Monday, November 28, 2005

Afterbirth

A while back I mentioned that I purchased the movie Birth on DVD. I'd been wanting to see it, and since it didn't last long at the theater, I opted to buy a used copy at the local Hollywood Video.

Having read/heard in numerous reviews of the film about some of the "risque" scenes, I already knew that it wouldn't last long at the box office. Especially considering that the scenes in question involved the #1 untouchable movie deity, when it comes to controversy: a child. If you're familiar with cinema then you know that children have been off limits when it comes to mainstream American cinema, especially in the last 10+ years. The last one I can recall off the top of my head was Pet Sematary. Working at a video store at the time it was released on VHS, I thought I'd never hear the end of people bemoaning "I didn't like that the little boy got killed." Personally, even I was surprised that the director had the wuevos when it came to keeping that scene true to the book.

Already familiar with the negative buzz surrounding the film, I thought I knew what to expect. I occasionally forget my surroundings and have to remind myself that I live in a red state, where anything remotely unconventional can send shockwaves through mindsets and cause people to race to find out from their peers just what their opinion should be and why.

Long before ever seeing the film I already knew I would probably like it. I'd heard tales of how "perverted" and "disturbing" the movie was; particularly "the bathtub scene." Judging from the hype, I'd expected graphic nudity, adolescent stunt junk, even sex scenes bordering on the pornographic.

However, I also fell in like with Nicole Kidman's look in the film, as well as how beautiful, from a cinematography standpoint, the film was. Not to mention the fact that I'd recently seen (and enjoyed) the 1977 film Audrey Rose and the plots seemed somewhat similar: A woman becomes convinced that a ten year old boy is the reincarnation of her dead husband.

As I was standing at the checkout counter at Hollywood Video, purchasing my DVDs (3 for $25), the cashier, while removing their security tags, cautiously asked me if I'd seen Birth. I told him that I hadn't, to which he replied "Well, it's kiiiiinda..."controversial"." He went on to warn me that "a lot" of their customers had brought it back and had wanted their money back because of a few of the scenes in the movie. I said "Oh, if you're talking about the whole bathtub scene, etc., I already know about that." He replied "Yeah. That scene and a few others." I said "Well, I'm not that anal retentive." He replied nervously "Oh...heh heh...okay." Then I mentally rolled my eyes and thought to myself 'people are such schmucks.'

So, I get home, watch the movie, half-expecting some scenes boarding on bad taste...that never came. I don't get it. The bathtub scene was sooooo not a big deal. There wasn't even any nudity for God's sake! I mean the movie is rated 'R' and I still don't know why. I mean, I know why the MPAA gave it an 'R' ("sexuality"....oh no!), but personally, I don't get it. I think what was implied was much more disturbing that what actually happened. I'm not saying that adult-on-child romance isn't creepy, but it's imperative to the P-L-O-T. HELLO!? It's not like they were just doing this to see if they could "get away" with something or create controversy. Disturbing or not, there are 3 or 4 scenes that are necessary to the telling of the story. What's wrong with people today? Surely you don't expect me to believe there are that many sheltered, ignorant people out there. God, can you imagine? Wow. Just 'wow.'

Personally, I liked the movie a lot. I was sucked in from the beginning after I saw Anne Heche's character (while on the way to an engagement party with her husband) suddenly excuse herself, claiming to have forgotten the engagement gift. Once alone, she produces the wrapped gift from beneath her coat, runs across the street and buries it in the park. WTF!? She then purchases a replacement gift, has it wrapped and returns to the party as if nothing has taken place. I had to know what was in that box! I was hooked. And I have to admit, I never saw the ending coming. The only similarities with Audrey Rose was the reincarnation issue. Nowhere near as dark, but creepy on a different level.

So, if you haven't seen the film or have been scared off that it'll be too graphic, you have nothing to worry about. Just another case of scare tactics courtesy of The Prude Patrol. It's a perfectly good movie if you're open-minded enough to give it a chance. You can pick up a copy of the DVD cheap over at Half.com, for around $6, and that includes shipping!

5 Comments:

Blogger Mariana said...

I loved Nicole in that other movie "The Others." I was blown away by the plot.

The trailer for this movie didn't seem very interesting to me, but now I'll give it a try, thanks!

Monday, November 28, 2005 4:19:00 AM  
Blogger Luka said...

i totally saw that movie, Audrey Rose. It's totally creepy. Badly acted thought mostly, but the idea of the movie was good. I'd never seen/red/heard of anyone else I knew ever having watched it. :)

Monday, November 28, 2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Stephaine said...

What was in the box?

Monday, November 28, 2005 8:15:00 PM  
Anonymous ocB said...

I know what was in the box!!! lol

I found the movie interesting also. Although it took me awhile to really give it a fair chance. I went into it thinking badly of it, but I thought it was really well done. I don't think the kid got enough credit. You just sorta accept that hes not a "kid" in the story, and forget taht he really is a kid acting. That couldn't have been easy to do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 2:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kirkkitsch said...

Mariana-
Yeaaah. I remember seeing that at the movie theater (twice) with some friends. Why twice? Because the first time we couldn't hear anything because some stupid fuckin' teens with cell phones were being retards.

I liked that movie because it was basically a "re-imagining" of The Turn of the Screw, which no one else ever seemed to want to admit.

If you do rent Birth, I hope you like it. :)

Luka-
Hooray! I'm glad someone else knows it too. LOL! I think you are maybe the 2nd or 3rd person I know who even knows what I'm talking about. And you're right, it as creepy. Anthony Hopkins went on to do 'Magic' the following year. TWO creepy movies in a row! If you've never seen Magic, you just gotta! Here's a quick synopsis, in case you haven't seen it before:

Corky (Anthony Hopkins), a magician's assistant, performs disastrously at his first solo appearance. In turn he is given a ventriloquist dummy called Fats to improve his act and within a few years Corky is at the height of fame...however, Fats has developed a mind of his own and will stop at nothing to control Corky...even murder.

Sooooo good! Thanks for taking the time to comment! :D

Stephaine-
You crazy kid, Stephaine! Now if I told you that it'd ruin the whole movie for you (and anyone else reading this)....but, if you really wanna know, I'll e-mail you and tell you. Or I can IM you if you have Yahoo! Messenger. Just let me know. :)

OcB-
Heh heh heh heh heh. Me too! ;) It totally wasn't anything I expected, but then I was racking my brain trying to think what it could possibly be. It never occured to me that it was...

I agree that the little boy did a great job. The only other thing I'd seen him in was The Godsend (Yaaaaaawn!).

I miss talking to you in the BE chat. More often than not, though, it's filled with the same ol' idjits.

Thanks for commenting! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:46:00 PM  

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