February 17, 2012, - 4:50 pm

Weekend Box Office: This Means War

By Debbie Schlussel

If you’re looking to see a good new movie, this weekend isn’t it.  Go see something good that I’ve previously reviewed, like “Safe House” (read my review).  “Ghost Rider:  Spirit of Vengeance” was not screened for critics, and I could not screen “The Secret World of Arrietty” because the showing was held on the Jewish Sabbath.  What I did see wasn’t good:

*  “This Means War“:  This Means Waste of Time & Money.  This absolutely awful, excessively cheesy chick flick comedy wasn’t funny.  Not even close.  And it wasn’t too entertaining, either.  I love guns, And please, please, please, Hollywood, stop digitally enhancing every single character’s eyes so that they are brightly intense turquoise or cobalt blue.  No one has eye color like that in real life (except me when I wear blue) and it’s really annoying and a distraction.

Reese Witherspoon plays a single woman who runs into her ex-boyfriend and tries to make him and his new fiancee jealous.  The thing is, her chin looks more Jay Leno-ish than ever.  Despite that, two CIA agent super spies, played by Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, fight over her and proceed to use CIA bugs, tracking devices, and other surveillance in an overtly creepy way to get intelligence and try to win her over.  Maybe this was designed to make us outraged over the Patriot Act or investigating Muslims. If it is, didn’t work. At least, not with me. The thing is, this movie had a huge gay vibe to it, and the two CIA agents are sooooo way too close, I think they needed to get a room and some Frankie Goes to Hollywood music. Witherspoon was the third wheel in this clunker.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie gets a lot of gay traffic.  It’s that kind of flick.

Among the annoying details, Pine’s character is named, “FDR.”  Aw, how cute.  Trust me, President Reagan’s ghost isn’t jealous, as who would want your name or initials invoked in this garbage?  Also, they didn’t pay too much attention to which decade we’re in.  She meets one of the guys in a video store.  I don’t know about you, but all of my nearby Blockbuster stores closed about a year ago or more.  Nobody goes to these anymore.  The place looked like my defunct one-time employer, Tower Records.  The other guy tells people he’s a travel agent.  Um, are there still travel agents in this age of internet bookings.  Witherspoon dancing around in her apartment to “This is How We Do It,” by Montel Jordan–from two decades ago.  Um, no thanks.  The movie seemed dated, not that I cared.  ‘Cuz I just didn’t care about this movie or any of the people in it.

The movie is raunchy and rated “R” for a reason, but such scintillating, profound lines as, “My boobs are sweaty” (uttered by Witherspoon), just didn’t cut it for me.  Sorry.  Oh, and the Chelsea Handler fascination?  I just don’t get it.  The woman isn’t funny.  She can’t act.  She’s tired-looking. And, frankly, I think she serves as little more than a legitimate excuse for anti-Semitism (and please, don’t make me claim that hag–she’s NOT Jewish, since her mother isn’t).  Her lines in this “masterpiece” are even “classier,” with dialogue about fishing food particles out of her fat husband’s beard and testicle.  Eeuuww. Is this really what passe for “comedy” today?  Sad. There was just one good line in the movie: when Handler urges Witherspoon to sleep with two different guys at the same time because, “You think Gloria Steinem got arrested and sat in a jail so you could act like a little bitch? Get out there. You get flexible!” Yup, that pretty much sums up what feminism and Steinem were all about, not the noble crap purported.

I can’t name a decent movie Reese Witherspoon has done since “Legally Blonde” (and don’t forget that she later became “Legally Blind” in her dhimmi dhummi “Rendition” BS movie (read my review))  And this definitely doesn’t make the cut, either.  If you can’t tell already, I HATED this movie.  Skip it like the plague.  The movie is for airheads, who will love it.  For everyone else, you passed the IQ test if you stayed away . . . or wish you had.


Watch the trailer . . .

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29 Responses

Directed by McG. I don’t think he’s capable of making a good movie. Although I have to
admit that after viewing the Terminator film a second time it wasn’t half as bad as I
remembered it being.

DM: Spot on. Great minds think alike. McG does great action scenes and special effects, but NOT great movies. DS

Daniel Middleman on February 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Ah, well. Debbie, the guys from MST3K have a website called http://www.Rifftrax.com in which they have audiotracks that are synched to movies that you can download. “Thor” and “Captain America” are two recent movies they’ve torn into bleeding, funny chunks, and it is well worth it at about $4.00 per audiotrack. They also do riffs on bizarre short films that are also worth it. Occasionally, they will do bad grade B movies for 99 cents, such as Abraxas, which starred the other political atrocity Minnesota has foisted upon the US in recent years, Jesse Ventura. (Wellstone, Franken, Ventura, Lindbergh—many, many atrocities have been foisted upon the American public’s political scene by the State of Minnesota.)

Occam's Tool on February 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Thanks Debbs, witherspoon lost me as the half a fan of hers I was after Rendition,sorry to hear you liked Legally blond,Witherspoon is either over rated or she hasn t been given a script to match her (over rated) skills in years.

Juan on February 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Hey Debbie…how come …am I the only one that knows of you being on the radio with your movie reviews every weekend? you bet I love it,I think all your readers would enjoy it too.

Juan on February 17, 2012 at 6:23 pm

The one movie of hers I really liked was Election, the rest not so much.

Jo on February 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Any of you have permission to shoot me on sight if I ever go to a Reese Witherspoon movie. I hate cutesy movies and she’s apparently the Queen of Cute.

BTW, isn’t it funny how Michael Moore made the anti-capitalist movie but yet sued the Weinstens for millions he claim they bilked him out of?

Jeff_W on February 18, 2012 at 12:35 am

    @ Jeff shoot you with a camera or…..shoot you shoot you? ok I ll use my never been used black rifle.

    Juan on February 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Chris Pine looks like Michael C. Hall in that poster.
Maybe the movie was supposed to be more like “Spy v/s Spy” from MAD Magazine?
That’s kinda what I got from the preview.

ebayer on February 18, 2012 at 1:19 am

McG, before going to movies, directed music videos. His most famous was for Sugar Ray’s “Fly” which, in some shots, was filmed on a set which was almost a carbon copy of that used by the old “Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” in the early ’70’s (except for what was printed on the various circular setups). Small wonder that, given McG’s trajectory, the films he makes are not on the same planet (never mind the same level) as the classics of the olden days.

ConcernedPatriot on February 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

“The thing is, this movie had a huge gay vibe to it, and the two CIA agents are sooooo way too close, I think they needed to get a room and some Frankie Goes to Hollywood music.”

The “Tequila Sunrise Effect”, a common theme in Hollywood. (Even on cartoons like Mr. Crabs and Plankton on Spongebob Squarepants.) Subversive sodomite agenda. The raunchiness in movies like this is part of it, because it attempts to depict heterosexual sexuality as being as perverse and depraved as homosexuality is. (“In The Cut” by Meg Ryan is a great example.) Two metrosexual males fighting over a crass, unappealing, not particularly feminine promiscuous woman (Witherspoon SO did not age well!) the elements are all there.

The movie is so dated because (according to the man-hating feminazi Lisa Schwarzbaum at Entertainment Weekly, who was one of the few reviewers who liked the movie, which is really telling) it literally took so long to get it made. “The project was directed by the amped-up industry go-getter McG (Charlie’s Angels), and it’s had a long trial-and-error ­history. The initial script dates back a century — or at least about a decade — and the string of famous guys who didn’t take the dual lead male roles reportedly includes Bradley ­Cooper, Seth Rogen, Sam Worthington, and, stretching even ­further back, Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence.” Schwarzbaum hates heterosexual men but advocates for homosexuals, big time. Get this snippet in her review: “As is true in most buddy pictures, the real love in This Means War is between FDR and Tuck.” The gay agenda, even in cartoons like “Shark Tale” and “Madagascar.”

“Her lines in this “masterpiece” are even “classier,” with dialogue about fishing food particles out of her fat husband’s beard and testicle.”

Yep. After being exposed to stuff like this endlessly during your youth – and yes, kids with cable (which we do not have) do watch this stuff – why on earth would you want to be HETEROSEXUAL? It is so primitive, barbaric, and YUCKY! The folks on “Glee” are SO MUCH smarter, more civilized and sophisticated!

“There was just one good line in the movie: when Handler urges Witherspoon to sleep with two different guys at the same time because, “You think Gloria Steinem got arrested and sat in a jail so you could act like a little @#$%? Get out there. You get flexible!” Yep, encouraging women to make themselves unsuitable for men, and picking up plenty of emotionally scarring experiences to cause them to hate (and blame) men.

But hey … I am benefiting from the Blockbusters’ closing down, because we go from clearance sale to clearance sale getting the few movies that aren’t immoral real cheap!

“Maybe this was designed to make us outraged over the Patriot Act or investigating Muslims.”

Nah. The sole purpose was to depict men as acting like women, in a way that no mature, masculine male would ever behave.

“My boobs are sweaty.” Yep. Making women unappealing to men. It is all about brainwashing people into hating natural behavior and loving abomination. Ah well, off to watch “The Lady and the Tramp” (which I got real cheap!) with the kids!

Gerald on February 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

I actually love reading about movies that Debbie hates because she gets extra creative when describing how bad they are. And because I don’t waste my money, but I’ll never watch a movie with RW in it anyway.

samurai on February 18, 2012 at 11:54 am

The billboards along the freeway promoting this movie are as stupid as the movie portends to be.

Dustbag [Genesis 2:7] on February 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Reese is a Southerner who has to keep on proving to hollyweird ( and their immoral world) that she is JUST LIKE THEM. No class, no diginity and not a clue in her head. She hates all moral people and she hates the South AND HATES CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE.

Theres is no worse Southerner than a self-hating one.

Alabama Pride on February 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

So many great comments!

OT, I did not know that MST3K was still around! That was fun to find out because I used to love the show on Comedy Central. I am gonna check out all you said!

Juan, you must have satellite radio (as I do) and listen to Mike Church! I have been wishing to get his show on podcast, but no such luck. I miss it. (It’s on too early now to be in the room where my satellite radio is).

Like Jo I LOVE “Election”. Worth seeing if you haven’t. Only Reese film I like (other than that one when she was like 12 with one of the (now) troubled London twins).

Jeff_W, I so agree with you about that big, blobbish hyprocrite 1% Michael Moore. His hypocrisy can easily illustrate why people like me leave the Liberal movement once we see how they lie so shamelessly. Those with integrity can only lie to themselves so much.

Ebayer, I bet Chris Pine (although way dish-ier than Michael C. Hall) wishes he had a modicum on MCH’s talent.

Concerned Patriot is correctamundo…McG is a hack!

Gerald, as always, your post had chock-a-block interesting things to say. I enjoyed and concur with your take on Lisa Schwartzbaum. If you’re still pandering to the gay agenda like that in 2012, you’re a dog to the homosexual agenda. Those of us with brains gave it up for reality 12 years ago!!! Also, if their idea of a “sexy” stealth gay movie is one tucked in nicely to a faux heterosexual love triangle, it’s a bit too cute by half and must be a pro- BIsexual film. Ick, yuck, no thanks. “The Crying Game” and “Beautiful Thing” are two great movies that treat non heterosexual love stories MUCH BETTER and more respect. I love them both. I hate when Hollywood thinks then can insult my intelligence.

Plus, the other guy in the stupid billboard ( I agree with Dustbag/Genesis!) DOES look gay as a goose. No thanks. That whole billboard IS disturbing.

Samurai, you said it perfectly! That’s why I love her reviews even though I will only 2% like the movies she reviews. DS is an excellent creative writer. (My favourite movie reviewer on the web was “The Filthy Critic”…indeed, his reviews were absolutely filthy, but the best writing I had come across and I would almost die laughing! I don’t know if he still reviews as I took his word when he said he was quitting in the early aughts (2000’s). Creative writing is a talent many on the web lack.

Since we may have our own Stasi soon, I recommend “The Lives of Others (Das Lieben der Anderen)” on DVD. That was an amazing film and the guy who played the lead (I think he is dead (tort) now) in that is amazing!!!

I thought I was the only one who noticed Reese’s chin. I guess not!

Skunky on February 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Funny, when I saw the poster of the movie, I thought Reese was standing between two gay guys. No thanks, I don’t need to pay money to see that! Not to mention I don’t find Reese (what kind of name is that anyway?) attractive and her voice is grating. Why she gets so many accolades, I have no idea.

James D. from the Republic of Texas on February 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Glad to see somebody I respect thinks Chelsea Handler is not the least bit funny.

Being funny involves wit, intelligence, and/or timing. Hollywood knows none of these.

PitandPen on February 19, 2012 at 3:45 am

I saw Ghost Rider which Debbie didn’t see because it wasn’t screened for critics. Personally, I found this film funny and entertaining (though it had a slow, confusing start). Roger Corman-style pulp fantasy has made a minor comeback lately (with Drive Angry, Season of the Witch, and Jonah Hex being other examples); I’m a moderate fan of this subgenre. There’s a very appealing unpretentious quality to all of these stories along with an implied conservative subtext (for example, Season of the Witch, which also starred Cage, skewered politically correct ideology concerning feminism and witches). Ghost Rider has a lot of humorous inclusions, such as a series of images which supposedly depicts the devil in his various forms; it includes Hitler, various other tyrants and madmen and finally finishes with Jerry Springer.

Although I enjoyed the movie, I don’t really recommend it to anyone else who reads Debbie’s reviews at this site. The film appeared targeted to 10-year-old boys with their immature mindset, and I doubt there are any others of that type (besides myself) who visit here.

Burke on February 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

Off-topic: Kuhn at RealClearPolitics has a damaging analysis of Santorum. The RCP staffers are not mere political hacks.

I think it’s worth reading.


skzion on February 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Debbie didn’t go see “The Secret World of Arrietty” because it was shown on the Jewish Sabbath. I did though, and I’m glad. It’s a gem–sweet, strange, and thrilling. I’m pretty sure it will be in my list of top films for this year.

I was leery of going to see it because I knew it was based on Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers” which is often called a classic but which I’ve never liked because I’ve always considered it too cozy and whimsical to the point of being trite. The 1997 film adaptation (with Jim Broadbent) didn’t improve my view.

This film, though, was produced and written by Miyazaki (“Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Spirited Away”) and was a mix of the beautifully weird and tender as are his other movies–with fine conservative attitudes as well.

Burke on February 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

@Burke, I saw Ghost Rider 2, too, and I have a completely different take than you.

I loved the first one. This one is totally different. The first was more of a light hearted comic book like movie, this one was very dark and to me had one of those sort of weird vibe to it. It remninded me a bit of another recent Cage movie, “Drive Angry.”

I liked the movie solely because of Cage. I just love this guy in most anything he does. But, unlike the first Ghost Rider, I have no urge to see it again. It has a few funny bits that Cage seems to throw in so well in his movies, but not enough.

I’d give this a fourth of a Reagan if you are a Cage fan. If not, I’d give it a Marx, maybe two, for not being terribly interesting.

I wish they would have kept the tone more like the original. It missed Eva Mendes, too.

Jeff_W on February 20, 2012 at 1:04 am

Jeff, I agree with you that the first Ghost Rider was a larger, splashier movie with more stars and a lighter “comic book” tone. The films I named, in contrast, all have what you could call a “B movie” feel to them–which I like because I view them as riskier and more subversive (in a good way). If you saw Ghost Rider 2 hoping for a continuation of the first film, I can see how you could be disappointed.

As for Cage, I can personally take him or leave him. Like you, though, I did especially miss Mendes this time around.

Burke on February 20, 2012 at 5:29 am

Burke, I like B movies, too. Cage’s “Drive Angry” was that type, which Debbie hated if I recall, BTW.

But, after realizing this was a completely different animal, I was willing to give this credit on it’s own merits. I liked it while I watched it, but afterwards, I just didn’t have any fondness for it like the original. Not because it didn’t have the splashy big budget feel, but it just didn’t have an engrossing plot that involved me emotionally. I was like, OK, it was a decent movie that was much different than I thought going in, which I don’t mind if they pulled it off, but I still don’t love it. I’m glad I saw it, but I wouldn’t care much about getting the DVD like I did the original.

Again, even though I admire anyone willing to take a chance creatively, I think they should edge it back to more of a lighter tone than the original.

I’m predicting this movie has a 1 week bump at the box office and will very quickly sink.

Jeff_W on February 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

“Again, even though I admire anyone willing to take a chance creatively, I think they should edge it back to more of a lighter tone than the original.”

Wish there was an edit button, Debbie! The last part should say “lighter tone like the original.”

One more thing, I’d see this any day over that Reese Witherspoon movie. I’ll take any movie with a guy like Cage willing to do something different than the typical “Watch me because I am cute” Witherspoon movie where she’s not even trying. Why does Cage get the “In it for the paycheck” heat when Witherspoon is as bad if not worse as she’s just playing herself and not even trying?

Ashamed for me to say Witherspoon lived in Nashville at one time since I live just outside Nashville.

Jeff_W on February 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Jeff, your comment that Ghost Rider was “too dark” that you made above was not only true about the movie’s tone, but it was also literally true. About a fourth of the way through the film, I realized I could hardly see a thing, and so I took my 3D glasses off and watched the rest of it that way. In scenes that were especially blurry, I would put them briefly back on again.

    As far as your comment that you’d rather see a bad Cage movie than this new Witherspoon one, I’m definitely in agreement. My problem with the film wasn’t so much Reese, though, as the plot, where two men are fighting over a woman. I hate that plot! It has nothing in it for guys–it’s purely a female fantasy. Sweet Home Alabama was another one she did like that.

    So far I’ve heard nothing but bad about Reese from Debbie (square chin and nothing good since Legally Blonde”), Alabama Pride (“self-hating Southerner”), Juan and you, Jeff. I’ve always liked her, myself. She established her movie persona with Election where she played a conservative goody-two-shoes; filled that persona out more in the two Legally Blonde movies; and has more or less kept using it throughout her career. For example, in Walk the Line, she plays a pop singer who hates drugs and works to get Phoenix into a more conservative life style. My daughter admires Reese and sees her as a role model and I haven’t discouraged her from doing that. Even if artificial, I’ll take that type of persona over Cameron Diaz’s manipulative slut any day of the week.

    Burke on February 22, 2012 at 6:57 am

The week you review just one movie and it gets 2.5 Marx’s.


Yet the Whitney Houston “funeral” was a spectacular religious experience.

Your review of the funeral service, please.

Panhandle on February 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm

It’s a shame you didn’t review other movies. There’s a real good one out there called “The Secret World of Arrietty.” It’s very good. You’d love it.

Ghostwriter on February 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Your homophobic slant on the movie that you reviewed and absolute contempt for anything but your own narrow view is pathetic.
Makes me ashamed to know that you are a Member of the Tribe.

Mommy on February 22, 2012 at 10:25 am


Right is always Wrong on February 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

It’s simple. Everyone has a different sense of humor. If you don’t like Chelsea Handler, then you won’t like any movie she’s in. Just a tip. These type of movies aren’t for the uptight, full of themselves crowd.

Lp on May 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm

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