September 9, 2011, - 6:39 pm

Wknd Box Office: Warrior, Contagion, Creature, Attack the Block, Brighton Rock

By Debbie Schlussel

One of the best movies of the year–if not the best–this weekend.  One okay movie.  And the rest are absolute garbage.

*  “Warrior“:  If this isn’t my pick for best movie of the year, it will probably be in my top two or three.  Absolutely excellent.  Heart-pounding, non-stop action, entertaining, and patriotic.

As I noted when I initially wrote about this great movie, many movies are deemed as “the new Rocky” or “the next Rocky,” and none of them lives up to it.  Not even close.  This one does.  In fact, I think I might even like it better than “Rocky.”  This one involves Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), not pure boxing, and is, therefore, a little more violent, something to consider if you have young kids.  But it’s fine for teens.  It’s ultimately positive and uplifting, though there is a little melodrama I could have done without.

The story:  Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy play brothers, the estranged sons of recovering alcoholic Nick Nolte.  Both used to be boxers that he trained, but they have nothing to do with him because, as a drunk, he was bad to his wife (their mother) and them.  Edgerton is a high school teacher, husband, and father, struggling to save his family’s home.  And Hardy is a mentally off-kilter, angry U.S. soldier who served in Iraq, who seems unbeatable with his brutal take-no-prisoners boxing style.  Both train to win an international MMA competition in Atlantic City, and both have their struggles.  Edgerton is older, and his wife and others think he’s too old for this line of work, which could kill him.

Hardy, while agreeing to train with his recovering addict father (who is now a religious Christian), is very mean and obnoxious to him outside the ring.  Some of that was a little much and kind of painful to watch.  But, overall, the movie is riveting and the kind you want to applaud at the end.  While the movie is a little slow at first, it quickly speeds up all the way to the finish.  I loved the ending, too.  It stops at just the right moment.  And until that point, it’s full of suspense and thrills.

If there’s one drawback, it’s that the movie temporarily descends into political correctness.  At one point, the man to beat in the MMA competition is a Russian goliath, who wears the Soviet hammer and sickle.  But, as we all know, the Soviet Union is long gone.  A better choice for this villain would have been a Muslim goliath.  But, as we all know, it’s the first rule in Hollywood these days:  thou shalt not speak ill of Muslims.

Yet, even with this flaw, “Warrior” is still fantastic.  If you see one movie this year, see this.  Liking boxing or understanding MMA is not required.  But if you like those as I do, you’ll love this even more.

Absolutely my kind o’ movie!


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Contagion“:  The best thing about this movie is that the execrable Gwyneth Palestine-trow dies at the beginning.  Unfortunately, there are scenes of her after that.  And it also stars the even more loathsome Matt Damon, promoter of anti-American Howard Zinn and other BS. Add to that, 9/11 Truther nut Marion Cotillard.  Still I gotta review the movie.

If  you like doomsday or epidemic movies like I do, you’ll like the first half or so of this movie.  But, then, as it resolves itself, it’s boring, cheesy, and not very believable. And it’s a letdown.

An epidemic starts and spreads, killing millions of people worldwide.  And it can neither be identified, nor can a vaccine be developed because the virus keeps killing everything with which it’s spliced, etc.  Gwyneth Paltrow gets the virus in Asia, from which she’s just flown home to Minnesota, after a business trip.  She starts to get sick, and soon dies in front of her husband, Matt Damon.  On the way home from the hospital, he learns his young son has died, too.  Soon, the World Health Organization and the Department of Homeland Security are on the scene, seeking to trace the virus and find out how fast it incubates and spreads, how to contain it, and how to vaccinate it.

Meanwhile, there are riots on the streets, abandoned stores, and wanton crime and robberies of neighbors, as Damon and others struggle to make sense of it all.

A left-wing blogger (Jude Law) is constantly questioning the government with conspiracy theories and criticism, and his audience is growing.  The best part is that he turns out to be a fraud and a phony in the end, typical of many on the left (and, sadly, far too many on the right, too).  Also, a World Health Organization doctor tells his fiancee (or wife–it was confusing) to leave Chicago before the State of Illinois is quarantined, and he gets in trouble for it. You know those lefty do-gooders who work for the WHO always give their family and friends special treatment.

Like I said, the first part was great and riveting, but the second half is a letdown and makes you wonder if it was worth it.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Creature“:  I would say that this went from bad to worse, but it’s more like worser to worst.  This was sooooo absolutely awful, disgusting, and just plain stupid. Incest, a sister masturbating and making out with her brother, a half-alligator/half-human monster who looks like a bad Halloween costume, multiple topless scenes, and horribly cartoonish, creepy Southern hillbilly stereotypes are what this movie is chock full of.  No thanks.  I’d have walked out of this two minutes in if I didn’t have to review it.  It was that bad . . . and worse.

Four very unlikable 20-somethings are driving in the backwoods of Louisiana, where they stop at a convenience store for gas and learn of the urban legend of a half-human/half-alligator creature (or is it, half-crocodile?  I didn’t care, ‘cuz this movie stank that bad).  They go to the house in the backwater to find it, and camp out there at night, when they are terrorized by killers, the crocodile man, and the hillbillies.



Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Attack the Block“:  This British film has the usual liberal “we shall overcome with minority criminals” BS.  A group of violent teen Black and Muslim criminal thugs who rob and attack people are the heroes of this movie because they fight off aliens from their London-area apartment complex (“the Block”).  Uh, nice try, but thugs are thugs.  Period.  Most disgusting was the part when the police want to arrest the thugs and the woman who they robbed lies to protect them at the end.  Moronette.  Reminds me of the Americans who continue to assume the role of apologist for Islam.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Brighton Rock“:  Awful.  This British movie should have come with a Cockney decoder, because for the first third of it, I couldn’t understand a thing they were saying.  Speak English or give us subtitles.  A gangster thug in the ’60s murders a rival gangster and marries the one woman who can tie him to the murder to keep her quiet.  She’s a moron and a fool, and I wanted them all to die.  Slow, boring, pointless.


Watch the trailer . . .

25 Responses

Keep up the work Debbie. The haters will hate

jeremy on September 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Seems like he has a bad case of penis envy. He is probably just pissed off, that with all the security in NYC right now, he can’t get the truck into the city.

King David on September 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Attack on the Block seems more than a tad ironic after the August riots. I think we will take the space aliens over the human one.

Lan Caster on September 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm

As for the movie reviews, I to think Warrior is going to be a good film (not quite a great film) because MMA fighters happen to be the toughest SOB’s alive today (along with the wrestlers of TNA wrestling, in some matches in TNA wrestling, some of the wrestlers bleed in which it looks realistic, but we all know professional wrestling is fake/fixed). There are some former pro-wrestlers who are in MMA right now, ie, Bobby Lashley, Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, etc.

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on September 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Only problem I have with “warrior” is that the trailer ruins all but the end of the film. Spoiler alert if you didn’t watch the trailer, they tell you it’s the 2 brothers in the final fight. So whats the point, just watch it knowing who wins till the last fight?

I hate when movies do this, like “Castaway” they show you Tom Hanks getting off the island and going to his girlfriends house in the trailer. So 2 hours just waiting to see if she takes him back or not.

Or in “The Island” if the audience weren’t told in the trailer the island is fake, they would have found out the same time as the characters did. Or in “Up”, the talking dog’s. It would have had a bigger impact surprising the audience but instead the kids are sitting there waiting for them to get to the talking dogs.

Trailers should give you enough info to determine “do I want to see it”, not give away the whole plot. As it is, wait for netflix to see the last 10 minutes.

Ender on September 9, 2011 at 11:08 pm

You are stretching a bit by complaining about the “bad guy” in Warrior being a Russian instead of a Muslim/Arab. In the entirety of the sport, I cannot recall any relevant Muslim/Arab fighters; however, the best fighter in the history of the sport is a Russian whose fights were attended by Vladimir Putin. The choice of a Russian makes way more sense in the context of the sport.

Now, I would have no complaints about moving the backdrop of the story to a Muslim/Arab country, as Abu Dhabi has long held sumbission wrestling and grappling only tournaments, which helped subsidize the sport during the early 2000s, and held their first UFC last year. It would make for a better sequel concept than Sex and the City, especially with the religous reformed father character.

In the end, we get your hang-up with Islam and Arabs. We know you think they are bad, and everything that comes out in pop culture needs to reinforce that message; however, sometimes it really doesn’t fit into the actual context of the story.

EricG on September 9, 2011 at 11:17 pm

The weekend is ABOUT the HOLOCAUST:

EminemsRevenge on September 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Alright, after looking at the poster, and viewing the trailer for “Warrior,” I’ll point out the obvious: It would appear that Debbie Schlussel disapproves of tattoos on hockey fans, but finds them attractive on boxers.

I: If you saw the movie through the end, you’d know you are wrong. I don’t find them attractive on anyone. However, as I’ve noted before on this site, tattoos on men are not as big of a deal as tattoos on women, which is the international distress signal for “skank” and “easy.” DS

Irving on September 10, 2011 at 1:46 am

Gwyneth Paltrow dies?! Wow, what a great movie. A classic!

David Lanham on September 10, 2011 at 2:49 am

And there ain’t no hillbillies in Louisiana.

David Lanham on September 10, 2011 at 2:50 am

I’ve got to be honest – your comparing “Warrior” to “Rocky” does absolutely nothing to recommend the film to me. However, everything else I’ve heard and seen about it has me on the edge of my seat for it, plus it’s got the EXCELLENT Tom Hardy in it so I shall definitely be seeing it despite the comparisons.

“Brighton Rock” I’m not convinced about. The original was such a classic as was the book – sadly you disapprove of the storyline, but I’m just dodgy about most remakes of Classic Excellence. But if we can put up with diverse US accents in films, I’m sure you can handle several English ones if you try. 😀

As for “Attack the Block”, sorry to say I’m looking forward to it. After all, sometimes a banana IS just a banana with no political agenda intended and I’m damn well going to enjoy the silliness of it all on the most basic of levels.

The others, though… yeah, I’ll probably give them a WIDE berth.

Alison on September 10, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Debbie—I have a big question for you about “Creature”—is it a stupid enough film to watch in a “crap through the ages” marathon—you know, start with “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” go to “The Terror of Tinytown,” be enraptured by the multitude of Novelty Governors in “Predator,” be stunned by Mariah Carey’s Human Chipmunk face in “Glitter,” Enjoy the Swaziness of the Great Patrick in “Roadhouse,” and then conclude with two of the worst movies of all time—Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” and then this piece of merde.

    Is it a bad movie in that heavyweight class?

    Occam's Tool on September 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

“But, as we all know, it’s the first rule in Hollywood these days: thou shalt not speak ill of Muslims.”

Hollyweird and the left are afraid of Muslims, plain and simple. So are most Jews and Christians for that matter. It’s like we’ve all become pacifists now. I don’t get it.

Rick on September 10, 2011 at 6:04 am

Dear Debbie: I am a nice Jewish man of fading youth in need of a halachically Jewish and intelligent son who is of good character. Do you know a nice Jewish girl who might assist me? I prefer an attractive, fertile blonde who enjoys Judaica, Israel, Yiddish, Shabbes, matzoh ball soup, football and sleeping with me frequently. RSVP.

A1 on September 10, 2011 at 8:08 am

And with contagion—do we get to see Gwynneth die more than once?

Occam's Tool on September 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Hey A1, how about Monica Lewinsky in a blond wig?

Concerned Citizen on September 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Just watched the preview for Contagion. That is laughably bad acting by Matt Damon when he is told his wife is dead.

So Glynneth Paltrow gets the virus in Hong Kong, but conveniently doesn’t get sick until after her 17+ hour flight home, but her son gets it from her and dies when Matt Damon gets home from the hospital. And Matt Damon doesn’t get sick at all. How believable!

JM on September 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Damon turns out to be immune so he wouldn’t have gotten sick.

TV on September 11, 2011 at 11:22 am

Just watched the Warrior and am quite disappointed. Really slow, really too much melodrama (and The absolutely bogus one) and too much PC.
Have you met a physics teacher who works 3 jobs with his wife to keep his house? Aghh – those evil bankers… Or a hero soldier in Iraq who must become a drug addict and a deserter as result of his heroism? Sure – right there in the Hollyweird

AF on September 12, 2011 at 12:28 am

Just finished watching the fifth series of Dexter. Any one of the episodes is worth more than the last 100 movies churned out by Hollywood.

Nir Leiu on September 12, 2011 at 4:34 am

Eh None of the characters in attack the block are refereed to as Muslim, in fact there is not one mention of religion in the entire film, and as far as i can see there is no mention of the religion of any of the cast or people involved in the film making process. so i was wondering where you got the idea that the characters were indeed Muslim ?

J: HUH? I don’t need them to be “referred to as Muslim” to know. They looked like Arabs, and were played by actors with MUSLIM names. And we know who the majority of Arabs who live in the London projects are: Muslims. Get a clue. DS

James on September 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

Debbie there is no need to be rude or condescending in your posts i was merely making an observation. I have looked at the cast list and found very few Muslim names on there, And as for the actors that do have Muslim names, surely that has nothing to do with the characters they are portraying on screen. This film has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It is a sci-fi comedy movie, a bad one yes but still one that has nothing to do with religion, and as for them being violent thugs, that should not affect how good the film is for example goodfellas is about violent thugs yet still remains a great film.

J: OMG, your moronism is even worse than I had originally diagnosed. Get help. I’ll bet that Nazis were not German in your mind, either. Please get a brain transplant . . . FAST. DS

James on September 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Debbie why are you resorting to crude and childish name calling when i only wanted to discuss this movie with you, and merely asked why you believed this movie to be filled with Muslim characters when none are evident. Surely not every actor with a Jewish name will always play a Jewish character, the same thing goes for actors of every nationality and religion. Unless the religion is mentioned or is important to the characters story then there is no reason for it to be considered worth mentioning in the review. I have not insulted you in any of my posts so why do you feel the need to insult somebody who has been reading your blog for almost a year now.

James on September 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I saw Contagion. I came pretty much to the same conclusion that you did. However, I thought it was just rotten through and through. It was boring, and I fell asleep twice. I think the left wing reporter must have been a Julian Assange wannabe. I would not recommend this movie either. You gave it one Reagan. You were gracious!

Phillip Laird on September 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I just bought and watched “Warrior” on blu-ray. WOW!!! What a TREMENDOUS movie!!! Thank you for the review! I watched it twice just today and LOVED IT!

Your accurate and honest depiction of masculinity and femininity in movies and in life are what endear you to so many people. Keep it up..

PDMac60 on December 25, 2011 at 12:12 am

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