July 20, 2006

So Bad It Hurts To Mention

shadowboxerbig.jpgReading the profile of director and producer Lee Daniels in the New York Times by Lola Ogunnaike today, Cinecultist had our mouth open in disbelief. We watched a screener of his directorial debut, Shadowboxer, a few months ago and it ranks up there as one of the most painful movie watching experiences. After producing Monster's Ball (Halle Berry sleeps with her husband's executioner) and The Woodsman (Kevin Bacon plays a pedophile), Daniels is known as an "edgy" filmmaker to say the least, but Shadowboxer completely ignores the edge going instead for abominably poor taste and wash your eyes out with soap shock.

The sad thing is the movie has actors in it who've done brilliant, actually edgy past work (Helen Mirren, Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and could do intriguing work in the future (Mo'Nique, Macy Gray) if given the right project. But what Daniels has done here is a muddled hodge podge of assassins, gangsters, crack addicts, cancer patients, and step-parent/child incest. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, gangster badass Stephen Dorff sodomizes an enemy with a pool queue. In the first 10 minutes! Please, please, please don't go see this movie. We beg of you.

But, you should quietly chuckle at this bizarro quote from Daniels in the Times profile regarding the casting of Mo'Nique as a crack addicted doctor's assistant and lover to JGL:
“My sister was an obese crack addict,” he said. “She had a chicken wing in one hand and crack pipe in the other, and she had the finest white men lined up waiting for her. This is a real person to me.”
Actually, maybe that quote isn't so much funny as soul-suckingly sad. Excuse us while we go cry our eyes out.

Posted by karen at July 20, 2006 11:32 AM