Sunday, May 3, 2009

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One Man's Trash is My Treasure. And Also, Trash.

I don't know how to sell you on <span style="font-style:italic;">The Informers</span>. I could tell you not to believe the 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I would be lying. I could tell you it's the awesomest movie I have ever seen, but that, too, would just not be right (The Wicker Man remake will always have that place). I could tell you it's just as good as it is bad; while true, it's just too vague for you to really get the idea.

Also, I have no clue what version of The Informers this poster is selling. Not the one I saw, that's for sure.

Perhaps this is just evidence of my youth, but I don't think I've seen a movie as trashy as <span style="font-style:italic;">The Informers</span>. And yet it's also too tame for it's own good. It's wild and exciting, but also subdued and dull. Winona Ryder is in a heightened comedy; Billy Bob Thornton is falling asleep; Jon Foster is in The Most Serious Drama Ever; Chris Isaak and Amber Heard are in a clever satire of the 1980s, which is probably closest to what Brett Easton Ellis (co-adapting his own source material with Nicholas Jarecki) intended. Green screen effects: awful. CG fly effects: laughable. Score: at odds with its surroundings.

And yet I loved it. I mean, I really, really loved it. It wasn't good by any means, but I could see myself buying the DVD and holding parties at my house to watch this. It is so lovably awful, you must see it to believe it.


-A pederastic rock star punches out a girl from Nebraska...because he can.

-Everyone sleeps with Austin Nichols and his stupid hair, including some of the men.

-Amber Heard does not put on clothes until her last two scenes.

-Brad Renfro's final, terrible performance, which I am convinced is what killed him.

-Winona Ryder playing every scene like she just snorted coke, drank a pot of coffee, and shot adrenaline into her eyeballs.

-We get two (2 [TWO!!!]) music video sequences, one of which features Amber Heard dancing topless

-AIDS as a deus ex machina

-No attempt to connect or develop tenuous plot threads

-Three characters that get whole scenes to themselves in the first half are promptly dropped and never mentioned again

-Did I mention Chris Isaak as a pervy dad trying to get his son laid in Hawaii?

-Lines like, "I need someone to tell me what's good....and what's bad."

-This dialogue:
AMBER HEARD: I wanna stay.
JON FOSTER: But it's cold.
AMBER HEARD: Mm. I want to stay in the sun.
JON FOSTER: (Dramatic pause, whisper) But the sun is gone.


Oh, I could go on and on. Did I mention Mickey Rourke kidnaps and sells children? Or that there's a scene where an amateur glam band gets Winona Ryder's autograph while giggling madly? Or that all the under-forties have nude scenes at the beginning? Or how everyone mentions The Big Concert, then no one goes?

It's just histrionic fun for Basinger and Renfro; bored ennui for the rest of the cast. And the director! Oh man, he must come from the "meh" school of film, because it looks like nobody was on the same page. The cinematography is all back-lighting, and a lot of scenes have that hazy look that you get when you first wake up and turn on the bathroom lights. You know what I mean.

I can't wait to buy this on DVD and have a party for it. It can last the whole weekend, and we can watch this alongside Mae West's <span style="font-style:italic;">Sextette</span>, as a sort of marathon of excessive final films. Yeah, it's kind of on that level. One complaint: They should have kept the vampire storyline with Brandon Routh. That just would have completed the outrageous-thon that was happening.

Do I give it one star? Four stars? No stars? The answer is a resounding yes!

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