August 26, 2011, - 6:52 pm

Wknd Box Office: Our Idiot Brother, Another Earth, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Colombiana, Names of Love

By Debbie Schlussel

The best new movie actually came out a couple of weeks ago, but I missed the screening and didn’t get to it ’til now.  The other great movie is the one that makes fun of every left-wing and PC group of people.

*  “Our Idiot Brother“: I enjoyed this adult look at the morons who make up left-wing, politically-correct America.  The “idiot brother” in the title is, in fact, the smarter of all his orthodox liberal siblings.  But, yes, he’s still a moron.  And it’s funny (but raunchy and not for kids).

Paul Rudd is an organic, er . . . “bio-dynamic” (which is supposed to be super-organic) farmer, living with his dreadlock-haired girlfriend and their dog, “Willie Nelson.”  But, at a farmer’s market, he sells pot to a uniformed cop and gets sent to jail for eight months.  When he returns, his girlfriend has a new hippie airhead boyfriend, and he needs a place to stay.  He is shuttled between the dwellings of his three sisters and their crazy, selfish, liberal lives.

Among the “highlights” is his married sister, whose husband is a documentary filmmaker.  They refuse to allow their son to eat any sugar beyond a single cupcake a week, and they won’t let him take karate classes or play games involving play-fighting.  Instead, he is forced to take a girl’s modern dance class, full of–what else!–girls, while his male schoolmates are all in karate.  The “idiot brother” commits the crime of all crimes teaching his nephew fighting moves and how to play video games.

Another of the idiot brother’s sisters is a lesbian who constantly cheats on her butch lover with real men. She holds parties where her brother is accosted by unwanted advances from swingers, and then she takes him to a “therapist” who makes them sit in a steam-filled wind tent.

And finally there is the ambitious sister (Elizabeth Banks) who is so selfish that she uses confidential things her brother got from a source in order to make her career.  She is so annoying that she makes sure to tell a server that her two soft-serve ice cream flavors must be “side by side, not swirled.”

It’s far funnier than my telling of it.  But, rest assured, you’ll be happy to see a movie like this that makes fun of the fruits, nuts, and flakes, anything goes, PC, granola crowd.  Did Hollywood really make this? And why is it being released in movie pet cemetery August?

TWO REAGANS
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* “Another Earth“: I absolutely loved this. It’s like a modern-day version of “The Twilight Zone,” with maybe a little too much melodrama thrown in. Still loved it, anyway. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I like original movies, especially when there’s a sci-fi element thrown in. The ending was perfect, too.

The story: a smart high school senior interested in astronomy gets into MIT, and she is very cocky because her life is set to go to great heights. But she drives drunk and kills a college professor’s wife and son, after she crashes into them. After four years of prison, she is released and becomes a high school janitor, embarrassed over what she made of her once-promising life. She makes a failed attempt to apologize to the man whose family she killed. When she goes to his house, she doesn’t have the guts to say who she is or apologize, and instead says she’s from a maid service. She begins cleaning his house and a relationship of sorts develops.

In the meantime, another planet has descended and come into full view of Earth. It’s soon determined that the planet, “Earth 2,” is a mirror image of ours with all of the same people who led the same lives . . . or did they? A contest is being held for one lucky earthling to go to the new planet. And the two stories intertwine.

If a little slow at first, the movie really builds up to an exciting second half. Kept me rapt at attention to the movie screen and what happens next. Like I said, the ending is perfect. Way better than an August flick.

FOUR REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark“: I never saw the original 1973 TV movie of which this is a remake. But this was fine. It wasn’t that scary, but it was entertaining enough. Once the monsters are revealed, it was even less scary, but I enjoyed the architecture of the old house and artwork in this. Both play key roles in the plot.

The story: an architect (Guy Pearce) and his interior designer girlfriend (Katie Holmes) are almost done rehabbing an old mansion, when the man’s daughter from his now-concluded marriage comes to live with them. The daughter doesn’t like the old house and finds it creepy. Plus she feels the couple doesn’t want her there. They are busy with the house, which they need as a showplace to restore their careers and finances. While they are busy restoring the home, the daughter finds a long lost basement and soon begins hearing voices calling to her in the darkness.

Nothing offensive about this, and it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t great. But it’s fine for under two hours of escaping real life. This is also better than an August movie.

ONE-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Colombiana“: This wasn’t screened for critics, so I paid my own way to see it, and it wasn’t that bad. However, I wince at movies featuring a teeny-tiny skinny girl kicking big guys’–trained assassins’–butts. It just ain’t believable.

Real-life whiner, Zoe “Hollywood is Racist Against Me” Saldana, plays a little girl in Colombia whose parents are murdered by the drug cartel in which her father was a major player. She escapes to Chicago, where she is raised by her gangster Hispanic father (who is played by a Maori actor with a bad Latino accent). She tells him she wants to grow up to be a killer, so she can kill those who murdered her parents. The movie becomes a bloodfest with unbelievable feats by Soldana, but it’s still entertaining, though completely mindless, fighting and action stuff.

I can see why they didn’t screen this for critics, but it wasn’t all bad, and I’ve screened much worse. Not a great movie or even close. But it’s adequate if you like straight, uncomplicated action adventure mixed with a lot of killing. It’s very clever at times, but mostly your average action flick involving a killer.

The part I most detested about this is that the killer, Saldana, is made into some kind of hero, when she isn’t. She’s just as bad as those she kills, so it’s really a zero sum game with no one to root for.

ONE-HALF REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Names of Love [Le Nom Des Gens]“: I absolutely hated this movie. But it’s a wet dream for the interfaith dialogue, multi-cultural types who think 9/11 was perpetrated by a ghost. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but I didn’t laugh once, and for good reason: it ain’t funny.

A silly, stupid, free-spirited half-Algerian Muslim Arab liberal falls for the atheist son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, and together they have lots of sex. But that’s after she sleeps with all the right-wingers in France to try to make them liberals. And after she walks around France in full-frontal nudity and marries Muslim illegal aliens so they can become citizens of France and avoid deportation. Oh, and she shows the Jewish guy a Holocaust memorial and encourages him to ask his mother about the past. We are the world, we are the children, can’t we all just get along, blah, blah, blah. The end.

Remember, this is a comedy. Haha, funny. Where’s Joe Pesci’s character from “Goodfellas” when I need him? And a barf bag, too–also very much needed for this really awful piece of vomit-inducing crap.

FOUR MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

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32 Responses

The “Another Earth” movie is a remake of a similar movie, “Journey to the Far Side of the Sun” (1969), but without as much drunken-murder drama.

DPShow on August 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Columbiana was originally going to be done about 15 years ago as a sequel to the great movie “Leon the Professional” by Luc Besson. But timing and stuff didn’t connect. This is supposed to have been about Matilda (Natalie Portman) getting her revenge for the death of Leon(Jean Reno). They then dumped it on to another director and lot’s of rewrites and ta-da.

Leon is the only film that I can stand Portman in. It is her first movie and she actually acts very well in it. Not sure what George Lucas did to kill he acting ability but it is gone now. I had always hoped for a sequel for her to figure out that Fat Tony (Danny Aiello) ratted them out to the dirty cop (Gary Oldman)and she gets her revenge. Oh well.

ender on August 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Wow. Hippy-dippy Liberalism is the genre this week. I just watched the preview of “The Names of Love” and I can understand why you hated it. Ugh. I’m so annoyed just from the preview.

Oh, and the very un-beautiful Zoe Saldana is in another crap movie. Why she is considered pretty is soooo beyond me. She looks like the “Joker” after an afternoon of dumpster-diving. Ick.

Guy Pearce in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”. I’ll be there after “Irene” tears up the joint. Yay!

And maybe I will even see “My Idiot Brother”. I loved all the facetious jabs at Liberalism! The ice cream and the faux lesbian cracked me up.

(Since I’m in the heart of disgusting Liberalism, and two movies were nauseatingly Liberal, I have to share what I saw at an UBER vegetarian/organic cafe today. It made my heart smile like an alligator!

This uber-Liberal eatery is FILLED to the rafters with just about every version of hippy-Liberals you can imagine. It’s got the “Jesus Christ” sandals, those sneakers with the toes, girls with tattoes, Lesbians-a-go-go, eyeglasses that look like “crazy straws”, dread-locks, flowing skirts…you name it. The place does crazy business and its gorgeously decorated. So one of the perks is that they have a library of Liberal books for the diners to read. **The owner had to put up signs that basically said “Please feel free to read the books HERE, but they must STAY here. We have lost half of our library but we will happily replace the stolen books if you agree to keep them here and SHARE”**.

I LOVED it. I’m as Conservative as they come and I would NEVER steal their books. Liberalism is a lie and “generates the opposite of it’s stated intent”. Just can’t wait ’til someone puts a fork in Liberalism!)

Skunky on August 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I would say with regards to the last movie reviewed, the Left is with a handful of exceptions, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

A movie character would want to convert every left-winger to conservative. Rational people don’t hate the Jews and they identify strongly with Israel.

I’d rather have conservative Christians in Israel’s corner than fake liberal Jews who identify with Israel’s enemies and want to see Israel destroyed.

That’s the reality of the world today.

NormanF on August 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Skunky:

Zoe Saldana is pretty. Not pretty enough to play Uhura in Star Trek (just as Halle Berry wasn’t pretty enough to play Storm in X-Men) but still pretty. You likely feel otherwise because she isn’t in your, how shall I say it, target demographic. But hey, I don’t feel that Julia Roberts or Sarah Jessica Parker are the least bit pretty, so I guess I am not in their target market either.

Gerald on August 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Gerald, I don’t understand. What is my “target demographic”. My OPINION is I don’t find her pretty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, doncha know? I don’t, you do…that’s ok with me.

    It’s like taste. Some people like spicy food some don’t. Some like mayo, some don’t.

    SJP is not the perfect beaut, but she puts herself together very well (she looks prettier than she is always) and her eyes are very pretty. I think she is prettier than Zoe Saldana. But that’s just me. Some peeps think Larry King is hot stuff…I don’t. Christian Bale is, IMHO much better looking than Larry King. It’s all a matter of taste.

    Skunky on August 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Not just the fact that Hollywood keeps depicting 105 lb. women beating up and killing males that are twice their size and three times their strength. It is that Hollywood keeps depicting the women who play these parts as being sexually desirable. Basically, where guys rooted for male action heroes like Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood etc. in parts like these because it gave them cool masculine role models to identify with, now males are supposed to lust after Angelina Jolie and Zoe Saldana while they act like men. There’s got to be a homosexual activist agenda at work there somehow.

Gerald on August 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Agree about the 105# women “tough girls.” For a role like that, you need Cynthia Rothrock!

    Kent on August 28, 2011 at 10:47 am

I saw the movie, “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark”. I liked the old buildings and architecture as well. I’ve always had a love for old buildings and photograph many of them, in black and white, color and infrared. I look at them and wonder what families were raised in them, the conflicts of life they faced, the ups and downs and the good times and bad that were part of the history of these old buildings. Kim (Katie) was my favorite actress in the movie. I consider this a ‘B-’ film at best though.

Phillip L. on August 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

skunky:

Well, as you said, to each his own …

Gerald on August 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I saw four films this week and enjoyed them all fairly well. (No, that does not mean I’m a left-leaning troll or industry plant, Fred.) Idiot Brother was good satire and your review of it was perfect, Debbie. I also liked the lavishly textured Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. As I watched the film I imagined how much Skunky would enjoy Guy Pearce’s performance. The film wasn’t especially scary, though, as you point out, because the “fairies” as they’re called were just little gremlins that would be easy to squash if you stomped on them. This lack is surprising since Del Torro who produced usually takes great pride in creating original and scary creatures (he did Pan’s Labyrinth). However, the profile of the sullen daughter was subtle and–as you pointed out–the Gothic mansion was beautifully atmospheric. I liked Colombiana okay and support Luc Besson’s work in general, but this story was a little thin and predictable. Also, I agree with you, Gerald, that Zoe Saldana might usually be considered pretty, but I thought in this movie she looked skeletal. I wouldn’t be surprised if, in making this movie, Besson had his first big hit from long ago in mind, La Femme Nikita, with Anne Parrilaud. There were a lot of resemblances to the early film, especially the preposterous and pulpy plot, manic action and superhuman abilities of the waif-like heroin. My favorite movie this week was one you didn’t review: The Devil’s Double, a fictionalized account of Uday Hussein–Saddam’s psychotic, playboy son. Most astonishing of all was the way the film avoided taking any cheap knocks against George H.W. Bush or the U.S.

Burke on August 26, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    I mean heroine.

    Burke on August 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

    LOL Burke! Thanks! Guy Pearce is indeed my favourite Australian actor. He’s very individualistic and has a broad range. I love him in Australian films the best…but I love almost everything Australian the best!

    Skunky on August 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

I’m glad to see you found most of the movies you saw this week worthwhile Debbie. None of them are enough to get me in a theater, but I may rent “My Idiot Brother” later.

As for Zoe Saldana, she’s too “Barbie Doll” for my taste. The thin body and model type bone structure may look good in fashion shoots and on runways, but I have a hard time seeing her as an action hero.

DavidJ on August 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Wow- only one movie out of five got Marxes! Far better than an average week for Debbie, I’d say.

Haven’t seen Colombiana yet, but I’m surprised to hear Cliff Curtis’s accent is lacking. You’d think with the frequency he is cast as a latino character, he might be able to pull off some generic Hispanic accent.

Robert on August 27, 2011 at 1:51 am

Did you like the musical saw scene in ‘Another Earth’?
You can hear music from it on the composer’s website http://www.scottmunsonmusic.com/news/music-in-film-another-earth-soundtrack/

Michelle on August 27, 2011 at 5:01 am

Wow, so many good movies this week except one? Looks like the Hollywood crowd must be really wasted to have let these go by.

Infidel Pride on August 27, 2011 at 7:00 am

Debbie could u please add a line to each review on the level of Jewish content and nudity in each movie? Todah.

A1 on August 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

Didn’t Saldana play that part already in THE LOSERS?

I like how after years of bitching about having ethnic parts being played by whites, Hollywood finds it acceptable to have a Maori play a Latino? I guess the late Anthony Quinn played a lot of non-Latinos in his time, so now we have the reverse.

Another Earth is intriguing, though I have to wonder about the gravitational effects of planets that big that close to each other.

Anudda Oith on August 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Well Debbie maybe I will watch the Idiot movie after all. I wasn’t going to since I am soooo tired of seeing the culture take a big crap all over white people every chance they get. Every commercial has an idiot white guy being advised by somebody ethnic and smarter than they are. I won’t be seeing Columbiana for the same reason. I don’t get how many times are we going to be forced to consider another under sized female in a hero role defeating larger males. Before somebody says I’m not being fair, I’d like to point out how under represented black or white females are in special forces units. Like there aren’t any. I know about other countries but still, they don’t beat male counter parts hand to hand. Movies suck so bad these days.

samurai on August 28, 2011 at 12:55 am

I spent a year in Rotorua, where the maori actor grew up. Probably worked with one of his cousins, no doubt.

Occam's Tool on August 28, 2011 at 3:48 am

Real-life whiner, Zoe “Hollywood is Racist Against Me” Saldana, plays a little girl in Colombia whose parents are murdered by the drug cartel in which her father was a major player. She escapes to Chicago, where she is raised by her gangster Hispanic father (who is played by a Maori actor with a bad Latino accent).

Her parents are murdered and she escapes to Chicago and is raised by her father?

Miranda Rose Smith on August 28, 2011 at 5:23 am

Somehow I think of the Idiot Brother character not really as a Conservative nee neocon, but as of someone who supports liberty and freedom instead of the nanny state global elites who push neo-left and neo right ideas up our rear ends!

Bob Porrazzo on August 28, 2011 at 7:07 am

I think your reviews are funny, and somehow I feel that you’re a joke.

Zack on August 28, 2011 at 10:45 am

Female action hero part? Cast Cynthia Rothrock. Make it at least believable that she is capable.

Kent on August 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

I saw Our Idiot Brother and Columbiana this weekend.

I loved Our Idiot Brother, Rudd did outstandingly in it.

As for Columbiana, in technical movie reviewer’s jargon: “That movie sucked hairy monkey balls.”

I am a total fan of Luc Besson, but Columbiana was awful. The movie was slow and boring, made all the more worse by Saldana’s wooden acting. Worse, yet, Saldana was so physically weak she couldn’t even realistically pull off the fight scenes.

King David on August 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I saw the original made-for-TV movie version of “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” when I was a kid. It scared the pants off me. :D

Escovado on August 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I can’t wait to see Columbiana since I’m a Luc Besson freak. I can’t believe he’s a Frenchy. I can’t recall if I’ve ever disliked a movie of his.

I agree, it’s goofy seeing small babes kick guy’s butts. But, I don’t want to see some 200 pound Amazon, so I’ll give them a pass. Not that Saldana is a beauty, but she’s decent.

Thanks so much for the Idiot Brother review. I would have thought just looking at it that it was another stupid non-funny comedy. I’ll get to see it very soon. That’s why I love you so much, Debbie, for these reviews. If not for you I would have missed such great movies as The Great Raid, The Prestige, and so many others that are my favorites.

Jeff_W on August 29, 2011 at 10:24 am

Re: Another Earth

First of all, as depiced in the movie, two planets cannot be that close together. Unless we are suspending the laws of physics, these planets would eventually destroy each other, due to gravitational forces. This is why our solar system doesn’t have two planets in the same orbit today, because billions of years ago, when this occurred, one planet destroyed the other. (Assuming this takes place in modern times).

Never saw the movie, but, my guess is this movie has an O’Henry ending? Rod Serling lives!!!!

Private Eye on August 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm

“Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun” was mostly concerned with the journey to the new planet and the consequences thereof (I won’t spoil it here). It’s a favorite of mine because it was Gerry Anderson’s first live action production (Anderson was better known for his sci-fi marionette shows like “Thunderbirds” and “Fireball XL5″) and the FX were done by the legendary Derek Meddings (who was the master of the miniaturized explosion, not only for Anderson, but in several of the James Bond films).

The problem with “Journey” is that apart from the incredible visuals (the rocket launch sequence is especially realistic) it’s not a very good film. Patrick Wymark is pretty good in the film as the cigar-chomping space agency administrator, but Roy Thinnes and the rest of the cast are pretty wooden (pardon the expression).

L'Angelo Misterioso on August 30, 2011 at 11:34 am

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