Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Animal Farm In Animal Crackers

Eagle Vs. Shark Directed By Taika Cohen

Eagle Vs. Shark is a quirky comedy from New Zealand, with "Flight Of The Conchords" Jermaine Clement, and a cast of unknowns.It's a very funny film, with some good directing and a decent score. My only quip is it feels like it's been done before. The wall paper and tapestries remind instantly of that legendary "Garden State" scene, there's animation of the Michel Gondry arts and crafts vein, a little blond girl who very much resembles a certain "Little Miss Sunshine", a leading man doing his best "Napoleon Dynamite", and a leading lady playing a dotting, kind hearted, quite woman ala Miranda July in "Me and You And Everyone We Know". Yes there all here including a soundtrack of obligatory indie pop, I heard a Devandra Banheart cover of "Body Breaks".That being said, the movie works. Loren Horsley gives a terrific performance as "Lily" the films hero, who is at the beginning of the film for reasons never clearly expressed absolutely in love with clueless loser Jarred. The two get together at an Animal Dress up party, and all's well until Lily discovers Jarred is planning to get revenge on a man who bullied him in high school (which seems to be his only really coherent thought). So its off to Jarred's home town, and uncertain revenge and love.Jarred is ridiculously unlikable, and Lily has the loving patience of a saint, it's the sheer awkwardness of the performances which make any of this believable, the little ticks like the compulsive lying, the monotone speech, awkward stance, clothes, droll humor. The performers really drive home the story well which in the hands of others could have been God awful.Though writer/director Taika Cohen has borrowed a lot of elements from other films working in similar fields, he does so naturally, with a poise, grace, and nerdiness, left out of a lot of the quirky, funny, hip romantic comedies.Nothing brilliant, but a solid comedy, that plays better to absurd than it does thoughtful, but I laughed all the way through, and would recommend to others, if it sounds like the thing for you. It's pluses easily beat out it's minuses. As for who would win in a battle to the death between an Eagle Vs. Shark, you will have to petition the gaurdians of science, and their most advanced machines they have on the subject here:'ve already got the shark, you just need to demand your rights to an Eagle. I'm not really into actors, or following "the stars', but Loren Horsley's performance here was a passable sprightly undiluted optimist, like Giuleitta Masina's performance in "La Strada", or Audrey Tautou's in "Amelie" , and I hope we get to see more of her, few actresses can mug so convincingly."I am...Dangerous Person..."

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