Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

March 21, 2012

Movie Review: My Pure Joy (2011)

Directed by James Cullen Bressack

Starring Alexei Ryan, Cory Jacob and Lisa Frantz

My Pure Joy is a story of teenage angst taken to the extreme, it's Tipper Gore's worst nightmare come to life, because as every suburban mother of a teenage boy knows.....if you keep watching those horror movies, your going to end up being a serial killer. And that is exactly what has happened to our anti-hero, Adam ( played magnificently and with pure gusto by Alexei Ryan), who through single-handedly caring for his abusive and dying father years earlier, learned that the only way to get people to respect you is through fear and intimidation, just like the killers in his favorite slasher films.

Buy My Pure Joy on DVD

Now, as a teenager, Adam spends most of his time hanging out with his two best friends, smoking pot, talking about girls and watching the goriest movies they can get their hands on. (Which pretty much mimicked the reality of my own misguided youth) Only Adam has taken his obsession to the next level, killing his neighbors, his enemies, and anyone who he feels is conspiring against him. And he does it in the style of his favorite horror movies.

Now, the movie starts out well with a pretty bloody sequence where Adam sneaks into the house of his disfunctional neighbors and slaughters two young boys and their parents, then returns home to gleefully write about his accomplishments in his journal. Its a pretty disturbing kick off to the flick but it does take a slight down-slide from there, where we are forced to watch some long-winded scenes of somewhat nonsensical dialogs between Adam and his stoner buddies. These dialogs are the bane of this flick because they truly take way from the disturbing undertones of what the movie is about, and they just give the film a very plodding feel at times, acting like speed bumps which slow down the story. The party-scene where Adam is confronted by a bullying rapper was very tense and realistic, and the scene where he gets revenge on the rapper douchebag and the girl friend is actually pretty good even though the gore effects were a bit hokey. For me the high-point of the film is the final scenes where Adams brother Joseph (Cory Jacob) shows up looking to reunite with the family after a long absence in rehab. The scenes where they are sitting at the dinner table and Adam is slowly unraveling psychologically (and basically pureeing a steak with his knife) while his brother antagonizes him is pure magic, and I have to give a thumbs-up to this kid Alexei Ryan playing the role of Adam, he is just so convincing throughout the entire movie, a stark contrast to the questionable acting of the remainder of the cast, with the exception of Phillip Andrew Christopher who plays the douchebag rapper, Derron. His performance made me really want to punch him in the face and I was secretly cheering when his karma caught up with him.

For a movie with a $10,000 budget, My Pure Joy showed a lot of promise. The gore was pretty low-rent but it actually added a slightly comical feel to some otherwise shocking scenes. And although it stalled out on more then one occasion there were some scenes that were truly engaging and edgy. Overall, I'd have to say it was a mixed bag. The premise of the movie was great and if not for the drawn-out dialogs and shoddy acting by most of the supporting cast I would have definitely given it higher marks. I would say go out and watch this movie if for no other reason but to enjoy Alexei Ryan's spot-on performance as the horror-movie obsessed serial killer. He was a total hoot, especially at the end of the movie where he is ordering his brother to eat their mothers brains off the floor. A great job by Director James Cullen Bressack in creating such a fucked up character that you still want to cheer for.

6 out of 10 Reviewed by KennyB

No comments:

Post a Comment