©2009 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:

Filthy says:
"This shit sucks hard!"

I'm a big fan of imagination. It's what gets me out of a lot of jobs and where my best ideas for how to use aluminum foil come from. I also really dig things that make sense. I like good acting, good dialog, excitement, fun and being surprised. Not a Goddamn one of those things is in Obsessed. There isn't a single surprise, pleasant or otherwise, in its grueling 105 minutes. It's a fucking turd on a stick. Only, instead of coating it with chocolate like they usually do, the Hollywood grassfuckers just presents it as the turd on a stick it is and says, "Enjoy! Or not. We obviously couldn't care less."

There are products where imagination isn't needed. Nobody wants the makers of generic cough syrup to get creative. We want it to make us stop coughing and get loaded without causing genital warts, even if that would be a surprise. Same goes for Korean cars. People don't buy them for wow-effect; they buy them to get from point A to point B cheaply. Movies, though, are a place where we do want to be surprised and delighted. Each should be different. Obsessed has less whimsy, charm and adventure than a Kia Spectra.

Idris Elba plays a financial advisor who is supposedly an up-and-comer at his ritzy company. In the movie, he is supposed be about thirty years old, but he looks about 40. In the very condensed, uninteresting world of the movie, he's supposed to be really likable, yet he has only one friend in the world, a greasy asshole at his office played by Jerry O'Connell. His world is made up only of his new house and his office. He is married to a miserable, paranoid harpie played by the horrible actress Beyonce Knowles. She has an even smaller world; it consists of their house, and she has no friends. There is no backstory to either, and they don't seem to exist beyond the boundaries of this poorly-written movie. They have all the personality and interest of Target-ad hand models. There is little reason to give a shit about two bland yuppies who contribute nothing to society except the consumption of expensive shit. Elba and Knowles have a Cadillac and a Mercedes, both of which are meant to tell us they are rich, but neither of which tell us who gives a fuck besides the Mercedes and Cadillac dealers. We hear Elba is good at his job, but never see a single flash of brilliance. In fact, all we see him do is make very bad decisions that prolong a very easily defused plot.

One day, Elba shows up at work to find Ali Larter, a blandly pretty blonde temp behind a desk. For no reason we know of, she becomes obsessed with Elba. Rather than have her fired or tell someone what the fuck is going on, Elba lets her ruin his life, drug him, haunt him and torment him. She goes into his house, kidnaps his child, stalks him, and tries to commit suicide in his hotel bed. Why he doesn't tell anyone makes no sense. Although, if he had acted with any modicum of intelligence, there wouldn't be a stupid ass movie called Obsessed in theaters.

Why Larter's obsessed with a big fat personality zero is also a puzzlement. Maybe writer David Loughery thought he was writing an interesting guy. He didn't. Elba comes across as having the charisma of a Taco Bell and the wisdom of a greeting card. The movie never gives Larter a God damn characteristic beyond being a psycho bitch. Not one. Every moment on screen she acts nuts, and Elba seems to be aware of it from the very beginning. For her part, Knowles is so screechy and jealous that Elba is supposed to be afraid to tell her he has a female temp. What the fuck? How is that a good marriage, the perfect one the movie keeps shoving up our asses?

Obsessed's plot is a ripoff mish-mash of Fatal Attraction, The Babysitter, Poison Ivy and any other movie with a scorn woman who goes apeshit. Except it has less tension or drama. That's because in those movies, the woman actually has a reason to feel mistreated. Even if she overreacts to being jilted, we understand the seed of anger that germinated into blind rage. In Obsessed, Larter is nuts from the start, and she stays nuts. Elba never does anything wrong, other than not tell someone that Larter is batshit insane. When he professes innocence, it's because he is. The thirty of forty times in the movie where he tells his friends "I'm a married man, I don't do that," he means it. He doesn't fool around, say anything interesting, or act more than half asleep. So, nobody can sympathize with Larter or even understand what she's so worked up about.

Director Steve Shill makes the predictability worse with conventional and dull directing. There is a sequence where he tries to build dread with a happy face emoticon on a computer screen. A silly ticking time bomb of whether Elba can delete all the pictures of Larter in lingerie he sent to her before Knowles gets out of the bathroom. The movie's foreshadowing is as obvious and heavy as a teenage girl's first experiments with eye makeup. At the beginning of Obsessed, Knowles and Elba tour their new house and they notice that the attic floor is weak. Well, guess who is going to fucking fall through that later. (By the way, the attic is enormous and about 20-feet tall--in a house that looks--from the outside--to have no attic, and especially not a pitched one.) They camera also lingers on the heavy chandelier placed directly over a glass table. Hmmm, wonder if it might fall. And get this shit: when Larter does fall through the ceiling and crash through the glass table she appears to be dead. Only to suddenly open her eyes and snarl! What fucking asshole thought anybody with a brain hasn't seen this shit a dozen times before? Seriously, does it take a director, a writer and studio to come up with the exact same shit over and over?

Those are just a few examples of how unoriginal and unimaginative this turd is. Not one person in Hollywood stopped it from being made. Nobody suggested putting just one tiny twist into a mechanical, horrible plot. No grassfucker stood up while watching the dailies and said, "This wouldn't be fair to force upon the public." Because they don't fucking care. And they should be in Korea making cheap automobiles, not movies. Fuck this horrible, uninspired, pointless piece of shit. One Finger for Obsessed.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Pete Hammond of Hollywood.com

Earth is "Spectacular! Remarkable in every way, even better than March of the Penguins, Earth is a breathtaking motion picture achievement!"

Battle For Terra has "Mind-blowing 3D animation!"

17 Again is "Hilarious and heartwarming. Zac Effron shoots and scores!"

Filthy's Reading
Harvey Pekar - Ego and Hubris: The Michael Malice Story

Listening to
Tijuana Panthers


The General