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Review: 'Kaboom'

February 24, 2011 11:39 a.m.

KPBS film critic Beth Accomando reviews the new indie film "Kaboom."

Related Story: Review: 'Kaboom'


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

February 25, 2011

"Kaboom" opens today (Friday) at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas, and director Gregg Araki wants it to be a cult hit. But KPBS film critic Beth Accomando says that's a decision made by audiences not filmmakers.

KABOOM 2 (ba)

Gregg Araki likes to call his new film "Kaboom," "a bisexual 'Twin Peaks' in college." But it's more like a hipster take on "Scooby Doo" with a lot of indiscriminate sex thrown in.

KABOOM 2A (:15)
Even though we just met I feel this weirdly intense connection with you… me too… you sure you can't stay longer?

Araki has always been good at challenging sexual taboos but his films have moved back and forth between serious and just plain silly. His best work remains the somber yet beautiful "Mysterious Skin." "Kaboom," though, leans towards the silly. So there's a wacky mystery as well as lesbian witch lovers to deal with.

KABOOM 2B (:12)
I don't know do you think maybe I'm being too much of a wimp?... Dude, you have a fatal attraction stalker with supernatural powers you got every right to be creeped out… Okay sold.

Araki's attempt at creating a quirky cult fav is so self-conscious that it's often self-defeating. “Kaboom” is a beautiful film to look at --¬ the cast is attractive, the clothes are hip, the colors are pretty, and a hair is never out of place. But in the end it's all about a final punch line that trivializes everything that came before, and that was pretty trivial to begin with.

"Kaboom" is best at dealing with sexual stereotypes in a playful manner, but that might not be enough to turn it into the cult classic Araki is hoping for.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.