Friday, December 30, 2011


All snarkiness aside, director Sam Raimi seems to have finally achieved his goal with The Gift and A Simple Plan... For Love of The Game, not so much. From all the interviews he gave in the early 90s when documentary filmmakers were fawning over indie directors, Sam kept saying something like that he wanted to inspire people... something like that. In other words, reach beyond his Evil Dead movies and all the stuff he did for TV like Hercules and Xena. Mission accomplished. Twice.
I wouldn't dream of spoiling the plot at all, but it does involve a woman who possesses psychic-type gifts; as usual, she hates to label it or profit from it. I guess you end up like James van Praagh ended up once profit enters the picture. As with all good movies like this, we get an opening scenario to establish her routine, and then we get swept up into the episode that will consume the rest of the movie. Raimi can't help but throw in some old-fashioned horror movie scare tactics, of course, but he also has some nice cutting-edge (circa 2000) CGI Vista-glide effects, slightly similar to What Lies Beneath, but probably costing much less. Raimi uses some of the cast here that would go on to his Spider Man trilogy: J.K. Simmons and Rosemary Harris mostly. My viewing companions wondered openly why screenwriter Billy Bob didn't either star in or direct this thing? Well, he was a busy boy at the time, perhaps working on The Man Who Wasn't There or Waking Up In Reno... sheesh.
That's all I can recall at the moment. Fine movie, top notch acting all around, good location shots where the trees get all the water they can stand, and plenty that they can't. Giovanni Ribisi's one scene of course is a visceral favorite... a dramatic ode to Lebowski, perhaps?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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