September 8, 2017, - 12:06 am

Weekend Box Office: It, Home Again

By Debbie Schlussel

There were some great movies in the last three weeks of the summer movie season (I’ll try to post some of those reviews here later today), but this weekend, it’s back to the crap.



* It – Rated R: I admit it. I temporarily bought into the hype over this movie based on a Steven King novel. But the hype is BS, and this movie is just okay. In fact, I didn’t really like it because, as horror movies go, this seems very dated and isn’t scary at all. Instead, it’s just bloody and crass. And pointless. It’s probably the worst horror movie I’ve seen in the last five years. And that’s saying something. On top of that, it’s really not better than the cheesy 1990 TV miniseries based on the same book. I’d say it’s worse. Plus, the clown looks exactly the same. This really didn’t need to be remade (except to make uncreative, idea-less Hollywood pigs richer).

A month ago, I took the DVD of the 1990 version out of the library. And I couldn’t believe how cheesy and silly it was (plus I think it’s cursed–star John Ritter died young and star Jonathan Brandis committed suicide; the acting careers of most of the rest of the actors died quickly, too, with the exception of that of Richard Thomas). This movie pretty much follows the same story as the TV version, but the TV version was warmer. And it was less violent, less bloody, and less filthy. Plus, there were some scenes in the TV version that were scarier. For instance, the killer clown’s image pops up out of a family photo book in one scene. That’s nowhere to be seen in this feature film version out today.

This feature film has cannibalism, showing a clown tearing off the arm of a little kid and taking a bite. Yuck. I note that the TV miniseries features a racist, violent gang of small town thugs using the N-word. In this latest version, the N-word is gone, but the young kid protagonists of the movie are vile. They pretty much utter disgusting X-rated jokes and lines, non-stop (and most aren’t very likable, so I didn’t care about them much). Otherwise, it’s the same movie, but cut in half. Hollywood always has to be supergreedy, and so, instead of showing the characters as both children and adults (a la the TV miniseries), this movie is “Chapter One,” and the adult characters will be in a sequel.

I like a good scary movie, but this wasn’t it, even if it was “It.” I’m not scared of clowns, so the whole “fright factor” of this movie is gone for me. Instead, I laughed repeatedly when I was supposed to be scared. It’s just too heavyhanded and, frankly, hammy to be scary.

And at two hours and fifteen minutes, it’s waaay toooo loooooong. It moves kind of slowly, too. And it’s repetitive.

The story: a small Maine town (Derry) is suddenly haunted by a clown who takes children. The town has many times more missing children than an average American town. A group of pre-teen boys and a girl they befriend learn that a supernatural force, who mostly appears as a clown, is behind it all. They are frequently haunted by the clown and, so, they fight back. In the meantime, they are also constantly menaced by a group of older boy thugs who are extremely violent. The kids, by the way, either don’t appear to have any parents in the picture or have single parents who are creeps and abusive.

Points of interest: in the screening that I attended, somebody’s lesbian grandmother appeared on the screen at the beginning to pimp the movie and its director. And, then, I realized lesbo granny was actually Steven King. I also noticed that, unlike the TV miniseries, one of the protagonist kids is explicitly Jewish. In the King novel, the kid is also Jewish and beaten up and mocked for it by the gang of evil older kids, but the kid and his family are not religious at all. In the movie, the Jewish kid is the son of the town’s rabbi and wears a knit yarmulke at the beginning (it is taken by the bullies and disappears for the rest of the movie, which is for the best–Jewish kids in small New England towns generally aren’t wearing knit yarmulkes in public, if at all). I wondered how many small Maine towns have the need for full-time rabbi and synagogue, like the one shown here. It’s unlikely, and just a silly, pointless, gratuitous interposition of religion on the movie, which was totally unnecessary.

Like I said, there’s nothing special about this. Yes, it’s entertaining. But it’s long, slow, unscary, violent, and bloody, and the language–uttered by kids–is very dirty. Liberal movie critics are raving over this because they’re 1) easily pleased by junk and 2) they think the idea of 12-year-old boys uttering gross sexual imagery is hilarious and artful. Excuse me if I do not.

HALF A MARX

Watch the trailer . . .

* Home Again – Rated PG-13: I hated this movie. It’s pointless and dumb. Not to mention cheesy. And it shows me yet again that Laura Jeanne Witherspoon (who goes by the pretentious name, Reese) stinks as an actress. One scene at the beginning, in which she cries, is laughable. Or would be, if it weren’t so sad and pathetic. On top of that, in Witherspoon’s desperate marketing campaign for this utter waste of time, this mother of three young children showed us what a lowlife she is, telling talk show host Ellen Degeneris, this week that she had sex in front of her college roommate (she is a Stanford dropout) and that she also had sex in public. You stay classy.

The theme of the movie only slightly “classier”: a 40-year-old (Witherspoon is 41) mother of two young children sleeps with an aspiring 27-year-old filmmaker (who is 26 in real life and was 25 when this was made), and then invites him and his two young male friends and fellow filmmakers (who also pine over her) to live with her, so she can continue to have sex with the 27-year-old and flaunt it around. Her mother, the cantankerous Candice Bergen, encourages this arrangement. When Witherspoon’s estranged husband and the father of her kids wants to reunite, she dumps him in favor of the more “liberated” sexual relationship. This is the feminist “modern family”–independent with a boytoy–or the contemporary “Three’s Company,” with a few more than three (John Ritter, Rest In Peace). The movie is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but it’s neither romantic or funny. It’s groanworthy. And embarrassing.

On top of that, Pico Alexander (real name: Alexander Jogalla)–the actor who plays Witherspoon’s young love interest–is totally annoying. He talks in a sing-song manner, as if he were a drunk 1940s film star. It sounds so stupid and affected. And the State of Israel also has something in this movie for which to hide its head in shame. One of the three young men living with Witherspoon and fighting over her, is played by Jon Rudnitsky, nephew of Israel’s recent former Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren. Finally, I hate movies with kids who are so excessively saccharine sweet that they cause cancer in mice in lab experiments. This movie has two of those.

Witherspoon, appearing on Thursday’s “Good Morning America” to pimp the movie, said she produces movies about strong women (she produced this crap, in addition to starring in it). But there’s nothing strong about the woman in this. She is a weak failure with no values or morals, who flaunts sleeping with boys who could be her sons, in front of her children. She isn’t independent either–having inherited a ton of money and a beautiful Hollywood mansion from her late filmmaker father (that’s part of the “plot”–if you can call anything in this movie, a plot). Her career as an interior decorator (also part of the so-called “plot”) is in the toilet. The only thing “strong” here is the fat paycheck Witherspoon got from the brainless investors who backed this utter garbage parading as a movie. If Witherspoon were honest, she’d admit that she made this to lecture Hollywood and the world that a 25-year-old male still finds her sexy and thinks of her as a MILF . . . instead of a doppelganger for Jay Leno’s chin’s baby.

No need to see this dumb vanity project put out by an aging, insecure Hollywood egomaniac-ette. It’s utter dreck.

Skip this, unless your life is worthless, but you’re too chicken to commit suicide. Paying to see this and throwing away more than 1.5 hours of your life on it, is close enough.

TWO-AND-A-HALF MARXES
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Watch the trailer . . .

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7 Responses

We’ve missed you! We hope you can get back to regular posting because we need your point of view.

Thank you for a great review.

Toby Flenderson on September 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

“It” would have been a scary movie with Hillary Clinton, a real life clown, starring in the movie (without makeup)!

Concerned Citizen on September 8, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Stan is explicitly Jewish in the mini-series, too. He’s introduced by his friend with a line like “This is Stan. He’s Jewish.”

Bee on September 9, 2017 at 2:07 am

Debbie,

Always love your movie reviews. You’ve saved me a lot of money by not going to so many of these wastes of time.

Rick R. on September 9, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Ms. Witherspoon’s cinematic waste of time a.k.a. “Home Again” seems to be aimed at the Hillary crowd, given ‘Concerned Citizen’s’ comments about “It.” How many of those who would be seeing that film, are the same ones who swallow the media’s obsession with what First Lady Melania Trump was wearing en route to and then in Texas, visiting Hurricane Harvey survivors?

Concerned Patriot on September 10, 2017 at 5:35 am

Debbie I love your reviews and once again thank you. Read King’s book It plus I saw the movie again this past weekend. I also can’t stand Witherspoon so her movie’s a wash.

Ken B on September 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for your reviews. You have been missed.

Panhandle on September 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

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