Aug 4, 2008


Clifford excels at being the strangest normal film I have ever seen. Unlike Orson Welles' tactic at filming Citizen Kane's lead with a larger than life perspective, they reverse the camera effect to cast a 40 year old Martin Short as a 10 year old pseudo-Problem Child. Paul Flaherty (Director of Who's Harry Crumb?) creates an enjoyable almost-family film that has enough adult situations and pure evil to pass around.

Martin Short plays 10 year old Clifford AKA The Antichrist. This little shits biggest dream is going to the prehistoric theme park aptly titled Dinosaur World. He has a borderline case of talking to an inanimate object throughout his entire life. The film starts in the future. The year 2050 to be exact. There Clifford is a priest at a school for troubled boys. From this environment, he manifests his past to show us (the viewers) how much of a prick he was.

Clifford wasn't no ordinary mischief maker. He aimed low and hard, making Charles Grodin's life a living hell. He ruins all aspect in his life just for his dream to be realized. Martin Short's acting as a child is down right amazing. Prior to this film, I didn't know much about the actor other than he wasn't young. Upon further scrutiny, I discovered that he was actually extremely aged. And no CGI? Most impressive.

I wouldn't consider this film to be extremely hilarious but rather quirky, jovial, and engrossing. The chemistry between Martin and Charles is a definite experience which never falters but only flourishes. Over the course of the film's surprisingly short run time, not much is uncovered about the central character of Clifford. Other than being a PSA about the horrors of spoiled children, this film should be advertised as an full length abstinence commercial. Children live without mercy and are ruthless. The wits exchanged in the film are quickly exchanged without missing a cue until one victor is left standing.

Charles Grodin does seem to have a habit of playing "that guy." The one you see in films that feature bastard children creating exasperating hardships then switch faces towards the end for a heart felt reunion. I don't know how many times I've seen Grodin snap in films. God knows if he has ever killed a cast member of the Beethoven series. The beginning sets up for a laughing riot but goes out with a small pop. If the ending were some how different, I'd definitely appreciate this dark comedy a lot more.



Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to watch this for a while now. It looks so darned quirky and fun. :)

Soiled Sinema said...

Definitely an awesome movie!

Anonymous said...

If the ending had a death of one of the two main characters it would have been a fucking all around classic. Other than that this movie is creepy and depressing, and funny.