Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jennifer's Autopsy


I don't get all the Diablo Cody hate -- especially the sour grapes from unsold screenwriters. Her first screenplay became a hit film that grossed over 200 million dollars worldwide and netted her an Oscar... oh yeah, she used to be a stripper. What's the big deal?

'The dialogue in Juno was unrealistic and annoying!'
'She's just a flash in the pan!'
'Who calls themselves Diablo Cody?'
'She only gets attention because she's an attractive woman.'

Who cares!? Don't you have better things to do, you know, like writing? For the record, I didn't care for "Juno," but I think it's a good thing when *anyone* sells a spec that becomes a critical and commercial success. Increases our odds just a bit. Anyway, the film...

A botched human sacrifice transforms a bitchy teen into a bitchy, demonic teen who feeds on (mostly male) human flesh, and it's up to Jennifer's B.F.F. to stop her before it's too late. Not bad. A throwback to 80s B-movies. Kind of lacking in the suspense department. If you're going to turn the tables on the boys in a horror flick, go all the way. Break out all the old clich├ęs and have fun with them -- I kept waiting for some big, macho football player to twist an ankle while attempting to run away from the hot monster-chick. All in all, Megan Fox doesn't embarrass herself. It's not the best role to showcase her skills, but who in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to star in a flick written by a screenwriter coming off an Academy Award?

Based on the names involved, the Box Office was a disappointment. But I wouldn't be so quick to start dancing on the grave of Cody's screenwriting career. People underestimate how hard it is to market a horror-comedy. With the exception of "Shaun of the Dead," most of the recent attempts have flopped. The trailer should have focused more on scares rather than one-liners. The "R" rating was a huge mistake -- probably the result of one too many (unnecessary) f-bombs. David Goyer's "The Unborn" (PG-13) had a 19 million dollar opening weekend with Odette Yustman (who?) as the lead -- not a good film, but they certainly knew how to sell the goods. JB's budget was around 16 million, so at the end of the day, the film will eventually make a profit. If the DVD has a commentary track with Cody and Kusama, I'll definitely check it out.

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