I went to a party once, and there was a palm reader there and when she looked at my hand, she just froze. And I said to her “I know. My lifeline is broken. I know I won’t live past thirty.”
Runtime: 1 hour, 39 min
Genre: Biography, Drama
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Jack Huston, Armin Amiri, Tara Summers, Mena Suvari
Amazon Link: Factory Girl
SYNOPSIS: “Factory Girl” retells the meteoric rise and fall of the 1960′s “That Girl” Edie Sedgwick, a celebrity who came to define both the faux glamour and the tragedy of the chaotic, drug-addled 1960s. Initially on film, Sedgwick appears to be the stereotypical (read as vapid) American princess, but when she meets up with anti-hero Andy Warhol, everything changes. Suddenly, Edie find herself at the center of a vortex brimming with sex, illicit drugs, errant style and rock ‘n’ roll — and desperately groping for fame and fabulousness that was destined to end her life in ruin. The film records the Poor Little Rich Girl‘s downward spiral from Cambridge art student to Andy Warhol’s disposable model/actress/muse and finally to institutionalized drug addict.
Factory Girl has a number of problems. The script is incredibly weak. In fact, it’s so scattered and borderline incoherent that you’d think that Sedgwick herself, hopped up on crank, made it herself. The high points all get a moment in the limelight: child of mentally ill and abusive parents, involved with freaky artist types and hangers-on, attention and love-starved, high all the time and doomed to the inevitable downward spiral. You just never know exactly the who or why of what happened. The film heavy-handedly drives home its interpretation of Edie as the abused and abandoned target of a series of childish, manipulative men, with the ultimate blame saved for her family. But in fact, Edie was not a victim. She was already a wild child by the time she left for New York City. What made Edie Sedgwick so tragic is that she was the Poor Little Rich Girl by her own mistakes. She was terribly self-destructive and yet so beautiful and promising, and that creates the interest surrounding her life. Unfortunately the film never capitalizes on this dichotomy.
The acting is atrocious. Sienna Miller’s crying hardly seems real. Scrunching up your face does not make the audience think you’re crying. Hayden Christensen is absolutely ridiculous. He tries to channel Bob Dylan’s persona, called Quinn (after his musical tribute to Nicholas Ray’s The Savage Innocents) but inevitably just comes off as such a douchebag. Christensen even tries to imitate the same speech patterns and tone of voice as the famous singer, but ends up botching the character much like did Vader/Anakin in the Star Wars trilogy. Simply put, Hayden is painful to watch: And don’t even get me start on the uncomfortably awkward sex scene between Hayden and Sienna. Guy Pearce’s Andy Warhol, as idiot savant, is flawed from the moment he appears on screen. Pearce delves into Andy’s strangeness to postulate that Andy compensated for ugliness by leeching on to pretty people. That might well be valid, but neither the film nor Pearce fully explore the validity of such a premise.
The film depicts The Factory as high school with more flamboyant clothes and hair and stronger drugs. Petty jealousies and backbiting create a pernicious environment in which sycophants vie for Warhol’s attention and bask in his reflected ‘brilliance.’
Unfortunately, Factory Girl’s flaccid visuals do not make the movie worthwhile. What could have been a decadent experience in terms of the fashion, music and surroundings of 60′s counter culture turned out to be mundane, unfocused, and very contrived. Simply put: A complete and utter disappointment.
Goozlepipe Rating: Hated It
“As you sow, so shall you reap!”
Runtime: 1 hour, 34 min
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Lori Heuring, Scout Taylor-Compton, Chloe Moretz, Geoffrey Lewis
Amazon Link: Wicked Little Things
SYNOPSIS: Wicked Little Things” tells the tale of the recently-widowed Karen Tunny and her two daughters, Sarah and Emma, who move to a remote mountain home inherited from the family of her late husband. Unbeknownst to Karen, the three of them are not as alone as they assumed. The home lies near an old mine abandoned almost a hundred years before, after a tragic cave-in killed a group of children who were forced to work there.
After Dark Films billed Horrorfest as “a weekend of horror films that are considered to graphic or too disturbing for general audiences.” Ok, let’s not beat around the bush. That announcement isn’t just a marketing statement; it is a boldface lie to separate patrons from their money. Most of these films are crap and a waste of time (The Gravedancers being the exception so far).
Wicked Little Things starts with a great premise: In 1913, children laboring in a Pennsylvania mine are killed by callous adults supervising the mine. Glimpses of kids in mining gear, rickety elevators, dynamite, and tight spaces let us know we are in for something cruel. Some of the early scenes, reminded me of Neil Marshall’s feature, The Descent. Not for the creatures, but the claustrophobic atmosphere: There is a primal fear associated with tight spaces – especially rocky places, deep underground. Unfortunately, the scenes within the mine are limited, from that point we leave the panic-inducing confines of the mine to never return. The film effectively throws away the scare-rich environment and never really recovers.
Flash forward to the present: From some fairly painful dialogue, we learn that recently widowed Karen Tunny (Lori Heuring) and her two daughters, Sarah (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Emma (Chloe Moretz) are headed to an inherited homestead in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. We are introduced to Sarah, the archetypal teen daughter, probably 15 or 16 years old – a real handful. We’ve seen this character a thousand times, gallivanting around town, complaining about her parent(s), and hating the move; and of course, the little sister who makes the film’s first contact with the deceased children. In the new home, it is apparent that things are awry. Bugs, bad plumbing, dark, rotted wallpaper, and a bloodstained front door – the usual ingredients that make up a spooky house are present. Not to mention the creepy neighbors living in the woods, with interesting tales about the haunted hills and what takes place at night.
Once night falls, gangs of undead children roam the hills seeking fresh meat. Although the kids are described as zombies by local teens, they are actually some kind of hybrid ghost-zombie, a ?ghombie? maybe. The deceased appear only at night to exact their revenge as flesh devouring phantoms, so the term zombie fits. Although the gore scenes are relatively rare, when we do get a glimpse, the pay-off is realistic. Some scenes show us what the ravaged corpses look like once the deed is done, and it isn’t pretty. Furry carcasses are scattered all through the woods, and there is one scene involving a pig, which may upset some novice horror fans. While these gore effects are above par, these zombies are not. The zombies are little more than kids with white faces.
There’s not really much more that can be said about this movie. The bad heavily outweighs the good and the audience is asked to swallow way too many clichés. For instance: There’s the little girl who makes friends with the monster; Townsfolk who know EVERYTHING but choose to not say anything; Newspaper clippings chronicling everything about the “incident”; woods atmospheric with dense fog; a dark legacy of an evil family, and the ubiquitous walking around in a dark house.
In addition to the other problems, a good portion of this movie was very dark and hard to see. Filmmakers should realize that dark does not necessarily equal scary” When a movie is that dark, it’s more annoying than anything else.
Unfortunately, Wicked Little Things falls prey to the unsettling trend in modern horror films, where the conclusion requires gift-wrap and a bow, implying that audiences are too stupid to connect the dots in the plot. Undeniably boring and formulaic to the point of frustration, Wicked Little Things telegraphs every action: People pop into sight right when you’d expect them to, deliver the cheesy lines you’d wish they wouldn’t, and die exactly the way they would in any other movie. This sleeping pill of a movie and everyone involved is what’s hurting horror films these days. If you’re looking for a safe alternative to sleep medication, try Wicked Little Things.