January 14, 2011, - 4:58 pm

Wknd Box Office: Green Hornet, Dilemma, Blue Valentine, Somewhere, Rabbit Hole, Four Lions

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s another Netflix/Blockbuster/rent-it/just-stay-home weekend at the box office.  Yup, everything pretty much stinks.

*  “The Green Hornet“:  This is the disaster that happens when an overpaid, talentless slacker actor from “Knocked Up” (read my review) gets to acquire, write, produce, and completely ruin a classic comic book superhero.  Thanks, Seth Rogen.

I wanted to see a real superhero movie, not one in which a slacker becomes a silly parody of a superhero, along with the parodies of villains that populate this movie.  I liked the gadgets and cool cars, but that’s about it.  The rest of it is just a mess.

And, parents, beware of this movie.  Who makes a superhero movie–to which kids are sure to flock–filled with four-letter and otherwise inappropriate words?  The hack, Seth Rogen, that’s who.  The family of George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, who invented the Green Hornet and still own the rights, must really be desperate for a payday to license Rogen to so utterly poop on their ancestors’ creation.

The story in this movie has nothing to do with the real Green Hornet, the masked vigilante who became part of American pop culture. This is just some uncreative, unimaginative idiot’s (Rogen’s) view of what a superhero should be like: unheroic and stupid. And inept, too. In this warped version, Rogen plays Britt Reid, the slacker, playboy son of a billionaire newspaper magnate. When his father dies, Reid takes over the newspaper and wants to restore it to its former glory on the advice of his thinks-she’s-smart secretary, a somewhat haggard-looking Cameron Diaz.

Rogen also discovers that his father’s mechanic, Kato, has a knack for building fantastic security features in a fabulous collection of cars. And he also has a knack for beating up multiple people in a fight. Soon, Rogen and Kato are baiting and fighting criminals, while posing as criminals to get in on the game. The criminals they are fighting have as their crime lord a silly, diminutive guy played by Christoph Waltz. Wow, did he fall far from his masterful role as the Nazi in “Inglourious Basterds” (read my review). Rogen also discovers that the District Attorney is evil and trying to co-opt news coverage of his on-the-job performance.

Not only was the movie a mess and not the least bit interesting, but I also found it long, slow, and kinda boring, and briefly fell asleep despite all the eye-candy gadgets and loud soundtrack. This wasn’t a tight movie. It was sloppy. And stupid.

This morning on SiriusXM Patriot Channel’s Mike Church Show, on which I do movie reviews every Friday morning between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. Eastern, I gave this half a Reagan ONLY because I liked the cool cars with cool gadgets, but I was in error.  In writing this review, it’s so clear it deserves so much less.  Thus, I now give it the half Marx it deserves, which is, frankly, being charitable.

ONE-HALF MARX
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Dilemma“:  I like Vince Vaughn, but his movies are becoming less and less funny, and more and more painful to sit through.  This is the latest nadir on the trajectory downward.  It wasn’t funny.  It was a mess.  And it was basically a chick flick . . . and the chicks were Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.  The bro-mance was filled with melodrama and heated arguments and speeches by and between guys.  And the women:  well, Queen Latifah (if you can call her a woman, and that’s debatable) had two, um, “memorable” lines in this movie.  Both were about how she’s “sporting lady wood.”  TMI, (wo)MAN.  Too Much Info.  The same goes for the in-your-face naked butt shot of Channing Tatum, complete with smiley face tattoo.  You stay classy, Hollyweird.

Vaughn and James are close friends who have a chance to make millions to develop a noise-making engine for an electric car for Chrysler.  But while they are toiling to deliver on the deal, Vaughn spies James’ wife (Winona Ryder) making out with the very hot Tatum.  His dilemma is whether or not to tell his friend James about this while they are trying to score their multi-millions from Chrysler and risk ruining the deal.  The dilemma and the movie–to that point–are not bad.  But once he makes his decision to tell his friend, the movie goes nuts.  Screaming, crying, spying, fighting.  It was all over the map.  And the ending was dumb–the gazillionth ending, as the movie went on waaay tooo looong.

So, would you tell  your friend if you saw his/her spouse cheating?  At the end of the movie, you won’t even care about the question.  The flick goes that far off base.

The only real “dilemma” here is what movie to rent instead of wasting your time on this.

THREE MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Blue Valentine“: Most of the mainstream (read: liberal) movie critics are swooning over this utter garbage. The movie got a lot of buzz over its initial NC-17 rating. Don’t believe the hype. There’s not much there, just a guy’s head shown going in a downward direction, with the implication that he’s performing oral sex. And the reason the movie has to rely on this crap is that that’s all there is. It’s basically flashbacks and current scenes of a couple, Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, from when they meet and marry to their present fighting, drunkenness, and melodrama.

Both are working class teens who meet and marry when she becomes pregnant with another guy’s kid. Then, six years later, they are bitter–she, because she wants him to want more than being a house painter, and he, because he suspects that she’s having an affair and she isn’t happy with his present lack of ambition.

And, of course, the movie has a stereotypically Jewish-looking doctor (big beak and all) who is also stereotypically lecherous and trying to get with her, despite knowing she’s married.

I absolutely hated this total waste-of-time, slow, and boring-beyond-belief piece of trash “movie.” If you want to see husbands and wives fighting, go to your local divorce court, and you’ll get something far more interesting–and less expensive–than this pointless utter piece of crap.  One of the most over-rated movies.  EVER.

FOUR MARXES PLUS AN OBAMA PLUS A BIN LADEN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Somewhere“: Why would I want to waste my time seeing an on-screen depiction of the Charlie Sheen lifestyle (minus the violence), when I can read it in Us Magazine and People, instead? Stephen Dorff plays a playboy movie star who lives at Chateau Marmont, has twin strippers performing for him in his hotel room, sleeps around with everyone including his movie co-stars, drives around in a Ferrari (or is it a Lamborghini?–I wasn’t sure), and occasionally sees his daughter from a previous relationship. Boring, slow, a waste of time. Garbage. A reality show of Charlie Sheen would be more interesting. But not by much. Yawn.

THREE MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Rabbit Hole“: A depressing, slow, boring story of a troubled couple whose young boy was killed in a car accident. Not sure what the point was … other than to give an aging Nicole Kidman a role that doesn’t need botox, and give Aaron Eckhart a paycheck gig in-between good movies.

TWO MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Four Lions“:  A group of Muslim idiots want to become Islamic terrorist homicide bombers in London.  If only all Islamic terrorists were this stupid.  Sadly, almost none are.  But it was mildly humorous and entertaining, despite the duplicitous intent of the filmmakers to have viewers believe that only people this dumb and inept are Islamic terrorists and that most Muslims are nothing like homicide bomber wannabes.

ZERO REAGANS OR MARXES – A WASH
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Watch the trailer .  .  .

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25 Responses

From what I can make out of the trailer and your review, the Green Hornet film appears to be based pretty much on the exact same running gag as the 1987 movie, “Without A Clue” with Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. The premise of that film was that unbeknownst to the public, Sherlock Holmes was really a dimwitted drunk and Dr. Watson was the real brains behind the duo. Here we have what appears to be the exact same situation, only with the Green Hornet and Kato instead of Holmes and Watson.

Irving on January 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

The Blue Valentine poster apparently gives us a charming public restroom sex scene.

Worry01 on January 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

LOL! I really like your reviews. I miss Gene Siskel and you fill his shoes rather well.

Thanks for the good-guts on “Blue Valentine”. Boy, peeps are swooning over it and I will not see it now. I’m a movie snob and am VERY picky about movies and I never normally would see such stuff, but the premise of this film I found interesting (many peeps start off hot and heavy in romnce and reality and life sets in and romance becomes stale and boring) but you bottom-lined it for me.

Ditto for the Rabbit Hole film. Next!

Skunky on January 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Unfortunately, I knew The Green Hornet movie was going to be a complete disaster when I first saw who was starring in it: Seth Rogen. ‘Nuff Sed!

Pats on January 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Another clue besides Seth Rogen and a January release date that this movie is bad is that they changed directors, actors and story lines multiple times during production. When they had Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle)set to direct and be Kato I was looking forward to this. Then as they say it went down hill from there. So add it to the netflix que, not near the top and see it then.

ender on January 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!
I was one of those ‘few’ Green Hornet fans mainly because of Kato. (Bruce Lee – the original and still the best!) The show was a bit corny but superheros without some magical unexplainable super powers, I mean these guys were beleivable and could have been real, I thought that was awesome!!! I just learned last weekend of this movie and was looking forward to seeing it.
…than I read about it…it’s comedy?…two of my favorite heroes turned into a $%^#$! joke?!
I hate you Seth Rogan, hate, Hate, HATE!!!!
You were staring a gift horse in the mouth buttmunch!

I heard too that the 3D version makes the action scenes, especially the fighting hard to see. The reviewer said it’s really hard to tell what’s going on. I guess without Bruce Lee they had to use some gimmics to cover up all the ‘suck’.

PS…can you tell I’m a bit P’d off about this?

theShadow on January 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

I was looking forward to seeing the Green Hornet, but some previews I saw caused me to wonder. I just read another bad review earlier today and won’t waste my hard-earned money on this movie. As a kid I looked forward to watching the Green Hornet. Thanks for your input Debbie. I am quite disappointed. I was planning a forty-mile drive to see a matinee over the holiday. The A Team movie was another huge disappointment. I saw Unstoppable over the holidays. That was an excellent movie.

Aaron on January 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

When I saw the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1″ film, I had to sit through countless trailers. One was for the stupid “Green Hornet” movie that was reviewed here. Another was for another superhero film about to be released some time from now, “Green Lantern.” The audio was so loud, I had to wear earplugs the whole time I was at the theatre.

And just a few days ago Syfy ran episodes of the 1966-67 “Green Hornet” TV series with Van Williams in the title role, and Bruce Lee as Kato. That show was many steps above that piece of garbage Rogen came up with.

ConcernedPatriot on January 14, 2011 at 10:18 pm

GREAT that they are making such bad movies. I am saving a lot of $. I guess I will never go to movies again. What has happened? The movies of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s WERE Excellent. Of course they were made without wanting to send out a “liberal” message. Also they were patriotic.

If only we could bring back John Wayne, John Garfield or Robert Mitchum and make a patriotic movie with America fighting the Islamic terrorists like they did during WW2 against the Nazis and the Japs who attacked Pearl Harbor. This would break all box office records, but we know that will not happen.

Fred on January 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Fred – With the new CGI technology that has been developed which allows Hollywood the ability to bring dead actors to life again, Hollywood may end up having our favorite actors sending out the PC/liberal message pretty soon… that is if they can pay off the families who hold the copy/image rights of these past actors.
    I can only pray that this doesn’t ever happen.

    Pats on January 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

The 3D darkness comes from them converting the movie to 3D. This is another attempt to save money and make more money from the same crappy film. They film it as a regular film, then convert it to 3D, which darkens the picture. They then charge you 2 or 3 times the ticket price for a movie that is unwatchable. Films that are made in 3D from the start cost more to make but the picture is actually much brighter. As more of the public figures out this scam they will find a way to make the conversion better and cheaper while raising your ticket costs.

ender on January 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

Good reviews, Debbie, as always. Right on target. I agree completely with four out of five.

Rabbit Hole was an excruciating bore. I have liked movies in the past based on hit-and-run culpability and guilt (21 Grams, Crossing Guard, not Crash). This one, though, stunk. Full of platitudes and complacent melodrama.

Dilemma was also boring, as you pointed out. The attempted “funny” lines weren’t funny. I don’t think Ron Howard can do comedy. Maybe this is karma for his smug attack film Frost/Nixon. Maybe he will now go downhill as Reiner did after he tried becoming a liberal filmmaker. I like “motor-mouth” Vaughn, too, as you do, but he had a poor script to work with this time.

Green Hornet was uneven at best. I chuckled at parts. That’s all I can say of it. I can enjoy superhero parody (for example, Megamind), but not this.

You said it perfectly about Somewhere, Debbie. Why pay for a movie ticket to feel sorry about Charlie Sheen’s empty life? Who cares about him and those like him? This is another whiny film from liberal Hollywood brat Sofia Coppola who routinely complains about strict parents (Virgin Suicides), neglectful dads (this film), mean adults and stupid conservatives (Lost in Translation).

However, I loved, absolutely loved, Blue Valentine– a bittersweet, beautiful story about falling “out of” love. A truly perceptive, non-judgmental story about people. The movie was sad, wise and humanistic. One of my favorites of the year.

Burke on January 15, 2011 at 11:15 am

Debbie ‘Black Swan’ was OK despite some boring parts, but it shouldn’t go unsaid that the four top female roles were played by Jewish actresses. Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder were not well cast as ballerinas, but they can both do crazy. I wonder if they had Hadassah meetings on set.

A1 on January 15, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I came.

Timothy Dalton on January 16, 2011 at 4:11 am

Ah, remember the days when Hollywood made good movies? Movies that provided some escape from the real world, not reality TV on the big screen. And they wonder why people don’t go to the movies like they used to. Everything in our pathetic culture is geared to the LCD and the maturity level of a pre-teen.

JeffT on January 16, 2011 at 11:28 am

Don’t mean to be off topic here Debbie and everybody else, since where speaking of movie reviews, hollywood, etc. What is your opinion on “Family Guy” & “American Dad”? I’m thankfull where giving the political talk a rest for once (which at a time I get really sick and tired and bored of talking politics).

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on January 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I just saw the Green Hornet movie and Debbie was dead on with her review. Seth Rogen is just like Jack Black–he has only one character he can do; so no matter what the role, it is the same character. Edward Furlong, who has been all over the media of late in relation to his role in the movie, has a two minute part. The movie was a total dud. If you really want to see it, just wait until it comes out on DVD.

King David on January 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Partial off topic:

I saw “The King’s Speech” today. It is every bit as great as Debbie says that it is, meaning movie of the year–whether in 2010 or in any other year.

The reason why I’m commenting here is because it’s too late for me to comment on any of the posts where Debbie discussed the movie.

JeffE on January 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Debbie, I really do not care of all the up above mentioned movies except for the Green Hornet. Now after reading your review I am even less eager to see it. I saw the trailers and I could not believe they made this movie into a joke! I remember seeing a few episodes when I was younger and the local station decided to show more of Batman than the Green Hornet. Those few scenes did not even come close to being that sorry as this trailers. I am a gadget guy and even the car and cool stuff was not enough for me to waste good money for this. Thanks for your reviews, I might just wait until it comes out on the local REDBOX kiosk and waste a dollar instead.

Mario on January 17, 2011 at 3:13 am

The only positive paradigm to these movies can be the imagination the critics will use to portray said films to the dustbin of history. Debbie did the best she could with what she had to work with, and yes I will keep my money. Thanks for the truth again.

Lars on January 17, 2011 at 9:23 am

Can anyone tell me why Seth Rogan is in movies? Did he have a high placed relative or friend in the business? I can’t think of any other reason why Rogan was able to get in movies.

Oscar on January 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

havn’t watched the other movies.

My comment here is related to Four Lions. it’s a very passive movie. i mean it in the sense, you watch it, you laugh, you comment..and the message strikes almost at the end. Although the movie shows Muslims, it is actually about the Western world. the way most people view Muslims because of what the media says.

the Urdu dialogues in the Sundance version had me laughing as I did not need subtitles for that (yes, some humour did get lost in translation).. and the conflicting personalities inside the character Omar, were very well acted. the acting was actually brilliant and the comic timing was perfect. the Brits win when it comes to making movies that make you think.

dialogues from law enforcement officers like – “How can that be the wrong target? i shot him!” expose the dangers of one-dimensional cops all around us.

It’s not a movie about support jihadists or attacking their cause, it’s mainly about a great script with killer dialogues.
just like “In The Loop” from last year.

watch it with an open mind. and don’t judge it because of the obvious. the humour in it, is in layers.

my review when it first came out – http://passionforcinema.com/bringin-da-fun-back-in-fundamentalist-four-lions-review/

Raj on January 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

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