Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Something for grown-ups
The memorable, entertaining, and decidedly adults-only Burning Palms delivers five edgy, shocking, often funny tales, all centering around sexual and social taboos, and various other sex-related themes. Once you get into the mood of the movie, which is that it's basically a sex-drenched Tales From the Crypt (right down to the comic-book graphics that introduce each segment), you'll enjoy the over-the-top plot developments and shock endings.
My wife and I did utter a few "Oh, come on!" type comments throughout, in response to some of the characters' actions, but to be fair, the filmmakers were probably going for those particular audience reactions. The second story, about a young girl's mental breakdown after her boyfriend asks her to perform a fairly mild (in our opinion) bit of kinkiness, particularly caused some eye-rolling. Aren't these characters supposed to be sophisticated, nothing-can-shock-us residents of hip-and-trendy L.A.? Still, the tale was entertaining, as are all the stories to varying degrees.
The final segment, about a young woman's unconventional response to her recent rape, was actually done pretty much as a straight drama, and ended up being the most memorable of the tales. What would most women do if they stumbled upon the identity of their masked attacker, including his full name, home address, and work address? They probably wouldn't do what this woman does during the course of the movie's thoughtful, complex closing story.
Burning Palms is well acted by an interesting combination of familiar faces and talented lesser-known actors, and sharply directed by Christopher B. Landon (the son of actor Michael Landon) The movie looked and sounded great on the standard DVD we watched.
Give Burning Palms a shot if you're at all open to this type of material. It's worth a look.