September 4, 2009, - 4:17 pm
Among the new movie releases out today, “Gamer” and “Carriers” were not screened for critics, which means they likely stink.
Here’s what I did see:
* “Extract“: This movie was pretty funny. It’s from Mike Judge, the wonderfully politically incorrect man behind one of my favorite comedies, “Idiocracy” (a must rent, if you haven’t seen it). It’s not his best work. But it’ll do. I laughed a lot. The sexual themes might bother you, and it’s definitely not for kids. It’s not a “great movie,” but I enjoyed it. And it has some great themes in it–the sleaziness of trial lawyers and the hard work it is to be an entrepreneur, then have your lazy, incompetent employees demand a share.
Jason Bateman plays the hard-working owner of an extract flavoring company. His factory workers are lazy and stupid, with an overabundance of self-esteem. They think they should get a piece of the pie when the constant rumors circulate about General Mills putting an offer on the table to buy the place out. But because of their incompetence, an accident happens, causing an employee to lose a testicle and barely hold on to his second one.
Enter Mila Kunis, an attractive, scantilly-clad common criminal engaged in constant scams and theft. She reads about the accident and soon comes on to the de-testicled employee, convincing him to hire a trial lawyer to sue the company for everything, so she can collect. Gene Simmons masterfully plays a trial lawyer in what’s probably the movie’s best scene. He is excellent, and it’s worth seeing the movie just for that. Dude has the sleazy trial lawyer thing down pat–probably better than any ambulance chaser impersonation I’ve seen.
And then there’s the hilarious amateur male prostitute Bateman hires to have sex with his wife. Bateman isn’t happy that his wife isn’t having sex with him, and he wants to have an affair with the flirty new co-worker at his factory–Kunis, of whose scams he’s unaware. Bateman’s friend, nutty druggie Ben Affleck, convinces him (after giving him a horse tranquilizer) to hire a prostitute to have sex with his wife, so he won’t feel guilty when he cheats on her. While this was the lamest part of the movie, the scenes with the airhead prostitute are hilarious. He’s a moron. And don’t forget the extremely obtuse and annoying neighbor who can’t take a hint.
Light and funny, but not for the family values crowd (which usually includes me, but I still occasionally like movies like this, if they’re funny).
TWO AND A HALF REAGANS
* “All About Steve“: Possibly one of the dumbest, worst, most annoying movies of the year. Incredibly stupid. I thought this would be good because it’s a stalker movie, and stalker movies are always fun. But this wasn’t. . . not by a longshot. This movie tried sooo hard to be funky and cutesy and kitschy. But it just came off as weird, and didn’t have a plot or story to back it up.
Sandra Bullock plays a crossword constructor (a person who makes crossword puzzles). And she’s a talkative walking encyclopedia who never shuts the heck up, constantly spouting her minutiae and trivia about every single thing. Think postman Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) of “Cheers” in a skirt. Given that, it’s no wonder that she’s still single.
Her parents set her up on a blind date with Bradley Cooper, a cable news network cameraman. But she immediately jumps on top of him and tries to have sex with him, then spouts off her knowledge. Though he quickly leaves the date, Bullock starts stalking Cooper all over the country. But it isn’t funny or interesting or even mildly entertaining. It just stinks. The jokes are stupid, and so is the story. None of these people are believable. And it’s just not funny. Clearly, two big names needed a paycheck.
Tags: All About Steve, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Extract, Gene Simmons, Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Movie Reviews, Sandra Bullock, sleazy trial lawyers, trial lawyer