November 18, 2011, - 4:18 pm

Wknd Box Office: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Into the Abyss, Take Shelter, Tower Heist, Margin Call, Dream House

By Debbie Schlussel

I’m not into most of the new movies, this weekend.  I also added my reviews of “Tower Heist” and “Dream House,” since I didn’t post those previously:

*  “The Twilight Saga:  Breaking Dawn – Part 1“:  Ick. Ick, ick, ick.  I hate these “Twilight” movies, which are always the same thing:  two girliemen with sculpted abs–one, a vampire, and the other, a werewolf–fighting over the most sullen chick around, Bella.  And they are always the same audience:  some screaming, fawning teen and tween girls and way too many middle-aged cougar women wanting to play Jerry Sandusky to the teen- and twenty-something guys in the movie.  Oy.  Two years ago, I wrote about how these women creep me out and are as sick as middle-aged men fawning over young girls (and boys) are.  Read my column on that matter, as now–a few years later–the rest of the pop culture critiqueratti has caught on to (and repeated) my point.  Also, this morning, on my regular Friday Morning movie reviews on the SiriusXM Patriot Channel “Mike Church Show,” I told Mike that these women are the female Sanduskys, and he shortened it to Sandusky-ettes.  Spot on.

Then, there’s the issue of abuse of women.  The story of this long, boring, cheesy, silver screen version of a “Lifetime” movie with vampires, is that the human girl, Bella, marries Edward, gets pregnant on their honeymoon, and the baby vampire is quickly growing inside and killing her.  At the honeymoon, since her new hubby vampire gets violent when he has sex with humans and wants to bite them and drink their blood, he cannot restrain himself, and Bella wakes up with bruises all over her body from the sexual experiences.  Yup, just what you want your teen and tween to dream about:  waking up with bruises from her boyfriend or husband.  Dreamy, isn’t it?

Oh, and then there’s the charming part in which Bella drinks human blood so she can keep from dying and feed the vampire baby growing inside of her.  The blood comes in those pouches that they use to store the blood people donate.  Yup, that’s why you should donate blood–so a wife of a vampire can drink it to keep her vampire fetus growing.  YAY, let’s hear it for cannibalism!  If it sounds like I hated this movie, BINGO!

Guys, if your girlfriend or wife wants to see this, stay home.  Avoid at all cost.  You’ll need to shower twice to get the cheesiness cleaned off.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Into the Abyss“:  Germany’s Werner Herzog, who is against the death penalty, comes to small town Texas to show us what hicks, vermin, and trash small town Americans are.  Yup, the liberal Hollywood ethos has a German accent in this one.  However, if Herzog really wanted to convince people against the death penalty, he picked the wrong bunch.  I wanted to put everyone in this movie to death, including the narrator with the German SS guard accent (Herzog).  Every single person in this movie, perpetrator AND victim, was unsympathetic and annoying.  And all had a lot of family members either in jail or dead.  I think he’s secretly for the death penalty, a topic on which I go back and forth, because this was the trashiest bunch in America.

And it just wasn’t interesting.  He didn’t ask the questions viewers wonder about, like how the wife of one of the killers imprisoned for life happened to meet and fall in love with an imprisoned murderer.  The woman was a total moron.  But no worries, she managed to be inseminated with sperm she and her new hubby smuggled out of prison and is pregnant.  So glad that the criminals and killers of America spread their seed to harm further generations.

Long and boring.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Take Shelter“:  Although it was a little long and slow, I liked this arthouse thriller featuring a modern day Noah.  He’s a working stiff who does construction, and begins to have visions of various disasters and harm done to his family.  The man’s mother has a history of mental problems and his friends and wife think he’s going crazy, as he spends time building out a giant storm cellar, jeopardizing his job, finances, and even an operation for his deaf daughter to get a cochlear implant.  Even he thinks he needs mental help and seeks a psychiatrist.  But is he crazy, or a modern day prophet?


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Tower Heist“:  This comedy about a Madoff-esque billionaire (Alan Alda), who rips off the staff of his luxury high-rise apartment building in New York, isn’t that funny.  Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller both fail to pull off laughs in what is rather bland but mildly entertaining.  After discovering that their entire pension fund was stolen by the Alda character, the staff of the building in which he lives plots their revenge.  But first they must find out where Alda hid their cash, which the FBI can’t figure out.  And then, when they find it, they must figure out how to get their money out of the building undetected.  Wasn’t a great movie, but if you have two hours to kill, it’s okay.  While it’s slightly anti-capitalist in an Occupy Wall Street way, it’s more stupid and silly than anything else.


Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Margin Call“:  This is an Occupy  Wall Street fantasy, and it’s boring, even with a cast featuring Demi Moore and Kevin Spacey.  It’s about a fund of some sort or a stock brokerage that made a major error in its investment model which could lead to huge losses.  Many who were supposed to be secure lose their jobs.  You need to pay ten bucks to go to a movie to see this?  You can see it in the markets every single day in this Obamaconomy.  And nothing really happens in this very slow-moving flick.


Watch the trailer. . .

*  “Dream House“:  Daniel Craig is a book editor who retires to enjoy his family and their new suburban New York house, which they are fixing up.  But, suddenly, he has weird visions and things aren’t as they seem.  I’m tired of the “I see dead people” twist.  But this was mildly–very mildly–entertaining, if kinda silly.  Might not be bad for a rental, but I wouldn’t spend ten bucks on it.


Watch the trailer . . .

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33 Responses

I remember your diatribe (quite rightly!) on those “Twilight” movies and the over-heated and over-aged floozies who get all hot and bothered by junior girlie-men. As a person who has long enjoyed Vampire movies, I really hate this franchise. Hollywood ruins all the so-called “spoofs” on horror movies. I hated ‘Scream” when it came out as it was everything I hated in a movie. “Halloween” is a great classic and I really loved the original “Fright Night” when it came out in the VHS era 80s.

Another Werner Herzog film! I love his movies and films and I have learned all about his silly politics HERE and to find out is so disappointing. The few article I have read about him portray him as not into girlie Americanized yoga and zen crap (hence, there could have been hope he was more manly and cool). but Germans always throw one for a loop, I reckon.

AND you are correct about WH prolly secretly being for the death penalty. It is well-known that Werner Herzog had such a strange and contentious relationship with Klaus Kinski, he actually had a plan to murder him and was stopped by the vigilance of Kinski’s dog. Hypocritical. And now he wants to make a movie to act as if he morally superior and tell those of us who do support the DP that we are bad.

(I’ve always been pro-death penalty…minus a small window when I took a law class in high school and we met a man who was on death row for a crime he did NOT commit. So the Liberal indoctrination worked just a bit then I went back to my support of it because I have always had an understanding that people can be evil…and I want them to pay for it.)

Skunky on November 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm

your miserable life is getting to your movie reviews,you never like anything if americans raed and trust your reviews non would go to see a movie unless it is about how wonderfull the jews and israel are,you are so full of hate not only to muslim but to anything that is not so jewey,therefore your reviews are waste of time,why dont you move to israel and wait for your turn to be deep fried.

kay on November 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Kay, thanks for showing us you’re ultra hatred, etc. Why don’t you try and atleast stick to the topic or get lost for good, your the one who’s miserable that you decided to troll on this blogsite like the schmuck you really are. And Kay while where at it, I’m assuming your a muslim, why don’t you move to either Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, Pakistan, etc. and enjoy sharia law over there you loser! Debbie loves this country and puts this country first everytime, she’s way more american than your sorry ass Kay.

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

    Sean R. on November 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      …or London!

      Nir Lieu on November 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I’m a big fan of Riff-Trax. The movies are deliberately cheesy that they take on, the writers are Conservative (Mike Nelson has been on Ricochet and is friends with James Lileks), they hate Ron Paul, they’re funny, and it’s good to unwind to at night and go to sleep to.

    I generally use movies to escape, and I despise most Hollywood trash, By the way, Gnomeo and Juliet was quite cute, and an exception. And my boy loved Real Steel. I trust Debbie to tell me when any reasonably kid friendly mainstream movies come out.

    As for you, Kay, isn’t hard to type with your mouth full of your Jihadist John?

    Occam's Tool on November 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I would guess that you must be a closet Nazi, but you have revealed yourself so that there is no more “guessing”!

    texag57 on November 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Kay, your grammar is atrocious.
    You are the lowest common denominator.

    lexi on November 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

    anythingy muslimey is sucky and evily.

    kirk on November 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

Thanks for the reviews. I share your taste in movies so I trust them more than any other critics.

Kay, you’re a piece of —-. Your hate will eventually kill you, thankfully. Moms calling you for your sandwich. Now get your ass up those stairs.

samurai on November 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm

It takes the miss us & I nearly an hour to cursor thru rentals on cable. Most movies are meh. Thanks for the awesome reviews Debbie.

P. Aaron on November 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I can’t remember a movie ( other than kicking action or boxing) that DS recommended. Why are they bothering sending you the free tickets if you gonna hate them anyway? not good for business. kay, I don’t agree with 90% of the things DS writes here but I think you went little too far.

James on November 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm

James said,

“Why are they bothering sending you the free tickets if you if you gonna hate them anyway?”

Because dude, Debbie is a “movie-critic”, that’s why! If a film sucks, she tells it like it is, regardless whether you liked that film she criticized. And furthermore James, in the past, DS has reviewed films that she liked and gave a good/great rating, she doesn’t jusdt do the knee-jerk reason and give all films she reviewed a bad rating, that’ll be kinda irrational.

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

Sean R. on November 18, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Umm Sandusky is a pedophile, who forcibly raped young prepubescent boys. Older woman being with “twentysomethings” and guys in their late teens isn’t pedophilic rape lol. Why is it so hard to get simple things like that through your thick head?!! Plus, isn’t the vampire guy about 100 years old in the movie? Schlussel fail!

SchlusselFail! on November 18, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Um, wise guy who posted at 9:38 pm this evening, nobody on this blog and thread is defending Jerry Sandusky, Debbie called him out over a week ago on what he did to underage minor kids. Now to one of your sentiments:

“Older woman being with “twentysometings” and guys in their late teens isn’t pedophilic rape lol.”

Um, where did Debbie write in this article that a older woman who’s into young guys is pedophilic rape? RIF, She never said anything like that, you need to improve on you’re reading comphrenshion techniques. Here’s what DS said in her sentiment in the article:

“And they are always the same audience: some screaming, fawning teen and tween girls and way too many middle-aged cougar women wanting to play Jerry Sandusky to the teen-and twenty-something guys in the movie.”

That’s what she said.

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

Sean R. on November 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Kay, two words:

1. Capitalization

2. Periods

Louie Louie on November 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

For the poster at 9:38 pm, what I meant to say was, “where did Debbie write in this article that an older woman who’s into young guys in their late teens and twenties is pedophilic rape?”. I meant to say that, so I don’t want to confuse the anti-DS troll and others here!

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

Sean R. on November 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm

6 days until payday. No computer and commenting through an Android device. The first thing I’m going to do is get a decent video card for my sacred rig.

I don’t care about the “Twilight” franchise: since I am a guy, I don’t feel anything for an overlong H.I.M. video which more likely represents an overlong metaphor for tween girls over-exaggerated angst over construction. So, no thanks.

I never got into Warner Herzog’s body of work. I’m more familiar with the work of Warner Klemperer (Google it, kids). I don’t mind a debate on the death penalty as long as it were to be done by someone who would be more impartial. But this being reality, being impartial can be a risky and sometimes suicidal proposition, and Herzog already has a pre-existing bent. Plus, if you come from a country that once capital-punished anyone that clashed with the furniture, you’d be wary of the subject. That being said, that movie does not deserve to be made.

(To clarify, I am for the death penalty, as long as it’s made public. It’s barbaric, it borders on Sharia-Fascist, but look at any country with a tyrannical or authoritarian regime and ask yourself, “Do I feel safe walking the streets at night?”)

The Reverend Jacques on November 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I hate to say this, but I’d definitely wouldn’t mind going to see “Tower Heist”. Why? Eddie Murphy, that’s why.

But this weekend, it’s basic-cable tv, a couple of books and Angry Birds.

If you had my job, you’d be watching your wallet and debit card, too.

The Reverend Jacques on November 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

LOL on Werner Klemperer, Rev. When they played his sound bites on Howard Stern I always loved them. (“Will you stop it! Are you out of your mind!”). Mindful of DS’ caveats, I highly recommend the doco by Herzog called “My Best Fiend” about his weird relationship with Kinski. It’s so very strange and is where he explains that he and Kinski, respectively, have plans to murder each other.

James, DS is a film critic. You are lucky I am not a film critic because I would hate virtually EVERYTHING. I have not been overly impressed with films since 1991. I also prefer foreign. I love America, but America makes very crappy mainstream movies. DS loved “Taken” and “Inglorious Basterds” and she was right about those. Her track record is very good IMHO.

Sean, I think “Kay” is an infamous DS stalker here. A known Moooooooslim. I am pretty sure I remember that and that DS has banned “her” many times. Maybe someone else remembers and can correct me if I am mistaken?

Skunky on November 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Well Kay is a “Twit-light” sheep from what I’ve read there. Look at the comments that he..she… typed, with no periods, no grammar, and other things that an educated person uses.

Look pal, go entertain someone that still thinks you’re relevant. You are not welcomed on here, or the internet. You are irrelevant.

Squirrel3D on November 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Can’t anybody in Hollywood write a f*****’ movie anymore? Papillion, anyone? Boys from Brazil? Story, anybody? Characters that do more than look cool??

Not Ovenready on November 19, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I’m reasonably sure that there are people out there (not just in LaLa land) writing scripts with absorbing stories and believable characters. They’re just NOT getting produced!!!

    I know a retired L.A. lawyer (I’m not boasting) who likes writing about anything other than what he did for a living – and it’s that stuff which would make a great novel or screenplay.

    Which makes me wonder if you, Debbie, would consider developing some of your legal cases as a script or novel?

    (So long as you kept this site going!)

    Nir Lieu on November 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

As for my first post, I meant to type menstruation, not construction.

I love my Android, but it’s auto-spell occasionally gives me hemarrhoids. Damn you, Google!

And to Not Ovenready: I think the reason why most modern movies have barely any story is due to people having a problem with immediate gratification.

Either that, or maybe the screewriters are actually too illiterate to conjure up anything creative.

Download a BitTorrent client. Download a good movie. Don’t give Hippie Hollywood your money.

The Reverend Jacques on November 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

Now I’m beginning to doubt myself (or you). Where I didn’t hate “Martha, etc.,etc., Marlene” as you did, I cannot believe the two Reagans for the absolutely HORRIBLE “Take Shelter.” Now I like apocalyptic movies as much as the next guy, but this overly long, overly slow, overly boring flat-out steal of “The Last Wave” tests my end-of-the-world patience. This celluloid piece of ambien was funded in part, I believe, by the Screen Actors Guild, which goes to show you what money mixed with pretension buys you these days. It isn’t “Noah in Ohio in the 21st Century” because God is taken out of the equation. And where “The Last Wave” dealt with visions connecting to a universal myth, here the protagonist’s dreams and compulsions aren’t driven by anything at all – he just has them. God is not talking to him; the ancients are not talking to him. He isn’t trying to interpret his visions; he’s just driven to act of them . . . without really explaining to anyone, especially his wife, why he’s doing it.

Even some of his dreams are unrelated to anything: he dreams his dog attacks him, so he pens in, and then gets rid of, his dog. The dog has nothing to do with apocalyptic ending. He sees birds swarming. They have nothing to do with the ending.

The only smart thing about the movie was a beautifully played out scene where his wife, faced with the family’s financial ruination due to her husband’s inexplicable behavior (and again, it’s inexplicable BECAUSE HE DOESN’T TELL HER WHAT’S GOING ON IN HIS MIND), details a practical way to salvage the situation: part-time jobs, pay for insurance out of their pocket until the daughter’s surgery, etc. THAT was good. Leave it to women to be the ones to figure out how to make it to the end of the week while men are brooding (silently, of course) about world calamaties.

G: In reading your comment on “Take Shelter,” I have reconsidered and downgraded my rating of the movie to half a Reagan because you make good points. However, I hated “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” and I stand by my rating of that. DS

gmartinz on November 19, 2011 at 1:34 am

    “The only smart thing about the movie was a beautifully played out scene where his wife, faced with the family’s financial ruination due to her husband’s inexplicable behavior (and again, it’s inexplicable BECAUSE HE DOESN’T TELL HER WHAT’S GOING ON IN HIS MIND), details a practical way to salvage the situation: part-time jobs, pay for insurance out of their pocket until the daughter’s surgery, etc. THAT was good. Leave it to women to be the ones to figure out how to make it to the end of the week while men are brooding (silently, of course) about world calamaties.”

    Was that smart, or was that Hollywood feminist male-bashing and trashing of husbands and fathers (as opposed to homosexuals and promiscuous metrosexuals) as usual? When you add it to George Clooney’s mocking of a middle-aged father/husband, it creates a theme of the week.

    Gerald on November 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

“if you come from a country that once capital-punished anyone that clashed with the furniture” – LOL 🙂 Rev J, thanks for the chuckle! Yours and Skunky’s posts are always a fun and informative read at movie review time.

I’ve wasted time and money because of reviewers that fawn over most anything Hollyweird puts out. Where’s the “critic” part in that? Instead of to wading through some self important critic’s crapola, I prefer DS’s straight and forward reviews . She explains why she dis/liked a movie which makes it easier for me to make up my own mind if I really want to see it or (usually) not.

BTW, wasn’t the whole Noah’s Ark theme (Take Shelter) just used in Evan Almighty?

theShadow on November 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Debbie Mazal Tov on the Lions bounceback win today. Their season may not be Mosciach worthy but the win was important for playoff consideration. I don’t know if you reviewed it or not but I just saw “Red State”. It was watchable but the plot with a right wing church secretly killing gays and then protesting at their funerals was a bit much. G-d forbid any non-white, Christian group conspired against anyone. The scenes where the local Republicans drank the blood of minority children and poisoned the wells was my favorite. To add insult to injury there was no nudity and you’d think Jews didn’t exist. Debbie I am shopping for your Hanukkah present so pls let me know which candle night I can deliver it in person.

A1 on November 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm


Great reviews. As I have said in the past I WILL NOT support any movie coming out of Hollywood today. Your reviews confirm my decision not to support these horrible movies. I watched a movie on Turner Classic Movies the other day and enjoyed it with good dialog, no dumb sex thrown in, great story, good actors that you can understand each word they say, no hate America and it left me with a good feeling when it ended.

They cannot make good movies any more. They have lost the great talent Hollywood once had. I say enjoy the movies of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. We have gone downhill since then.

Fred on November 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I refuse to see most Hollywood movies as the money earned goes to Arabs who financed the picture, or to the Democratic Party, which is almost as bad as the first cause.

Jonathan E. Grant on November 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Sorry, gonna watch “Thor” again.

Tanstaafl on November 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Where’s Christopher Lee when you need him? I’ve had enough of these fruitscake.

Patrick on November 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

“Ick. Ick, ick, ick. I hate these ‘Twilight’ movies”–what happened, since you gave the original “Twilight” three Reagans?

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Filme on April 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

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