Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Stormare, Clea DuVall, James Rebhorn
Director: Henry Miller
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Academy AwardŽ-nominee Willem Dafoe* (Spiderman, Platoon) is a detective drawn into a gruesome case in this intense psychological thriller. Haunted by the killings, he soon finds himself confronting his own deadly past. Wi... more »
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Jerry S. from OCEANSIDE, CA
Reviewed on 12/10/2009...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
HENRY MILLER, OPUS 2
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 09/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"***1/2 2007. Written and directed by Henry Miller. Five years after having killed Uncle Eddie, a serial killer, Det. Stan Aymard is asked to find another serial killer who likes to draw paintings with the blood of his victims. A treat for Willem Dafoe fans, ANAMORPH tells the improbable story of a killer piling on artistic considerations. The story and the mood of the movie are not very original but the study of Willem Dafoe's character could lead you to discover this film. Recommended."
Not Artful Enough
R. Schultz | Chicago | 01/16/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There's another fantastic serial killer at work here, posing his victims in fabulously mutilated displays. This movie follows in the footsteps of TV's CSI series in that it shows how an increasingly jaded audience pressures media-makers to come up with ever more grisly, bizarre crimes and images to hold people's interest. Being a movie rather than a TV episode though, "Anamorph" has the luxury of taking more time to anticipate and dwell on the gore.
Actually, the movie takes altogether too much time. It consists of long pauses - taciturn, stony exchanges - and empty, unexplained affect between scenes. There's an insufficiency of script here. It's all too wildly implausible - and motives and moods hang in the air, as incompletely explained or connected as the killings themselves. And unlike in CSI episodes, almost no scientific detecting takes place here. Willem DaFoe's detective character and his partners don't even seem to follow through and find out who rented an apartment where one victim is hung in a particularly elaborate way. So a viewer can't justify the time spent viewing this film with any forensic insights gained.
However, if you are interested in art history, you might find some value in this film. It jogs to the fore certain controversies ongoing in the art world. For example, the killer uses the principle of the "camera obscura" when he walls a victim up in a hidden room and projects a striking, enlarged image of the suspended victim through a pinpoint hole in the wall. David Hockney, a noted artist himself, wrote a controversial book recently entitled "Secret Knowledge" in which he claims that many Old Masters might have achieved their realistic effects by simply projecting scenes onto their easels with a camera obscura - and then tracing those images. Some scientists have refuted Hockney, saying a camera obscura could not possibly focus images sharply enough to allow a painter to simply trace rather than draw the details of the resulting projections. You can look at the results the killer in this film achieves and consider the question for yourself.
Then there is the movie's title. An anamorphosis is a picture that appears distorted when viewed from one angle, but that can be resolved into one or more discernible images when viewed from different angles. A detail of Hans Holbein's painting "The Ambassadors" is shown to illustrate the principle. A strange smear at the bottom of Holbein's otherwise benign-looking representation can be slanted and foreshortened to reveal - a chilling image of a human skull.
So "Anamorph" does provide some slight exposure to mysteries inherent in a few famous paintings and can serve as a lead-in to some on-going debates over technique in the art world. As a whole though, this movie remains an unresolved, inexplicable distortion of reality from whatever angle you view it.
A great movie, gutted halfway through
Brian Long | Ogden, UT USA | 07/20/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Do you remember Seven, that awesome thriller with Pitt and Freeman and Spacey? Do you remember just how wrong the murder scenes were? Get ready to feel that sensation again with Anamorph, the movie that really, truly could have been.
Dafoe plays Detective Stan Aubray, a burnt-out, alcoholic, OCD forensic psychologist, on the trail of a killer that poses his victims in mind bogglingly complex poses.
The acting and storytelling of this is top notch. The feel thats recreated with alarming clarity is Seven, right down to the energetic, cocky and somewhat arrogant new guy paired with the grizzled, embittered veteran. The partner, however, is quickly dealt off, and the plot begins to nose dive after an hour. Dafoes character begins to ignore police protocol, common sense and eventually any sense of morals by the end of the film. Actions begin to become hollow and drawn out, without any apparent sense or purpose. Side plots, including a reporter with apparent romantic tension and Dafoes partner investigating Dafoes character as a copycat killer are chewed up and choked fatally on, dying after one or two hesitant breaths
The only assumption that I can come up with is that the initial writer either died or walked away halfway through, as a competent director, no matter how fervent, could've have botched a movie so badly and still had so many fantastic scenes. The best I can recommend is to rent this truly tragically still-born gem and watch to just after the third murder, then imagine a climax and ending, as nothing you can come up with could compare to the sheer awfulness of the hackneyed cop-out that was made, which resembles a freight train attempting to toot out the tune to the end of 2001 crashing into a brickwall."