Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Movie Watching Fools
Since Duncan's been gone, Mike and I have taken the opportunity to rent a bunch of movies that Duncan either couldn't watch or wouldn't want to watch. It's been a mixed bag so far.
Sunday night we watched Prey for Rock and Roll, a drama about Jacki (Gina Gershon) and her band, Clam Dandy. Jacki has wanted to be a rock and roll star ever since she was a kid. To further that dream she's spent twenty years playing with various bands in LA clubs. She earns her living as a tattoo artist, which explains the numerous tattoos Jacki sports.
Jacki is starting to wonder if her dream of rock and roll stardom is ever going to happen and she questions whether or not she should chuck it all. She's just turned forty and still playing in small clubs for next to nothing. This storyline was interesting. I liked Jacki as a character. Gershon captures the rock chick swagger quite well and if she's not such a great singer, who cares? You don't have to be able to sing in rock and roll.
The movie falls apart when it tries to focus on the lives of the other characters. It seemed like the scriptwriter didn't know whether to make Jacki or Tracy (Drea de Matteo) the lead. Jacki gets the bulk of the storyline but things definitely slowed down when they decided to show us how fucked up Jacki's friend and bass player in the band was.
Prey for Rock and Roll also starred Lori Petty as Faith, the lead guitarist. She also seemed to be Jacki's oldest friend. At least I got the impression they'd been playing together for most if not all of that twenty years.
Marc Blucas of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame had a small role as Animal, brother to the band's drummer, Sally (Shelly Cole). Animal is fresh out of serving seventeen years in prison for manslaughter. Even with all of his mean looking prison tattoos, however, Animal is a gentle guy at heart and ends up being the potential love interest for Jacki. I say potential because throughout the movie Jacki blows him off because he's twenty-seven and she's forty. I say screw that age thing. Go for it!
Prey for Rock and Roll is worth renting. The performances were strong but I wish the story had been a little tighter.
Last night we watched a horror flick, 28 Days Later.... I must admit that I wasn't too pumped about this one. I figured it would be ultra cheesy even if it was directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting).
Boy was I ever wrong. This was one scary flick. I'm tough to creep out when it comes to horror movies. Most are little more than an excuse to punish characters for having sex or being sexual--they always get offed after those instances. But this one was fantastically creepy and gripping.
The film begins with a trio of animal rights activists raiding the Cambridge University primate lab. They're going to free the kind monkies and show the world what horrible things are being done in the name of science. Unfortunately they end up releasing chimpanzees infected with a virus called Rage.
Rage is incredibly nasty and infectious. Within twenty seconds of being bitten by the chimpanzee, the cute female activist turns into a drooling, raging maniac intent on killing. Oh and there's this nasty side effect where the rage infected sometimes puke blood all over you. Once the infected blood or saliva hits your bloodstream you too are a slavering, rage infected human with the intellect of a chimpanzee.
Enter Jim (Cillian Murphy), a bike messenger who wakes up entirely alone in a London hospital. Here's where the title comes in. It's twenty-eight days after the chimpanzees have bitten that chick. Evidently Jim had a nasty accident while doing his bike messenger duties and has been in a coma.
I had to suspend some disbelief here. Not only does he wake up from an almost month long coma with a surprising amount of strength but he hadn't even been catherized while he was in the coma. I know this because this was a movie unafraid of full frontal male nudity. Yay! And given the empty state of the hospital I highly doubt there was anyone around to change those pesky IV bags that would have kept him full of fluids and alive. A minor nitpick, I know.
So Jim discovers that London is deserted. Until he happens upon one of the creepiest scenes I think I've ever seen in a horror movie. He enters a church and is on the balcony overlooking the pews. Below him are what look to be hundreds of bodies sprawled everywhere. He shouts an innocuous, "Hello" and all hell breaks loose. A shambling rage infected priest attacks him and Jim figures out he'd better get the hell out of there fast.
I don't want to give more away because the surprise elements are a big part of the fun of this movie. If you like good horror flicks, rent this one. It might just give you nightmares.
posted by Tamara - 10:28 AM -- Link to this entry
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