September 26, 2008, - 1:35 pm

Weekend Box Office: Very Little Worthy of Your Dollars

By Debbie Schlussel
Of the new releases out this week, I did not screen “Miracle at St. Anna,” but will try to post a review of that, later. Here’s what I did see:
* “Eagle Eye“: Two strangers (Shia LeBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) get calls on their cellphones ordering them to do things as part of a terrorist plot, or they’ll be killed (or their relatives). The plot appears somehow tied to his dead twin brother, a dead soldier. The plot against America is taking place after America relied on faulty evidence to strike a funeral in Afghanistan to get a terrorist leader (yeah, terrorist leaders would nevah evah be at Islamic funerals in Afghanistan, right?).
Soon, people all over the country are getting the call to participate in the terrorist plot. The FBI is onto it, as is military intelligence, both of whom chase the two main characters around the country. That’s the movie. I made it sound oodles more exciting than it actually is.


At first this movie seemed exciting, but it’s really just a waste of time. While it’s about a terrorist plot against America, here’s a hint: the “plotter” isn’t exactly human. And the fictional aspect of it doesn’t ring true–you don’t suspend your beliefs for this movie. I fell asleep during an extended action scene that went on way too long and wasn’t exciting, and I fell asleep again. Both times, I missed nothing.
Not exciting. Just slapped together. Only mildly entertaining, mostly boring and empty dressed up in exciting music and empty action scenes. Ho hum.
* “The Lucky Ones“: Despite Mr. Susan Sarandon a/k/a Tim Robbins as one of its stars, this movie about three Iraq war veteran U.S. Army soldiers who return home after injuries is not an anti-war movie. It actually could have been a good movie, as it shows how soldiers are greeted–by family and total strangers–when they come home.
But what started out as promising degraded into mocking of religious Christians, middle America, and people with Southern accents–all of which are embodied in one very dumb female soldier. It also degrades into very stupid sexual escapades and jokes regarding one of the soldiers’ injuries–his penis was hit by a piece of shrapnel and he’s not sure it will still “function”. Was this really necessary? No. Nor was this boring movie.
Mostly a waste of time. Skipworthy.

* “Nights in Rodanthe“: Another chick flick from the makers of “The Notebook.” It could have been worse, but also could have been better.
A woman and mother (Diane Lane) who is contemplating divorce because her husband cheated on her spends the weekend tending to her friends’ inn on a Southern coastal beach. A mysterious but semi-arrogant doctor (Richard Gere) is the only guest. He’s there to patch up things with the family of a patient that died. Soon they fall in love.
Nothing objectionable about the movie, just nothing great about it. Plus, been there, seen that. An okay movie as far as chick flicks go. But it plays cheap emotional tricks at the end.
* “The Duchess“: I already saw this movie earlier in the year. Then, it was called, “The Other Boleyn Girl.” Different figures in British history, same old story–a young girl (Kiera Knightley), an ancestor of Princess Diana Spencer, is married off by her mother to the Duke of Devonshire. She, therefore, becomes Duchess. But the Duke is cold and unloving and merely wants her for the purposes of bearing a male heir, which she has trouble doing. Soon, the Duke takes her best friend as a lover and they are forced to live together. Meanwhile, the Duchess is having an affair with her real love, the commoner Charles Grey, who becomes Prime Minister of England. And she bears his kid.
Tired of these stories about greedy British parents of old marrying up their kids to royalty they don’t love, while they love another. It gets old. Nice clothes and set design. Cool wigs. Not much else. Mostly miserable. Could have done without the gratuitous lesbian scene, too. Blechhhh.

* “Choke“: Look at the poster for this movie, above. It should tell you everything. The title of this movie is what you should do before setting foot in a showing of this horrid piece of celluloid trash. A loser who works at a colonial-style tourist attraction is addicted to sex and attends sex addicts anonymous meetings–having sex with members in the bathroom. Meanwhile, he visits his “mother” (a woman who kidnapped and raised him) who has Alzheimer’s at a mental facility. Pointless and extremely disgusting and creepy.
Skip at all cost.
they film the “dialogue” at “The Pink Pony”?

4 Responses

I just saw “Fireproof” which was out this week. It was quite good. It is the story of a firefighter whose relationship with his wife has degraded. She wants out, and he takes a “love dare” from his father to try and save the relationship. I thought it had a great message, and felt entertained by good-natured firehouse comedy and action interspersed with the serious issues that were being addressed.

Robert Sievers on September 27, 2008 at 8:23 am

12 hours later, I’m STILL LAUGHING at Joel McHale’s review of Nights in Rodanthe from The Soup last night..

dm60462 on September 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

I saw Eagle Eye last night, and I have to admit that I did like it. After it was over, I told my husband that it seemed like a mix of 2001, Terminator 3(homicidal computers), and Live Free or Die Hard–all my favorite types of movies. I was also drooling over all the technology.
I came out of the theater with a bit of an adrenaline rush and a major jones for the Microsoft Surface computer.

cirrus1701 on September 28, 2008 at 10:00 am

dm60462, I saw McHale’s review on The Soup, too. I love, love, love that show! McHale is awesome.
No way would I see a chick flick, most especially with Richard Gere.
But, to me, Diane Lane looks prettier every year. Hard to believe she gets even better looking the older she gets.

Jeff_W on September 28, 2008 at 9:01 pm

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