ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Birthday (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Eugenio Mira

Starring:
Corey Feldman/Norman
Erica Prior/Alison
Jack Taylor/Ron
PLOT-CRUNCH
Geeky and spastic Norman Forrester (Feldman) attends the B-Day party of his girlfriend’s pops at some fancy Hotel. He soon figures out that there are a lot more sinister things happening at this bash than lousy cake, his main squeeze’s frigid attitude and flat drinks. We follow him as he’s put through the hellish ringer and then some!
THE LOWDOWN

Tonight we are celebrating the end of the world, and you are on the guest list.

Apart from the glorious onscreen return of the "numero uno" Corey (Corey "white glove" Feldman that is), I didn’t know what to expect from Eugenio Mira’s “The Birthday”. Word of yapper on it has been divided clean in the middle so I was looking forward to find out what side of the fence I would be sitting on (When that’s all you got to look forward to, you know that you need a life ASAP). Good news is, as soon as this hallucinogenic celluloid trip began, I was swiftly sucked into its zany world and it wouldn’t let me leave!

Shot in real time (a la Hitchcock’s "Rope"), The Birthday glued us to Norman Forrester’s side and launched us into an abyss of hefty craziness. I was personally really into it off the bat! I felt what Norman felt, got frustrated at his evasive girlfriend as much as he did and feared the arising darkness right alongside him. That “audience is right in there” type of jive the flick emanated coupled with the  bleak circumstantial humor, amplified my viewing experience to a "f*ck yeah level! I was having a freaking pajama party over here! Furthermore, the proceedings were made all pretty and stuff by the jaw dropping visuals on display. I'm talking, lavish production designs (that Hotel was an eye popper), surreal mood galore and creative directing choices flying all over the padded room! And to make the Peanut Butter even crunchier, the sound in the house was sweeter than sweet as well! Think an impact-heavy use of noises, music and silences (oh that sweet silence) that echoed the "King of LSD filmmaking" David Lynch. This one's aesthetics definitely called out Wesley Pipes and Billy Bong Thorton that's fer sure!

With that said, all of the fla-fla and the macabre hoopla wouldn't worked if Norman Forrester wasn’t a duder that I wanted to know and hang out with for a buck and half. Thanks to Corey Feldman’s astounding show, I enjoyed every second of this mook’s company, hence digging the experience that was the movie on a higher plane. Accepting this role and playing it like he did was a ballsy move for Mr. "I use to cuddle up to MJ" Feldman where he could’ve easily fallen flat on his face. But he pulled it off and delivered a endearingly geeky and mucho engaging character! And when you double dip all that jive in a bowl of unnerving bits, a couple of sly movie references, a gripping “love on teh rocks” subplot and an obvious "burst through the screen" passion for the material by all involved...you get a bash worth crashing! So what pooped the party then?

Although the film was fairly self indulgent in places and felt like it was threading the same ground at times in the name of stretching things out, I was able to let that go. My main and pretty much SOLE severe peeve with this baby was its final frame. I mean lets face it; the bulk of the picture was all tease and build-up with the imminent outcome being the well deserved pay-off. Unfortunately, the flick rewarded my loyalty with a finale that left me hanging and basically told me to go f*ck myself. As the end credits rolled I was freaking pissed...no you don't get it....I literally “angry” and cussing out loud (Yup another proof that I need a life ASAP!)! Last time that happened was when I picked up a hot dame who wound up being a man in drags (damn booze). How frustrating and so NOT kool!

All in all, The Birthday mostly showed me a great time! It was unique, brave and at times fairly outrageous! Too bad that in the end, it spit in my face like a bitter vagrant being refused a chump change request. So you going to put on your party hat and bang that broad hiding in the cake or what? Yes? Well get in line, I got first dibs on that slice!
GORE
We’re offered light blood, a stabbing and some implied violence. If gore is your only game this flick won’t be your dame.
ACTING
Corey Feldman (Norman) channeled the spirits of Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis and Afalfa to bring us a loveable, nutty nerd type that I found myself rooting for. Who knew? Awesome performance! Erica Prior (Alison) came across as a rich man’s Reese Whiterspoon and brought the required aloofness and emotional complexity to the role. Good job! Jack Taylor (Ron) rocked…plain and freaking simple! Loved that raspy voice!
T & A
We get a sexy birthday cake while the ladies get shirtless dudes. Not a fair party…FOR ME!
DIRECTING
My friend with whom I saw the film said it best: Mira’s style was an artsy, almost film school like one. Very self indulgent but at the same time hypnotizing, daring and enthralling. I expect this guy to go places! He's one to watch for!
SOUNDTRACK
The unorthodox and often somber score, the varied use of old ditties and the emphasis on ambient sound made this flick an audio feast! Dig in!
BOTTOM LINE
The Birthday was visually striking, morbidly funny, definitely original and sported one heck of a performance by Edgar Frog…oops I mean Corey Feldman! Granted the flick was self indulgent and I felt so damn cheated by the “let them hang limply” ending, but there was still enough love within this trippy brou-ah-ah to make it worth my clock! Check it out and bring your own booze!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot in Terrasa, Barcelona, Cataluña, Spain

Corey Feldman is also the front man of a band called The Corey Feldman Truth Movement.

The Birthday won the “best art direction” award at the 2004 Stiges Film Festival.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL THE BIRTHDAY SITE

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