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Movie review

  • 2005-10-26
Inside Deep Throat
40-Year-Old Virgin
The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Inside Deep Throat
The porno film "Deep Throat" caused a great stir when released in 1972. A symbolic token of the sexual revolution, many American officials fought to shut down the movie and shut up the people behind it, taking them to court for their rebelliousness. This documentary draws a vivid picture of American society in the 1970s, a time of radical change that didn't come easy. The doc also gives an in-depth account of how the lives of those involved with "Deep Throat" changed dramatically as a consequence of the film. Thorough research, a colorful visual style and good narrative structure make "Inside Deep Throat" intelligent and enthralling. The political and social issues portrayed correspond to our time in several ways, giving the doc plenty of weight.
1/2 ( Julie Vinten )

The 1972 porn film "Deep Throat" was made for $25,000 and went on to gross some $600 million, making it the most profitable film ever made. The movie was banned by the Nixon government, while its lead actor was imprisoned for his part. This brilliantly made HBO documentary looks at the people and issues surrounding the film, and the result is utterly absorbing. The likes of Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Camille Paglia, Erica Jong, Hugh Heffner and Alan Dershowitz ponder over the film's social and political impact, while its cast and crew reminisce about the making of the film and the almost surreal drama it inspired in American society, which involved the mafia, the government, the Christian right and vast queues lining up outside movie theatres. Riveting and thought-provoking stuff.
( Tim Ochser )

40-Year-Old Virgin
At once extremely lewd and surprisingly sweet, this side-splitting comedy is sure to make you laugh 's though you almost certainly have to be a guy to fully appreciate the dirty gags and constant "you're gay" jokes. Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) lives a mundane life until his co-workers suddenly discover that he's still a virgin. The film is a juvenile yet good-hearted sex farce with moments of sincere romance. The characters are lovable - even if they are also terribly childish 's and the same goes for the jokes, which hit the mark in both delivery and timing. But it's the talented actors' comic achievement that brings this movie beyond what the dim title suggests. They show no hesitation in embracing the silliness of their roles with immense love and enthusiasm.
1/2 ( Julie Vinten )

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a stock worker at a large electronics retail store. He lives a quietly sad and obsessive life until one day he accidentally ends up playing cards with his co-workers who discover that he is a virgin. The result should be yet another mindless American screwball comedy but it's not. "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" is wry, touching, absurd and grotesque all at the same time. The humor is much grittier and more acerbic than "The Wedding Crashers," and its wonderful array of characters are far more likeable. It even manages to tackle a range of sexual and social stereotypes, from homophobia to single mothers to dating agencies. Steve Carell is a revelation and he may yet rescue American comedy from the doldrums it has sunk to in recent years.
1/2 ( Tim Ochser )

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
This feature is a fascinating mix of courtroom drama and supernatural horror 's an account of the struggle between fact and belief. You really have to give the movie credit for attempting such a John Grisham/"The Exorcist" mix. The feature is certainly psychologically and intellectually superior to your average scary movie, though it doesn't think twice about using Hollywood horror-cliches to help the "serious talk" go down easier for a popcorn audience. It's a bit of a shame that this movie, with such an intriguing set-up, falls short of both very clever and very creepy, and merely hovers somewhere in between: a slightly thought-provoking, horror-movie light. However, despite its faults "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is an interesting and wholly entertaining feature with a great cast.
( Julie Vinten )

This is by some way the best horror film I've seen in a while. Based on an allegedly true story, Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) comes from a good 'ol God-fearing Midwest family. But soon after starting university, she apparently becomes possessed by the devil, and Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is called in to perform an exorcism. Emily dies in the process and the priest is brought to trial, where cynical and ambitious lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) defends him. The narrative is divided between the courtroom and flashbacks in the form of witness testimonies. As a whole, the movie is a fascinating and deeply unsettling drama that shows two radically conflicting versions of events. If only more horror films took such an intelligent approach to their subject matter.
1/2 ( Tim Ochser )
 

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