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Insulting AND sloppy
This is the kind of early film that gets one into the big time in Hollywood, apparently. See "Burning Palms" for another. Be offensive to the extreme but shield yourself with a thin veil of demented comedy and/or a supposed altruistic message.
The writer/director is trying to flip the roles of family abuse, but giving it a veneer of winking comedy (so odd) and choosing to make the family black when the writer/director is white are both choices that should insult and offend. I'm not PC, but this is ridiculous. WHY use black actors for such a humiliating story, knowing the climate in Hollywood and lack of good all-black storytelling? Why, as a white guy, would you do that?
There is something sadistic underneath the making of this film that bleeds through. You can feel the director getting off on this under the guise of being a brave truth-teller. The average person who is not a Weinstein-like Hollywood exec is not buying this.
And P.S., it is not well executed anyway. Sloppy, badly directed.
There was something around the hype of this movie that seemed fake, and you knew the critics would fall in line, scared to be wrong. There are so many useless film critics out there, it's predictable. This is not a terrible movie, it's just very flawed and shamefully undercooked.
The good: The special effects scares are great, the daughter is great but underused, the story has potential and is somewhat interesting.
The bad: The director threw in everything but the kitchen sink as far as plot, the film needs editing (not just cuts, but an entire re-edit), the son is totally miscast and his physical differences from the rest of the family take you further out of the movie, some mediocre acting by son and father that brings the film down. The whole film needed tightening up. Maybe make sure these young guys (who all look the same, you may notice) get a bit more experience in movie production before you hand them a multimillion dollar project, movie execs?
Burning Palms (2010)
Bad in every imaginable way, everything that's wrong with Hollywood
Let's start with: Two caricatured gay men adopt an extremely young little black girl, and she ends up making tribal sounds and chucking a spear at an animal out of "instinct." They also joke about fingering her. BONUS: She is left for hours in a car on a hot day and ingests crystal meth, all in the name of comedy.
And there is so much more! So if you find that funny, this is for you. If you are older than eight and have more than a few neurons firing, you will hate this movie.
It's not even just the content. The directing is bad-TV-movie level stuff, the pace is off, the music is low rent, the dialogue is as bad as it gets.
That this writer/director (son of a person who used to be famous, natch) was then given future projects is everything that is wrong with Hollywood. It is impossible to imagine that Landon has accumulated much taste or talent, and no doubt qualified people collectively working on his films are carrying his career. Pathetic.