March 12, 2010, - 4:37 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Green Zone,” “She’s Out of My League,” “Remember Me,” “Our Family Wedding”

By Debbie Schlussel

I can’t really recommend any of the new releases at the box office, this weekend.  And, oddly, they are so bad that the Matt Damon lefty anti-war movie is the best of the bunch.  But that’s relative . . . a big fat relative.



*  “Green Zone“:  This is yet another example of what I always decry in the movies–fiction presented as fact, as history.  Revisionism is what it is.  Some things in it–about  U.S. bungling in Iraq when we first went to war there–are accurate.  Others are just flat-out fraud.  The movie is based on the book, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone,” by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. But those who’ve read the book told me it’s not like the book at all. Nor is it entirely like the War in Iraq at all.

The movie presents our entry into Iraq as based solely on lying by the Bush administration about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Matt Damon plays Roy Miller, a U.S. Army soldier and Warrant chief, whose men are responsible to take down and transport WMDs. But every location turns up empty. He begins to question this and the source of the info and soon discovers that the source is an Iraqi general in the “deck of cards”–one of the highly valuable Saddam loyalist targets our troops are looking for.

Damon meets a cab driver, who risks his life to tell him that the general is meeting with other Saddam loyalists at a safe house, and eventually the general tells him that he met with U.S. diplomats before the war, telling them that there were no WMDs. The general and Damon insist that the U.S. made all of the WMD sites up to get us into the war. Reality check: we went into Iraq not based on the WMD reports, which weren’t fiction made up because a meeting with a Saddam general went south. We went in because President Bush had a misguided view that he could spread democracy to an extremist world of savages.

Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal reporter (who is obviously supposed to be then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller) buys into the phony evidence and reports stories of the WMDs as fact when she never checked the evidence. Judith Miller, in real life, was never proven to be this gullible, nor have her stories been proven phony, despite what the left wants you to believe. Nice try, Hollywood.

As readers know, I’m not so sure the War in Iraq was a good thing. Overall, I think this whole democracy experiment is a disaster and we handed over a whole country to Shi’ite Muslims who’ve been running it a satellite state for their precious bosses in Iran. And to that extent, the movie gets some things right. For instance, the movie shows a diplomat who works for the Pentagon, under the direction of first Iraqi U.S. honcho Paul Bremer. The snide guy (Greg Kinnear) reminds me of the smug Dan Senor, who ghost-wrote Mitt Romney’s new book and who advised Bremer to de-Ba’athify Iraq, a giant mistake. De-Ba’athification of Iraq involved removing not only Saddam Hussein loyalists in the Iraqi Army, but pretty much all Sunnis and led to the riotous violence and anarchy that took place thereafter. It also made for the Shi’ite, Iran-loyal Iraq that we have now.

The action and adventure in this movie–since it’s being billed this way–is okay, not fantastic, but okay. If you want a good war movie, see “The Hurt Locker,” instead. Not overtly political like this one, but an accurate picture of how our soldiers put their lives on the line.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “She’s Out of My League“: This rip off of a thousand nerd-wants-hot-girl, nerd-gets-hot-girl flicks was out of its league.  While it began as a funny, charming flick, it degraded into a vile, disgusting hodgepodge of scenes like a guy shaving another guys’ testicles and a guy’s pubic hair, to other gross humor which wasn’t funny, more like squirmy.  It stars no-names like Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve.  Who?

And you have to wonder where the TSA was in all this.  The main character, a complete geek, is a TSA screener.  A hot girl who looks like a mix between a young Kelly Preston and a young Christie Brinkley begins a flirtatious and then a dating relationship with the geek.  His friends can’t believe she’s interested in him, and soon he finds he can’t believe it either, but all is worked out, with a lot of vulgar humor and a ton of F- and S-words thrown in.  The end.

Sorry, but while I laughed several times and it had its funny moments, it was mostly just stupid and gutter stuff.  And since I believe that water generally rises to its own level, I really didn’t buy anything that was going on here.


Can’t put up a trailer, because none are less than R-rated.

*  “Remember Me“:  Ignore the title, and do the opposite: forget this.

This long, boring, complete waste of time movie had one of the most atrocious and ridiculous endings ever.  Ever.  My friend, Detroit-based liberal movie critic Corey Hall, has a term for it, “9/11 porn.”  While we all know that 9/11 was an important and momentous event that should have been a wake up call for America to the Islamic threat (but was instead just a snooze button), the use of it as a clumsy ending to finish a horrible movie fits Corey’s description to a “T” here.  The horrific event, in which terrorists attacked our country and murdered nearly 3,000 Americans is gratuitously inserted and belittled here as a sudden ending to an unfinished celluloid presentation of crap.  What a waste.

Robert Pattinson, eager to show his acting chops span beyond playing a pale, sparkling vampire in the “Twilight” series, plays a bitter, sulking aimless slacker, who is the 20-something son of wealthy New Yorkers, including father Pierce Brosnan.  He is always angry at his uninvolved father and dotes on his younger sister who is bullied in school.  Soon he falls in love with the daughter of a cop who arrested him after a brawl.  But people get mad, there is the required trumped up, annoying melodrama, screaming, and crying, then all is forgiven and everything is good, and Pattinson is at his dad’s office in the World Trade Center when the planes hit.  The end.

What was the point of this movie?  Don’t know.  Don’t care.  Not worth ten bucks or even one.  Skipworthy to the max.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Our Family Wedding“:  I have a rule.  If the title has the word “wedding” in it, it usually stinks.  This satisfied that rule in spades.  America Ferrera plays a Hispanic woman who is engaged to a Black medical student.  Their families don’t like this, given the different races and ethnicities.  And it degrades from there.  The Mexican family, with Carlos Mencia as pops, is stereotypical, and the Black family isn’t much different.  Stupid jokes and predictable pranks ensue, and I really wished I could walk out of the movie (but, then, the studio would prohibit me from reviewing it).  Plus you know a movie is bad when it relies on repeated cameos of former NFLer Warren Sapp as a relative of one of the main characters.  Absolutely horrible.


Watch the trailer . . .

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11 Responses

Debbie, you really gave the same number of Marxs to “She’s Out of My League” and “Remember Me”?? You should add an Obama or something to Remember since it sounds like you liked League better.

BWR on March 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I saw the premier of She’s out of my league and usually agree with your reviews but not here. It was much funnier than the Hangover and its theme did not deserve your ranking of 4 Marxes. I do think Green Zone should get 10 Marxes. It is vilest piece of anti-american crap to ever come out of hollywood. John Wayne would be ashamed.

MOC on March 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Well,you might want to know that the Phoenix “New Times” gave “Green Zone” absolutely loved it. Personally,I’m not going to see it.

Ghostwriter on March 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm

What I wanted to say was that the Phoenix “New Times” gave it an absolute rave. Sorry for the bizarre way the above reply looks.

Ghostwriter on March 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Schlussel writes: “Reality check: we went into Iraq not based on the WMD reports, which weren’t fiction made up because a meeting with a Saddam general went south. We went in because President Bush had a misguided view that he could spread democracy to an extremist world of savages.”

Yes and no. Yes, technically. NO, based on how the war was “sold” to US public. Powell at UN imploring to allow resolution to pass so US could invade Iraq and remove WMDs, the imminent danger etc. WMDS were clearly used as a way to convince people to sign off on the war. Else, what was all the fuss and ink about?
Judith MIller was on Cheney’s payroll, far from being gullible. Cynical perhaps. Stories weren’t so much accurate as propaganda for war.

Award Winning Journalist Armand de Bourgegrave (sp.?) no leftist he, has spent decades covering the middle east. He made the apt observation yrs ago that Saddams WMDs were mostly all gone due to Iraq/Iran war and also due to mid 90s boycott, no fly zone. US basically removed most of the WMDs before the millenium. Whether or not we were aware of this is open to debate.

Point is: by the time we attacked Iraq, there were no WMDs. None. Most all were gone. Certainly Iraq posed no threat whatsoever to US or even Europe. That dude helped keep the shi’ites in check. Iran is laughing at us. At our stupidity for doing their work (removing a threat to them) for free.

Nation-building? From a draft dodging dunce’s desk, what else is new? W is similar to Chickellini in Marx bros. Monkey Business. Groucho states: “folks, chickellini may look and talk act and sound like an idiot, but dont let that fool you……he really IS an idiot.”–so on that point, (re: on W, on WMDS, on the war As currently waged, being a mistake) the left is correct.

Acute observations on the films reviewed this week.
Is it me or does Damon appear to be growing more and more anti-US in his projects With each passing yr.? First his adolescent hero worhsipping hagiography of Marxist Howard Zinn’s tome to this latest…stuff.

Jimmy on March 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I didn’t realize Cheney’s payroll was a matter of public record and your report on Mr.Bush is inaccurate.

    He voluntarily enlisted in the Guard,which means he didn’t “dodge” military service.

    And the “award winning journalist Armand de Bourgegrave…made the apt observation yrs ago that Saddams WMDs were mostly all gone”.
    How many years ago?Would that have been 3,4 or 5 years ago after the US had already been in Iraq for a number of years?
    Because it would’ve had to have been a decade ago in order for the information to have been available for intelligence use.

    ebayer on March 12, 2010 at 6:27 pm

I just shook my head in disgust when I read Ebert’s review of the Green Zone. He gave it 4 stars.

cirrus1701 on March 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Now that you mention it, I know a woman named Erin socially.
I was at a pick nick in Rowayton CT, in August, 2001. Erin, who is
very good looking, was with a very fit and attractive man,
who was a broker at one of the brokerage houses in the Twin

She was taller than he was, Erin is close to six feet, but
they were a nice couple. As contrast, I’m six feet, weigh
270. For me, portly is a flattering description. Erin had
talked to me in the past. She was nice to me, so I don’t
mind saying that I could tell that Erin really liked this
fit, handsome, broker guy, who was in every way (at least
on the outsides) so much better than me. (Insides too, I

My point isn’t that being ugly sucks, my point is that he
died on 9/11 and Erin was very sad about it. Erin is no stranger to personal tragedy or mistakes, but I think that
she really loved this guy. She was different after that.

The plot isn’t so far fetched, and 9/11 changed a lot of
peoples lives in one horrible instant.

It is one thing to have regrets, it is quite another to
be bereft because some one you loved worked in the wrong
building. And it is another thing entirely to watch a
(there’s no other word for it) princess have her heart
broken, and be there wishing that some one would miss you in the same way.

I didn’t like that handsome, fit broker guy that day. Fuck,
I don’t even remember his name. But Erin does, and I’m sure she always will.

jack on March 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I’m surprised you didn’t like the Green Zone, it is every bit as interesting and plausible as “Casualties of War” the Martin Scorsese film set in Vietnam. I didn’t find it anti-American at all. In fact, many seasoned and experienced military that have been to Iraq have voiced similar viewpoints that were driven home in the film; ie, that disbanding the Iraqi military was a mistake. Of course, there are some very ridiculous and offensive parts to the movie, but all in all, it is worth viewing. I enjoyed it.

eGREGie on March 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm

To eGREGie:

Scorsese didnt make “casualties of War.” Brian De Palma did.

Charles Lee on March 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Thanks Charles! Of course your right! Get those two mixed up.

eGREGie on March 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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