Daily archives "July 1, 2012"

EIFF: Take 5


Day 5

Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal ***

Director Boris Rodriguez/ 83 mins 

A Canadian/Danish co-production that tries to balance comedy and drama with a bizarre quirky story, which people would expect Tim Burton or Sam Raimi to make.


A former painting protégée Lars (Thure Lindhardt),  has taken a teaching post at a struggling art school in remote Koda Lake. He falls for the school’s resident sculptress, Lesley (Georgina Reilly) and befriends disabled student Eddie (Dylan Smith). Lars agrees to look after Eddie in order, but he soon discovers that Eddie not only sleepwalks but eats people in the process. Lars finds the inspiration to begin painting again, covering Eddie’s tracks in order to keep on painting and reclaim his reputation.


The film is strange as it is not funny enough to be a comedy and the drama within the plot does not really go anywhere. The tone would work if the two elements were finely balanced, but the writer/director focuses either on comedy or drama for certain scenes. The acting is perfectly fine, but the only sympathetic character is Eddie himself, the others are deeply loathsome all trying to make their names or try to get something from somebody. 


The film is enjoyable, but also forgettable at the same time. When it is funny it is funny, if more humour had been ejected more humour into the piece it would have worked better. 


The Fourth Dimension **

Director Harmony Korine, Aleksei Fedorchenko and Jan Kwiecinski / 106 mins 

A trilogy of stories told by some of the world’s unique filmmaking talents told all in their own unique style.


Korine’s The Lotus Community Workshop, stars Val Kilmer as Val Kilmer. In the alternate reality of the film, he has quit acting to become a spiritual guru and motivational speaker. He lives in a giant mansion where he swims in the pool and plays video games with his young girlfriend (Rachel Korine). 


Fedorchenko’s time travel story Chronoeye revolves around a man who is preoccupied with the past, and can see into it for short periods of time in very limited locations. But by focusing all his energy on his memories, he is missing out on the present and his future. 


The animation looks great as anyone would expect from the studio who brought us Despicable Me. The songs are fun and very catchy. While the characters and the voice cast including the Granny (Betty White) and the villain (Rob Riggle) are all memorable, the film feels a bit flat even in 3D.


Kwiecinski’s Fauns is about a group of teenagers acting like they are the only people on Earth. But the town they live in has been evacuated and is about to be under water and they have decided not to leave. 


The thing about this collection is that each story degrades in quality as it goes along. Korine’s film is easily the best as it is pretty fun to see Val Kilmer act as a more straightforward cartoon version of himself and is just the right length. Chronoeye has an interesting subject matter but simply loses what it is trying to say and goes on way too long. While Fauns is just simply boring and never seems to go anywhere with any of it’s loathsome characters.


An interesting experimental feature that at the end of the day is just not as exciting asa it sounds.


God Bless America****

Director Bobcat Goldthwait / 105 mins 

After the fantastic World’s Greatest Dd, Bobcat makes a triumphant return to our screens with a tale of antihero we can all root for.


Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture, which he sees as overrun with cruelty, stupidity and intolerance. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine, starting with some particularly odious reality television stars. Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement, and together they embark on a nation-wide assault on our country’s dumbest, most irritating celebrities..


The film is similar to Killer Joe, expect that the tone is clearly more comedic and works better as a dark comedy. With Killer Joe it was hard not to feel really uneasy about the amusing things that happened to those characters. This movie is the complete opposite with every moment of over the top violence feeling more like a Tom and Jerry cartoon than anything that would be deemed offensive in the real world.


The performances are completely sublime with Murray and Barr making a great comedy pair. The characters are so likeable and funny it is really easy to root for them, even though no one should be supporting the act of killing another due to others thoughtlessness. But what makes the screenplay work is that things that Frank really becomes angry about, everyone can sympathise with.


The only minor flaw is once Frank and Roxy start to bond it starts to feel like another story. But overall a thoroughly rewarding and hilarious experience by a gifted writer director.


Reviews by Paul Logan