September 13, 2013, - 6:18 pm

Weekend Box Office: The Family, Austenland, Adore

By Debbie Schlussel

Nothing that great and new at the movies, this weekend. I did not see “Insidious 2,” as the screening was at the same time as “The Family.”



* “The Family“: I had mixed feelings about this. Luc Besson, a director whose stuff I usually admire, was also at the helm of this one. But the movie fell flat in a few ways. It’s incredibly, unnecessarily violent, and for a dark comedy, it’s not that funny. It’s not a movie for kids, and not just because of the violence, but the language. It’s full of F-bombs and so on. On the other hand, it is a light, relaxing movie, but I’m not sure what the point was. None of the characters are likable, and it’s kind of a waste of time.

Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, in novel roles for them, play, respectively, a mobster and his wife. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Seems like that’s all they play. Ever. They and their two kids–a son and a daughter–are in the witness protection program and keep having to be relocated by their handler, Tommy Lee Jones, because De Niro keeps roughing up the locals throughout Europe. Now, they are in Normandy and bored to death. Meanwhile, the mobsters whom De Niro ratted out–particularly the Don–are plotting to find and murder De Niro and his family in revenge.

If you are a De Niro superfan, you might like this. And like I said, it’s light and entertaining, but distastefully violent and pointless. And just not entertaining enough to spend ten bucks-plus on. It might be better to be estranged from “The Family.”


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Austenland“: Help, I’ve been dropped in a Jane Austen concentration camp, and they won’t let me out!

This is another one I had mixed feelings about, but mostly on the negative side. Keri Russell plays “Jane,” one of those women who is obsessed with Jane Austen books and fantasizes about living in that time and romancing Mr. Darcy. So, she spends her life savings to attend “Austenland,” a fantasy vacation world in England, owned and operated by Jane Seymour, where no modern appliances or accoutrements are allowed, and actors are hired to “romance” the guests. Jane is treated shabbily by Seymour because she only purchased a “copper” package, not the more expensive “platinum” one. Forced to compete with the other guests for two male actors, she falls for the help.

I’m making the movie sound far better than it is. It’s mostly dopey and like a bad ’80s movie, with a bad ’80s (and ’90s) soundtrack to boot. The jokes are silly, the characters–particularly one played by the awful Jennifer Coolidge (whose “acting” career should be shot and put out of its misery)–are annoying and stupid. And I felt like I was trapped on a dumb episode of “The Love Boat,” Jane Austen edition.

The idea for this movie–a woman facing her unrealistic fantasies taken from classic novels and finally growing up to live in the real world–was interesting and could have made for a very interesting flick. But the execution was just uber-vapid and ludicrous.

The ending isn’t bad, and the movie gets better in the last fifth or so. But it’s just so bad to begin with that all things are relative. And it’s weird that a dumb comedy with so much stupidity suddenly gets too serious and likable in the last moments. But that doesn’t make this nearly worth sitting through. This is supposed to be a comedy, but, amidst the moronism, there are few genuine laughs to be had. Except on the ticket buyer. The joke’s on you, even if you are a Jane Austen obsessive-compulsive.

By the way, I think I can hear the sound of the whale bones in Jane Austen’s corset crackling as she turns over in her grave.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Adore“: This is possibly the most warped, incestuous, weird movie I’ve seen. Or at least in that category with only a few others. If this movie were made with the genders reversed, there would be holy hell to pay about men having sick, nearly-incestuous, very creepy relationships with young women who are like their daughters. And, yet, this is promoted and pimped on us by celeb magazines as a “steamy soap opera.” And The Guardian incredibly called the movie, “brave” and “masterclass.” But, hey, if you use the concept of “cougars,” it’s a-okay, right? Yay, feminism!

Two Australian best friends from childhood (Robin Wright–the ex-Mrs. Sean Penn who does a crappy Aussie accent–and Naomi Watts) are now middle-aged women with gorgeous, barely legal, surfing Adonises, who are only 17 or 18. One (Watts) is a widow, and the other (Wright) is growing apart from her husband, who wants to move to Sydney. Both the women live on the Australian coast in fabulous houses and have fabulous jobs in addition to their fabulous, hunky sons (Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville). Soon, each finds herself having a sexual relationship with the other’s son. Ultimately, they end their warped sexual relationships with the two adonises–or do they?–when one of them falls for a girl his own age and decides to marry her.

This movie is so messed up, I cannot put it into words. But it draws you in with its glamour and unlikely symmetry of fabulous lives of the Australian well-to-do and the nice scenery–natural and human. But it’s still just sick. By the way, this “Fifty Shades of Greying Women Bleached Blonde” is based on a book called, “The Grandmothers.” (And I think one point of this movie is to show us that “grandmothers” Wright and Watts still have good enough bodies to sport bikinis and bed male teen hotties.)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to know about any grandmas’ pedophiliac fantasies, and I don’t wanna see ’em onscreen. There ain’t nothin’ “Adore”-able here. Not even close.

See, if only Ariel Castro had written a novel about his exploits and made a movie. And if only he and his captives were better looking, they’d have a movie, right? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The West is now so warped that this is now “high-brow” cinema.


Watch the trailer . . .

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27 Responses

I never understand Hollywood. These crappy movies never make money. If I was a movie executive, I would make family friendly movies. Whenever a good one comes out, the entire family goes to the movies. My studio would make a fortune. I think it is appropriate to say that all studio execs (Jewish and non-Jewish) should spend this Yom Kippur atoning for putting out this tripe.

Michael on September 13, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Every week, for God’s sake, there are at least a couple family-friendly movies. Every Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks animated feature film answers to that description — and lately we’ve been inundated with them, from “Rio” to “Brave” to “Toy Story 3.”

    Seek on September 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

      Excluding animated films there are hardly any g or pg rated movies. Historically pg movies have made more money than r rated movies so why does Hollywood fight economic reality?

      Michael on September 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

Australian cinema has been horrible lately. I can’t remember the last good Aussie film I saw. I’m not shocked Robin Wright did a crap one. It’s amazingly hard to even do a poor one and her Swedish one was pretty crap in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.

When I heard of this film (which was just today…) I wondered if she would play a Yank. Only because I knew she couldn’t do a good Oz accent.

I find the premise just as disgusting. ANYONE ‘dating’ anyone heaps younger has issues and can’t relate to mature equals. It’s not sexy, just sick.

But I believe this premise could be filmed because women are skanked out pervs just like men in 2013. There is a phenomena of older women (mostly teachers, but not all…) having sex with teens and pre-pubes to a disturbing degree. Doesn’t get much attention in USA but the British papers hi-light them. It’s disturbing and awful. Women are NOT better than men. Especially not in 2013.

Skunky on September 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

“Australian cinema has been horrible lately.”

“The Road Warrior”, “Gallipoli”, “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” and “Muriel’s Wedding”… that’s about it in the last 30 years or so.

DS_ROCKS! on September 14, 2013 at 4:34 am

    DSR, you did indeed name all my favourites! Mad Max you prolly meant too (the 1st RW!). Lately though I have been underwhelmed with Aussie films I have seen.

    “Lantana” is a good flick and there are some mediocre ones I like more than I should…”Two Hands”, which isn’t that good but the performances of Bryan Brown and David Field (a powerhouse Aussie actor not well known but should be…and he’s not given many roles lately that I know of…) make it better than it is. I also liked “Animal Kingdom”, “The Hard Word” and “Beautiful Kate” which was kinda weird and directed and written by Bryan Brown’s wife Rachel Ward. I’ve also seen others that are just like “meh”.

    I’ll also add “Picnic At Hanging Rock” to your list. It may annoy some (as it did me when I first saw it…) but others will appreciate how lovely and haunting it is.

    Skunky on September 14, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Hey, thanks for the recommendations, skunky. I’ll definitely look for those.

      And,yes,I forgot to mention “Mad Max” (or even “Thunderdome” which I’ve learned after seeing it again 25 years later that it has a tiny bit of redeeming value), but “Road Warrior” was George Miller’s tour de force and is a permanent fixture in my top ten movies of all time. Conservatively, I’ve watched it about 100 times. In fact, “dog” holding the bone tied to the trigger and the rabbit going by is my all-time favorite movie scene.

      DS_ROCKS! on September 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      The Last Wave – but now we’re going back 40 years or so. Picnic at Hanging Rock was annoying the first time I saw it ( can moving pictures move any more slowly?), then fascinating the second time. Then again, Last Wave, Picnic and Galliopoli were all by the same director, the great Peter Weir (who made one of the great conservative movies of all time, “Master and Commander”).

      gmartinz on September 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Oh, I meant to add the late, very great Australian actor Bill Hunter was in all those flicks you listed but for “The Road Warrior”. 😀

    Skunky on September 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

    May I recommend the LIGHTHORSE MEN… really great Cavalry charge by the Aussies in WWI. Good story and TRUE!

    It is just ME AGAIN on September 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

More trash coming from (the once great) Hollywood. Boycott this trash.

We just watched The Sea Wolf with John Garfield, Edward G. Robinson and Ida Lupino. GREAT. What great acting. And attractive actors not like what is coming out of Hollywood now.

Fred on September 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

“Adore” should be renamed “A Whore.” This is another movie made to push against the barriers of incest and sleeping with teenagers or even younger kids. Squallidwood is pushing this junk while it loses money. The entertainment industry is in the hands of immoral degenerates who want to bring down the society to their sewer pipe level. That is the only explanation. If making a profit were the motive, particularly in the movies, the scumbags would make G and PG rated movies.

Concerned Citizen on September 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

My ex is a Jane Austen fan, and automatically orders everything like this crap on blu ray so I know she’s going to buy that as well. I get to laugh about that. Then she’ll definitely buy the stupid Adore movie with the twisted “cougar” theme and probably act on it as soon as possible. Wonder how many infections will be partially because of these disgusting holly weird piles of crap. At least one I am certain of.

samurai on September 14, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Usually with a bad economy come good films. I mean, the Depression brought with it wickedly wonderful novels, inventive dancing, incredible jazz, classic comedies. So they should be arriving any minute … Any minute now…

Andrew on September 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Love all those HARRY WARREN tunes from the GOLD DIGGERS series in the 30’s and Lullaby on Broadway and MORE. He was a wonderful composer and an all around nice man. He is a relative, I must confess. ON the Italian side of the family.

    It is just ME AGAIN on September 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Saw Adore the other day, yeah really creepy and uncomfortable. Debbie it was kinda made in reverse, Blame it on Rio from the 1980s, with Michael Caine. But that was funny, a comedy even if a twisted one. Adore was not funny in the slightest, at least not intentionally.

The only thing I disagree with Debbie on, is that Robin Wright’s Aussie accent wasn’t too bad, but otherwise this film is just ridiculous. A good cast and a really good screenwriter who are clearly just slumming it. I mean I was embarrassed for them all. I felt embarrassed just watching it.

Larry in Tel Aviv on September 15, 2013 at 2:34 am

Mom swapping!

See,it’s like wife swapping only without the adultery. 🙂

ebayer on September 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Robert De Niro plays this part like Obama’s teleprompter does the redistribution speech. over and over. Boring.

pat on September 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I saw The Family. It was odd. They advertised it as a comedy, but it hardly was. I think all of Hollywood is on a complete disconnect and has hardly come up with anything original since the 1970’s/80’s. I mostly watch foreign flicks. There are plenty of excellent old movies, foreign movies and the very few good new ones to keep me occupied. Even though most movies are fragmented and brain dead, most of their audience is also.

Have to disagree with Skunky on Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Swedish version. Add in the two other episodes, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and The Girl Who Played with Fire, I thought the trilogy was excellent. OK, Skunky, tear me to shreds …

Pray Hard on September 15, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I wouldn’t do that to you, PH! 😀

    I think you may have misunderstood. I have never seen the Swedish trilogy of TGWTDT. I really want to but have not yet.

    I have seen the Yank version and I love it way more than I should. I don’t know why…but I just commented that Robin Wright’s accent in it wasn’t that good.

    I bet the Swede version is better so I hope I see them soon so I can compare & contrast.

    Skunky on September 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Couldn’t sit still for 3 minutes of “Dragon Tattoo.”

    If a movie takes longer than that to pique my interest, then it’s too haughty for me.

    DS_ROCKS! on September 17, 2013 at 4:36 am

Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Hell On Wheels, The Americans; throw in football season, Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Mountain Men … (I’m still trying to buy into Low Winter Sun) why should I pay $10 + to sit next to someone needing to post on Facebook every 5 minutes, and pay $7.50 for a large Coke?

Ruckus_Tom on September 16, 2013 at 9:34 am

The reasons this movie “Adore” is produced with its pedophiliac tendencies is because Hollywood is dominated by left-wing Marxist Jews who hate this country, hate Israel, hate Christians and conservative Jews (like Debbie Schlussel), and adored Muslims, pedophiles, gays, perverts, and America haters. The Hollyweird people continues to do anything to bring down the entire Judeo-Christian Western civilization and traditional American ways of life.

Bob on September 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

Di Nero is certainly capable if playing roles other than gangsters, but–no doubt about it–he’s been typecast in such roles ever since Mean Streets and The Godfather II. Unlike another great Italian actor, Al Pachino, Di Nero did not take other completely different roles (like Pachino did in Serpico and And Justice for All). You can see his broader talents in some of the independent movies he’s done. And Di Nero did not take Pachino’s later advice to do Shakespeare in the theater, suggesting that Di Nero’s accepted that being a gangster is the best type of role for him.

At any rate, for your entertainment, here’s the great stand-up comic, Frank Caliendo, doing a Di Nero impression:

Ralph Adamo on September 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I think Pacino is overrated and Di Nero under.

    DS_ROCKS! on September 17, 2013 at 4:32 am

I actually liked The Family. It was a dark comedy and I if you go in knowing that you won’t be disappointed. The actress who played the daughter was gorgeous so I am sure the men will appreciate it.

CJ on September 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm

The Israeli army is in Kenya to help root out Islamic terrorists who took over a mall:

It was an appalling of brutality. The Kenyan President lost family. And Kenya has historically been Israel’s closes friend in Africa.

NormanF on September 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

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