January 27, 2012, - 5:07 pm

Wknd Box Office: The Grey, Man on a Ledge, Albert Nobbs, Pina, One for the Money

By Debbie Schlussel

I actually liked two of the new movies, this weekend, not the usual for January, which along with August is the Pet Cemetery of movies, where Hollywood sends cinematic crap to die.



*  “The Grey“:  This stars Liam “I’m considering converting to Islam” Neeson.  But other than that, I liked it.  It’s very realistic, very bleak, very dark.  But it’s the kind of adventure-filled, man-versus-the-wild (and the elements) movie that I enjoy. And there is a spiritual, religious (Christian, NOT Muslim) aspect to it.

A group of men who work on an oil-drilling team are in a plane, which crashes in the middle of the tundra.  They must fight off wolves and extreme cold and hunger to survive.  Neeson becomes their self-appointed leader and authority on survival, after initially considering committing suicide back at the oil drilling camp before they ever board their plane “home.”  There are many scenes with wolves, and there is, predictably, death and destruction.  It’s somewhat grisly, so do not send your kids.  It’s rated R for a reason.


If there’s one drawback, it’s the gratuitous and subtle slap at corporate America and the rich:  every rich guy and executive dies upon impact, and only the working-class laborers carry on, trying to survive.

If you see this, make sure you stay through the credits, or you’ll miss the “stinger,” an added scene that shows it isn’t over when you thought it was.

And remember, if you do go see this, you might be contributing to Mr. Neeson’s future zakat [Islamic "charity] fund.  We don’t live in a vacuum, and these things matter.

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

*  “Man on a Ledge“:  This is another movie that I liked, but for its slap at corporate titans and class warfare.  The villain is a very wealthy CEO.  The hero is working-class.

Handsome Australian actor Sam Worthington plays a New York cop who is sentenced to prison and stages an escape.  Then, he checks into New York’s Roosevelt Hotel and goes out on the ledge, requesting the cop played by the beautiful Elizabeth Banks to be the negotiator to prevent him from jumping.  While this is going on, there is a connected caper taking place.  And it all ties together.  I enjoyed this mostly original concept, until the ending feat, which simply isn’t believable, nor is Worthington’s accent as a New York working-class cop of Irish heritage (his Australian accent comes through loud and clear at times).  But, overall, it was a nice escapist movie and full of suspense at times.

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

*  “Albert Nobbs“:  Destined to be a lesbian cult classic.  Glenn Close plays a woman who cross-dresses as a man, “Albert Nobbs,” in order to get a good job at a hotel and survive in 19th Century Ireland.  While at the hotel, she meets an equally lesbionic woman dressing as a man (who does handiwork at the hotel) and looks into starting a romance with him/her/it, discovering that he/she is already married to a woman.  Albert Nobbs then decides she/he also wants to marry a woman and tries to star a romance with a young female hotel maid (Mia Wasikowska).  Even with all this, nothing really happens in this movie and you wonder why you wasted your time. This movie wasn’t just weird, slow, boring, and depressing, it was annoying and creepy, too.  Yuck.

FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR JANET NAPOLITANOS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Pina“:  Oy vey.  I could not wait until this uber-pretentious modern “dance” movie was over.  Is running around a forest in a cocktail dress with a leaf blower blowing leaves, “dance?”  Is a guy sitting on his butt moving his feet and butt around the platform, “dance?”  Is a bunch of people flailing around like Elaine from “Seinfeld,” “dance?”  Is writhing around in dirt, getting dirt shoveled on you by a woman in high heels, and running around with a tree strapped to your back, “dance?”  Only if you believe in the emperor’s new clothing, despite the fact that he’s stark naked.  Oh and speaking of that, many of the chick dancers in this movie must be members of SAG.  They were badly in need of bras, and not in a sexy way.  And why the heck was this in 3D?  To make the ridiculous, 3D ridiculous? Even worse, it’s mostly in German with English subtitles.

For the record, I took several years of modern dance as a kid, but this was insane.  I wanted to laugh loudly and repeatedly during the screening, but I worked hard to restrain myself.  Methinks Isadora Duncan is turning over in her grave.

This “documentary” by German filmmaker Wim Wenders was absurd and boring as heck.  It’s for weird liberals who pretend that something that ain’t there is some sort of masterpiece.  Ah, I just now figured out the Obama vote!  This movie is supposed to be a tribute to dead choreographer Pina Bausch by her dancers.  You’d think this woman was “G-d on earth” to hear them talk of her.  Made me sick … especially when I saw what she conned them into believing was dance.  Hilarious.  Even more hilarious was that the pretentious crowd with which I saw this actually applauded at the end.

Like I said, now I understand the people who voted for Obama.  Ain’t nothin’ there.  And you wonder why more Americans would rather go bowling than have their tax dollars fund fakery like this posing as “art” and “humanities.”

FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR JOKERS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “One For the Money“:  This film adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s “thrillers” about a bounty hunter, named Stephanie Plum, wasn’t screened for critics.  I should have learned my lesson about that.  But, instead, I punished myself, paid full admission, and went to see the midnight show, last night, so I could review it for you.  Utter CUH-RAP.

Katherine Heigl goes back and forth from her own accent to a bad, stereotypical New Jersey skank accent in playing Plum  But that wasn’t nearly as awful as the script, “plot,” and pretty much everything else about this silly movie without a point or much of a story.  Guys, if your girlfriend or wife tries to drag you to this, avoid it like the plague.  It would be a compliment to call this a B movie.  More like an H.  Oh, and it’s filled with crass, stupid stereotypes against Italians, of which you can see far better on “Jersey Shore.”

Heigl plays a broke, divorced woman whose car is repossessed and who loses her job selling lingerie at a department store.  She begins working for her sleazy cousin as a bounty hunter, trying to catch a man she once slept with, stalked, and ran over–a handsome cop accused of murder.  Believe me, I’m making this sound infinitely better than it is.

The movie is populated by cheesy, dopey lines and moves from Debbie Reynolds, who plays the grandmother.  And there’s also the annoying Sherri Shepherd from ABC’s anti-male yenta hag-fest, “The View,” playing what pretty much everyone on “The View” actually is, a hooker.

I could not wait for this movie to end.  It’s low-quality Gitmo torture.  If Evanovich’s best-selling “thrillers” are as stupid as this movie, you know what that says about the gazillions of American women who made her a multi-millionaire and best-seller:  STOOOPID.

FOUR MARXES
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38 Responses

Sounds like I will not see any of these POS movies. I refuse to see any movie with Islamic sympathizers, nor those movies where multimillionaire producers, writers, actors, etc. attack capitalism.

Face facts. When they are attacking capitalist corporate execs, often they are attacks on America, and yes, often on successful Jewish businessmen (although not always..you don’t have to be Jewish for Hollywood to hate you. you can be a successful Protestant, Italian, Irish, etc, but Jewish businessmen are now the ultimate boogeymen in these Arab funded movies).

Jonathan E. Grant on January 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Albert Nobbs sounds like a tranny epic. Also, a slang word for penis in the U.K. is nob. So, this picture seems to hit all of the angles.

Worry01 on January 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Who needs the flicks when DS’ reviews are the main event? Bravo!

Loved your “Albert Nobbpolitano” review. Straight people are just not into creepy lesbian love-stories…men are but the chicks gotta be hot. From the review I had previously read I didn’t know that there was a lesbian angle. I thought it was more like “Yentl” where one was trying to find a great job but their gender made it difficult for them. Now I will DEFINATELY not see it. Yucko!

“The Grey” sounds good enough for me to see it! And I’d give “Man On A Ledge” a go but Sam Worthington, to me, is the most drab of Australian actors…although he is prolly better than the poncey Hugh Jackman. I love Aussie actors so I am kinda flummoxed by my lack of interest in him. A great Aussie actor (not very handsome but so what) is Ben Mendelsohn. Don’t forget his name! When an Australian actor can do a great Yank accent you know he’s good…it’s not so easy and vice versa. Rachel Griffiths is a master either way. I digress, but I love good Australian cinema!

DS, I reckon you would HATE Janet Evanovich’s crappy novels. I am a huge fan of the best of the genre (the late, great Ed McBain) and Evanovich is no Ed McBain. She truly writes for females and when I read half of one years ago I HATED it. It was so female I couldn’t stand it. You could tell a female wrote them. Anyway, that cranky Heigl usually does rom-coms and so I am not surprised this film has her in it because it sounds so rom-comy. I hate the Stephanie Plum novels! Read a harlequin romance instead because at least they are honest with how treaclely they are. I felt cheated when I *tried* to read her nonsense. It’s all about Ed McBain, Robert Campbell and Lawrence Block!

Eek. I’ll avoid that German film. I sorta can read the poster by I will skip that. Not my cuppa tea either! Danke…I would have seen it but I should skip it. (Rent “Das Boot” instead!)

Skunky on January 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I like Katherine Heigl but her movies are light and fluffy,I figure no story no script just a silly movie with a good looking chick,sort of like Sandra Bullock years ago,anyway I will watch Liam Neesom s movie for sure thanks Debbie I love your movie reviews.

Juan on January 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Hands down, the best rating system for movies I’ve ever seen! lol Love it.

Matt on January 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I can’t imagine looking at Glenn Close’s mug for over an hour. I always thought she looked like a man, even in Fatal Attraction, in which she is criminally miscast.

Leonard Martinez on January 28, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Glenn or Glenda? It is an Ed Wood sort of topic. lol

    Worry01 on January 28, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Worry: what does the term “jail bait” in the Woodsian classic “Jail Bait” refer to? (Hint: it isn’t underage girls)

      Occam's Tool on January 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I can’t imagine looking at Glenn Close’s mug for over an hour. I always thought she looked like a man, even in Fatal Attraction, in which she is criminally miscast.

    Leonard Martinez on January 28, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Dear Mr. Martinez: She was good in PARADISE ROAD and THE 101 DALMATIANS.

    Miranda Rose Smith on January 29, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Leonard, see if this doesn’t soften your view of the fabulous Glenn Close:

    http://youtu.be/vufO2FZY6XQ

    lee, of the lower case "l" on January 29, 2012 at 10:57 am

    January 19, 2009 Oh yes the Brits are stark rnaivg mad about football. I live with Brit guys. Football night is like…fight night.

    Teuta on February 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    ytJxGW gbljlriuchzu

    mtzmebq on February 7, 2012 at 3:44 am

Gleen Close’s idiotic film is once again Hollyweird imposid their view of normalcy on the rest of the country/world,and they have done the job,nowadays hardly any public figures dare criticize the wretched homosexual lifestyle,even the talking heads on the right heap bundles of praise on the twisted perverted sodomites and lesbionics.

Juan on January 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

    You write as nutty as a fruitcake.

    Seek on January 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’m to the point where I won’t go to a theater any more. Hollywood hasn’t produced a product worthy of my time and $ for some time now. There are no new ideas worth exploring, and they seem to re-make good films in order to lessen them. Case in point…”Man on a Ledge.” They HAD to adjust the plot to appease the PC police. The original with Richard Basehart was perfect. There was/is no need to attempt improvisation; but that seems to be the mindset in Hollywood presently. Creativity and rationality are decidedly on the down side of the bell curve in la-la land.

Kent on January 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

Re: “A group of men who work on an oil-drilling team are in a plane, which crashes in the middle of the tundra.”

Crashed in Green Bay?

bill on January 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    No, Bill—Northern Minnesota ;).

    Pitandpen: Neeson’s Mother in law (former, as his wife is deceased, thanks to Canadian healthcare) is Vanessa Redgrave, the notorious English Nazi.

    Finally: Debbie—can I suggest that when they won’t screen a movie for you, and you have to fill one, that you check out a kid’s film with your own money? For example, my kids loved “Gnomeo and Juliet,” and I did, too. Being surrounded by kids at a good kids’ film can brighten your whole day.

    Occam's Tool on January 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Debbie, H. and I watched “Albert Nobbs” and we both liked it. Sure, the lesbians could have been better looking, but H. is a sucker for costume dramas and it wasn’t nearly as boring as some of the dreck we see. One time I was in a comfortable shoe store with a gaggle of lesbians. They not only weren’t defferential to me like regular women but they basically ignored my existence. I prefer the lesbians who like men. Also, Debbie, I may be getting a German car again. As G-d willing you will spend some time in it including in the back seat, please let me know if you have any problems with the Nazi car thing, keeping in mind that the IDF cruises in German built subs.

A1 on January 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    A1, considering the chance you have of Debbie joining you in your car’s back seat, you’d be best advised to save your breath;you’ll need it to inflate your usual dates.
    Just couldn’t resist.

    lee, of the lower case "l" on January 28, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      LOL lee (lower case) now your post made me laugh. Unlike A1’s. His schtick would be more pleasing if his posts were actually funny but making them truly amusing only 1% of the time is an abysmal track record. Obama’s lame spilt-milk joke gets less groans than his one-trick-pony posts.

      Skunky on January 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for taking Hollywood’s arrows Debbie.

P. Aaron on January 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I was interested in seeing The Grey, but I changed my mind after Deb’s post the other day. That’s too bad, he usually makes pretty good movies.

Hopewell on January 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

I’ll probably see “The Grey” since I like that sort of survivalist film. But dammit if I at times feel Neeson comes across too much as well, Liam Neeson, instead of the character he is supposed to be. It’s like young Jack Nicholson was one of my favorites because he actually became the character and you forgot it was Nicholson. Whereas later Jack became a caricature of himself, and you didn’t see the character you saw Nicholson (De Niro makes me feel this way too).

I didn’t know about the Muzzie stuff with Neeson. Kind of puts me down on him.

I also like Katherine Heigl, but gawd are her movies unadulterated tripe. And I appreciate a good rom/com… She is one of the biggest underperformers in the biz. Maybe I’m just rating her potential too high. /shrug

The lez flick and the dance flick… my apologies you had to take the hit on those Debbie.

PitandPen on January 29, 2012 at 12:41 am

If Evanovich’s best-selling “thrillers” are as stupid as this movie, you know what that says about the gazillions of American women who made her a multi-millionaire and best-seller: STOOOPID.

Dear Debbie: I have never read any of Evanovich’s work. I can’t tell you a THING about them, but I know you can’t judge a book by its movie. BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, THE FIRST WIVE’S CLUB and FAIR GAME all MAUL their source material. Shavuah Tov.

Miranda Rose Smith on January 29, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Dear Debbie: I have never read any of Evanovich’s work. I can’t tell you a THING about it, but I know you can’t judge a book by its movie.

    Miranda Rose Smith on January 29, 2012 at 5:58 am

Who knew? Neeson’s a nut. I do think he’s a good actor though. On the Glenn Close film, it makes me wonder who they made a film like that for? You know there couldn’t be a big audience for it. Glenn Close must be going through some hard times to take a role like that. I’d give it four trannies.

wjm on January 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

ONE FOR THE MONEY has earned universal scorn from the critics and almost universal approval from the audience. From the trailer it seemed completely un-PC, so, notwithstanding your review, my husband and I went to see it.

We used to live in NJ and know many Jersey Italians. The portrayal of them in the movie is somewhat understated but still felt right. I liked the closeness of a family, a daughter who comes to dinner and is ONLY late 5 minutes. The plot wasn’t more inane than some political or serial-killer thrillers but magnitudes more enjoyable. Yes, it makes little sense, but it’s humorous in a trashy way.

We forgot about the Democrats and Republicans. We were, once again, just Americans, a nice feeling we’d almost forgotten about.

Russian Jewish Chick on January 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I saw “Man on a Ledge“ today and it was good just like Debbie said it is.

JeffE on January 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I loved The Grey. It was far more than a run-of-the-mill adventure thriller as I’d expected. What I found instead was a moving close-to-allegorical story about life’s meaning and man’s place in nature. In terms of themes and structure, it reminded me of John Boorman’s Deliverance or Golding’s Lord of the Flies. The darkness of the movie that Debbie mentioned was relieved by scenes of tenderness, humor and humanity. It’s a guy film, I would say–there are no women in it. I loved the various ironies of the story once the wolves became the hunters rather than the hunted–such as the infighting of two alpha males who fight to lead the human “pack.” On top of all of these appealing qualities, as dessert there’s the fact that PETA has begun a boycott of the film based on their view that the wolves in the film are depicted as being too mean. Now that’s just hilarious. Anyone watching the film needs to stay through the credits, because a final shot reveals what happens in the end. I have long admired Joe Carnahan the director and hope he does more of these and less A-Teams in the future.

Like Jeff and Debbie, I enjoyed Man on a Ledge. In my opinion, this was not OWS in any shape or form (in contrast, for example, to In Time or The Other Guys or Tower Heist). Lehman Brothers and the recent Wall Street crash were mentioned, but not in the sense that the corrupt wealthy were enriched by it (in fact, the villain Ed Harris loses a bundle during the downturn). The film was riddled with political incorrectness, also, such as the last smoke that Worthington takes as he gets close to jumping. This is the rare heist film that I enjoyed; usually I dislike the genre because it’s a vehicle for liberals to fantasize they are stealing from the rich and getting what they deserve (or implementing social justice). Instead of that, this was more a fun redemption film. The last 20 minutes were particularly entertaining and cleverly written. All that said, the film as a whole was silly and for the most part preposterous. I still enjoyed it, though.

As for One For the Money, what can I say? I love Katherine Heigl even with a New Jersey accent. In my opinion, she’s a doll and she’s also a bombshell. Her persona is usually neurotically insecure (other examples include Killers and The Ugly Truth). This may be why critics despise her (One For the Money received a 6% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), since most critics would probably prefer to watch assured and skilled super-robots like Ronan (Hanna) and Carano (Haywire) splitting heads and kicking men in the groin than chasing after men with girlish lack of confidence. It’s interesting that the one critic who praised the film was not a woman, but a man who sheepishly admitted he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. Incidentally, general viewers, in contrast to critics, overwhelmingly approved the film, so maybe her career isn’t dead just yet. The conservative subtext of the film also helped, and Reynolds was pretty funny.

Burke on January 30, 2012 at 7:53 am

I haven’t seen Albert Nobbs – I have a hard time paying $10 to see a movie that 9 out of 10 times I hate. But, if you like Glenn Close, I recommend season 1 of Damages. She’s excellent. Her character is a high powered attorney who is pure evil…but you kind of like her anyway. :)

Janne on January 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

DS,
Actually, ‘One for the Money’ is exactly like the books. Evanovich fans will get exactly what they expect. Its supposed to be fluff for chicks looking for something very light.

Boswell on January 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I actually like Sherri on the view. I think she’s funny. (Yes, I have a weird sense of humor :P).After looking at the woman’s arms for “Pina”……yikes!!!! No cracks about that? You always amuse me with your jokes about estrogen-deprived women!

Matthew on January 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    “After looking at the woman’s arms for ‘Pina’……yikes!!!! No cracks about that? You always amuse me with your jokes about estrogen-deprived women!”

    I thought the same thing, Matthew. But then I watched the trailer. It turns out that the huge arms are not hers, but are that of a man who is behind her. The after I watched the trailer and refreshed this page, I found that if upon looking closely at the video still, her arms are down.

    JeffE on February 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I like the Stephanie Plum, books, they are not thrillers, more like escapist fun. Stephanie Plum is a ditz, but likeable. My favorite characters are the grandmother and Lula the ex-prestitute (she is only a prostitue in the first book), they do crazy funny stuff in the books, it grows on you. Not sure how it would translate to movies, but i thought probably more like Ms. Congeniality, not a strong mystery or thriller, but still enjoyable.

Dave on January 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I saw “The Grey” yesterday. In my opinion, it was a fair movie that could have been a great movie. It seems that the Hollywood of today always wants to show the worst flaws of the characters in their movies. Hollywood no longer inspires us to “our better angels”…no, we are all suicidal, thieves, drunks or promiscuous. The message with this movie seems to be that anyone who works on an oil rig has to be a criminal or suffering from some mental disorder. And of course we get the character, who attempts to loot money from the dead bodies, proclaim how much money corporate will save in not having to pay the deceased’s salaries. We all know that “corporate” would be paying tens of millions in liability damages in such a real life tragedy. My wife walked out on it and I watched the last half by myself. I give it two Karl Marxes.

Dan on February 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Dan, I strongly disagree with your comments.

    The person who did the looting, Diaz, was shown clearly to be a psychologically unwell individual who blamed others for his own weakness and frailties–including “bad corporations.” His role in the picture was the exact opposite of what you said. He was not representative of any liberal clarity or insight–he was representative of spiritual and moral weakness.

    The people who work on oil rigs in Alaska are probably not suburban yuppies working in downtown Cleveland. They probably are something of a ragtag motley crew, as shown in the film. I liked that aspect of the story, because we don’t all have to be Ward and June Cleavers to be decent human beings. That said, there was so much goodness shown in the characters, it overwhelmed me. Even the hero Neeson, though struggling with depression and emptiness, rose to the challenge of the occasion and showed himself to be the mensch he was underneath the other layers of self-pity. Pete, one of the last survivors, impressed me with his humane and rational dignity. In fact, the truth is, I loved all the characters in the film except for Diaz, who represented sickness of spirit.

    Burke on February 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Burke; my point wasn’t that all characters have to be Ward & June Cleaver. In real life we see all types of characters and that includes good and decent people. The truth is that in an environment like an oil rig you will see all types not just flakes and goofballs. As far as Liam’s character being a hero…well he led them all to their deaths, and right into the center of the wolf pack’s lair. Some hero. A real Alaskan hunter would have had a backup handgun either in .44 magnum., .454 casul or .10 millimeter.

      Dan on February 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

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