September 16, 2011, - 6:32 pm
Nothing spectacular–or even close–in new movie releases, this weekend, at the movies. They consist of two grisly, pointless “thrillers” and a whiny, feminist retread.
* “Drive“: This movie was slow, boring, extremely violent and grisly, and just pointless. Ryan Gosling stars as a stunt car driver and mechanic who also drives getaway cars for robbers. He falls for the next door neighbor at his dumpy apartment complex, and when her husband gets out of jail, he feels guilty for liking her and agrees to drive him to a robbery. What could go wrong? Like I said, this was extremely graphic and bloody. Unless you enjoy a guy getting his head kicked in until bloody death and a hollow skull, stay away. Sickening. And stupid. Oh, and the dumb ’80s synthesizer music didn’t make it hip or campy, despite the obvious failed attempt.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Straw Dogs“: This wasn’t screened for Detroit-area critics, and I can see why. (I paid to see it on my own so I could review it for you.) This is a remake of a ’70s horror film, and although I didn’t see the original, I’m not sure why this one needed to be made. It’s basically yet another Hollywood sneer at middle America, particularly the South.
Kate Bosworth, a TV actress, and her Hollywood screenwriter husband, James Marsden, return to her childhood home in backwater Mississippi, where they hire her high school boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgard) and his fellow rednecks (cartoonish caricatures of hillbilly rednecks) to repair the barn ruined by a hurricane. They have a little over $8,000 in FEMA money to spend on it.
Bosworth’s former boyfriend and his friends do not take kindly to the preppy, smart, cultured, kind Hollywood guy from Harvard, and they set out to sabotage him and his marriage. (‘Cuz everyone knows no one from small town, Southern America is smart, cultured, or anything positive, right? Not my view at all. But it’s definitely Hollywood’s outlook on Red State America.)
While, at first, the movie was only mildly entertaining, it degrades into a pointless gang rape and torture fest. (Hollywood wants you to know that violent rapist dummies from the South proudly fly the Confederate flag, are gun-toting hunters, and mock “global warming.”) Oh, and the very old and haggard James Wood as a drunken former football coach doesn’t help this movie any.
Extremely violent and graphic. And even though the bad guys get it in the end, it wasn’t worth it.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “I Don’t Know How She Does It“: Sarah Jess-equine Parker stars with Greg Kinnear in this predictable whiny, feminist diatribe. The only highlight is the dashing Pierce Brosnan, who almost always manages to make things bearable (with the exception of his painful-to-watch role in “Homo Mia,” er . . . “Mamma Mia”). Parker is a Boston working mother and finance executive, who comes up with an idea picked by the bigwigs in New York for development.
It’s her big break and career chance of a lifetime. But it includes lots of time away in New York and traveling elsewhere with Brosnan (the New York bigwig). Her husband, Kinnear, is upset and so are the kids that the mom is away from the family. The movie is filled with various stereotypical sexist males talking to the camera and disparaging working moms, while traditional moms are portrayed as shallow bimbos who spend all day at the gym. Christina Hendricks plays a fellow working mom whose apparent role in the movie is to whine to the camera about a gazillion double standards for women in the workplace that frankly don’t really exist. It’s tiresome and annoying, but the ghost of Betty Friedan would be proud.
Here’s a tip, ladies: if you want to raise your children, stay at home and raise them. If you want a career, remain childless and pursue your career. You cannot do both and succeed at either. And these stories simply don’t work out in the predictable Hollywood way portrayed in this and a gazillion other versions of this story we’ve seen before. (The only thing new here is an overdone, irritating scene in which Parker has lice and scratches her itchy scalp so much it made me itch and scratch, too.) With endless affirmative action hiring and promotions for women in the workplace and so many more men affected by the recession, this movie isn’t just dated, it’s stale and moldy.
Please, Hollywood, come up with something new beyond the “oh my gosh, women have it so hard in the workplace when they are moms, and all the men are sexist pigs” BS. It’s even more tired and haggard than Sarah Jess-equine Parker. Next!
FOUR GHOSTS OF BETTY FRIEDAN
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Alexander Skarsgard, Betty Friedan, Confederate flag, Drive, FEMA, Feminism, feminist, global warming, Greg Kinnear, guns, hicks, Hollywood, hunters, hunting, I Don't Know How She Does It, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, mechanic, Mississippi, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Pierce Brosnan, rednecks, remake, Ryan Gosling, Sarah Jess-equine Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Straw Dogs, stunt driver, working moms, working mothers