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Movie Review: Splice

Alternate Title: Don't Mess With Mother Nature

Story: We wanted to be scared. We wanted to be spooked. Sorry to say, the trailer for this film is not at all what the film turns out to be. It is being marketed as a scary, horror flock, when it is really a psychological thriller about the bio-ethics world. The film was directed by Vincenzo Natali and written by Mr. Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor.

Clive and Elsa are cohabitating super brainy scientists who are working on a project, funded by a big pharmaceutical company. The project entails creating a slug-like being made out of the genetic material of several animals through lots of gene splicing. Big-pharma wants the patents to create medicines to cure this, that and the other disease culled from this new 'being'. Yes, things go wrong, terribly wrong.

Our two brainy scientists decide to push the envelope and see what will happen if they splice human DNA with this new slug like form. Similar to the movie treasure Frankenstein, they create a new life form. I won't tell you much more other than to say that the first half of the film is far better than the second half. Watching this new life form, called DREN, develop, makes for some fine movie material. Yes, there are some gaping holes in the plot and we laughed at parts that I am sure the director did not want us to laugh at, but we had lots to talk about on the way home concerning the moral and ethical issues surrounding gene splicing.

Is this worth your time? If you like something a little off beat, check it out.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GBWU6RjiLM

Acting: Adrien Brody as Clive, spent most of the film looking dazed and confused. Sarah Polley as Elsa had the meatier, kookier role. Abigail Chu as Young Dren was adorable and Delphine Chanéac as Adult Dren was fascinating.

Trivia: Sarah Polley's parents, Michael Polley and Diane Polley, were actors and she had her first audition at age 5. She dropped out of high school to become a political activist for Socialist groups and was attacked by police at a political protest at Queens Park in 1995. In 1994 had surgery to correct scoliosis. She lost some back teeth at a rally, in a violent clash between police and protesters. When she was 12, during the first Gulf war, she attended a children's awards show in Washington, DC, and was seated at a table with some representatives from the Walt Disney Company. They asked her to remove a peace symbol that she was wearing but she refused. Disney has blacklisted her ever since.

Predilection: None

Critters: I am not sure what to call the genetically produce critters but there was definitely a gorgeous cat in the movie. The cat had a pivotal role and sadly came to a bleak end.

Food: Pizza, Chinese takeout, gruel, rabbit and a Tic Tac like candy.

Sex Spectrum: Interspecies sex is a bit terrifying and impressive.

Blatant Product Placement: Apple computers.

Soundtrack: Scary at times.

Opening Titles: A fascinating sequence with some CGI effects depicting veins, capillaries, goop and more.

Theater Audience: I saw this film with Mike, my nephew by marriage, while on a recent visit to California. We were the only two in the family that wanted to see the film and went to a 5 PM showing. There were about 25 others in the theater.

Weather: Most of the film took place indoors or at night in the cold snow.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did not drift but wanted a bit more oomph.

Predictability Level: We guessed the ending.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Either.

Length: Under two hours