Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Swiss Army Man

7 Jul

Flatulence abounds in Swiss Army Man, a surreal curio straight out of Sundance. I shit you not.

Daniel Radcliffe, the fresh-faced young lad who brought Harry Potter to life, plays a dead body named Manny who washes ashore and ass burps his way through the film, spouting more gas than lines — and yes, he talks. How’s that, you might ask. It’s a qualified answer and one of the many enigmatic facets and WTFs of Swiss Army Man that along with a limitless stale rush of methane, drives the film piquantly along.

To its benefit, the film revels in its weird comic absurdity. It’s never as existential or nihilistic as something more flatlined and high-brow like Waiting for Godot, but it does feel freely mined from the cranium of Michael Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) had he been locked up in solitary with nothing but a stack of Mad magazines to pass the day. At its palpable core,Swiss Army Man is a buddy film and a touching one at that without ever submerging into the maudlin, though its arc could have been better tempered given the myriad of Sundance incubator labs it went through — it won the festival’s directing award this year after all.

We begin with a nearly unrecognizable Paul Dano, bearded and grossly weathered by the sun and sea, as Hank, a man who we assume has been stranded on an island for a long enough period of time to let the destitute of loneliness consume him to the point of wanting to off himself. Standing on an ice chest, noose around his neck, Hank’s about to do the deed when Manny arrives in the briny surf. The sight of another fellow human gives Hank pause, but his attempts to revive Manny just brings around gurgling gushes of gas. The next thing you know, Hank’s jet boarding across the ocean atop Manny, driven by sphincter propulsion.  Continue reading


1 Nov

‘Horns’: Mysterious growths get Radcliffe (fore)heading back into the supernatural


Daniel Radcliffe, the young British actor who had the world by the horns as the titled incarnation in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s wildly beloved “Harry Potter” series, seems to have lost the wizard’s touch since closing the door to Hogwarts’ halls. Quirky ventures such as the ghost story “The Woman in Black,” the whimsical rom-com “What If” and “Kill Your Darlings,” in which Radcliffe plays beat poet Allen Ginsberg, haven’t quite buffed the actor’s star. Then there’s this curious immersion into the devil’s den.

103114i Meek HornsYou can imagine the appeal of playing a Luciferian incarnation rooted in the material world.  The “Hellboy” superhero series nailed it with camp and gusto. Here, based on the novel by Joe Hill, aka Stephen King’s son, Radcliffe plays Ig (Ignatius), a DJ in a small Northwestern burg. He has a very public breakup with his girlfriend (Juno Temple) and becomes the prime suspect in her murder when she’s found with her head bashed in at the base of their romantic getaway spot – a tree fort deep in the Pac-North woods.   Continue reading