Monday, April 14, 2008

Movie Reviews

Into the Wild is the story of a driven, emotionally immature college graduate who is seeking to expiate the sins of his parents in an ill-fated Alaskan adventure. Emile Hirsch plays the character, Chris McCandless, a lost soul on the road looking for something, creating a myth.

I liked this movie. It's a raw film that captures the arrogance, innocence, and tragic inexperience of youth. Chris's hubris is not letting go of a poisonous past, while fleeing the people who really love him. Chris has a dream, a quest that seduces him. Part of growing older is gaining the experience to know that we don't have to live our dreams. We can be less than our dreams - a discovery Chris makes too late.

Hal Holbrook plays the character, Ron Franz, an old retired army guy who is living a reclusive, fearful life. Chris happens into Ron's life and changes it. Holbrook's performance is masterful and poignant, and is the humane, loving heart of the movie.

Orgazmo (1997) is a sophomoric farce starring Trey Parker as Joe Young, a Mormon missionary cum inconvenient porn star, and Dian Bachar as Ben Chapleski. Through various plot twists, Joe ends up starring in a porn flick as Orgazmo, a sexual superhero with Ben playing Choda Boy, his heroic sidekick.

The plot is contrived, the performances are over the top, this is a good film to watch with beer and popcorn. I really liked this film. It manages to skewer the Mormons, Hollywood, and pornography in one convenient DVD.

Its portrayals should not be mistaken as literary truths. The film takes a lot of license with the facts (e.g. conflating Catholic iconography with Mormon practice), but gets at some deeper truths about the nature of belief, desire, and fame. I want Choda Boy's helmet. I loved the costumes, and I'd really like to try out for the part of "Stunt Cock." P.S. This film is rated NC-17 and is offensive to just about any audience.