April 15, 2011, - 6:04 pm

Wknd Box Office: Conspirator, Meet Monica Velour, Scream 4, Music Never Stopped, Super

By Debbie Schlussel

The only worthwhile movie, this weekend–and not by much–is the Civil War movie.  The rest is populated by so much garbage and liberal crap, it’s sad. I did not see “Rio.”

*  “The Conspirator“: The most interesting thing about Mary Surratt is not in this movie:  that the Washington, DC boarding house she ran–where John Wilkes Booth and others originally hatched the plot against Lincoln–is now a Chinese restaurant.  Surratt (played by Robin Wright, Sean Penn’s ex-wife) was charged with conspiracy to murder Lincoln because Booth other Confederate conspirators, and Surratt’s son originally hatched a plan to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln, as well as other members of his administration.  Ultimately, it turned into a murder plot, as we know, with Boothe assassinating Lincoln.

The movie, directed by Robert Redford–or as I like to call him, Robert the Red–is sure to conjure up predictable, stale, whining liberal criticisms of America’s treatment of Gitmo detainees.  The movie focuses on whether Surratt was entitled to a civilian trial with a jury of her peers.  She was denied one and tried, instead, by a military tribunal.  Redford says he didn’t mean to conjure up Gitmo, but he’s clearly lying.  The movie is very sympathetic to Surratt and presents her as an innocent wrongly accused and taking the fall for her son.  But many historians believe the evidence proved otherwise–that she knew exactly what was going on and aided and abetted it.

Also obvious in this movie is  your typical liberal sympathies for single mothers.  The movie portrays Surratt as a single mother done wrong.  Her conspirator son fled the country, leaving her to take the fall for him and Lincoln’s murder, and she relies on her daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood, to help in her defense.

The story here is about a Union soldier who becomes Surratt’s lawyer, despite not wanting to and seeing it as a betrayal of the Union.  But as he tries his best to uncover the truth and fight for her rights, he changes his mind regarding her guilt and the fairness of her trial.  The man went on to edit the Washington Post, so clearly, his quest for truth and justice ended with the conclusion of the Surratt trial.

Years ago, I saw a TV movie about Surratt, and I liked that a little better, as it appeared to be more historically accurate.  Still, most people know little about Lincoln’s assassination beyond the basic fact that Booth killed him at the theater.  The details of the plot should interest any history buff, especially Civil War enthusiasts, and most of those details are in less dispute.  I found the movie a little slow and dull, but it was still interesting and enjoyable.  Just don’t take it for an accurate portrayal of history.  It’s clearly a politically charged and agenda-laden telling of the events, and if you watch it with that in mind, it’s worth seeing.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Meet Monica Velour“: Porky’s with expired anti-aging cream. Absolutely awful. This piece of garbage made me cringe. Painful to watch, and if I didn’t have to review it, I’d have walked out early on. It’s that bad. As you’ll recall, earlier in the week, I criticized JARC, a Jewish organization for the mentally disabled, for showing this flick as a fundraising event. I thought the movie would be sleazy and stupid. But those are the understatements of the year. Absolute crapola.

Kim Cattrall plays Monica Velour, an aging porn star who is reduced to stripping at sleazy local strip clubs for money, so she can pay a lawyer to get her young daughter back from her ex-husband. A young geek, just graduating from high school is her biggest fan. He has all of her X-rated movies and her posters and pin-ups, and his dream is to meet Monica. At 17, he drives across the country to see her strip at a strip club where he gets beaten up by other patrons. The geek fawns all over Monica, who has lost her looks and is a total loser and a miserable failure living in an Indiana hicktown, and seeks to help her . . . and to lose his virginity to her.

The movie is just sickening, completely dumb, and a long, boring waste of time. I couldn’t wait to get out of the theater. People watching porn tapes with silly double entendres, photos of giant vibrators and scenes of topless strippers with breast implants that are way too big–that’s not masterful movie making. It’s movies by people who never grew up and who never had class. Nothing redeeming here, including the two hours I wasted I’ll never redeem.

Oh, and here’s a tip for JARC, the organization for the mentally disabled: you might wanna think twice about showing a movie that uses “you half-assed retard” as an insult, at your fundraisers. Did you really not see the hypocrisy?

This is exactly the kind of trashy movie the Bin Ladens of the world use to incite hatred against the West. And in this case, they have something of a point (despite their hypocrisy on these issues).


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Scream 4“: Been there, seen that . . . three times before. And it’s gotten old, way too old. Mostly this movie was stupid and not scary. But that wasn’t the point. The point is to go overboard in trying to parody itself and other horror movies. Oh, and also to introduce us to Scream . . . the Next Generation, so that some people in Hollywood can continue to make these dumb movies and clean up in the bank account. And, you know what? The next generation ain’t that appealing. Someone ought to tell Hollywood that Rory Culkin, McCauley’s younger brother, looks like a transvestite geek with that long hairstyle. Having him and the other “new Scream generation” repeatedly utter four letter words doesn’t make the movie any more entertaining.

The beginning of the movie was cool and funny . . . for like the first ten minutes. Everything was downhill from there. Schlocky, silly, and a waste of time. But it’s “Scream,” so you know what you’re gonna get: rehashed, non-stop bloody stabbings by someone in a ghost face mask and robe. Big whoop. Come up with something new, Hollywood.

Looks, though, like at least they might finally retire Courtney Cox and her estranged husband, David Arquette. Or maybe not. Either way, this was dullsville. Not thrilling. Not even close.  Also, I could’ve done without all the substandard local Detroit news reporters and anchors whoring themselves out in this movie for their Michigan Film Tax Credit-subsidized cameos.  Begone, shameless media whores.


Watch the trailer. . .

* “The Music Never Stopped“: I had mixed feelings about this movie. On the one hand, it’s liberal propaganda vilifying every American who stands up against burning the American flag and every American who opposed the slimy hippie anti-Vietnam war protesters. On the other hand, it does tell the touching story of a father who truly cared about his son and reconnected with him after a long absence. Still, I mostly hated it. And it is definitely the most depressing film I’ve seen in ages, especially if you experienced the death of a parent with whom you were close, as I did recently.

This is the story of parents who lost their son in the late ’60s or early ’70s because the father, a military veteran, was upset that his spoiled son was burning the flag and in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War. The son left, and when they reconnect, it is a couple of decades later, and their son has been found in a hospital recovering from a brain tumor that has affected his ability to have any short-term or even long-term memories. The only memories he has are when he listens to specific songs from his past and remembers what happened in his life at the time.

As I said, it’s depressing, and many of the memories are things like strife-filled arguments after flag-burning. Sorry, Hollywood, but those who opposed the flag-burnings, those who supported the troops instead of spitting on them and losing the war for them here on the streets in protests and marches–those who opposed these things and were, instead, proud Americans, those were the good people, the good parents, despite the way this movie vilifies them. Supporting your country and opposing brazen destruction of the flag does not cause brain tumors, and it doesn’t cause complete, pathetic memory loss.

Like I said, I was touched by the relationship the father develops with his son and how they reconnect. But it wasn’t enough to redeem the very strong statements it makes against American patriots and their quality as parents.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Super“: Will Hollywood ever stop making gratuitously sleazy, anti-Christian movies like this? Sadly, no. But, like all of those with that description, this movie, too, is utter crap. Painful. I struggled to stay awake and to not walk out on this in the middle. It was boring, stupid, violent, bloody, and mocks Christians.

Rainn Wilson plays a loser husband, whose addict wife, Liv Tyler, leaves him for her drug dealer, a mobster boss thug played by Kevin Bacon. Wilson vows to get her back by donning a superhero outfit and fighting crime on the streets. But many of the people he violently beats and /or shoots to death are not criminals, or they’re just people who rubbed him the wrong way. His partner in crime–who also dons a superhero outfit–is the ever-dull, always annoying Ellen Page, who has sex with him while he’s wearing his superhero mask.

Oh, and the anti-Christian part: we are constantly shown scenes from some Christian cable TV channel, featuring a show with a dopey, preachy, moronic Christian superhero (Nathan Fillion), who tells people to be good and believe in the Bible. I know that’s not dopey or moronic, but the movie’s attitude is that it is and is to be mocked.


Watch the trailer . . .

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26 Responses

Where’s the Atlas Shrugged review at?

I was looking forward your opinion on that…

Rand on April 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Rand, your talking about the late “Ayn Rand”! I would love to see that film from Atlas Shrugs, I to would like to see what’s Debbie’s opinions are about the film of Ayn Rand.

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

Sean R. on April 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Thank goodness for the Stanley Cup Playoffs!
I’d much rather watch hockey than waste time at a theater, especially if that’s all they have to offer.
Go Wings!

Michelle on April 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I know right Michelle, but danggumit (as Bobby Bowden says), the Rangers are trailing the Capitals right now, and behind in their series 1-0.

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

Sean R. on April 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm

only film this weekend to see is Atlas Shrugged, if only to piss of the liberal film reviewers and liberal hollywood producers who refused to make the film. LOL.

ender on April 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I can’t believe this is the only place I’ve found that has a hockey discussion.

Oh and Ranger fans…how does it feel to be down 2-0!?? Mahahahaha!!


Squirrel3D on April 16, 2011 at 12:11 am

I’m going to base all my decisions on what to do for cinematic entertainment on Debbie Schlussel’s reviews, mainly because I want to get my money’s worth when I pay a king’s ransom at the neighbourhood Uberplex.

I would see Super mainly because I used to see Ellen Page kicking around in North End Halifax. (Plus, I think I lent her a cigarette at one time. Long story.)

But my verdicts will be just simple: “THEATRE” (“I’ll pay to see that”) or “TORRENT” (“I’m not going to finance my own destruction”).

This week’s verdict: TORRENT!


The Reverend Jacques on April 16, 2011 at 12:17 am

LOL. I appreciated your comment on Ellen Page VERY much. I agree! I’ve never seen a more USELESS movie than “Hard Candy”. Oh wait a minute, the only movie WORSE than “Hard Candy” is “Funny Games”. Both are the peanut butter and jelly to a piece of boring, stale, rancid piece of white bread.

Yep, and haggy, old grandma-ma’s geriatric porn endeavour was the useless POS I thought it would be. Maybe some of the peeps who mistook the unbecomingness of ALL Kim Catrall flicks as “ageism” will put the mirror (and guilty conscious) down and see it isn’t always about an “ism”. It’s about the lack of decorum and class.

“Scream” films have always sucked the big one from outer space. As a horror film fan, I have ALWAYS hated them. Poseurs. I hate wannabes.

(I’d like to recommend AGAIN one of the BEST DVDs I ever seen. It’s a Croatian film called “The Trap”. Much better than the pap DS has to sit through.)

Skunky on April 16, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Dear Skunky,

    “Rio” was good, as was “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Debbie, please make sure to feature and review all the G rated movies you can—G movies are things to be encouraged.

    Occam's Tool on April 17, 2011 at 2:31 am

      Thanks OT! I will Netflix both! Danke! 😀

      Skunky on April 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

        The Trap sounds awesome. Check out “Son of the Bride,” for a beautiful Argeninian take on living with a mother with Alzheimer’s. Really, really funny, touching, and sweet.

        Occam's Tool on April 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm

          Sorry, “Argentinian.”

          Occam's Tool on April 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

LMAO. I am so NOT a hockey fan, but I got such a kick out of the passion all you hockey fans have on this thread. Cute!

(I’d be with y’all if it were Tennis…believe me!) 😀

Skunky on April 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

Ugh, do us a favour and keep your crap, rap, sad poetry to yourself. I only read like two lines and I half laughed at how hokey and sucky your sad rap was.

Where do you live? We’ll try to help you enroll in a remedial language course. I will help you because you so need it.

Skunky on April 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

“…an aging porn star who is reduced to stripping at sleazy local strip clubs for money…”

I think stripping might be a step UP from porn star. At least it’s honest. But the quote pretty much describes Kim Cattrell and her career. The porn was “Sex & The City” and all of its subsequent sequel movies.

Good thing I had no intention of seeing ANY of these movies. Thanks for saving me the money once again. Frankly, I don’t know why all of these didn’t just go straight to video.

DG in GA on April 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I saw MEET MONICA VELOUR Friday and LOVED IT! I scratch my head when I read such strong negative comments about a film. (and anybody that would listen to a critic to keep them away from the theater is a sad case).
    This movie was great! I wasn’t a Kim Cattrall fan but she does a great job. But, the real Star in this movie is the newcomer DUSTIN INGRAM as Tobe. He was awesome! Funny, true, real, and the detail he brought to this character was incredible! He was at the film to thank everyone fir coming out to see his flick (class act) and he looked & acted NOTHING like his character! He was actually very handsome, and you could tell he was a veteran actor.
    The reviewer needs to stick with Hockey & sporting events because his artistry and how to spot true talent. I have no respect for ANYTHING you review…I’m sure your decisions are based on your mood that night.

    Missy on April 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Recent decades have unfortunately seen a spin put on Civil War/Reconstruction-era history. The left has demonized Northern heroes as closet racists and opportunists. The right has portrayed the South as freedom loving patriots who were exercising their right to secede from a tyrannical Federal government.
Perfect fodder for Robert “Motorcycle Diaries” REDford! (“Che’ Guevara was misunderstood”)
I was intrigued by the commercial for “The Conspirator” UNTIL I heard Robert the Red was the director. In the nanosecond it took to process that, it was obvious it would portray Mary Surratt as the innocent victim a la Ethel Rosenberg of a runaway court…and a military tribunal that should have been a civilian court…a la Gitmo.
Unfortunately most of the general public knows nothing of the plot to kill Lincoln, and once again, the left has its own spin on the story. The hypocritical Northern government sending in the generals to do their bidding in a rush to judgment against an inoocent, helpless, poor struggling woman victim.
Political assassinations are even more special as fodder for the left. When their “heroes” have been assassinated, it has actually been the work of solitary leftist whackos acting on their own, but the left insists it had to be a right wing plot and puts its propaganda machine into overdrive to make it so. When anyone else is assassinated, it just HAD to be the action of a REAL psychotic whacko who acted alone. In Lincoln’s case, they insist it was Booth acting alone and his co-perps were innocent. (Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan’s shooters get the same treatment. Real whacko shooter with no help.)
It may be an entertaining movie. I might go see it. On the other hand I’ve got major reservations about giving $$$ to a propaganda machine who will use it to make more propaganda to “educate” the masses under the guise of “entertainment.” Lots of the “masses” are going to see this on screen or on DVD and think that it is a true story. Another propaganda triumph!

murder_city on April 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm

The Kim Cattrall comment is funnier when you realize she actually was in Porky’s 30 years ago.

I too, wonder what Debbie thinks of Atlas Shrugged.

colt13 on April 16, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Debbie, The Conspirator was good. I agree the military tribunal angle was overdone but it was still enjoyable. Afterwards I lost my valet ticket and had to pay an extra fiver. The guy said since I had to have the ticket stamped to save the $5, so I would’ve had to pay it anyway. Also I brought in my own drink to great savings. BTW Lincoln was the first U.S. president to have rabbis as army chaplains. He had Jewish friends, too. I think the fact that Luncoln was not religious allowed him to be more open to The Jews.

A1 on April 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Thanks for the review on the Conspirator. I WAS going to check it out but I will NOT line Redfords pockets or Robin Penns either. Her making the movie “Hound Dog” was more than enough for me to blackball her forever.

samurai on April 17, 2011 at 11:37 am

Thank you, Debbie, for a good, thoughtful review of The Conspirator. I also liked commenter Murder_City’s take, comparing Surratt’s lugubriously portrayed martyrdom to that of the Rosenbergs’. I myself found the movie, slow, didactic, heavy-handed and preachy. The liberal subtext of the movie–the urgency of closing Gitmo–is of course now hilariously ironic since Obama has decided to continue with military tribunals at Gitmo. The movie was made in 2009 and the rabid hatred of Bush’s military policies is now utterly and hypocritically obsolete.

Generally I wasn’t all that excited about Scream 4. Wes Craven has made a lot of money pandering to teens with their shallow fantasies, phobias and hip snark. I prefer horror movies by Carpenter and Rami which aim at a higher age group. One thing I have to admit I liked about this installment, though, was that it was completely self-conscious of how stupid, bloody and absurd it was and in that way it was disarmingly unpretentious. And I liked the way Courtney Cox shouted out at the climax, “You never screw with the original!” That, actually, would be a good lesson for other franchises to learn.

The most important movie released this week was, in my view, Atlas Shrugged. I drove 180 miles (95 miles each way) to see it. It was terrific. There was applause at the end of the film; we were all very excited. It’s a scandal that this classic hasn’t been adapted to film until now. The reaction at Rotten Tomatoes is highly amusing. It gets 6% approval rating from professional critics (one of my favorite right-wing reviewers, Kyle Smith, gives it a positive, though). On the other hand, average viewers give it a favorable rating close to 90%. Any guesses about why this discrepancy? Ebert predicted in his review that “Ayn Rand and objectivist fans will be deeply disappointed,” but of 50 or so responses of those who saw it and commented over at the Hot Air blog on an Atlas Shrugs thread, only one was just lukewarm; all others were enthusiastic. As for myself, well, I won’t lie; I’m partial to conservative movies. More, please.

Burke on April 18, 2011 at 2:34 am

    What I loved was Ebert talking about how Railroads were irrelevant in America as a major form of transportation. I guess he hasn’t heard about Buffet buying a controlling share in one, eh?

    I’m glad Conservatives liked the film, Burke. It should be coming to my small town in Minnesota when it opens beyond the initial theatres this week. I hope.

    Occam's Tool on April 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I am going to guess that Debbie hasn’t seen Atlas Shrugged yet but will like it. I just watched and liked it a lot. It had a good pace and acting to go with a good story. Especially considering it was written in 1957.

samurai on April 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

We, too, were left wondering was there was no review of “Atlas” posted here. My husband and I saw it Friday morning and both loved it. I wondered about the Ebert comment, but the scriptwriters masterfully brought it up-to-date and beyond and I was happy to leave a comment to that effect at the official movie website.

I’m going to take my high-school senior (home schooled) daughter this weekend and look forward to getting teary-eyed again (but will be prepared this time!) for 1) how far America has fallen from greatness-as-a-manufacturing-giant, and 2) for how ‘right-on’ Rand’s story is in it’s portrayal of phony crony-capitalism/regulatory-solcialism vs. free-market Capitalism.

Drive if you must, but go see t”Atlas Shrigged, Part I”!

Patrice Stanton on April 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ultra-liberal Roger “Obama is the greatest orator of the modern age” Simon has now weighed in on Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 with a column in Politico. Apparently he went to Rotten Tomatoes and discovered that reviewers only gave it an 8% approval rating. From this he drew the conclusion that movies with a conservative or libertarian bent are destined to calamitous failure unless they can start making movies with a good script that “people want to see.”

Simon admits to being slightly mystified that average viewers of the movie have given the film close to 100% enthusiastic approval rating and that the audience number per screening of the film is one of the highest in the country. This initial enthusiasm among fans will probably “fade quickly,” Simon asserts. Then he completes his review by scorning the notion that there is a liberal bias among professional reviewers.

Burke on April 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm

So Super gets one Obama? That means it’s good, right?

Might have to go see it now.

And Scre4m was awesome.

Cap'n America on April 20, 2011 at 1:28 am

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