April 6, 2018, - 12:03 pm

Wknd Box Office: Chappaquiddick, A Quiet Place, Isle of Dogs, Blockers

By Debbie Schlussel

I’m away observing the last two days of Passover, but here are this weekend’s movie reviews that I’ve prepared in advance. I liked three out of the four new movies in theaters this weekend, so things are getting better (I hope).

* Chappaquiddick – Rated PG-13: Read my complete review column on this movie. Finally, some people in Hollywood have the guts to tell the truth about America’s celebrated national beached whale and swimming/driving champ, Ted Kennedy. Again, read my full review.


* A Quiet Place – Rated PG-13: Normally, I hate movies starring real-life romantic couples (this one stars John Krasinski and his wife Emily Blunt), but I enjoyed this riveting, highly suspenseful thriller. Yes, there are a ton of plot holes and inconsistencies, but even so, I liked this. Even though it’s not boring in the least, it’s best to see this when you’re not tired because it’s mostly quiet and silent. The movie is also directed by Krasinski.

We’ve seen a ton of post-apocalyptic movies and those which take place far into the future when some catastrophe has struck and few people remain. This is another of those, but with a different, interesting plot point: silence. There aren’t zombies and there isn’t disease here. What’s struck and killed most people on Earth is a plague of blind creatures who have an acute sense of hearing. So in order to survive, you must be silent.

The movie exclusively follows a family (Krasinski, Blunt, and their kids) that is nearly alone in a small town. They live on a farm and have all kinds of alarms to help them survive the monsters. But contraptions aside, it is they who must be at all times hyper-sensitive not to make a sound. They walk throughout everything bare-footed (why couldn’t they wear socks?!–Rob Kardashian has a line of $40 socks at Neiman Marcus). They cover the paths they walk with sound-reducing sand. They cannot talk and must communicate in sign language always (which suits their daughter well; she is deaf) or mouth the words. They can’t drop anything, as a single accident could mean death. And so on.

But there’s a problem that could kill them all. Blunt is pregnant with a baby. What will happen when the baby is born? We know babies cry and make other loud noises which are hard to control and silence at will. Impossible, in fact. And there are other things like this going on.

There are some unexplained inconsistencies. An empty swing that makes a loud squeaky noise doesn’t attract the monsters and their wrath. Nor does the constant loud rush of a waterfall. And I kept wondering why they didn’t just set up a “noise park” or tower, constantly rattling off noise to keep the monsters distracted.

Also, I would have liked some more interaction with other survivors. We see, at one point, that a few fires are lit at night by survivors to show each other than they are still alive and kicking. But we never see the survivors. There is only one brief, unsatisfying interaction with an old man whose wife has died.

Still, the movie is good enough for me to recommend. especially compared to the constant drivel that’s come our way so far this year. I enjoy survival movies that involve braininess and strength on the part of survivors and focus on that, instead of blood and gore (though there is a very small part of that here, too).

One other thing: I usually can’t stand the vastly over-rated plain Jane, Emily Blunt. Her horrible teeth (she’s British and you know about their “dental care”–more like dental don’t care) are a distraction for me. Even more distracting is when she resorts to covering her bad teeth with her lips the entire time, as she does here. But she is actually decent in this.

This isn’t the greatest or even a “great movie.” But if you’re looking for a fun, escapist 1.5 hours to get your mind off real life, this does the job.


Watch the trailer . . .

* Isle of Dogs – Rated PG-13: I’m almost always of fan of Wes Anderson’s movies. I loved the director’s “Grand Budapest Hotel” (read my review) and liked Moonrise Kingdom. So, I was very excited to see this and looked forward to it a lot. And you know what happens when you have high expectations for something: you’re almost always underwhelmed. That was the case for me here. Don’t get me wrong. I still liked this. But it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected. I still recommend it, as it is cute and funny. And it is entertaining, though not as good or as tight of a story as I prefer to see. (I didn’t think the plot was all that great or interesting, either.)

My other complaint is that this movie has a lot of captions and titles, and it doesn’t give you nearly enough time to read and digest them all. The movie is chock full of stuff–probably, overstuffed–and it’s the kind of movie I’d prefer to watch at home, where I can stop the screen to absorb it all for a second from time to time. There are also a lot of flashbacks, flash forwards, and other things going on that make it kind of dizzying and hard to completely follow so quickly.

Again, that said, I did like it.

This is an animated movie about a gang of dogs in Japan. The dogs are banished to an island of garbage (Trash Island), after a corrupt, demagogic Japanese politician from the Kobayashi clan bans dogs and blames them for disease and scapegoats them for other problems. (Kobayashi has a translator who inserts her own opinions and humor into the commentary.) It’s the culmination of a long history dating back to ancient times, in which the cat-loving Kobayashis fought off the dog-loving clans (this involved an embarrassing beheading of the Kobayashi’s leader). The movie also follows a young boy’s search for his missing dog. On the island, the abandoned dogs are mangy, dirty, and hungry–desperate to survive. Meanwhile, a professor who heads the Science Party, thinks dogs can be cured from any disease-causing issues or other maladies. And there is a political activist, who leads protests about the dogs.

The dogs and other characters are mostly voiced by big-name stars, including Liev Schreiber, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, etc.

Like I said, it’s cute, funny, and entertaining. But not as much of any of those as I had expected.


Watch the trailer . . .

* Blockers – Rated R: This is yet another example of how women can be just as culpable in objectifying women and turning them into nothing but sluts and sex objects as men. This has been celebrated because it is directed by a woman. Um, so what? Pigs are pigs, no matter what their internal plumbing. And the chick who directed this is an oinker. Big-time. #HerToo.

This silver screen stinker is absolutely disgusting and vile. Not to mention, completely stupid. I’m no prude, but this raunchy waste of time was just awful. I mean, painful to watch. And gross. On top of that, most of the women in it are just plain hideous.

And it just wasn’t funny. I can laugh at a good dirty joke, the operant word being, “good.” There weren’t any here. This is supposed to be a comedy, but I barely laughed. If your idea of funny is former pro wrestler John Cena (who is a huge gun control supporter and recently applauded the BS gun-grab-fest “March For Our Lives”) running around with a beer chugging hose up his rear end, then this is your movie. Or jokes about vomiting, or a gross, ugly fat guy engaged in various sex acts with an ugly lesbian, then this, too, is your movie. For people with any sense of decency or taste (and that pool seems to shrink geometrically by the year), this is a must-skip.

Oh, and by the way, in case I didn’t mention it. The title of the movie is actually longer than “Blockers.” A picture of a rooster (also known as a c-ck) is in front of the name on all posters. You get it? Hahaha, so funny. Not. Yes, the dopey excuses for parents in this movie are trying to block their three daughters from having sex on prom night, after the parents discover that the daughters have made a pact to lose their virginity on that night. Ain’t feminism great? But, in the end, the parents come to realize–as taught to them by their children and their kids’ friends–that it’s just fine if their kids explore their sexuality and just get on with it. Yeah, great lesson. Thanks. The parents are played by Cena, the always annoying Leslie Mann (that high-pitched babytalk voice annoys the crap out of me and her acting sucks), and some other putz whose name I don’t know or care enough to look up on IMDB because he and this movie were so bad.

The movie follows the so-called parents (all of whom should be sued for malpractice) as they look all over town for their daughters to stop them from having sex. Instead, they get caught up in hijinks, including Cena inserting the aforementioned tubing up his rear end in order to compete in an alcohol “chugging” contest with a teen boy. You stay classy. Cena’s character also constantly cries and plays the “sensitive” dad. Hey, Hollywood, America has far too many “sensitive,” weepy dads. We need more dads who are men.

Yes, I know neither you nor I are the target audience for this absolute excrement posing as a movie, but so what? The minds of mush at whom it’s aimed–teens and 20-somethings–are getting served up this diet of garbage on a regular basis. And at the screening I attended, they clapped for this. Not a good sign for America’s future. Maybe when they’re 50, they might discover adulthood, but I’m not very optimistic.



Watch the trailer . . .

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10 Responses

Were you banned from Twitter? I never see your tweets anymore.

(That being said, thank you for posting these. I love reading your reviews!)

Casey on April 7, 2018 at 11:49 am

Note of caution, Isle of Dogs is not in wide release.
It is only currently playing in select theaters due to some argument with the distribution company.

Steve G on April 7, 2018 at 10:23 pm

Just looked at the preview for Blockers and I have to ask, where does this “$#!+” happen except in some Hollyweirdos producers mind?
BTW, Deb, Three+++ out of four, this has been a very kind week.

theShadow on April 8, 2018 at 12:42 am

I’ve seen that same promo poster for “Blockers” in the remainder of phone booths in New York City and many “Post No Bills” walls at construction sites, and if Debbie hadn’t mentioned who co-starred, I would’ve thought Mark Wahlberg (whose execrability factor has been brought up time and again by her) was one of the parents in this flick, shown in the poster at pic left. (I did make out Ms. Mann, though.) Given what it’s about, that the actual title would be longer than merely “Blockers” is no surprise.

Something tells me Spielberg’s latest, “Ready Player One” (which opened last week), is another bore-fest . . .

Concerned Patriot on April 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

The Chappaquiddick movie has something in common with another classic movie. The female lead character is killed off relatively early in the movie by the lead male character and the body is disposed of through similar means. Then the rest of the movie deals with finding out what really happened and whether or not the lead male character is going to be brought to justice.

Ralph Adamo on April 8, 2018 at 8:49 pm

I had wondered what “A Quiet Place” was about. Sounds interesting. LOL @ Rob Kardashian. Just goes to show you what a marketing whore his Bad Mum-Manager is. She can get her mentally-ill, baby-daddy fool, loser, no-hoper son a gig via Nieman Marcus…I would think The Dollar Tree would be a more apt fit for that traumatized nutter in a family of promiscuous skanks who shill stupid shite. Gosh. We truly are in the United States of Kardashistan!

LOL, gotta love 2018 and the rotting of the culture. When we were teens we had teen exploitation films like “Porky’s” and now in 2018 we have skanky parents getting in on their skanky kids’ sexual exploits in the movies. Gosh, it really sucks being here as the atrophied limbs rot on the vine and flap down like a smelly load hitting the ground. Jeez!

Skunky on April 13, 2018 at 3:40 pm

I saw “Isle of Dogs” yesterday and it was pretty good. If I were doing this,I would have had English speaking Japanese voice actors so it would be a little easier for the audience to comprehend and the best thing of all,if it ever gets to Japan,those same actors could be used in the Japanese version as well. But hey,that’s just me. It’s a good movie and if you can,you should go see it.

Ghostwriter on April 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Saw “Isle of Dogs.” Astoundingly vivid animation and a great plot. Plus, as is par for a Wes Anderson flick, some unearthed songs from way back that should have been hits.

Primetime on May 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm

A great collection, I like that this is a good and top collection… I have seen so many things from these and these are really awesome…

?????? - ???????? ?????? ????????? ??????? on May 24, 2018 at 1:15 pm

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SpeedyPaper on July 2, 2018 at 8:23 am

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