Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Am Sam (Jackson) I Am

Stop me if you’ve seen this one before: young, freshly married couple moves into new digs and collides with the most dreaded of housing problems-the bad neighbor. Sure it seems like Hollywood recycles this same plot every coupla years (TV’s Lifetime has probably done it up a dozen different ways too), but most of the time the film’s don’t feature the indomitable Samuel L. Jackson like Lakeview Terrace, and they aren’t usually helmed by filmmakers sporting the kinda pedigree playwright-turned-director Neil LaBute packs (In the Company of Men ‘97, The Shape of Things ‘03). Jackson works hard (especially as the movie unfolds) to make this one rise above its inherent stockness, and LaBute adds racism to his big screen resume of sexism, misogyny and general bad behavior, yet the movie never holds up as a psychological thriller or an issues film. Even worse, it just about putt-putts is way into a tone and finale that becomes both overblown and downright silly.

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