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This and That...

This weekend I watched two movies: Devour, and District 9 with friends. Interesting combination I know. But neither of them I would watch on my own. As much as I adore Jensen, I'm just not that into horror. I'm even lesser a fan of video game-isque movies.

Turned out both movies surprised me on some levels.  I've heard everyone saying Devour is terrible, so I wasn't expecting much. But I think several scenes were surprisingly well acted. I especially enjoyed all the scenes Jake had with his "Dad" Paul. This is the first time I've seen PapaAckles in action. I have to say now I understand where Jensen inherited his natural acting talent. I noticed Jensen made this movie right around the time he started Supernatural, but Jake Gray here is as far from Dean Winchester as one can get. Seeing this I realized we hardly ever saw Dean smile. He may smirk a lot, but he doesn't have that bright smile Jake, the college kid, flashed easily all the time. Also before seeing this movie, I never get the tattoo!kink I've seen people have in the fandom. I've endured over 2 and half hours of needle myself, and I never thought it could be remotely appealing. But the scene where Jake was getting his tat -- the flushed cheeks, hooded eyes, alcohol slick lips, and the playful call out to "nurse" for more "medicine" -- it's almost softcore!porn I thought. Of course, it's highly improbable someone like Marisol who supposedly works in medical care profession would feed alcohol to someone who's getting a tattoo. She should know the alcohol would cause the blood rushing to the surface of the skin, and cause excessive bleeding. But who cares, Jake drinking shots while getting a tat is a sight to behold. \o/

The real problem with Devour lies in how this movie was put together, I think. The hallucinations were too heavy and distracting, and because it was low budget, poorly shot. The image of the She-devil was ridiculously trite that instead of scary it made me laugh. And believe me, that says a lot because I'm a scaredy cat. One last thing about the movie: I'm really confused about the relationship between Jake's "Dad" Paul and his real mom Ann Kilton. According to the movie's credits as well as IMDB, Jake Gray's "Dad" is listed as Paul Kilton, who's married to wheelchair bound Kathy Gray. Is this a mistake, or was Jake really raised by his uncle? O_o

Now, moving onto District 9, the movie made me sick to my stomach and heart. But it's a really good political satire, and the format of the movie is unique. The documentary styled lens gave a "real" feel to the story, made me appreciate the saying that science fiction is a mirror to reality. Nonetheless, over half of the movie I had to avert my eyes, it's just too gross. My 10 yr old and his friend on the other hand shouted gleefully many times: "Cool. This is like a cross between Call of Duty and Command and Control!" I of course felt obliged to tell them the movie is not a glorified video game. All the violence and grossness they saw are to show the horror of prejudice and segregation, etc. etc...

I'm surprised to learn the lead actor Sharlto Copley had not acted before this and has no intention of pursuing an acting career. He is remarkably good as the lead Wikus here. His progression from a government bureaucrat to an outcast and a kindred spirit to the species he used to help repressing made the entire movie compelling.

In the end, my son asked me if I liked District 9. After giving due consideration I said it's an excellent movie but I didn't enjoy watching. He was confused and asked how was that possible. I explained that you don't always need a good movie to enjoy watching. For example, Devour isn't good, but I enjoyed it. ;-)

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 9th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
I believe that with "Devour," part of the problem was there was a rewrite half-way through filming (or something like that). JA talks about it in one of the con videos out there on YouTube, but I can't remember which one.

I saw it, too, mainly because of JA as I am not a horror fan myself. It was cool to see him and his father acting together.

mick
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
Really? Now that actually made sense. I felt that was a whole part of a storyline/setup that was dropped in Devour. Oh what else did JA talk about in regard to this movie, if you can remember? I'm all curious now.

It was really good to see him acting with his father. They were both excellent. It's actually harder I think with real relatives because for lot of actors, the real relationship would get in the way of the fictional relationship they tried to portray. But I think both Ackles were very natural here.

Heh, just so you know, I sat through Jamie's "Pulse II" too. O_o That's actually what made me relent to watch Supernatural in the first place. I thought to myself if I can sit through this crappy thing, it can't get any worse, can it? And boy, was I surprised!
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Feb. 9th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
davincis_girl
Feb. 9th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
You are so right about Dean smiling. I had to do a picture a few months ago with a real smile on him, and I had to go back to early Season 1 to get one.
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
Really? Was it that long before? But looking back, I think you are right! Oh boy... *pets Dean's pretty head*
i_o_r_h_a_e_l
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
I haven't seen District 9 but Devour! I'd watch it again. :D
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
Hehe, you enjoyed Devour too?

<--points to my icon (my one and only from Devour) He's so fine in it.

I can rewind a hundred times just to see that tattoo scene alone. *smirk*
(no subject) - i_o_r_h_a_e_l - Feb. 9th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - i_o_r_h_a_e_l - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - i_o_r_h_a_e_l - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC) - Expand
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ckll
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
I close my eyes for the second movie spoilers.

Devour was really havy movie but the main plot wasn't bad and of course the actors as well.
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Oh, are you planning on watching District 9, bb? Hope I didn't spoil you too much. It's an experience, and I would actually recommend it even though half of the movie I hid my eyes behind my hand. But I already admitted I'm a scaredy cat, so...

I thought the actors, especially the Ackles clan were really good in Devour. The story itself had interesting potentials. The direction was kinda lousy, and the special effects were a joke. Even Supernatural's special effects was much better than the feature film.

Speaking of PapaAckles, after seeing this movie, I kind of have a thing for wishing him making a guest appearance on Supernatural! A girl can dream, can't she?

Edited at 2010-02-09 07:30 am (UTC)
(no subject) - ckll - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
anastdean
Feb. 9th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
Only thing I remember of Devour is Jensen's crying scene, that's all.
Waves.
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC)
I feel slightly bad for saying this, but Jensen crying is beautiful!

I love the scenes he had with his dad. They are both quite amazing actors, and now I dream PapaAckles will do a guest appearance on Supernatural!

But my favorite scene is when he went to get tattoo (sexy as hell to me), before Marisol found the finger in her fries that is. LOL, now I cannot eat those fat fries without thinking there might be a chopped off finger hiding among them.
ala_tariel
Feb. 9th, 2010 09:57 am (UTC)
I wish Jared was in Devour too. :D

But I haven't seen District 9. Who's in it?
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
Jared in Devour? Maybe he should be the one to feed Jensen the alcohol when Jensen was getting the tattoo... :)

Nobody really famous is in District 9. It's director is Neill Blomkamp. The film is based on his short film "Alive in Joburg", which he wrote and directed. It's inspired by his childhood in South Africa during Apartheid. The movie came about after Blomkamp's directorial deal of making a feature film based on the video game "Halo" fell through. Peter Jackson went to him and offered him $30 million to make whatever he wanted! Can you imagine?

Like I said, the lead actor Sharlto Coply never acted before and doesn't intend to act more. I would never guess from watching the movie though. He was that good!

The movie is nominated for 4 academy awards as I understand.

So if you have time, don't mind seeing some aliens that look like giant shrimps, have a high tolerance for grossness, into angst, and most of all, love dark stories that make social commentary, you should give this movie a try.
(no subject) - ala_tariel - Feb. 9th, 2010 10:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 9th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
layne67
Feb. 9th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
It's quite some time since I saw Devour but the part that I remember most was the one of Jake and his mother sitting in the wheelchair at the nursing home. I thought he was brilliant there. And the scene with his father of course. And *that* orgasm scene heheh.

I quite enjoyed District 9 though I agree with you that it was gory! I like it that PJ used actors who were not well known, it gave a "real" feeling to that movie. There's one thing that bugged me about it though. WHERE are the countries like the US in all this? It was like South Africa was alone in handling the alien problems!
xwacky
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Anything scene where Jensen has to shed tear(s) is memorable in on itself! But you are talking about the first scene where he brought orchid to his "mother" there, right? That was very sweet, and you can just tell how much the character loves and cares for his mom.

You know, watching *that* orgasm scene in context wasn't as bad as I previously thought. The little noises he was making were actually quite... *fans self* The problem of the scene was it looked like he never got out of his pants. \o/

D9 definitely is not a feel good movie. But it's quite powerful and innovative. From the way it's made to the way it's marketed showed an alternative way how a project can be done. I do have to point out though I don't think it's Peter Jackson that made the decision on which actors to use. I believe that's all on the director and writer Neill Blomkamp. Peter Jackson only provided him with money. That in on itself is visionary too, I think. :)

You know the government agency Wikus worked for is MNU, stands for Multi National United, I believe. So I'm sure American is included. It's just since the alien mothership is hovering above Johannesburg, it makes sense many of its employees and soldiers are Afrikaaners. Besides, US is most likely sending its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time; or too busy dealing with its own economic woes to handle aliens. ;-)

Speaking of the real feel of the movie, the document styled hand held camera notwithstanding, I've also read this:

All the shacks in D9 were actual shacks that exists in a section of Johannesburg which were to be evacuated and the residents moved to better government housing, paralleling the events in the film. Also paralleling, the residents had not actually been moved out before filming began. The only shack that was created solely for filming was Christopher Johnson's shack.
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Jensen makes me watch pretty much anything and devour is proof of that!

Hee, apparently me too! You know for such a poorly made movie, I still enjoyed it so much, it's because Jensen really put in a kick ass performance.

The thing about Jake's smiles is they come easily, and there's innocence in them. The few and far between smiles Dean has, none of them have such innocence. I tried to figure out why I got such different impressions and I came to realize it's the eyes.

Yay! Let's campaigning for PapaAckles guest star on SPN together! Gosh, after seeing this movie, that's all I can think of. I don't know why they haven't done so yet. Come on Kripke, the Ackles family has not one but TWO great actors!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 12th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
corbyinoz
Feb. 9th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with much of what you've written here about Devour. I liked his relationship with his friends, his father and his mother. In fact, apart from the weird hallucination stuff (the tongue cutting? Ugh), I got to about four fifths of the way through and thought, you know, this is quite good. I was very pleasantly surprised. (And yes, for all that the sex scene didn't look real, the little whimpers..? Hothothot).

And then it all went pear shaped. No idea what happened at the end. Just - bizarre. I did hear that they did major rewrites and so lost the plot - literally. I remember reading that he was very disappointed in what happened, and that makes sense - he acts his heart out, giving C grade material an A grade acting effort, but in the end its all for nothing.

I remember reading that Jensen said his father stole the drunk scene they did together ('Acted me off the screen") while his father maintained that's exactly what his son did to him. I love the fact that he so obviously respects, admires and loves his dad. Sign of a well developed personality, that.
xwacky
Feb. 11th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
I did hear that they did major rewrites and so lost the plot - literally.
Boo for rewrite during the middle of the project. Such endeavor never turns out good!

he acts his heart out, giving C grade material an A grade acting effort
I so agree with what you said here! This just shows a movie or TV show is a combined effort. Writing is the first step towards making a show/movie successful. Acting is almost the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. So a great actor without a decent script or director could only do so much...

I love*love*love what you said about Jensen and his father here. I came into the fandom late, so I didn't know any of that. Gosh, you make me wanting even harder to have Alan Ackles guest star on SPN!

Edited at 2010-02-11 07:47 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - corbyinoz - Feb. 11th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - xwacky - Feb. 12th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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