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‘Jennifer’s Body’ and more

September 29, 2009
By Tony Rutherford
What’s a teenage cheerleader want? She’s exceptionally pretty, has gained acceptance to the ‘I’m somebody’ high school networks, and she maintains a childhood friendship with a dorky girl appropriately named Needy (Amanda Seyfried). Jennifer (Megan Fox) sounds heavenly. Maybe even the “P” word (perfect). After persuading Needy to accompany her to a dive bar to hear an indie band whose leader has an awesome haircut, hell erupts literally and figuratively

Loosely forged from a dash of “Carrie,” an “Exorcist” levitation, and a true-life nightclub inferno that killed ___, “Jennifer’s Body” may not be the best possessed teen seeks revenge flick, but, at least, it has a coherent script and a few likable characters. The rage about a woman wasting male suitors may appeal to extreme feminist zealots.

Opting for a reverse spin on the virgin sacrifice adage, “Body” has a frightening bottomless whirlpool under the Devil’s Kettle waterfall. No explanations necessary, you’ve assumed correctly.

Best line? The leader of the band telling the about to be staked Jennifer, “Do you know how hard it is to make it as an indie band, we need Satan’s help, so we have to butcher you, bleed you.”

Actually, the vampire that emerges from the sacrifice, the film’s ambiance swings more to levity than guts, although a newly born member of the living dead does get hungry once in a while.

Fox and Seyfried compliment one another with Fox taking the dark humor teen speak lines and Seyfried natural reactions. “Jennifer’s Body” could have been done as a “Scary Movie” spoof, but, instead, the direction surges supernatural and demonic. There are coherence issues, but I cannot stab in the heart a flick where Fox sits quietly levitating in her friend’s room explaining all her murderous behavior.

OTHER HALLOWEEN FLICKS COMING (Not previewed by writer):

• Zombieland (Oct. 2): Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Bill Murray all cope in a world overrun by zombies. BUZZ: “It lived up to expectations … dry but extremely funny” in an auditorium of laughing, clapping and cheering moviegoers. Hard R for gore, though.

• Vampire’s Assistant (Oct. 23): A teenager is recruited for a traveling freak show and finds himself battling vampires and other supernatural entities. A warm up for November’s “New Moon?” It’s a tough assignment — no Edward and Bella.

• Saw VI (October 23): Lionsgate has been keeping the plot secret. Rumors include Agent Peter Straham dying and Lt. Mark Hoffman continuing Jigsaw’s work. With the FBI on his trail, he sets up another game. Directed by Keven Greutert; he edited all five of the previous pics. Yes, this one is a gory, torture filled continuation. Also, look for one of musicians from our Artist Spotlight, Smith & Pyle, in the movie.

• Anti-Christ (Limited): Lars Von Trier has based on reviews from Cannes recoiled viewers with a so-called “bizarre and strangely perfect” flick. Some feel this is the most “despairing” film they have seen. Despite its name, Roger Ebert suggested the director intended to show “a world created by Satan, not God,” where evil reigns. Look for it in art houses.

NEED A RELIEF FROM THE OCCULT AND UNDEAD?

Catch this one movie fast. “The Informant” features Matt Damon as a bi-polar FBI informant who cannot keep his mouth shut or keep a secret. Damon always offers asides during the pic, so you wonder if he has a multiple personality disorder. His delusions of grandeur, though, are laughable. Based on an alleged true story, this compulsively lying whistle blower had to be done as dark comedy; no one would believe it if played totally straight.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com
 
 

 

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