Monday, January 21, 2008

Movie Mon. - "Motion Sickness Was Only the Beginning!"

Joshua: Psychological thriller about a sociopathic little boy who decides to put his parents' unconditional love for him to the test after the birth of his little sister. Let me start off by saying this: move over, Cameron Bright, there's a new contender for "Creepiest Little Kid on the Planet" in town, and his name is Jacob Kogan. This is a pretty highly contested film over on the IMDB boards, with some calling it one of the worst movies they've other seen, and others citing its brilliance; I fall more on the side of the latter. Were there some problems? Sure; in particular the scene with the child psychologist bugged the heck out of me, as it almost always does in a film when someone jumps to the wrong conclusion on little evidence and then becomes filled with righteous indignation. Still, one or two "oh, come on!" moments are not enough to ruin a film for me, generally speaking, and there were ample character moments and instances of dark humor to earn my admiration. In fact, that dark humor was one of the big selling points for me, and I got the feeling from most of the negative reviews that the humor slipped right past most of the haters. And I absolutely loved the song Joshua performs at the end, which was, incidentally, written by Dave Matthews for the film, who also performed his version over the end credits. Sadly, it's not available for purchase anywhere, so if I ever feel the need to listen to "The Fly," I have to rely on YouTube.

Cloverfield: Best summed up as Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla, this horror movie is told entirely through camcorder footage as a group of Manhattanites react to the giant creature destroying their city. If you get motion sickness easily, stay far away from this one, folks*; both PigPen and Li'l Random got pretty nauseous when we went to see it, and neither of them are prone to that** -- poor PigPen had to leave early, it got so bad for him. But, if you think you can handle the jerky camera work, and don't mind some ambiguity in your pop culture entertainment, you might find giving this a look worth your while. Tad predictable at times, yes, and it has its fair share of "why are they doing that, what are they thinking?" moments as most horror films do, but for me, the person-on-the-street style of storytelling worked pretty well. Not the greatest movie ever made, but far from the worst, as I've heard a few claim.

*Favorite audience participation moment of the film: one of the characters says "I feel dizzy" and some guy about three rows behind us yells out "Me too!

*Of course, the fact that we got into the theater really late and had to sit on the very end of the front rows probably didn't help all that much.