Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Towelhead" versus "Taken"

I just watched Towelhead -- because I love Allan Ball, and I usually have a strong stomach for "indie" fare. I think I hated it more than MovieSmackdown did, although his caption conveys the gist.

I try not to over-react to movies -- I just read a DVD review of Taken that went on at some length about how misogynistic it was because (TooMuchSexy) Liam Neeson didn't pause to rescue all the other girls who'd been captured as sex slaves, in his quest to rescue his daughter before she got auctioned off to the highest bidder. Please. Everybody knows he only had something like 92 hours (an increment of time that would only exist in a movie). Plus, his daughter's friend was very irritating, and the whole reason they got abducted in the first place. Clearly, she deserved to die. AND he got in one of the best action-movie lines of last year with "Apologize to your wife for me." (You just have to see it in context.) Taken is by no means Oscar material, but it was obviously not supposed to be. It was, instead, that much rarer phenomenon: a wildly watchable movie released in January.

Towelhead, on the other hand, seemed entirely geared toward, if not an Oscar bid, at the very least, a few Sundances and maybe an Independent Spirit -- the kind of Award you could go pick up without dressing up, or even necessarily bothering to apply deodorant.

Now, I know that the girl who played a 13-year-old wasn't really 13 years old, but she was a kid.  I am over forty, and even I had no business watching this. (You don't either.) It includes teen-on-teen sex; grown-up on teen sex; a dead cat in a freezer; and an unfortunate fascination with adolescent bikini deforestation. Creepy doesn't begin to cover it.

Clearly, it's supposed to be "provocative" and "disturbing," but in reality, it's just "uncomfortable," "painfully awkward" and "vaguely distressing" --much like a tampon commercial in the middle of a ballgame. The one thing it is NOT is "Art."

Now I need a Brill-O pad to scrub it  from my brain... or maybe just some quality time with TooMuchSexy Liam Neeson.

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