December 9, 2016, - 7:19 am

Weekend Box Office: Miss Sloane, Office Christmas Party

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s nearly Christmas time. So, this is supposed to be the time of year when most of the new movies are very good. That ain’t happening. Two new movies this weekend, neither of them good.



* Miss Sloane – Rated R: This is a very cold, very harsh, very dark, and very overwrought picture of the kind of lobbying that happens on Capitol Hill. As one who worked for several Congressman on the Hill, I can tell you that this movie is ridiculous and bears no resemblance to reality. The cat-and-mouse absurdities that go in during the course of this movie are just not how it’s done in real life. Not even close.

Plus, while the movie pretends to be even-handed on the gun control debate, it really isn’t. The protagonist, a female lobbyist, risks it all in order to get stricter gun control laws passed–it’s the only “moral” position she’s ever taken in her life. And with that, the movie is a more subtle version of the gun control propaganda we’re used to seeing in the movies, on TV, and throughout pop culture. On top of that, this is an attack on the free market and makes no bones about it. Our “heroine,” the lobbyist, is a free marketeer and evil until she gives it all up to pull out all the stops in favor of more gun control.

On top of that, the movie is long, slow, and boring, taking up 132 minutes of your life that just aren’t worth the wasting here.

Jessica Chastain–in very dark, harsh makeup–is a Elizabeth Sloane, the aforementioned lobbyist, who tells us flat-out that she believes in the free market and American free enterprise. That’s “bad” in the filmmakers eyes, as she bends the rules to almost the breaking point in order to get tax laws and import duties to go her clients’ way. But she’s also smart (or so we’re told). In order to get a client’s sugar-laden breakfast cakes out from under restrictive regulations, she recommends reclassifying them as cookies, which are covered by more relaxed rules.

But that’s the humdrum stuff. Now, a new client–the gun lobby (and presumably, the NRA)–wants to hire her lobbying firm and her to in order to relax gun laws. The lobby wants her to present guns as the ultimate equalizer for women against violence and would-be attackers. But Elizabeth doesn’t want that and laughs in the new client’s face, as well as that of her boss (Sam Waterston). Soon, she’s gone from her big firm to a smaller one in order to lobby for more gun control and fight her former employer in the fight.

Elizabeth has no life. She never sleeps (and takes a lot of pills to stay awake). She hires male prostitutes for sex, as there’s no time for a relationship. And so on. In the meantime, the team she’s poached from her former firm, helps her pursue several senators to get their votes for gun control. They’re working with a victim of “gun violence.” However, later in the film, there’s an incident that makes the gun lobby’s point.

The various machinations in this movie just don’t happen on Capitol Hill. The lobbying in real life is a lot more dry and basic. There just isn’t the intrigue–to the point of the cockamamie in this film–that is presented here. Not even close. And there aren’t mechanical bugs with cameras crawling into Senators’ and lobbyists’ cars. There also aren’t major Senate hearings into the personal lives of lobbyists. The only thing I can ever remember happening that was even close (and it didn’t involve an examination of the lobbyist’s private life or health), were the Senate hearings into corrupt, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s multi-million-dollar rip-offs of federal Indian tribes. But in that case, there was major money-laundering, tax-evasion, and other crimes going on, including the use of jihadist Muslim Grover Norquist’s “non-profit” Americans for Tax Reform to launder Indian tribe money and hide the source and ultimate destination of it. Apparently, some of that money went to Islamic terrorist outfits tied to Al-Qaeda, too. That’s a legit inquiry by Congress.

The Senate inquiry into Miss Sloane, a major and prolonged scene in the movie, is just ludicrous, and it would never happen. After nearly 2.5 hours of this movie, there just isn’t a worthy payoff. Not even a little bit. (Unless gun control is what you consider a worthy payoff.)

The movie’s just a high-styled, low-brow bore pretending to be something important. It isn’t. Certainly not important enough for 132 minutes of your life and ten-bucks-plus from your wallet.

Yawn.

TWO MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

* Office Christmas Party – Rated R: I hated this poor excuse for comedy. You’ve seen this crap–waaaaay toooooo muuuuuch of it–already in recent years. Juvenile, crass, depraved jokes pretending to pass for funny. And they just aren’t. Sure, I laughed several times. But most of this movie was just dumb. Extremely dumb. On top of that, it’s the usual message from liberal Hollywood: loser, drug-using, incompetent, unethical schmucks are the good guys and the heroes; straight-laced, disciplined people, who actually work for a living are the losers and the villains. (Ditto for the human resources manager who objects to female employees wearing too-sexy-for-work outfits–she’s “too uptight”). So typical, so stupid.

The story: Jason Bateman is the Chief Technology Officer at the Chicago branch of Zenotek, a failing internet-hosting and online promotions company. Everyone at the branch is either incompetent or a whiner. The boss is Clay VanStone (T.J. Miller), a rich idiot who wastes money and acts like a child. His rival sister, Carol (Jennifer Aniston), is the hard-working, responsible adult in the family and the company CEO. She wants to pull the plug on the Chicago branch and end the bleeding. She’s right. But, of course, in all Hollywood movies these days, responsible people and responsible decisions aren’t hip and they aren’t to be admired. Instead, they are to be condemned.

Clay and his sister agree that if he can land more business and keep the office profitable, it can remain open. So, he goes about trying to recruit the account of Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance). At first, Walter rules out hiring Zenotek, and morale is lower than low. But Clay decides to throw a giant, wild Christmas party to entice Walter to change his mind and hire Zenotek. The party is filled with cocaine binges, topless naked women, a prostitute and her female pimp, and other lowlife stuff, which makes it “cool” in the world according to Hollywood. Soon, Walter is literally hanging from the chandeliers, trying to ride ropes of lighting–Tarzan-style–from across a second-floor balcony.

Ultimately there are hospital trips, annoying Uber rides, car crashes, and a power outage in the entire Chicago. Haha, funny. NOT. Also not funny: that a guy (Bateman–who is supposed to be the voice of reason here) drinks spiked eggnog from the male genitalia of an anatomically-correct ice sculpture and then gets his tongue stuck on it. If this is your idea of humor, that’s a not-so-thrilling statement on the state of America. And, sadly, that’s where we are. Forget Kris Kringle. This is Kris Kringeworthy.

Absolute garbage. And not even good for more than five or six laughs. If that.

FOUR MARXES PLUS TWO ISIS BEHEADINGS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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12 Responses

Miss Sloane looks like a propaganda flick that was released past its shelf-life date. With crime and terrorism on the rise, why would a normal person want to render themselves defenseless? Also, why would a normal person accept as virtuous a woman who is so odious that she drives away normal male companionship in favor of male hookers? This film sounds like a classic case of “Liberal Dementia”. Leftists who live in secured gated communities are lecturing the general public about the evils of self-defense.

I would also suggest that disparaging the right of women to defend themselves with firearms is thinly veiled misogyny.

Worry01 on December 9, 2016 at 9:27 am

    I have not seen “Hacksaw Ridge” for similar reasons; a movie about a soldier who refused to carry a rifle in this anti-gun climate seemed like a veiled attempt to support the anti-gun narrative to me.

    SSgt Preston, USMC on December 9, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Well, I did see that movie and your take on it could not be more wrong. It is based on the true story about a devout Christian, a Seventh Day Adventist, who enlisted in the Army during World War II to become field medic. He stated in JAG court that his religion forbade him from handling a gun. He turned out to be a remarkable hero in battle, saving 75 American lives in the heat of horrific combat against the Japs at Okinawa.

      Go see the movie. Mel Gibson’s direction is brilliant, as is the acting. Shot in Australia, it gives the viewer a real feeling of what war feels like on ground level. Kind of like “We Were Soldiers” (2002), which Gibson starred in.

      People should stop worrying about whether or not a particular movie is advancing “propaganda” or an “agenda.” That’s not the way the film industry works — never has.

      P: It’s an anti-war movie that gives an incredibly inaccurate portrayal of what most conscientious objectors do in the military. This guy was righteous and a hero, but he was the exception, not the rule. And every single man in his unit was a creep . . . in the world according to anti-War, Jew-hating nutjob Mel Gibson. Nothing brilliant about Gibson’s very heavy-handed portrayal. I will post my review soon, since it’s clearly needed here. DS

      Primetime on December 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

      C’est à quel moment qu’il faut rire ?La patate principale c’est le gribouilleur, qui ne fait rire que lui-même.Mauvais dessin – même pas drôle.

      history of the corvette on February 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Office Christmas Party sounds like an infantile flick that has been done before since the early 80’s.

Worry01 on December 9, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Sadly, there is an audience for this crap. This is what passes for entertainment. But, to each his own. The people going to these flicks never read reviews, anyway.

    JeffT on December 9, 2016 at 11:32 am

Thank you, Debbie, as always. Thank you for helping us to not waste our money on garbage.

DinaK on December 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

I hope it’s not too late for Debbie to roll up her sleeves and author an accurate and balanced eulogy for John Glenn. I’ve been bristling over all the genuflecting in the press to his heroism, altruism and devotion to his country.

He was a symbol of corruption as one of the more aggressive members of the Keating Five (not to be confused with the Jackson Five) along with trusty old MichiganLib Donald Riegle, California’s execrable Alan Cranston and Arizona’s John McCain and Dennis DeConcini.

I watched many hours on C-SPAN of Sen. Fred Thompson’s hearings into the illegal campaign contributions of the Red Chinese to the Clinton-Gore ticket. A one-time C-SPAN junkie, I’ve never seen greater obstructionism in the House or Senate than John Glenn performed during those hearings. He and his pals on the committee were largely successful in derailing the hearings, the frustration of which helped to induce Thompson to quit the Senate.

Glenn was a bigger agitator than Obama has been on his best day.

This was a guy who was brilliantly described by Tom Wolfe in The Right Stuff as continually chewing out his fellow astronauts righteously for not behaving themselves properly.

Kenneth Keating went to prison, and John Glenn continued to strut across the American stage to plaudits from the captive press.

C’est la vie.

VFR on December 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Thanks as always for the reviews Debbie. Miss Sloan should make all of the anti-gun liberal weenies who are still butt hurt about the election feel good. That alone is enough of a reason for me to take a long pass on it. As for Office Christmas Party for a minute there I thought that it was produced by Adam Sandler with all of the typical unfunny gags. Regardless I’d rather watch a really funny Christmas movie like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Home Alone. Hopefully Rogue One won’t be the third strike because if it is then I’m out.

Ken B on December 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Miss Sloane looks like one of those leftist movies that everybody knows is not going to make any money, but they will show it to college and High School classes to try and brainwash them into being good little liberals.

Steve G on December 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm

There is a silver lining, in that Miss Sloane is shaping up to be an el flopperino of the first kind, it was way down there in the box office take for the week. Serves them right, I’d say. But sadly, I predict ‘Steve G’ will be correct on this tripe being force-fed down high school and college students’ throats.

ConcernedPatriot on December 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

Dong y voi HT.Khi minh doc den dong nay:;———————“Hiện tại cháu thấy : cập nhật danh sách chỉ thấy có 5 người, không có ná»™i dung trên.Vậy mong Chú cho cháu cùng mọi người được hiểu ạ.”;——————— thi thay khong the khong comment nhu tren.

Irving, TX auto insurence on May 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

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