August 31, 2014, - 3:31 pm

Wknd Box Office: November Man, Life of Crime, As Above/So Below, Land Ho!, What If, May in the Summer

By Debbie Schlussel

Didn’t get to the rest of my movie reviews for this weekend until now because I’ve been experiencing one of my horrible migraine headaches. In any event, the only movie I really liked, this weekend, was a small-budget, arthouse movie that might not be playing in your neighborhood, but which you probably can already order online at this point. Oh, and did I mention that one of the new movies is a bore by a lesbian Palestinian who takes false digs at Israel?




* “The November Man“: Read my complete review of Pierce Brosnan’s disgusting love letter to Islamic terrorists, chock full of absurd America hatred.


* “Life of Crime“: This movie, based on Elmore Leonard’s novel, “Switch,” seems dated. And I’m not referring to the late’70s setting. The plot seems like I’ve seen it before, and I have. It’s a mild re-run of the far superior 1986 movie, “Ruthless People.”

In this version, it’s 1978 Detroit, and a rich real estate guy (Tim Robbins) is cheating the government and his wife (Jennifer Aniston) out of about a million dollars in rent he collects from his apartments in the city and investments elsewhere. Some crooks learn about this, and they kidnap his wife to get that money in ransom. They team with a weirdo neo-Nazi. But the husband doesn’t want to pay because he is about to divorce his wife and is cheating on her with Isla Fisher (Mrs. Borat).

While I liked the period clothing, cars, and sets, I found this movie to be only mildly entertaining. It moves very slowly, and as I said, seems to be a stale plot I’ve seen done better, before. It’s also overloaded with cliches. And in the end, Aniston gets Stockholm Syndrome and sympathizes with her sleazy captors. Nobody in this movie is likable, so you really don’t give a crap about what happens to any of them. I certainly didn’t. Nor did I care for the two gratuitous topless sex shots that added nothing and were completely unnecessary.

And, by the way, one of the co-stars of this movie, Yasiin Bey a/k/a Mos Def (slave name: Dante Terrell Smith), is an extremist Muslim and anti-American propagandist who has an unrequited mancrush on Islamic terrorists at Gitmo. Per usual with any films in which he “acts,” I needed a translator to understand what purported to be his spoken English.

Not worth ten bucks or two hours of your time.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “As Above/So Below“: This horror thriller was scary and entertaining (though sometimes laughable) until the end, when I felt like I’d been on a pointless, wild goose chase. The story: a young, beautiful, genius archaeologist hires a French guide to take her and a friend through the catacombs below Paris, where millions of bodies are buried. She’s searching for the tomb of an ancient philosopher who was believed to have come up with a formula for alchemy: to change ordinary materials into gold. Her friend is an expert in Aramaic, in which the clues and the formula are written.

But the catacombs and certain tunnels within them are considered to be cursed, and people who’ve tried to enter them have never returned. And throughout the catacombs horrors and accidents await the group.

Like I said, this was entertaining and engrossing, until the end when you realize you just wasted nearly two hours of your time on nothing. I did appreciate, however, that most of the scariness was psychological and there wasn’t a lot of gore or blood until the last third of the movie (and it was still comparatively less than most movies of this kind today).


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Land Ho!“: I really enjoyed this movie, even if it is a little bit (actually a lot) of a self-absorbed conceit. It was funny, entertaining, and a nice, relaxing travelogue of Iceland, as two men from America go visit.

The story: Two former brothers-in-law (they were once married to sisters, whom they both divorced long ago) have remained friends for years in New Orleans. One of them, a horribly inappropriate, retired doctor (Earl Lynn Nelson), is a native Southerner, who grew up in Kentucky. The other (Paul Eenhoorn) is a transplant from Australia. Now, they are in their senior years and the twilight of their lives. The doctor is wealthy and buys the two of them tickets to Iceland for a trip that he pays for entirely.

The movie follows the men on tour through Iceland as they discuss their lives and interact with various people, including the doctor’s much younger niece and her friend, who make a visit. The funniest part is when, after giving her his credit card to buy something “sexy” for a night out on the town, the doctor tells his young cousin that what she bought looks like she “raided Janet Reno’s closet” and picked a “lesbo tennis dress.” But I gotta point out that earlier, he tells her her that her very cute shirt looks matronly, I laughed because I own the same very cute shirt by a very tony designer (I bought mine on super-sale for $20).

It’s not the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, but it is nice and relaxing and is very funny. That said, the funniness is mostly as a result of the filthy and extremely inappropriate things the doctor says, so it is not for prudes. The actors, all unknowns, are very good.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “What If“: Daniel Radcliffe plays Wallace, a medical school dropout who doesn’t seem to have a job, but lives a fun life. He’s brooding over his “boring” life and the fact that he caught his girlfriend cheating and they broke up. But, then, at a party, he meets the girl of his dreams, Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Thing is, she has a boyfriend. He spends the rest of the movie being friends with her and trying to steal her away from her boyfriend. Yes, the movie is predictable, so you can guess what happens. On the other hand, it was somewhat charming, even though I feel like I’ve seen this movie a gazillion times already with countless other actors. I did especially hate the boyfriend in this movie, since he is a pretentious, self-important United Nations employee.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “May in the Summer“: This boring, pointless waste of time is written and directed by and stars Cherien Dabis, an anti-Israel, Palestinian lesbian. That should be enough to warn you off, but just in case it isn’t here’s more.

May (Dabis) is a Jordanian Palestinian Christian who is engaged to a Muslim. She’s come to Jordan for the summer to prepare for the wedding and visit her divorced parents. Her mother, an “intolerant” born again Christian, is upset and opposes the marriage. Can you blame her? She tries to do a “rope” spell on the impending marriage and says she is not attending the wedding. May’s father is an American diplomat who is married to a much younger Indian woman but is cheating on her with his first wife, May’s mother. May’s sisters, including one who is a lesbian, are also in Jordan for the summer (they all live in the U.S.). May, a writer of a book on Arabic proverbs, is unsure whether or not she should get married and spends most of the movie contemplating this. Life is way too short to spend watching endless shots of an anti-Israel, anti-American, Palestinian lesbian pouting and sullenly staring. Who the heck cares? Not me.

Like I said, boring, slow, pointless . . . unless the non-stop digs at Israel, all of them false, are the point. By the way, Israel does not have landmines in the water “to keep the refugees out.” Um, with over two million Palestinian citizens of Israel, it did a pretty bad job of “keeping them out.”

I’m not surprised at the tone of this movie, as Dabis has made similar movies like this, such as the horribly anti-American, anti-Israel propaganda movie, “Amreeka,” which was produced by ImageNation Abu Dhabi. This is more of the same, just more boring. Also, it’s full of conceited shots of Dabis running around Jordan in skimpy outfits and having Jordanian/Palestinian Muslims ogle her. “Look at me, the hot Palestinian femme lesbian!”

Sickens me that Paris’ Gaumont Theater, which was once owned by my relatives, is showing this crappy movie.

One other thing: this movie features almost all of the same Arab actors you always see in all of the anti-Israel movies (Hiam Abbass and Alexander Siddig, whose uncle once headed the Arab Muslim Sudanese regime that murdered countless Blacks in the country, most of them Christians). And it’s released–of course!–by the Jewish distributor, Cohen Media Group (owned by real estate developer Charles S. Cohen), which puts out most of the anti-Israel arthouse movies. As I’ve always said, Jews are the Jews’ own worst enemies.


Watch the trailer . . .

10 Responses

“May In The Summer” – the irony is in the Muslim World, she’d be killed for being a Christian, a woman and gay.

Her anti-Israel digs conceal the fact the only place in the Middle East someone like her has human rights is… Israel! There are Christian Arabs who appreciate the significance of Israel.

Those who are spear carriers for Islam forget they’re dhimmis. They’re not going to be treated more kindly or be forgiven by the Muslims cuz they show they hate the Jews more than them.

An anti-Israel movie? How original – nor the fact some Jews lend it respectability. Not new territory.

NormanF on August 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm


Love your rating icons, Arafat, Bin Laden, Marx…
Any thoughts on adding Jimmy Carter? Anyway, your reviews are tops!

Recalcitrant Zionist on August 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Iceland, you should know, bans kosher killing, Debbie. Antisemitic like all the Scandinavian countries.

As for the Lesbian movies: the general idea behind Lesbians is that they are too ugly to attract men. Yup. As Trey Parker put it, another “Gay Cowboys eating pudding” movie.

I think I’ll give them all a miss. Thanks for throwing yourself on this grenade again, great one.

I’m waiting for Frank Miller’s great anti-Islamic terrorist comic to be made into a movie.

Occam's Tool on August 31, 2014 at 7:27 pm

Debbie, sorry to hear you’ve been ill, and I hope you’re feeling much better now. I had no intention of seeing these movies to bbegin with, but you’re right, “Life of Crime” does seem like a really bad remake of the hilarious “Ruthless People.” The best line in RP was “I’ve been kidnapped by K-Mart!!!”

MIGirl on August 31, 2014 at 7:29 pm

“Life is way too short to spend watching endless shots of an anti-Israel, anti-American, Palestinian lesbian pouting and sullenly staring. ”


DS_ROCKS! on August 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Sorry to hear about your migraine. Hope your feeling better. Love your column andvresd it faithfully. God bless.

Michael Wader on September 2, 2014 at 1:09 am

Apart from anything else, Debbie, they all sound so boring. I would rather read a book. “As Above etc” sounds like it might be vaguely watchable if it turns up on a telly on a winter evening.

However, it also sounds like it might be promoting the idea of survival after death – the immmortal soul. So many movies do.

I did watch something (on the TV) once called… I can’t remember (so there goes my career as a movie reviewer) but it was about a group of ladies climbing into an uncharted pothole system – and of course, failing to tell anyone where they had gone.

Initially it was gripping and suspenseful, rather as you describe “As Above” – but then Hollywood opened up one of its gigantic cereal packets and a whole load of plastic monsters came out. And I went back to my book.

sue on September 2, 2014 at 4:44 am

Too bad about the Brosnan movie.

I am a dead ringer for him.

Will lie low for awhile.

Panhandle on September 5, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Hi, Debbie.

None of my comments are being accepted on your site (except very short ones like this). That’s been true for a long time now.

B: We’ve been having a problem with comments going into spam, which is probably what happened with yours. We will be installing a better comment system soon to fix this problem. My apologies. DS

Burke on September 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Thanks, Debbie. I’ll keep trying to comment, then.

    As always, I love your insight about…everything. Keep up the good fight.

    Burke on September 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field