February 14, 2008, - 2:25 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
No, it’s not Friday yet. But to take advantage of that Valentine’s Day dollar, Hollywood has three new releases for you at the box office today. I did not screen “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” due to being stuck in a snowstorm, Tuesday Night when it was screend. Will try to review that for tomorrow. In the meantime, there are these:
* “Jumper“: Not only is this movie short and sweet (at just under 1 hour, 30 minutes), but this sci-fi action adventure thriller is cool and different. Hayden Christensen plays a teen, later adult, who learns–upon almost drowning–that he has a gift to teletransport himself from place to place. Those who can do this are called “jumpers.”
And like many immature teens who learn they can secretly go from place to place, Christensen leaves home and robs banks until he can afford the lifestyle of a millionaire. Then, he grows up and uses his unique power to tour the world. The coolest scene is when we see him having lunch and laying out on a lounge chair atop a the Great Sphinx of Giza amidst the Egyptian Pyraminds. Then we see him pop into a London pub for a one-night stand with a cute blonde he picks up at a pub. No “coyote arm” necessary–as he transports himself back to New York before she wakes up.
And while we’d like to think that, with special powers, comes special responsibilities, that’s not the way it goes. Christensen watches TV on the giant screen in his luxe Manhattan penthouse loft. He sees a disaster somewhere else in the U.S. But he does not transport himself over there to help. This isn’t a deep Albert Schweitzer or liberal do-gooder movie.
Christensen finally decides to look for the crush of his life, his young friend Millie (the beautiful Rachel Bilson), who is now grown up in Ann Arbor. But he’s been discovered by one of the “Paladins,” a class of “jumper”-hunters who, throughout the centuries, capture and kill jumpers. The paladin on his tail is Samuel L. Jackson (in a very bad, very obvious white wig). And Christensen learns he’s not the only jumper.
My biggest objection to this movie is that it’s a little jerky, as Christensen jumps from New York to Tokyo to Ann Arbor, etc. That may be headache-inducing for some. Also, Christensen does some dumb things, which are sure to alert the paladins to his location. And, because it’s a relatively short movie, there isn’t a lot of story development in terms of motivations and reactions, which is not what this movie’s about. It’s a light sci-fi flick. Fun and relaxing, but not deep or even close to a Star Wars level. Entertaining enough, though. And again, very cool.
* “Definitely, Maybe“: This is a low-rate rip-off of “When Harry Met Sally” times three (and far less than a third as funny)–three women, that is. But don’t let that fool you. I found the movie boring, predictable, and only mildly charming.
As I recently wrote, this sappy chick flick is about a guy who works for Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign, complete with clips of Clinton wagging his finger at us denying sex with “That woman, Ms. Lewinsky,” Gennifer Flowers footage, and Clinton parsing words when he got caught lying under oath. Hard to tell if this is a wet kiss or kiss-off for Hillary, since Hollywood made it before Obama was considered a viable candidate.
I didn’t like this movie on so many levels, foremost of which was that it’s about a father telling his young daughter (about age 9 or so) about his sex and love life bouncing between three women. Um, do you discuss the word “three-some” with your daughter (at any age)? Didn’t think so. That whole father-daughter discussion just annoyed me throughout the film because it’s soooooo inappropriate, and, well, kind of disgusting. The word “Eeuuww” comes to mind.
Ryan Reynolds plays a bored advertising exec–he’s the former Clintonite–who is getting divorced and picks his young daughter (Abigail Breslin) up from school. He learns that she is learning sex ed and she asks him about “penetration” and other graphic descriptions of sex. He then tells her the story about how he met her mother and two other women in his life. Like I said, the discussion is pretty detailed.
The three women: Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz, and unwed-mom-to-Borat’s-kid Isla Fisher, play Reynolds’ three “loves.” The way he pathetically bounces back and forth between only these three from collee to post-divorce in almost two hours, it basically is a “threesome.” And it’s annoying and hardly believable.
The worst thing about the movie is that the three women act like men and Reynolds–the guy–is the chick in this movie. Yup, that’s the new empowerment. All hail the new feminized Valentine’s Day.
Tags: Abigail Breslin, Albert Schweitzer, Ann Arbor, Bill Clinton, bored advertising exec, datestring, Debbie Schlussel, Elizabeth Banks, Harry Met Sally, Hayden Christensen, Isla Fisher, Jumper, London pub, lounge chair, Millie, New York, Rachel Bilson, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Tokyo, Valentine's Day