Sunday, June 13, 2010


Movie name: Splice
Year of release: 2009
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlett, Abigail Chu
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Synopsis:"Splice" follows the story of a young couple of scientists, Clive and Elsa, who are on the verge of reaching a breakthrough in their research. When their research is jeopardized, Elsa decides to risk something and mixes human DNA (her own) with that of what they've been researching, creating a creature they name Dren. The creature slowly learns human behavior, but as the events surrounding their work and their personal relationship start to unravel, Clive and Elsa learn that some experiences come at a high cost.
Vincenzo Natali's new film "Splice", comes after the promise he showed with "Cube" and "Cypher", both of which garnered praise and a cult following. So much that "Splice" comes with the name of Guillermo Del Toro attached. The film definitely owes much of it's unsettling feeling to David Cronenberg, who always installs in his films a barrier between the human and the creature that is always easily shattered (Sarah Polley coincidentally was in "eXistenZ"). The creature that Clive and Elsa nurture is the child they both want, but as she grows she's also part of the woman Elsa is. The events that follow show that the human pulsing and that of the creature are almost identical (where does the difference lie). The film has a faint resemblance to David Cronenberg's "The Fly", however where Seth Brundle ultimately embraced his condition as a new creature (and a new being), Dren is always shown as an outcast and an experiment. The fear that comes at the closure of the film, is simultaneously bitter and dark for a future where the uncertainty of humanity walks in hand with the greed of corporate interests. A good film worth checking out.

I Love You Philip Morris

Movie name: I Love You Philip Morris
Year of release: 2009
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Tommy Davis, Clay Chamberlin
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis:Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's debut film, "I Love you Philip Morris" comes tangled up in a whole mess of problems in the US about it's premiere, even though the film has big stars such as Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor and Leslie Mann as selling points. The film made a splash at Sundance in 2009 and went to Cannes film festival of 2009 where it garnered strong praisal and good reviews. Somehow all this strong critical backdrop was of no substance for a film that features a strong gay relationship at it's core.
The film introduces us to Steven Russell, a man who is a devout father and a good husband. Steven we find out, was given to adoption when he was nothing but a baby and as an adult he has embraced his career as a police officer in order to discover his birth mother. Upon discovering his mother, Steven again gets rejected - this forces him to change his life and we are also presented with another side of his life - his homosexuality. Divorcing his wife, Steven embraces his new life full steam, however the high costs of his lifestyle force him to become a full time con artist. Steven is arrested and sent to prison, where he meets Philip Morris, a shy and quiet gay man with whom he falls in love. What follows are Steven's attempts to always be close to his partner and chosen life mate, through an array of plots and schemes.
"I Love you Philip Morris" turns out to be a great film and a great showcase for Jim Carrey, that anchors Steven with his energy and also heartfelt feeling. He creates a character that is lost, but who struggles to find his soul. The film is by turns hilarious and also dramatic, expanding on it's characters, making them more than just cartoons or simple cliches. Ewan McGregor also shines as the wallflower, who realizes that love comes in different ways. The most amazing thing about the film is that the directors and screenwriters managed to turn a "true story" into a truly almost surreal story about a con man who always wanted to belong. A great film.