May 9, 2008, - 1:07 pm

Weekend Box Office: Three New Releases, Three Headaches

By Debbie Schlussel
I don’t recommend any of the new releases at movie theaters, this weekend. All of them gave me a headache. I did not screen “Redbelt.”
* “Speed Racer“: This non-animated feature taken from the Japanimation series of the same name was more concerned with sets, costumes, and CGI backdrops than its substandard, boring, predictable story. Every second was manic dayglo and brightness everywhere. I was considering putting on my sunglasses in the dark theater. And it stars Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer. That’s annoying in and of itself.
Since there were many little kids at the theater and it’s being promoted as a kids’ film, I had to wonder why this movie contains the F-word, the S-word, and a little kid–Spritle Racer–giving the one-finger salute. Also hard to jibe that a movie aimed at little kids features bad guys putting a guy’s arm into a tank of hungry Piranhas to be eaten and a scene in which a man’s finger is eaten by them.

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The story: Speed Racer, played by Emile Hirsch, grows up after watching his brother racer, Rex Racer, crash and burn and die. Or did he? Speed becomes a great racer and is offered a big endorsement deal by the evil Royallton Corp (always those evil big businesses). Will he take it? Will he win the cross-continent road rally? And who is the mysterious, masked racer helping him out?
More importantly, do we care? In my case, for the entire 2 hour, 10 minute movie, the answer was a big, fat, “NO.”
* “What Happens in Vegas“: What Happens in Vegas should stay off the movie screen, if this is any indication. This movie was stupid, formulaic, tasteless, and a waste of time. Plus, it features four of the most annoying actors in Hollywood, including Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. It was supposed to be a comedy, but the jokes–for the most part–weren’t funny. Groanworthy, more than anything.
Diaz plays a woman just dumped by her fiancee and Kutcher a juvenile, immature man just fired by his wealthy father. Both of them fly to Vegas from New York and meet each other on a fluke. They get drunk, get married, and win $3,000,000 at the slot machine, just as they were planning their divorce. Then, they are sentenced by Judge Dennis Miller (yeah, that’s believable, plus his name is “Judge Whopper”–haha, funny) to live together as a married couple for six months before he divides the winnings. While scheming against each other, they predictably fall in love. Schocking. The end.
A cheesy chick-flick not worth your time. Certainly wasn’t worth mine.
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* “Then She Found Me“: This movie was directed by and stars Helen Hunt. But Hunt is so anorexically thin and gaunt, you keep thinking she just arrived from Auschwitz and can’t pay attention to the horrid story. While wishing she ate more than half a bean for dinner–and in her case, the camera simply didn’t add those ten pounds–you try to pay attention to the bizarre, way-too-quirky plot about a stereotypical Jewish woman whose biological clock is ticking and badly wants to have kids. She marries, then is quickly left by the immature Matthew Broderick. She meets and falls for an English man, but finds out she’s pregnant with the ex’s kid. She is adopted, and learns that her birth mother is the weird talk show host, Bette Midler. But wait, it gets worse. Her gynecologist is played by . . . Salman Rushdie? Hmmm . . . now, we’re getting close to the reason for the fatwah. (Just joking, no e-mails please–of course, I abhor the Muslim death-sentence fatwa against Rushdie.)
Skipworthy.

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2 Responses

Debbie, what was the rating of Speed Racer? Not that it matters anyway because the death moon circus will sell anything to kids behind the parents back.

Squirrel3D on May 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm

Is Hollyweird deliberately trying to kill the summer movie business this summer?
Susan Saranwrap in a movie? Instant skip.
How does Mr. Demi Moore keep getting movie roles?
Matthew Broderick, another instant skip…at least his wife made a good showing at the Kentucky Derby last week.
Too bad about the super annoying Helen Hunt, but at least her better looking twin Leelee Sobieski is holding up her end still.

Jeff_W on May 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm

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