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“How Do You Know”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It sucks! How do you know? Well, for one I had to sit through it. So, I think I’m pretty sure about that statement. The sad thing is that it shouldn’t suck at all. I normally like James L. Brooks, but How Do You Know misses the mark so much that I’m almost embarrassed for him. The worst part about watching this movie is that I had to watch it in this really small theatre with Mr. Brooks sitting directly behind me. To say it was one of the most uncomfortable viewings I’ve ever had would be a major understatement. I’m pretty sure it tested horribly that night, and I think it’s safe to say I don’t think anyone in the theatre truly enjoyed it, but yet here it is in theatres. The test screening was only three or four weeks ago, and when I got done watching it I was sure they were going to push back the release, because re-writes and re-shoots of like a third of this movie was the only way of saving it really. I mean what’s the point of the test screening if you’re just going to release the movie as is regardless? It’s not like they didn’t know! When I was leaving the theatre I could hear James L. Brooks and a bunch of suits talking about how badly it played. I just don’t get it.

In How Do You Know, Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a pro softball player on the US Women’s Olympic softball team, who’s just been cut because she’s getting a little too old to play. After being cut, she falls back on her on-again-off-again relationship with pro-ballplayer (Owen Wilson). At the same time, George Madison (Paul Rudd) runs a business founded by his father, Charles (Jack Nicholson), and is currently being charged with securities fraud and is about to be indicted. The characters in this movie are as unsure of what they want, as the movie is about it’s trying to say with the story. It’s truly a mess. There are a few funny moments, but not nearly enough to warrant it worth seeing. It’s not just the writing either, the acting is horrible as well. Witherspoon looks like she’s trying out for a high school play at times, and Jack Nicholson is totally phoning it in. Like I said, it’s just sad. One of the best moments is when George literally runs away from bad news. Sadly, the truth is Paul Rudd should have run away from this movie when he had the chance. Needless to say, you should skip this one all together.

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“I Spit on Your Grave”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Do you like rape? What am I saying? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? No, really. You’re going to have to be really okay with rape scenes if you’re even going to thinking about seeing this movie. I Spit on Your Grave is a remake of the 1978 grindhouse exploitation film Day of the Woman, which was later re-titled and released as I Spit on Your Grave in 1980. The movie was very much one of those movies you hear about in high school, and know you shouldn’t see it, so of course you’ll do anything to get your hands on a copy. Much like those Faces of Death videos. I of course watched the original back in high school, but can’t remember anything about it, other than the fact that it, like everything else, did not live up to the hype. So, when Shady and I went to the advanced screening of the current re-interpretation of I Spit on Your Grave a few months back, neither of us had any idea what we were walking into. We’re talking about almost forty minutes, if not more, of hardcore rape. And, I mean rape. Which is then followed by graphically violent revenge torture. Shady and I both have a pretty high tolerance for all things wrong, and even we were having a hard time sitting through this movie. I’m not kidding, people were leaving the theatre in waves throughout the screening, and by the end of the movie the full theatre was easily half empty. You know it’s bad when you’re filling out the questionnaire at the end of the movie, and when you get to the “What would make this movie better?” question, you actually find yourself writing “less rape.” With that said, Sarah Butler, the actress who plays the young victim, is outstanding! The things that she had to do for this movie are unbelievable, and the fact that she not only did them, but also was able to give a performance that would make even Meryl Streep envious, is simply amazing! Butler plays Jennifer, a young female novelist who has rented a reclusive cabin out in the middle of nowhere to get some writing done, and quickly becomes the fascination of four local men. As you can probably guess at this point, they brutally and graphically rape her. The tension and discomfort of the first half of this movie is sure to bother everyone, and I mean everyone! I don’t care how much you say nothing bothers you. If you can watch this movie without getting upset or truly uncomfortable, you’re either a sick freak or a soulless bastard. How do I know this? Because I was sitting with someone who would normally fit that description, and even he was both bothered and uncomfortable. The revenge torture in the second half is equally graphic and unsettling. But, it does seem to somehow manage to even out the scales somewhat with Jennifer getting her revenge. But with all of that said, I still think that some of the movie was really well done, for what it was. It’s really hard to say you enjoyed a movie about really graphic rape, and at times one step away from an exploitation snuff film, but there are a few things worth seeing in this remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Just be ready. I mean really, really, really ready.

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