May 1, 2009, - 12:36 pm

Weekend Box Office: X-Men’s “Wolverine” Tops Very Lame Offerings; UPDATE: Review of Dumb “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” Added

By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE: Scroll down for review of horrid “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” ****
* “X-Men Origins: Wolverine“: This was better than I expected, but not that great. It was just okay. It’s got fantastic special effects. Very cool set designs and scenery. And for that, it’s worth it. That’s what people go to this kind of superhero movie to see–the FX. And you’ll get your fill here.
It’s just that it was missing that “something special,” that magic that makes a good superhero movie great, like “Iron Man” or the far superior original “X-Men” movie, which I liked a lot. Also, this movie let me down in that it begins with a bang and ends with a mediocre, formulaic whimper.
At the beginning, we learn how Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) discovers his powers as a kid, along with his crazy brother (Liev Schreiber). We see the two of them fighting on the side of the U.S. in a number of wars–the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam. That was cool. And we learn how Wolverine’s claws and the rest of his body become undestructible. That was cool, too.

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But it just wasn’t all that. And I could have done without the usual anti-military tripe that comes out of Hollywood: that an evil general is turning humans into ultimate weapons and setting Wolverine up and trying to blackmail/extort him. We’ve seen this before. That aspect of the movie is typical and boring. And it’s the sign of a weak script and plot.
But, hey, like I said, the script and plot isn’t the reason we go to see this kind of movie. And for what we do go to see, it’s not bad. It’s got its moments of excitement and the like. But there wasn’t much in the way of suspense or the magic sparks I like in my superhero flicks. And there wasn’t any humor. I laughed like maybe three or four times, where I don’t think it was meant to be funny. I like a certain amount of humor and snark in the guys with special powers. But this movie just takes itself too seriously.
(Also, parents should note that it’s a tad violent for younger kids. Lots of stabbing with the Wolverine claws, and there’s a beheaded wolf. But it should be okay for teens.)
Worth ten bucks and almost two hours, but not spectacular. Just all right.
TWO REAGANS
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* “Battle for Terra“: This was probably the worst animated movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s not just that the animation was stiff and seemed like 20 years behind the times. It’s that the story was ridiculous and boring. And all of the alien characters looked the same. It was in 3D, and the 3D was unremarkable and useless. Did nothing for me.
And then there’s the anti-war theme, that we human Americans want to war and destroy a peaceful people and take their land. Sound familiar? Ditto for the global warming BS.
Terrians are aliens who look like tadpoles or sea monkeys. They all look the same and can float and undulate. (It’s odd, when one of them crashes and gets injured because we know they can fly.) They live on the planet of Terra, which has very cool animated sets, but that’s where the coolness of the animation ends. The rest is anachronistic in terms of today’s animation technology and imagination.
Humans from earth (they’re Americans with standard English names) have destroyed there planet because they “misused the natural resources and the land and destroyed it.” (At this point I was thinking, “Shut up, Al Gore and Sheryl Crow.”) They’ve been relegated to a giant spaceship, which will soon run out of oxygen, so they plan to invade Terra, destroy the Terrians and change their atmosphere to an oxygen-based one.
But the Terrians, after an initial exploratory invasion by the humans, fight back, led by a young Terrian girl, Mala. We’re told, “Even the most peaceful world has a right to fight back and defend itself, when it’s under attack.” Sounds like what Al-Qaeda says to recruit terrorists, while showing them Iraq video clips.
I found it odd that an animated movie meant for kids was not only so boring, but way too complicated and over the top for a younger crowd.
Skip it. If you’re looking for a great movie for kids, try the timeless (non-animated) classic, “My Side of the Mountain,” instead. It’s from 1969, and despite the 40-year lag, it’s far more advanced for kids than this baloney.
TWO MARXES
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* “Lymelife“: In case we didn’t see enough attacks on American life in the suburbs and capitalism–with movies like “Revolutionary Road” (read my review)–this boring, pointless movie, starring Alec Baldwin (need I say more) will give you more than you could ask for. The movie poster features this horrid film’s message: “The American Dream Sucks.” Um, no, it doesn’t. Just in Hollywood, where they want us to feel bad and despise America.
Baldwin plays a successful Long Island builder bent on building a bigger house. His wife is happy in their modest middle class home and life back in Queens. In the meantime, Baldwin is cheating on his wife with his female employee, whose husband (Timothy Hutton) is an unemployed man afflicted by Lyme disease. Baldwin’s son is friends with and has a crush on Hutton’s daughter. Everyone is miserable. Then end.
A complete waste of time. Save two hours of your life and $10 and avoid like the plague. Utter crap.
FOUR MARXES
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**** UPDATE–”Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: Possibly the dumbest, most annoying, most cheesy, dopey, and predictable movie ever. It was torture sitting through this absolutely awful chick flick starring the utterly untalented Matthew McConaughey and almost as untalented Jennifer Garner. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I’d have walked out in the middle (or probably toward the beginning). Painful. If we were still allowed to “torture” terrorists, this would be at the top of my list to make ‘em sit through over and over. This was supposed to be a comedy, and I didn’t laugh once. But I did fall asleep (yaaaaawn).
McConaughey plays a playboy and a photographer who is single, alone, and a proud womanizer. He was raised this way by his late uncle Wayne (Michael Douglas). Now, he’s at his uncle’s house for his brother’s wedding, where he’s trying to bed everything in sight and finds his past girlfriend, Garner, whom he left because he’s a commitment-phobe. Soon, he’s visited by ghosts of his uncle and others from his life, warning him not to be a womanizer or he’ll die old and alone and ruin everything.
The only thing good about this movie was Michael Douglas as the womanizing uncle, and he makes only a few brief appearances.
Guys, don’t let your wife or girlfriend drag you to this tripe. Absolutely awful. Avoid at all cost.
FOUR MARXES PLUS
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Listen to my movie reviews every Friday morning between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Eastern on the Mike Church Show on the Sirius Patriot Channel 144.

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6 Responses

I really appreciate these movie reviews. Keep ‘em coming.

iowavette on May 1, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Not an x-man fan, but Hugh Jackman Shirtless-YUM;)

mindy1 on May 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Iron Man and the last Batman…well, ALL the Batman movies SUCKED. But there’s no such thing as a bad X-Men movie!
And when are you gonna review the Tyson movie???

EminemsRevenge on May 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

I saw XMen-Origins on the big screen and when it was finalized for editing…Have a good friend who’s works in the editing division of a major movie production comp. I wanted to see XMen for two reasons. One I liked the seris so far. And wanted to see if too violent for my kids to see. As for the story line, Debbie is correct…if could’ve been a stronger. Though you learn of Wolerines past and how he got the way he is. As well as, how Wolverine even forgot his past history. So a lot of answers from the previous movie were answer for those XMen fans out there.
I definitely won’t recommend it for young kids. My son is still a year or two away from being permitted to see this movie. Just a bit much violent in it, even if the movie doesn’t depect much blood scenes if any at all. Still the wrong thing for an 9 and 11 year old to see. What preplexed me was the friends I went with.
It was all the boys while the girls and wifes stayed home. Was a super heavy rainy weekend. So we all got bored doing nothing. My close friend allowed his 10 year old son to see the movie. And this kid is seriously into knives and even fasinated with guns. And his father allows his son to have an extensive knife and sword collection,which could do some serious damage. And on top of all this, his son has a short temper/fuse. And if made of fun or feeling hurt for some reason or another. He will run into his room and get one of his long bowe knives. Or even get his handgun (.22 caliber) he got for Xmas.
His father and mother think by allowing their son to be exposed to this sort of thing mentioned above will make him “more responsible,” with weapons. I totally disagree and spoke to my friends on more than several occasions regarding this subject matter. The type of behavior this boy displays with the short fuse and the culture the movies send out. This kid is moreso, destine to do something…even maybe in error. Which will have a devastating effect on his life, and more importantly on someone elses. This is why I peruse movies that interest my kids, prior to allowing them seeing if with parental subervision. As well as never cleaning my guns or shooting around my kids. I have guns which I need as a tool for my work. But, the are closely guarded and kept in a gun safe in the concrete foundation. And this safe you need the electronic keycode as well as using a key. Only I have the combination. Since my son has taken an interest in guns. And one day when he’s like 14 or maybe 13 and reveals maturity. I will show him about gun safety and teach him and make him take several courses…provide his interest is still there. Though my wife and I take pain staking efforts to dis-suade him from guns. Unfortunately, we cannot shield him from this due to what’s in our culture.
But, just fumes when when you have ignorant parents who don’t see the harm in a small boy or girl holding an unloaded firearm. And being so irresponsible with their actions. Like my friends kids who’s only 10. He one time got so mad at all us while watching a basketball game. He went into his dad’s gun safe (Open) and got his Walther PPK, .22 caliber, and NOT LOADED. He came in to the room and pointed the gun at the group of us and said “now who’s going to mess with me.” And his father laughed it off and said “boy put that thing away, you know you aren’t permitted to pick it up with out mine or your mom’s permission. Yet the kid did the exact opposite when knowing the rules. This is where maturity comes in and this young kid (10 yrs old) doesn’t have it.
None of use didn’t know if the weapon was loaded or not. I said to his father and the kid. You always treat a weapon as if it’s loaded, even if you know for sure that it isn’t loaded. Therefore, this kind of mind set diminishes an accident from happening. I also informed the kid you always check the weapon to see if it’s loaded and then show the people it is not loaded. I tried but it was all in vain. Most gun accidents occur from children being too curious and showing it off. Even if they have been educated and know how to properly use it. I keep telling my friends they will one day regret taking this avenue with their son regarding guns. And I sincerely hope I’m not correct in my accessment. Movies like XMen-Origins are great to see and have fun. But, it’s our responsibility as parents/adults to ensure our kids are not being exposed to this sort of thing too pre-maturily. Sorry for the long post and getting of the subject a bit. But, movies and then reality do go hand in hand when it pertains to our kids actions sometimes. G-d Bless you all and be safe out there.

Tenn Scholar on May 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

I’m not a huge X-Men fan but have seen all three of the movies and just saw this new Wolverine movie and Deb is spot on, the FX are awesome. The writing is weak but you’ve got to know that it’s from a comic book source. I’m not expecting an epic film here. Just good old fashioned FX and action, action, action. In repsonse to eminemsrevenge, I’d agree with you on the Batman movies that preceded “Batman Begins” on being utterly horrible but the new franchise is well done and the Iron Man 1 movie compared to it’s Marvel brethren like Fant.Four, Spiderman franchise, and Punisher and Hulk flop with Eric Bana is hands down the best. Marvel will also be putting out Iron Man II next Summer along with a Captain America and a Magneto film and I will be eagerly awaiting Debbies reviews on those as well.

Acroyear on May 4, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Actually, Wolverine wasn’t fighting with the americans in World War II. That was supposed to be Juno Beach for the D-day shot, as he is Canadian.

thesmileyemo on May 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm

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