August 17, 2012, - 7:37 pm

Wknd Box Office: Sparkle, ParaNorman, Expendables 2, The Odd Life of Timothy Green

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s August, where movie studios send their non-straight-to-video duds to die a quick death in the movie pet cemetery. And true to that I didn’t really like any of the new movies out in theaters, this weekend.


* “Sparkle“: Even though I didn’t care for this that much, it’s the best of the new movies out today. The movie studio invited me to the Detroit premiere of this to meet and interview star Jordin Sparks (and Urethra, er . . . Aretha Franklin, who isn’t even in the movie). But I took a pass because I just didn’t care. What was I gonna ask her? The movie was filmed in Detroit and funded in part by the Michigan Film Tax Credit subsidy boondoggle, and it’s a less interesting rip-off of the far superior “Dream Girls” (which I did like–read my review). The best thing I can say about this movie is that the clothes, sets, and other period details are fabulous and beautiful. It’s so high-styled. And yet the script is just dull. And some period things I think the movie gets wrong. An Albino Black guy is shown in a tuxedo at a nightclub with cornrows. Did Blacks wear cornrows like that in the early ’60s, circa “Mad Men” to a fancy club like that? I doubt it. One character is shown trying to give CPR to her dead lover. Did they teach kids CPR in those days? I don’t think so. But I could be wrong. The movie has been repeatedly hyped with the claim, “It was going to be Whitney Houston’s comeback vehicle.” But I don’t see it. Houston looks heavy and haggard and has very few line and scenes. And her voice is hoarse throughout. If anyone shines in the movie, it’s Sparks, who does what she can with a milquetoast script and a faint plot. The movie is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name, starring then then-unknown Irene Cara.

The story: three Detroit sisters–two by one man and the other by another–are the daughters of a reformed drunk played by “Houston. They don’t know who their dads are, but they are all beautiful and can sing. Soon all three of them are in a singing group with an eager, hungry guy as their manager. But they must sneak out at night to perform because their mother, Houston, is one of those too-strict religious Christian archetypes Hollywood always imposes on us. All three of them conflict with their mother, but the prettiest one, “Sister,” leaves to marry a successful Black comedian who makes his money with racist jokes against Blacks that he performs on TV to White audiences. Sister is abused by the man and uses drugs, and everything becomes a mess.


This movie was slow and boring, but the visually-stimulating costumes, make-up, hair, and set design kept my attention. Also catching my attention, the race-baiting line Sparks’ character says to her sister, “Sister”: “You’ve been busting your butt kissin the asses of White people for the last two weeks, and all you made was $96.” In real life, Sparks’ mother is White, and for the time, $96 for working at a clothing store for two weeks was typical wages, whether or not you waited on the “evil” White folk.

There’s not much that’s offensive here, and there are a scant few funny moments, such as when a boyfriend gives one of the girls a box with a ring, but the ring inside is a cut out picture from a magazine. The singing is okay, but there are no spectacular hits or catchy tunes like you heard on the “Dreamgirls” soundtrack.

ONE REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “ParaNorman“: I’m more and more disturbed by the ever-quickening downward slide of movies for kids. This movie aimed at young kids is far too scary and creepy for them. And, at the very end, it also pushes homosexuality. Although the 3-D animation is absolutely terrific, the story isn’t. The plot is confusing, silly, and involves a take on the Salem Witch Trials, which young kids won’t understand and shouldn’t know about. I found the movie slow and boring. even though it does have its laugh-worthy moments. The movie is made by the same people who brought us the far superior “Coraline” (read my review) (which is also not for young kids). There are some cool things in this movie, but they are vastly drowned in the crap, creepiness, and all-around weak storyline centering around something that’s far more appropriate for adults.

Norman is a small town New England kid in school who is mocked, ostracized, and shunned as weird because he can see the ghosts of dead people and talk to them, and no one believes him. But, soon, his talent comes in handy when the town comes under the 300-year-old spell of an executed teen girl witch (who was put on trial) once again floods the town with ghosts, zombies, darkness, and possible destruction. At the end of the movie, when all is resolved, when a teen girl hits on the teen jock guy she’s attracted to, he responds, “My boyfriend is a chick flick fanatic.” Do we really need to pimp this stuff on young kids in a movie? It figures that this move was also done in a very cowardly way–at the very end of the movie.

TWO MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Expendables 2“: This wasn’t screened for critics. I shouldn’t have taken the hint. But, instead, I went to last night’s Midnight show, so I could review it for you. And it was utterly unwatchable. Absolutely awful. A bunch of geezer former action stars doing things that just aren’t believable, and you just don’t care because you hardly know what is going on. I didn’t like the first “The Expendables” (read my review), but this makes that look like a masterpiece.

At the beginning, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren and some other people storm into a Nepalese prison to free a multi-milloinaire and the loathsome (and very haggard and old-looking) Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then, they are told by Bruce Willis that unless they get some sort of box for him, he will send them to jail. So they take an Asian chick with them to get the box, but then the murderous Jean-Claude Van Damme kills one of their men–a young soldier (Liam Hemsworth), and they want revenge. So they go to Russia to keep him from getting Russian nukes to sell on the open market. Believe me, I’m making it sound better than it is. Far better. So much action, so boring and stupid. And the addition of Chuck Norris doesn’t make it any better.

Don’t expend your time or money on this.

TWO MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Odd Life of Timothy Green“: This is possibly the most cloying, manipulative, maudlin movie I’ve seen in a while. The annoying Jennifer Garner and the usually likeable Joel Edgerton play small town parents who cannot conceive. They are at an adoption agency telling their long, silly story. The night they finally give up on trying to conceive, they decide to pretend for just one more night that they will have a kid. They put all of his qualities on pieces of paper and then into a box, which they bury in their garden. Then it rains, and a boy grows out of the garden. He has leave on his legs, which they hide. They decide to raise him as their own, but he is only temporary. This is another one of those movies without much of a plot. It’s also long, slow, and boring. You’re supposed to say, “aaawww,” at the end. I just said, “oy,” as in “oy, why did I waste two hours of life on this?”

ONE MARX
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Watch the trailer . . .

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44 Responses

Maudlin is a PERFECT word for the Joel Edgerton film. I am such a big fan but I will skip that one. Yikes. I will wait for his next edgy film or Aussie film…whatever comes first. Love that Garner annoys you too. Even with Edgerton this would be torture for me.

I would never see a film like The Expendables. One or two. I never saw the first action movies in the 80s either. Not a fan. Would rather see a doco on Dolph Lundgren and his 160 IQ that talks about his Chemical Engineering degree from MIT and all the brainy stuff I never knew about him. Now THAT’s interesting.

I am wondering if you’ll review “Killer Joe”? Gosh, it sure is August movie graveyard time!

Skunky on August 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm

“this film pushes homosexuality”

Firstly, it doesn’t, a character is incidentally gay. There’s no agenda.

Secondly, you are moronic for even suggesting this might be a problem.

Dan on August 18, 2012 at 1:58 am

    @Dan, you are flatly wrong. The gay punch is completely gratuitous and adds nothing to the plot, but probably there was some producer interested in creating curiosity about gay people in small kids who will see this movie regardless of the more adult thematic.

    I think it’s a very cowardly move that will force many unaware parents of small kids to explain the gay issue to kids who are not ready and not in their own terms.

    A very heavy handed move indeed. That movie will not be in my kid’s collection that’s for sure.

    Luis on August 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I would not take a child to see this or any other movie these days. They will still grow up educated and enriched by what they learn in home schooling. No one needs to know about homos except what is written in the Tanach.
    No public schools for my kids at all.

    JuneyJuneBug on August 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for the rant Danny.

    Worry01 on August 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

“You’re supposed to say, “aaawww,” at the end. I just said, “oy,” as in “oy, why did I waste two hours of life on this?”

lol!

DS_ROCKS! on August 18, 2012 at 2:41 am

Haven’t seen PN yet, but had the teen jock been identified as gay at the very beginning of the movie, all we’d hear is how they wouldn’t shut up about the kid being gay and stop with the propaganda.

Had the kid’s identity been very discreetly hinted at, all we would hear is something like “Stop making every innocent thing homosexual and stop with the propaganda!”. (Not that innocence and homosexuality are mutually exclusive)

I mean really, some straight people aren’t going to be happy unless all stories/movies completely ignore the existence of gay people at all points of a story. All gay people were teens at one point, so it’s not as if gay teens are an impossibility. The kid simply referenced his boyfriend’s taste in movies; it’s not like he joked about not having a gag reflex (A la season one of Glee, but it was a joke made amongst heterosexual women, so that’s okay).

And as for kids should not know about/wouldn’t understand the Salem Witch Trials…
-Hocus Pocus was a fairly popular kid’s film that came out when I was 9
-I saw several episodes of Bewitched as a child
-Also read loads of Archie Comics, including the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series…which inspired the popular ABC TV show that ran from 1996-2000.

All of which introduced or alluded to the Salem Witch Trials (Repeatedly actually. STOP WITH THE PROPAGANDA!!!), and most nine year-olds (and probably plenty of younger elementary school children) would grasp the basics of the stories/legends.

Robert on August 18, 2012 at 2:47 am

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #h tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and 5000 dollars to a person name sandman at the US embassy in manila. she also submitted fake employment records to obtain a work visa. Her husband carlos b. morales also submitted fake documents (land titles and bank statements) to obtain a tourist visa. Her son carlo iii also used such and helped 2 other people to obtain a US tourist visa.

ronb68 on August 18, 2012 at 4:28 am

Wow Debbie! Swing and missed on a number of things! First, black people have worn corn rows for many, many years, including the period that Sparkle is set in. Don’t be pretty sure they didn’t wear corn rows then, because I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. Pretty presumptuous and misinformed of you to state your wrong guess! Next, kids don’t need to know about the history of the Salem witch trials??? I learned about that when I was a kid! Ever heard about not learning about history, doomed to repeat it? Also, homophobic much? There are homosexuals in this world, and they have been here for all of time! And they were likely born that way, not influenced by a movie! Sorry, but you’re not very good at this hobby of yours! Take a vacation…then retire and get a new hobby.

Gary on August 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

There is a reason why the “homosexual” angle was pushed at the very end of “ParaNorman.” It is to proselytize homosexuality and convert as many children as possible to that lifestyle, so as to achieve “critical mass” in the same way as the promotion of unchecked Muslim immigration to this country that Democrats have pushed and Republicans haven’t said diddly-squat about (and, indeed, in the case of some [i.e. John McCain, George W. Bush], have been highly complicit in this trend).

ConcernedPatriot on August 18, 2012 at 6:46 am

Lost interest in the Paranorman movie when I saw that it was yet another with a Christian-baiting central theme (Hollywood will talk endlessly about how Puritans killed a few witches several hundred years ago, but won’t touch how communists and Muslims slaughtered millions of religious people in the last few decades alone). “Sparkle”? Ditto. No one even mentions how the Christian fundamentalism of the mother was A) based on the mother’s own experiences and B) was vindicated by how the lives of their daughters were ruined as a consequence of their rebellion. Ephesians 6:2 says “honor thy father and mother” for a reason. But it figures: the original “Sparkle” was co-written by the openly homosexual Joel Schumacher (and as Ms. Schlussel saw fit to mention Jordin Sparks’ totally irrelevant parentage, Schumacher’s mother was Jewish) then the anti-Christian and anti-heterosexual (i.e. the absentee father, the abusive husband) themes in the movie are no surprise.

Gerald on August 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Gerald I LOVED your post. So many good bits in it. Bravo.

    Dan, many of us who are pro-gay and enjoy the company and aura of gay people are sick of the homosexual agenda. They have come very far and are free Americans protected under the Constitution but they act like they are chattel and want society to tuck them in bed saying all that they say and/or do is a-ok. We are NOT gonna do that. They will be judged as everyone else is. If gays have the right to be who they are (and I certainly appreciate the men) then religious people have the right to express their beliefs agree or disagree…like like homosexuals.

    Robert, almost everyone has a gay loved one in their family. It is that families RIGHT to bring up homosexuality to their fellow family members as THEY see fit. It is NOT Hollywood’s job. I feel this way even though my whole life I have been very gay-friendly. And besides, when it comes to Lesbians, apparently Hollywood thinks that Lesbians can easily have sex with men just as well as women. THAT is offensive to ME. I understand that Lesbians are NOT sexually attracted to men and to portray that as so is offensive and unrealistic and Hollywood’s pervy fantasy. It is taking was a Lesbian is and distorting the reality.

    I like to live in Reality-ville and like gays in my movies but HATE gay propaganda. But moronic Liberals want us to stroke all gays and say all they do is ok. I am NOT doing that ever again. They are up for judgement like everyone else.

    Skunky on August 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Regarding ParaNorman, I agree with Gerald’s take. While Robert is almost certainly right that young people would get the Salem idea, do we REALLY need the Salem bogeyman again?

Robert’s on the money though about the gay bit. Too many people have a reflexive reaction whenever a potential sexual narrative does not follow the expected hetero script in any particular.

In passing, I notice that Gary started his comment with a “wow.”

Finally, regarding Debbie’s reference to Coraline, I watched that movie even though it wasn’t “my” kind of movie, and I was delighted. It was very much a Grimm’s fairytale brilliantly realized in animation. Debbie’s reviews regularly point me to movies I would never see otherwise, and occasionally deter me from what I would see and hate.

skzion on August 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

Took the kids to see Paranorman yesterday. The language was too edgy and the gay joke at the end was needless. I was busy Friday morning and did not hear Debbie’s review on the Mike Church show. I should have known better. I will make sure that from now on I double check with Debbie before I give these cretins any more of my money.

Michael on August 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm

“This movie aimed at young kids is far too scary and creepy for them.” – I’m not sure if it was necessarily aimed at “young kids” since it was produced by Travis Knight. Ofcourse Coraline IMO is more suitable for the 10+ kids/teens, not younger kids. However, Coraline is simply a CLASSIC and its something as an adult I can easily enjoy watching.

One gay joke really isn’t a reason NOT to let your kids (if they are “mature” enough) to not see a movie. When they hit middle and high school, they will likely have at least 1 or 2 friends that are gay, so AGAIN provided that its children 10+ taken to see this movie with a reasonable understanding, I don’t see an issue here. Ultimately, I will teach my kids to respect people whether they are straight or gay because tolerance is important. Tolerance IMO is of a libertarian nature, not a liberal one.

james on August 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    @james on August 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm
    ‘tolerance’

    I’m sorry but that word…
    Should we tolerate murder, necrophelia, incest, beastiality…
    Does G-D tolerate?…maybe for a moment.
    I understand what you mean but I don’t think tolerance is the best way to describe it.
    We need a better word, I just can’t think of one.

    lil' Napoleon on August 19, 2012 at 12:38 am

      Oh dear. Nappy, you ask if G-d tolerates. Well, if you are Christian, I would personally, being Jewish, have to say yes. And if you are Jewish, I’d have to say yes as well.

      In your list of things you will not tolerate, you have omitted adultery, divorce, dishonoring you parents, wearing clothes made from more than one fiber, etc. Each of these has the same connection to murder as homosexuality does.

      Nappy, speaking personally, I find myself tolerating even those whose thinking is relentlessly sloppy.

      skzion on August 19, 2012 at 11:40 am

        skidz
        G-D tolerates but only up to a point
        The Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, you know the drill
        I’m sure you don’t need another list
        not sure what you got from my little post but just sayin’
        tolerance is just so freakin’ PC abused
        like the prefix anti-
        I’m all in for civility though
        Treat others how you would like to be treated

        lil' Napoleon on August 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    @james,

    Are you for real? Homosexuality shouldn’t be marketed to children in cartoons! Tell me, how would you like it if this animated movie was marketing some brand of cigarettes to its target audience of children? You’d be climbing the walls in outrage, naturally. Only a society that suffers from a deep mental or moral sickness would follow such a double standard.

    It’s only been recently that filmmakers have “come out of the closet” with this garbage. Go back and watch older movies like “Advise & Consent,” “Point of Order,” or even “Braveheart” to see how THEY treated the subject. Homosexuality was always depicted the same way: discovery and immediate revulsion, followed shortly thereafter by contempt.

    Statusmonkey on August 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Statusmonkey, as always I appreciate the clarity of your writing. You are absolutely right regarding certain movies in the good old days. However, you have not beenscomplete enough. The Celluloid Closet lists the miserable ends of gay people, even including a comprehensive table, the rows being movies. Suicide was a popular end. A special favorite was the character who was crushed by a falling tree. Given that we agree that Hollywood’s output DOES have an effect, we can be thankful to the Hollwood of old that brought us excess (mostly male) teenage suicides and miscellaneous misery as well.

      I figure that parents have every right to inculcate their values in their offspring. Likewise, if their offspring attack me, I have every right to plug them between the eyes.

      skzion on August 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        @skzion,

        Say what?! I don’t remember any epidemic of falling trees in classic movies. But I’ll take your word for it.

        As for the “suicides,” stop. Just stop. I have nothing but contempt for this argument … as if society has to be turned upside down to prevent a tiny sliver of the population from making the CHOICE to commit suicide.

        I guess that I just don’t appreciate the alleged terrible price of living in a clean and moral society. The costs of living in an IMmoral society, on the other hand, are obvious to all but the immoral.

        Let me draw a little analogy for you, if I may. There’s a big slice of America (at LEAST 20 percent) who are living in a world of constant fear. WHAT are they afraid of, you ask? Well please try not to laugh, but they are actually afraid that Barack Obama will make a boo-boo face, stare down at his knees, and whine (with much hurt in his voice), “Well, I guess it just goes to show that America is a racist country after all.”

        Now I’m not losing any sleep over such a prospect, myself. I couldn’t care less if that turd loves his own country. The Obamas and Jeremiah Wrights of the world will always hate America in general and whites in particular. So why are so many otherwise rational people willing to pay any price just to convince this man that America is a fair country? Hell, in his case it’s been TOO d*mn fair.

        Hopefully that will explain why it is that I don’t believe society should be turned upside down to pander to a small number of miscreants.

        Let the trees fall where they may.

        Statusmonkey on August 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

          That was an amazingly sloppy reply, Statusmonkey. The comic trick of the falling trees (at the beginning and at the end) would be more effective if I hadn’t indicated that this particular way of death was specific to a particular character. You put words in my mouth that flatly disagree with words that I did say merely for an effect. This is dishonest and unworthy.

          It is ridiculous for you say teenage suicide is a “choice,” as it is no more a “choice” than some 14 year old “agreeing” to being raped by an adult. But really, comparing either of these events to partisan distress over losing an election is preposterous. While elections are ritualized combat with political consequences, that does not mean that we should cheer when someone outside the electoral game is harassed, attacked, or driven to suicide, and that is doubly so for minors. Your approach is the Chicago Way.

          Also surprising is your implication that while you don’t give a damn about a gay teenage suicide, any gay person should give a damn about “your” society and about the Statusmonkey family. If “society” is really only your society, how can you expect gay people to be good taxpaying citizens?

          I thinks it’s way passed the time to end second class citizenship for gays. If you don’t like that idea, than I’m happy not to fund the overwhelmingly hetero-oriented system. Nor would I then care about that would happen when I am dead. I certainly would not care about YOUR inclusive fitness.

          Come to think of it, you sound a lot like Gore Vidal, who had nothing but scorn for anyone outside his little clique.

          skzion on August 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

          PS: I neglected to mention your odd assertion that movies can upend society while, simultaneously, maintaining that any such harm is mediated by “choice.” So, if choice is such a basic fact, how could you possibly argue against the content of a movie based on its effects? Choice, it seems, is conveniently trotted out when it is rhetorically useful.

          skzion on August 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

          Actually, I don’t think my “clique” is really that small. You don’t seriously believe that today’s *filmmakers* represent the views of most Americans, do you?

          Sorry to hear that you dislike my comparison, but I guess that’s what happens when it is drawn with “clarity.” I don’t think the point was really that abstruse, but I’ll restate it anyway: race hustlers like Obama operate by using emotional blackmail. They play on people’s guilt to get what they want – and they will keep returning to the well until it runs dry.

          Is your invocation of suicide really any different than Obama’s little M.O.? Are you sure? If it is, I’d really like to have the distinction explained to me.

          I’m also willing to bet that suicide by *homosexuals* is the only strain of the act that you think people should be considering when they decide what should and should not be the cultural norm. Or the cultural clique, if you will.

          Statusmonkey on August 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

          Statusmonkey, I continue to be disappointed in your responses. One can write clearly but reason sloppily; that describes your output of late.

          “Sorry to hear that you dislike my comparison …”

          The issue is not not whether I like or dislike your comparison. I have demonstrated that it is absurdly inapt. You have no response to my demonstration. Instead, you drop your first “comparison” and move on to another. I guess this could go on all day.

          “I don’t think the point was really that abstruse, but I’ll restate it anyway: race hustlers like Obama operate by using emotional blackmail. They play on people’s guilt to get what they want – and they will keep returning to the well until it runs dry.”

          You have not “restated” any “point” here. Rather, you have offered another supposedly analogous situation, dropping the previous one when I took it apart. I doubt you have an abstract “point” here at all; rather, you have a serious of episodes in mind that piss you off because they involve groups you despise and about which you do not want to change your mind. In this episode, you demonstrate that your “point” is illogical. It is true that Hussein and other race hustlers play on white guilt, and doing so does involve making a majority aware of a minority point of view. However, it does not follow that making a majority aware of a minority point of view is necessarily “hustling.” This is a basic logical error on your part.

          What makes the Husseins objectionable is that they hate whitey, Jooos, successful businessmen, independent thinkers: everyone but themselves. THEN, they want affirmative action, welfare, etc., at the expense of whitey, while refusing to work, even though, by any objective standard, they no longer suffer from any government-imposed disadvantage whatsoever. Of course they need to play on white guilt; they cannot articulate a case based on justice. In other words, “hustling” occurs because they can no longer demonstrate any justice in their complaints. When blacks really were second class citizens, their leaders’ objections were not “hustling.”

          “Is your invocation of suicide really any different than Obama’s little M.O.? Are you sure? If it is, I’d really like to have the distinction explained to me.”

          The basis of the distinction is the justice of the complaint. I think you SHOULD feel guilty about gay teen suicides, and I have explained why. I think there is much justice in certain narrowly targeted gay complaints against hetero society. I assume that those who disagree with me are decent and can be argued with honestly. As I am basically libertarian, I do not expect reparations, affirmative action, diversity training, etc., etc. I do expect government to stop discriminating and provide adequate law enforcement. I do object when people who would prefer that all gays drop dead start to whine about how others are trying to make them feel guilty.

          “You don’t seriously believe that today’s *filmmakers* represent the views of most Americans, do you?”

          Of course not. But you want to argue that they should make their product so as to satisfy you. Why SHOULD they do so? What kind of moral argument can YOU make to justify your demand? I mean, you’ve just said that filmmakers are atypical, and previously you’ve said that the atypical can go to Hell (but they better pay their taxes, fund your typical families, and act like patriots). Now you whine that the filmmakers are unsympathetic to you?

          “I’m also willing to bet that suicide by *homosexuals* is the only strain of the act that you think people should be considering when they decide what should and should not be the cultural norm. Or the cultural clique, if you will.”

          Well, betting is safe if you never actually can lose anything. You have no basis for this nasty allegation. I have written plenty on this web site. Care to substantiate? I expect this is just projection on your part: you *only* care if the teenager is heterosexual. If I were motivated by some animus against white Christians, this is the last place I’d be.

          If anyone else is still reading: feel free to review the comments in this exchange and decide who is making sense here.

          skzion on August 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

If Timothy Green really sucks that bad, its kind of a shame. I mean the movie promotes the value of life (which would be adoption). Its supposed to inspire immagination in kids, and from the trailer it seems like it at least makes a valid attempt to be different, not to mention seems like a good family movie. From the trailer, it seems like the plot is not developed enough.

james on August 18, 2012 at 10:53 pm

This weekend: TORRENT.

I’m getting the first Expendables on Torrent. Then I’m seeing Expendables 2 on Tuesday (all flicks 1/2 price – I love me my vaca).

Meanwhile, damn those bedbugs – by Wednesday, they’ll all be dead-bugs. Raid don’t fail me now.

The Reverend Jacques on August 19, 2012 at 1:21 am

About the gay propaganda in ParaNorman:

Look, I am straight. The overwhelming majority of Americans are straight. And most of them don’t care what other people do in their bedrooms.

But this crap simply does not belong in what is supposed to be a “children’s” movie. Period.

The same thing goes for sex, gratuitous violence, gratuitous coarse language, and other elements of adulthood.

Being over the age of 20, I know those things exist. That doesn’t mean we need to rain them down on our kids in “children’s” films.

PitandPen on August 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

    How about this, Pit? Stop going to sleazy, brain rotting movies altogether. Is it really that important to be “entertained” so passively? How is it different from zombieing in front of the tube? Do any of these movies have ANY redeeming features? I’ve been in Israel for 4 years but I don’t even remember the last movie I went to a theater to see. Maybe LOTR in 2002.
    When people like Debbie “tolerate” one inappropriate joke in a kids movie, or give even one Reagan to something like SPARKLE, Hollyweird has won.

    Italkit on August 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Iltakit,

      If people want to go to the movies I am alright with that. If they want to watch garbage I am alright with that. My belief is that in a democracy people are allowed to watch or see whatever they want and the studios can make what they want. People have a right to make choices in what they want to watch.

      As far as the “Paranorman” controvery on this board, it got a PG rating. When something gets a PG rating you have to know there has to be some stuff in there that might be inappropriate for younger viewers. I know that when I was a kid and a film got a PG rating my parents would try to find out what was in a film, maybe they would be able to make better choices, and even then if a parent doesn’t mind their children hearing a joke about homosexuals it’s their choice as well.

      A Reader on August 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        One more thing, I agree about the Salem Witch Hunt controversy in “Paranorman”. I believe that it doesn’t hurt kids being exposed to that part of our history.

        A Reader on August 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

How about this, Pit and Italkit?

Reality it weird and amusing enough. Why spend money at a theatre to be entertained when you can experience the absurd for free.

That said, I’m going to see Expendables on Tuesday.

The Reverend Jacques on August 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

A, I was thinking the same thing about Salem. I’m sure I learned about it when I was a kid. BTW, I’m not advocating censorship. I do try to illuminate ideas and hopefully people will CHOOSE to take the higher road.

RJ, yah, that’s for real. Sort of along the lines I was thinking. Life is so much more interesting in living color, why not experience it on one’s own instead of sitting in a dark room being bombarded by pre-chosen images.

Italkit on August 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    The people executed in SALEM, were NOT, I repeat. WITCHES.

    So making a movie and saying that one of the ones executed was cursing or hauting the town is to say then, That those poor innocent people were IN FACT, guilty as charged and that were, WITCHES!

    THAT IS INJUSTICE.

    I hate this very much!

    Alabama Pride on August 20, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Interesting point, AP.

      skzion on August 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

My favorite film this week was “2016 Obama’s America.” This was an excellent documentary similar to what Michael Moore might have done, except this one giving an argument from the right. The argument of the film is that Obama’s Marxist and anticolonial family roots, particularly in relation to his father, and also various other roots growing up as a child, had a large influence in shaping his views and goals as president. Production values were good, the argument was sophisticated and informed, and it was just such a nice change to see an actual conservative documentary shown at the nearby AMC chain. (For every conservative doc, I see about nine liberal ones, and that’s not always a barrel of fun, although I learn something from all of them.) Unfortunately, the film got very little publicity, since most critics more or less boycotted reviewing it.

I also saw “Expendables 2″ and didn’t like it. I agree with Debbie’s analysis and observations and want to add that this film was incredibly boring, stupid, and “safe” in a bad way in that it paraded all these great action stars in front of the camera and gave them nothing interesting to do or say. Furthermore, Arnold had a larger part in this film than in the first, and that didn’t help. Besides the inane comments he was given in the picture, he makes me cringe when I see him considering the way he contributed towards the ruin of my state California. He lost much good will as guv by caving in to his wife and green supporters and, far from being a hero in my eyes, he’s a bum. Since he does no real acting and has no good lines and depends completely on supposed good will he’s built up over many years, he essentially did nothing with his empty presence but damage the movie. (I might mention that I liked the first Expendables and debated the merits of that film with Debbie who panned it. In this case, though, I agree with Debbie completely.)

I also saw “Paranorman” and loved it. I went with high expectations since I very much enjoyed “Coraline,” and, in my opinion, this film delivered. There was great heart, good morals, a lot of keen wit, humor at all levels, and various scary and creepy scenes that I also liked. (Creepy doesn’t bother me; what bothers me is a film that is overly cute, dully witless, and full of corrupted morals, such as is found in “Brave,” “Ice Age,” etc. etc.) The gay comment didn’t worry me, since it was a throw-away line at the end of the film which was just quirky and meant to make us laugh at the sister who had a crush on him, and, in fact, the teen who turns out to be gay is an incredible buffoon, portrayed with comical exaggeration as a complete idiot. In other words, he’s no role model whatsoever.

Paranorman made me happy with its slyly subversive politically incorrect humor. To name one of many, the van from the animal rescue service kills the pet dog by running over it. That’s called “funny irony targeted at stupid liberals.” Also, I have never seen Puritans portrayed so sympathetically as in this film. Not even close. It’s explicitly stated that they were “well intentioned but just made a mistake.” Really? Weren’t there any feminists available to strike this line from the screenplay? In addition, the fact that the supposed witch in the story really is actually a witch who has the power to cast spells and curses is also politically incorrect. Don’t you know that all the “witches” of that time were supposed to be women that the male patriarchy tortured as a way of maintaining their power?

Whether “Paranorman” would be appropriate for eight-year-olds considering the plotline parallels “Sixth Sense,” I don’t know. I do know that I personally liked it, though.

B: 2016 is by Dinesh D’Souza, an apologist for Islam, who is on the HAMAS CAIR/extremist Muslim lecture circuit and says that the Muslims have a right to hate us and want to attack us because of our decadence. So anything he does should be taken in that vein and dismissed. DS

Burke on August 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Debbie, thanks for that feedback. It was interesting and enlightening.

    Burke on August 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm

The Timothy Green movie would have been better if they mixed some sci-fi into it, perhaps having aliens feel sorry for the couple and dropping off a mutant. Okay, it would not improve the story line but it would have brought in lots of geeks to watch it, thus make it a box office / DVD hit.

Fred Taub on August 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Saw “Timothy” because I desired a wholesome diversion. It hails from Disney and it’s targeted at children. So the adults overact, it’s not deep and CJ James is a likeable child actor. And the kids clearly enjoyed it and giggled when Timothy shows his affection for the girl (a Mila Kunis lookalike). It accomplished it’s purpose and I didn’t drive my nails into the armrest. But it’s not Marx-worthy. It might even deserve a half-Reagan. It’s more like on the level of an after-school special.

Robo on August 20, 2012 at 4:13 pm

On the issue of gays in cinema and in Western pop culture in general, it’s pretty obvious that popular culture throughout the West is gay-friendly and unfriendly to any POV that would question that. It’s been that way for a good 30 years now, only increasing with every decade that passes.

I recall when Midnight Express came out — that hard-hitting, gritty movie about an American caught by Turkish police with drugs and thrown into the hellhole of a Turkish prison. A young up-and-coming film reviewer at the time wrote a review in which he praised the movie generally, but castigated it for a couple of scenes: in one scene the American is visited by his girlfriend for a rare visit, separated by a glass panel, and he asks her to unbutton her blouse so he can masturbate. Then later, while in the shower, a male prisoner makes a very subtle but pointed advance for sex, but the American prisoner rejects him. The film reviewer thought this was unrealistic and — worse than that — homophobic. That’s how absurd the Leftist mind is. The only thing unrealistic about that prison shower scene in Midnight Express was that the prisoner soliciting sex was being so polite: in a real Turkish prison, you can bet it would be a gang of Muslims beating and sodomizing the American, and not saying “Please?” beforehand.

Hesperado on August 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm

“Expendables 3″: The gutsy, gritty team rolls out in their wheelchairs and walkers …..

“… at the end. I just said, “oy,” as in “oy, why did I waste two hours of life on this?”

You do this so the rest of don’t have to – for which, many thanks and our eternal gratitude.

I noticed the dearth of summer movies. Summer movies used to be one of the things we went to escape the heat from. Nowadays, I’d rather sweat.

Still, there’s “Exotic Marigold Hotel”, with a really fine cast.

And for the really lucky ones, TCM.

ZZMike on August 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Debbie, thanks for using your time in order to save ours. I appreciate it. Also, I did not know that about Dinesh D’souza.

PDMac60 on August 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Homosexuals were likely born that way Gary? Then how do you explain that when you have a gay identical twin, fifty percent of the time the other twin isn’t gay. Of course you won’t hear about that from the lying, fascist scum of the media or academia or the so-called “scientific” community.

Daniel Middleman on September 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm

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