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Wednesday, September 23,2009

Reviews in Short

by Cole Smithey

 

Jennifer’s Body. Director Karyn Kusama ("Girlfight") follows up her disastrous last movie (2005’s "Aeon Flux") with a less damaging career misstep in the guise of a winky teen horror movie written by Diablo Cody ("Juno"). Megan Fox shows off the ugly side of her exaggerated beauty as high school hottie Jennifer, who spews snappy slang barbs like so many plucked hairs from her perfect eyebrows. Slutty Jennifer plays dom to her submissive best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), who carries on a sexually active relationship with her loyal boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons). Jennifer’s salty taste for sexual adventure meets its match, when she goes off with a visiting rock band. Believing Jennifer to be a virgin, the Satanworshipping group takes her into the woods and performs a bloody sacrifice that transforms Jen into a ravenous cannibal vampire. Punctuated by gory episodes, but lacking in suspense and surprise, "Jennifer’s Body" works more as a teen sex endorsement ad for hormone-raging audiences to copy their on-screen peers. When Jennifer tells her teen boy victim about the tremendous "wettie" he gives her, it’s a textbook definition of "guilty pleasure." Rated R. 101 mins. (C)

The Informant. Director Steven Soderbergh has loads of fun with a perky musical score (courtesy of Marvin Hamlisch) and jaunty ’70s-era visual hat-tips in this movie, but the filmmaker is unable to tease out substance from this off-key, one-note samba. Habitual Corporate liar Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is an ambitious biochemist who adds to his growing collection of sports cars by bilking huge amounts of money from his employer, Archer Daniels Midland. He covers his tracks by playing two ends against the middle, in this case the FBI versus his bosses at ADM. Because every word Mark speaks is a lie, there’s no use trying to follow the story for any cogent sense of substantive meaning. "The Informant!" is all tone, style and irony at the exclusion of the story. Satire is not a good genre for Soderbergh. (Warner Bros. Pictures) Rated R. 108 mins. (C-)


Sorority Row. Worse even that its insipid script (written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger) is Elliot Greenberg’s editing of a meandering slasher pic notable only for the number of nubile bare breasts it manages to fit into nearly every other scene. The movie sets up a batch of wrongheaded sorority girls who scheme to punk frat boy Garrett (Matt O’Leary), making bedroom moves on Megan (Audriuna Partridge) after giving her a roofie at a party. Megan barfs foam and seems to die, after which leader Jessica (Leah Pipes) takes Megan, Garrett and her gang to an abandoned mine shaft to prolong Garrett’s freak-out. In his panic, Garrett does retire Megan with a tire iron. The chicks drop Megan’s body down a well and go back to living a 24/7 party until a shrouded figure starts knocking off related kids and adults alike. I wish I could say that there was one redeeming reason to see this movie, but there isn’t. Rated R. 101 mins. (D)


For more reviews visit www.colesmithey.com

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