Archive for January, 2010
Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) is a typical uncomfortable, sexually frustrated, geeky 16 year old high school student in search of something, anything that will make life with his dysfunctional family tolerable. Enter Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), an attractive, sharp, witty, partner in crime for Nick. After a brief summer romance, Nick realizes to stay close to Sheeni he must assume the personality of his inner bad boy Francois Dillinger. Much to Nick’s chagrin and surprise with this new careless and destructive attitude things start going his way, or do they? How will Sheeni’s ultra religious parents take to this new attitude, and just how far will this lovesick behaviour drive him?
Sharp writing and adaptation from C.D. Payne’s original series about Nick Twisp makes for rapid fire comedy and offers plenty of laugh out loud moments. Meanwhile an all star cast of known funny actors including Steve Buscemi, Zach Galifianakis, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, and Fred Willard just adds fuel to the already hot fire. Clever animation sequences also lend a folky artistic quality to the film that adds a nice spice. A great escape for those looking to escape from the post holiday skull drudgery this weekend. Youth in Revolt is rated R.
Centuries old, the existential mystic Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) is the leader of an odd traveling theatre group; consisting of his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole), a tiny man Percy (Verne Troyer), and actor Anton (Andrew Garfield), the group is barely able to make ends meet. Secretly though, Doctor Parnasus offers members of the viewing audience a chance to look inside their own conscious mind and soul which reflects their greatest fears or greatest pleasures, whichever is greater– a sort of path to perdition or ladder to enlightenment. Now in a race and a bet against the devil (Tom Waits) to collect souls of the enlightened in order to save his daughter, Doctor Parnasus needs all the help he can get. A chance encounter with con man Tony (Heath Ledger) might just be the edge Parnasus needs to beat the devil.
Sounds convoluted and confusing doesn’t it? It is; but, in its complexity and moving parts is a wildly creative story of epic proportions and something that only the mind of director Terry Gilliam could come up with. True to Gilliam’s style, an eye full of visual candy and fantastic images offer plenty to digest and enjoy. Meanwhile the film is also noted as Ledger’s final performance; and, to cover for his untimely demise Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Collin Farrell are drawn upon, which may sound like an odd mix, but on screen actually comes across as a truly creative solution. Admittedly this will be a tough film for audiences to wrap their arms and minds around because of the complex story line, nonetheless the cast, raw creativity, and visual buffet offered make this film a diamond in the rough and worth seeing. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus is rated PG-13.