Norman Snider

Norman Snider

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Dead Ringers Review


Very Good
David Cronenberg is one of the few Western filmmakers to have carved out his own niche within a Hollywood system that is both intellectually bankrupt and box office driven. His films tirelessly span the gap between the avant-garde, edgy cinema of the 70s and the slick, huckster films of the '90s and '00s. Often mislabeled a horror film director, on account of his early films, Cronenberg is in fact a versatile non-genre craftsman: his pictures can sometimes resemble genre films but more often inhabit a gray netherworld between genres. From the parables of Shivers to the body obsession of The Fly, Cronenberg's cinema is the cinema of science. Not the science of progress and health, but the cold and remote science that boils humanity down to mere chemical reactions and molecular disturbances. And his most "scientific" film is undoubtedly the oddly recursive Dead Ringers.

Dead Ringers is based on the true story of two twin gynecologists, Steven and Cyril Marcus, who frequently switched places with each other, both at work and in their private lives. With their lives spiraling out of control, the brothers committed suicide together in their Manhattan apartment. The 1977 novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland, dramatized the case, and Cronenberg's film follows suit. Beverly and Elliot Mantle (both played by Jeremy Irons) are twin brothers, both are emotionally detached and both grow up to become gynecologists. When Elliot, the more sophisticated of the two, beds movie star Clair (Genevieve Bujold), he invites Beverly to share her with him. As Elliot explains, the experience of one brother has no meaning unless it's shared with the other. Things turn ugly when Bev falls for the actress.

Continue reading: Dead Ringers Review

Rated X (2000) Review


OK
An interesting subject gets a rather shoddy treatment at the hands of Emilio Estevez. Here we have the story of porn pioneers the Mitchell brothers (who put together Behind the Green Door, launching the career of Marilyn Chambers) who fought the mob, opened the famed O'Farrell theater in San Francisco, and tried to kill each other. You'll have to see the movie to find out which one succeeded (or, you know, like, read about it somewhere else). Awfully reminiscent of The People vs. Larry Flynt. Based on the true story chronicled in the book X-Rated.

Continue reading: Rated X (2000) Review

Body Parts Review


Bad
Mild mannered head shrink gets in a car accident... and gets a new arm, courtesy of an executed serial killer. Try and imagine what happens next. Somehow, this awful horror movie is considered an independent film (despite being a Paramount product), but maybe that's just an excuse for the wretched performances and terrible story, which offers no surprises and only minimal thrills and chills.
Norman Snider

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Rated X (2000) Movie Review

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An interesting subject gets a rather shoddy treatment at the hands of Emilio Estevez....

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