Saturday, December 02, 2006

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

**½
Canada

My Big Fat French-Canadian Coming-Out. A high-strung dysfunctional-family dramedy, wherein director Jean-Marc Vallée races through a couple of decades worth of family feuding and self-discovery peppered with stock era-specific pop hits and lots of sanitised quirks (the mother irons bread instead of toasting it, the father is a homophobic Patsy Cline fan, various people are psychic). It isn’t as suffocating as the majority of bittersweet indie hits it is emulating. But there is something innately homophobic about a coming-out movie that piles on the hetero sex scenes yet continually goes out of its way to avoid images of same-sex budding.

dir: Jean-Marc Vallée
cast: Marc-André Grondin, Michel Côté, Danielle Proulx, Pierre-Luc Brilliant, Natasha Thompson

Thursday, November 30, 2006

House of Wax (1953)

**½
USA

The screen's first feature film to be shot and projected in 3-D was in fact directed by the one-eyed André de Toth. Presumably his depth perception skills would have been compromised and so, he would have likely missed out on the second-most memorable thing about his own picture. The most memorable is the incomparably smarmy Vincent Price whose first chance to don a plastic face this was.
Otherwise, for a heroine we have a bargain basement version of Jane Wyman and for a turn-of-the-century New York gaslit bits of cardboard from the Warners backlot. It's essentially just a B-movie awkwardly dressed up as an A-grade attraction.
The Region 4 DVD edition has as a special feature the infinitely more worthwhile original Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) in full.

dir: André de Toth
cast: Vincent Price, Carolyn Jones, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Paul Picerni, Roy Roberts, Angela Clarke