August 20, 2010, - 7:04 pm

Weekend Box Office: “The Switch,” “Lottery Ticket”

By Debbie Schlussel

As I wrote last week, it’s August a/k/a “movie cemetery,” where studios send bad flicks to die a quick, painless death.  And so it goes, yet again, with this weekend’s new box offerings, which are bargain basement excrement at a not so bargain price of $10 and two hours plus gas.  I did not screen “Nanny McPhee Returns,” and “Piranha 3D” was not screened for critics, usually a sign it’s a bomb, but not da bomb.  Kinda like what I did see:

*  “The Switch“:  This is the movie over which the hypocritical Bill O’Reilly and star Jennifer Aniston are engaged in a self-promoting faux-feud in the culture wars (see my column about that here).  To me, the movie was a rehashed, rewarmed version of an even more annoying Jennifer Lopez movie from April, “The Back-Up Plan” (read my review).

And as far as the culture wars go, I think this movie–while I hated it and its premise of a man-less middle-aged woman getting artificially inseminated to become a single mother–actually showed that, contrary to Aniston’s claim to the contrary in publicity for the movie, a kid does need his/her father and you can’t do it without a man.

In this movie, Aniston hangs out with her best friend, Jason Bateman, whom she once dated.  Nearing middle age and with no man in her life, she finds a sperm donor after putting out an ad for one–an idea Bateman opposes.  Aniston and her annoying Jewish friend, Debbie Epstein (Juliette Lewis), have an insemination party.  (Hey, aren’t all Jewish friends annoying?  They are in the minds of self-hating Hollywood.)  At the party, a drunk Bateman accidentally spills out the jar of sperm in the bathroom, and in a panic, secretly replaces it with his own.  Aniston gets pregnant and moves away to Minnesota, but returns with her six-year-old son, several years later.  Bateman starts to notice that the kid resembles him and he has fatherly feelings for the kid.

Like I said, the movie does show–in the end–that a kid needs his dad, who cannot be replaced by pretenders or moms who think they can replace dads.  Still, I hated the movie anyway.  And it also tells women that if you are single, you can become a single mother, and eventually everything will work out.  Uh, not in the real world.

With mostly dumb jokes, and a few really funny lines, this movie was insufferable and long.  The only good part was Jeff Goldblum, who is very funny in this one, as Bateman’s boss/buddy on Wall Street.  And the kid in the movie is way too cute and smart by half.  I hate movies like that.  Saccharin-sweet, cutesy, Einstein-esque kids just aren’t believable.

Sitting this was extremely painful. Guys, offer up jewelry to avoid this movie.  Missing this will be worth the jewelry’s weight in gold.  Believe me when I tell you:  it’s a chick flick un-extraordinaire.

THREE MARXES PLUS A BETTY FRIEDAN
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Watch the trailer .  .  .

*  “Lottery Ticket“:  This movie–which was supposed to be a comedy–wasn’t funny.  I think I laughed a total of three or four times.  We’re constantly told that Hollywood is racist and anti-Black.  But in the end, movies like this–which have the worst racist stereotypes against Black people–are made by Blacks themselves.  This one was written by Black Muslim Abdul Williams and executive produced by loathsome rapper Ice Cube (who also has co-stars).  It’s full of caricatures worthy of nothing more than an expensive minstrel show.  Yet, just watch, this weekend, as many Black movie-goers flock to this piece of garbage and drive it to the top or near top of the box office.

I liked the initial premise:  a guy in the projects wins a lottery of several hundred million dollars.  But it’s right before the Fourth of July, and he must keep his best friend and his grandmother quiet until he cashes the check.  And you know how that goes.  The whole world finds out.  And women are trying to get him pregnant, Black gangster bosses are trying to befriend him and loanshark him, and drug dealers and thugs are trying to steal the ticket from him.

Believe me, I’m making this extremely stupid movie sound far better than it is.  I hated it.  And there’s really nothing memorable about it.  It’s also ridiculous that the only two smart people in the projects are the guy who won the lottery and his eventual love interest.  Yeah, sorry, but lottery tickets winners don’t tend to be so good or so smart.  In fact, statistics and hard luck stories show, they tend to be morons who blow it all within a year.

Wasting your ten bucks and two hours on Lottery Ticket is as worthy a cause as wasting ten bucks on lottery tickets.  Your odds of having a positive result aren’t very good.

This lottery ticket is a loser.

THREE MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

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7 Responses

As I said, Ms. Aniston’s comments in connection with the promotion for this film make her sound like a Maureen “Are Men Necessary?” Dowd in training.

ConcernedPatriot on August 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Just finished watching the five new movies that came to our multiplex: Vampires Suck (execrable, like all the Friedberg-Seltzer parodies); Lottery Ticket; Piranha 3D; The Switch and Nanny McPhee Returns.

In regard to The Switch, I agree with every single comment you made. Exactly right on all counts, including what the movie really shows rather than what it pretends to show (about single parenting), how it’s a bit better than the even more annoying Back-Up Plan, the merits of Jeff Goldblum in the film. Everything. Spot on.

Since you sadly missed Piranha, I’ll summarize: wall-to-wall carnage and T & A that pushed the boundaries of teen exploitation flick the way Eli Roth has pushed the boundaries of horror. In fact, Eli Roth (Hostel) has a role in this movie, and that’s no accident.

Nanny McPhee Returns was good, better than the first Nanny, this one interestingly stylized (think of Babe 2) and full of intelligent wisdom about parenting. And that wisdom does NOT include building self-esteem through excessive, permissive “nurturing” I was happy to see.

Finally I liked Lottery Ticket just as I’ve liked many recent “black” movies (for example, Just Wright, Why Did I Get Married Too, and even I Can Do Bad All By Myself). These films are not funny ha ha; they’re character-driven stories about people who need to grow up a little and deal with issues of maturity, loyalty and restraint. None of these or recent other black films that have been made are stupidly broad like Old Dogs or Vampires Suck. In this film, I liked the story, direction and acting, and I liked the morals which I thought were sensible and balanced. Also, there was not a single slam against whites, subtle and indirect or otherwise.

Burke on August 21, 2010 at 1:20 am

“And women are trying to get him pregnant”?

While quite possibly you’re right on most counts, there’s no way this movie could even touch the atrocity “First Sunday”. It solidified my view of Tracy Morgan as Stepin Fetchit 2.0.

Robert on August 21, 2010 at 4:09 am

TWO MORE REASONS TO WAIT FOR THE BIG ONE TO DESTROY HOLLYWOOD AND CALIFORNIA ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Bob Porrazzo on August 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Actually, most Lottery winners are broke within 5 years but who’s counting.

Barry on August 21, 2010 at 9:32 pm

did you notice how ice cube is a muslim in this movie

joe on August 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Jen “America’s Sweetheart”? Try America’s feminazi.

Kurt Toy on August 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

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