Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: David Boreanaz, Alan Cumming, Anne Heche, Karen Black, Carrie Fisher
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
There's no such thing as going too far for John (Alan Cumming, X-Men 2, "Tin Man"), a control-freak music teacher obsessed with his handsome lodger Sebastian (David Boreanaz, "Bones"), an aspiring author. When Sebastian th... more »
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Phoenix Child | USA | 11/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the blurb states, there is no such thing as over-the-top in this feature -- it IS over-the-top, and the result of Cumming's writing/directing is one of the most enjoyable, albeit quite ghoulish, arthouse films I've ever seen.
The movie centers around John Vandermark, a strange, angry and rather dislikeable man who has an admitted weakness for very handsome struggling young male artists. Enter Sebastian St. Germaine, a gorgeous author who is currently taking advantage of Vandermark's "charity" by staying in Vandermark's house, eating his meals, and ignoring his thinly veiled sexual advances.
The movie takes off from there in an explosion of fury and extremely dark comedy, blood and hysteria. David Boreanaz plays Sebastian to perfection as a dark, angry man who is also rather abusive and egotistic, and his performance as the young man (who is eventually murdered in a scene of gruesome macabre that is too memorable to go into detail here; you'd have to see it to believe it) is one of his best to date.
However, Alan Cumming's performance as John Vandermark is really the one that will stick with you. It's like watching a lunatic running through a hallway of funhouse mirrors; constantly shifting in a dizzying whirl. He cries and whines, he screams and tortures, he laughs and breaks into hysterics. His performance is pitch-perfect and his directing is, while not groundbreaking, definitely something different to see.
This movie is incredibly artistic and feeling, probing into the darkness of obsession and the explosions of passion therein with devastating effect. There aren't really any light moments throughout the film; but that only makes the overall theme of loss and obsession easier to maintain. Boreanaz and Cumming deliver amazing performances and make their characters really come to life, and they were the high points of this movie. However, memorable performances were also given by Anne Heche and of course Carrie Fisher.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys independant/arthouse films, but also to anyone who enjoys dark humor, the macabre, and the gore-splattered art. I was lucky enough to see this on a big screen, and I believe the DVD will not be lacking.
WARNINGS: This is a very dark film, and there is a scene of physical torture. The death scene is one of the most amazing in the movie and the shining point in particular of Boreanaz's acting performance, but it is very graphic and incredibly disturbing. Although this is not rated, be warned that there is blood, sex, and swearing, and nudity if my memory serves.
RECOMMENDATIONS: If you enjoyed this film, the extremely disturbing and highly enjoyable art film "Perfume: The Scent of a Murder" would also be highly recommended. Another David Boreanaz film with rather disturbing black humor subject matter that you may also enjoy would be the Canadian independant film "These Girls.""
Whatever Happened to Alan Cumming?"
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 12/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
Whatever Happened to Alan Cumming
It's been a while since we have seen Alan Cumming in a film but he is back--not only as star but as director of "Ghost Writer", a grand guignol of a film with allusions to "Sunset Boulevard" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane". Here is a personification of himself and he gives us a black comedy that is refreshing and surprising. The film was originally entitled "Suffering Man's Charity" and in it Cummings cast himself as John Vandermark, a recluse who has seen better days (shades of Bette Davis). The movie is pure camp from start to finish.
John is scorned by Sebastian St. Germain (David Boreanaz), a hunk, and John is out for revenge and the way he goes about it will keep you laughing. Along the way we meet some interesting people played by a bevy of stars including Karen Black, Anne Heche, Carrie Fisher and the always wonderful Jane Lynch.
John takes in Sebastian. A struggling writer (aren't we all?) who outstays his welcome. Eventually John realizes that Sebastian has merely been using him so he looks for a way to gain comeuppance. He decides to make him work to pay off what he owes him in rent but Sebastian dies suddenly. John, feeling guilty, helps to get Sebastian's book published posthumously and then take credit for it. However, Sebastian rises from the dead and comes back to haunt John.
Alan Cumming obviously is a man of talent but here he is way over the top. He is entertaining but his character is never fully constructed and when he goes mad, we are not really sure who he is. In fact, he comes across as half-baked and that is too bad because this film has great potential. The script is also weak. Cumming as a gay music teacher with a penchant for hustlers is nor sure how to act around a guy like Sebastian who has sense. John acts out his life in excess, as is his character from what I could surmise and he is not at all likeable. The role was obviously a challenge for Cumming but it just does not fit him.
The movie seems strange and bizarre and silly. The plot is totally unpredictable (which can sometimes be a good thing but not so in "Ghost Writer"). I so wanted to love this film and hope that it might become a cult classic. It still might become just that. Even with my criticism, this is a film that must be seen because of what it is.
Different than what I thought it would be
Avril F. Swanson | Australia | 11/15/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a bit blood thirsty but I enjoyed it as David Boreanaz was in it and played a good part. It was a bit slow at first but bear with it, it gets better"