cronenberg almost has me on this one, C+
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** I remember perusing the dark corners of the Internet, sites provided by unruly warez scenesters(mostly game addicts) offering games and movies for free before the days of anarchist file-sharing programs. And more than a couple of times these gamers hailed it as a philosophical delve into a world where the line between games and reality blurs. Considering the nature of this particular tech-savvy audience, some preferred the sci-fi leanings of eXistenZ over the stunt-laced, 15-minute plot revealer, CGI-heavy Matrix(**gag** Keanu Reaves was better suited for Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure). I wondered if this was the movie I was searching for, a mind-altering voyage twisting the perception of the viewer not only in regards to the interpretation of the movie itself, but also our own existence; one that mirrors the enigma of existence and forces us to accept it as bizarre as it may truly be. After a fairly recent rental, I can admit to you that it doesn't appear to be this no matter how much I wanted it to be. I really appreciated a few of Cronenberg's previous works, especially Naked Lunch. I also thought Videodrome had quite a bizarre appeal. Probably what appeals to me most about Cronenberg is that he can be very repelling on several levels. Not only is he disorienting, he relies on the combination of repulsive organic visuals, sexual themes that bend or transcend typical gender roles, and exaggerated technological integration, a marriage of sorts between Bradbury and Giger. This film doesn't fail to meet this criteria, however it does fail to hit me with the same magic as Naked Lunch. At most I considered the movie entertaining, and had not the desire, as I previously did with his films, to intensely decipher the confusion thrown onto the canvas. That is not to say that it is completely the mindless piece that The Matrix is(enjoyable? yes, lasting effect? no). I want to emphasize that I enjoyed watching this movie as certain moments stood out as classic Cronenberg, betraying convention and mocking our sensitivities to drippy, gooey, visuals(i.e. Chinese restaurant). Recommended to hardcore fans of Cronenberg if only for some classic moments that have been a long time coming. To all others who have yet to appreciate one of his works, rent Naked Lunch. Please continue to read only if you have seen the movie and wish to read someone else's interpretation.
I couldn't help but feel that certain holes in plot were too easily explained away by the end and should simply have not been written in to begin with. In retrospect, it seems that if they were in the game, it makes sense that Allegra didn't make a backup copy of eXistenZ, but the problem therein lies with the viewer's interpretation. I simply thought it was stupid of her not to make a backup copy, especially her being the programmer. If, somehow, her backups were destroyed at her company or on a network drive, this would make more sense. Also, what programmer is clueless about how to play his or her own game? Instead of being clues suggesting that they were on a different plane of existence than they had perceived, they just seemed like plot-holes. Whether or not this could have been changed I suppose is debatable because the world which Cronenberg constructs is irrational for the very purpose of disorientation. It seems obvious to me that the ending is left up to the viewer to interpret whether or not they are still "in the game." Taking into account the statements of Allegra Geller, since the game is one that we "are already playing", I assume that they are still in the game in some other dimension, but then again I may be wrong.
Overall grade-C+ Decent acting, bizarro factor low compared to his other films. I'm waiting for him to hit us with another, but this one could have been closer to the mark.a
to be enjoyed by those of a darker persuasion
My very twisted friend Leanne introduced me to this bizarre, disturbing, and often comedic film. A previous reviewer claimed that there is nothing to get about this movie and that it is just bad. I would agree with the first part. Anyone looking for depth has already lost the point. You're watching a movie called "Confessions of a Trick Baby." Try to watch the movie within the context, setting, and audience for which it was meant- your run-of-the-mill cynical joint-smoking nihilists, chugging six-packs and smoking joints at drive-in theaters. (Okay, so I guess there are only a handful of us.) It also helps to have a penchant for exploitative tales featuring lesbian criminals involved in murder, necrophilia, and witch-burning. -Freeway 2 is a colorful descent into a world where hope turns into a bloodthirsty nun with a penis.-
Not a perfect movie, but just my style. They could have left the girly rock music out, but that is tolerable considering the meat and potatoes are there. Leave your pretense at the door and you may enjoy this one.