January 7, 2011, - 4:32 pm
As I always note on this site, January and August are typically Hollywood’s movie cemeteries, where they send bad flicks (meaning, even THEY realize the movies are crap) to die a quick, painless death. And, in general, this weekend is Exhibit A of Movie “Pet Sematary.” Three pointless movies.
* “Country Strong“: More like, “Country Predictable Melodrama.” Nothing “strong” at all about this flick, except the singing.
I’m not sure what the point of this movie is, other than to show us that Gwyneth “I Raise Money for Palestinian Terrorists” Paltrow has a terrif singing voice. And some people already knew that from the popular gay choir TV show, “Glee,” on which she appeared and sang. All of the actors in this movie who sing, from Paltrow to Leighton Meester, to Garrett Hedlund, have phenomenal singing voices. Yes, they all did their own singing of the bubble gum pop version that today’s successful country music has become. Of them all, Hedlund, who recently starred in the “Tron” reboot (read my review), has the best singing chops. And was the most interesting (and hot) character.
But, other than the great singing voices and the smokin’ hot view of Hedlund without a shirt on, this movie was a nothing. A total zero. Paltrow plays a drugged out alcoholic country music star, who leaves rehab early at the behest of her manager hubby, Tim McGraw. McGraw is more interested in his wife playing dates than rehabbing their tired relationship or her getting healthy. And the wife (Paltrow) is more interested in feeling sorry for herself, popping pills, self-destructing, and sleeping with the young, ambitious country singer, Beau (Hedlund), whom she meets in rehab. Plus, she’s jealous of Chiles Stanton (Meester), the up-and-coming young singer her husband has hired to open for her. Beau and Meester also have a love-hate relationship that very predictably turns into love, as they are on the road with Paltrow and opening for her at the concerts she screws up.
Like I said, not sure what the point of this was, other than to show us that Paltrow can sing, but can’t carry a Southern accent, which she quickly loses and from which she goes in and out. It’s basically a sad, pointless, chick-flick/melodrama that I recommend guys avoid like the plague. For women like me, well, even Hedlund’s hotness and everyone’s strong singing voices aren’t enough to earn your two hours and ten bucks. But because of the singing, particularly Hedlund’s, I’m giving it . . .
HALF A REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Season of the Witch“: This movie was a mess. And it wasn’t scary. Not even close. Plus it was overtly anti-Christian. It shows crusaders murdering, torturing, and doing everything Muslims do today, except in the name of Christ. The thing is, Christianity has evolved since then. Islam has devolved.
Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play two renegade crusader knights, who grow disillusioned with killing in the name of Christ. Gotta love Jewish crusader Perlman. And I thought the dialogue, in which Cage and Perlman talk about “who’s buying” that night’s beer (“I’m drinking for free, tonight”) seems more suited to a 2011 frat boy movie than knights during the crusades, many centuries ago.
When caught in a town stricken by pestilence, they are jailed. But they buy their freedom if they agree to accompany and deliver an accused witch on the treacherous journey to her trial in another hamlet. Throughout the journey, they are attacked and haunted.
Parts of the movie meant to be scary are just laughable, especially a scene with a demon. The last scenes of the movie were just ridiculous. The story is uninspired and too obsessed with telling us how allegedly corrupt and immoral the Christian priests are. And that’s not to mention that the movie was long, slow, and boooooooring. C’mon Hollywood, move it along.
I love Nicolas Cage, but this just wasn’t a good movie. And he didn’t make it any more bearable.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Casino Jack“: I found this movie boring, unfunny, and not at all accurate. Frankly, I thought it was kind of soft on lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the king of Washington sleaze.
To paraphrase the late Senator Lloyd Bentsen, I knew Jack Abramoff. And, Kevin Spacey, you’re no Jack Abramoff. And I don’t mean that in any generous way toward Abramoff, a lout and a scumbag, about whom I repeatedly warned people and no one listened. I just thought Spacey was all wrong for the role. He had no resemblance to Jack Abramoff in the movie and just didn’t get his personality down.
I also thought the movie skimped in telling the story of how Jack Abramoff, his partner-in-crime Michael Scanlon, and his friends, Jihad Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, ripped off Indian tribes and the American taxpayers, and deceived and lied to conservatives. Plus, the movie didn’t mention the lobbying they did on behalf of extremist Muslims and terrorist-financing Saudi and other Muslim banks. The movie got a lot of things wrong, and it just didn’t tell the story of the Abramoff scandal well.
It’s unfortunate that the movie placed so much importance on the fact that Jack Abramoff held himself out as an Orthodox Jew (though the evidence of his lack of piety is clear in the way he behaved himself and wantonly embarrassed the Jewish community). But that’s the fault of Jack Abramoff, a complete phony who lived a pious life outwardly, but in no real way. And if the movie was going to get into religion, why does it ignore, entirely, Abramoff’s sleazy friends, the Rabbis Lapin, Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Rabbi David Lapin, who received multi-million dollar pay-offs from Abramoff’s ill-gotten gains and have gotten away with it. The Islamo-pandering Rabbi Daniel Lapin, incredibly, touts a book on how the Bible helps you get wealthy. But, in fact, he got wealthy through his friend Abramoff’s rip-offs (and his previous experiences allegedly swindling congregations in Venice Beach and South Africa).
And as I wrote in a previous comment on this site to reader/commenter “Burke,” regarding this movie:
As I watched it, I certainly didn’t believe they’d make a movie like this about a Muslim, and if they did, his devout Islamic beliefs would be whitewashed out of the script. However, if anything, the movie soft-pedaled his crimes and lies.
But the movie skipped Abramoff’s and Norquist’s Islamic activities and the Lapins’ part in the Abramoff schemes and barely went into Jack Abramoff’s personal knowledge of a mob hit on a Casino owner, who owned a Casino boat Abramoff owned on paper. And the movie managed to make all the interesting parts of the story, including the mob hit, boring.
Yes, it was a boring, disjointed movie, and it wasn’t funny. In fact, it was kind of dopey. So, I can’t understand why Spacey has been nominated for so many awards for this. It’s just not good. And neither is Spacey’s acting in this. He plays Kevin Spacey, not Jack Abramoff.
A waste of time you’ll never get back. Jack Abramoff got off easy here. No pun or double entendre intended. Though with the real Jack Abramoff, maybe it applies.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Casino Jack, Country Strong, Daniel Lapin, David Lapin, Garrett Hedlund, Jack Abramoff, Kevin Spacey, Leighton Meester, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Nicolas Cage, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Rabbi David Lapin, Ron Perlman, Season of the Witch, Tim McGraw