January 13, 2012, - 4:09 pm
I only liked one of the new movies, this weekend. The rest are annoying, boring, or both.
* “Contraband“: Despite the fact that I don’t like Mark Wahlberg–an attempted murderer who took a Vietnamese immigrant’s eye out with a meathook and never apologized to him–this is actually a good movie, far better than the usual awful January fare. It’s violent and the language is filthy, so this ain’t for kids. But for adults who like a good action thriller, it’s not bad. I liked it.
Wahlberg plays a working-class guy who once lived a life of crime, but is now legit with a business and a wife (Kate Beckinsale) and kids (sort of like the real life Wahlberg, but not quite). Sadly, his young brother-in-law is a moron drug smuggler, who threw $700,000 worth of illegal drugs into the ocean, when a Customs boat approached for inspection. The mobsters for whom he worked tell Wahlberg that if he doesn’t get the money for him, the lives of his brother-in-law and entire family will be on the line. Wahlberg finds himself sucked back into the life of crime “just one more time” to get his family out of this horrible situation and plans a trip to Latin America on a cargo ship, while a close friend of his watches over his family.
To tell any more would be to give away too much, but there is a lot of suspense and heart-pounding action. As I noted, it’s quite violent, but that’s part of the story. And a lot of the twists and turns of how the bad guys get theirs are cute and satisfying.
It’s not the world’s greatest or deepest movie by any stretch. But for what it is–suspenseful thriller–it does the job handily and was fun to watch.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Joyful Noise“: Words can’t express how absolutely annoying and saccharine sweet this silver screen odd mix of hayseed “Hee Haw” regurgitation and “Glee”-style singing is. There’s absolutely nothing joyful about this flick, except that it eventually ends. But the second word is accurate. It’s a lotta noise.
The movie stars Queen Latifah and a Dolly Parton blow-up doll named Dolly Parton as rival members of a small town church choir headed to a national singing competition that they lose each year. Parton’s grandson and Latifah’s daughter fall in love, but Parton and Latifah are enemies, fighting over whether or not the choir should sing new songs to win or stick to old traditional gospel stuff. The only likeable character in this movie is Kris Kristofferson, who looks like a young 127 years-old. But he dies before the opening credits roll, happy to have gotten off the set before he got squashed in the catfight.
To say this movie was cheesy, vomit-inducing, slow, long, and boring, would be generous. The movie is aimed at a Black audience and is filled with dumb jokes and stupid sex humor best suited to Tyler Perry fare. Unless you think the idea of an oversexed Asian guy with a Southern accent is funny, this ain’t for you. If you think the idea of an oversexed Asian guy with a Southern accent who dies after sex with a very overweight Black lady is funny, then this is definitely for you . . . especially if you think the racist joke gets better when another Asian guy is attracted to the fat Black chick. Why on earth do Black people laugh at this crap? I’ll never know, but they did at the screening I attended. They are allowed to be racist, but the rest of us . . . well, no you di’in’t. And is it really a revelation that some Asian-Americans have Southern accents?
Dolly Parton has had so many plastic surgery procedures and botox injections into her face that she looks like a wax museum lion lady. Way too many close-ups of her lionesque visage gave me a headache. It felt like her over-inflated face would be put out of its misery and pop if someone stuck it with a needle. And watching her incongruous stiletto-thin body under two oversized balloon implants made her look like a cartoon character popsicle stick with two basketballs stuck on top, with another for the face, on top of those two. Ick.
If the idea of watching Queen Latifah play the screaming, bitching, yelling, perpetually angry Black woman is appealing to you, then you could just watch the White House and see the same chick for free. Why pay to see a movie of that?
Some of the singing in this was good, but clearly lip-synched. And none of it was anything worth sitting through even a minute of this horror. Not even close.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Iron Lady“: Unlike so many ignorant conservatives who can’t be bothered to know better or give a damn, I was never a fan of Lady Margaret Thatcher because of her anti-Israel, pan-Islamist pronouncements and actions done to please her Saudi and other Mid-East Arab petro-dollar buddies and many Muslim Brits. But this silly, long, boring attack on Margaret Thatcher isn’t an attack on that. It’s an attack on a famous conservative who was successful.
And since there isn’t much to attack her with over cutting taxes and busting intractable labor unions, the filmmakers rely on a ridiculous series of fabricated conversations and mindless interactions that an Alzheimer’s-stricken Thatcher has with the ghost of her late husband. HUH? Is that the best they can do? Yup. That’s it. That’s the majority of this movie. Oh, sure, they also portray Thatcher as a cold woman who was mean to allies in cabinet meetings or who sent soldiers–some of whom died–to fight in the Falklands. But that’s really all they got in this cold, disjointed, waste-of-time diatribe against Thatcher and conservatism.
You can dislike her–as I do–for her apologism to the Muslim world, her constant anti-Israel maneuvers and rhetoric, and the fact that she was bought and paid for by Arabia. But not for any of the silliness in this crappy excuse for a movie.
Yes, Meryl Streep gets the look and the hairstyle right, but that uncanny visual resemblance is the only thing similar here to the real life Thatcher.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Carnage“: This is directed by Roman “Rape Rape” Polanski and is based on a play of the same name. Since the rapist can’t film in the U.S. or he’ll be arrested to finally face justice, a Paris apartment and scenery are supposed to be the New York setting.
I struggled to sit through this movie, which was miserable. If your idea of enjoyment is watching two couples fight among and between themselves for 1.5 hours, I have a solution for you: go to divorce court and watch the proceedings for free. I couldn’t stand this and would have walked out, if I wasn’t required to sit through the entire torture in order to review it.
Two couples–one a working-class couple and the other an upscale professional couple–meet up when the working-class couple’s kid was attacked by the upscale couple’s kid and lost a tooth or two and got stitches. At first, the couples are there to resolve the problem, but it degenerates into fight after fight and hysterics through which it’s hard to sit. I don’t want to see this in real life. Why would I pay to see people do this in a movie? Why would you? It’s hard to believe they’re attempting to pass this off as a “comedy.”
Jodi Foster and Kate Winslet are especially loathsome as the uber-neurotic wives of these couples. (Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly are slightly more bearable.)
Oy. I thought I might give this some Bin Ladens, since I’d hate Americans, too, if they were all like this. But, instead, I give it . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Carnage, Christoph Waltz, Contraband, Dolly Parton, Iron Lady, Jodi Foster, John C. Reilly, Joyful Noise, Kate Winslet, Margaret Thatcher, Margret Thatcher, Mark Wahlberg, Meryl Streep, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Queen Latifah, Roman Polanski, The Iron Lady