Film Friday #185

The Good Son (1993)

Not long after, Mark’s (Elijah Wood) mom dies, his dad (David Morse) is forced to go on a business trip and decides to leave him with his aunt Susan (Wendy Crewson) and uncle Wallace (Daniel Hugh Kelly). Although Mark is emotionally very vulnerable and doesn’t want to be separated from his father he soon warms to Susan and makes friends with his cousin, Henry (Macauley Culkin). The two boys spend their time playing and rough housing on the family’s vast coastal estate but when Henry demonstrates a home made weapon, Mark starts to realise he might have a mean streak. Soon Mark starts to suspect that the death of Henry’s brother, Richard, as an infant might not have been an accident. As Henry’s behaviour gets more and more out of control and he blames Mark, the whole family comes under threat. There’s something very interesting about seeing a sociopath develop in a person and the concept of evil being innate but some of the execution of this film didn’t work for me. Firstly I found it strange that a father would leave his vulnerable child with family members  he hadn’t seen for ten years really strange. Also some of the terrain around the family’s house and even the children’s tree house was properly perilous but the boys were allowed to play completely unsupervised, which seemed extremely unsafe especially considering that they’d already lost a child. Possibly if Culkin was a better actor these issues wouldn’t stand out but he just doesn’t have a chops required to deliver what needed to be a really subtle performance and Wood completely outstrips him. Funny how with two young actors one ended up being the lead in one of the most epic fantasy series ever made and the other one ended up throwing a tantrum on stage because people threw pizza during his kazoo solo. 2/5

XXXXX

I’ve got a bad feeling about this

Clash of the Titans (2010)

I’m finding writing a synopsis for this snorefest a bit of a challenge because I struggled to muster enough attention to actually follow what was going on. Basically demigod, Perseus (Sam Worthington) ends up being dragged into a war with Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) after they threaten to destroy the city of Argos by unleashing the Kraken if they do not sacrifice the beautiful Andromeda (Alexa Davolos). I guess I was already lost from the moment they announced that the city was called Argos. For the uninitiated, in the UK Argos is a store that sells by catalogue but you you go into the store to buy and then they go and get your item from the storeroom. They sell everything from towels to cheap engagement rings. If that wasn’t enough Worthington is as awful as ever. I know people used to travel around back then and a range of accents was a possibility but I’m sure Australia was not on the list of places the Greeks had explored. Anyway Perseus and some of his new friends including Draco (Mads Mikkelsen) and Eusebios (Nicholas Hoult) go on a mission to cut off Medusa’s head to stun the Kraken or something… I don’t know… while in the background Hades is double crossing Zeus. Not that you can take Zeus seriously when he sparkles like a Cullen vampire. Whatever was going on I cannot believe what compelled acting talent like Neeson, Fiennes and Mikkelsen to sign up for this project but I’d like to think that they all felt very ashamed of what they had done. 1/5

Whyyyyyyy did I decide to do this shit film?

Whyyyyyyy did I decide to do this shit film?

From Hell (2001)

After Mr O and I went on a Jack the Ripper walk with his family for his birthday we fancied a bit of Ripper lore so we decided to rent From Hell. I vaguely remembered seeing it when it came out but since that was thirteen years ago all I could recollect was that I saw it with my friend, Nicola, and that she got confused throughout the whole film. Anyway, Johnny Depp plays Frederick Abberline, the police inspector in charge of investigating the murder of a series of London prostitutes at the hands of the infamous Ripper. As he follows the case every one of the conspiracy theories that has been thrown up in association with the brutal killings is explored and Abberline starts to get closer to a potential victim (Heather Graham). But who is really behind the deaths and what will they do when Abberline catches up to them. This adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel is a hot mess from start to finish. From Depp and Graham’s ropey accents to the lulls in pace, the unevenness of the tone and the lack of character development of any of the secondary characters it all just fell really flat. I wasn’t expecting a documentary but Abberline as some kind of drug addled psychic was just weird. Disappointing. 1.5/5

XXXX

“That bonnet looks terrible on you.”

Jesus Camp (2006)

This documentary explores the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in the USA and its ever increasing influence in the political sphere. The particular focus is on how the movement shamelessly indoctrinates children in an attempt to secure the next generation. Although am I steadfastly non-religious now, I spent a fair amount of my younger life in church. The church I attended as a child was nowhere near as aggressive as the ones shown here but I have witnessed people supposedly speaking in tongues and possessed with the “Holy Spirit” as well as being subjected to the kind of intense, impassioned sermons that you only get in Evangelical churches so there were parts of this film that were disturbingly familiar and even more scary taken to the next level. Watching preteen children sobbing as they were forced to face their “sins” and become “warriors for Christ” fighting against abortion, homosexuality and the separation of church and state is no different from watching the kind of brainwashing used in war torn countries to turn kids into soldiers. The most intense part features a sort of Bible camp that children attend for an even higher level of connection with god.  It shows them not only professing their desperate desire to serve Jesus but also them playing and being silly, which creates a really strong juxtaposition with the intense religious pressure. These scenes are tempered with reports from a radio show where the self-confessed Christian host talks about his belief that the church and state should be separate and that teaching creationism and that global warming is a myth is dangerous. This documentary is in equal parts disturbing, shocking and very, very sad. Highly recommended. 4/5

Life... it's all about putting up and shutting up

Life… it’s all about putting up and shutting up

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Wow, lot of crappy ones you caught lady, pity! Hopefully some better ones this week!

    1. Abbi

      It definitely wasn’t the best movie watching week I’ve had!

      1. Definitely not! En die alles in dieselfde week wat jy siek was! MEH.

  2. theipc

    Bummer week, lady…. 😦

    1. Abbi

      Yeah… this was not as fun as putting together the drunken night out dream team.

      1. theipc

        I bet : (

  3. I think this is the first Film Friday that I’ve seen all the films! And I completely agree with each of your recommendations.

    1. Abbi

      Unfortunately it wasn’t the best week. I’m hoping for better next week!

  4. I really do love your Film Friday. Depp has made some shockers hasn’t he? I couldn’t believe the Culkin thing either.

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! I guess the thing is when he’s good he’s so good people forget the bad ones. Culkin is so far gone there’s no hope!

  5. What a selection! Jesus Camp is definitely the best of a bad bunch. I saw The Good Son ages ago and thought it was pretty ridiculous. Great write-ups though Abbi! 🙂

    1. Abbi

      It was a bit of a bum week. Jesus Camp was really interesting though. I thought the Good Son was an interesting premise but the execution was ludicrous.

  6. Totally agree on Clah andd Jesus Camp. The first was terrible and the second was superb.

    1. Abbi

      I can’t believe Clash of the Titans warranted a sequel. Someone must have enjoyed it. Jesus Camp properly disturbed me. Especially how unashamed these churches are about the fact that they particularly target children.

      1. Yeah. Of course I avoided part 2 like the plague. That shit could’ve only gone downhill.

        And yeah, Jesus Camp was infuriating.

  7. Christian Bale..I swear he has a permanent Oscar up his bottom he’s trying to give birth too.. xxx

    1. Abbi

      Hahahahha! Brilliant! Xx

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