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FLICKS: 36 Saints, Adore & Paranoia

Posted on 29 August 2013 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


In his book Sex Money Kiss, Gene Simmons discussed the importance of self publication because bookstore retail was based on “the loss leader principle,” in which a major author like James Patterson or J.K. Rowling would draw consumers into the store. Once in the store, the customer would discover other lesser-known writers. The Motion Picture Industry uses the same approach, which is why economics are so dire in these entertainment fields, especially when the loss leader fails to perform.

Paranoia is such the case. With leading man responsibilities on Chris Hemsworth’s shoulders and the re-teaming of veterans Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford, one expected respectable box office return. Instead Paranoia has become the biggest loser of the year. The two-week box office gross of $6 million cannot match the $35 million production cost. This film features the corporate cat & mouse game between Ford and Oldman, with Hemsworth caught in the middle while wooing the leading lady, Amber Heard. The topical theme features cell phones and public privacy. So why did Paranoia fail? The screenplay is another Hollywood factory-produced model. Why pay for a story when one can see the same story on television in the comfort of your own home?

In contrast to a bloated Hollywood extravaganza comes 36 Saints, a small independent thriller produced and written by Joey Dedio. This small budget film is far more thought-provoking than Paranoia. Dedio’s film, with roots in Jewish mysticism, is about 36 individuals or saints who have the responsibility to protect mankind from Lillith [said to be Adam’s first wife who left the Garden of Eden rather than be subservient to Adam], who has appeared to cause chaos.

With names like Joseph, Eve, Sebastian, Valentine and Michael, it is easy to pick out the surviving members of the 36 Saints. It is actually trickier to figure out who Lilith is, it seems she masterminded the plane crash that caused the demise of most of the Saints. As the surviving saints die, it seems as if Lilith’s powers will lead the world into eternal darkness. When 36 Saints opens on Sept. 6, let’s hope the box office revenue merits the already scripted sequel.

Based on a novel by Doris Lessing, Adore opens tomorrow starring Naomi Watts & Robin Wright as two Australian Best Friends Forever. It is a gorgeous, yet peculiar, movie about two women and their relationships with her sons.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

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