January 9, 2009, - 2:34 pm

Weekend Box Office: Feel Good Post-Holocaust Jewish Exorcism Movie of the Year & Other Crap, Semi-Worthy “Wrestler”

By Debbie Schlussel.
Not much to rush to theaters for, this weekend:
* “The Wrestler“: I had mixed feelings about this movie. It’s one of the most depressing films ever. Plus, it features topless strippers, a gross sex scene (after lines of cocaine), shooting up steroids, etc. On the other hand, Mickey Rourke is phenomenal in a role that was perfect for him, and it has a sort of good message. It just took a lot of ugly salami-making to tell it. If you’re nostalgic for the ’80s and/or like pro wrestling, you might like this. But it’s not a feel good film. And it’s not for kids . . . or anyone under 18, in my view.
Rourke plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a big-time wrestler in the ’80s who is now down on his luck . . . and still living in the ’80s. He makes his (very little) money in small-time wrestling venues and signing autographs at youth clubs for now adult fans of his from back in the day. He withstands getting stapled by a staple gun and other painful stuff in the pre-planned, but still rough and tough, wrestling bouts. He listens to ’80s metal music, like Ratt’s “Round and Round” and spends his time at a strip club pining for an aging stripper (Marisa Tomei), who is also too old for her “stage” and hasn’t moved on.


Randy lives in a trailer, when he isn’t locked out by his landlord for non-payment of rent. We see him spend his days getting his hair bleached, going to tanning beds, and shooting up with steroids to maintain the wrestler physique in his fifties.
And then, there’s his daughter, whom Randy abandoned along with his wife. He badly wants a relationship with her, but he just can’t get it together. He sacrifices everything to remain a wrestler and to hold on to the past, even though his past might kill him.
Not recommended for a happy, escapist movie experience. But well done for its point, which is: grow up and be a responsible adult, or you will lose everything chasing after a past that can be no longer.
* “Bride Wars“: Completely moronic. It’s an embarrassment even to chick flicks to call this absolutely horrid, completely stupid movie a chick flick. But it is. Guys, do whatever you can to avoid taking your wife or girlfriend to see this two-hour exercise in pain management. Far worse than a visit to the dentist.
Two childhood friends (Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway) dream of having the perfect wedding at New York’s Plaza hotel. But when they both finally get the two wimpy, girlie-man they are living with to propose to them, they accidentally have their weddings scheduled on the same day. Neither will bow out, and they become bitter enemies over it, trying to sabotage each other.
But this is no funny catfight. It’s just mean, bitter, and stupid . . . kinda like Kate Hudson, who seems to be quite bitter about Americans. Not fun to watch Just torture. Extremely skipworthy.

* “Revolutionary Road“: An anti-capitalist, far-left attack on America’s middle class, marriage, the nuclear family, and the suburbs. Based on a book of the same name by a man who was basically a communist and didn’t like the fact that Ameica’s suburbs helped Americans become upwardly mobile, self-sufficient, and home-owners.
Leonardo DiCaprio (more like “DiCrapio” here) and Kate Winslet play a young married couple who are both unhappy with their suburban lives and marriage–and, in his case, his corporate job. They both cheat on each other and constantly yell and scream at each other. The end. Completely pointless and a lie. Propaganda Karl Marx would be proud of. Long, boring, and great for insomnia. I fell asleep several times during this hifalutin’ version of melodrama.
A great commentary on this movie is Lee Siegel’s “Why Does Hollywood Hate the Suburbs?”–a must read.
* “The Unborn“: The feel-good post-Holocaust-Mengele-Twins-Experiments Jewish Exorcism thriller movie of the year.
I don’t think I’ve seen a more preposterous, unintentionally hilarious, absurd movie in the last decade. In this how-did-they-get-this-script-greenlit? flick, a beautiful college student is haunted by images of a young boy, and bad things begin to happen all around her.
Oh, and her mother committed suicide after a long bout in a sanitarium. Soon, she finds out that she is a twin, whose twin died in the womb, and that she is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor whose twin brother died in Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele’s twin experiments. So, she gets a Jewish exorcism–new to me–and uses all kinds of Jewish kabbala stuff to get her dybbuk (haunting spirit) exorcised.
It is funny to watch “Rabbi” Gary Oldman (nice yarmulke, dude!) trying to pretend to speak in Hebrew from an obviously transliterated script. Like my friend, reasonable liberal movie critic Cory Hall joked, with all the Jews in Hollywood, they had to cast Gary Oldman as the rabbi?
All of this is accompanies by numerous gratuitous butt, belly, and bikini underwear shots.
What a waste of time, and as a religious Jew, I laughed myself silly in disgust and disappointment at how ludicrous this is.
The Boys From Brazil” (read my review) was a great thriller invoking Dr. Mengele and the Nazis. This was just dumb schlock.
Please, Never Again.

* “Not Easily Broken“: Based on a book by respected conservative Black Rev. T. D. Jakes, this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And it was actually entertaining. If you wanna see a lot of “No, You di’in’t”s and overbearing wives and mother-in-laws fighting in fun catfights over interracial affairs, etc., this is your movie. I laughed a lot (even though I don’t think that was always the intent). I liked the message, even if it was delivered in a really heavy-handed, somewhat cheesy way.
Talented actor Morris Chestnut plays a Black baseball player, whose career is cut short by an injury. He’s married to a materialistic, self-centered, extremely shrewish Black woman who doesn’t want to have kids yet. Chestnut–who earns a decent middle-class living as a construction company owner–can’t keep up with his wife’s spending habits, while she can’t tolerate his mentoring and coaching of a Black inner city baseball team for boys. He’s a great husband who tries to do the right thing, but isn’t appreciated. Plus, he’s henpecked by his wife’s obnoxious mother-in-law. Soon, Chestnut finds himself infatuated with a White woman who looks like Cindy McCain 20 years ago. And he must decide whether or not to leave his marriage.
This movie has a ton of melodrama and is kind of a “morality chick flick.” Still, it was entertaining, even for the guys.

3 Responses

What the hell happened to Kate Hudson? She had such a strong start to her career with “Almost Famous” and since then she has made one stupid chick flick after another. She’s a joke now.

Rich B on January 9, 2009 at 10:32 pm

T.D. Jakes – a “respected conservative”?????? He’s a prosperity-gospel pimp who twists Scripture to excite and satisfy sinful people. No Christian should blithely accept anything from Jakes – it’s certain to be twisted.

sbrogden on January 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

T.D. Jakes – a “respected conservative”?????? He’s a prosperity-gospel pimp who twists Scripture to excite and satisfy sinful people. No Christian should blithely accept anything from Jakes – it’s certain to be twisted.

sbrogden on January 12, 2009 at 9:21 am

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