May 20, 2012, - 1:07 am
Wknd Box Office: Battleship, First Position, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Sound of My Voice, Mansome, Bully
This weekend’s new movies actually include a more than one good one, which is rare. You’ve already read my review of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator,“ which debuted in theaters on Wednesday. (I apologize that my movie reviews weren’t up Friday, as they usually are, but there were so many new movies and I had so much going on that I couldn’t finish this in time for the Jewish Sabbath. That happens rarely. Better late than never, right? to those who already attended the movies I hated, sorry that I didn’t save you in time from wasting your ten bucks and two plus hours of time. I’ll be back with these reviews earlier, next week, G-d willing.)
* “Battleship“: This is being trashed by all of the conventional (liberal) mainstream media movie critics, who eschew patriotism (at least of the American variety) and a good adventure thriller. But I loved it. It’s patriotic, suspenseful, filled with non-stop action, and has a tight script and a great story. I wasn’t bored for a second. This is the movie the Navy SEALs should have made and could have made, instead of the anti-Semitic “Act of Valor” (read my review). There is a great plot twist involving the veterans of Pearl Harbor, Korea, and Vietnam . . . and even the U.S.S. Missouri, which is now a museum to the Pearl Harbor attack. Col. Gregory Gadsen, a real-life American soldier who lost his legs to an IED in Iraq, has a pretty big role in the movie, too, and he’s a pretty good actor. (In real life, he was awarded three Bronze Stars and is currently Director of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program.)
Yes, I know the movie is based on a board game, but there is little resemblance to the game, other than one scene in which water displacement radar is used to locate and target alien battleships. I was disappointed that the sentence from the old TV commercials for the game–“You sunk my battleship!”–wasn’t in the script. Well, not that disappointed, but it would have a been a funny tribute.
The story: a misfit (played by Taylor Kitsch) is forced by his brother, a naval officer (Alexander Skarsgard), to join the U.S. Navy, after he gets into his latest criminal trouble–breaking into a convenience store to impress a girl. The girl (Brooklyn Decker) turns out to be the daughter of the Naval Commander (Liam Neeson). Then, it is Pearl Harbor Day, and the two brothers and other Navy men are engaged in joint naval exercises with the Japanese Navy.
Suddenly, giant objects fall from space in spots all over the world. They look like high-tech parts of some type of space ship and destroy buildings and highways. Soon, some of the junk falls into the Ocean and two towers arise from the water, along with a giant spaceship of some sort. The Navy ships engaged in the joint exercises with the Japanese are soon stuck inside a giant bubble and their communications with the shore do not work.
The rest of the movie is about how the Naval officers try to fight off the aliens, who are apparently bent on destroying the earth. And there are a set of others–a geeky scientist in charge of satellites and a depressed soldier (Gadson), who is out on a hike with his physical therapist (Decker)–who try to overcome the aliens on a Hawaiian mountain, as the aliens attempt to take over America’s satellites.
If I had any reservations, it’s that the movie never tells you who the aliens are or why they came here. But that’s okay . . . because whenever Hollywood does tell you that, it’s usually to tell us how horrible we are and how we are destroying the earth’s resources–or some other liberal BS like that.
The movie is much better than my description of the plot, but it’s too complicated to describe in words. You have to see it. It’s two-plus hours of fun and excitement. Not the world’s deepest movie. But for escapist adventure mixed with a lot of action and a terrific patriotic tribute to our veterans, you can’t beat it. Kudos to sort of “pro-Israel” director Peter Berg, who made a far better movie in this than his pan-Islamic, anti-American propaganda in “The Kingdom” (read my review). I hope he’s changed his tune. This is a good start.
If you have kids, though, you may want to think twice about taking them to this movie. It is filled with four-letter words.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “First Position“: This is another patriotic movie, though unintentionally so. It’s an entertaining documentary that follows the lives of several American kids (and their families) of various ethnicities, all of whom are ballet dancers and want to make that their career. I thought I’d hate this because I’m not into ballet, but it’s really not about the dancing. It’s about the discipline, poise, and character of these fantastic kids and how America gave them the opportunities they likely wouldn’t have elsewhere–and, in at least two cases, definitely wouldn’t have had where they began.
I used to think that kids like this were giving up their childhoods to train so intensely. But the movie shows that they have fun like any other kids. And they are starting early to try to make something of their lives, an admirable trait we see less and less of in this country. Frankly, in today’s day and age, when kids are a bunch of morons over-exposed to sex and violence, seeking to become Kardashians, and modeling their lives after vapid sluts on TV and the movies, these kids in “First Position” are a welcome breath of fresh air. They are disciplined, hard-working, smart, well-mannered, poised, precocious, and decent. Even those who do not become ballet stars will still be head and shoulders above the average, idiotic American kids.
I was touched by the story of Michaela DePrince, who has the skin condition, vitiligo. She was born in Sierra Leone, where both of her parents were killed. Both she and her sister Mia were adopted from a Sierra Leone orphanage by a Jewish couple, Elaine and Charles DePrince of Cherry Hills, New Jersey. I gave a thumbs up when the movie showed the DePrince family’s menorah (the movie does not mention that they are Jewish, but it’s well-documented throughout the media that they are). The DePrinces gave these two girls great lives in America and spent thousands of dollars on expensive costumes and private dance teachers for Michaela.
Mrs. DePrince spends hours dying various straps and mesh on the costumes so they will match her daughter’s Black skin, as almost all ballet gear is dyed to match the White skin that makes up the majority of the consumer base. (And while Michaela is tremendously aware and grateful for the opportunities the DePrinces gave her, I doubt this will lessen to any degree the tremendous hatred that Black America continues to have for the Jewish people. Nothing ever seems to make a difference or be appreciated.) Michaela’s is the most dramatic story in the movie. Her drive and will are inspiring.
And there is Aran Bell, the very cute, happy-go-lucky, dedicated young boy, who is the son of a Navy doctor. He belies the myth of male ballet dancers being effeminate or gay. He has a girlfriend in fellow dancer, the cute Israeli, Gaya Bommer Yemini.
Joan (pronounced, “Johan”) Sebastian Zamora left Colombia at 16 because he said there is no future for him in that country and it’s not normal there for a boy to dance ballet. (I guess they never heard of Mikhail Baryshnikov, there.) He works so very hard–training in New York to make it as a ballet star–because his father tells him that if he does not succeed in ballet, he will be stuck with a hard life in Colombia.
Miko Fogarty, who is half Japanese, lives in California with her brother and her helicopter mom Japanese mother and her British start-up company entrepreneur dad. The movie shows us the aggressive but happy nature of her mother and the lack of ballet talent on the part of her brother, Jules. Miko is home-schooled and mature well beyond her young age.
And, finally, there is Rebecca Houseknecht, a blonde high school cheerleader who loves pink and resembles a Barbie doll.
All of these kids are impressive and fun to watch. Don’t let the topic of ballet fool you. You’ll see little ballet–but a lot about their lives of opportunity in America–in this movie.
Inspiring, uplifting, positive, and a must-see. And it’s thrilling, suspenseful, and funny, too.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“: Skip this at all cost. If you don’t, you can’t say you were not forewarned. It’s absolutely dreadful, and I’m shocked it wasn’t reserved for the August and January movie pet cemeteries, where Hollywood usually sends absolute dreck like this to die. This movie was so whiny, weepy, and annoying that I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Yet, it seemed to go on forever and ever and ever. It was the filthy version of “Crash” for pregnant women. There were several couples in the movie either about to have a child or adopt one, all of whom intersect with other couples in the movie in one way or another. The only intersection I wanted was me and my feet with my car and the gas pedal heading away from the theater. So many celebrities, so much crap. It was filled with fart, urination, and sex jokes (none of which were funny) and unnecessary melodrama.
I wrote down three of the lines of dialogue because they were so bad, so groan-worthy. But, now, I’ve decided that they are just way too filthy and ridiculous for me to repeat on this site. Guys, if your significant other woman wants you to go see this, avoid it like the plague. It’s a chick flick times ten. And it’s painful to watch. Prime Gitmo torture material.
The stories (I call them, ordeals–at least for the person who paid $10 to see this dung): Jennifer Lopez and some Hispanic guy are about to adopt a Black baby from Africa, after passing an interview with Tootie from “The Facts of Life” (actually, actress Kim Fields who is best known for Tootie, but clearly needs the paycheck from this crappy movie. Chris Rock and three gay-looking fathers spend each day in the park walking their babies and lamenting how they’ve lost their lives and manhood to taking care of their babies (but they never mention the reason for that–feminism). Elizabeth Banks runs a store about breasts and nursing with a dumb pun of a name. Her story in the movie begins with her reading a dumb kids book she wrote about breast-feeding. She and her husband (an actor who is the husband of the gross fat chick from “Bridesmaids,” Melissa McCarthy) learn that she is pregnant after they’ve tried many times. Her husband’s race car driver father, Dennis Quaid, is married to a beautiful woman less than half his age (Brooklyn Decker) and they find out they are expecting, too. But the father is in steep competition with his son and belittles him. Cameron Diaz plays the coach of a fitness reality show a la “The Biggest Loser” (though the real Biggest Loser is anyone who goes to see this, despite reading my review), who finds out she is pregnant with the baby of her dancing coach/dancing partner on a show that is like “Dancing With the Stars.” They argue over whether or not the kid will be circumcised. Yup, scintillating. And then there are two 20-somethings who have a one-night encounter, and the girl gets pregnant.
Why should you care about any of these dumb stories or annoying characters? If you do, then you clearly aren’t someone of any taste or intellect, and you probably spend your life watching “E!” For everyone else, stay away. This movie stinks.
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Sound of My Voice“: This small-budget movie was very interesting and smart. A little too smart. While I liked it, it’s sort of pretentious in that it doesn’t answer a lot of questions. I like movies that do that, as they make you think. But this left a little too many questions unanswered, such as: who was the woman leading the cult? Who was she really? And who was the lady involved in sort of telling us that answer, but then not telling us? And so on.
The movie is about a guy whose mother died when he was a kid because she was in a cult and refused to use conventional medicine to treat her illness. Currently, he is a teacher, but in his spare time, he and his girlfriend have infiltrated a cult run by a woman (Brit Marling, who was also excellent in “Another Earth”–read my review) who claims that she has come to earth from 50 years into the future. He sees her as a con artist and wears hidden cameras to record her for a documentary he’s making exposing cults. But a dumb con woman she is not, and she plays a lot of mind games with him.
To give away much more would be to give away more of the movie. And for all of the excessive questions with which it leaves us hanging, the movie perfectly portrays cults and the people who get sucked into them. There is at least one disgusting scene involving eating bugs. But other than that, I liked it enough to give it . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Mansome“: This is yet another BS, waste-of-time “documentary” by McDonald’s-hating, anti-Israel, Islamo-pandering, far-left HAMASCAIR honoree Morgan Spurlock. I wrote about my own experience with Spurlock and his production team–and how they lie and fabricate to suit their agenda–in a Wall Street Journal column a few years ago. In this movie, he shows himself instructing his young son to play “Occupy Lego Street” with his Lego set. Barf.
And, per usual, with his boring movies, it’s all about him, him, him, him. “Me, me, me, me, look at me shave off my tacky porno-star-wanna-be mustache, look at me look like the stupid dope I really am underneath it.” And as with his silly documentaries, there’s no message to be had, no original insights. Just a boring waste of time. The only interest I had in it was when I saw a scene in which there’s a glimpse of what appears to be my first cousin, David Schlussel, in his mustache. Cousin David’s Twitter response regarding whether that’s him is a somewhat cryptic confirmation, so it probably is him.
The movie is supposed to be about men and grooming, but it’s really just a non-stop bore of expounding upon topics none of us care about without any sharp comments. The only good commentary is from Adam Carolla, whose spots are rather limited in this movie. And as far as men and beauty products go, much better, more pointed and entertaining commentary about that has appeared on this site via my many “Men-The New Women Alerts” and “Girlie Man Nation” posts. The thing is, I correctly don’t approve of this stuff. That girlie-man, faux-hipster leftist, Spurlock, thinks it’s sooo cool that men have evolved into prancing, moisturizing women.
Interspersed with each scene is more “me, me, me” with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, who produced this movie (along with Ben Silverman, brother of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign speechwriter). They have nothing interesting or new to say and should have probably just shut the bleep up and put on their bra and panties–two items that clearly befit them. They, too, approve of this men-preening-like-women BS.
About the only information I got from this movie was TMI. A man who grows his beard long for a living calls himself an athlete and refers to himself as a “beardsman.” He enters contests representing: “Team Beard USA.” Like I said, TMI. Let me guess: this guy doesn’t have a lot of dating experience with the opposite sex.
Skip this, unless your money grows on trees, you don’t mind giving it to a complete Marxist moviemaker who loves Islam and hates McDonald’s and Israel, and you have 1.5 hours of your life you want to kiss good-bye forever.
FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Bully“: Bullying isn’t anything new. It’s been going on since the world began and the snake bullied Eve who bullied Adam into eating the apple. The only difference is that, in modern day America, there is online bullying through Facebook, and there are far too many womb and sperm donors who refuse to parent and discipline their kids, teaching them how to behave. Those vicious, misbehaved kids then go to school, where they take it out on other kids–innocent kids, some of whom might have illnesses, physical weaknesses, nerd personalities, or other vulnerabilities.
I was bullied plenty of times, and I remember it vividly. After I skipped the third grade, I was repeatedly bullied in middle school by jealous female classmates in my new grade, who weren’t as smart or successful in academics as I was. In the fifth grade, my classmates destroyed my art class paper mache projects because I was more artistically talented than they were, and my project elicited the teacher’s praise to the class. When I was chosen for my school’s “Gifted and Talented” program, all of the kids in class attacked me again, and their parents whined, so that my entire class–many of whom were dummies–were now all in the Gifted and Talented program. And then there was that rabbi’s son, Harry Nelson, son of a far-left, Islamo-pandering
Conservative rabbi (Rabbi David Nelson, a close friend of Iran/Hezbollah-backed, anti-Semitic imam Hassan Qazwini), who bullied me (and he also cheated on the SATs, ran a bookie operation from his locker, and stole copies of tests). (He is now a lawyer.)
But I was always a strong, tough kid who wouldn’t let any of that stuff get to me, and it only made me tougher. Most kids aren’t that strong, though. And my parents always instructed me to ignore these kids because life would get better, and many of these people would grow up to be losers. And it did, as soon as I left to public school, where I was very popular. Many of these kids don’t have both parents, and even if they do, both parents are working and not involved enough in their kids’ lives to see what is going on.
Today, I’m constantly bullied by losers and dummies on the left AND the right, including mentally unstable, jealous Commentary Magazine Editor-in-Chief John Podhoretz, who sent me at least six unsolicited, nutjob-esque tweets on Twitter in less than 24 hours a few days ago. (I felt like I was in the First Grade and he had a thing for me. And I wondered how this crazy man knows so much about drugs for psychos, probably because he’s been frequently prescribed, but forgot to take his.) But I laugh at these fools.
Sadly, today, there is violence against and online embarrassment against these kids that sometimes claims their lives (either from the violence, or because they committed suicide being unable to handle it). I feel for these kids and their parents. I also feel for them because the parents of the bad kids raise their kids to behave this way and refuse to do anything about it. And that’s where the schools come in. We expect schools to raise these kids and make up for bad parenting, and that’s too high of an expectation–an expectation repeatedly raised in this movie.
On the other hand, there are school administrators, like the dopey chick principal and assistant principal in “Bully,” who are absolute morons. They are at fault when, as is shown in the movie, they refuse to get involved and treat kids who are victims of the worst violent attacks by other students as though they are at fault. The idiotette principal in this movie not only blames kids who are the unwarranted victims, but she makes them shake hands with their attackers and pretends nothing has happened. (This is the just a smaller-scale version of the liberal psychobabble Israel and victims of Islam are treated to on a historic basis–that aggressor and victim are morally equivalent.) It’s tragic, and one of these days someone will sue her and have plenty of ammunition in this movie’s footage. Yes, a documentary can be one-sided, but not that one-sided. She gave them the rope.
You cannot help but feel pain for the kids who are bullied in this movie and their parents–some of whose kids have committed suicide as a result. The most sympathetic of these kids is Alex Libby, who was born many weeks premature. However, he often seems to be bullied by his parents and especially his little sister. And I object to the portrayal of bullying as a problem that happens only in America’s South and the outskirts of Middle America. Bullying happens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, too. But they don’t show any bullying situations in this documentary. It’s unfair–and just plain liberal fiction–to portray bullying as an epidemic of Red State America, when we know it’s an even bigger problem in Blue State America and its inner cities.
I also object to the anti-bullying laws that this movie has been used to advocate and pass in many states because many of those laws will only be used to attack the free speech rights of those on the right, those who speak of the Islamic threat to America, etc. That’s already been the case.
Still this movie should probably be seen by all school-aged kids and their parents. Maybe somewhere, somehow, it will spur empathy for some of these kids who are attacked by those who are the bullies and those who raise them. Sadly, the bad kids like the ones in this movie will not change. That’s how they were raised, and it’s sad that this movie expects schools to make a dent in what poor parenting has forged in stone.
HALF A REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Adam Carolla, Alex, Alex Libby, Alexander Skarsgard, Aran Bell, Battleship, Beard Team USA, beardsman, Brit Marling, Brooklyn Decker, Bully, Cameron Diaz, Charles DePrince, Chris Rock, Col. Greg Gadson, Col. Gregory Gadson, Commentary Magazine, David Nelson, David Schlussel, Dennis Quaid, Elaine DePrince, Elisabeth Banks, Elizabeth Banks, Facts of Life, First Position, Gaya Bommer Yemini, Greg Gadson, Gregory Gadson, Harry Nelson, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Lopez, Joan Sebastian Zamora, John Podhoretz, Jule Fogarty, Kim Fields, Liam Neeson, Mansome, Melissa McCarthy, Mia DePrince, Michaela DePrince, Miko Fogarty, Morgan Spurlock, Occupy Lego Street, Rabbi David Nelson, Rebecca Houseknecht, Sierra Leone, Sound of My Voice, Taylor Kitsch, Team Beard USA, Tootie, Will Arnett