December 10, 2010, - 4:21 pm

Wknd Box Office: Black Swan, Tourist, Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of Dawn Treader, Leaving

By Debbie Schlussel

Nothing great at the box office, this weekend. The best choice is the third installment of the Chronicles of Narnia movies, but not by much.

* “Black Swan“: This movie is much hyped as an Academy Award-worthy flick by a ton of critics and media types. Don’t believe the hype. This movie was nothing more than “Showgirls” with tutus (and a little more clothing) with a ton of neuroses and craziness mixed in. I “learned” from this movie that in order to be a great ballerina, you must be oversexed and masturbate a lot. At least that’s what the explicit instruction is in this over-rated garbage in a high-brow wrapper. The music of “Swan Lake” is so beautiful. What a shame it’s perverted by this neurotic, libidinous trash.  Oh, and I also learned that Barbara Hershey is still alive (she plays the mother of the lead character) and that Winona Ryder has graduated from shop-lifting to has-been prima ballerina.

Natalie Portman plays a neurotic ballerina in a New York ballet company performing the White Swan and Black Swan in “Swan Lake.” She wants to be the prima ballerina and gets the job. But she’s so paranoid and delusional that she takes her rivalry with partying fellow ballerina Mila Kunis to an extreme . . . in her head. She has delusions of lesbian sex with Kunis and sex with her oversexed ballet company director (Vincent Cassel), who is in fact hitting on her (as he does with a lot of his ballerinas). If constantly crying and pouting means you should get an Academy Award, then Portman should get one. But I don’t think that’s among the criteria.

Slow, boring, and a chick flick on top of everything I already wrote about it. And very pretentious.  The best thing I can say about this movie is, I like the poster.  And that’s basically the only good thing about it.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Tourist“: An overweight, pudgy Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie star in this utter bore, whose stale “twist” I figured out at the very beginning. I fell asleep twice and still didn’t miss a thing in this uber-slow waste of time.

It appears Palestina Jolie’s (yes, she’s a fan of Palestinian terrorists, as I’ve noted on this site before) only purpose in this movie is to pout her over-stuffed lips and pose her ever-more gaunt skeletal face. Oh, and to flaunt an extremely bad English accent. And bad acting. Just terrible.

The “story” (if you can call it that): a British socialite (Skankelina) is in France and under surveillance by Scotland Yard, which is trying to find her missing lover, a master thief and con man who stole billions from a Russian mobster. The con man sends her a letter instructing her to take a train and ultimately travel to Venice. And the letter tells her to select a random man (Depp) and pretend he’s the con man the secret agents are trying to foil. Palestina Jolie selects a math teacher and comes on to him in Venice, while the Russian mobster and the British agents pursue him and her through chases and other stupidity.

You won’t care about these people. But you will care about the ten bucks and two hours of life you wasted and will never get back. And you’ll be helping to fund Jolie’s “charity” to a group that gives massages to Palestinian kids in HAMAStan. Not worth it . . . on all counts.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader“: This was my least favorite of the Narnia movies, based on the C.S. Lewis books. Nothing objectionable, but it just was boring. And the plot was confusing. I doubt little kids will get it, but I’m sure they’ll be entertained by the wholesome fights between flying dragons and giant sea serpents.

The story: during World War II, two of the kids from the original and succeeding movie are once again sucked into the other world of Narnia. They find that the King or Prince or whatever has had all his wise men kidnapped and held captive on some island run by men who look like Arabs/Muslims (wear their clothes and have their features) and sell people into slavery. The Narnia kids–who are royalty in that world–must rescue the wise men by getting swords together and sailing somewhere on a boat. And they’re led by the usual lion, Aslan (the one who is supposed to be Christ, but who Liam Neeson thinks is Mohammed). Like I said, it was somewhat confusing and not awe-inspiring by any stretch. But it’s fine for kids and families. Just not a tightly-woven or well-told story. Not even close.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Leaving [Partir]“: This French movie, shown mostly in arthouse theaters, has English subtitles. It stars Kristin Scott Thomas as the wife of a wealthy Paris professional who provides well for his family and loves his wife. But, hey, she’s “bored,” so, to reward him, she begins an affair with the Spanish ex-con contractor who is working on the remodel of her backyard office, which her husband is spending tens of thousands on for her. The husband finds out and tries to take revenge to get her to come back. She does, but then shoots her husband and escapes to Spain to be with her lover. The end.

And the point was . . . ? I’m not sure, other than saying it’s not fun to be in a relationship with a great guy who loves you and provides you everything. Instead, you should break up your family, kill your kids’ dad, and become a fugitive with your ex-con lover. It was mildly entertaining. But there was no there there. And the message was empty and stupid.


Watch the trailer . . .

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31 Responses

I take exception with your last movie rating… I don’t think adultery, betrayal and murder amount to two Marxes in my book. I would have given that four plus a Betty Friedan. French arthouse films are usually good. There was as you wrote no point to this waste of a movie except to show good men are too boring to stay married to, family is unimportant and feminist fulfillment is the main thing that matters in life.

NormanF on December 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Thanks Debbie for these money saving tips. Guess i’ll stay home and curl up with a good book this weekend.

Jo on December 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I wonder how ‘Leaving’ would be received if it were written this way:

It stars (famous actor) as the husband of a wealthy Paris professional who provides well for her family and loves her husband. But, hey, he’s “bored,” so, to reward her, he begins an affair with the Spanish ex-con decorator who is working on the remodel of his backyard office, which his wife is spending tens of thousands on for him. The wife finds out and tries to take revenge to get him to come back. He does, but then he shoots his wife and escapes to Spain to be with his lover. The end.

…….and I’ve always wondered how ‘acclaimed’ ‘Thelma & Louise’ would’ve been had all the male/female roles been reversed……

guitarguy on December 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I don’t care about your political ideology, but stop worshiping Reagnan. You should not owe loyalty to any politician.

Olive on December 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Olive Oyl:

    Let us know when you learn how to spell. Also, when you actually have something relevant to say about the actual reviews in question, we will take you more seriously. In the meantime, you should start attending E.S.L. classes. Do you need a referral?

    Worry01 on December 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Having seen Dawn Treader, I would probably bump it up to two Reagans. While it wasn’t great, it was good and did not compromise the Christian allegory from the books. Do not waste money on the 3-D version, though. It was sparingly used and not that impressive.

Gregg on December 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

LOL…I love the “Black Swan” poster too. Bought it a few months ago. Loved your review.

Also love “Palistina” Jolie. That skank thinks she can get away with being a sociopath with her “good deeds”. She ain’t fooling me.

Skunky on December 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I’ve saved so much money on movies because of their lack of quality. Thanks Angelina and her ilk!

Actual thanks to Debbie for the frequent warnings of crap offerings.

samurai on December 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm

There is no justice. Most critics like the overrated and truly boring “Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows” while they dislike the exciting “Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader” which is a “rip-snorting adventure.”

ramjordan on December 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I saw The Tourist and agree with your comments, Debbie. It was boring, slow and leaden. The director, von Donnersmarck, last directed Lives of Others, one of the finest slams against communism ever made, so this trivial piece of forgettable fluff was a definite disappointment. At least in part I blame Johnny Depp who played a scruffy, uninteresting, unlikable wet blanket.

I also saw the newest Narnia film, Dawn Treader. About this movie I would tend to agree with ramjordan above who argues this was more fun and exciting than the recent Harry Potter. I also agree with Gregg above who likes the fact that the movie didn’t compromise the original Christian allegory–how rare is that? The updated Captains Courageous plot–a wimpy, whiny kid needs to build up his character–is a good one.

Burke on December 10, 2010 at 9:15 pm

dear Ms. Schlussel, ¿what if some people hang names on you?, like, say, Nakbablond, la femme nakba, Ciberjudith, Anna Frank thru the black hole, or Miss Iknowallaredneckwantstoheartotakehisgun(and giveushismoney).

¿Would you like that?
I don’t even think you’ve seen a single one movie from those you mention above.
I’m sure you’re the whole day before your mirror asking it, if you’re more sionist than Lieberman or Pollard.

Isidor on December 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

    With guys like you, that’s code. And just what the heck does it have to do with Debbie’s movie reviews? I would think if she wasn’t a uh hem – a “Zionist,” I have a feeling you wouldn’t be bothered.

    Thanks for enlightening us!

    NormanF on December 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm

With self-absorbed,obnoxious know-nothing Leftists like Depp and Jolie in it,”The Tourist” just screams “Vanity Project”.You can actually feel as you watch the trailers for it.

Phineas on December 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

Good. I would not go to see Jolie if you paid me. BOYCOTT THE TOURIST.

Fred on December 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Isidor, in English we don’t do the upside-down question mark. That punctuation rule works in Spanish. And, in English we spell Zionist with a “Z”. Not an “S”.

As for being a Zionist, what’s wrong with that?

Eliezer on December 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Nothing. But these days its used by bigots as a circumlocution for the J-Word. Think Helen THamas.

    NormanF on December 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Off-topic: An “Amish” was responsible for a homocide bombing in Stockholm today. It appears he was the only casualty. He had that you know, typical Swedish name. As usual, he’s just identified as a youth in the media.

Incidentally, this comes the same day Attorney General Holder engaged in the usual Islamo-pandering to extremist Muslims.

If you ask if there is a connection, there ain’t none at all. Repeat after me: It was the act of a solitary Amish and there’s nothing to see here and its time to move on.

NormanF on December 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm
    The Yahoo! headline is “Swedish Police: Explosions Were Terrorism.” How do you say “Well, deh” in Swedish?

    Miranda Rose Smith on December 12, 2010 at 5:29 am

      Your “typical” Swede on Facebook – judging from one of the photos, that doesn’t look like anything in Sweden. A would mass murderer gets Facebook time!

      Taimour Abdulwahab. Yup! Just your Swedish “Amish”… in what would do the likes of him share Facebook time with Debbie Schlussel?


      NormanF on December 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

As for “Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader'” being confusing, even the book was as I recall. Been a few years since I read them.
However, that being said, it’s still on my “watch” list.

David B on December 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Black Swan was terrific. Natalie Portman’s performance was awesome. She’s guaranteed to win the Best Actress oscar.

Mark on December 12, 2010 at 2:52 am

THE TOURIST has been done before and better. Anyone besides me remember THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE? I loved it.
LEAVING has also been done before, when it starred Melina Mercouri and was called PHAEDRA. I hated it the first time I saw it.

Miranda Rose Smith on December 12, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Free love and self-fulfillment isn’t all its made out to be. The film does show us the consequences of such a choice. Leaving kids without parents would be something I hope none of us ever do.

    NormanF on December 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Debbie in case I am abducted and forced to choose between “Leaving” and “Black Swan”, which one has more female skin?

A1 on December 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I’d say you’d get a vicarious thrill stealing the wife away from her husband -“Le Partir.” That reminds me – adultery is a form of theft, too. I don’t know why they glorify this sick trash in Hollywood!

    NormanF on December 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm

      Because Hollywood is full of sick trash? (And France, too, apparentlly.) Remember, murder is legal in So Cal (OJ Simpson!).

      Agen T on December 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

“Just not a tightly-woven or well-told story. Not even close.”

This sums up the whole series so far.

Harry Potter series as well. Too much in the books to translate onto the screen properly.

Ken Blazek on December 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

I counted at least 3 times during the Tourist when they were dissing Americans and that ruined the movie for me. Tried to portray us as uncooth. Figures for a Jolie and Depp movie. I should have skipped it.

CJ on December 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    That would be “uncouth”…learn to spell.

    JJ on December 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more, Debbie: Black Swan would be perfect if not for all the smut and unnecessary GROSSNESS. What gorgeous scenery and symbolism, the ballet and the swans!! Part of the sexual stuff was Nina attempting to find her darker side. But..I think we all know that’s not really why they added the scenes of lesbian smut and..the other. Yick, ech, blech.

Jennifer on December 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Watched this mess on PPV just didn’t have the time before….as my 23 yr old daughter said: dance, dance, sex, sex, is she on drugs or just crazy??? At least if she cut something off one would remember her 100 years later by staring at a canvas- no one would remember a lot after their supper drinks watching this jig en pointe. I would agree in the appeal if played to the tragedy of dual stories rather than the gal sex obsession. Just another missed opportunity in film making.

Cathy on April 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm

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