July 2, 2010, - 8:45 pm

Holiday Wknd Box Office: “Cyrus,” “Last Airbender,” “Twilight”

By Debbie Schlussel

Unusual for a Fourth of July/Independence Day Holiday weekend, there are no blockbusters at the movies this weekend, unless you consider the teen angst rehash, “Twilight: Eclipse,” to be one.  And despite huge opening ticket sales, I don’t.  It’s not a major movie, great epic, or thrilling action adventure, just a movie aimed at teen girls.  Here are my reviews of what’s new this week at the movies (yes, it’s another must-rent weekend):



* “Cyrus“: Probably the creepiest movie of the summer, this dark comedy tells the story of a socially-inept, loser, divorced bachelor (John C. Reilly) who romances a single mother (Marisa Tomei) whose relationship with her 21-year-old son (Jonah Hill) is bizarre and far too close. The son gets in the way and pulls mind games to sabotage the relationship. Very funny, but kinda gross and uncomfortable, too. Playing mostly at arthouse movies for a reason. Definitely not for kids for so many reasons.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “The Last Airbender“:  Read my complete review here.  Expensive special effects are unspectacular in a similarly unspectacular action adventure that isn’t very thrilling.  Yes, it’s good versus evil as two eskimo-type kids try to save the last young monk who can bend air from the evil fire lord.  But not good enough to make it worthwhile.  Again, read my full review.


*  “The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse“:  Read my complete review here.  Sullen, annoying repeat of the second movie in the Twilight installment, except that it’s more boring and contains references to a gang rape, as well as graphic scenes of dismemberment and decapitation.   Vampire versus werewolf over a glum, masculine teen girl, the sequel.  Yawn.  Again, read my full review.


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10 Responses

I found Eclipse excruciatingly boring. The lines were so corny that I laughed out loud several times (just as I did at Avatar). My daughter was spellbound throughout, though.

I found Cyrus hilarious and touching from start to finish. It was also sweet and positive. The “creepiness” did not go over the line, I didn’t think, and gave the movie a humorous edge. The mom and son were not romantically involved–they were just affectionate, close best friends. John C. Reilly was certainly an unlikely hero, but by the end, I could understand what Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener liked in him.

I disagreed with the commenter who praised Shyamalan’s The Village. Here’s how I rank Shyamalan’s films:
1) Sixth Sense 4) Signs 7) The Village
2) Unbreakable 5) Lady in the Water
3) The Last Airbender 6) The Happening

After Shyamalan made The Happening, I suspected he was a liberal (since the film’s about the way we mistreat the earth), but it turns out he’s just a mystic who believes in Destiny and spirits–that is, he draws from his Indian background.

(Note: Cyrus is better than Airbender, Grown Ups, and Eclipse all together and it’s a wonder it’s not playing more widely.)

Burke on July 2, 2010 at 11:18 pm

“The mom and son were not romantically involved–they were just affectionate, close best friends.”

Now that is supposed to CONTRADICT

“whose relationship with her 21-year-old son (Jonah Hill) is bizarre and far too close. The son gets in the way and pulls mind games to sabotage the relationship.” ???

Sorry, but I reject the “anything short of incest is OK” implication. And by the way, single mothers and their sons having mutually unhealthy relationships with each other is a common problem that rarely gets discussed for the usual feminist P.C. reasons. But you had better believe that psychologists, social workers and family counselors who regularly deal with single mother-headed households are 100% aware of it.

Gerald on July 3, 2010 at 12:33 am

haven’t seen either one yet but:
Marisa Tomei was such a cutie but always got stuck with the wrong leading man. Now that she’s older,…sigh…nothing’s really changed. I personally hate the “beauty & beast” type movies. Same old formula…regurgitated.
“Avatar…the Last Airbender’ was a great show really. Written like a chapter novel. Charachter development, progressive storyline, you know, all the good stuff. I’m not surprised a movie couldn’t handle it all and had to dumb it down. Happens to most novels turned into movies. The original show was really excellent.

theShadow on July 3, 2010 at 1:37 am


Regarding Cyrus, I didn’t say that “anything short of incest is okay.” I myself was rooting for suitor John (John C. Riley) from the first scene. The Duplass brothers who wrote and directed were rooting for John from the first scene. There was nothing in the movie which validated the son’s actions. I certainly am not condoning the son’s actions.

The relationship between son and mother was unhealthy, but it was not sick in the way that an incestuous one would have been. It was just unhealthy. The whole point of the movie was to highlight the way that good, open people (with John leading the way and the others following) can deal with strangeness in people who are otherwise worthy and lovable (like the Tomei character).

One of my favorite parts of the movie was when John realizes fully the oddly close nature of the mother-son friendship. At that point he has the integrity and courage to properly deal with the situation. He shows character at that point.

So the movie seemed to me to be about character and values. As a bonus, it’s funny.

Burke on July 4, 2010 at 4:45 am

Any thoughts on why they cast a fat white kid for “Last Airbender?”

Columbine 101 on July 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Haven’t seen the movie yet but if you watch the cartoon, Ang is pretty white looking. Kira and Saka (spelling) definitely appear to be Eskimo-ish, in the sense that they have a similar style of dress and their skin is a bit darker than Ang’s. However, their features are pretty “white”, IMO. The Fire Nation characters in the cartoon always seemed to be the “obvious” Asians, but even then for the main characters it seems to come down more to the style of dress.

    Amy on July 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm

“The Last Airbender” takes place on a fictional world so no one is actually Chinese or Eskimo or anything else. The characters are simply based on ideas from these different cultures. The Avatar could have been a black Eskimo who spoke Manchurian with a Texan accent and rode a winged blue rhino with pink feathers…artistic license, I think it’s called.

theShadow on July 5, 2010 at 2:39 am

    What theShadow said. : )

    A bit more coherent than my explanation.

    Amy on July 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I’m 50, and I sure wouldn’t mind being a cougar for Adam Lambert, if we were on the same team. Half the fun of watching his concert clips is getting that wicked smile on my face and naughty thoughts in my head.

jen on July 6, 2010 at 1:15 am

Oh, Jen. That’s kind of unrelated here, and also gross because Adam Lambert? Really? Ugh.

hellcat on July 6, 2010 at 11:37 am

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