May 8, 2015, - 3:05 pm

Wknd Box Office: The D Train, Hot Pursuit, Far From the Madding Crowd, Maggie

By Debbie Schlussel



One of the new movies, debuting in theaters today, is, by far, the most appalling, disturbing movie I’ve seen in a while. As for the rest, there is one that is okay, and other than that, you won’t be missing much.

* “The D Train“: This movie disturbed and appalled me more than any I’ve seen in a long time. And it’s a bait-and-switch trick on moviegoers, so beware that my review is filled with spoilers, but spoilers I think you’ll wanna know about. ** SPOILER ALERT **. Trailers and promotional appearances by stars Jack Black and James Marsden don’t tell potential moviegoers what this is really about, making them think they are going to see a comedy with an interesting story line. But, in fact, the premise of this movie is that everyone–and anyone–in conservative Middle America, with mainstream values, is gay or can become gay with the right possible “partner.” And the message is that everyone–and anyone–in Main Street America will be willing to throw away their families and whole lives to pursue that gay love interest. By the way, I saw this just days after ABC ran its two-hour Diane Sawyer/Bruce Jenner tranny-is-the-new-normal infomercial.

The initial parts of the plot could have made for an interesting movie: that a nerdy, average guy with a wife and family in Anytown, USA, is obsessed with getting the popular guy from high school to attend his high school class reunion. But quickly into the film, it becomes that gay thing. I have no problem with gays, and I believe what you do in your own bedroom is your business. But when Hollywood tells us we are all really gay and willing to throw away our lives to live that out, um that’s another thing entirely. And it’s baloney. Who are they kidding?

The story: Black is that nerdy, average, innocent guy with the wife and a child, in an American town. He heads up his high school class reunion committee, and many of the alumni aren’t interested in attending, which is a problem. One night, he is up late and sees a commercial for Banana Boat tanning lotion, starring James Marsden, the most popular kid in the class when they were both in high school together. The commercial features Marsden as a lifeguard running in slow motion, “Baywatch”-style, and Black plays it over and over. He becomes obsessed with Marsden, telling everyone that he is friends with Marsden and will get him to agree to go to the reunion, which will cause others to RSVP as well.

Black lies to his boss and gets his boss to shell out for a trip to Los Angeles, based on the phony allure of a new business deal, which is all apocryphal. And thoughout the movie, his “old-fashioned” boss naively shells out a ton of money he doesn’t have on this fake deal. Once in L.A., Black connects with Marsden and they go out partying, getting drunk and doing a lot of drugs. They end up in Marsden’s apartment and start making out and then have sex. (That’s the “twist” they don’t tell you about when you watch the entirely misleading trailer and promotional appearances for this movie.) When Marsden shows up for the reunion, he stays at Black’s house and tells Black’s 14-year-old son to have a threesome with the son’s girlfriend, telling him graphically how to do it. Then, Marsden brings various girls home, and Black becomes jealous because he now has a weird “thing” for Marsden.

This all comes to a head at the high school reunion. Black gets drunk and snorts cocaine and confronts Marsden in front of everyone. Marsden then tells everyone that the two of them had sex, that it and Black meant nothing to Marsden, and Black’s whole life is ruined. Of course, since this is Hollywood, there is an absurd happy ending, and everything is salvaged because Black’s wife and boss forgive him, and Black forgives Marsden. And they all live happily ever after.

Oh, and did I mention that, at the end, Marsden approaches two of the other average, Middle American guys on the high school reunion committee and tells them that he could have had sex with either of them, too, if he wanted?

That’s the intended message here: that we, here, in flyover, Red State America, are deluded in our traditional views and don’t really believe all that much in them. That we are really all gay (at least, if Hollywood had its way), and that we are all just in denial, just one step away from being mesmerized by a good-looking member of the same sex from Hollywood, and throwing all of our lives away for gay sex with that person. And that we could and would easily do that, when put in that situation.

Of course, that’s just BS. In real life, American values are fragile after decades of government and pop culture attack. But not that fragile. Most average Middle American guys who went to high school with James Marsden at Oklahoma City’s Putnam City North High School would punch Marsden’s lights out if he tried to make out with, let alone have sex, with them. They wouldn’t acquiesce and then develop an unrequited obsession with the actor. It’s just a fraud to claim otherwise.

But that’s what Hollywood wants you to think: that we are all Bruce Jenner or Anderson Cooper now. One of those average Main Street American men walking out of the screening I attended said to me, “Everything’s gotta be gay now, doesn’t it?” Pretty much.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Hot Pursuit“: I expected this to be stupid and a waste of time, but not as stupid and as much of a waste of time as it actually is. Just awful. This is one of those “slapstick comedies” that just isn’t funny. Not even close. I think I laughed once, if that. And, as in many typical Hollywood films, this one has the narrative of the “stupid Southerner.” Oh, and also the “stupid Southern, by-the-book, law-and-order cop idiot.” Reese Witherspoon, as I’ve told you before, started a production company to produce movies about “strong women.” And, yet, she keeps giving us the usual crap involving women who are sluts and morons and as strong as deceased jellyfish. This is more of the same, with stupid, unfunny jokes about women’s periods and masturbation thrown in. On the other hand, with one exception all of the men in this movie are either completely corrupt or total idiots. So maybe that’s the foil which Witherspoon thinks shows us “strong women.” Um, not even close. This movie’s plot and dialogue were tired and haggard in the 1980s. And this is 2015.

The “story”: Witherspoon, who uses a strong Southern accent for only part of the movie (and forgets to use it in other parts), is a woman whose late father was a cop, and that’s all she’s ever dreamed of becoming. But she is so “by-the-book” that she lacks common sense and is completely incompetent and a joke. One day, she’s given a second chance to redeem her reputation and career as a cop by accompanying a Federal Marshal to escort a drug dealer and his wife to testify against a drug kingpin. But it goes awry from the beginning, and soon Witherspoon and the drug dealer’s annoying, vain wife, Sofia Vergara, are on the run from corrupt cops seeking to kill them and members of the drug cartel seeking to prevent Vergara from testifying. The movie is one long series of screw-ups and misadventures, none of which are entertaining or funny.

At under 1.5 hours, this movie is still slow and boring and seems incredibly long. The jokes are dopey, the acting stinks, and the only reason to watch this movie is if you are a guy who wants to watch Vergara cavorting around in tight clothing. But is that really worth wasting $10-plus and 1.5 hours of your life that seem like three? Not in my book. This movie is just dumb. Witherspoon, promoting the movie in the latest issue of People Magazine, tells us, “I’m short White girl hot.” Yeah, you keep tellin’ yourself that. This incredibly annoying and irritating movie makes you ugly in every imaginable way.

Also, listening to Sofia Vergara speak for nearly 1.5 hours must count as a lifetime of Gitmo torture endurance. Hmmm . . . I thought her acting career had long ago been diagnosed as, “Shut up and look good.” Apparently, someone in Lalaland didn’t get the memo. Although I’m pro-life, this movie alone makes a conclusive case for those embryos to remain inactive.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Far From the Madding Crowd“: I must admit that I never read the 1874 Thomas Hardy novel on which this movie is based. But I’m told it is very true to the book. The acting is well done, especially by Matthias Schoenaerts, who plays love interest Gabriel Oak. It has some charm, is beautifully shot, and I love the period costumes and accoutrements. However, I didn’t like the story, even if that’s the story of the novel. It’s a little too feminist for me and I felt the love interest gives the female lead far too many chances, after she treats him horribly for years. But, hey, that’s the book, I guess.

The story: Bathsheba Everdene (Carrie Mulligan, who got her start in the anti-Semitic “An Education”–read my review) is a poor but happy-go-lucky free spirit in a farm town in Victorian England. Her neighbor, the handsome sheep farmer Gabriel Oak, proposes marriage to her, but she laughs at and dismisses him, telling him he can never tame her. Not long after that, their fortunes are reversed. His sheep all die, and he must sell his farm for pennies on the dollar and look for work. Bathsheba, on the other hand, inherits her late uncle’s large and successful farm, which employs many townfolk nearby. And soon Gabriel is working for Bathsheba, something she coldly lords over him. Bathsheba plays with a wealthy neighbor’s heart, sending him a valentine and then turning him down when he makes romantic approaches to her. She also continues to be cold toward Gabriel, while at the same time constantly teasing him, seeking his advice, and being cruel toward him. She soon marries a sleazy soldier who has a pregnant fiancee. And she realizes she’s made a mistake. Still, she continues to tease, torment, and abuse Gabriel for years.

Although there is a “happy” ending, I don’t like the Bathsheba character. She’s a cold fish and a cruel tease who reminds me of Charlie Brown’s Lucy with the football, and Gabriel should have left and given up on her years earlier. As it turns out, maybe she isn’t a feminist after all, though. Despite her claims of independence, everything she has is because of men–her dead uncle from whom she inherited, and Gabriel, who helps and saves her from failure time and again.

If I’m to judge this movie on style, acting, and cinematography, it’s well done. It was entertaining and engrossing, and those are the characteristics of a good movie. And, again, even though I don’t like the lead female character or how the movie ends, if it’s true to the book it can’t be faulted for that. Given these factors, I give it . . .


Watch the trailer . . .

* “Maggie“: It’s hard to believe this long, slow, pointless bore was only 1.5 hours. It seemed like three. And it’s a bad rip-off of “The Walking Dead.” Just as in that AMC TV series, in this, there is a virus that kills people and turns them into deadly infectious zombies. They spread the virus through biting. Again, just like on “The Walking Dead.” The difference is that “The Walking Dead” is exciting, entertaining, and well written. This is none of those. Oh, and they threw in the horribly miscast Arnold Schwarzenegger as the father of a girl, Maggie (Abigail Breslin), who was bitten and is afflicted by the virus. She will soon turn into a zombie, and her father doesn’t want anyone to kill her or take her away, as the police want to do. A neighbor had the same attitude, locking up her afflicted, zombie husband and daughter in a room in her house. Again, JUST. LIKE. “THE. WALKING. DEAD.” But boring and stupid.

Please, Hollywood, come up with something new, for a change.


Watch the trailer . . .

Remember, you can always hear my movie reviews live, first thing every Friday morning on “The Mike Church Show” on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 after 7:05 am Eastern, on “The Pat Campbell Show” on KFAQ 1170 AM Tulsa at 7:35 am Eastern, and on “The James Show,” on KWTX 1230 AM at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. I do my movie reviews on all three shows, as well as some discussion of current political issues and pop culture topics.

13 Responses

Arnold was a better Governor than actor.

DS_ROCKS! on May 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    how DARE you say that about Ah-nold????

    you are on the verge of being BE-HEADED

    ( allah a la mode!!! )

    msd on May 9, 2015 at 10:57 am

 “THREE BETTY FRIEDANS PLUS THREE MICHELLE LAVAUGHN ROBINSON HUSSEIN OBAMA IDI AMIN DADAS” DS, I almost burst my spleen laughing when I read this! I forgot all about Idi Amin DaDa, (you left out “President for Life”!) Does bring me back to the good old days of the IDF. Entebbe and all.
Anyway thanks again for the laughs, (even if I’m still in pain from all the laughter), it will help me in getting through the next 19 months!

Recalcitrant Zionist on May 9, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “President For Life” is what we have in Obama. There will be no 2016 election. Who is going to tell Obama to get out, the Republicans?!

    Tommy Thomas on May 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

I was very disappointed by Far From the Madding Crowd. The book, which everyone should read, is so superior. But, that is nothing new. Its that there is a far superior version free on the internet that was a BBC miniseries where there was time to unfold the story at the pace that was right and fully told the story. The theatrical release condenses things so that you cannot enjoy the story as it should be enjoyed. I will say that the acting in the film was superior to that in the BBC series, except for Sgt. Troy. In the BBC series, Sgt. Troy was played by an excellent actor, who no longer acts. His name is Jonathan Firth, the brother of the fine British actor Colin Firth. Tom Sturridge, Sienna Miller’s baby daddy, is terrible and played the part all wrong and they did not explain his background enough. The Julie Christie version is much better than the Carey Mulligan version too. Here is the BBC Series. Its a legal upload. Enjoy.

Susan on May 9, 2015 at 9:23 am

The timing of the D Train movie makes me wonder if it is an attempt to influence the Supreme Court.

Although we think it is barbaric, the folks in Hollywood probably think it is wholesome entertainment that will have an impact on the general population.

Little Al on May 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm

I’m beginning to think that most of the comedic actors in Hollyweird are gay and got the jobs because of it. I’ve been totally turned off by what passes for comedies lately and most of the one-trick-pony so called actors that appear in them.

theShadow on May 10, 2015 at 12:42 am

Much of the “entertainment” industry, as well as the news media, academia and the fashion industry, is controlled today by homosexuals, which is why there is this slant – and why we have drek like “The D Train” which actively seeks to convert our young to that lifestyle. (I am reminded of one 20th century dictator’s saying in this regard, “We don’t have you, but we will have your children.”)

ConcernedPatriot on May 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

School of rock to high school gay bar reunion?
Looks like a clunker.

Mochizuki Koga on May 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

When Schwarzenegger made his sharp left turn while he was CA governor, I suspected it was because Hollywood sent word to him that if he ever wanted to get work again after he left office, he’d better change his policies to suit them. That he did, culminating with the most oppressive global warming law in the country. Another few months in office and he probably would have given us gay marriage and amnesty and free health care for illegals. So he gets rewarded with one movie after another even though they all bomb at the box office.

Judd Silver on May 11, 2015 at 10:40 am

Sorry, but Debbie is completely wrong about the thesis of “The D Train.” As the following clip convincingly demonstrates, two heterosexual males can indeed find themselves attracted to one another, under the right circumstances and with the right partner:
In fact, after watching this clip, you will have no need to see the movie anyway. This clip is probably more entertaining.

Ralph Adamo on May 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Suck, suck, suck, suck.

Remember, Riff-Trax did a movie recently that had Meat Loaf chasing a 2 foot tall Yeti.

Sounds better than all of these. I had to read some terrible Hardy Novel in High School. I just remember the Heath, is all. Kind of like “the Berm” and “cyan power beams” in Hammer’s Slammers stories.

Or, kind of like praying that we could go back in time and that Joseph Conrad could be kept from learning English…

Occam's Tool on May 12, 2015 at 10:06 am

“The D Train” IS disturbing. So I wondered who’s responsible for it. The writer and director is “Jarrad Paul”. This is what says about him :”He was born to a Jewish family in Miami before he moved to Los Angeles.” And we all know about “Jack Black”. What did you expect ?

Have a nice day on May 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field