Monday, November 9, 2009

I Sell the Dead

"Needs garlic."

On the eve of his execution, a convicted grave-robber recounts his odd supernatural encounters.

There are some movies that you just can't feel 100% about. For all that you might have loved about them, there's one thing that takes away from the over all experience- much like how I felt about Law Abiding Citizen. This is a case of the exact opposite; for all that your unimpressed with about the movie there's that one thing that really works- and keeps you from being able to completely hate it. And that one thing for I Sell the Dead is the cinematography.

I harbor no illusions about being a trail blazer on this subject, considering it won a Vision Award for that very same thing, but still- I call 'em lik I see 'em. And this one deserves the call. The scenes transfer are at least interesting, and at most beautifully done. I watched sequences like the the telling of Cornelius Murphy's upbringing with a smile on my face. But as enjoyable as this one attribute may be, it couldn't save the rest of the film.

If the cinematogrophy was moist and tender, the rest of this movie was dry as a mouthful of sand. Aside from two mostly enjoyable leads (Dominic Managhan as Aurthor and Larry Fessenden as Willie) the cast stirred no real emotions in me. Characters it seems like I was supposed to be interested in died without so much as a batted eyelash- and most of the ones that lived were utterly ignorable. Ron Perlman's performance feels as though he'd read the script the first day of shooting, but then again, listening to him struggle with an (on again, off again) Irish accent was so entertaining it of makes up for it.

Even with all this, the real let down is the story. The premise is incredibly interesting but not much is done with it. This movie is the spiritual successor to a short film called The Resurrection Apprentice, which I admit I have never seen. But after finishing I Sell the Dead I must say it can't have been to much of an expansion as it still felt like a short story rather than a novel. I find myself wishing the story itself had been undertaken with as much flare as the cinematography. As it is it feels as though it was shot as a series of shorts and then sewn together.

The remarkable is out weighed by the completely unremarkable in this cleverly inspired but drably executed comedy. Believe me, it's no more fun for me to say than it is for you to hear, but the truth is the truth. I'd say it's worth a viewing anyway; maybe you'll disagree and have a wonderful time with it. It could be I'm being too hard on the poor movie but- oh well. If I am than I'm too hard on every movie, and am therefore being fare.

Reel Deal Recommends:

Lost: The first and second (A.K.A. the Good) seasons with Dominic as Charlie.

Hellboy: Ron Perlman at his best, minus as the narrator from the Fallout series.

Alas I've not seen Larry Fessenden in a major role in any other movies. I looked him up on IMDB and apparently he's in The Brave One, which I don't remember him in. And even if I did, I would never recommend that movie to anyone.

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