June 20, 2014, - 8:32 pm
These are the new movies in theaters today (I did not see “Think Like a Man Too” – so sad, too bad):
* “Jersey Boys“: I have mixed feelings about this movie, which (according to reports) very closely follows the Broadway musical of the same name and tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons from Valli’s and producing partner Bob Gaudio’s, point of view (they produced the movie, and you must keep that in mind while viewing it). Directed by Clint Eastwood, the acting is excellent, the period costumes, sets, and accoutrements are fabulous (except for a couple of anachronistic-looking Lincoln cars at the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction), and the story is somewhat entertaining.
But the movie is what I call “men-lodrama”–my word for male melodrama. This movie hits you over the head with a two-by-four of depressing stuff over and over and over. The drama is non-stop, and there are four male drama queens in this competing for attention. I felt like I was watching “Dream Girls With Men,” which is basically what this movie is. Think VH-1’s “Behind the Music” on steroids and spanning 2.25 hours. It is so damned depressing, I walked out of there feeling bad. And feeling like I really would have rather not seen how the Franki Valli Four Seasons salami was made. After seeing this, I really didn’t like any of the people in this movie. They were mobbed up jerks who grew addicted to fame, which only messed up their families. And maybe that’s the message of this movie, but it’s not the kind of escapist, uplifting movie I would want to spend my money to see on a summer weekend.
The story: Franki Valli and three other Italian Americans from New Jersey form a band after three of them (including Valli) are repeatedly caught up in petty crime and entanglements with a mobster (Christopher Walken). Ultimately, they become famous because of Valli’s falsetto voice and Gaudio’s catchy songwriting. And fame is not the godsend. It’s tragic, and the Four Seasons men get caught up in the lifestyle of extramarital girlfriends, mob protection (from whence they already came in Jersey), abandoning their families and being absentee fathers, and gambling debts (in the case of one of them).
Like I said, I didn’t find any of these people or their lifestyle particularly likeable. And, on top of that, they faced drama after drama. You can see better for free in divorce court, especially now that there will soon be gay divorce court in most states (not that any of “The Four Seasons” were gay, but in this movie, at least, they are definitely drama queens). So, I think I’m being generous in reluctantly giving this . . . .
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Night Moves“: This long, slow boring movie is about three far-left hipster environmentalist terrorists somewhere in Northwest America who plot to blow up a dam in a river. Why they are blowing up the dam–other than to make some nebulous statement about Americans mistreating a river and its fish–is really not that clear. What is clear to me (though it was not intended by the filmmakers, who clearly root for these scumbags) is that all three of these individuals (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard) are annoying, aimless vagrant types without any apparent roots, friends, or family. Two of them work as farmhands and one of them works at some weird New Age spa. Their bombing causes the death of a man, and Eisenberg–worried that Fanning is going to tell police on them–kills her. Oh, and then he moves on from his farmhand job to working at an outdoorsy sporting goods store. The end. Don’t waste your time or money on this. A far superior choice of similar ilk is “The East” (read my review).
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Rover“: Mainstream liberal movie critics are raving over this movie. Don’t believe the hype. This long, boring, pointless movie should be nicknamed, “Boring, NOT Mad Max.” It takes place a decade after some plague or upheaval has destroyed the government and infrastructure of Australia, and everyone takes the law into his/her own hands. The movie takes place in the desolate country, and Guy Pearce (a great actor who is usually in very good movies) plays a tough, brave man whose car is stolen. Even though the thieves left a far better car–which he manages to start–he spends the rest of the movie chasing after the thieves to get his car back. On the way, he picks up the mildly retarded (oh, wait, am I no longer allowed to use that word?) brother (Robert Pattinson) of one of the thieves, who was left to die by his brother and helps Pearce track them. Inexplicably, the mildly retarded character has a Southern American accent. What he is doing in Australia is never told. Nor are we told why there are so many Asian bodyguards and hangers-on all over post-apocalyptic Australia. Not that I cared about either of these enigmas in this long-slog-of-nothing-on-film. The movie is violent, bloody, boring, and a waste of time. Skip this waste of time.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “SuperMensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon“: I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a pretentious, self-absorbed, Hollywood insider movie glorifying a scumbag. Made by Mike Myers (remember him? he’s now fat and sporting strange reddish hair), the movie is essentially a gushing “thank you” because the rich Hollywood insider who is the subject of the movie once let Myers stay at his luxe Hawaii mansion for two months. Myers would have done the world a favor had he stuck to sending a gift basket as thanks instead of this long bore. And make no mistake about the deceptive title. Shep Gordon, the subject of the film, is not a “SuperMensch.” He’s not even a mensch. Just a schmuck. And not anyone America should be celebrating. (That’s why it figures that Myers is Canadian.)
Shep Gordon is an aging far-left, self-hating Jewish In Name Only (JINO), Hollywood liberal–the kind of Hellenist JINO the Maccabees would have beheaded with appropriate zeal. He spent the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s bringing down America through filth and sexual depravity and violence by representing various rock and showbiz acts and pushing the envelope in promoting them. His most prominent client was Alice Cooper. (And, PUH-LEEZE, don’t tell me–after performing naked and posing naked with a snake–that now that he’s a senior citizen, I should somehow respect Cooper for making some conservative statements. When it counted, he was on the wrong side. Now, he’s an aging has-been a la Dennis Miller, struggling to stay relevant.)
If you’re annoyed by the disgusting, depraved behavior of performers like Miley Cyrus (or as we call her here, Miley Virus), you have only Shep Gordon to thank for that. He pioneered lewd-and-lascivious-behavior-as-marketing-technique with Cooper. Gordon explained that in order to get Cooper noticed and to sell his records, he wanted parents and authority to hate Cooper. So, to this end, Gordon instructed Cooper and his band to perform in the nude under completely transparent raincoats, so that parents would hate them and kids would love them. Then, he called the police to arrest them. Also, he instructed Cooper to pose in the nude with a snake, and he instructed truck drivers–whose trucks bore the nude poster–to pretend to break down and stall in the middle of main thoroughfares of London, so people would be held hostage by these nude posters. Of course, today, none of this is anything because Gordon pioneered the “art” of depraved marketing to the point that over the decades the envelope has been pushed far worse. By the way, to make the point about Cooper’s affinity for snakes, we are “treated” to an in-your-face close-up of a snake head swallowing a live mouse. Charming.
Gordon also bragged about how he threw a live chicken into the audience at a music festival and revels in the fact that the audience tore this creature to pieces and threw the parts in the air and back at Cooper. We are also “treated” to charming visions of a chicken being torn up. Where is PETA when you need them? Today, police would rightfully arrest this rich jerk for his cruelty to animals and he’d probably do jail time, as he should. But the movie makes no negative judgment on this, or Gordon laughing at this savagery. Nope. All the movie does is applaud Gordon’s bragging about his life of sex and hard drugs and the wealth he acquired through it all.
Gordon repeatedly mentions how his mother was a typical Jewish parent because she was cruel. And he doesn’t seem to like Jews or Judaism. His Hawaiian mansion is filled with statues of Buddha. He is into New Age crap and meditation. He hung out at the Playboy mansion and had sex with and married a Playboy bunny. Then, he married a young New Age, raw food chef, who could have been his granddaughter. And, throughout, he partied and did drugs with all the famous clients he repped and promoted.
But for some reason, we are supposed to believe–as this movie obviously does–that this is a great guy because 1) he once “dated” (euphemism) Sharon Stone (as a fellow movie critic said coming out of the screening, “who didn’t?”) and 2) he paid money to raise the orphaned family of his dead, single-mother, former model, Black ex-girlfriend. Because Gordon got Communist Groucho Marx’s finances in order in Marx’s old age. Oh, and because Shep Gordon created the era of the celebrity chef and cooking channels on TV. And he invites celebrity friends like Sly Stallone, Michael Douglas, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to hang out at his Hawaii mansion and cooks for them. Therefore he must be great (in the world according to Hollywood pop culture). Who cares? I certainly did not.
What I do care about–and so, likely, do you if you are reading this site–is the future of this country, and because of “men” like Shep Gordon, that future is much dimmer. He is the father of the Kardashians and the Teen Moms and the Real Housewives and Miley Cyrus. He made noxious stuff like that hip. He is one of the major architects of the counter-culture, anti-authoritarian BS that took America down and continues to do so to date. I don’t applaud anyone who thinks nude performers in public aimed at kids, chickens being torn apart alive, doing a ton of drugs, and sleeping around with Playboy sluts is funny or cool. But Shep Gordon brags and laughs about that throughout this whole self-absorbed fake-umentary.
A mensch is a good guy–a “person of integrity . . . someone who is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong.” Shep Gordon is none of these, “super” or otherwise. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. And so the title of this movie should have been, “SuperSchmuck” or “SuperShtunk.” This hedonist jerk is the kind of ugly stereotype lustfully utilized by anti-Semites, who look for Jews that are bad for America, as fodder for their Jew-hating propaganda. In fact, if I were a member of the Klan or Stormfront, I’d make Shep Gordon my poster boy. Or if I were the ghost of Bin Laden or Arafat. Gordon was exactly the kind of guy Hitler would have loved to make just such a movie about. But Leni Riefenstahl is dead, and so a brainless, moronic has-been who was once the king of Wayne’s World, Mike Myers, has unwittingly assumed the position.
Shep Gordon shouldn’t be celebrated. He should be condemned. When he’s gone–and it looks like that time is coming soon–America will be better off. But the damage he wrought on this formerly great country is irreparable.
FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR BIN LADENS
Watch the trailer . . .