November 21, 2008, - 2:23 pm

Weekend Box Office: Mostly Good Movies, For a Change

By Debbie Schlussel
At the box office, this weekend, it’s a unique rarity: Three movies I liked and only one I did not.
* “Twilight“: Read my complete review. I mostly liked this slightly hokey, chick-flickish teen human-vampire love story. I liked it for the action adventure, the well-told story, the teen relationship without sex and with chivalry, the strong father characters, and the vampire aspects of it. Again, read my complete review.
* “Bolt“: This is what Disney is supposed to be about–a great, 3-D animated flick meant for kids, but extremely entertaining and enjoyable for this adult. Light, funny, and a great escape for you and your kids . . . or even just you. Don’t be turned off by the fact that John Travolta and Miley Cyrus voice two of the main characters in this. You forget it’s them.


A dog who plays a superhero on TV doesn’t realize that he really doesn’t have any magical powers and that’s it’s just a TV show. That is, until he is accidentally shipped across the country and desperately tries to make it back home to his beloved young female co-star, a pre-teen girl who loves and misses him. Bolt is accompanied along the way by a smart-aleck cat and superfan hamster, and meets many entertaining pigeons and other animals in his fun cross-country journey.
I like Israel’s Hebrew “Bolt” poster the best:


* “JCVD“: The initials stand for Jean-Claude Van Damme, who plays himself in this entertaining, funny movie in mostly French subtitles. JCVD returns to Belgium and is short on money, his career reduced to B-movies that are sold for millions overseas, but for which he’s paid a pittance. He’s in the midst of an American battle for custody of his daughter, during which lawyers cite the violence in his movies as a reason he shouldn’t get his kid. His lawyer is pestering him for money. Soon, JCVD finds himself in the midst of a bank hold-up, and the public, media, and police think the cash-starved, desperate JCVD is the one pulling off the robbery. It’s a great commentary on how society worships celebs, shown in the way fans cheer on JCVD, even though he might be a murderous bank robber. And it’s fun to see his interaction with other fans, such as a senior citizen Belgian female cabbie.
Aside from some slow moments and an unnecessary JCVD monologue in the middle, this movie is entertaining, but for the beginning, in which some Arab Muslim video store owners decry the “unfair” portrayal of Arabs and Muslims as terrorists in the movies. They obviously haven’t seen anything since 9/11, in which they are whitewashed ad absurdum. And the pre-9/11 stuff? Well, it was mostly accurate. This irrelevant propaganda was inserted by the film’s Arab Muslim writer/director, Mabrouk El Mechri, who should keep his baseless victimhood whines to himself.
* “Synecdoche, New York“: This movie was such pretentious, senseless, depressing piece of garbage, I walked out after about an hour, and wished I’d done so sooner. Feh. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a director of a community play in Schenectady, who soon finds himself in various silly, seemingly fictional scenarios of affairs with various women in his plays, and his wife leaves him and takes custody of his young daughter, taking a lesbian lover in Germany. At the same time, he’s also coming down with a serious illness that seems deadly. It’s like a bad imitation of a bad David Lynch movie. Non-sensical, disjointed, dysfunctional, depressing, and a mess. Skip this one at your local arthouse theater. In hell, they’ll make you watch this over and over.

One Response
Give up the FUNK y’all…WE done took CC:)
Eff the Reagans…George Clintons for a GOOD review and Sir Nose the GW Bush for the bullshiite;0

EminemsRevenge on November 21, 2008 at 11:58 pm

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