CHUMSCRUBBER: Moriarty weighs in

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Gillian
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CHUMSCRUBBER: Moriarty weighs in

Post by Gillian » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:35 pm

From AICN ...

I also had a chance to see THE CHUMSCRUBBER, which is also opening in limited release today around the country. This is the debut film for director Arie Posin, and he does a very nice job, working from a tricky script by Zac Stanford. This is a dark suburban comedy, a la AMERICAN BEAUTY, and it’s all over the place tonally. One moment it’s a pretty broad comedy, the next it’s dead serious. Ultimately, I think Posin and Stanford love the absurd, and they do their best to roast everyone equally in this look at the way teen and adult cultures run simultaneously, sometimes even in the same space, without touching in more than the most oblique ways. Totally separate lives can be lived inches from one another, and there’s no way to bridge the gap unless everyone’s willing to try. The adults of the world are represented by Rita Wilson, Ralph Fiennes, John Heard, Glenn Close, William Fichtner, Jason Isaacs, Alison Janney, and Carrie Anne Moss, while the teens are played by Jamie Bell, Justin Chatwin, Camilla Belle, Rory Culkin, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Thomas Curtis. Everyone comes off well, and the film deals with some heavy ideas, including teen suicide and responsibility in the face of tragedy, while also going for some big strange laughs. The fact that so much of the film hits the mark is a real testament to the ability of all involved.

Jamie Bell, best known still as BILLY ELLIOTT, makes a really sympathetic lead out of a kid who’s a bit of a shit, and that’s not an easy thing to pull off. Justin Chatwin, who I thought only had one note to play in WAR OF THE WORLDS, does nice work here and shows a bit more range. I think the real find of the young cast, though, is Camilla Belle, and yeah, part of that is because I think she’s young-Natalie-Wood beautiful. At 19, she’s still young, but considering the genuine talent she shows here and how striking and poised she already is, I’m betting she is someone to watch for in the next few years. There’s a great role waiting for her, and this work proves she deserves whatever’s next. Rory Culkin continues to prove that he’s The Younger Brother Who Could, genuine and unaffected and always able to deliver. Ralph Fiennes has the most stylized role of the adults, and he finds some nuance in what could easily be a one-joke role. He knows how to play the desperate just below the surface of the manic, and it really works. Rita Wilson is always good, and this is a larger-than-normal role for her. She does great, and she’s got to find a way to reveal the heart of a woman who is a bit of a monster through most of the film, and again... fear seems to be the key. In fact, if CHUMSCRUBBER is about anything, it’s about the way people deal with the fear that all of us face each and every day as we have to confront any of the problems and the setbacks and the hardships that we encounter. There are good days, it seems, but there are a lot more bad. The title refers to a post-apocalyptic comic book/video game/animated show that is somewhat omnipresent throughout the movie, but never really made front and center. The important thing about it seems to be the world it depicts, decaying and horrible, always trying to kill the hero. Violence is the only response that makes any sense in the world of The Chumscrubber, and the film asks if that’s an option in the “realâ€

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Hilary the Touched
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Post by Hilary the Touched » Sat Aug 06, 2005 9:07 pm

Wow....that's a lot better.
And better written than several of the more mainstream reviews we've tossed up....

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Marie
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Post by Marie » Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:53 am

Always liked Moriarty.

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Tosca Nini
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Re: CHUMSCRUBBER: Moriarty weighs in

Post by Tosca Nini » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:40 pm

Just resurrected this little topic on Chumscrubber.

As I'm going through my collection of JI's works, I've recently watched this (little - from the budget) movie.

Strangely I couldn't take my eyes from it until it finished. Maybe I was in the mood, but I really Digged It!
Jamie Bell was mesmerizing, I loved the teens and adults, didn't get some of the things that happened, but neither did the characters. Ralph Fiennes role was a complete "?" for my mind. But he painted blue dolphins and I've just bought blue dolphins (candy). So something connected.
On the other hand Jason's role was understandable (in the sense that he didn't understand his son & vice-versa) and quirky (so many clocks...). Not enough of him, but his character wasn't a lovely guy. Although at the end things get very hot between him and his screen wife and it's a pity there isn't more of it.

First I thought this movie probably did very well at the BO. But no, it made only a few cents (plus a few dollars), according to BoxOfficeMojo. It seemed to me an expensive movie to make, but again I was wrong - budget 6.8M$. The actors probably got paid in casseroles...
It was released in Portugal though, where it made about 13000 dollars (rather good considering the population), none of them from my pocket.

What made me like it I have no idea, but it was like diving completely into that world of misunderstanding and lovely looking people. Totally surreal! And essentially moving, I really empathised with Dean and the teens... And the suicide theme, the happy pills, wedding dresses that look exactly the same, sort of mad wrong kidnapping and Carrie Ann Moss, the spiked casserole...

I may really spend a few bucks on this one (obviously mine is a James Hooked version). Just would like to know if there is a version with a director's commentary. It would be worthwhile to have it explained. Where did all this come from?

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Marie
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Re: CHUMSCRUBBER: Moriarty weighs in

Post by Marie » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:09 pm

I enjoyed this movie also Tosca! It was quirky! Saw it at Sundance Film Festival where it premiered. Good thing because it never seemed to show around any theaters in my area.

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thunder
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Re: CHUMSCRUBBER: Moriarty weighs in

Post by thunder » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:43 am

It's been a long time since I saw this. Thanks for the reminder, Tosca. Amazing cast.

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