July 24, 2009, - 6:02 pm

Weekend Box Office: Hurt Locker, G-Force, (500) Days Worth Seeing, Skip the Rest

By Debbie Schlussel

Sorry I’m late with my movie reviews but there were so many this week, and I’ve been delayed with figuring out glitches from my new site design.  Now my reviews will be easier to find.  Ironically, the best movies this week are a kids’ flick,  and Iraq war movie (that isn’t “anti-war”), and a romance.

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*  “The Hurt Locker“:  This was, by far, the best movie this week, and probably one of the best of the summer, if not the year.  While it’s a tad violent, somewhat bloody, and definitely not for kids, I loved it, but for the opening quote onscreen, written by anti-war, pro-HAMAS New York Times fabricator Chris Hedges.

Hurt Locker shows us what it’s really like, every day on the streets of Iraq, even now that things have “quieted down” (although this movie takes place during the more violent years of the war).  Soldiers in a unit specializing in defusing bombs have their hands full.  And they are extremely dedicated, risking their lives every day, in service to our country,  for unappreciative Iraqis.  They go out of their way to save not only lives, but property and buildings.  And every time they defuse the bombs, there are more . . . more chances to die in the name of turning Iraq over from Sunnis who oppose Iran to Shi’ites who support it.

Jeremy Renner is excellent as the dedicated bomb defuser who is part daredevil, part crazy–which you have to be–to do the job.  He loves what he does and he has compassion for those who don’t have any for him in the Iraq killing fields.

This movie is heart-pounding excitement and full of suspense at every turn.  But it also shows us a little of the personal feelings of soldiers, how they blow off steam in free time during war, how they interact, and how their social lives are affected.  Not boring by any stretch.  This movie engaged me every step of the way.  And it’s extremely patriotic, if in a very subtle way.

The way good movies are supposed to be.

FOUR REAGANS
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*  “G-Force“:  If you have kids, or even if you don’t, go see this movie.  It’s both fun and funny.  The animated movie–about specially trained guinea pigs who act as special agents in spying and the war on terror–is a Disney 3D flick.  While the 3D was lame and dull in comparison with other 3D movies, the story was cute.  I especially enjoyed the movie’s comparison of bungling FBI agents with these skilled rodents.  Hey, they don’t call it Famous But Incompetent for nothing.

Several rodents, voiced by various famous actors, play caricatures with human characteristics.  They are part of a special program funded by the FBI and developed by humans.  They try to infiltrate a terrorist plot by an appliance magnate who is trying to take over the world, and run from the FBI, get trapped in a pet store, and experience other adventures in the process of saving the world.

A bonus:  this movie is less than 1.5 hours, always ideal.

THREE REAGANS
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*  “(500) Days of Summer“:  This flick’s name references the name of a woman, not a season.  And she’s a very cold, unlikable woman (played by Zooey Deschanel) at that.

In many ways, this is a chick flick, where the guy is the chick, and the woman is–you guessed it–the man.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a wannabe architect who is stuck working at a greeting card company.  He falls for Summer, the secretary who just wants to be “friends” and play things “casual,” no matter how intense their romance gets.  We watch him from the beginning to the end of their romance, which a narrator tells us won’t end pretty.

While this movie was funny and cute, in many ways it seemed too cutesy and was trying to hard for the kitsch factor.  And Deschanel is, like I said, simply not likable.  So it’s hard to see why the guy continues to chase after her.

Still, it was charming and funny (if coupled with a few groanworthy bathroom humor and vulgar jokes).

TWO REAGANS
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*  “Orphan“:  As horror/thriller flicks go, this isn’t bad.  But it isn’t great either.   When one of the best things about a movie is the cool, contemporary house in which much of it takes place, it’s not a good sign.

And some of the acting is just soooo bad, particularly that of far-left actor Peter Sarsgaard.  He plays the husband, whose wife has miscarried a baby and is a recovering alcoholic piano teacher.  This wealthy couple is looking to adopt another kid to go with their two other kids, a boy and a young–and completely cute and sparkling–deaf daughter, played by the captivating little Aryana Engineer.  She is the real star of this movie.

At a Catholic orphanage, the couple meets a Russian-born orphan girl whose family burned to death in a fire in their house (hmm . . . maybe a hint not to adopt her?) .   They are impressed with the girl’s precocious nature and extraordinary artistic talent and adopt her.  Soon, she is terrorizing the family, but the husband refuses to believe the cries and complaints of his wife (Vera Farmiga).

While some have called the plot twist revealed toward the ending of this movie “clever,” I thought it was sort of a rip-off, since there’s never a hint or clue about it earlier in the movie.  But it’s definitely different and extremely creepy.

This extremely bloody, violent movie  (which is full of sexual innuendo and swear words) is NOT for kids.  Mildly entertaining.  But parts of it were just too slow and so laughable.

ONE AND A HALF REAGANS
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*  “Adoration“:  This creepy arthouse thriller is pure propaganda of the pan-Islamic, pan-terrorist variety.

The son of an Arab Muslim and an American woman is a high school student in New York.  He tells his classmates that he is the kid of a Palestinian terrorist who attempted to send his pregnant mother on an El-Al plane to Israel with a bomb.  (It’s a true story and the bomb was intercepted by Israeli security.)  But it’s not true–those were not his parents; they were killed in a head-on collision car accident–and he was encouraged to lie to his classmates by his Lebanese Arab Muslim French teacher.

Soon, we see this kids’ classmates and friends and adults all over the internet arguing whether or  not we should sympathize with the terrorists (as the boy urges).  It’s simply disgusting.  In the meantime, the creepy Arabic French teacher is out to prove that his uncle, who is raising him, is prejudiced against Muslims, and she basically succeeds.

We also see flashbacks of the boy’s grandfather, a wealthy White man who is prejudiced against Arab Muslims.  He causes the boy’s mother to drink and his parents to leave dinner early, causing their car accident death.  Yup, Americans are bigots against nice, poor Muslims and cause them to get in head-on collision deaths.  That’s the message of this movie.

Oh, and we learn the French teacher was the first wife of the Arab Muslim that was this kid’s father.  He was taken away from her when the kid’s Anglo-American mother was sleeping with him and stole him away.  Yup, evil Christian American bitches still Muslims’ husbands.  Riiiight.

My favorite blatant propaganda quote from the movie:  when the French teacher tells the boy’s uncle that her ex-husband was “very generous” to decorate a Christmas tree, given his upbringing.

A manipulative piece of crap worthy of a flush down the toilet. Feh.

FOUR MARXES
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*  “The Ugly Truth“:  Well, half of the title of this stupid, groanworthy, predictable chick flick is accurate:  it’s ugly.  And a waste of time.  While I laughed a few times during this rehashed set of plot lines and dumb jokes from every bad romance movie of the last 20 years, I mostly cringed and gritted my teeth.  Not only were the jokes dumb, they were mostly vulgar.  The “vag”-word, c-word (the one that rhymes with rock), f-word, and pretty much every other word you wouldn’t utter at a job interview is in this.  And it’s just gross.

Katherine Heigl plays a local television morning news show producer, whose show hires a male chauvinist, Tom Leykis-esque commentator (Gerard Butler) to deliver advice to guys on the show.  He tells guys how to treat women as badly as possible to get sex out of them, etc.  Initially she hates him, but soon Butler is giving her advice on how to bag a pretty boy doctor on whom she has her eye.  Predictably, she ultimately falls in love for Butler, then they get into a fight, then they kiss and make up.  The end.

Gag.

THREE MARXES
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9 Responses

Debbie,

Your new site is great!

It’s just the way I wanted it.

Gut Shabbos, too.

Underzog on July 25, 2009 at 12:35 am

i’d like to see hurt locker, but it is not playing near me:(

mindy abraham on July 25, 2009 at 1:17 am

“The “vag”-word, c-word (the one that rhymes with rock), f-word, and pretty much every other word you wouldn’t utter at a job interview is in this. ”

Oh sure those words are uttered all the time at job interviews– for porn “stars”…..

;)

Doda on July 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm

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