June 4, 2010, - 5:07 pm

Weekend Box Office: “Splice,” “Killers,” “Get Him to the Greek”

By Debbie Schlussel

Ironically, one of the relatively better (with the operative term being, “relatively”) new movies at the theater, this weekend, was the one the studios didn’t screen for critics (but I went to the late show to review it for you).  I did not screen “Marmaduke.”



*  “Splice“:  I liked and hated this.  It’s possibly one of the creepiest movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.  It is part science fiction, part real-life, part  horror flick, part crazy love triangle that becomes a weird love “square.”

The first half of the movie was interesting, while I had no use for the second half which is absurd–humans having sex with weird beings, the beings raping humans, etc.  That was utter Hollywood garbage.  But I liked the first half because it shows the dangers–the horrors!–of what can go wrong when genes of different species are spliced and beings are created.  It’s “Brave New World” on screen.  And it’s frightening.  The movie makes a clear statement about that.  But, then, it goes haywire and the movie descends into the typical, warped Hollywood baloney.  I also didn’t like the vilification of “big business” and the typical “evil drug company.

The story:  a male (Adrien Brody) and female (Sarah Polley) couple live together and also run a gene splicing research lab owned by a giant drug company.  They are splice genes from various animals to make new beings from which they can harvest DNA and other substances, in a quest to cure cancer and other diseases.  But the woman begins violating the rules and including human DNA.  The guy reluctantly goes along, and soon a new being is formed and born.  The woman–who refuses to have a child–forms maternal feelings for the being.  The man keeps realizing what a mistake it was to play G-d.  Eventually, they both learn that “Brave New World” is a big moral and physical disaster.  But it is too late.

Sex and rape scenes with aliens?  Uh, no thanks.  That’s in the second half when the movie was a mess.

ONE REAGAN (for showing the disastrous effects of gene splicing and Brave New World “science” without limits)

Watch the trailer . . .

* “Killers“: This was not screened for critics, but I went to the Midnight show, last night, so I could give you my review. And it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great. But it was mildly entertaining and I liked it better than a lot of movies I did screen. And that’s saying a lot, since it stars two people I don’t care for . . . at all: Demi Moore’s teen-age son, Ashton Kutcher Willis-Moore, and Katherine Heigl.

Heigl plays a recently dumped plain Jane who goes to France on vacation, where she meets Kutcher, a US-government agent who kills bad guys. He’s grown tired of the job and wants to settle down. She has no idea that this is what he does for a living. They get married, and three years later, his past catches up to him. Lots of guns, killing, and action. But not bloody. Predictable, but not boring, even if it is, at times, cheesy, silly, or both.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Get Him to the Greek“: This began as a very entertaining and hilarious, if raunchy, movie and a great parody of the self-importance of rock stars and record company execs. But it quickly degraded into a vile, vulgar absurdity with a cheesy, predictable ending. So, while I liked about the first 20 minutes of it, after that, it was downhill. And I like star Jonah Hill (real name: Jonah Hill Feldstein). On the other hand, it also stars the obnoxious Russell Brand. Yup, the same guy who (in real life) came to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden, the day after 9/11. Scumbag.

Hill plays a junior record company executive in Los Angeles. His boss is Sean “Diddy” Combs. The record company is losing money and Combs says he needs to “keep [his] six Black kids in Air Jordans.” Hill comes up with the idea to have a ten year reunion concert at “The Greek,” a concert venue for a has-been rock star who ruined his career by making a video about starving African children. Hill’s job is to get the rock star, Aldous Snow–an immature, indulgent, irresponsible jerk–to the concert venue (and other stops along the way). Plus, Hill’s relationship with his girlfriend is in trouble. Snow is a character who first appeared in the equally execrable “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”  (read my review).

There’s a lot of drinking, partying, and sex with strangers a la “Hangover,” which this movie resembles.  But while it was initially hilarious, it ended up being just vile and disgusting. Menage a trois sex scenes, and a guy who will put a rock star’s drugs up his butt to avoid airport security and keep his job are among the many disgusting, uncomfortable, warped scenes in this filthy flick. You don’t have to be a prude to hate this. Utter crap made for teen and 20-something slacker boys.


Watch the trailer . . .

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21 Responses

As to the second film in Debbie’s review: Give me “THE Killers” any day. Especially the 1946 film version that made stars out of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. And especially the first 10 minutes that were the only part of the movie that consisted of the entire original Ernest Hemingway short story.

And the third: Since Russell Brand, in real life, is hooked up with Katy Perry . . . well, one can gauge what that means for her, er, “music.”

ConcernedPatriot on June 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm

“Demi Moore’s teen-age son, Ashton Kutcher Willis-Moore” – Absolutely priceless!!! LOL!

PatsPFS on June 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm

You don’t know what Marxism is Debbie!

Juan Arguelles on June 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I loved all three of these movies.

Splice was creepy, spooky sci fi–unpredictable and unconventional in a way reminiscent of films done by fellow Canadian writer-director Cronenberg). Natali who directs earlier directed the films Cube and Nothing which were also weirdly distinctive. As with Cronenberg, the movie is grounded in sci fi, not supernatural fantasy–the premise here comes from Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio. The movie contains elements of Species, Orphan and It’s Alive, but is better than all three. Sarah Polley plays an unlikable genius who dominates her weak husband–interesting characters, both. Yes, there’s some uncomfortable sex, but not to titillate, more to push boundaries as Cronenberg used to do.

I loved Killers (this is not the Hemingway tale made into the classic Lancaster-Gardner movie!). Selleck is hilarious as overprotective dad. The film was funny, sexy, fun, and clever, and did not take itself too seriously (as the end makes clear)–exactly the action-romantic comedy that Date Night tried to be but was not. Comic timing was perfect, and I loved the chemistry. I’m not sure why critics hated this movie so much–perhaps because, as liberal morality-czar Lisa Schwarzbaum suggested in her review, Heigl doesn’t play the feisty and brittle feminist Lisa would have preferred. The movie lightly skewers the excesses of suburbia without crushing it with condemnation (like the recent Joneses movie did, for example)–that is, the movie was grounded in a comically tolerant sensibility. Kutcher is, I guess, in real life a beta male liberal, but in this film, he played a very capable, appealing guy; and Heigl is, as always, delectable.

Get Him to the Greek was hilarious from start to finish. It’s guy humor, like The Hangover, from Apatow who specializes in guy-funny comedies (think of his earlier Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express). The movie starts very effectively by jabbing pretentious “cause” musicians, reminding me of the South Park episode that so memorably ridiculed Bono. Hill and Russell are, in this film, hysterical, whatever their politics outside the set.

Burke on June 4, 2010 at 10:36 pm

You are so incredibly vapid, I don’t even know where to begin. Kiss big business’ ass all you want, babe. Reagan and his assorted miscreants created overly-bloated, too-big-to-fail companies, which you’re more than happy to cheerlead. You are one poor, deluded little girl.

hack on June 5, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Someone woke up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.

    Sentinel on June 5, 2010 at 6:59 am

    reagan was 1000x the man obama could ever be, you hack.

    howardroark on June 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm

“It’s possibly one of the creepiest movies I’ve seen in a long, long time.” Makes me more want to see it. Looks like “Spieces”, but on a visual level it looks better (I do not mean story or acting or direction). I suppose it has to do with cinematography and art direction, but possibly just the cameras that were used. It shows the difference style-wise between movies from the 1990s and now that cover a similar subject. Glad for improvements in technology.

“Killers” reminds me of Gobots and Transformers from the 1980s. How? It seems when one company has one idea another will try to make their own, and soon after “Killers” comes out, “Knight and Day” is to be released. “Killers”, however, reminds me of Kubrick’s “The Killers” and I think even maybe, “Killer’s Kiss”. Kind of miss “The Killers”… wouldn’t it be interesting if Kubrick had made Kutcher and Heigl’s “The Killers”?

Nice to see you being negative about the drug hiding in “Get Him to the Greek”. Hated that from the trailer.

MH on June 5, 2010 at 9:49 am

I wonder why Sarah Polley – a self proclaimed “socialist” – isn’t directing. Even Reagan would have liked her Alzheimer’ story, “Away From Her,” which she directed. That film deserved all the awards and nominations that it received. I assume that Debbie agrees.

But her best work has been the remake of “Dawn of the Dead” with Ving Rhames, Jake Weber and Michael Kelly (a great actor that Hollywood doesn’t know how to use).

Splank on June 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm

If the terminally-unfunny Russell Brand along with Jonah Hill are in a movie, I’m skipping it. Period.

Richard on June 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

greek was awesome

howardroark on June 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Regarding Splice, I saw this review (http://scifiwire.com/2010/05/would-you-sleep-with-the-genetic-mutant-from-splice.php) in which Brody has some quotes.

The reason Leftists are drawn to making movies like this is to cross the line of what works in the world. They have to tear down everything that is good, successful and right while elevating everything that is evil, failed and wrong.

It takes a certain courage for Leftists to make movies like this. I describe it like this: Courage to the Modern Liberal is knowingly doing the wrong thing.

Alz on June 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

I just saw the movie Killers. I thought that the movie was good until the last part where it had a cheesy, silly ending.

JeffE on June 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

You don’t like Splice because it is anti-drug company, anti-Big Business. Any chance you’ll dislike it because it Is yet another anti-Science science fiction movie. A movie has to warn “us” about the dangers of science, because real-life: the hell holes of America, Europe, and Japan, all scientific, technological societies fail to warn us, especially compared to the natural, holistic, organic societies of Africa.

tehag on June 6, 2010 at 7:36 am

“I just saw the movie Killers. I thought that the movie was good until the last part where it had a cheesy, silly ending.”

JeffE on June 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I liked the “cheesy, silly ending.” It made me realize that the screenwriter never took the preposterous storyline seriously. The film was winking at this genre (rom-com actioner) the whole time, just as it was winking in its light satire of suburban tribulations.

Burke on June 6, 2010 at 11:37 am

I really liked “Splice”. I love science and science fiction. What makes this film so interesting and scary is it is topical. Just two weeks ago Dr. Vetner created artificial life. The science channel did an excellent documentary on the story last Thursday.

So a SF story on gene splicing shows the potential rewards and dangers. I had no problem with the sex scenes and it is possible. You may not like them but the most important aspect of life is to pro create. That is what the creature was doing at the end of the movie.

Setting the finale up with the earlier scene of Fred and Ginger was very good too. Since it showed you how life can change genders. Also what happens when to of the same gender meet. That is what I love about SF. Everything and anything is possible. Plus todays SF is tomorrows science fact.

spaceship22 on June 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I just cannot relate to Hollywood so I choose not to support them in any way. I am not sure I understand why anyone, Debbie Schlussel included, would pay to see the crap and propaganda that comes out of Hollywood. The money you all pay for the tickets go towards some of the biggest haters of America that exist.

Julie on June 7, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Smart move, Julie, smart move.

    YCHtT on March 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

the Scientist did not create life, he used existing DNA to create something else. No scientist I know of has created new DNA and life from amino acids.

Ken Blazek on June 7, 2010 at 9:06 am

????? ???? ??? ??? http://chuanqisvt.mcmdasefalldasuepamejp.org/

??? ??? on December 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Call me over-sensitive, but Splice, while starting off as an interesting sci-fi flick, descended to the depths of Hell, becoming a Satanic sex-fest regarding both the imagery AND subject matter. Perhaps there is one redeeming virtue of this film–the honesty in regards to the potential consequences of ignoring the rules that God has laid out for us. That wasn’t enough to stop me from destroying the DVD which I had regrettably snatched from the $5 bin.

YCHtT on March 24, 2016 at 9:12 pm

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