By Adam Lippe

numb_scene_02A common occurrence in the current film market is troubled or interesting/challenging  productions with fairly well known stars going direct to DVD (Colin Hanks has three coming out within the next few months), when they used art house releases. The thinking is that most films are probably terrible, like the direct to video films of old, cheap and inept. I can’t say that about the Matthew Perry vehicle Numb, which is not a great film, or even really a good one, but it broaches an interesting subject; people who suffer from depersonalization, everything doesn’t seem very real to them, and people are like ghosts. No emotional connection is made and they get severely depressed and sleep all day. The writer/director Harris Goldberg wanted to pay tribute to his father, who suffered from DP, but he should have probably made a documentary instead. Scene after scene explains the disease, to the point of literally quoting medical dictionaries, and the characters, apart from Perry belong to some woman hating fantasy. The females are all foolish and have undiagnosed Tourette’s and fall into the Madonna or whore category. The problem is that this isn’t a very visual ailment, and so Perry mostly appears whiny and annoying, and it doesn’t make sense that these supposedly sensible women keep throwing themselves at him. Still, a theatrical release shouldn’t have been out of the question.

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By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.