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"Snow Angels" ***, "Chapter 27" **, & "Teeth" ***

(Here are 3 reviews from my 2007 Sundance Film Festival Diary, originally posted to Harry Knowles ain't it cool news, that opened this past week in Baltimore. Of these three, I'd say don't miss "Teeth".)

“SNOW ANGELS” (***)

Included in the dramatic competition, Director and screenwriter David Gordon Green’s latest is a powerful film about failed relationships. Although the film is relentless and totally depressing in portraying the dynamics of the interactions of the characters, the script and acting are completely mesmerizing. Sam Rockwell (who also stars at Sundance in the psychological thriller “Joshua”-see below) and Kate Beckinsale are both riveting as divorced parents trying to deal with themselves and each other. However, Rockwell is the special standout as he subtly spirals down from a happy-go-lucky dude trying to reconnect with his wife to someone who totally loses control after a series of tragic events. Very realistic and powerful.


“CHAPTER 27 (**)

This premier by director/screenwriter Jarrett Schaefer has teenage heartthrob actor and musician Jared Leto portraying Mark David Chapman, who gained an astounding 70 pounds for the role. He literally hides behind the weight to portray Chapman’s three day stint in New York prior to his assassination of John Lennon. This film lays totally flat as the droll narration by Leto combines with his inane activities to try and explain the human behind the monster as he slowly becomes his idol Holden Caulfield (from J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”). Although I’m sure the filmmaker had sincere intentions, I personally found it totally unnecessary and disgusting to immortalize this utterly worthless human being forever in film. One bit of advice: be sure to get plenty of caffeine before you view this one!


“TEETH” (***)

First time director Mitchell Lichtenstein creates a John Waters-like montage: part comedy and part horror story about a virgin teenager (the wonderful Jess Weixler who happened to win a special jury prize for acting) who discovers that her private parts have the capability of “dismembering” the male organ if she is provoked. This one must be seen to be believed and is sure to make the heartiest man squirm for hours! Look for it soon as it has been picked up by Lionsgate.