Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Carrie Movie Review Starring Chloe Three Names and Julianne Meany

It's interesting when a remake makes me question the quality of the original. That isn't to say that I thought the new one was better. Rather, there were, at times, the new version contained such strong similarities that fell short of my recollections of "ooo" and "aw" that I was left thinking, "Maybe the first one wasn't all that great after all...and that's why this one is only so-so." I think this side-by-side from Yahoo does a good job of demonstrating the radical difference between the two versions:

Left, we have a slightly disturbed Chloe Whats Her-face. Right, we have Crazy-Eyes McGee (aka Sissy Spacek). The shot of three-names-Chloe doesn't do justice to the angry-face that she makes when she's wreaking havoc on her peers, but I think there's a big difference between Chloe's straight up anger and Sissy Spacek's bug-eyed terror. Sissy Spacek took me on a ride into crazy-land. Chloe Blah Blah made me feel like she was just throwing a tantrum, which I believe is what the director was going for.

Stepping back, I'll provide a brief synop for those who might be unfamiliar with the Carrie franchise:

Carrie is loser. Carrie's bitchy peers throw tampons at her. Carrie realizes she has telekinetic powers. Through a series of character choices more unbelievable than the telekinetic powers, Carrie ends up going to prom with hottest guy in school. Lead Bitchy Peer pours pig blood on her. Carrie uses her telekinesis to ruin prom for everyone (throwing appendages and cars all over the place). It may seem like a spoiler, but anyone who doesn't know this by now just needs to be told. There's a subplot with Carrie's über-religious mom, and while it's cool, it's not really the selling-point of the film. I'm not sure why, as it's the best part in both versions. Speaking of the über-religious mom, this was one of the better parts of the movie, portrayed by none other than Julianne Moore.

Though I'm not usually a fan of Ms. Moore, I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. And with lines like, "I can see your dirty pillows," (in reference to Carrie's boobs), how could I not have loved it? There's another wonderful, self-reflective moment where Moore's character proclaims (regarding her pregnancy), "I thought you were cancer!" To which Carrie replied, "That's a terrible thing to say." And that's what everyone in the audience was thinking, too. That's why we all laughed.

The humorous parts seem to be the director and actors commentary on Stephen King's disturbing dystopia. At times, it seems they are letting the audience in on the fact that the things these characters are doing seem unrealistically cruel and maniacal. But that's part of what makes it all fun. Judy Greer does a great job as the gym teacher who gets way too involved in her student's lives. But she's one of the better parts of the movie as well.

Aside from Moore and Greer's performances, we have the usual teen stereotypes running around, doing what you'd expect. Just think Mean Girls, only some loser has telekinetic powers. And since we're back to the powers, I just want to emphasize how hilarious it was watching Carrie walk around, inadvertently and not-so-inadvertently ruining shit with telekinetic outbursts (to the point where the viewer is left wondering, why is no one else noticing that it's her?) In the first movie, it wasn't so blatant. At the same time, I doubt they had the budget or technology to make it that way.

That all said, it's worth checking out, but I don't think I enjoyed it as much as the original. I want to re-watch the 1976 version and figure out if I'm just being pretentious or if there's really something there that was missing in the more recent version (although, if it's pretense, I'll just stand by it...because that's how pretentious people work).

But on to a more important matter: when I posted last about the 1976 Carrie, I mentioned that I didn't think there would be any good torso. The guy playing Tommy, Ansel Elgort (of couse I googled that shit. How the fuck would I have just known that?), actually has a few nice shirtless shots (but for some reason I can't find these on Google. Dammit!) Here's a pretty face shot:

Sorry. It's all I got. But if you think I'm disappointing you now, go see this movie and be even more disappointed by the lack of sexy-man-torso. Though it's not much, I appreciated it immensely (if just because he was the only action the director was willing to give me).