Posts Tagged ‘Kaboom’

Friday Estimates — January 29

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The Rite|5.2|2985|NEW|7.2
No Strings Attached |4.3|3022|-41%|30.4
The Mechanic|3.4|2703|NEW|3.4
The Green Hornet|2.9|3524|-42%|70.3
The King’s Speech |2.8|2557|29%|63.9
True Grit|1.9|3120|-9%|36.8
The Dilemma|1.7|2905|-45%|26.6
Black Swan|1.4|2315|-23%|86.9
The Fighter |0.95|1914|-22%|75.3
Little Fockers|0.65|2051|-47%|142.8
Also Debuting
From Prada to Nada|0.31|256||0.31
Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji|26,700|42||26,700
Ip Man 2|18,800|20||18,800
* in millions

Sundance Review: Kaboom

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I’ll say this up front: Gregg Araki’s Kaboom is not for everyone. If, however, you enjoy completely crazy, immensely creative tales (and I mean crazy in the best Donnie Darko sense), and you’re neither homophobic nor averse to graphic sexual scenes (both hetero and homo), and you’re willing to forgive a few plot twists that, in a world where reality prevails, make no sense whatsoever — but that would make perfect sense in a world where, say, Scott Pilgrim having to fight Seven Evil Exes makes perfect sense, then you will likely find Kaboom to be highly enjoyable. I sure as heck did.

The comparison to Scott Pilgrim is apt: Kaboom plays out visually and plot-wise very much like a stylized graphic novel. The highly likable cast is just terrific, particularly Thomas Dekker as Smith, an 18-year-old college kid plagued with sexual fantasies about his studly surfer roommate, Thor, Haley Bennett as Smith’s sassy lesbian BFF Stella, and Juno Temple as London, a very sexual coed with whom Smith, who’s “undecided” in the sexual orientation department, explores his sexual urges.

Smith eats a drug-laced cookie at a rave-ish party (oh, those rowdy college kids and their drugged up cookies!) and before you can say “Wow, maybe that was a bad idea,” Smith is having a hallucinatory, paranoid visions involving men wearing animal masks, a murder in a park, and a torso in a dumpster. Meanwhile, Stella’s having issues ending a bad relationship with a scary-stalker sexy lesbian who might or might not be a witch, and worst of all for Smith, all of these things seem to have started when he had a weird dream. What’s real? What’s not?

Araki elicits some fantastic performances from his talented cast, and visually the film is a vivid, trippy, technicolor acid trip (although Araki does tend to be very fond of the orange-blue color palette, which for me is way overused, but given the graphic novel look of the film, it works here). And there are many shots in the film that are just stunningly lovely in their composition (see the still above for one example). Music is used to good effect when needed, but isn’t anymore overbearing than it should be for the emotional tenor of any given moment or for the type of film this is.

I do want to take a moment here to say an additional word about Juno Temple here. She was just outstanding in Dirty Girl, which played at Toronto, and here she is again with another terrific performance (the Brit accent’s a bit dicey, but that’s forgivable). There’s an energy about her that reminds me a bit of Parker Posey; she is definitely one to watch on the indie scene.

Maybe it’s the end of the world as we know it, maybe it’s all crazy apocalypse fantasy as a metaphor for coming-of-age sexual urges. I’m not sure it matters, when it’s all put together in such a fun and compelling manner. Probably some critic will write some thoughtful, deeply compelling pieces explaining to you in detail why this is so, but whatever. With a movie this fun and flat-out crazy, why over think it?

Araki is a compelling, original, creative director, and I like his style and sensibility ever so much more than the overused mumblecore, “let’s turn a camera on some solipsistic 20-somethings while they ponder the utter boringness of their existence” thing. Kaboom is exactly the kind of film I hope to luck into at Sundance: it’s fresh, it’s bold, it’s different, and it’s likely to offend at least a good percentage of the people who wander into it not knowing what their getting.

But hey, even if it’s not for you, it’s not the end of the world.

The Sunday NY Times

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

The Sunday NY Times
Lim Goes Kaboom With Araki
And – Latest TRON Least Groundbreaking?
Plus –
Anderson On The U. S. Docs The State Dept. Tours Overseas
And – Scott Reluctantly Meets Meta In Contesting Gabler Dismissal Of Unnamed Critical “Elites”
Confessing Another Kind Of Theft: Phone Cameras In The Bookstore
With – Kirk Douglas Speechifying At The AFI Awards