Directed by Patty Jenkins.
Written by Patty Jenkins.
Starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 1/22/04
Speaking of monsters, we here at Bellview love to pump sites
developed by list members, so when my man Rich “Bacon Tastes Good”
Wysocki sent me a link to his new site today, I had to push it out
to the loyal fans. Check it out, and be sure to leave some feedback
for Rich so he can make changes to his site:
Also, thanks for the tons of responses
“The Kill List”; man, I need to do these surveys more often.
There seems to be a dead heat amongst the most popular list, but
“Mustache...fucking shave, bitch!”, the back fat description, the
diatribe about “The Simpsons” and those damned Terp graduates all
got a lot of love from you people.
Those backwoods Florida hicks are just
glorious, aren’t they? In “Monster”, Charlize Theron is fantastic
as Aileen, a career hooker that is just about to stick the gun in
her mouth when she meets Selby (Christina Ricci), a college student
from Ohio that has been disowned by her family and sent to Florida
to spend some time figuring out why being a lesbian is such a stain
on the family. Sometimes “Monster” is a love story, sometimes it’s
“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”, sometimes it is just a freakin’
This makes the movie feel a bit long, but it
is entertaining throughout thanks to the tireless heavy lifting by
Theron, a career supporting dame that is so heavy on makeup and
prosthetics that when she first appears, you don’t really believe it
is the same woman who appeared in “The Italian Job” just six months
ago. A virtual shoe-in for an Oscar nomination, this is the kind of
dramatic breakthrough that I didn’t think was possible from Theron
given her former work:
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” (ugh),
“Reindeer Games” (ugh), and “Sweet November” (you guessed
it...ugh!). She was just eye candy before, but she is so good in
“Monster” that you really get to thinking that maybe life after
death could be a reality. It’s tough picking my favorite Aileen
moment, but Mike “Yac” Iacovone and I both loved the scene where
Aileen and Selby are living it up at a local restaurant, and in a
thick accent she mispronounces her beverage by yelling
“Hey waiter...lemme get another bottle a dat
while throwing money up in the air like she
has a billion dollars to blow, but instead it’s just the money she
earned turning tricks earlier that day. Theron really is genius in
this part. From struggling to understand why whoring comes so
naturally to Aileen, to giving you that feeling that she is blind to
the realities of everyday life, Ricci once again is solid, even IF I
don’t feel comfortable watching her make out with the Theron
character at numerous points in the film. How old is Ricci? The
indie queen’s bio says she is almost 24, but damned if she has
looked 13 years old for her entire film career. It’s just kind of
dirty, you know?
You can feel the film fading late as we
begin to find out why Aileen keeps coming home to Selby with a load
of cash and a new car each night, but by then, “Monster” is just
playing out the reality behind the true events that land Aileen in
her final state. A documentary is premiering soon that sheds light
on this story, by the director of “Kurt and Courtney”; the timing of
all of this is intriguing, to say the least. But, since Theron will
contend for the Best Actress Oscar next month, you oughta check
“Monster” out just to see what all of the hype is about.
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard