Saturday, November 15, 2008
Paragraph Movie Reviews: Wristcutters
Pizzeria Kamikaze was one of (if not the) first books Rickey gave me as part of my Indy Odyssey. I really dug it, and it was adapted from the same short story this movie is based on, so I've been looking forward to seeing this for awhile and was not disappointed. In fact, given the general rushed/low quality of lesser known stuff I like being translated to film, I'd say this actually exceded my expectations quite nicely. The premise (a love story/buddy story/exploration of faith/etc. set in what is ostensibly purgatory) is a great one and director Goran Dukic (who is quite fascinating in the "Making Of" extra on the DVD) is quite thoughtful when it comes to creating the world of the film, muting all the colors, having every set and prop appear appropriately ramshackle (great word) and reassembled, and challenging his cast to convey emotion while not smiling. Speaking of the cast, I was a bit let down by Patrick Fugit at first, but he grows into his role nicely (honestly, I think I'm more frustrated that he never became a huge star after "Almost Famous" and take it out on him by nitpicking every performance I've seen him give since). He does have excellent chemistry with Shannyn Sossamon, and since that relationship is really the driving force of the story, that's all you can really ask for. Sossamon herself wasn't a revelation or anything, but she's cute enough and pulls off what is asked of her. Shea Whigham, playing the Russian rocker Eugene (my favorite character in both book and movie) is the real gem, as he brings awesome delivery and comic timing that helps really elevate the black humor quotient. As for the rest of the cast, it's a bunch of awesome character actors you recognize more by face than by name, Tom Waits in a perfect part for him, plus decent extended cameos by Will Arnett and Leslie Bibb. Being the sappy romantic I am, I love some of the things Dukic changed towards the end (no outright spoilers) and overall would certainly recommend this delightfully different movie.