July 27, 2012, - 8:29 pm
It’s a TWO MARX weekend all around Sorry, folks, but I did not particularly like any of the new movies, out this weekend. So far this summer, there haven’t been many good movies.
* “Step Up Revolution“: This is the latest–I think the fourth installment–of the “Step Up” movies. You don’t have to see any of the others to know what’s going on in this one. In fact, most of them are independent of each other in cast and, um, “plot” (if you can call it that).
This ridiculous movie had the same old, tired, hackneyed standby left-wing Hollywood narrative: evil, White, wealthy capitalist businessman wants to buy up the indigenous people’s slums and kick them out for a development. In this case, the White dude is a hotel magnate from Connecticut (Peter Gallagher) who just bought Miami’s Dimont Hotel (really, Miami Beach’s Eden Roc Hotel, a terrific hotel at which I used to stay often with my family for Passover, and later on business; it’s got the greatest hotel gym I’ve ever seen–loved working out, there). He’s buying up a decayed strip of land occupied by Cubans’ businesses, including a bar, so that he can evict them and develop the land into skyscrapers and shopping. But his daughter, an aspiring dancer, joins a group of the Cubans and their friends in a flash mob, called “The Mob,” who mob streets, restaurants, museums, and other places with cool dance routines, which they videotape and post on YouTube in an online contest to win money and fame. They are also using “The Mob” to fight the developer and his zoning bid to develop the land.
I’m long past tired of “flash mobs.” They’re silly, and I wouldn’t want my commute to a meeting or my restaurant business sabotaged by a group of selfish kids whose quest for fame and YouTube notoriety is more important than the rest of us conducting our lives with some semblance of order. This movie glorifies that selfishness and disruption. Also, I doubt highly that, after the first flash mob scene in the movie–in which the dancers block traffic at an entire intersection for a good deal of time, the FBI or local police wouldn’t subpoena the IP address of the video’s owner from YouTube and immediately arrest “The Mob.” It’s not like they wore masks to conceal their identities. I was also surprised that producers didn’t pull one of the scenes, in which “The Mob” invades the “evil” developers’ cocktail party, dressed in all black with gas masks, dropping gas canisters on the ground, similar to the Batman shooter’s behavior at last Friday’s “Dark Man Rises” massacre. That was eerie.
While the movie had some cool dancing (if you are under 40 and like urban-style, hip-hop-esque movements and music), overall the movie is a warmed over headache and a waste of time. Silly describes it best.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Watch“: This is the movie that was originally called, “Neighborhood Watch,” but the title was changed because of the Trayvon Martin killing by Neighborhood Watch participant, George Zimmerman. But had they really wanted to appropriately change the title, they’d have called it, “Don’t Watch.” Though it has a lot of funny lines, the plot is stupid, and a movie filled with holes and nothingness has both of those filled in with filth, nudity, and dumb penis and sexual jokes and situations. Ben Stiller plays a manager of a local Costco store. His employee is mysteriously murdered, and so he forms a neighborhood watch group with assorted losers from the neighborhood, including Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill (who are normally far more funny). But instead of finding criminals, they soon learn that their neighborhood is invaded by aliens, whom they must stop from taking over. Yaaaawn. This tried to be both a comedy and a sci-fi alien movie, and it failed miserably at both. Mindless time banditry.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Trishna“: This depressing movie is the anti-“Slumdog Millionaire” (read my review), with the same female lead, Freida Pinto. It’s supposed to be a modern-day, Indian version of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” But if you want to experience Tess, you should read that book or watch one of its movie incarnations.
A beautiful young woman (Pinto) living in poverty with her family in rural India meets a spoiled, wealthy young Indian who is British and has come to India to run his father’s hotel. After Pinto’s father has an accident that keeps him from earning a living, the Indian Brit offers her a job at the hotel, which she accepts. Her entire family depends on the money she sends home. She quits after a one-night stand with the Indian Brit and soon has an abortion. But, eventually, she abandons her family and a new job in a factory to get back together with the Indian Brit for a series of ups and downs. It is a life of abuse and never what she wishes. The guy is a lout (as in most movies). And it can only end badly.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Ben Stiller, Dimont Hotel, Eden Roc, Eden Roc Hotel, Freda Pinto, Freida Pinto, Frieda Pinto, India, Indian movies, Jonah Hill, Miami, Miami Beach, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Neighborhood Watch, Peter Gallagher, Step Up Revolution, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, The Watch, Trishna, Vince Vaughn