Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Running Gags Were Best Part - Made of Honor Review

Dr. McDreamy. Patrick Dempsey, leading man.

My movie viewing partner leaned over to me, at the end of this film and asked me whether the main man was attractive or not. He told me "I don't get it. Is that guy considered good looking?" Given he thought this, he also couldn't understand why the main formal lead would want him at all, especially since he was "such an asshole." True she pined for 10 years, quietly, happy to be on the periphery of his life, happy to be his confidante, happy she was still around to be there for him and to support him and to share things with him without getting the nastiness this man inflicts on other women, She was special to him and though she wished she could be more, she had pretty much laid that to rest and moved on. She saw all that and he didn't, until he couldn't have her and he then wanted her and chases her and gets her and the movie ends there. Except I, as a knowing female viewer, jaded and wary, did not believe he had really changed and imagined after the film ended with the scene of them happy in bed and married that he would get bored in a month, be cheating and they'd be divorced and her final fear of them not even being friends would come to pass... But that last part is speculation on my part.

And that's pretty much the film really.

The parts that really got me were the superfluous characters and their running gags. I thought to myself they thought that was funny? as they showed grandma 3 or 4 times with the set of anal thunderbeads glowing around her neck that were given to her at the ill fated wedding shower which she continued to wear to many formal events after the shower where the looks on her family members' faces showed they knew what they were... guess grandma is what? Too fragile to know? Too determined to care? Has no other jewellery to wear? There is no good answer here. And the goofy guy in the gym? Lots of male bonding scenes and this guy, a geeky misfit with too short shorts and meek and mild trying to be hip and cool and he's always there, being goofy, like a sidekick but without the status. I always saw him in these scenes and don't even think he has a name. He's a gym hanger-on, and only with these boys. I thought for sure I'd see him at their wedding but he wasn't in the crowd shot. The movie didn't even tie up loose ends that were that obvious.

I did laugh uncontrollably at a scene where the groom to be, who is challenged to play basketball with the gang just so McDreamy can show him up (and look what a loser that guy is. He challenges him knowing the guy has never played the game before and McD plays it all the time with his friends. Is he that unsure of himself he has to beat him at what he knows? Please. But then, he loses.) After the game they go shower and all the boys take a look at the rivals gear and they are SHOCKED at the size of his gear. This had me laughing and I could not stop. How low will the film maker go from here (hadn't had the anal bead and grandmas scene yet)? What other cliche will they depict for us, the viewing public. ALL of them, every-one-you-can-think-of. Still though, it's not the worst film I've ever seen and that's the best recommendation I can give it.

BTW I liked McD in Enchanted. He was somewhat bland there too, like here, but the overall movie was way better and for the purposes of this blog will never be reviewed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Made of Honor

Usually I put the movie's poster here, for this movie I have something much more appropriate:

Why is the title of this movie Made of Honor and not Maid of Honor anyway? I could understand if the hero was a builder of some kind, or even a handyman like in a Tim Allen vehicle. Or if "made" was some kind of masculinised version of "maid". But there's not even a play on words there.

I hated everybody in this movie, except Lucius Vorenus. I was quite frankly shocked to see him slumming here. Surely there must have been some generic heist movie he could have been in instead? Now, if only Titus Pullo had shown up to kill everybody else in this movie! That would have been something! Daytime soap operas periodically go through purges where they kill off a half dozen characters in overly dramatic fashion (don't ask me how I know this). I kept hoping that would happen in this movie. Something involving a gladiatorial arena would have been amazing!

Everybody in this film is completely unlikeable or they're good friends with someone who is completely unlikeable. Which makes them every bit as unlikeable. This is generally not a good thing in a romantic comedy.

This is pretty easily the worst romantic comedy since Dan in Real Life.

Chris - May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

This week's Rotten Movie

This week's Rotten Movie will be: Made of Honor with a spectacular 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. Somehow this movie has managed to make a very solid showing at the box office despite terrible reviews.

This week we'll find out why.

4pm Tuesday May 20
Coliseum Ottawa
3090 Carling Ave., Ottawa

Saturday, May 17, 2008

He Had Man Hands - Deception movie review

It's been a few days since I saw this movie. What has stayed with me? The sheer size of Hugh Jackman's hands. Massive! When he cradles the leading lady's head in his hands near the end of the movie it's like she's a tiny dolly.

I was intrigued by the sex club angle. More interested when the ladies were unconventional. They were successful, not clingy or overly emotional, self-possessed and a range of ages and beauty. That actually made me feel better about this film and still does. Too bad it's all about aesthetics and not story.

Story-wise, well, there are a lot of holes in it. It tries to cover too much territory, tries to surprise you with a twist or two. Just try and tell me a story that's good okay? To take us half way through the film with the sex club angle only to find it's all a ruse for getting the guy to steal money for you, um, gee, you must be a freaking genius to have plotted all the minutiae that goes with that scheme.

The most ludicrous part of the whole movie is the ending. End it already! It went on and on and on. When the accountant horns in on the scheme and demands his cut, okay, they get the money, go to a park, a gun is pulled, the bad guy is shot by the recalcitrant femme fatale who walks away calmly, the survivor as well eschewing two suitcases with 10 million dollars in each leaving them lying on the ground in the public park. The potential couple are separated, give each other longing looks as she speeds away in a cab. A few minutes later they spy each other in the town square and the last scene has him walking to her. Too long. Too much. Too bad it's so predictable and anticlimactic. He should have been meeting someone from a sex club in Spain or something...become totally morally corrupt and suffer for turning his back on his law abiding life now that he's on the run or something. Well, maybe that's in the sequel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


No Deception here, I knew this one would suck! But I was secretly eager to see this movie because it stars Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor so it's actually Wolverine vs Star Wars!

How cool would that be?

Okay, it would actually be incredibly stupid.

Still way better than this movie.

Here's the problem with this movie and why it doesn't work (well, beyond the obvious other problems, like it's unbelievably stupid) and it's something that should have been obvious to everyone involved in this movie.

Ewan McGregor plays a socially awkward geek.

Full stop.

Now McGregor is no buff action movie star, but this is Renton for fucks sake! This is the guy who almost made the Star Wars prequels watchable.

It's not quite as egregious as the usual case of "Hollywood Ugly" where the poor plain girl is actually hotter than anyone you know in real life (hint to Hollywood, taking off her glasses and letting down her hair does NOT turn a girl who is actually ugly into a hottie) but it is pretty bad.

Jason Alexander? Sure.

Woody Allen? Sure.

McLoven? Sure.

The guys from Revenge of the Nerds? Sure.

Ewan McGregor? No.

No! No! No!

Ewan McGregor is just horribly miscast here. Almost as badly as Hugh Jackman was when he played a geek in Swordfish. But at least that movie was fun. And, well, Halle Berry... Cough, cough.

So the movie tries really hard to make us believe McGregor is this stereotypical nerdy accountant - Down to the horn rims, bad hair and gray suits. And it takes a long, long, long time to do so and go anywhere. At which point I'm just thinking, "Okay, okay, for the sake of argument I'll take your word for it, he's a geek, can we get on with the movie already?"

So Hugh Jackman is the much cooler friend who takes McGregor under his wing, including "accidentally" introducing him to this anonymous sex club. And what follows is what can best be described as...

Geek porn.

It's incredibly bizarre and after having spent all this time and effort trying to establish McGregor as this uber-nerd, who is the audience for this? Certainly not actual geeks - Clark Kent and Peter Parker may be geeks, but Superman and Spider-Man are NOT. That's the whole point.

Who wants to watch some geek bang a bunch of women? Which is what McGregor proceeds to do. But it gets even weirder than that. In this extended, Rockyesque montage of anonymous sex, the only two women McGregor hooks up with who have speaking roles are Natasha Henstridge and Charlotte Rampling. I don't mean to knock either of those fine ladies but let's face it, Henstridge is old enough to be someone's mother (not mine) and Zardoz was more than THIRTY YEARS ago!

So the whole thing has this very creepy MILFy feel.

In fact, while last week's 88 Minutes featured a middle aged Al Pacino pursued (in all facets of the word) by a bevy of much younger women, this movie went for the exact opposite niche with the younger, awkward man initiated by mature women.

Yes, that's right, Hollywood is turning into a crappy Internet Porn site.

Once again, this movie features a villain with a diabolical plot that is way, way too complicated which depends on crazy coincidences and dumb chance such as the hero falling in love with exactly the right girl while he is hooking up with a different woman every night! Wow, good thing he didn't have a predilection for brunettes or he doesn't actually prefer the Charlotte Ramplings of the world. Would be unfortunate if he fell for one of the other half dozen girls...

It's all a dumb ploy to blackmail McGregor into some embezzlement.

Here's the thing, the greatest, most successful and devastating conspiracy of modern times involved a bunch of guys learning to fly airplanes, hijacking some airplanes and then flying them into buildings. That's it. That's a plot. That's a conspiracy that can work. Now I've read as many comic books as the next guy (more) and these big schemes - They just aren't practical. You bribe the guy, cut him in on the action, threaten to shoot him or his family. Whatever. That is your plan. That can work. All this other stuff, that's just asking to have your glorious scheme unravel on you.

Even so, the hero's first big break in turning the tables? He happens to run into someone who actually knows Hugh Jackman's real name and background. That's it. The good guy gets lucky, and I don't just mean that as a double entendre.

The movie comes to a predictable, but still really dumb ending that just leaves us with a bunch of questions...

How does the naive, inexperienced McGregor get a phony passport in 24 hours? Yes, by the end of the movie he's been transformed like Olivia Newton-John in Grease but it's still not like he has any actual underworld connections, or street smarts, or anything.

And how do two characters, independently, acquire handguns off-screen in Spain? I understand they're rather hard to come by in Europe. Again those previously unseen underworld connections I guess.

Why does McGregor leave the second suitcase of money? Does he think that when the police investigate and find there were two men at the bank, and one got killed that they'll just forget about it because all the money is there? Since McGregor is going to now be a wanted man in Spain, wouldn't 10 million dollars, even if it carries with it some "heat" be a little more helpful than being penniless and without resources in a foreign country?

Is seeing all these terrible movies and writing this blog really a good idea?

Oh, and I won't even mention how funny it is watching an Australian and a Scotsman pretend to be New Yorkers.. That would just be a cheap shot.

Christopher, May 15, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This week's Rotten Movie

This week's Rotten Movie will be:

Wednesday May 14, 4:20pm
AMC Kanata
801 Earl Grey Drive, Kanata

12% on Rotten Tomatoes. It's actually tied with Made of Honor but Decepion has been far less successful at the box office, so both a critical and commercial failure. Looks like Made of Honor is likely for next week though as nothing spectacularly bad has come out this week.

There is actually one lower ranked movie playing, Prom Night at 9%. However, no afternoon showings.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

88 Minutes -- Another Take

Ah. 88 Minutes. A fine way to spend, oh! isn't that something... about 88 minutes!
This is about as smart as this movie gets.

I'll tell you what I loved about this film: Al Pacino's hair. Awesome. His hair resembled the kind of coif that grandmothers used to get at the hairdressers with big curlers that are brushed out. And there seemed to always be some sort of back lighting through his hair so it really played up the fluffiness. It was very hard to concentrate on his character's words when you are following the flow of the 'do. There was one scene where I just laughed out loud. Couldn't contain myself. The serious nature of the matter at hand vs. that hair. Well worth the price of admission.

The second gem for me was a scene which has Dr. Jack Gramm heading home where he'll be safe (?) an aside here: serial killer knows everything about you, calling you every 5 minutes to update you that yes, you are still going to die, and you head home. Um. Think the killer may know where you live? Nah! G'won wit you! But I digress... So he enters his lobby and *gasp* where's the regular doorman? This isn't the regular doorman?! He says he's a temp and there's a package for Dr. Gramm. So Dr. Gramm goes around the desk to get the package.
"How did you know my name?"
"Well I said the package was for Dr. Gramm and you looked over at it so I figured that was you." Clever. Is it too clever?
As Jack picks up the package he notices it doesn't have a return address and presses the doorman to try to recall every detail he can about the person who dropped the package off. Now, honestly, I can't tell you much more about what was said because whatever he said to Dr. Gramm was accompanied by one of my now all time favorite scenes. This actor looked over his shoulder for a 3/4 profile at Pacino and had it been a cartoon, which it really felt like, he would have twirled his Snidely Whiplash moustache with an evil flourish!
What just happened there?
OMG Pacino was out-hammed!
After the classic match up between Keanu Reeves and Pacino in The Devil's Advocate, in the mano-a-mano scene with the flames of hell and all that shooting up out of the floor, I didn't think anyone could out ham Pacino, until today. I sincerely look forward to more from this young actor and will be searching IMDB for his past works.

As far as the story is concerned, it feels irrelevant. I don't really care to discuss it. This was a good bad movie. It moved along, it wasn't boring, just incomprehensible and silly.

Mission Statement and First Movie

We could have seen Iron Man.

For some time now, my wife and I have been going to the movies every week. We alternate picks and keep the choice a secret until we get to the ticket window. This week was my wife's pick, and she knew I would be picking Iron Man at the first opportunity. So she chose instead to go the other way and pick a bad movie. A very bad movie.

When you go to the movies every week, you see a lot of bad movies. When we bought our tickets to this movie, we mused that we would be the only ones in the theater. This is not uncommon, even for good movies, because we only go in the afternoons when the crowds are sparse. For a movie like this, we almost always expect to have the room to ourselves.

We we wrong. In fact, we were joined by quite a few other people. My wife said, "Oh, oh, they're in for a bad surprise". To which I replied, "Maybe they're here for the same reason we are... Because it's bad"

Which is when we thought - Hey, we should make a club!

The Rotten Movie Club.

Every week we are going to see the worst movie, as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes playing at either of our two local theaters. We will be seeing an afternoon showing on either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on which theater.

Tuesdays (Free popcorn + drink with admission or discounted admission):
Coliseum Ottawa
3090 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, Canada

Wednesdays (Free popcorn):
AMC Kanata 24
801 Earl Grey Drive
Kanata, Canada

We will announce the movie choice, time and theater here on this blog no later than Sunday evening. If you are in the Ottawa area and you'd like to join us, please do so. We typically sit on the floor level row in the center, if those seats are available - They usually are since afternoon showings are generally only sparsely attended.

And so we have the inaugural Rotten Movie:

88 minutes is a movie with a 6% rating so you know what to expect. The only question is whether it is the kind of bad movie that's so bad it's fun or the kind of bad movie that makes you keep glancing at your watch even in a darkened theater where you can't see the hands.

Fortunately for us, this is the fun kind of bad movie. This is the kind of movie that stupid people find dumb. It's sort of like the play within a play in Forgetting Sarah Marshall except that nobody's actually told the author or the star that this is, in fact, a comedy.

I'm not sure why Pacino is in this movie. I'm thinking he made a bet with Robert De Niro to see who could star in the worst movie. Obviously Pacino didn't feel comfortable resting on movies like The Devil's Advocate or Two for the Money and so we have 88 Minutes.

Unfortunately for Pacino, Robert De Niro is still winning the bet with Godsend, a movie which left me mad at everyone involved. 88 minutes just made me laugh. Given the decidedly mixed advanced word on Righteous Kill this bet may actually be coming to a spectacular climax.

There are several laugh out loud funny moments in this movie. The criminal mastermind's grand scheme is ridiculously over-complicated and several characters do things that make absolutely no sense unless they're just deliberately trying to look suspicious. And Pacino's character is just plain dumb. Yes, we get that he's arrogant and believes he can handle everything himself. However, he's also a professional with close ties to law enforcement. And so he goes out of his way to tamper with crime scenes, mishandle evidence and basically make a mess of everything.

The amateur detective has a long history in crime fiction, however I think we can blame CSI for semi-amateur detective. Characters that have some peripheral association with law enforcement but behave as if they are actual police detectives. And the rest of the world seems to co-operate with these delusions. Ordering citizens and officers of the law around with cries of, "I'm a forensic psychologist with the FBI!" Not to mention conducting searches and investigations of their own and making everything as difficult as possible for the real police.

Even better when actual law enforcement goes along with this. I'm fairly certain real life cops get a little cranky with people encroach their turf, trample crime scenes and disturb evidence. But in the 88 Minutes universe, we get scenes such as Pacino's FBI friend who, aware that there is a warrant out of Pacino and convinced Pacino has gone insane and become a serial killer... Just decides to let Pacino walk away continue solving the crime by himself.

The movie closes with Pacino impulsively destroying key evidence, the mastermind's cellphone. I'm afraid it's that kind of impulsiveness that led him to choosing a terrible project like this. I hope he uses better judgment in future.

Or not.

Because we'll always need new movies for this blog!