February 8, 2013, - 4:54 pm
If you were as grossed out as I was by the GoDaddy.com Super Bowl ad, trust me, the up-close and way too personal make-out scene doesn’t get better with two attractive lipstick lesbian actresses. That’s what I learned (but didn’t need to) from one of this weekend’s new “high brow” movies.
* “Side Effects“: As I’ve told you before–and many of you know this even more than I do, few movies anymore have original plots and stories. They all beg, borrow, and steal from movies already made. If you saw Richard Gere and Kim Basinger in the 1992 movie, “Final Analysis,” you’ll figure out the twist in this movie, which is flat-out stolen from that movie. That said, this movie is a clever thriller . . . even if the “cleverness” was plagiarized from Richard Gere’s turn as the psychiatrist in “Final Analysis.”‘
In this movie, Jude Law is the psychiatrist who falls into the same trap as Gere. The movie begins with a scene of blood on the floor of a New York City apartment. Then, it flashes back to a wife (Rooney Mara) getting ready to welcome her husband (Channing Tatum) home from prison after doing a stint for insider trading. When he comes home, she begins having psychological problems like she did before he went away. She becomes depressed and soon deliberately drives her car into the wall of a parking structure. After she’s rushed to the hospital, she encounters Law, who treats her and soon becomes her psychiatrist, taking over from her previous one, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Mara tries several medications but none seems to work, so she asks Law if he will prescribe her a new drug, Ablixa (which doesn’t actually exist in real life, but has a website produced by the filmmakers), which has been recommended by Zeta-Jones.
While, at first, the drug seems to work, it soon drives Mara to commit a horrific act and crime and Law loses everything–professionally and otherwise–for it. But did the drug really cause this? Is everything as it seems?
I could have done without the up-close-and-personal, in-your-face lesbian make-out scene between Mara and Zeta-Jones. Ick. Now, that we have gay marriage and gays in the military, I suppose it’s the “new normal” from Hollywood that this must be forced upon us and in our faces 24/7. Other than that, though, it’s a pretty good movie, if borrowed from the aforementioned ’90s flick.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Identity Thief“: The idea for this movie is very current, and it could have been a great piece of entertainment (like the far superior and very entertaining 1990 film, “Taking Care of Business,” an identity theft movie featuring Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin). But it isn’t. Instead, there are groanworthy scenes, dumb gags, and so many potholes in the script, it virtually flattened my tires sitting through it. While there are a few funny lines and gags, the movie is mostly ridiculous, gross, and stupid. Sorry, but the noises of fat people having sex in a hotel room . . . not funny. Just eeeuuuwwww. Also, I know it’s supposed to be a comedy, but it’s just not believable or something that suspends belief. Oh, and I could have done without the anti-capitalist digs on Ayn Rand that were oh so blatant.
The story: Jason Bateman is Sandy Bigelow Patterson, an accountant with two kids, a wife, and a tiny apartment in which his daughters sleep on the couch because money is tight. He works for a complete creep of a CEO, who quotes Ayn Rand, and tells Bateman to read “The Fountainhead,” after Bateman gets upset upon learning that he’s not getting a bonus, while his boss is paying himself a $1.2 million bonus. But some renegade employees are leaving to start a competing financial services firm, and they hire Bateman away with a huge raise. The thing is, as that is happening, a woman (the calorically-gifted–or is that “differently digestive?”–Melissa McCarthy) from Florida is using his name and information (which she tricked him into giving her over the phone) to open multiple credit accounts, live the high life, and ruin his credit.
Then, it starts stretching credulity. Bateman pulls up at a gas station, and immediately his credit cards don’t work. Then, he drives down the street and a motorcade of cops and cop cars come after him and arrest him. We know that this is not exactly how identity theft works. Someone opens new accounts in your name, and your own credit card doesn’t immediately stop working and get cut up. And the police don’t work that fast, nor do they send a posse out to get you. The police produce the mug shot of the person who ran up all the credit and didn’t pay for it, and it’s a woman, so they know it isn’t Bateman and they release him. However, Bateman’s boss, despite seeing the mug shot, demands that Bateman produce the woman who is the identity thief and bring her to Denver to face charges. If Bateman doesn’t do this, he loses his job. What boss, after the police show him a mug shot of a woman who stole the identity of his employee, will demand this? It just doesn’t happen.
So Bateman travels to Florida to bargain with McCarthy and get her to return to Denver with him. After chasing her and struggling to get her to return, they are chased by a violent bounty hunter and a pair of drug dealers as they make their wy back to Denver. It turns into a bad road trip movie, and it mostly just isn’t funny.
The movie also asks us to feel bad for this identity thief cretin because she was given up by her parents and no one likes her because she’s fat, ugly, and incredibly clownish with her loud clothing and make-up. (A gay hairdresser and make-up artist remarks, “When will she learn that more is not more?”) So, we are supposed to feel bad for her because of this. Huh? Typical Hollywood liberal thinking. At the end of the movie, Bateman brings his two young daughters to prison to hang out with this con who is now “one of the family.” Uggh. We are the world. We are the children. Blah, Blah, Blah. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Mildly entertaining, but mostly just a silly, gross, inane waste of your time.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Ablixa, Ayn Rand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Charles Grodin, Final Analysis, identity theft, Identity Thief, Identity Thief movie, Identity Thief movie review, Identity Thief review, Jason Bateman, Jim Belushi, Jude Law, Kim Basinger, Melissa McCarthy, movie review, Movie Reviews, Richard Gere, Rooney Mara, Sandy Bigelow Patterson, Side Effects, Side Effects movie, Side Effects movie review, Side Effects review, Taking Care of Business