November 1, 2013, - 5:43 pm

Wknd Box Office: About Time, Ender’s Game, Last Vegas, Capital

By Debbie Schlussel

One absolutely terrific new movie debuting at theaters today:



* “About Time“: I loved this movie! It features something of a dinosaur, unfortunately, in today’s movies: a loving, terrific father in a nuclear family. Imagine that (instead of the Marxist Hollywood decades-long push to demonize fathers in movies–portraying them absent, deadbeats, dopes, losers, cheaters, and/or criminals–so that big government can take dad’s place).

When he turns 21, Tim (Domhnall Gleason) learns from his father (the always excellent Bill Nighy) that the males in the family have a special power: they can travel back in time (but not into the future) and back to the present. Thereafter, Tim uses this power to go back in time to fix things for himself and friends and to make sure he meets the woman of his dreams (Rachel McAdams). While the movie may sound like it’s about superpowers and science fiction, it is really about the love of a father for his son and the love of a son for his father.

The movie is a comedy, a drama, and fabulous science fiction all rolled up into one. Extremely touching. If you are close to your dad, as I was, you’ll really like this. And even if you were not, it’s a great movie anyway. Very funny and entertaining. I laughed a lot.

Beware, though: this isn’t for kids. There is one stupid joke about oral sex (which took away from the movie, in my view), and it’s an adult movie, with adult themes. While not a family viewing movie, it’s a great movie for adults.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Ender’s Game“: This is based on a series of futuristic, science fiction books aimed at young adults by Orson Scott Card (who is under attack for being anti-gay). It’s been compared to “The Hunger Games,” although I liked it much better than “The Hunger Games” movie (read my review).

I had mixed feelings about this movie. I loved the first two-thirds of it. During that part, the movie is about logic and smarts, and rewarding those who employ them. But it eventually turns into a peacenik flick. I felt like I was watching a movie in which Israel finally destroys the Palestinians but then its top general goes back to bring them back to life, or America destroys Islamic extremists completely and then its top commander goes back to resurrect them. That’s essentially what happens in this movie (without Israel or Islam). In the end, the enemy is the “helpless” victim, despite attacks and attempts to destroy Earth. Not my kind of message. Also, isn’t it interesting that the one boy who is nice to the main character is, the movie makes very clear, a Muslim? Please, Hollywood, enough of the blatant propaganda.

The main character, Ender, is played by Asa Butterfield, a terrific English actor whom I’ve liked and praised since he starred, at age nine, in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” (read my review). Now 16, he does a great American accent.

It’s the future, and Earth has been attacked by aliens from another planet (the aliens resemble giant moths). The aliens nearly destroyed Earth and are likely to attack again, as they’ve been using another nearby planet as a base for training. Therefore, the general (Harrison Ford) recruits the best, smartest young kids to train as warriors to fight the aliens and keep them from taking over the earth.

Ender who is quite young and small is smart and logical beyond his years. He already thinks like a commander, and Ford sees that. Ender is promoted to special advanced training for warfare against the aliens. All of the other kids in the training resent Ender because they know he is better and smarter than they are and will beat them to the top. At this point, the only kid who is nice to Ender is a Muslim kid, who wishes him, “As Salaam Aleikum,” the Muslim greeting of “peace be unto you.” Bullying, the use of young children as warriors, and other issues are also part of the movie.

The movie has terrific special effects and is riveting and suspenseful. But, like I said, its peacenik, anti-war message in the end is annoying and harmful. There is nothing wrong with eliminating an enemy bent on destroying you. When (and if) the West finally realizes that, we’ll all be better off.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Last Vegas“: This is another movie about which I had mixed emotions. But, mostly, I didn’t like it. Four older guys who’ve been friends since high school, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and Robert De Niro, get together in Las Vegas for the wedding of Michael Douglas (who is about to turn 71 in this movie) to his 30-something girlfriend.

This movie has been described as “The Hangover” (read my review) for old men, and in many ways it is. That’s what I hated about it. Kline–who was made to look even older than his 66 years–is creepy as an oversexed old man walking around with a condom and Viagra (given to him by his wife) and constantly seeking sex with young women (encouraged to do so by his wife). And I could have done without the melodrama. The only likable characters are De Niro, who is a widower still hung up on the death of the love of his life, his childhood sweetheart, and Freeman, who is struggling to break away from his hovering, over-protective son. De Niro and Douglas–who is some sort of successful Hollywood figure in this movie–have some sort of feud, which seems manufactured for the movie (and it is).

While the senior citizens market at the movies has been neglected, and Hollywood is now trying to take advantage of this, I found this movie to be more cheesy, corny, and dopey than endearing, even with the happy ending and Mary Steenburgen thrown in as the classy age-appropriate love interest. Yes, some of this movie is endearing and funny, but most of it just isn’t.

Leave “The Hangover” to the younger crowd. Or, better yet, just leave it altogether.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Le Capital [Capital]: This mostly French movie (some of it is in English) with English subtitles is mildly entertaining and is supposed to be comical (though it isn’t much). But, overall, it’s your typical French socialist attack on American capitalism.

Marc (Gad Elmaleh) is the assistant to the CEO of a French bank and has ghostwritten his books. But when the CEO’s testicular cancer (the movie’s subtitle calls it “balls cancer”) comes to light, Marc is appointed to take the CEO’s place temporarily. The knives are out for Marc, and he’s expected to do as he’s told while a real CEO successor is sought. But, instead, Marc takes the job by the reins and does the bidding of the bank’s American hedge fund investors (headed by Gabriel Byrne), who want large cuts in staff to make their stock shares in the bank and profits to go up. He does the cuts, but only after making it seem like he’s championing the views of the workers and firing those execs whom the workers don’t like.

Soon the Americans want Marc to buy a worthless Japanese bank so that the bank stock will sink and they can pick up the rest of the bank stock cheaply. Marc will be the fall guy for all of this, and he knows it. Throughout the story, Marc is chasing after a black supermodel, who is using him for money and keeps teasing him.

The movie’s message is that American capitalists make French business leaders act in horrible ways, make massive firings, and ruin people’s lives. The French socialist ways of waste are “better.”

Um, no thanks.


Watch the trailer . . .

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20 Responses

Are producers paid to insert Islamo-friendly messages, as was true with cigarettes in the past?

Adam on November 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

I liked the 2 Marx’s the French film got…why didn’t they just call it “Das Kapital”? The French dude (frozen in the trailer snap above) couldn’t look more French if he had on a beret, striped shirt, had a baguette in one hand and an accordion in the other and was sitting on top of the Eiffel tower laughing at Jerry Lewis. C’est si bon.

Wasn’t Orson Scott Card’s daughter married to Breitbart? Maybe I’m mistaken. I guess that book is a fav with Sci-Fi fans…I never heard about it ’til I heard him as a frequent guest on Rusty Humphries. Can’t say I am shocked by the plot. OSC is one of those annoying sorts who will still call himself a “DEMOCRAT” even when he really isn’t anymore. I was always annoyed by that. Those sorts are nothing but nuisants in 2013. More Islamopandering is just the opposite of what USA needs.

And I always thought Kevin Klein was creepy…

Skunky on November 2, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Hi Skunky, that typical French dude is more Arab than French. I think Debbie has mentioned him before when Gad appeared with Audrey T in ‘Priceless.’

    Nir Leui on November 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

No, Breitbart’s father-in-law was Orson Bean, long time humorist/actor who people remember as being a frequent guest on talk shows and game shows from decades past. He is a lefty turned righty,so he eventually saw the political light.

Also, Skunky, I love reading your comments and I love this very informative site. And I love that pic of Miss blue-eyes at the top of the page. Whenever I feel the need to pull my head away from the toxic media bombardment I come back here to get a dose of reality and normalcy, and that means I land on this site several times a day. I just don’t comment very often.

Dale the Nerd on November 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    You are correct, Dale. Thanks so much for letting me know. Both those Orsons were on RH a lot & both are former Donks who may still call themselves Donks. I’m glad I have the clarity now!

    Thanks for your kind words too, Dale! 😀

    Skunky on November 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm

“The movie has terrific special effects and is riveting and suspenseful. But, like I said, it’s peacenik, anti-war message in the end is annoying and harmful. There is nothing wrong with eliminating an enemy bent on destroying you. When (and if) the West finally realizes that, we’ll all be better off.”

Because, in the book, Ender was horrified at what he had done.

Lane on November 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

In the book, while Ender was horrified, that took up about a page.The book made it clear there was no other option and indeed it was only Ender’s victory and later actions that ensured the survival of the Buggers at all. It was Ragnarok.

P: Well, in the movie, it’s a major deal and doesn’t make clear there was no other option. DS

pat on November 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Pat is exactly right about the book.

    In his next book, Card became tiresomely preachy on Christian themes — not real Christianity, which fully accepts a Just War, but faux peacenik pseudo-Christianity. I expect it was that conversion that infected this movie to align it with his later beliefs and work.

    The only thing I loathe as much as a nastily homophobic liberal is a nastily homophobic Christian who advances Islam. At least one should take one’s own principles seriously.

    skzion on November 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Yes. It was the latter book that we see tiresome and ridiculous peace and love crap. Laughable given the true nature of the Buggers.

      pat on November 2, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      Try C.S. Lewis if you haven’t already. Magical cupboards are big in some of his works too. Is that a coincidence or head nod?

      He had some genuine Christian themes but I think Hollywood bleached them out of the wash in their Narnia productions along with all the charm and understatement of the books.

      Frankz on November 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        CS Lewis, yes. Hey, Tolkien, some argue, is saturated with Christian themes.

        What I expect is some intellectual and emotional maturity. Card moved violently away from both.

        So, I’d definitely read the book, but never would I view the movie.

        skzion on November 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Ugh. Sounds like manipulative, Godless, PC crap. People gobble this crap up with no filter, then Western Civilization goes: doot, da doot, da doot, down the drain, just like Lou Reed did.

I love Rachel McAdams, but she hasn’t seen 21 in quite a while. Am I missing something? Why would a 21 year old wind up with a much older woman?

the fog on November 3, 2013 at 1:58 am

Att:!!!! This is not a Detroit joke. Debby, what do you think of this??

bobby99 on November 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

“There is nothing wrong with eliminating an enemy bent on destroying you.”

And, of course, that is correct but exactly how likely is such a lesson to be found in a movie today?

Also, ending make it pretty obvious that the formics are no longer seeking to destroy the human specie, given their course of action.

Anti “gay”?

Orson Scott Card about Obama.

Jaws on November 5, 2013 at 9:25 am

Well,I done a little research on the maker of “Capital,”Costas-Gravas. Seems he’s got a interesting past. He was born in Greece. His father fought in a Communist partisan group in World War II. He later emigrated to France because Communists weren’t allowed in the United States at the time. It seems that he mixes his left-wing politics with his films in (and I’m quoting the Wikipedia article here) “in an exciting way.” He’s also done work in Hollywood.
He’s done stuff like “Missing,””The Music Box” and others like that. I don’t know how Debbie or the rest of you will feel about this. I just wanted to let you know what I found out.

Ghostwriter on November 14, 2013 at 12:41 am

So even though “About Time” was very funny, my wife ended up bawling after the movie, to say nothing of about three times during the movie. I lost my dad this year at age 91 and a couple of years ago I took him to a University of Arizona football game, even though his eyes were bad. My mom tells me over and over how much he enjoyed walking the campus, being in the crowd, watching the game. “About Time” doesn’t have a big, hidden spiritual message like “Groundhog Day,” just a more important one about family. And Rachel McAdams is a cutie . . . and my wife will hit me if she reads that.

gmartinz on November 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Granted, you were kinder on Ender’s Game than I was, and you are dead on when it comes to the blatant propaganda with the Muslim character Alai (while not familiar with the books, I tentatively trust Wikipedia’s page that this propaganda appears in the books as well, so it’s not something gratuitously adulterated by Hollywood, like in Angels and Demons), it’s utterly false and rather misleading to write:

“Also, isn’t it interesting that the one boy who is nice to the main character is, the movie makes very clear, a Muslim? Please, Hollywood, enough of the blatant propaganda.”

“All of the other kids in the training resent Ender because they know he is better and smarter than they are and will beat them to the top.”

False, because the first friend Ender makes is Bean- it starts off gently combative on their flight to school, but it’s clear when they first enter the battle room that a friendship is developing.

False, because later on in the movie, even heckling Bernard does a 180 and treats Ender with respect.

False, because the only person shown to be particularly concerned with advancement/making it to the top is the brutal bully Bonzo Madrid.

Misleading, because it suggests that everyone else is bullying Ender at school- only two bullies are shown- both are put in the hospital by Ender.

Also slightly misleading, because it completely ignores one of Ender’s strongest movie allies/relationships- the lone girl of Salamander, Petra. Given your tremendous praise for Hailee Steinfeld’s performance in True Grit, I’m surprised you completely omit mention of her in this review.

And a trifling oversight that’s rather understandable- you describe the Formics as being moth-like (which I rather thought they were), though they are clearly described as being most like ants, and their name is clearly modeled off of Latin formica, ant.

Robert on November 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I just watched About Time and you’re so right about this. It made me cry so much and I’m not a crier. LOVED IT!!

halevi on September 10, 2014 at 9:49 pm

I just saw Ender’s Game on my DVR. Debbie should have mentioned that the guy who bullied Ender the most was an obvious stereotypical pushy Jew with a giant hooked nose that they always filmed in profile. The only thing missing was a yarmulke.

John S on December 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

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