December 17, 2010, - 4:01 pm

Wknd Box Office: Tron Legacy, The Fighter, How Do You Know, Tiny Furniture, White Material

By Debbie Schlussel

The best two new movies, this weekend are “Tron:  Legacy” and “The Fighter.”  I did not see “Yogi Bear,” because it was screened at the same time as the “Tron” flick.

Tron:  Legacy“:  This is THE MOST VISUALLY STUNNING MOVIE I’ve ever seen in my life.  I braved the worst Michigan storm weather and driving (and spent an hour getting to the theater) to see this.  That’s because I pride myself on delivering you the big-screen goods . . . and I’m a Tron-o-phile.

In this 3D sequel/reboot of the first “Tron” movie from 1982, the story is lackluster and slightly confusing, but the visuals, costuming, and soundtrack are phenomenal.  The movie went on a little long, at just over 2 hours.  But, oh, the eye candy.  It’s kind of like “Bladerunner” for kids.  So cool.  Lots of fighting, lots of action, and lots of high-tech cyber-motorcycle and fighter plane stuff.  I saw it on IMAX.  And, as I always say, once you go IMAX, you never go bax.  (In IMAX, it was very loud, and I wore industrial-strength air plugs for a good deal of the movie.)  Plus, the movie features a few scenes with my childhood crush, Bruce Boxleitner–the original Tron, who, even now at age 60, still has those movie star looks.

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) from the original Tron movie.  He’s 27, and his father disappeared years ago.  He owns the majority of the stock in his father’s computer game software corporation, but spends his time goofing off and playing an annual break-in/prank on the company.  Soon, he’s beckoned from the cyberworld through a page sent to Boxleitner (Alan Bradley, Tron’s real world alter ego).  Sam Flynn believes it’s from his dad, but it’s really from his dad’s cyber alter-ego, CLU (a CGI version of the younger Bridges from the ’80s), who is seeking for all the programs in the cyber-netherworld to dial into the real world and take over.  Sam goes to the basement of the old video arcade his father owned and enters the cyber-world, encountering his father, his father’s nemesis CLU, and a host of other cyber-characters, with whom he either fights or allies in order to get back to the real world with his father’s program Quorra (Olivia Wilde, niece of the anti-Israel dhimmiJew writer, Alexander Cockburn).

It’s fine for kids and you can take your whole family.  And, I’ll say it again, this was the most visually stunning movie I’ve ever seen.  I laughed at the people who gushed over the “Avatar” visuals.  They were exaggerating.  Not the case here.  Sooo COOL.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “The Fighter“: When I was temporarily banned from the Paramount Pictures screening list, the studio had the private critics screening for this movie, and I was banned.  Thereafter, all the local critics told me what a great movie this was, how I’d love it, how it was “the new Rocky,” and so on.  I think that set my expectations too high, and I was let down when Paramount put me back on the list and I saw this.  To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, I loved “Rocky,” “Rocky” was like an old friend of mine, and “The Fighter,” you’re no “Rocky.”  I like boxing, and I like boxing movies.  But this just wasn’t one of my faves.  It missed that spark, that something.  There’s nothing special about it, and it seems old hat.  Christian Bale is the best actor in it (as he always is), but his character is so depressing, even the happy ending isn’t too happy in my view.  It’s just, blah.

Not only wasn’t this “the next Rocky” (not even close), I didn’t like the people in this movie, not even the hero.  They’re just not that likeable.  Real-life convicted criminal thug Mark Wahlberg plays real-life boxer Irish Micky Ward.  And Christian Bale–always the master actor–plays his half-brother, boxer Dicky Eklund, a once-promising boxer who knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring, but then became a low-life crack addict.  Eklund trains his brother, Ward, while their mother, played by Melissa Leo, is the parasite who lives off of him and his boxing career.  But Ward doesn’t get good fights.  He’s street-meat, the stepping stone for other boxers to beat on their way up.  And he wants better.  All of this takes place on the working class streets of Lowell, Massachusetts, with Ward’s and Eklund’s annoying, mostly unattractive seven sisters and half-sisters, all of whom also live off of Ward’s boxing.  Ward meets Amy Adams, who becomes his girlfriend and tries to help him turn things around, so he can become a champ.

Like I said, it wasn’t an endearing movie because I just didn’t like any of the characters much . . . not even the “hero” for whom you’re supposed to be rooting like you rooted for Rocky.  I just don’t buy shorter, squat Mark Wahlberg beating up the taller, bigger boxers in the movie, either.  But it did make me look up Saoul Mamby, a Jewish Black boxer Ward was supposed to fight in Vegas (but who got sick and couldn’t fight).

I wouldn’t take your kids to see this.  It has frequent graphic language, sad, and has explicit crack pipe use scenes.  And it’s violent in parts (and I’m not talking the boxing in the ring).  And it just wasn’t all that.  It’s mildly entertaining.  But I’m just not excited about it . . . not like everybody else on the conventional critics soapbox.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “How Do You Know“:  Question:  How do you know when a movie is completely annoying?  Answer:  When  you’re sitting through this one.  This movie–starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson–was waaaaay.   too.   long.  And way too slow, too.  But it’s worth seeing if only for the hilarious Wilson, playing every single spoiled scumbag pro athlete I’ve ever known and represented in my former life as a sports agent.  He’s got that role down pat.  So down pat.  Very funny.  But the rest was mostly not funny (and it was supposed to be).

Witherspoon plays an Olympic athlete who is cut from the team.  She’s set up on a disastrous blind date with Paul Rudd, but is ultimately town between Rudd, who is a nice but down-on-his-luck guy who likes her, and Wilson, the wealthy pro baseball player who is a user and has commitment issues.  And, as for being down on his luck, Rudd is the son of the corrupt Jack Nicholson, whose company is under investigation and who lets his son, Rudd, take the fall for him in a federal indictment.

Mid-way through this bore, the filmmakers thrust us into a largely irrelevant marriage scene in which Rudd’s former secretary is proposed to by the father of the baby she just had in the hospital.  We’re forced to listen to this new character’s annoying, sappy proposal speech not just once, but twice.  Please, make the Gitmo detainees listen to it instead of me.

Like I said, this movie was far too slow, too self-contemplative, and very boring.  But the funny parts with Owen Wilson made it bearable.  Not worthwhile, but bearable.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Tiny Furniture“:  Man, the crap I sit through for you. A young newcomer, Lena Dunham, made this arthouse movie starring herself and her real-life pretentious mother and sister as her big screen pretentious mother and sister.  While all the critics seem to love this steaming piece of dung (sorry, dung), I absolutely hated it.  I’ve been lectured about how this is such a funny commentary and parody of upper-class stuck up life in New York’s Soho.  But mostly it wasn’t funny and was more of a pretense to parody than the real thing.  It was just sad and like the world’s worst reality show.  Boring, slow, and disgusting.  I’ll never eat an omelet again (or, rather, I’ll have to struggle not thinking of this garbage when I eat an omelet).

Dunham plays a recent college grad who majored in women’s studies and has returned home to her mother’s ritzy Soho apartment, which doubles as her mother’s studio.  Her mother makes big money by shooting photos of human shoes next to tiny furniture.  Now that would be funny, but in real life Dunham’s mother (who plays her mother) does something just like that for a living.  Like, why do I care about these stuck up, annoying, ugly people?  Who wants to pay ten bucks and spend to hours to see that, when you can just websurf to the People of Walmart website?  (With apologies to the People of Walmart.)

The recent college grad gets a job as a hostess at a New York restaurant, then has sex with the chef in a pipe in the middle of a parking lot.  In the meantime, a loser guy she met who makes YouTube videos of commentary while riding a toy horse (or donkey, I can’t remember and don’t care) is staying for free at her mother’s apartment and sleeping in her room. (These are the people who elected Obama.)

Like I said, who cares?  Not me.  If this is parody, please Hollywood artsy fartsy types, get outta the biz.  Epic fail.  So sorry if I’m not (pseudo-)intellectual enough to enjoy rotten trash.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “White Material“:  Another slow and boring arthouse movie I hated.  A woman defies the rest of her family and friends by refusing to leave her coffee farm in the midst of a Black takeover of her African country.  Everyone who is White is being killed off by the Black militants.  But, in the end, her crazy White son is the one who kills everyone in her family and all the Black people living and/or working on the coffee farm.  Another White guilt flick.  No thanks. In French with English subtitles.


Watch the trailer . . .

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Responses

Debbie, mark whalberg has already repented what he’d done in his past to Jesus and god through his Christian faith. God has forgiven him so why can’t you.

Nak on December 17, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Debbie, you claim that you didn’t see Yogi Bear, becuase it was screened during the “Tron” flick. But I’m going to try and see Yogi Bear, because as child in the 1980’s (I know that cartoon like all Hanna Barbera cartoons where originally created in the 1960’s), I enjoyed watching Yogi Bear cartoons and other Hanna Barbera cartoons, if I see the film Yogi Bear, I’m going to mention this film to my sister and brother-in-law so that they can take their 8 month old daughter (my niece) with them.

And Debbie, I’ll give Yogi Bear 4-Reagan’s for now!

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on December 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Do I care about people having a fetish about dollhouse furniture? Their hobby isn’t worth my time to pay ten bucks and waste two hours of my life to find out I hate it. Ditto for white guilt about black terrorism. Yup, the folks seeing those movies did vote for Obama and they’d probably like your ratings.

There are movie clunkers even during the holiday season. Thanks for posting today’s reviews!

NormanF on December 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

LMAO! Wow! I was a little surprised at the Four Marxes, an Obama, and a Bin Laden on the last two until I saw the trailers. How did you ever get through Tiny Furniture and White Material without poking your eyes out?

BernardL on December 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Good reviews. I’m hitting the IMAX.
You know Mr. Mamby? Cool.

samurai on December 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I don’t really understand your ratings Debbie. I’m new to the site. Can you explain what they mean?

John Arguelles on December 17, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Hey John, um, really?

    T. Y. on December 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

John, If you don’t know the difference between a “Reagan” and a “Marx” (as in Karl, NOT Groucho,) you need a complete tutorial. Just consider “thumbs up, or thumbs down.”

Kent on December 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

John Arguelles,

I was going to advise you but then I thought better of the idea. I’ll keep my pearls safe.

Piglet-U93 on December 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I really love and appreciate your reviews. Wonder if “White Material” was about Zimbabwe? Jeez, it would be too reaaaaalistic if they actually told the truth. Eff them, I hope no one goes to that film.

I never saw Tron but I always kinda wanted to. I think it is so cool that they made a sequel like 99 years later. I like that. Did not know Boxleitner was in it.

Love Christian Bale. Wahlberg is an annoying townie. Will skip that. Paul Rudd is always interesting. Tiny Furniture sounds worse than Chinese water torture.

(Sean, I also love Hanna Barbera cartoons. I loved when “Boomerang” used to show them. Good times)

Skunky on December 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

So glad you liked Tron Legacy, Debbie. Me, too. I expected far worse from the trailers (and also the original 1982 film which left me cold). Wonderful eye candy and soundtrack, as you say, with plenty of exciting battles to boot. I also saw there a conservative subtext directed against social “perfection” (code for utopian liberal-fascism), and I don’t think the scene showing off the library which included classics by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Verne was incidental. This was a conservative, family-friendly, fun movie which attempted in tone to be the same kind of adventure fantasy as Mysterious Island (intentionally showcased midway through).

Like you I was bored and annoyed by James Brook’s latest How Do You Know. The movie started well, but then meandered and slowed down to a crawl. The hospital scene you mentioned was embarrassing it was so bad. I’m assuming that scene was stuck in–even though it had nothing to do with the story–to appeal to women seeing the film who get a kick out of watching babies being born, right along side of cutely earnest marriage proposals by people who suddenly appear out of nowhere. Another problem was that Reese was stuck having to choose between Owen Wilson, an uncomplicated narcissist, and Paul Rudd, an overly sensitive “Bambi” as Reese names him. With no decent choices, who could stay interested in her decision?

As for The Fighter, I thought it was one of the best films of the year– better than Rocky, in my opinion. The characters were deeply flawed, but the flaws were balanced by unexpected strengths, and there were no easy, broad lapses in the portraits. I loved it. This from someone who is usually bored stiff by boxing stories.

Burke on December 18, 2010 at 12:15 am

I was planning to see “The Fighter” i the theater as it looked like it might be good. Then I read Tom Long’s review in the Detroit News, and noted that he gave it an A rating. I’ll wait until its on TV now. I can turn it off and not feel bad that I spent a pile of money to watch it in the theater.

Mark F. on December 18, 2010 at 5:45 am

“Olivia Wilde, niece of the anti-Israel dhimmiJew writer, Alexander Cockburn”

Wait a minute… are you trying to say that Alexander Cockburn is Jewish?

He isn’t Jewish at all… thankfully.

Marti on December 18, 2010 at 5:59 am

I still look forward to The Fighter, as I was a big fan of Micky Ward back in his fighting days. I can endure Mark Wahlberg for that… Although as good as everybody says Tron is, I just so very much despise Olivia Wilde…

Brian R. on December 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

John Arguelles, I understand your a newbie to this site, so here goes, the Reagan’s mean that the film is good-great and worth seeing and worth using your money on, the Marx means that the film sucks, not worth seeing because the producers, creaters, directers, etc. push their far left agenda down the audience’s throats during the course of the movie.

And Skunky, Boomerang network (sister network of Cartoon Network) is still showing those old Hanna Barbera cartoons, such as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Magilla Gorilla, Yakkie Doodle, Ricochet Rabbitt, etc.!

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on December 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Dicky only knocked down Sugar Ray, not knocked out.
It may seem nit-picky but it was a major focal point of the movie.
Bale’s best performance ever and probably the only can’t miss choice this year for an Oscar.

D: You are correct. That’s what happens when I’m in a rush to finish and post my movie reviews. Sorry. Fixed. DS

Dan on December 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

n an off topic note, Seattle’s metro is running ads accusing Israel of committing war crimes. Just when you thought the blood libel myth was gone for good, its back and paid for with our tax dollars.

Its open season on the Jews and Israel. I can’t imagine the bus company running attacking any other group of people. But there’s always an exception for Israel. Which is not so convenient for those of us who care about the truth and justice and love the Jewish State and defend its right to exist.

And where are Jewish organizations in the face of this defamation?

NormanF on December 19, 2010 at 3:40 am

Now back to Hollywood. Mel Gibson hates the Jews. He has shown himself to be an equal opportunity bigot. As for forgiveness, no Jew should extend it – if a man doesn’t want to change, absolution is simply enabling the sin.

He and Jodie Foster of “Leni Riefenstahl” fame both deserve each other. If that’s the only friend he has left in this world, he has only himself to blame. Let’s not pity him; its just as well he’s going to be as lonely in the movies as in real life. I can’t wait for Debbie’s review if its ever made!

NF: Please do not cite sexual deviant and anti-Semitism defender Jeff Dunetz on this site, and I have edited out your comments on that disgusting pervert who needs help. For several years, Dunetz went by the fake name Sammy Benoit to avoid people knowing that he’s the disgusting pervert and embarrassment Jeff Dunetz. Dunetz defended anti-Semitic attacks on me, including the defense of Muslim death, rape, and torture threats on my life, so he is in no position to attack Mel Gibson. Also, you cannot believe a single thing you read on Andrew Breitfraud’s Big Hollywood, which doesn’t fact check and treated me like crap for daring to expose two of its darling frauds, Steven Crowder (and his absolutely false video on Detroit) and Sean Hannity and his scam Freedom Concerts, which rip off everyone and make millions for his speaking engagement agent. Big Hollyfraud then went on to publish absolutely false claims that Hannity paid for his own private planes and hotel suites at the concerts. He did not, and they didn’t even ask him to produce any proof. They just published the lies as facts. DS

NormanF on December 19, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Wow….that doesn’t exactly come as a shock to me that liberal Jews have no problem with attacking the obvious anti-Semites while they ignore and gush over the anti-Semites who pose a real threat to Jews today – Muslims. And there’s the truth to what you wrote about Big Hollywood selling out basic journalism and ethics to protect their favored friends.

    The lesson I learned is not all Jews are principled and some don’t even come to the defense of co-religionists like yourself when there is a threat to the life and their family. I would have figured out Jeff Dunetz of all people learned that and his attack would have had more merit if he had apologized to you first. Some people haven’t a clue and though he’s right on that issue, as you put it, he’s a sleazy hypocrite and given what he did to you and your family, he’s the last person on earth to go after others for anti-Semitism.

    You made your feelings about him eloquently clear and BH leaves much to be desired when it comes to letting the public really know about what goes on inside Hollywood.

    NormanF on December 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm


Thanks for the reviews. Will check out Tron.

Fred on December 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Debbie, I agree with Tron Legacy. 3d is the way to see this, but after seeing in on premiere night, the next day I had to go see it again! I decided to save money and watch it in non-3D. Although I miss the 3D effects (which are excellent and not in your face and actually suck you into the world of Flynn), the movie was still just as exciting and breath-taking to behold on the large screen.

Now it’s time to take my kids to see this! Just another excuse to go see it again! 😀

bolski on December 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I just saw Tron Legacy yesterday in IMAX 3D. While the graphics are amazing I was disheartened by the plot. It was a play to the Maxist theme of free software saving the world. Also, it was loaded with Various Eastern Pagan religious themes. As if free software and “Zen” are the hope for humanity. Very counter to Christmas. The timing of the release is interesting considering there also Gnostic themes in the movie.

I won’t be buying the DVD.

IC: I did say in my review that the plot/story was crummy, though I didn’t get the pagan stuff out of it. My three Reagans were for the visuals, as I so noted. DS

Independent Conservative on December 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

finally got around to watching this one as I didn’t want to be crazy disappointed being a big fan of the original and running out to see this, I wanted to relax and take it in at home.

“Tron” never really shows up and then is “here is tron…” and then he is ‘dead’, even though you sort of know he is tron by that point in the movie… it seems as if they didn’t want to bother with the CGI to make the character Tron… Tron. This really left a huge element out of the movie conflict wise (imagine if bridges could have confronted Tron earlier etc)… I mean CLU is reconciled but tron is .. not? or is dumb sam’s “you were right buddy” scene (after the escape) supposed to be the finale ? ugh.

If Jeff Bridges said “man” (hippie inflection) one more time I was going to scream. Even CLU said “man” right before he blew up the bar with the obvious clockwork orange ripoff character zeus. I really got sick of the hippy dippy dialogue. was this the big Tronbowski ?

The visuals were great but the real action scenes were replays of the first movie and other films since. The light cycles.. yawn. The chase at the end in the ships looked alot like JJ Abrams spock ship mixed with the jar jar binks underwater excursion sequence.. ie) not original at all.

I thought the soundtrack would be better as I am an avid fan of electronica. Three reagans is on the line, I can’t go nuts about that, but man this could have been alot better (and alot worse)

Ego on March 5, 2011 at 12:22 am

What a lovely day for a 400717! SCK was here

400717 on April 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

“After dark all cats are leopards.” – Native American Proverb

crystal cat figurines on October 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit. — Christopher Smart, English poet

gifts for father and son on October 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Debbie for getting the word out about that pig, loser Dunetz. There’s more goodies on him here:

He can keep screaming that it was planted and a conspiracy but NYPD used info on him to bring down Midtown Madam – Julie Moya. He was a good ‘client.’

Am Yisrael Chai!

Pismo on June 13, 2012 at 2:50 am

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field