December 21, 2012, - 3:05 pm

Wknd Box Office: Hyde Park on Hudson, Jack Reacher, The Guilt Trip, This is 40

By Debbie Schlussel

With Christmas in just a few days, this is the time that Hollywood is supposed to put out its biggest, best blockbusters. Instead, they give us schlock, which is the best descriptor for the new movies at theaters, this weekend.

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* “Hyde Park on Hudson“: A while ago I wrote on this site about a disgusting scene in a movie in which a President I don’t even like is shown getting manually masturbated by someone. That was this movie, as some readers correctly guessed. It’s Hollywood’s way of attacking and taking down every single authority figure in American history, even the uber-liberal, statist ones they revere. This long, slow, boring, creepy movie presents an even creepier version of Franklin D. Roosevelt than anything I’ve seen on any President. FDR (played by Bill Murray) is portrayed as a sleazy, sex-obsessed weirdo, who doesn’t let a visit to his Hyde Park estate by the King and Queen of England get in the way of his conquests of multiple members of his harem. Yuck.


This is the story of Margaret Suckley (in the movie, she is just “Daisy,” probably for obvious reasons), FDR’s Plain Jane fifth or sixth cousin (in the movie, she says they’re not sure which it is), who is recruited by FDR’s mother to “entertain” him at the Hyde Park estate one summer during his Presidency. Yup, FDR’s mother–as portrayed in this movie–is his pimp, and ultimately Daisy becomes one of his several concubines, joining his secretary and one of his longtime wealthy patrons in the harem. The movie is supposedly based on Suckley’s diaries and letters between her and FDR that were allegedly found under her bed after her death at age 99 in 1991. Suckley is played by Laura Linney.

Skip this barf-fest at all cost.

FOUR MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Jack Reacher“: I was really looking forward to this movie based on the thriller novels of author Lee Child. But what a letdown. While there were some mildly cool car chase and shooting scenes that are inserted in any action thriller, the movie was silly and preposterous–particularly when it comes to the plot and the storyline. It wasn’t interesting or thrilling most of the time, and you don’t really care “whodunit.” The “why” is stupid and never ever explained, nor is much of what is going on. It’s not a tight script, and I’m surprised this movie is coming out now, instead of January or August, the cemeteries of movies where Hollywood sends the worst movies to die a quick death. Tom Cruise is his usual great acting self, but he produced this jalopy of a movie so he takes the blame for the bad vehicle featuring his good acting.

The plot: a former Army sniper who served in the Middle East is accused of shooting five people from a parking garage across the river. He writes a note to prosecutors to get Jack Reacher, a mysterious superhero-type of a guy in the form of a retired military police investigator, played by Cruise. He’s not only a brilliant investigator, but a great physical fighter, car chaser, shooter, and so on. Reacher is hired by the accused’s defense lawyer, who also happens to be the daughter of the district attorney prosecuting her client. Someone is out to get Reacher as he gets closer to the truth. Is it the district attorney? To be honest, I didn’t care much because the movie is that bad. The only good thing about this is the presence of Robert Duvall, but even that isn’t enough to make things right.

I’m surprised this is PG-13, since it’s violent and includes a scene in which the bad guy tries to make someone bite his own fingers off. Sick. Sad. Long. Boring. Waste of time.

HALF A MARX

Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Guilt Trip“: Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen play an ambiguously but stereotypically Jewish mother and son with the last name, Brewster, who go on a road trip together, as Rogen tries to sell his invention (an organic cleaning solution made out of fruit) to major retailers. Streisand is your stereotypical, annoying, guilt-inducing, intrusive Jewish mother who asks questions about the most personal and inserts herself everywhere she’s not wanted. Rogen can’t stand it, but he feels sorry for her and takes her along on the trip so she can reunite with her long lost first love, after whom he’s named.

While there are some parts of this movie that are alternately very funny or touching and endearing, mostly it’s just a non-stop reel of bad joke after bad joke and stupid, raunchy joke after stupid, raunchy joke. I liked the idea of a mother/son road trip, which we haven’t seen before at the movies. I just liked it without these two, neither of whom I like much at all. And too much of this movie was melodramatic angst and whining and screaming that’s just what people go to the movies to get away from. In the end, the messages are two of the typical and predictable ones: mother knows best and mother and son will do best by getting along after all.

A side note on this: after the screening I attended, there was a live telecast featuring Streisand and Rogen. I don’t like Seth Rogen, but his stock went up 1,000% after seeing the telecast, since all he did was rip on Streisand and her ridiculous lifestyle and demands. The movie was supposed to be a road trip, but Streisand is so special in her own mind and so absurd in her demands that the whole movie had to be done from a warehouse and sets built especially for her, since she insisted on filming the entire movie 15 minutes from her Malibu home, after making increasing demands of the filmmakers. During the live telecast, Streisand constantly whined about how hard it is to drive and how impossible it is to drive at night. She also spoke of how difficult the internet is, as is checking things online It was a nice insight to how out of touch this over-pampered far-left, Obama-supporting celeb is. As in, very.

As I said, while some of this is very funny, it’s also very overwrought and annoying. It was mildly entertaining, though, and better than all of the other new offerings.

HALF A REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “This is 40“: It takes a lot to sit through this incredibly long, boring, 2 1/3 hours whine-fest. If seeing a naked husband (Paul Rudd) with butt and legs in the air looking in a mirror to see if he has hemorrhoids is your idea of a good time, then this is your movie. For the rest of us, um, no thanks. This is writer/director Judd Apatow’s latest raunchfest, and in this case, it’s not even funny. Just gross and extremely whiny.

Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann (Apatow’s real-life wife) play Pete and Debbie, the husband and wife from Apatow’s “Knocked Up” (read my review). They are both turning 40 and don’t want to face it, instead having signs of a mid-life crisis. They are constantly arguing over his secret eating of cupcakes (sugar isn’t allowed in the household), his support of his father and the father’s new family with an airline stewardess, and other things I couldn’t care less to hear about. They read their kids’ facebook accounts and confront the boys who attack their kids online. Debbie worries about her women’s clothing store and who stole $10,000 from it. Pete is worried about his failing new record company and the fact that he can’t sell CDs of his latest golden oldie rocker.

Lots of bickering, shouting, yelling, and so on. Very little that’s entertaining. Why pay money to go to the movies to see this when you can see it in households across America or in divorce court? And in those places, it’s a lot more interesting than this portrayal of spoiled very-upper-middle class people living beyond their means and constantly complaining about nothing.

TWO MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

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19 Responses

About the only reason I want to see “Jack Reacher” is because I was caught in traffic here in Pittsburgh NUMEROUS times while they were filming it. And I also helped pay for it, due to the film tax credit we have here. From the previews I’ve seen, they DO show a lot of the city. I’m always down for some mindless entertainment. But I’ll wait til its on pay-per-view.

Cicero's Ghost (NB) on December 22, 2012 at 11:29 am

Well, Ms. Stuckley’s nickname at the time and in history books was “Daisy.”

A little background to this movie.

Eleanor Roosevelt had six children, yet hated sex. She continued to have sex with FDR, until he was caught in his first affair, with, of course, Lucy Mercer. She never had sex with him again, and lived in a separate cottage on the Roosevelt estate. She slept in a separate bedroom at the White House.

She was also known, although this was kept quiet until recently, to have had a number of liasons with women, including a very manly female journalist named “Lorena Hickok.”

Meanwhile, Franklin’s short leg was not affected by polio, and he did have multiple affairs. He always preferred the company of women, particularly good looking women, and he did screw around. The only people he screwed more than his secretaries were the Jews, to whom he blocked entry into the United States, even though English even asked that their immigration quota for entry into the US be given to the Jews. That gimp not only wouldn’t let the Jews from the St. Louis into the US, he pressured Cuba to prevent the Jews from disembarking there.

But I digress. Roosevelt was a scumbag who did cheat on his wives, he used the IRS against his “enemies,” he was an anti-Semite, and his policies of high tariffs and high taxes prolonged the depression. Indeed, we were the last industrial power to “leave” the Depression, and that was only because of WWII.

The 12 acre monument to this prick in Washington, DC makes me want to vomit, larger than the footprint of any other monument or memorial in DC, makes me want to puke.

Jonathan E. Grant on December 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    tell your friends in hollywood to clean up their filth

    sam on December 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    JEG gotta give you props. Thanks for the history lesson and a VERY well written and entertaining post. Hope everyone reads it. I live for writing like that (and always have).

    Suckley (Stuckley?) and Hikock…you can’t make these apropos names up! AND if you want a plain Jane ain’t no one plainer than Laura Linney. I liked her in “House Of Mirth” but that’s about it. Cement wall & stale saltines (as I like to say).

    I have to read that book long on my reading list “The Forgotten Man” that shows that FDR did more to destroy this nation than his untrue lore that he was the best thing to happen to it. Liberal false memes do die-hard and live long in the empty craniums of low-info people.

    Barbra Streisand is the consummate example of the annoying, HYPOCRITICAL Liberal fraud. Her and Yoko Ono. If you love their hypocrisy you LIKE being dumb & dupey. I’m proud to be on to their sorts.

    I agree w/ DS. Tom Cruise IS a good actor. I never liked him (when everyone was so gaga over him…I have a great spidey sense for frauds and I knew something was off w/him…and I know what it is NOW) and the 1st movie I saw of his was “Rain Man” (long after it was released) and I was impressed. He also did well in “Interview With A Vampire” and there was outrage about THAT before the movie was even released (if you recall). The dude can act but he’s a complete weirdo. I now think that Scientology has him by the you-know-whats so he (and Travolta…and Greta Van Susteren is also a Scientologist…gee, what do those 3 have in common?? Hmmmm.) can’t come clean without his WHOLE cover being blown. My, my what a pickle he is in.

    And the latest Vanity Fair article on him was very eye-opening. I had softened to him a bit but after reading that article I see I was wrong to doubt my first guess on what he is and all about. Truth IS stranger than fiction!

    Skunky on December 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I was wondering what put the smile on Bill Murray’s dial for the promotional shot of “Hyde Park on Hudson”. Probably the only reason this dumbed down version of historical events was made was to translate FDR into a figure modern day Clinton supporters can relate to. Barf.

When will liberals wake up and realize we’re not in Camelot anymore unless you count the sewerage system?
How America went from JFK’s, “ask not what your country can do for you” to demanding that the country pays for Sandra Fluke’s lifestyle choices is something that only liberals can and should explain.

Frankz on December 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Britain, then, as now, was a hotbed of antisemitism, drastically limiting Jewish refugees from Germany. Given the relative generosity of British immigration quotas to the US, it wasn’t really making much of a concession. Why didn’t Britain take the refugees itself?

Little Al on December 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I realized a few days ago that Tom Cruise, after all of his plastic surgery, now looks like Demi Moore, after all of her’s.

skzion on December 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    So, maybe that’s actually Demi Moore in the movie, not Mr. Cruise?!

    Concerned Citizen on December 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Well, with Hollywood special effects nowadays, one can’t be sure.

skzion on December 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I will never go to a movie or watch one on TV that has the leftwing lunatic Streisand in it. I hate her looks, her voice, and her nose.

FrenchKiss on December 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

So, can anyone just go to divorce court and watch the show, or must one have actual business there?

M: Except in the rare case that there is a closed or sealed hearing, it’s open to the public in most American courthouses. DS

Michelle on December 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hyde Park on Hudson sounds disgusting, and is not a movie I would want to see. But I have to think that the Clinton presidency was somewhat of an inspiration for this movie. His degradation of the presidency certainly made a film like this easier, although even apart from Clinton, the cultural decline of our country since the 50s would make this kind of trash easier to produce and market.

Little Al on December 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    It must have been a deliberate insult from Clinton to have shown such disrespect in the Oval Office with Monica. Not a class act!

    Rochelle on December 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm

By the looks of it, the Apocalypse really did happen – in the form of bad cinema.

Bring me Django!

The Reverend Jacques on December 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

If you have Bill Murray play FDR, it is bound to be a freakish portrayal. Also, FDR definitely had affairs(his marriage to Eleanor was practically an arranged one). However, who knows how much of Suckley’s memoirs are fact or fabrication. FDR’s elderly mother acting as his pimp seems to be a real stretch.

Barbara Streisand almost always made a bad film worse. Who watches her first movie Funny Girl today? Barbara’s films make Woody Allen’s work seem charming by comparison.

Also, from Debbie’s description, Barbara Streisand is an elderly brat. She had to have the entire production within walker distance apparently.

It is amazing that these film production companies stay above water with so many obviously horrible films. Who puts money into this slop? Is it some sort of tax dodge? We can all laugh at the original “The Producers” from the late 60′s. However, I suspect that some odd accounting for at least some of these films goes on.

Worry01 on December 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

Not long ago I had a good laugh reading Streisand’s remark that she is not a “Diva”. She is the Poster Girl for Diva!

Rochelle on December 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

How could they have Tom Cruise who is almost a midget compared to what Jack Reacher is supposed to look like. They shold have cast Clint Walker who used play Cheyenne on TV years ago. Even at age 83 Clint Walker looks is more of a man than Cruise is.

Fred on December 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm

For anyone who hasn’t read The Forgotten Man, I thought it was a brilliant book. When I read it I thought the parallels between Obama and FDR were kind of eerie. And I believe the book came out before Obama was ever president. I hope Amity Shlaes next book about Coolidge holds up as well this one.

Daniel Middleman on December 26, 2012 at 1:31 am

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