April 27, 2012, - 7:11 pm
Ironically, of the new movies debuting in theaters this weekend, the one I liked best was not screened for Detroit-area critics. And then there is the girlie-man movie, about the guy who checked his testicles at the door.
* “The Five-Year Engagement“: This movie is delusional feminist fantasy . . . or used to be. Sadly, there are more and more “men” who have assumed the role of Jason Segel in this sick “romantic comedy,” checking their testicles at the door permanently. Segel plays an up-and-coming chef in San Francisco who gives up his career to move with his fiancee to Ann Arbor, Michigan, so she can pursue graduate school and a career in psychology. Oh, and the reason this movie takes place in Ann Arbor is that the taxpayers of Michigan financed this crap with millions of dollars in tax-credits and rebates through the Michigan Film Tax Credit. The movie is disgusting and vile and the “humor” groanworthy in this Eleanor Smeal/Betty Friedan/Gloria Steinem wet dream.
While initially Segel agrees to forgo his career for two years, two turns into five and so on and so forth. And his fiancee, played by the much overrated Emily Blunt (whose weird overbite is much on display–far too much on display–in this movie), is incredibly selfish, as is the case with virtually all women who make their love interests give up their dreams for the women’s dreams. Segel’s character assumes the role of the chick. He does the housekeeping, cleaning, cooking, and eventually becomes the wedding planner. Blunt is the man in the relationship. And it’s scary.
Even more scary is that, after finally coming to his senses (after losing a toe and five years of his life), there is a “happy ending,” after which Segel takes her back and moves back to Ann Arbor for her and her career . . . again. For most guys, this would thankfully still not happen in real life. But, as I noted, more and more men are voluntarily surrendering their testicles to a life like this.
Segel twice shows us his butt in this movie, whereas he displayed his penis a few times in the equally execrable “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (read my review), which was essentially the same movie, but with a nicer setting and much better looking women. He was the chick in that flick, too.
And then there’s the issue of the snooty left-wing grad student intellectual life, which the movie captures spot on. All of the grad students are annoying, weird, and pretentious, and they dream up completely stupid and obvious “studies” to get more government grants for their boss. Blunt dreams up a stale donut experiment in which she draws all kinds of derogatory conclusions about people who eat donuts that are a day old. Um, really? Most people would eat day old donuts, depending upon how hungry they are. And you cannot tell anything about anyone from that. Only a deceitful, snobby intellectual seeking a phony career and government grants does that. And in that alone, the movie was on target.
But that one accurate portrayal in no way made this dopey, predictable, girlie-man movie worth watching. And it was very slow and waaay tooo looong.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about this movie was the constant gratuitous insertion of Judaism because Segel’s character is Jewish (in name only). The parents and Segel–who have zero to do with Judaism (he loves pork and pigs) and are all for his intermarriage to a Gentile–are insistent upon an Orthodox rabbi and yarmulkes at the wedding. And then, in a completely stupid and inaccurate turn, Segel gets a Chassidic rabbi from the Lubavitch Chabad movement of Judaism to agree to marry him and the woman in a pork restaurant, like that would ever happen. Haha, funny! Do you get the humor? I don’t. Memo to Segel: Lubavitch Chassidim do not look like the rabbi in the movie, as they do not wear long sidecurls hanging from their faces (they tuck them behind their ears, instead). I remember when they were casting for this nauseating movie and sent out a casting call looking for Chassidic kids with long sidecurls to play Hackeysack, and I warned people I knew not to try out for this.
I was right. Not funny, not worth your time, and just plain disgusting. I guarantee you that men in the Muslim world are not giving up their careers and assuming the Mr. Mom position to help their women pursue their dreams.
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Safe“: I’ll preface this review by noting that I like Jason Statham and most of his movies. If you feel the same way, you’ll like this, as I did. It’s not one of his best, but it’s still enjoyable and entertaining, if very violent. You know the drill: lots of action, fighting, car chases, and some blood. In this case, there’s a lot of blood. This wasn’t screened for critics in the Detroit-area, so I paid to see it at my local theater and was disgusted that parents brought their young kid to this movie, which is completely inappropriate for anyone under 17.
Statham plays a down-and-out-on-his-luck New York City cage fighter who makes the mistake of winning a fixed match and upsetting the Russian Mafia. They kill his wife and family, and he is now homeless. We soon learn that he was apparently a corrupt cop before all of this. He sees a young Chinese girl being chased by the Russian mobsters who killed his wife, and he takes an interest, trying to protect her. The Chinese girl is gifted at math and was seized by the Chinese Mafia to work for them in New York. Her brain is a way to keep track of business without the paper or digital trails, respectively, of books and computers. And her mind contains an important numerical code everyone wants. Soon, Statham is engaged in a war against the Russian and Chinese Mafias and corrupt cops he knows from the NYPD, all in an effort to protect the girl.
Like I said, it’s your typical Statham fare. And even though it’s quite violent and a good number of the stunts just aren’t believable, I still enjoyed it and liked it better than the other new movies this week. If you like mindless action films with a decent story and lots of shoot-outs and fights, this is for you. If that isn’t your thing, this isn’t either.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Raven“: John Cusack plays famous author and poet Edgar Allan Poe in this fictional murder mystery set in mid-19th Century Baltimore . When we see Poe, he is a drunk and broke after spending everything he made from “The Telltale Heart,” “The Raven,” and his other works. He’s a contributor to the local newspaper, begging his editor to run his work. And he’s in love with the beautiful daughter of a wealthy man who hates him.
Soon, murders happen all over town with one common denominator: they use the imagery of Poe’s work in their clues and the methods of killing. Poe is enlisted by the local police detective to help solve the murders and find the killer. But the woman he loves, the daughter of the wealthy man, is kidnapped by the killer, and Poe must save her before she’s murdered.
This was a little slow, especially in the first half and could have been tightened up and moved along. But it wasn’t bad (though it wasn’t great, either). It’s just that it’s extremely violent and bloody, complete with severed body parts and a man sliced in half by a blade on a pendulum. Those things weren’t necessary. But don’t send your kids to this. It’s rated “R” for a reason–several of them.
Watch the Trailer . . .
Tags: 5 year engagement, Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Blunt, Feminism, Five-Year Engagement, Jason Segel, Jason Statham, Michigan Film Tax Credit, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Raven, Safe, Safe Movie, The 5-Year Engagement, The Five-Year Engagement, The Raven