October 12, 2012, - 5:56 pm

Wknd Box Office: Argo, Sinister, Here Comes the Boom, Seven Psychopaths

By Debbie Schlussel

I liked three out of the four new movies debuting at theaters, this weekend.


* “Argo“: Check out my complete review.  A CIA agent rescues six U.S. Embassy employees from Tehran, Iran, by posing as a Canadian movie producer making a science fiction film. Again, read my full review of this riveting movie, which also came with needless anti-American “history” and Jimmy Carter whining.

THREE REAGANS (Would be FOUR But for Ben Affleck’s Anti-US History Lesson & Billy Carter’s Bro’s Whining)
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Sinister“: I’ve seen so many scary, creepy, violent, graphic movies that I’ve, unfortunately, become somewhat desensitized to this stuff. I rarely get scared by a horror movie anymore, and usually laugh at the obvious attempts by most of these movies to scare audiences with cheap stunts. But I found this movie very scary, very suspenseful, and even though I saw it at last night’s Midnight show so I could review it for you (the screening was on the Jewish holidays, so I had to miss it), I was awake and riveted the whole time, until the ending (the “whodunit” was a silly letdown). It’s a very, very creepy movie. On the other hand, it’s very bloody and the graphic violence depicted in it isn’t scary, just disturbing and unnecessary. It takes away from the movie.


Ethan Hawke plays a once successful true crime writer. He has one very successful book, and the rest were duds, with one getting it wrong and clearing an actual murderer. Now, he is broke and trying to write his next hit to get himself and his family out from under water. (Ironically, in Hawke’s last movie, which I reviewed on this site, this past summer, Hawke also plays a once successful writer with one very successful book, who is broke and trying to write his next big hit to get himself out from under water. But that’s where the similarities in the two movies end.) Hawke has moved his family into a home where a horrific murder took place–the murder which is the subject of the book on which he’s working. The entire family was hung from a tree, except the youngest daughter, who remains missing. The crime was never solved, and Hawke’s family does not know they are living at the scene of the crime. When they move in, Hawke finds a box of Super 8 home movies of the family . . . and of the murders. It spooks and disturbs him. Soon, strange things begin happening, scary noises and odd events occur. He’s finding connections between the murder and others in the past that took place. And his obsession with the story of the murders and writing the book keeps Hawke from doing the right thing and leaving immediately. He’s a selfish guy, a user, and self-absorbed to the max.

To tell you more would be to reveal some spoilers. But rest assured that it’s very, very creepy and chilling. Still, as I said, I’m bothered by the graphic violence, which serves no purpose but to desensitize people to violence and give evil people evil ideas. And it’s a crutch–a sign of a weak horror movie, as the best in the genre use the psychological to scare their audiences, as this film does in its scariest moments.  Just like the title of this movie, whoever dreamed up the violence is sinister.

I’m torn as to what rating to give this. As a scary movie, it succeeds in psychological creepiness, thrills, and chills, and would get at least TWO REAGANS. But since it is far too filled with graphic violence, that negates much of what is good about it, and I can only give it (and I’m being generous) . . .

HALF A REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Here Comes the Boom“: If you’ve seen any of Kevin James’ other movies, such as “Paul Blart, Mall Cop” (read my review), you know what you’re getting here. It’s a light, funny, entertaining movie that is fun to take your whole family to (although there is some Mixed Martial Arts violence and a funny but disgusting vomiting scene). Yes, it’s predictable and has the less-than-believable happy ending. Yes, it’s really a light version of the far superior, “Warrior” (read my review). But it’s upbeat, positive, and an escapist nearly two hours of Rocky lite using a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) setting.  If you like MMA, you will like this.  But if you don’t, you will still probably like this.

The story: James plays a stereotypical public school biology teacher. He comes late to class, doesn’t care, and tells his students that nothing they learn in his class will be relevant to their lives, so there’s no point in learning it. But by opening his big mouth and promising the nearly impossible to impress the school nurse he wants to date (Salma Hayek), James finds himself in a situation in which he quickly matures and lives up to his responsibilities.

A music teacher (Henry Winkler) learns his job will be cut, just after he’s found out his 48-year-old wife is expecting a baby. He can’t afford to lose his job, and James promises that he will raise the money to save Winkler’s job and the school music program. But he’s unsure how to do it and desperate to impress the school nurse. First, he returns to teaching citizenship test classes for immigrants. One of them wants extra tutoring, and when he comes to the student’s apartment, he learns the student was a Mixed Martial Arts champion in Holland, and that there’s money in it, even if you’re the loser. James, who was a college wrestler back in the day, decides to go for it. He’s too old and out of shape, but he trains and keeps trying. And you know the ending.

Enjoyable, and you’ll laugh a lot. I did. It’s very cute and kind of patriotic, too. If you don’t like POD’s song, “Boom,” bring ear plugs. It’s in the movie a lot, as the title of this movie would indicate.

TWO-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Seven Psychopaths“: This movie began with an interesting premise and could have been entertaining, but it degraded into a violent, bloody waste of time. Oh, and there’s even anti-American crap in it. Yay. Colin Farrrell is a Hollywood screenwriter trying to come up with an idea for a new script. He has two friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) who are dognappers. They kidnap dogs for a living, then return the dogs to their owners in return for cash rewards. Farrell comes up with an idea for a script about psychopathic killers, “The Seven Psychopaths,” for which he gets a lot of material as told to him by his friend, Rockwell. While this is going on, Rockwell and Walker unwittingly kidnapped the dog of psychopathic mobster Woody Harrelson, who wants his dog back and is on to them. At the same time, there are a number of killings which inspire Farrell. They are real life killings by a mysterious serial killer who only murders mobsters and gangsters.

Did I mention that one of the killers Farrell comes up with for his script is a killer of American soldiers? His goal is to murder them because his family was murdered by Americans during the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. He wears a bomb vest and blows up a gathering of military veterans because, after all, they deserve it, right? Disgusting. What actually happened at My Lai is one of the most distorted, misreported, exaggerated events during the Vietnam War–a political Trojan horse used often in anti-American propaganda, particularly lies about the Vietnam War.

I could go on and on about the myriad plot twists and connections in the movie, but why bother? They don’t make it interesting. This movie’s just a depraved, stupid, gratuitously violent waste of time you’d best skip.

If I can say one good thing, it’s that I got a cool “freebie” from it: Sam Rockwell’s character wears a cute knit hat with a dog’s face and ears on it. And I now own one, too, thanks to the studio. Thanks, but I still hated the movie.

THREE-AND-A-HALF MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

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16 Responses

Well. Debbie, better you than me. How you do it every week is beyond me. It must be like doing the backstroke trough a sewer.

Jack on October 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

Hi Debbie
My wife and I saw Argo last night. You’re right, the lead-in and the whining by Carter at the end of the credits were wastes. But we really enjoyed the movie. I usually can’t Bennifer Affleck, but he was good in this. And I loved Goodman and Arkin.

Sean M on October 13, 2012 at 6:39 am

@Jack:

I think that being a movie critic would have the same effect on me as the one ring had on Gollum. Except that Smeagol was already bad from the beginning which is why he murdered Deagol to get the ring in the first place (totally unnecessary because Deagol would have just let him have it) … oh never mind.

Gerald on October 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Gerald, your post had me wishing I had seen “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy.

    I know of Gollum from “The Hobbit” but beyond that I don’t because I never saw the series.

    Skunky on October 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Skunky, read the books! Lord of the Rings is a very worthwhile series. While the movies did have stupendous special effects, they omitted certain details that were very important.

      skzion on October 14, 2012 at 12:32 am

        Hmm, I only saw the First one and that was many years after I read the books.

        Italkit on October 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Um, Skunky, there’s this thing called a book, actually three books called: The Lord of the Rings.” If you can’t find the movies on Netflix try that. ;D

      Italkit on October 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Powerful new Pro Life ad is out “Who is the abortion extremist”?

http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/10/who-is-abortion-extremeist-women-speak.html

Steve on October 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

“Sinister” sounds like a weak version of “The Shining.” Imo.

ShevahY on October 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

As a fan of GOOD horror (no, that does not mean crap like “Scary Movie” and all copy catters like that) your review of “Sinister” has me intrigued. May be worth an October look-see.

I am looking forward to Rob Zombie’s “The Lords Of Salem” but I know he can be wicked derivative (yawn!) and I really, really hated “The Devil’s Rejects”. And I hate that his vapid wife in in alllll his films. Someone put a fork in her, please.

“Here Comes The Boom” sounds like it could be a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I adore a film I never would have believed (like “Maid In Manhattan”…) I’d like and that sounds like one. And it does seem like the Nickelodeon version of “Warrior”. Loved “Warrior”. That Tom Hardy is the real deal, fo’ sure!

Took my nephew to a double-feature of the Australian version of “Mad Max” (undubbed version) & “Mad Max II” (“The Road Warrior” in USA) and those films hold up so well. The are such a part of my past and it is so very sad to know what happened to that vile, hypocrite anti-Semite Mel Gibson…who once the sun set and rose upon. What a strange trip it has been…

Skunky on October 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I wouldn’t give a dime to any Hollywood movie.

FrenchKiss on October 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Exactly! Sites including Pirate Bay usuasually has movies up for FREE within of a week after release.

    Bill on October 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

Only way I’d watch an airhead lefty like Ben Afleck’s movie is for FREE on the internet!

Let the multi-millionaire Afleck walk his talk and give ALL his money away like Mother Theresa! OR SHUT HIS IGNORANT DRUNKEN MOUTH!

Bill on October 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

“7 Psychopaths” was a disgusting, vile, offensive, meritless movie, incapable of being made by an American film studio because of concerns about sales figures . . . and it wasn’t. Right at the opening credits, I saw a notice that its funding was in part from the national lottery. This is an English film . . . a state sponsored film, in which the government throws money at a project and then stands aside and lets some Quentin Tarantino wanna be run amuk. Dreadful.

GM: Great minds think alike. DS

gmartinz on October 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

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