Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bear Food

Nobody connected with True Heart (1997) appears to be even casually inclined to make a decent movie: not the people behind the camera, not the people in front of the camera, not even the bears.

Jawdroppers. Zachery Ty Bryan and Kirsten Dunst
Apart from all its other failures, this limp adventure for children foists on us two of the most unappealing people on screen: Kirsten Dunst and Michael Gross, whose survivalist in the Tremors franchise always seemed unable to modulate his particular brand of energy to the wry in-jokes in those movies—he’s never found the right rhythm for any character I’ve ever seen him play. He’s always too angry or too boisterous or too cloddish or even too liberal (in his first sitcom, he was creepily touchy-feely). He’s too too. And he’s usually not enough whatever. (Has anybody ever said, “I’d like to see the new Michael Gross movie”?)

Dunst plays one of two siblings lost in the Alaskan wilderness. She and the other kid (Zachery Ty Bryan) let their lower jaw drop in moments of dramatic suspense. Now that I think about it, they both use that trick to express a broad array of emotions, from happiness to frustration to befuddlement to surprise at falling backward over a cliff.

As actors, they give their jaws a pretty good workout.

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