Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
I'll keep it short: absolutely loved the book, for over 20 years. Still
holds up and retains the quirky, sarcastic and sardonic elements that
made me fall in love with it when I was 15. The movie is yet another
failed adaptation of Vonnegut's work. It tries, it swings for the
fences, but ultimately, it completely misses. I wanted to like this
movie. I tried reeeaaalllll hard, but let's face it, it stinks.
I'm not a literature snob, I think many outstanding films have been made from great books (To Kill a Mockingbird, for one), many great films have been made from sub-par books (Being There, in my opinion is one), and pretty good films CAN be made from Vonnegut (SH5 was a pretty good adaptation and Mother Night was very good, I
thought). This one was not a good film, or even a decent film. It stunk big head cheese left on a hot Texas porch in July.
It wasn't for lack of trying or talent, it just failed to understand the material or simply wasn't able to translate it to film (and I just gotta say, I don't care if BoC is Willis' favorite book, he can't pull off Dwayne Hoover and his presence, while being the sole reason for this adaptation's existence, kills the film, from his acting to his obvious control over it behind the scenes as a producer and a financier). Imagine if William H. Macy was in it. That might be a good film. Try to avoid the temptation to see if this group can pull the movie off. They can't and you will be left unfulfilled and depressed, or even p*ssed off. Like I was.
Dear Lord, I don't even know why I'm bothering. It's 1:30 am and I just
finished watching this pointless, hopelessly unnecessary remake. I
dunno, even getting into this for true students of American Horror
cinema (of American Independent Cinema, period) would be like
discussing the merits of Blink 182 covering the White Album by the
Beatles. It's just a dead argument to begin with. So, with that being
said, let's pretend that a remake HAD to be made, like some weird law
dictated it so. Let me ask a few questions:
One: Did it bring anything new to the table?
No. Well, what little it did was total nonsense. Took a simple, if crude and fantastic, story and gave it more useless and idiotic plot zigzags that added nothing and left you groaning, saying "What the Hell was the point of making (fill in the character) do THAT?"
Two: Did it make the story it's own (like say Johnny Cash's rendition of Rusty Cage)?
Not really. Just a lot of un-scary, uninvolving junk. It took the strange journey of Sally Hardesty and her friends and changed it into some plot to get to a Skynyrd concert. The victims were in a sense outsiders, unlike in the original where the Saw family was a twisted mirror image of the protagonists, a comment on the decay of the modern family post-war unit in decline. This new one offered ONE slim and idiotic insight as to why ANY of this carnage and twisted society exists: "Leatherface" had a skin disease as a child and people would taunt him, so he's allowed to be a twisted butcher with about a baker's dozen of family members who go along with their normal-esquire daily lives.
Ah, I'm done. I could go on for literally thousands of words on this topic (sad, isn't it?). Let's just say the original deserves it's accolades and standing as not only a classic horror milestone but also as an American Cinematic Original, while this remake is simply Hollywood crap. Just pointless. Without the name "Chainsaw", it would be a disposable genre filler, with even less style than you typical late 80's-early 90's fare (Hell, this one almost makes the wonderful ridiculousness of Dennis Hopper's chainsaw duel in "Saw 2" in the mid 80's look like Citizen Kane in comparison). It's like every one directly involved had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER the original meant, was saying or NOT saying, showing or NOT showing. They wanted to make what we all feared they would when we heard they were doing a remake: a generic, muddled, over the top yet
convoluted slasher film.
Yup, a steamin' pile. As Casey Kasem once said,"Ponderous . . . (expletive) ponderous, man".
What can be said about this? It's a pale rip-off of Spongebob, which was a pale rip-off of Johnny Bravo, that was a derivative piece of you know what. The animation is identical to all the other minimalist thick-outline Powerpuff Girls (Hanna Barberra inspired) follow the leader junk that's out there, the voices are typically annoying (trying to be "whacky" and failing miserably), the storylines are insipid. Desperate to be "hip" with the "Hot Topic" tweenager crowd, it is a by-th-books, connect-th-dots waste of a half hour. My fear is that Gravas actually thinks he's hip and edgy. He is redundant and derivative, like Spongebob, Fairly Oddparents and the carbon copy garbage that the rest of those Kricfulusi wannabes churn out ad nauseum. TURN OFF THE TV.
Man, I can't believe I stayed up until 1am watching this mistake on IFC. I really enjoyed Laws of Gravity (granted I saw it almost 10 years ago and my opinion may be quite different if I saw it today), so I figured Illtown would be at worst an engaging if not unique film. The thing is, it's not a extremely bad film, it's just drops the ball in alot of places, is pretentious in many others and is a mess and a failure at the end. I mean, to start with, Gomez seems to equate putting vague segues, low talking and excruciating overused slo-mo with standard crime film cliches as great film making. The talent is there with Rappaport (Wigger #1, my man!), Taylor and Corrigan, the cinematography is creative, and the story, while not unique, is engrossing enough to make you want to spend 90 minutes on. The pacing is tolerable at first and the quiet slow dialog between Rappaport and Taylor is captivating for about 45 minutes, but then cliches, unrealistic criminal behaviour and TONY DANZA derail this into what ultimately is a failure, and an irratating one at that. The characters, Gabriel and D'Avalon in particular, are portrayed as too "cool for words", as if we are suppossed to be impressed with them because the filmatic cues instruct us to. Gabriel is terribley overacted, his motives are legit but his execution of his plan is absurdlly plotted, confusing and devoid of the tension Gomez seems to think we'll allow him without earning it. People are killed left and right in what is suppossed to be shockinging casualness but comes off more comical and absurd (aparently the only cops beside the corrupt one are the ones in flashbacks.) It's like Gomez picked the top 5 most public places to NOT commit a murder and just offs people without consequence. That isn't shocking, it's dopey. "Hey, I'll kill one of my crew out of tough guy spite in my girlfriend's apartment like it was ordering a pizza!" Ooooooooh, how Tarantino. Rappaport is OK (he isn't bad at all, rather likeable, but is kind of trapped in a crummy movie), Taylor is actually quite good (and as a cheap "guy" aside, she's actually kinda cute in this movie. After seeing her in one too many "ugly duckling/manly psycho" roles this was refreshing). It was nice to see her character as business equal, not just "minor drug lord's girlsfriend". I really liked Corrigan who's occasional overblown performance seems more a result of a cliched script than his ability. But really, the absurdity of absurdities is DANZA. Poking holes in a Tony Danza performance is like shooting fish in a barrel then stomping on them in jackboots on the driveway, so I feel pretty cheap doing this. The roles as it appears he was directed and dictated by ridiculous dialog (drug lord dialog 101) would be terrible if it was Pacino, for Godsake, but with Danza it's atrocious. Hey, I'm all for reinventing youself (I still applaud Stallone for Copland and I still foolishly root for the never-materializing Great Jim Carrey dramatic role). The man simply had no clue how to approach this already cliched character, so he did what he thought would come off as "important": he spoke low, added a bit of lame fey (oooh, the drug lord is gay, so I'll play him like a angry dandy), started every scene with a disarming non-sequitor . . . ugh. What a pretentious pile of crap. Questions abound: Why didn't Gabriel just kill Dante? How was the corrupt cop in Florida and Boston? Why do bodies lie undiscovered for days? Where is everyone in this city? Why doesn't Gabriel look anything short of an chiseled underwear model after getting beat with a pool cue and strangled (not a damn mark on him after loosing teeth and turning purple)? What the HELL is the deal with Isaac Hayes? And DOES DANTE DIE? Is the abiguity suppossed to impress me? It just comes off as stupid.