Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm Not There, Brutal Massacre: A Comedy

I'm Not There was written and directed by Todd Haynes and stars six different actors all playing one character, the various persona of Bob Dylan. I'm NOT a Bob Dylan fan. His lyrics are great, but his voice...oh dear God, his voice... Suffice it to say that he's not my bag. I watched this in order to see how Todd Haynes was able to make a movie with six different actors playing the same role. Some (Christian Bale, Marcus Carl Franklin) were better than others (Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw), but one was better than all of them. That one was Cate Blanchett. She was amazing.
As for how well the story worked, I honestly couldn't tell you. The individual pieces were great, but if you tried to add them into one coherent movie, it doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense if you know nothing about the subject. And I don't. It kept me interested, though...that has to say something.
Overall: I can't recommend or not recommend it. It wouldn't be fair. If you like Dylan, see it. If you don't, it's up to you. However, if you miss out on it, you'll be missing one of Cate Blanchett's best performances and the performance of Marcus Carl Franklin and that is certainly something to consider.
Brutal Massacre: A Comedy was written and directed by Stevan Mena and stars David Naughton was nearly washed-up horror auteur Harry Penderecki hoping to make a huge come back with his newest masterpiece Brutal Massacre. The film is a mockumentary, a form so popular these days, and follows Penderecki and his crew (Brian O'Halloran, Ellen Sandweiss, Ken Foree, and Gerry Bednob with special appearances by Betsy Baker, Mick Garris, Tony Timpone, and Gunnar Hansen) as they try to make their film over a disasterous two month shoot.
While it was a bit slow, I enjoyed nearly every minute of it as both a fan and a writer of horror. Stevan Mena manages to poke good natured fun at everyone in and every convention of an indie horror film and its creators, including himself.
It's ALWAYS wonderful to see Ken Foree in anything. I'll be honest, I rented it mainly for him. I'm glad I did because it was fun and funny and the rest of the cast was great as well!
While they kind of forgot a few of the key things about how a documentary film crew films (what the crew would be able to cover, how much they'd actually get on tape, that sort of thing), it was pretty well put together. As far as horror mockumentaries go, Behind the Mask and Diary of the Dead were better. (Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, both by Christopher Guest, are the best in the genre.) Some of Brutal Massacre needed trimmed a little more, but overall it was a good flick. I recommend it.

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