February 13, 2009, - 3:52 am
This weekend’s box office is largely a garbage dump. And, ironically, the best movie is about a homeless vagrant woman and her dog, with a short 3D movie for kids as the runner up. Sad to say, it’s probably best to stay home and rent a great movie like “The ODESSA File,” or, if you haven’t already, see the excellent “Taken (read my review).”
* “Confessions of a Shopaholic“: Well, it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, so, guys, you’ll probably get dragged to this dumb, predictable, non-credible comedy, starring the real-life Borat Baby Mam, Isla Fisher (she’s long been “engaged” to Sacha Baron Cohen and had his kid). Think a better-looking but dumber version of “Grease”‘s Frenchie, lotsa pink, and a dopey, hackneyed romance. I laughed like twice.
Watch full length movies online and pick among the variety of exciting shows.
Rebecca Bloomwood is a shopping addict, who dreams of writing for a high fashion magazine. But her huge bills, for high-priced designer duds she really can’t afford, are getting in the way. And she’s stuck in a dull job writing for a gardening magazine. Soon, though, a chance meeting combined with dumb, immature behavior, combined with the need for yet another expensive accessory–a silk green scarf–are the stars that align to get her a job as “The Girl in the Green Scarf,” a financial advice columnist who uses metaphors about buying clothes to serve up a message of fiscal responsibility and frugality.
Bloomwood finds herself falling for the editor who is now her boss. But all the while, she’s battling her shopping addiction, as she’s stalked by a bill collector.
Um, how many bill collectors stalk a person by visiting their office, apartment, and a TV show on which the debtor is a guest? It just doesn’t happen that way. Nor do high finance companies hire foolish, ditzy writers in pink plaid miniskirts and ponchos, whose wardrobes run the gamut of bubblegum pink to Barney purple, and who crawl onto the conference room table. So many other things in this movie were equally annoying and stupid.
And you know a movie is in trouble when it has to resort to former NBA star John Salley–not playing himself–in several cameos.
Nothing objectionable. It was just, well, dumb. And it wasn’t very entertaining.
* “The International“: This was very slow and boring for a “thriller.” And it wasn’t very thrilling. The confusing, uninteresting, and busy plot centers on a Swiss-based international bank, IBBC, which launders the money of mobsters and organized crime and creates wars to control warring countries’ debts
Ostensibly modeled on the real-life BCCI, this movie managed to make an interesting bank scandal extremely dull. BCCI (the Bank of Commerce and Credit International) was the playground of Islamic terrorists, Gulf-state sheiks, and the real-life husband of “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter.
In this movie, the bank CEO, an unscrupulous Swiss man, is a murderer who mysteriously assassinates agents and government officials looking into his operation. But the plot is thin and we never really know much about what he’s doing, other than double-dealing rival countries through the sales of weapons to make war.
As conspiracy theory movies go, this one was simply ridiculous. The only cool part of the movie was an extended, bloody shoot-out scene at the Guggenheim museum. I love to see people with guns destroy crappy modern art. But other than that, this movie made me feel like I was falling asleep.
With the current wave of hatred of banks and bank CEOs, audiences will surely take the bait of revenge against evil, conspiratorial bank officials. But, sorry, that left-wing message doesn’t go for when there’s not much of interest for the rest of the flick. Naomi Watts and Clive Owen are boring to tears in this. And their feigned outrage and sense of urgency was way too overwrought and over-acted.
* “Friday the 13th“: I’ve already relayed to you how four stupid, selfish single parents brought their babies and young, impressionable kids to see this celluloid cesspool of violence, graphic dismemberments and beheadings, explicit sex, and glorification of drugs. Basically, this movie is what you’d expect from a Friday the 13th movie, only worse. It’s complete trash, and in this age of declining America, that’s why it will probably be a huge success at the box office this weekend. It’s not just bad for young, impressionable kids. It’s bad for humans. Period. If you like seeing these kinds of movies, there’s something wrong with you. You’re deficient.
A brother is looking for his sister who disappeared weeks earlier at the former Camp Crystal Lake grounds, where legend has it that Jason came back to life after being killed by a camp counselor who fought back. His sister and her friends were at the site to find a massive pot crop, which they planned to sell.
While looking for his missing sister, the brother runs into several college-aged creeps who, like him, look like they walked off the pages of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Meanwhile, the college aged-creeps engage in a day of explicit sexual and drug-laced debaucherie in the swanky cabin of one of them.
Jason, replete with hockey mask, murders them in grisly ways, picking them off one by one, amidst graphic sex scenes, gratuitous topless shots, and bong hits (hey, a great walk-on role for Michael Phelps).
Ironically, other than two good-hearted 20-somethings, the people in this hack-fest are such sad excuses for humans, the most admirable character in this movie is Jason. That’s because he keeps his mouth shut, instead of betraying uber-stupidity, sluttiness, and a fondness for pot and bongs. And he puts those that do out of their misery. A lot of people in this movie I didn’t miss when they were sliced to the next world.
And frankly, the movie would actually have some redeeming value, if Jason took the makers of this piece of horrid garbage with him in some of those same grisly ways. For putting America through the latest torture porn flick, they deserve it.
Completely vile. Skip at all cost, if you are actually human. Ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah. Get lost, Jason.
FOUR MARXES PLUS
* “Under the Sea 3D“: This short 40-minute movie is extremely interesting and very cool. The cinematography and fantastic story of underwater sea life is unbelievably fascinating. And it would be a great movie to which to take your kids. . . if you could turn the sound off. While narrator Jim Carrey tells us very interesting things about how eels, cuttlefish, and stingrays camouflage themselves, capture prey, and survive, he’s also way too cutesy and tells your kids repeatedly how these cool fish and adorable sea lions and coral reefs are all gonna die and disappear because of global warming.
That propaganda and other tactics make this movie the carbon copy, Summer-ized, warm water version of “Arctic Tale (read my review),” in which Queen Latifah was the cutesy narrator, instead of Carrey. And in which she also talked in such a cheesy way about how the animals have sex–just like Jim Carrey does in this. And in which she, just like Carrey, scared your kids into telling you to go green because you’re killing the sea lions. Yup, there’s no originality in Hollywood, just repeats of the same old rigid liberal lectures.
It’s really a shame, because the visuals and science learning opportunities for your kids are immense with this movie. And it’s an effective movie (though, seeing giant sea snakes briefly come at you from the giant IMAX screen is kinda creepy). Just be prepared to tell your kids to ignore the global warming messages. You can tell them that sometimes (many times) adult narrators read lies that they’re paid to repeat.
TWO REAGANS (Would have been THREE REAGANS, without the annoying, repeated global warming nonsense)
* “Wendy and Lucy“: Of all the movies out this weekend, I liked this one best. But it’s not a fun, escapist movie. It’s very sad and depressing. And not what you really want to go out on a Saturday night to see . . . if you are looking to have a good time. But it’s absorbing.
Michelle Williams is Wendy, a girl who is driving cross-country to ultimately seek work in Alaska. Her jalopy car on its last legs. Her only friend and companion is her dog, Lucy. This is like the anti-Marley and Me movie, showing the love of a person for her dog, especially when life is looking ever down.
But Wendy is not just any down-on-her-luck vagrant. She’s sane, resourceful, and trying to pay her way, without asking for hand-outs. When her home and means of transportation–her car–breaks down, things change.
Wendy’s car stops running in a small town, and she finds she can’t afford to pay for it to be fixed and for food. Her mistake: She shoplifts at a supermarket, gets caught, and taken to jail, where she has to pay off most of the rest of her money in fines. When she returns to the market, her dog, Lucy, is gone from the bike rack to which it was leashed.
Wendy spends several days in town desperately looking for Lucy. With her car locked in a garage, she must sleep in the woods, where she is stalked by a crazy homeless man. She has to wash up in a gas station bathroom. And she forages for cans to make some extra money for food, but then finds the line to trade in cans is hours long. The security guard at a mall parking lot, whose initial stickling and by-the-book behavior got her partially into this mess, comes to like and feel sorry for Wendy. The comfort of strangers.
Being a conservative doesn’t mean that you don’t feel for people who are down on their luck. It means that you especially feel bad and have empathy for those who pull themselves up by their bootstraps, try hard to make it, and still find themselves in desperate situations (though we don’t know what brought Wendy to this point in life, how she ended up here). Despite her momentary desperation of shoplifting, Wendy is one of those people. And we could be her.
In this poor economy, there will be many more Wendys who want to succeed. And who love their dogs, but know that sometimes they have to grow up and make things better for themselves, lest they make their pets the priority that draws them into further misfortune and dire straits.
Extremely depressing, but entertaining nonetheless. It pulls you in.
Tags: BCCI, Clive Owen, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Friday the 13th, Isla Fisher, Jim Carrey, John Salley, Michelle Williams, Movie Reviews, Movie Reviews, Naomi Watts, Rebecca Bloomwood, The Girl in the Green Scarf, The International, Under the Sea 3D, Wendy and Lucy