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Psychedelic Oggles Joel Schumacher's THE NUMBER 23 (Starring Jim Carrey)!!

Merrick here...
Psychedelic's back with a quick look at THE NUMBER 23, Jim Carrey's new film. This is a return to dramatic territory for Carrey who, in general, frustrates me. I feel like there's a lot of talent waiting to be mined, but he rarely finds the right vehicle through which to convey it (I thought THE TRUMAN SHOW was heading the right direction but missed the mark -- it shouldn't have revealed the TV-show nature of Truman's existence to the audience before the character learned about it). Sounds like THE NUMBER 23 also doesn't quite make it, but isn't a complete wash either. And, GASP, this directed by Joel Schumacher, who just got hooked up with a new film about a Nazi vampire! Schumacher is very hit and miss (more "miss" than "hit")...and it's kind of hard to pardon anyone who brought us BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN AND ROBIN...but Nazi vampires!?!? That's pretty high on the cool-o-meter.
Here's Psychedelic...
Hey Harry and Numerologists, They watched in every wall. Cartoon eyeballs slid from cracks cackling secret codes. As they coalesced into a solid figure, I darted into the Pacific Galleria 16 for a screening of The Number 23. Jim Carrey is in serious drama mode as a dogcatcher whose world becomes unraveled. He’s a few moments late meeting his wife (lovely Virginia Madsen) at a bookstore and she picks up a novel for him called The Number 23. The book throttles his soul. 23 bongs around his head inciting an obsession that may or may not lead to dark deeds of the past. Carrey and Madsen are wonderful. Along with Logan Lerman as their teen son, they ground this dark psychological thriller in humanity when it could easily fly off far-fetched. Even at that I heard a few unintended laughs near the end. Don’t examine the plot too closely. This is almost a textbook example of the likeability and familiarity of the star (Carrey) lending sympathy to the character when he becomes extremely neurotic. For the ultimate example, see James Stewart in Vertigo. The Number 23 is compelling and held my attention all the way through. But I never became emotionally involved. Maybe it’s because it’s purposely unclear where the danger is coming from. Maybe it’s because it drags in the middle (too many redundant scenes) and needs to get to the ending twists sooner. The movie is easy to shrug off once out of the theatre. Yet I can feel the director reaching so hard to spin a rapturous web; it’s almost there. I was surprised to discover that the director is Joel Schumacher. This is his best movie in a long time. Schumacher’s career is uneven to say the least. I sense he could have been some wild maverick director if he’d been able to shake off some of Hollywood’s more bloated excesses. Here’s hoping he can turn The Number 23 into a full blown rabbit out of the hat. Glitters in the granite swarmed with cartoon sperm. Eyeballs giggled down the escalator as omens of conception loomed on the Daliesque dawn. -Psychedelic

Look for THE NUMBER 23 February 27, 2007.

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