So I was running around today doing this and that in the freezing cold today and I ducked in to see this Monster movie. I picked up a water and a Whatchamacallit at the deli next door. (never again for the Whatchamacallit. Not great.) I bought some popcorn, moved seats twice because I sensed I was near talkers, finally settled into the third row and got comfortable. I didn't know much about this flick other than it was about a female serial killer. When I was younger I dabbled in researching serial killers for whatever creepy reason so I was kinda psyched.
Might as well start off by talking about the best thing about this movie. Blah blah blah. Charleeza Theron. Before this movie she was one of those pretty faces that I vaguely remembered because she gave me chills in one scene in that halfcrapfest called Devil's Advocate with Neo. Anyway, she got herself a no-brainer slam dunk for Best Actress this year. Something about the performance for Charleeza was one step up from other hotchick in disguise roles. Like Nicole Kidman slapped on a nose and a personality for The Hours, but she was Nicole Kidman with a slapped on nose on if you just looked at her sideways. But Charleeza did a new trick and pretty much disappeared into this role. They stripped away her hotness, she put on some poundage and she dove right into it. One of those nice actorialette twists off the high board and a clean entry splash. 9.8, 9.9, 10, 9.8, 9.9. Really great stuff. I'm psyched for a new actress to dig along with my faves Frances MacDormand, Holly Hunter, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine O'Hara.
Anyway, the movie itself is also good if youre in for some heavy stuff. Take a woman who's had a pretty friggin hard time. Add in a hard time. Then add in some hard time. Cap it off with some of that hard time stuff. Spray it down with a blasting hose of hard time. In walks Christina Ricci who is desperately in search of a life. Charleeza is desperate to have a life with someone. And boom bang whatever. They make out (we eventually get to see Charleeza's boobage and Christina squeezes them.) Excellent... (in Burns's voice) and they decide to shack up and be friends. Then things sort of go off the rails and Charleeza starts up her killing spree. The movie drills home the saddy sad for the prostitute lifestyle which is obviously no fun and shows the range of Johns adding to the scary and sad. The movie has a patience pacing and look that is done well. Occasionally it slips into TV moviedom and the music comes in at a couple places to increase the drama and it had the opposite effect for me. Silence works best sometimes. Shush up your music.
There's a few serial killer movies out there that I like. My favorite of the bunch is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Henry freaked me out when I was a younger because it was so deadass cold. That movie makes the temperature of the friggin room you're sitting in 10 degrees colder. Henry killed basically because killing was what Henry did when he wasn't killing. He was a mellow wild and crazy guy. This Monster movie showed the female flipside in a way because we got an emotional understanding as to why this person started killing. Forced into it by a john then coaxed to continue by/for the "innocent" eyes of Ricci and the american dream. But the push for our understanding and the reaching for my heartstrings took away somewhat from the impact of her acts --to the point where I almost felt as bad for the killer as the killee during some of the killings- which seems a bit much.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- Charleeza puts in a really kickass performance which makes ya happy for
juicy female parts.
- Some of the gun shots were high impact. It's always impressive when a single gunshot can give ya a nice jolt in your seat.
- I liked the Boys Don't Cryish low rent look and color and flavor in these lowish rent films.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- I was jackhammer riveted by the Charleeza performance but the movie
had more of a hammer and
nails type of feel.
- A woman sitting near me was a gasper and a groaner and an 'oh no-er' at certain scenes. It's like, 'Hey lady! Stuff your dumb thoughts back in your head please!'
- Never got a really clean enough read on the Christina Ricci character- and we dint get to see her boobs.
All in all you should see this movie just to see the Charleeza display. It's really one of the best actressial efforts I've seen. The movie moves along real at a good clip. It's solid. But it's Charleeza that keeps the whole thing up and above- because it's her that I remember. The movie itself has already begun to fade..
(Unlike Henry who is always lurking around somewhere way too close by...)