JANUARY 24, 2008
For over a year now, my buddy Ryan (from Shocktillyoudrop.com) has been telling me to watch Feed, the long-awaited (by someone, I assume) return to filmmaking by Brett Leonard, who made a decent-sized name for himself in the 90s with The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity, the film that is better than American Gangster in only one respect: having several scenes with both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe instead of only one.
I think. I dunno; I forget most of that movie. The point is: I wish they had more scenes together in American Gangster.
You might wonder why I’m dwelling on other movies in my Feed review... well, that’s because Feed doesn’t give me much to write about. It’s an overlong bore of a film that has shock value, sure, but it wears off rather quickly. Seeing a fat woman devouring hamburgers while being videotaped for the internet may gross you out the first time, but by the 7th or 8th, you just kind of want the movie to move on. Sadly, it doesn’t. There is a slight variant when the killer tries unsuccessfully to pleasure himself while watching the woman smear cupcakes all over herself, but it’s simply not enough. The last thing I was expecting this movie to be was boring, but it’s the sad truth.
The problem is that the movie doesn’t really do anything with its concept, and if you replaced the fat feeding scenes with basic murders, you’d be left with the least interesting movie ever made. However, at first, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Early on, our sort-of hero (an asshole cop who looks like Daniel Baldwin from the side) discovers a man slicing off parts of another man’s anatomy and feeding it to him. Neither are being forced into it. Coupled with the fat woman/internet thing, I thought this would make for an interesting and consistently ‘shocking’ movie, as the cop discovers more and more abhorrent behavior in the world of “feeders” as he investigates a mystery. But other than this brief interlude, it’s strictly limited to the one fat broad, the killer (whose identity is revealed from the start), and the cop. It could almost be a play.
Further boringing matters is the fact that most of the killer’s rants are just variants of “I’m not the bad guy, SOCIETY is!” Again, the first time around, it might get you thinking, but by the time the screenwriter must have had to use a thesaurus to find enough words to make these soapbox “points” sound different from one another, you’ll be wanting to force feed yourself instead. And since our cop is kind of a dick anyway, the movie leaves us no one to really root for. Fucking kill em all, let me get back to my sandwich.
So the script sucks, but does it work on a visual level? Well, no. No it does not. Leonard keeps using ridiculous filters (usually yellow, though a blue one pops in a few times) for scenes, giving the film an unnatural look that doesn’t really service anything. He also uses a lot of smear focus lenses, so you can see the actor clearly but not the things right next to him, which again, gives the film no added meaning or value. The editor is also suffering from some sort of hyperactive disorder; with many jump cuts, speed ramps, avid farts, strobe edits... if it’s an annoying editing technique best used for an MTV special about Lohan or Paris, then you’ll find it in Feed.
The moral of the story is, of course, never listen to a guy who wanted to walk out of Dead Silence but didn’t even MENTION Halloween on his worst of the year list. Just listen to me, the guy who tells everyone to watch The Hitcher remake.
What say you?