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Two script reviews

03.03.2002

Honest Abe is here once again with his look at two big Lions Gate releases coming in 2002.  The first is the directorial debut of Bill Paxton, FRAILTY, and the other is the Roger Avary college flick RULES OF ATTRACTION.   The buzz seems to slowly be building for each film so let me get out of the way here and let Abe do his thing:

FRAILTY (positive, minor spoilers)
Wow! That's the only appropriate way to start this review cause this is one twisted screenplay. Matthew McConaughy stars as Fenton Meeks, a simple man who opens up the movie by confessing to FBI agent William Doyle that his brother Adam may be the serial killer who calls himself God's Hand. The majority of the film is then set in flashbacks as Fenton tells a tale of growing up with their father (Bill Paxton who also makes his first attempt at directing) who while a good decent hard working and religious man is also a man who one day comes to the conclusion that he and his two boys have been given a mission by God to destroy the demons that hide within people. Dad (as he's referred to in the script) kidnaps people that God tells him to and brings them to the house. Once there, he lays his hands on them and he has visions of their wickedness. Adam claims to see the visions but Fenton doesn't. There is a clash of wills as Fenton challenges Dad and his mission. Adam, of course, believes in Dad and wants to assist in their 'divine mission'. Man, this is one twisted script. They're gonna need one helluva child actor to portray the young Fenton. Whoever he is could be the next Haley Joel Osment and this could definitely put a major jump in Bill Paxton's career. This is a dark and twisted tale about family and how far you go to protect it as well as the consequences. The ending was such a shocker for me that 2 days later I'm still dwelling on it. I can't say anything else without ruining it but if it's done right this could be the obscure little dark horse movie of the year, kinda like MEMENTO or SIXTH SENSE. Good word of mouth will do wonders for this film. Bottom line: this is a definite must see!

FRAILTY poster

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION (mixed, minor spoilers)
I know other people have contributed their viewpoints on this script or a sneak preview already so I'll keep this short. Weird. and So What? come to mind. This is one majorly dark character study that most surely will snap James Vanderbeek out of Dawson mode for quite some time. All the main characters are fucked up in their own right. While it's deep and interesting, I just had an underlying feeling of who gives a shit? I mean, these aren't normal characters much less people I'd even want to know. Self torturing is just not my cup of tea. If for any reason, watch this for the acting. Storyline? Just really ain't there for me. The events of whatever the story is take place over the course of a few days at a university (just some random school.) There's Lauren, who's lonely but is a real winner when it comes to picking men. Sean is a youthful maniac in training (and younger brother to Patrick Bateman of AMERICAN PSYCHO).

James Van Der Beek as Sean Bateman in THE RULES OF ATTRACTION

Paul is a mentally fucked up bi-sexual (and ex of Lauren). A part of this story is about their attempts at sexual conquest. For Paul, it's trying to score with a guy who has already cut him down...hard. Sean is obsessed with whoever is leaving notes in his mailbox. Lauren is hung up on Sean, as is her roommate Lara. Like I said, this is a giant character study but the story itself really goes nowhere. I guess it's about sexual identity. I know that my head hurt by the time I was done reading it. One interesting thing though is the way the script starts out. The three main characters are introduced one at a time. After each introduction, the scene plays backwards to the point where the next character arrives. Should make for a unique visual. Bottom line: unless the buzz starts to go through the roof, I just can't seem to get too excited about this. Maybe a good sneak in/time killer but unless Jessica Biel is naked (Lara) then I'd wait for video.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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