Sony's November '07 Releases
I Know Who Killed Me (November 28/07)
Were it not for the presence of Lindsay Lohan in the film's central role, I Know Who Killed Me could easily be mistaken for the absolute worst that the straight-to-video landscape has to offer - as the movie is nothing short of a complete and utter mess that's almost entirely devoid of positive attributes. The almost indecipherable plot - which follows college student Aubrey Fleming (Lohan) as she survives an attack by a vicious serial killer and subsequently becomes convinced that her true identity is that of a stripper named Dakota - is exacerbated by Chris Siverton's unusually incompetent directorial choices, with the filmmaker's relentless use of various visual tricks (including a series of absolutely interminable slow-motion shots) ensuring that the movie generally comes off as an amateurish piece of work. Jeff Hammond's dull, thoroughly uninteresting screenplay rarely makes any sense - a problem that worsens as the film adopts an increasingly hallucinatory vibe - and the increasingly evasive behavior of Lohan's character is downright baffling (ie why is she being so unhelpful towards the cops trying to solve the case?) While one can derive some enjoyment out of the exceedingly quirky supporting cast (which includes, among others, Gregory Itzin, Neal McDonough, and My Name is Earl's Eddie Steeples), I Know Who Killed Me is ultimately a complete waste of time that has little to offer even the most ardent Lohan devotee.
no stars out of
Vitus (November 29/07)
Though marketed as the simple story of a piano prodigy, Vitus ultimately establishes itself as a far more unusual and flat-out unpredictable piece of work - with the film's emphasis on the central character's unorthodox extracurricular activities certainly cementing this feeling. Director Fredi M. Murer has infused the proceedings with a laid-back pace that's reflected in the episodic nature of the screenplay, and there's consequently little doubt that certain stretches of the film are inherently more interesting than others (the whole thing is always interesting, however). Newcomer Teo Gheorghiu does a fantastic job of bringing the title character to life, while Bruno Ganz ably steps into the shoes of Vitus' kindly old grandfather (the supporting cast is likewise uniformly effective). The inclusion of a rather unexpected plot twist at around the halfway point admittedly takes Vitus in an entirely new direction, and it's ultimately difficult to overlook the palpable emotional impact of the film's final few minutes.