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Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Jennifer's Body




And without further adieu adieu, the new, much-hyped new movie from the new Quentin Tarantino of screenwriting as some critics would have themselves think, Diablo Cody. Oh, and did I mention the new MEGAN FOX movie. Apologies already, but it was neccessary and will be continually neccessary for me to refer to MEGAN FOX in caps, because let's face it, it is the big talking point of the movie. Hey, maybe if I say MEGAN FOX in caps, it will come up more on Google and I can get more hits on the blog. MEGAN FOX. Sorry. Compulsion setting in. Anyway plot here goes is that the eponymous cheerleader, played by MEGAN FOX, is possessed by a demon, and starts killing her male classmates and her best friend "Needy" is on the trial to stop her. The reason that Jennifer's Body has been getting such hype is as a result of the precence of the two femmes diabolique of Hollywood are collaborating on a film, the culmination of these forces being that the resulting film is to be some edgy, grungy and dirty cult classic. Quite clearly, this is the reputation that the film is attempting to gain for itself, so that it can in future years be seen in the vein of the likes of The Evil Dead series and the films of Quentin Taratino. For starters, to break tradition on a negative, you can tell this because the film is clearly no masterpiece in any shape or form whatsoever. So basically, that is perhaps my largest problem with the film, because it simply tries too hard, saying "this is a cult classic" rather than let the audience think for themselves and formulate that in their head. This has become a real annoyance for me, and telling the audience what they are supposed to think is a terrible but nonetheless true example of the dumbing down of American cinema, which cannot help but permeate through the whole industry in itself. Anyway, excuse the negative for a moment, because to open on a negative is usually the cue for a bad review, and this is not altogether bad film. To deal with the good here, the two lead acting performances are solid. Amanda Seyfried manages to do the most she can with the least bravado of the two characters, at least keeping her character interesting, even if she is limited in terms of character development, but that is more the fault of the script than anything, especially considering I believe her to be more of a lead actor than MEGAN FOX in this film. And to get onto that topic, MEGAN FOX is probably the best thing about this film. As per proof from the Transformers series, in which she is just window dressing, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, she has proven her abilities to use her body and comedic wit before. In this film she delivers her best performance thus far in her career, in her first leading role of note. All the neccessary laughs are pulled off perfectly at the right parts, and she has a terrific sense of precence in the film. Mixing up between a genuinely funny, alluring and altogether scary performance, if there is any reason the film is destined to become a cult film, it is because of this performance. So far this year, it is one of the best female performances, and is a real stab in the heart to screenwriters who write Academy Award winning performances for females who portray stereotypical characters. This is a really twisted subversion of the stereotypical ditzy cheerleader role, and without question the best thing about this film. Incidentally, can I just flag up the ever watchable J.K Simmons for giving me a few laughs for all your few minutes onscreen. Needless to say I was disappointed when your character did not take a Donald Pleasance in Halloween-turn. Also, to flag up our other member of the dynamic duo, Diablo Cody writes some damn good dialogue in this film, following up excellently from her brilliant work in Juno. However, unlike Juno, and I'm not going to make silly comparisons like ugh, it has no heart because it doesn't and it's not meant to, but where both films have excellent dialogue and wit, the story and structure of Cody's script here is really at fault. The story and plot is more or less subsidiary here to dialogue and FOX's performance, and story should never, never be subsidiary unless with really darn good reason, which here they don't. Everything is revolved around the next kill, the next scream, the next laugh and so on, progressing us as quickly as possible from point A to point A. Blah blah blah. I have been comparing this to Inglorious Basterds (yes I can say that, so screw you, naysayers) and initially my argument was that this was better because it was shorter. Well, can I say that for all the boring bits in Inglorious Basterds, there was a hell of a lot of good about, and at least QT does take into account that his audience aren't stupid, even if it is a bloated mess and his worst film. Jennifer's Body some good qualities in it, such as sharp dialogue, solid performances from Amanda Seyfriend and particularly MEGAN FOX, the best thing in the movie. However, it tries so hard to be hip and cool and cult that it ultimately falls flat on it's own ass in doing so, for the audience do not appreciate being patronised thank you very much!


The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 5.5/10


The Thin White Dude's Self-Diagnosis - Chastised (for a clearly feminist movie it is so patronising. Double standards or what?)

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