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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jennifer's Body

This week's movie is Jennifer's Body, a Merchant Ivory production starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It's the heartwarming tale, wait, that's Howard's End, or Remains of the Day or something. As with my first movie commentary, SPOILERS A-PLENTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer's Body was great the first time I saw it...when it was called Tamara. Seriously, the plots are so similar, I can't believe it's not outright plagiarism. Don't movie studio guys hire lawyers to keep tabs on this kind of thing?

Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen Tamara, you might still like this one. Jennifer, played by Megan Fox, is the sexy, popular, smart girl in high school. Her best friend since early childhood is Needy, the smart, kinda mousy, but still cute girl. No, I'm not being a jerk, Needy is actually the name of the character. She also narrates the film, told in flashbacks. As the story begins, Needy is in a mental hospital, recalling the events that brought her there. She lives in a town called Devil's Kettle, because there's a waterfall that leads to some kind of bottomless pit. Maybe that's where the originality vanished. (Once brought up, by the way, this weird water portal is only really referenced one more time. HUH???) But, I digress....

Being Besties, they go everywhere together, to the annoyance of Needy's boyfriend Chip. So, it's hardly stunning when Jennifer drags Needy out to see an up-and-coming rock band, called Low Shoulder. It's even more predictable when Low Shoulder invites them backstage after the show to hang out(after a pretty tasteless recreation of the Station Nightclub/Whitesnake fire) know, to talk, drink a little, become virgin sacrifices to a satanic rock band....

Needy, being a Good Girl, knows this isn't right, and she leaves. Alone with the band members, Jennifer doesn't realize the danger she's in, until it's much too late: These guys will do ANYTHING to make it in the music industry, including murdering the buxom jailbait they invited backstage. They even sing "867-5309". These guys are hardcore, yo. And Tom Hanks' son is in the band. Like, groovy, man.

Well.....the ritual required a VIRGIN sacrifice, and sexy Jen did NOT fit the bill. So, when she turns up alive back home, and covered in blood It's suddenly an episode of the sitcom "Jennifer Doesn't Live Here Anymore". She's still sexy, but her hickeys are murder!!

So she's alive? No, not really. Jenny's now demon-possessed...or, as Needy puts it, she's "really evil" as opposed to "high school" evil.(one of the film's funnier lines) She has a ravenous appetite, her mouth does that "SyFy Channel Saturday movie" thing where it elongates and grows cartoony shark teeth, her eyes become lizardy, she spits up the Black Oil monster from The X-Files.. In other words, they could've hired Tara Reid for the role and saved a chunk o' cash in the FX budget.

Now, I can hear you at this point: Hey, Dude, which band member does she go after first? Well, that would have made a better film by about a thousand percent. But no, instead of channeling her demony side and directing it at the band, she just chooses various victims that we could care less about. Oh, don't worry, the rockers do get their comeuppance...but you have to wait for closing credits to see it. Lame.

So she pretty much just picks her victims by just saying, "Oh look, Random Guy #3 is in this scene, he'll do!"...seriously. Almost none of the victims are characters we give a crap about. Let's see, there's "Jonas", a football player who literally has 2 scenes before she kills him; "Colin", the punk/emo/goth/whatever-you-crazy-kids-with-your-internets-and-your-loud-music-call-it-these-days; "Ahmet", a classmate everyone assumed had died in the fire.....and then nothing for awhile. Jennifer even acts like she might eat Needy a few times, but alas, no.

Instead, we skip ahead to Prom Night(or, as they call it in this movie, Spring Formal...maybe it's me, but "Spring Formal II: Hello, Mary Lou" would've been a craptacular title), where Needy goes to the Pro...uh, dance stag. To keep Chip safe, Needy felt it would be best to crush his tender widdle heart and let him roam around without her to keep him safe from Jen. Whatever. Oh, and the band hired for the dance? Yup, Cold Shoulder, Low Shoulder, Over-the-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder, whatever the Freakin' Fanelli they're called.

So, whatever, Needy, the 8th Dwarf, shows up at the dance wearing a dress and hairdo from 1987. I guess the theme was "RETRO", or something. While she keeps a lazy eye out for Demon Girl, Jen is actually stalking Chip outside. Jenny From The Block tells Chip that Needy is cheating on him, and then proceeds to seduce him right there, in a field. Needy's Vagina-Sense begins tingling, and she finds them before Chip is fully digested. There's a catfight(over CHIP?!?), Jennifer is impaled by Chip while distracted by Needy(I feel reaaaaaaaally stupid writing these names...seriously, was Diablo Cody using Mad Libs when she came up with this script?) , and as Needy watches Chip die, JennifWhore slips away. THE END.

Wait, what? The movie's still going? Awww, shit.....

So, anyway Demon-Jen is hanging out in her Holly Hobby/Barbie Dream-House bedroom, and Needy sneaks in and attacks her. They wrestle a bit, which, by this time, isn't even turning ME on, and I'm a total sleazebag!! Needy shows her the nifty box-cutter she intends to use, makes the corny joke about "box" cutting we all expect, then tears off Jen's BFF necklace. It's the source of all her Goblin-Magic, or whatever. I shit you not. She becomes powerless after Needy takes it, allowing Needy to stab her fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally. I haven't wanted Megan Fox to die so much since seeing Transformers 2 in theatres.

And now we come back to the present. Needy reveals that if a demon bites you, and you live, you eventually become a demon as well. We then get to see the aforementioned credit-sequence attack on the band. It looks AWESOME. So glad we spent time with Jonas and Chip, instead of seeing how the blood-drenched bathtub corpse got that way. Way to go, movie. If this thing hadn't bombed so badly, I'd almost hope we'd see the carnage in a sequel, but oh well.

So, what did I learn after watching Jennifer's Body? Well...

-Tamara was a pretty great film. I'm-a gonna go watch it again and again and ag....
-Juno was apparently a fluke, making Diablo Cody a female M. Night Shyamalan.(spelled right? don't care.)
-I was smart to skip my Prom(oops, I mean my "Spring Formal").

Oh, and I've decided to implement a rating system, as of this film. Based on my experiences with The Guardian, each movie is going to be given "trees". This one gets one tree, outta 5. Who knows? Maybe I can even find a tree font or something, just to give these reviews a little pizzazz.