Friday, February 25, 2011

That you randomly sometimes stick it in a girl does not mean anything beyond you need to monitor your drinking

 Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

When I saw that I had received the miracle of my On Demand featuring a giant amount of Sundance films, the first film that caught my eye was one that Simon/Ripley had recommended to me in my Most Anticipated post. A film called "Kaboom!" It's directed by Gregg Araki, a man known for the "Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy" as well as the stoner comedy Smiley Face and written by him as well. It stars Thomas Dekker, best known for Terminator Sarah Conner Chronicles as well as James Duval (a staple of Araki's films), Juno Temple (of numerous British films) and Haley Bennett (of Music and Lyrics). It won the Queer Palm Award at Sundance for it's dealing with LGBT issues and is definitely a film I don't think many people will forget after watching.

What do I mean by that? Well just read the plot description.
 Smith (Dekker) is an 18 (going on 19 soon) year old college student with a bit of a problem. He's been having these weird dreams in which he's naked and all of these people he knows and don't know are just standing and staring at him while he walks towards a door marked with 19. He's also sexually undeclared (basically it means he's bisexual but they never outright say it) which is hard for him because his roommate is 6'3, ripped, sleeps nude, dumb as a sack of sacks and has a massive unit. So to keep his sexual frustration down he hangs out with his lesbian BFF Stella (Bennett) who suggests they go to a party so that Smith will settle down. Smith goes to the party only to find out that the other two woman in his dream are there, one being Stella's new girlfriend Lorelei, a full blown witch, and the other a red-headed girl who quickly runs from him. Smith eats a hallucinogenic cookie to get his mind off this weird coincidence, meets London (Temple), sleeps repeatedly with her until she is worn out, stumbles out and discovers the red headed girl getting stabbed in the head by people wearing animal masks.

That is the first 20 minutes. If you can make it through all that in such a short period of time, what transpires is a conspiracy story that revolves around Smith's 19th birthday and finding out what is so important about that red headed girl. Also there is a lot of sex...lots and lots of sex.
 The movie is trippy as all hell but I'd be a liar if I said it wasn't memorable. The humor, be it Smith's snarky attitude, Stella's dry wit or the stupid one liners from Thor (the roommate), is great and had me laughing out loud quite a bit. On top of that the conspiracy theory story is really well thought out and you genuinely want to see what happens next and how the whole thing turns out. Granted some of the side stories (London/Smith's relationship, Smith/random dude at beach's relationship, Smith/dude he just met's relationship) aren't that fully developed but they all play a pivotal part in the movie's endgame whether you expect them to or not. My only flaw with the story would be that they literally have to explain the entire story at the end of the movie a la something you would see out of Scooby Doo. Granted it was nice for me to know exactly what the hell was going on and why everything that I saw mattered, but it does have that rushed feel to it. Like Araki had to keep it under 90 minutes so they shoved all the explaining in the last 5 minutes.

The acting is also pretty good with no real stinkers in the bunch. Dekker is great, mixing humor with seriousness rather well and plays his role pretty believably. Temple is good as well but my only gripe with her is that she sometimes comes off as one dimensional. Bennett is hilarious and it doesn't matter what the situation is, she always seems to have a witty one liner to go along with it. The only actor who I think could have been used more was the character of Messiah (Duvall). Every time he came on he was great but he seems very underused until the last 10 minutes. Same goes for most of the minor characters. But this is Smith's story so it's to be expected that we only follow his inner circle.
Kaboom is a movie that will most likely divide audiences. Some will find it to be a hilarious film with a great dramatic story to go behind it, some will find it gratuitous and overly sexual and some will probably be left scratching their heads. But I enjoyed it thoroughly and found it to be quite enjoyable. Yes it does end abruptly and it's one helluva mind freak the whole way through, but it's memorable and it's a great conversation starter (God knows how many Kaboom related discussions I've had) so I say check it out, you won't be sorry.


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