August 13, 2010, - 4:22 pm
Weekend Box Office: “The Expendables,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Scott Pilgrim,” “City of Your Final Destination”
It’s August, the graveyard of bad movies, where Hollywood sends all the duds to die a quick death. So, it’s no surprise that I hated all of the new offerings at the box office this weekend, and it’s a panoply of Marxes in the ratings. Even more annoying, the choices feature not just one arrogant, nutty member of the Roberts family, but two (Julia and Eric).
* “The Expendables“: When I met Sylvester Stallone in Detroit at a premiere (check out the photo of me and Sly) of “Rocky Balboa” (read my review), I asked him about the then-upcoming “Rambo” (read my review) and whether it would involve Rambo fighting off Muslims. He told me no, but that it was a good idea. So, when “Expendables” opened with a scene of several aging former action stars shooting up Somalian Muslim pirates (including splitting one in half–yes, it’s that bloody, violent, and graphic–Do NOT Let Your Kids Go See This!), I thought I was gonna like this. Wrong.
Written by Stallone, this flick is the same old bad ’80s action film in which America is the villain, with the CIA having colonized some Latino country (in this case, it’s a Latino island nation, called “Vilena”), installed some mass-murdering dictator and human rights abuser, and started a booming illegal drug trade there. America has made Stallone wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, so why does he regurgitate this stale, anti-American crap?
I love action, and guys’ action flicks. But, oy vey, this stank. I’ve seen cheesy ninja movies that were better and far more interesting. And then there’s the story, which I basically told you above. Stallone and his aging action star types are part of a gang of mercenaries who are paid by the millions to shoot up and kill. Bruce Willis (who makes a single cameo in the film, as does Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a CIA operative who hires the Expendables to go to Vilena to take it back from the rogue CIA agent (Eric Roberts) who stole the whole illegal drug trade away from the rest of the CIA. While there, Stallone meets the artist daughter of the dictator and comes back to save her.
I’m making it sound way better than it actually is. It’s just awful. And did I really need to see Mickey Rourke cry? Come on. If you wanna see a lot of unbelievable action, shooting, blood, and dismemberment by moldy, oldy has-beens, this is your movie. For me, watching the 64-year-old Stallone hang onto a speeding airplane flying through a storm of bullets was like watching Roger Moore as James Bond in his senior citizen days. And just as credible. As in, not very. It was like I was watching the action star version of Adam Sandler’s awful “Grown Ups” (read my review). Both Sandler and Stallone brought together a whole bunch of their friends to a summer getaway for fun, an easy pay-day, a tax write-off, and a bad script the respective stars wrote.
I’ll save you some time and money by telling you the only good line in the movie:
Bruce Willis (about Arnold Schwarzenegger): What’s his f***in’ problem?
Sly Stallone: He wants to be President.
Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews (whose two good lines in the movie are reminiscent of his President Camacho act in “Idiocracy”), Jet Li, Steve Austin, and a very haggard Dolph Lundgren also star.
A waste of time and ten bucks.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Eat Pray Love“: The most self-absorbed, annoying, New Age feminist piece of tripe I’ve ever seen. So insufferable and unbearable, I wanted to kill myself, rather than sit through another minute.
Julia Roberts plays a selfish middle-aged woman who’s never grown up and is extremely dissatisfied. In other words, Julia Roberts plays Julia Roberts. And it gets extremely tiresome watching this ever-worn and haggard prima donna actress frown, cry, eat, and pontificate, which is all that happens in this pointless me, me, me movie.
The story (based on the book of the same name, which Oprah turned into a mega-hit among America’s brain-addled women): A middle-aged married woman has it all but feels unfulfilled. So, she dumps her husband who loves her, has a fling with a 28-year-old (James Franco), then travels to Italy to eat pasta and sulk, to India to meditate at an ashram of some picture of an Indian guru woman who lives in New York (and is laughing all the way to the bank at these idiots), and then hang with a “wise man” in Bali, have sex with Javier Bardem, and try to be mean to him and dump him. So much overwrought angst, so much unnecessary drama, so stupid.
Absolutely awful beyond belief. And do you really wanna sit through a movie in which four–yup, FOUR!–men cry? Uh, no thanks. And how many frickin’ close-ups of this woman’s mouth and people eating did I need to see? This movie will give you your life’s fill and then some.
Guys, if your female significant other tries to drag you to this, slit your wrists. It’ll be less painful.
Julia Roberts once said that the word “Republican” is in the dictionary between “Reptile” and “Repulsive.” No, honey, that’s where this movie is . . . along with the very has-been, self-righteous star of this long, boring, waste-of-time flick.
Stick a fork in it, you’re done.
While vast numbers of American women have already made the book a best seller, this movie is a national IQ test for the rest. If you’re a woman and you like it, you failed. If you’re a guy and you like it, you’re gay.
Eat Pray . . . Shove it.
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BETTY FRIEDAN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World“: More like me versus my urge to walk the heck out. Guess which one won? Well, after forcing myself to sit through 1.5 hours of this, my feet did the talkin’.
Michael Cera stars in one of the most pretentious, stupid, too cute movies I’ve seen in recent memory. He plays a band member who falls for a girl but first must fight off each of her seven “evil exes” with magical powers before he can win her as his. And I’m making this sound far more exciting and interesting than it is. It’s supposed to be a “fantasy comedy.” But it’s neither fantastic, nor humorous in the least.
Instead, it’s boring, appears to be written by a two-year-old, and I just couldn’t take it. The teens and 20-somethings who watched it in the audience at the late-night show I attended laughed non-stop at what was not funny and just plainly stupid. I felt like I was in the audience of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
This is a national IQ test for teens and 20-somethings. If you like it, you fail. And sadly, far too many of them will. I predict it will be a hit. Because our next generation of American adults are mostly slackers and selfish morons. Hate to be a pessimist, but this garbage and the hype over it (the movie name is atop Twitter as I write this and has been for weeks) confirms my diagnosis.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The City of Your Final Destination“: One of the most boring arthouse movies I’ve ever seen. And that’s really saying something. Slower than slow. And utterly pointless.
An American grad student of Persian descent has a grant to write a book about an author who committed suicide at his compound in South America. The plan to write the book is rejected by the late author’s surviving family members, and the grad student needs their participation or the project is toast. The grad student’s aggressive, pushy girlfriend urges him to visit the family. He does and meets the dead author’s gay brother (Anthony Hopkins, who must’ve needed the dough), widow (Laura Linney–ditto), mistress, illegitimate daughter. There he climbs a ladder, gets stung by a bee, goes to the hospital, has an affair with the mistress, and discusses smuggling jewels for the gay brother. And the point is? I’m not sure . . . other than to occupy nearly two hours of my time that I’ll never get back.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Anthony Hopkins, anti-American, Arnold Schwarzenegger, ashram, Bruce Willis, City of Your Final Destination, Dolph Lundgren, Dolph Lungren, Eat Pray Love, Eric Roberts, Expendables, guru, India, Italy, James Franco, Jason Statham, Javier Bardem, Jet Li, Julia Roberts, Laura Linney, Michael Cera, Mickey Rourke, Movie Reviews, New Age, Oprah, Randy Couture, Scott Pilgrim, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Steve Austin, Sylvester Stallone, Terry Crews, The City of Your Final Destination, The Expendables