|09.25.06||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2006|
So Bug was packed in the 200 seat theater... I don't think people had to sit on the floor but there were some folding chairs going on. I'm pretty surprised at the crowds this year... much larger than last year for pretty much everything. That's a good thing i suppose, but I don't particularly like it when I can't get a seat because the movie before it let out late. Luckily I had a saved seat but anyway...
This one is about Ashley Judd and the creepy marine guy from World Trade Center hiding out in a crappy hotel room absessing about invisible bugs eating them alive. It's a claustophobic white trash story that borders on the line between really creepy and rounding the bend into dark comedy. Harry COnick, Jr. is also in a supporting role as a slimy ex-con... which he pulls off surprisingly well for me. Mostly its just these two though, going crazier and crazier throughout the movie.
It's a really good movie... even though I was kind of let down that I didn't get to see Billy Friedkin do an honest-to-goodness monster bug movie, this is a pretty suitable substitute... There are still some moments when blood and gore creep in that are pretty great and caused some gasps in the audience, but mostly it's just watching these poor crazy people destruct themselves. It's based on a play but it's really one of the few stories that felt like it could be a claustrophobic movie instead of a play in the first place... Yes there are some long scenes and it pretty much only takes place in one location but whether it's Friedkin or the writer or whoever, it didn't feel like I was watching a filmed play. Maybe it's because I don't see many horror or thriller plays... Ashley Judd wasn't going on long monologues about surviving incest or being unhappy or whatever typical broadway thing I'm used to seeing people "act" about... but yeah, for whatever reason the whole play aspect never bothered me, and it usually does.
Judd... I don't really like her much and she confuses me by being able to look so hot and so white trash pretty much interchangeably (in this one it's definitely more white trash) and I don't think she's that great an actress... in this she definititely does my favorite bit of physical acting of hers (and it plays in the background too), and while the role does stretch her limits some I mostly didn't feel like she was out of her depth, which I guess makes this a good performance for her. The dude was note-perfect though and really really creepy and funny at the same time. Awesome performance by Michael Shannon... he really makes the movie.
And, cool enough, Michael Shannon was in attendance to talk afterward. Tim was pretty funny by saying "i'm gonna give you th emic then step away because I don't want to be within 15 feet of you" to pretty big laughs. FUnny enough though, he said that in most of the productions of the play, the theaters they played in were very small, some seating only 50 people all of whom were a mere 15 feet away from the actors. So that actually gave a much heavier tone to the play because the audience is so close to it that at the end they are just really creeped out and have to leave right away... it's only in the film that you get some distance and can see how some of the stuff that goes on is actually pretty funny (as sick as that may sound). He was pretty candid in his Q&A, seemed like a very nice guy and was happy to see so many people loving his movie. I think up till now he's been "that creepy guy in lots of movies" and, while he still may not be Michael Shannon, he'll now be "that really creepy guy from Bug" to those that see this. It's really a stand-out performance.
And a really good movie.
on the stage it wasn't funny.