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Jennifer's Body
Two hours of Megan Fox, nuff said.
Megan Fox Stars in "Jennifer's Body."
OPENING WEEKEND: $14,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $35,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

July 27th, 2009: In the film, a gorgeous cheerleader (Fox) is possessed by a demon and starts feeding off the boys in a small Minnesota farming town. Her "plain Jane" best friend must kill her, then escape from a correctional facility to go after the Satan-worshipping rock band responsible for the horrible transformation.

What to Expect: I am so sick of Megan Fox. I cannot even begin to articulate how sick of Megan Fox I am. I could compose epic poetry about the breadth, depth and intensity my sheer impatience with her near-ubiquitous presence. And yet, here she is in a movie, so I'm going to write about her, because I'm a professional and that's how I roll.

Article continues below

Megan Fox is undeniably hot. No one is claiming she's an actress of great caliber. But even I can see that she is sexy and attractive. She became the darling of the geekboy set (and most other guys with eyeballs and functioning gonads) by starring in the Transformers films and has maintained a level of Hollywood visibility envied by many a PR agent by simply opening her mouth and letting stuff fall out of it. She has been quoted saying a lot of frank, outrageous things that has gotten her labeled everything from a truth-telling warrior to a stupid skank. To be perfectly honest, I kind of dig that she just says whatever's on her mind, even if it's stupid. She's commented that actors are like prostitutes, that she's Alan Alda's doppelganger, that she doesn't flush the toilet at the homes of friends and that Scarlett Johansson is a big phony showoff. She's said some stuff that I bet a lot of people in Hollywood would love to say but their publicists would muzzle them first, and sick of her though I may be, I kind of love her for it.

She's not above taking potshots at Michael Bay, either. Maybe she and I are kindred spirits, that being one of my favorite pastimes. She famously talked openly about how being in his movies didn't require much acting, just running and screaming, but that was part of the deal. Bay responded, in a way, but that doesn't change the fact that she's got his number.

She is not, however, the only polarizing female presence in this movie. The other one would be its writer, Oscar winner Diablo Cody, who penned the sleeper indie hit "Juno," a film that was quickly lauded as sharp and clever, followed by an inevitable backlash in which it was decried as pretentiously hipster and overdone. It's interesting that all the film bloggers and cinephiles were heralding the film when no one had ever heard of it, but the minute it became popular they had to turn around and call it crap because God forbid they be caught liking something everyone else likes. It's not cool enough to like what everyone else likes. Cody herself is quite the character, with her famous stripperly past and ostentatious presence, also derided by some as a vanity put-on act to garner street cred. I personally liked "Juno" a lot, I said so then and I'm saying so now, even if some of the dialogue was a bit...precious. Funny that no one had a problem with overly clever, pop-culture-reference-laden rapid-fire dialogue when Quentin Tarantino was doing it.

Anyway. Cody wrote "Jennifer's Body" and the film was actually ready to go over a year ago. Previews were showing up as early as summer of 2008, and promo material was present at last year's Comic Con. Why the long delay? No one knows, although many have speculated about a lack of confidence in the film given its release date in the middle of the September dumping ground. One viewer who saw a very early preview cut a year ago called the film a mess, disjointed and choppy. That is the kind of thing that can often be fixed in the editing room, but one doesn't need an entire year to cut a film.

So what kind of movie is it? Well, it's a kind of horror-comedy, as described. Jennifer (Fox) is a popular cheerleader and Needy (Seyfried) is her plain Jane best friend. A goth satanist band led by Adam Brody comes to town. They sacrifice Jennifer to whoever but it doesn't quite take since Jennifer isn't a virgin, so she comes back and starts eating boys. Needy has to stop her. And so on and so forth. Now, this is all being painted in some quarters as some kind of feminist statement about teenage girls and the horrors of having guys want them. I fail to see the feminist statement of an attractive woman killing men who dare to have a perfectly natural response to her. Was she raped or assaulted in some way? Tormented by boys she didn't want to date? Then she'd have a beef, but that doesn't seem to be the case here. Cody has talked about how horror movies are feminist anyway, it's usually a girl who lives at the end. I hate to break it to her, but that has zero to do with feminism and more to do with the fact that it's a lot more palatable to the teen-boy horror audience to have a cute booby girl screaming and running during the climactic fight with the killer/monster/whatever than to have some guy do it. Studios make horror movies for young men, and young men want to see girls and boobs, so they're going to keep the girls and boobs onscreen for as long as possible.

Which brings me to the next unpleasant topic, the latest of several in this preview...that of Megan Fox's long-discussed topless scene in this movie. Given the breathless attention given to this by the blogging audience of movie geekboys, you'd think no one had ever seen boobs onscreen before in the history of ever, let alone picked up Penthouse and seen the whole package. Are her boobs that much more spectacular than any other girl who's gone topless in a movie? Doubtful. But because they're attached to her, this somehow becomes the make-or-break point for this whole movie. If it's really true that legions of men will see or not see a movie based on whether or not Megan Fox shows her boobs, I don't want to know about it. Regardless, all reports point to there not being a topless scene in this film, despite set photos that seemed to imply one had been shot. Sorry, boys. You'll have to watch Cinemax with the rest of the world.

Megan Fox certainly knows what side her bread is buttered on, and she seems to be consciously courting the geek love that is already slobbering all around her. She has signed on for not one but two comic book adaptations. The first is dark western "Jonah Hex" with Josh Brolin, the second is "Fathom." And she's giving quotes demonstrating her comic-geek cred at Comic Con which, if genuine, is actually pretty impressive. If she's as much of a geek as she's letting herself sound like, I may have to revise my opinion of her. Geek sisters unite. I can't exactly fault her for directors casting her in their films to up the cupcake quotient. Such a thing is hardly restricted to women. You can't tell me Jerry Bruckheimer didn't ponder the woman-attracting power of Jake Gyllenhaal's biceps when he cast him in "Prince of Persia" despite the fact that he's...Swedish.

Fox (the studio, not the actress) needs a hit like a junkie needs a hit. This film was originally going to be released under the Fox Atomic label, but FA seems to have been absorbed into 20th Century Fox, its website now inactive. For a director, producer Jason Reitman (who also produced "Juno") kept up with the "yay feminism" angle and tapped Karyn Kusama, who directed girl-power sci-fi flick "Aeon Flux" and the excellent "Girlfight." Forgive my cynicism but I'm always dubious when studios start trumpeting about how "feminist" their new film is, when usually all that means is that they've decided to feature a hot chick kicking ass in some way, not because they want to portray female empowerment or advance the cause of women's rights in some way but because they've figured out that guys like watching a hot chick kicking ass. Duh.

In Conclusion: It seems clear that 90% of the guys under 80 in American would go watch Megan Fox tatting doilies for two hours. Whether this film is good or not...and I think it has at least better-than-average chances of being decent...its success will definitely show if she is a box office draw on her own apart from giant robots.

Similar Titles: Juno, Teeth, Girlfight
September 18th, 2009 (wide)
December 29th, 2009 (DVD)

20th Century Fox

Karyn Kusama

Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons

Total: 78 vote(s).

Horror, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated R for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use.

102 min





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