April 18, 2008, - 3:19 pm

Weekend Box Office: Bin Laden’s American Propaganda Film, Semi-Porn Crap, Al Pacino’s Tortured Nadir, Great WWII Nazi Counterfeiters Flick

By Debbie Schlussel
This weekend, like last, has a lot of very awful new releases and one good one that is, sadly, restricted to arthouse theaters. But the worst of the films out this weekend is the one put out by Bin Laden’s new PR-man, Morgan Spurlock. I’ve never seen such a false movie in my life, as that of “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”. It is so bad that I’m saving my complete review in a different column, to be posted later. For now, I’ll only write a brief blurb of a review, in addition to complete reviews of the rest of the new movies. I did not screen Jackie Chan’s “Forbidden Kingdom.” Sorry. Ben Stein’s PR people did not return repeated calls requesting a screener of “Expelled.” Dumb move.

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* “Forgetting Sarah Marshall“: This latest Jud Apatow movie is completely disgusting and totally juvenile. Starting with the very beginning of the movie, we’re exposed to so many shots of writer/lead actor Jason Segel’s penis, I thought I’d accidentally stepped into an XXX pay-per-view. Sadly, this movie–with the most graphic dialogue I’ve ever heard in an R-rated movie–is being heavily marketed to young teens, including a special promotion on NBC, last night, during “The Office.”
Kristen Bell plays a TV star on a CSI-style detective show. She’s dating a dull, nerdy, girlie-man played by Jason Segel, who does the musical score for her abysmal TV show. She soon announces that she’s dumping him (while we’re “blessed” with many in-your-face shots of his penis). He decides to sulk at a Hawaiian resort, where lo-and-behold, his newly ex-girlfriend is with her new love, a kooky British rock star. As he basks in misery, while watching them enjoy their time there, he meets and falls for the beautiful hotel concierge (Mila Kunis). Oh, and he’s writing a dracula puppet musical.
Like I said, this movie is extremely crass and graphic, and while there were elusive moments that it was funny, mostly it was just gross and groanworthy. Not sure what the point of the movie was, actually, except to give cameos and supporting roles to all of Judd Apatow’s friends from his previous hit movies. Possible other motive of the movie producers: to stretch the bounds of R-ratings and well-bankrolled, drunken frat-boy-style stupidity.
Extremely skipworthy. Rated TT for Truly Tasteless. Yet another exercise in defining deviancy–and American culture–downward. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is forgettable in every aspect, save it’s high level of depravity.
* “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?“: I will post my complete, extensive review of this, later. The guy who lied about McDonald’s and easily got Hollywood lefties (redundant) to bankroll it, now get them to bankroll his celluloid lies about the Middle East, terrorism, and Israel. This anti-Semitic, stupid, completely false movie is the most fertilized thing I’ve ever watched onscreen. Again, stay tuned for my complete review column, later.
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* “88 Minutes“: Even though my good friend from college–former University of Michigan and pro hockey player Brad Turner–is in this movie (as “Fireman #2″), I couldn’t stand this waste of time movie. So much for truth in advertising. This inane, absurd pointless exercise in torture porn and a paycheck for Al Pacino is far longer than 88 minutes. But even that would have been too long.
It’s been a long fall from the days when he magnificently played Michael Corleone. No such high-level skill or script here. Instead, Pacino plays a poofy-haired (like he stuck his finger in the socket) FBI psychiatrist and college professor. He helped put away a serial rapist/torturer/killer, who is set to be executed by day’s end.
Soon, though, women from Pacino’s life turn up tortured, raped, and killed just like those of the death row prisoner. And Pacino starts getting calls telling him he has 88 minutes to live. He tries to solve the murders and find the killer, as well as stay alive. Several women who work with him or are his students are suspects, as is a guy in a leather jacket.
In addition to showing the torture killing of the women and their bodies hanging from pulleys, the movie is torturous in its unbelievable and ridiculous plot and “twists”. The script is lame and silly. So many characters and you barely know anything about them . . . or care. The whole thing is hardly thrilling. Just completely dumb and disconnected.
Pacino must have really needed the paycheck.
* “The Counterfeiters (Die Falscher)”: This subtitled foreign language Academy Award winner is a great movie about the true story of Jewish concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust. They were allowed to live and treated relatively better because they were counterfeiters charged with creating good phony British Pounds and American Dollars (to flood and destroy the Allies’ economies). The great thing about this movie is the moral dilemmas these men faced. On the one hand, they wanted to sabotage the Nazis.
On the other hand, if they sabotaged the counterfeiting efforts for too long, they would be gassed and replaced by new counterfeiters. But they knew that if they succeeded, they’d help the Nazis and hurt the British and American war efforts, counter to their goal of ending the war and defeating the Nazis. Also, if they succeeded too quickly, they’d also be executed, as their lives would no longer be necessary to the Nazis. What to do? This movie tells the story of what they did, how they coped, and what happened in a Nazi death camp as some Jews tried to live while also trying to defeat the Nazis.
One of the year’s best movies (even though it was technically from 2007). If it is playing in your area (mostly at arthouse theaters), go see it. If not, try to see it when it’s on DVD. Very Well Done!

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8 Responses

I was just forced to watch Super Size Me for a health class. I paid $452.21 plus books and transportation for this class – only to be told I’m going to die if I don’t go vegan. There was little in the movie that was factual, and most of his thesis was based on flimsy logic and his own twisted interpretation.
I don’t think Burger-gut found “Obama Been Lie’in”. I think he’s dead: killed by our forces about two years ago in a bomb drop. If he want’s to find Obama/Usama/Osama, then bring a good shovel and have no life for the next 5 years of digging out the collasped cave.

bhparkman on April 19, 2008 at 12:20 am

That was unfair of you to use Obama’s name like that. No I don’t like the guy, yes I compare him to “Professor Tomoe” from “Sailor Moon S”….but I’m not gonna go off the deep end and throw his name in with Osama like that.
Now about the movies….the people who lost their loved ones on 9/11 should be suing these movie compaines for the way they just spit in the face of these victoms.
And it’s gonna get worse people…wait til next friday.

Squirrel3D on April 19, 2008 at 1:29 am

Just saw another arthouse movie called “Priceless” with Audry Tautou, star of Amelie from a few years back. This was a pitch perfect romantic comedy. No politics, no distractions whatsoever. I highly recommend it.
I’m sure Hollywood will make a lousy American version.

sonomaca on April 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I loved “Amelie” – I have the DVD and its the greatest romantic movie I ever saw… beautiful story, great locations and heartfelt acting.

    I highly recommend it for pure escapist entertainment!

    NormanF on March 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm

BTW: Tautou’s costar is Gad Elmaleh, of Moroccan Jewish origin. Don’t know his politics, but he’s a fantastic actor.

sonomaca on April 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Deb, I never saw Supersize Me, simply because the premise sounded absolutely asinine. What’s next, a documentary about a guy drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and a case of Budweiser every day and calling it Supercirrhosis My Liver? Or how about a guy who smokes five packs of cigarrettes daily and call it Char My Lungs. Nobody I know eats at McD’s thrice a day every day…if you overindulge in something, of course it’s bad for you. Hello, McFly……!

richardzowie on April 19, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Where did he get the money to eat at mcdonald’s like that? And wouldn’t you get sick after eating from McDonald’s like after the 4th straight day??

Squirrel3D on April 20, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Squirrel3D:
Congratulations. You have successfully figured out everything that happens to Spurlock in Supersize Me:
1. Eat lots of McDonalds food.
2. Feel sick.
3. Keep eating it anyway.
4. Get fat.
5. Repeat.
Groundbreaking documentary, I know.

LibertarianBulbasaur on April 22, 2008 at 12:20 am

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