Thursday, November 17, 2011

Animal Factory

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Animal Factory - 4 out of 5

My first impressions of Animal Factory were completely wrong.  Apparently, it is NOT about a factory that produces animals.  Go figure!  I have to stop taking these films' titles so literally.

It's the Green Goblin and that actor who does a million movies a year!
Animal Factory is a prison drama directed by Steve Buscemi that came out in 2000 and focuses on a slightly older John Connor--I mean, Ron Decker, who is played by John Connor--I mean, Edward Furlong.  John--Ron--must fight robots to save the future--wait, I'm getting confused with Terminator 2:  Judgement Day again.  I'm sorry, Edward Furlong will ALWAYS be John Connor to me.

Someday, this man will grow up to be Christian Bale.

So, anyway, a young man named Ron Decker is put into prison for selling drugs and, like any fresh fish in the pen, he's having a hard time dealing and he turns to a veteran convict played by Willem Dafoe.  Dafoe's character puts the kibash on a potential prison rapin' of Decker and ends up bringing the young man into his group.  Once welcomed into the pack, Dafoe's character helps Decker out with a better prison job, better cell, better food and making sure his bum cherry remains intact.  More importantly, Dafoe becomes a guiding force in Decker's prison world and even helps him to try and get out...the legal way and then when that fails, he tries the illegal way.

Yes, that's Tom Arnold.  He was in this one.

Believe it or not, that's Mickey Rourke.
As hard as I try to avoid being thrown into the slammer, there is something about prison films.  The camaraderie between the inmates, the elder convicts sharing their wisdom, the potential for violence and the even greater potential of having Morgan Freeman narrate your story...but then there is, of course, the rape.  That is the biggest reason I avoid prison, with the idea of having to relieve myself of all excess waste in a very public toilet taking a very close second.  So, I'll stick to the prison movies.

Danny Trejo is in this one and if you are keeping score, it was made before your mother knew who Danny Trejo is.

Animal Factory, with all my lame joking about poop and rape aside, is a fantastic film with real heart.  Edward Furlong is fantastic as Decker and he really portrays a man who has to one day fight robots--dammit, there I go again--I mean, he perfectly portrays someone thrown out of their element and forced to live in circumstances they are both unprepared for and completely not desiring.  Furlong's chemistry with Willem Dafoe is the true driving force of this film and watching not only their interactions in scenes but the evolution of their characters and their friendship within the film makes Animal Factory one of those stories you won't turn away from.

AHHH, a skeleton in pants!  No, wait, it's just Willem Dafoe.

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