Burning Palms – 2010

3 stars

Synopsis: You’ve never experienced a movie like Burning Palms; five stories so twisted, they could only take place in Los Angeles.

Jamie Chung … Ginny
Rosamund Pike … Dedra
Dylan McDermott … Dennis Marx
Shannen Doherty … Dr. Shelly
Zoe Saldana … Sarah Cotton
Nick Stahl … Robert Kane
Robert Hoffman … Chad Bower
Paz Vega … Blanca Juarez
Peter Macdissi … Gerry
Anson Mount … Tom
Emily Meade … Chloe Marx
Tiara McKinney … Mahogany
Jake Austin Walker … Trevor
Addison Black … Colby
Lake Bell … Mary Jane
Chandler George Brown … Jeffrey

Writer/Director: Christopher B. Landon

Original Music: Matthew Margeson
Cinematographer: Seamus Tierney
Editor: Gregory Plotkin

Rated R for strong sexuality, violence including a rape, language and drug use
111 minutes

Tagline: Five Tales That Will F#%! You Up For Life

 Available on Netflix Instant until August 12, 2012

Why do people climb Everest?

To prove something useless to no one in particular, obviously.

Wrong. Because it’s there


Sometimes I like to write my own synopsis…but most of the time I just copy and paste it from somewhere.  I like it short and to the point.  Obviously I copied and pasted the synopsis above – ” You’ve never experienced a movie like Burning Palms; five stories so twisted, they could only take place in Los Angeles.”  I’ve never been to LA…so I can’t really agree or disagree with that…but I whole heartidly agree that BURNING PALMS is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  The tagline: “Five Tales That Will F#%! You Up For Life.”  It’s true – the stories are soo fucked up…so fucked up they don’t even deserve the fancy symbols.  I watched this I don’t know…a long time ago…May 30th to be exact.

I was reading my old tweets and I tweeted – “Just finished watching Burning Palms…it made me hate the human race…but I guess thats the point.”  All of these “short stories” movies – I don’t really care to much about them.  I like character development….I love character development – it makes the story more meaningful and have more of an impact.  There is absolutely NO character development in BURNING PALMS…but it does have an impact on the viewer.  Since it’s on Netflix Instant, I decided to skim through it – but it really wasn’t necessary…all of the stories are etched in my brain.  But that’s not a good thing.  Christopher B. Landon (the writer/director) took the easy way out.  He wrote stories simply for their shock value.  I think he sat down one day and asked himself, “what are the most fucked up stories I can think of today?”  And then he went out and somehow got amazing actors.  Why did they agree to do this? The stories…

The Green Eyed Monster - Dylan McDermott and his fiance, Rosamund Pike, go and pick up his daughter from the airport.  She’s 15..she order dirty martinis and later has sex with the waiter…in the next room…while her dad is sleeping soundly.  The fiance starts to get grossed out by there somewhat “incestuous” relationship.

This Little Piggy- Jamie Chung’s boyfriend wants her to stick her finger in his…yeah.  After talking it over with her friend, she decides to do it….but she could never imagine the consequences.  Hint: Do you smell that?

Buyer’s Remorse - A gay couple wants to appear hip infront of there friends so they illegally adopt a 7 year old African girl.  She’s crazy.  She spears a rodent at her welcoming party.  Look at the title of the segment….

Kangaroo Court - Lake Bell plays a babysitter who smokes way too much weed.  She is looking after 3 young boys…they are animals.  Paz Vega plays a housemaid who prays with her dead son’s umbilical chord.  But someone steals it…and the boys hold an inquisition to get to the bottom of it.

Maneater - Zoe Saldana is raped by Nick Stahl…the only thing is…she has a peculiar reaction.


Beware other reviews…they will probably have spoilers.  Look at the analysis section for how they end…it’s truly a total cop out.  Of course you can have an emotional reaction to a story that only lasts 15 minutes when it’s so F-ed up that I still remember each and every story.  Is that a good thing?  I don’t know.  I don’t think any one of these stories could be a full-length movie.  The only good thing is that besides the comic book-esque layout of them…Landon doesn’t try to connect them.  But is he connecting them by simply putting so much emphasis on LA?


Overall Recommendation: Watch it if you want to…my favorite is Kangaroo Court – only because it has Paz Vega in it.  I’m interested to know what you think.

The Verdict: Movie

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