Monday, October 11, 2004

You take the high road, and I'll take the low road.

Much like my boyfriend Alan (in his blog page), I feel the need to clarify some things about myself before I continue with the blog. I’m probably giving the wrong kind of cinematic impression of myself with mainstream reviews, so here goes my attempt at setting the record straight!

The kind of movies I like tend to veer from the very stupid to the very highbrow (stopping just short of the likes of ‘Andrei Rublev’), so I do – rightly or wrongly – consider myself to have somewhat eclectic tastes. There are, of course, some variables…I like Rocky, but don’t like the sequels. I love The Godfather, but prefer Godfather 2. I love Close Encounters… but hate The Terminal. I adore The Big Lebowski, but will hopefully die before I ever have to see The Ladykillers or Intolerable Cruelty again. Basically, no director is safely embalmed in a canon, and no actor has a firm grip on the upper rung of my ladder (so to speak). In consequence, I often find myself watching, as I did last weekend, crap like The Last Samurai next to classics like The Deer Hunter and Glengarry Glen Ross.

It keeps me rounded (and grounded).

I watched Heathers at the weekend with Alan – he had never seen it, I own it on DVD, so I think I owe it a quick ‘my thoughts on…’


Director: Michael Lehmann
Writer: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Kim Walker, Shannon Doherty.
Starring: Daniel Waters

The trouble with reviewing an already well-known movie is that everyone has their minds made up. If you have seen it, then you love it or hate it, and if you haven’t seen it, then this masterpiece has probably dated just a little too much to be appreciated fully. Woe, I say, to those who were introduced too late!

Heathers is a remarkably well-written piece – probably a career-best from Mr. Waters (adored Batman Returns…but Demolition Man?), who gives incredible insight into the evil mind of teenage girls, and exposes the warts-n-all underbelly of sisterhood á la suburban 80’s Yuppiedom. The movie is quips a-go-go, as each line delivers with a black-packed punch, offering social commentary and guilty laughs with each line. Directed competently, if somewhat uninspiringly, (for a career that was to continue with such gems as The Truth About Cats And Dogs and the laughable – for all the wrong reasons – 40 Days and 40 Nights), the movie does at least have it’s own colour and mood infused in each scene. Blackly comic turns from Slater and Ryder turn teen suicide (don’t do it!) into social commentary of the tacky kind, and give high school pep-rally’s the same mass-murder appeal as Carrie’s overture at the prom.

The movie promises much, however with all the ‘teen angst bullshit’ that eventually achieves ‘a body count’, the ending shies away from full-on carnage, opting instead for morals and neatly wrapped ending – though still maintaining it’s caustic edge. Movies just are not made like this anymore – the recent Mean Girls proving that even when Hollywood tries to make good girls bad, it just ends up making the bad girls good. Hail to Heathers, then, as the only bad girl movie where not everyone gets their just desserts! An edgy, though in places soggy, social exposé of the squirming mess American high schools embody – something soberingly brought to mind by events such as Columbine – and a telling indictment of US foreign policy today. If they treat each other this badly, then the rest of the world doesn’t stand a chance.

In the spirit of Total Film’s latest letter’s page invite for two word reviews…

Heathers: How Very!

{By the way, Alan's blogg (as I have yet to discover how to change my 'link' settings) is, and Boney-Woney's blogg is Alan is the love of my life, and Bones is a very good friend and fellow movie-maniac!}

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