July 5, 2014, - 10:22 pm

Holiday Box Office: Tammy, Earth to Echo, Begin Again, Deliver Us From Evil, Ida, Snowpiercer

By Debbie Schlussel

Most of these movies opened on Wednesday, earlier than usual because of the Independence Day holiday, but I was exhausted and didn’t get these up in time before now, so my apologies (if you already wasted valuable time/dollars on the crappy stuff because you didn’t get to read my reviews first, my bad). I’ve already posted my review of “America.” Here are my reviews of the others (only two of which I liked):




* “Tammy“: Have you ever been to a “Lesbian Fourth of July” party? That’s the “highlight”–or rather, lowlight–of this on-screen piece of bleep. In fact, the only decent, normal, wise people in this movie are lesbians. Happy Birthday, America! More on that later. But suffice it to say, this movie is clearly the fantasy of either an uber-hater of America or an extreme chubby chaser.

Um, I’m confused. Whenever I mock the morbidly obese and how society pimps on these “plus sized” women as “beautiful,” I’m roundly attacked. And, yet, I’m supposed to laugh at a talentless hack–Melissa McCarthy–whose entire act is: “Look at me, I’m huge. Now, Laugh!” Here’s a tip: being morbidly obese isn’t funny. It’s just disgusting. And not fun to watch. Yes, there are actors and comedians who are both fat and funny, such as the late John Candy to whom McCarthy has been compared recently. But I could watch his movies over and over because he was actually funny and a good actor. McCarthy is neither. Candy’s hefty weight was merely an accessory the way blonde hair was Marilyn Monroe’s accessory (or an adopted Black baby is Charlize Theron’s, Sandra Bullock’s, Angelina Jolie’s, and Madonna’s accessory). And let’s get something straight: McCarthy is no John Candy. Not even close. He was entertaining, campy, and funny. She’s annoying, schlubby, and groanworthy I laughed maybe five times at the most while watching this dreck.

Being a fat slob isn’t funny in and of itself. And that’s all McCarthy has going for her. This movie is Exhibit A. Or maybe a repeat of Exhibit A, because even though she claims she and her husband, Ben Falcone, wrote it (Falcone also directs this dungheap), it’s a plagiarized effort that is merely a cheap repeat of a previous McCarthy effort, “Identity Thief” (read my review), which was bad, but not nearly as bad as this. In that movie, McCarthy is an annoying loser on a silly road trip and does stupid things, including hitting on men and engaging in robbery. In the end, she ends up in federal prison. In this movie, McCarthy is an annoying loser on a silly road trip and does stupid things, including hitting on men and engaging in robbery. In the end, she ends up in federal prison. Come on, fat chick, come up with something new.

Absolutely everyone in this movie is loathsome, except–surprise!–lesbians. If you’re a person with anything resembling a brain and reason, you hate every single person in this movie because they are simply despicable or completely idiotic beings who barely resemble functioning humans. McCarthy is a fat loser who works at a fast food restaurant. When she gets to work late after her car hit a deer (or was it a moose?), she is fired by her boss (Falcone), so she puts her hair and body all over the food on her way out. When she gets home, she finds her husband has been cheating on her, so she leaves and goes on an inexplicable road trip with her sex-crazed grandmother (Susan Sarandon) to see Niagara Falls.

On the way, McCarthy crashes a jet ski, robs a fast food joint, and mercilessly hits on a farmer who isn’t interested in her. Her grandmother’s “greatest” achievement is having slept with one of the Allman Brothers. Then, she gets drunk, hits on a farmer at a bar and sleeps with him in her hotel room, while she forces McCarthy to sleep on the ground outside the room. After “granny” arrested and jailed with illegal drugs in her possession, McCarthy robs a fast food joint to get the bail money. And ultimately, they end up at their rich lesbian cousin’s mansion, where they participate in a lesbian Fourth of July party. The lesbians–again, and of course–are the only decent, sensible people in this flick. They are nice and have compassion. And they are smart. Oh, and they try to talk some common sense and pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps/life-is-hard truth to power to McCarthy.

If I were the ISIS public relations manager, I would skip the recruitment videos of old and just show my intended recruits this movie of slovenly, lazy, ugly, sex-crazed, drug-and-alcohol-abusing Americans. It ought to do the trick.

Save your ten-plus bucks for something else. America has contributed more than enough money to the fabric fund for Melissa McCarthy’s next Academy Awards tent gown and accompany Cross-Your-Heart hammock bra and Golden Gate Bridge-sized thong underwear.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Earth to Echo“: It’s pleasantly surprising to see a charming young teen kids movie that doesn’t involve sex, four-letter-words, or violence. And that’s why I liked this. While it is not nearly as good as “E.T.” or “Goonies” or “Gremlins”–the ’80s kids movies of which this movie reminded me–the movie is close enough to those to make it entertaining and engrossing for kids and families. It lacks the magic of the ’80s flicks I mentioned, but it’s good enough and it’s wholesome. It’s a young buddy movie involving rescuing an alien from menacing government agents.

The story: several young teen boys live in a middle-class California neighborhood that’s slated for demolition to make room for a highway. Their families are all moving away to new and separate lives. And on their last night together, the boys hope for and get an adventure before saying good-bye to each other. They are drawn, through strange occurrences on their cellphones and other cues, to a remote area where they discover a small device that turns out to be a stray alien from outer space, whom the government is looking for. They are soon chased by government agents as they attempt to help the alien find his spaceship and go back to his life.

It is fine and cute for kids and the kind of movie that Disney used to make.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Begin Again“: I enjoyed this movie a lot, but for the giant, unsightly shots of Keira Knightley’s horrible teeth (a great advertisement for what the UK’s horrible ObamaCare style dental “care” does to one’s mouth; imagine what ObamaCare will do to your body). Get some braces, girl. If you like contemporary music and drama, you’ll probably like this movie, too. It’s by the makers of “Once,” another music-intense film I enjoyed.

On the other hand, Yasiin Bey a/k/a “Mos Def” co-stars in this movie. Bey, a devout Muslim, is a big fan of Gitmo’s Al-Qaeda terrorists who murder Americans and want to murder more, so you might wanna keep that in mind in deciding whether or not to see this.

The story: Mark Ruffalo is a down-and-out record executive in New York City. An alcoholic, he spends his last dollars at a bar, where he discovers Knightley, a fabulous singer, and begs her to let him produce her music. But Knightley is on her way home back to England because she’s been dumped by her boyfriend, played by far-lefty Adam Levine. Levine, a rock star, is a complete jerk, egomaniacal narcissist, and cheater. In other words, Levine is playing himself. Knightley has written many of his hit songs but gets no credit for anything. Soon, she is helping Ruffalo’s estranged teen daughter get some self-respect and dignity by dressing and acting less slutty. And Knightley is helping Ruffalo regain his life as they produce her new album using the sounds of New York’s everyday street life. Singer CeeLo has a brief, co-starring role but doesn’t really add much to the film.

I really enjoyed the singing and music in this movie (I’ll probably buy a couple of songs for my iPod), and the acting is very good, too. The movie is entertaining as is the story, even if it is somewhat predictable. And I liked the film’s message about authenticity versus the artificial and cosmetic that often infects that which is commercial. It also hits on the importance of a strong father-daughter relationship. The movie flies by and leaves you wanting more. It ends at just the right point and on the right note. (Although it is rated “R,” mostly because of language issues, if I had teens, I would probably let them see this if we could find a way not to support Yasiin Bey a/k/a Mos Def.)


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Deliver Us From Evil“: After seeing so many far better scary movies, this one doesn’t cut it and often made me laugh when it was intended to make me scream in fright. Although there are two or three scary incidents, the rest of the movie is a long, slow bore. The one redeeming thing about this movie is its message that faith in religion is important. But that isn’t enough to justify paying for and sitting through this.

Eric Bana plays real life New York cop, Ralph Sarchie, who is a lapsed Catholic who no longer believes in any religion. He and his detective partner, Joel McHale, are investigating three men who are possessed by the devil. The men served together in Iraq, where they encountered a tomb that released evil spirits which made them extremely violent and murderous. As I watched this, that plot point bothered me because it irked me that Americans who served in the Armed Forces are portrayed as possessed, violent, and evil. So evil that one of them de-guts and crucifies a cat (and we are shown this disgusting display, vividly). Do ya think Hollywood would ever do a movie about possessed Muslims who kill people and disembowel/crucify cats? Nope. I guess evil spirits in Iraqi tombs only take over the bodies of us evil infidels. Right?

The extreme violence, gruesomeness, and tons of blood in this movie didn’t scare me in the least. They were failed in-your-face attempts to shock–textbook moves in a horror movie that just isn’t that scary.

A hot, leather-jacket-wearing priest who is on the case and stares at women’s butts doesn’t make the movie any more interesting or exciting, either. Nor does the storyline involving the evil spirits menacing Detective Sarchie’s daughter and wife. It’s just trumped up, one-dimensional melodrama.

As a red-blooded American girl, I’d be in denial if I ignored that Eric Bana, with lots of tight, short-sleeved shirts showing off his bulging muscles, looks very good and was a sufficient serving of eye candy amidst the dullness (if I forget that he referred to me and some others as terrorist “hijackers” because we trashed his “Munich” would-be star turn). Nice house. But nobody’s home in this movie.

If you’re seeking a well done scary film, this ain’t it. Even if you are only seeking cheap, quick thrills, this isn’t it, either. There’s nothing thrilling, quick, or, at ten-bucks-plus, cheap, about this.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Ida“: Leave it to the extremely anti-Semitic Poles to turn the Holocaust tragedy into a way to portray Jews as evil, slutty, and Communist murderers. That’s what this boring Polish-made movie does.

In Polish, with English subtitles, it’s the story of Ida, a young woman who was raised in a convent and is training to become a nun in the early 1960s. She learns she has an aunt and that she and the aunt are Jews. She also learns that her family perished in the Holocaust. But those are tiny details compared to the fact that her Jewish aunt is a Communist judge, Comrade Wanda, who sentenced many non-Communists and freedom-seekers to execution. Oh, and did I mention that she’s an alcoholic and a slut? But, don’t worry, she realizes that she’s a bad person and jumps out a window.

Soon, her niece is dropping the nun habit and getting into bed with men she just met, too. Then, she realizes that being a Communist slutty Jewess ain’t the life for her. So it’s back to the nunnery for the calm, decent life of a Polish Catholic. Yep, those Jooooos suck!

My relatives cooked in the ovens for this? Apparently.

There are real-life stories of Polish Jewish kids raised as Catholics to survive the Holocaust such as that of Miriam Ferber of the Detroit area. Ferber, raised by Polish Catholics, was finally told by her adoptive parents that she was a Jew. She became a practicing Jew, created and raised a thriving Jewish family, and today, her kids (with whom I went to school) own and run HoMedics (which brings you all of the great massage stuff you see as gifts for Christmas). Her story would have made a great movie.

Instead, we get this trash. Before seeing this, I never imagined an 82-minute movie could seem like 820.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Snowpiercer“: Horrible and barbaric, not to mention long, slow, and boring. Um, do we really need another stupid class warfare movie? Unfortunately, the makers of this piece of garbage certainly thought so. Come on, Hollywood, come up with something new, even if it gets in the way of your stock narrative about the rich (the rich other than you, that is). This awful class envy flick is costumed as “science fiction,” but that’s a ruse for a two-hours-plus Marxist rant. What it is, is long, boring, and repetitive, too.

Set in the future, the Earth has frozen over, and the only survivors are on a train that circles the world endlessly. The train has sections for the poor who got to ride for free and the wealthy who paid for the privilege. The poor are in a slum section in the back of the train and live in horrible conditions. They are treated like garbage by those who run the train and are forced to eat human limbs. They are also forced to eat “protein bars,” which are made out of insects and waste. And when they disobey those who run the train, they are forced to put their limbs through a hole outside the train until the limbs freeze and are then broken off by the the minions of the wealthy who run the train. Eventually, the poor revolt and get to the front of the train after much death and destruction. And then the train gets blown up and skids off the tracks in the end, so most of them die.

And the point of this movie is . . . ? I’m not sure, other than to separate you from ten bucks plus and more than two hours of your life. And to both sicken you from its barbarism and violence and put you to sleep from its dullness.

Absolutely terrible.


Watch the trailer . . .

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25 Responses

“…an adopted Black baby is Charlize Theron’s, Sandra Bullock’s, Angelina Jolie’s, and Madonna’s accessory)”


DS_ROCKS! on July 6, 2014 at 1:26 am


    Maggie Simi on July 6, 2014 at 10:27 am

Ah, nothing like lesbian propaganda, antisemitism, and ice cold class warfare to make the Fourth of July worthwhile. Gag!

Worry01 on July 6, 2014 at 5:32 am

Snowpiercer – Destroy the engine which keeps them trapped in an endless cycle of exploitation.
I think it’s the engine that’s been causing all the trouble.
Engines were at the heart of nasty things like the industrial revolution and such.

I’m guessing once they destroy the engine they’re forced back into the cold freezing wastes that were mankind’s rightful reward for trying to find a scientific escape route for global warming thereby preserving the engine.

Anyway, it was naughty to try and escape because the only solution is to accept the inevitability of global warming unless we seek the redemption that only the Green movement and your friendly neighbourhood eco-Marxist can offer. Smash the economic engine like a good socialist Luddite.

The usual outdated class struggle rubbish you expect from people like John Hurt who got their good old fashioned British socialism in their Labour government tea and scones as a kids.
It’s retro Marxism revisited as Sci-Fi scenery so you’ll appreciate the rust as an effect.
They destroyed the UK but it was all for the good and now they want to know why you’re still standing.

Frankz on July 6, 2014 at 6:16 am

They’ll have your engine if it kills them

Frankz on July 6, 2014 at 6:28 am

For some reason, “Ida” is getting rave reviews from highbrow critics. Perhaps they are entranced by a Polish film that (allegedly) stands with the Jews.

Primetime on July 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Take it easy on the poor Poles, they’ve come a long way from making jokes about Jews escaping as smoke from the ovens. If you give them another 50 years they might get as far as Merchant of Venice.

Frankz on July 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    As far as The Merchant of Venice? Surely not Frankz! We are, officially, More Horrid Than Anyone Else in Time and Space AND we Shot Bambi’s Mother.

    In the Handbook of Political Correctness we remain “unter”.

    I am not planning to watch Ida, or any of the movies reviewed by Debbie – in fact, I couldn’t bear to read more than a few lines of the reviews. I worry that she is going to poison her brain by watching all this stuff.

    Like Samatha above, we have stopped watching movies.

    sue on July 7, 2014 at 3:09 am

      Oh sue, you’re back. I don’t know if Poles in the UK are as awful as those in Poland, but I expect it.

      skzion on July 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        I assume we are skzion. Aren’t we all – officially – more horrid than anyone else in time and space etc?

        Self-pity? I don’t know. No-one has accused me of that before!

        I will admit to a degree of whingeing about my knees. But its a drastic operation – read Andrea Dworkin’s graphic on-line account if you feel equal to it.

        sue on July 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm

          I would never read anything by Dworkin (after skimming one of her books decades ago). It says something that you read her.

          skzion on July 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      “In the Handbook of Political Correctness we remain “unter”.”

      Self-pity is a very Polish attribute. We had hundreds upon hundreds of whiny Poles here (from Poland). With that sample, we can draw reasonable conclusions regarding Poles who were tech savvy. I shudder to think about the Polish hinterland.

      skzion on July 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

        Andrea Dworkin is pretty unreadable on most subjects for me I would think skzion – so perhaps that is one thing we can agree on(?). But I did read a lot about knee replacement experiences before and after my ops. I am glad I did not find her account on the net until after my first op. She doesn’t seem to be one to underplay things admittedly, but her account is graphic and useful.

        However, I had taken it for granted Ida would be an “AND you shot Bambi’s mother” sort of movie – with an especially fierce declaration of same being put in the mouth of a Polish character – but from what Debbie says it is mostly boring. And oddly (in this context) it seems it makes some attempt at balance by mentioning the crimes of communism.

        So Ida could have been a dangerous voyage through swampy political waters, dodging the crocodiles of Political Correctness at every turn. However it seems, from what Debbie says, that it is simply boring. Which given the subject matter is an achievement in itself, but probably not the one hoped for.

        And having been a Catholic convent schoolgirl for many years, I don’t take to the idea that going back to the convent is a happy ending.

        I won’t be watching it.

        sue on July 8, 2014 at 3:19 am

Boycott the Hollywood left and don’t pay money to see their trash. We’ve stopped watching movies.

samatha on July 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm

This is why we haven’t been to movies in many years. I was tired of going and paying to be offended by something or somethings. Do not support the enemy. Boycott movies. Don’t waste your time watching this trash. Watch Turner Classic Movies for great stories, acting and attractive actors.

Fred on July 7, 2014 at 5:30 am

Shylock has a daughter in the Merchant of Venice. If I remember right she doesn’t get much poison pen from Shakespeare because she converts to Christianity and marries one. That’s why I brought it up.

Tuning out is a nice idea but then you don’t know what latest lies are.

Frankz on July 7, 2014 at 9:48 am

That is true Frankz – re not knowing what the latest lies are. But the problem is that everything we put inside our brain makes and strengthens connections – and what sort of connections do we want?

Re Shylock – long time since I saw The Merchant – but yes, I see the comparison. Though I would suggest that both Sherlock’s daughter and Ida converted to Christendom, which is a rather different thing.

For one thing, can you find me any nuns or convents in the Christian Greek Scriptures?

sue on July 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

If Melissa McCarthy were not Jenny McCarthy’s cousin, would anyone have heard of this behemoth of a human being?

Jonathan E. Grant on July 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

Americans don’t like Hollywood’s movie offerings. The July 4th box office sales are down 44% from 2013. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hollywood-s-july-4-box-office-sales-down-44–from-2013-131537794.html

But I don’t expect Hollywood to change its ways. The Hollywood “suits” will stick mostly to formulas and reworkings of tired material and will avoid any innovation and risks.

Ralph Adamo on July 7, 2014 at 3:11 pm

The end of Snowpiercer sounds like the usual end of a communist revolution. Might not be as bad as you think.

Federale (@Federale86) on July 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Wow, Debbie, you nailed exactly why I’ve never seen a McCarthy movie. Just seeing the previews she is the very same character in every movie, the loveable but feisty fat girl.

Anyone who compares her to John Candy should be ashamed. Watch some of his SCTV clips, the man was a comedy genius.

I’m waiting for Luc Besson’s new movie, Lucy, with my oh yeah babeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Scarlett Johansson.

Jeff_W on July 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

So, one mediocre kids movie.

On the other hand, the Riff-Trax boys recently skewer “Sharknado” in theaters. And Mike Nelson is a Jimmy Carter hating Conservative, and funny. (His destruction of Garrison Keillor in his novel “Deathrat” is beyond hilarious.)

I stay home and watch Riff-Trax. I almost NEVER go see movies in the theaters anymore.

Occam's Tool on July 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

I too liked “Begin Again” but was overly distracted at Keira’s overlapping teeth.

Frank B on July 9, 2014 at 9:26 am

Come on, don’t insult the Merchant of Venice. That one actually had a sympathetic villain. For it’s time it was advanced. Especially since Antonio started it. Maybe if the Christians didn’t act so cruel to him, none of the plot would have happened. They won because of Antisemitism in their nation. Poor Shylock’s life was ruined. He is the victim.

Robyn on September 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm

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