|By Ted Baldwin
|The Cell "
It is Unpleasantness is raised to dizzying depths...
Sure. Why not. Icons are cheap, and there is nothing wrong with
having a good time at the movies...
]I found myself spending way too much time creating cute, appropriate little icons for the pages - two to three hours to get one just right sometimes. This seriously cuts back on my writing time, for some gratuitous arting around. So I am going to cool it for a while and just use the same icon over and over..
Visioneering found a benchmark with Bladerunner in '82, and few films since then have exercised raw visual power in execution, premise or promise.
Dark City came close two years ago, and I am too lazy to think up others right now. The Cell, with a Nine-Inch-Nails neo-fascism kind of takes us there. It certainly makes the most of its niche, and while watching, I felt it was the best serial killer movie since Se7en.
However, after review of an edited-for-tv version of Se7en, and upon reflection, I think The Cell is not nearly as good. Does not make it bad though.
Vincent D'Onofrio's character is a creepy, multiply pierced wacko who is into cleansing, trying to wash out memories of childhood abuse blah blah. To find the location of his most recent victim-to-be, the psychologist must enter the madman's psyche, functioning on a base level after a traumatic schism. He will never wake up, so it is up to the psych to get in, find the girl, and get out before his mental machinations rag her down with him.
This was probably cutting edge stuff when it was written, but the lag time between idea and screen these days makes technologically circuitous plots old hat by the time we get to see them. I think several tv shows have used this premise in recent quarters. This is not to fault the writer/director, but merely to point out that if you find fault with this, you will probably enjoy the film less.
Envisioning the future of skyscrapers and aeroplanes was probably difficult for the people creating the world of Metropolis in 1926. Bladerunner made that skyline into a film monument. In visualization, The Cell aspires to that quality, and reaches it at times, but the whole is approximately the sum of the parts.
Watch with interest as this director enters the arena.
This friendly little theater is now closed, due to the Sav-A-Center corporate process.