Tag Archives: stinker alert

Premium Rush

premium-rush-movie-wallpaper-20You know who drives me crazy?  Idiot cyclists who weave between cars, ignore the rules of the road, and inevitably get killed/seriously injured by an unlucky motorist.

You know who else drives me crazy?  Idiots who think that all lawyers wear suits or that lawyer is the only profession you can do with a law degree.

And don’t even get me started on idiots who are so EXTREMELY against wearing suits that they would rather take a job as a New York City bike courier and earn next to nothing ($30 for an hour and a half ride from one side of Manhattan to the other).

Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character in Premium Rush is all of those things.  Naturally, I hated Premium Rush.  What is most egregious, I think, is that if I put aside how angry Premium Rush made with its premise and main character, Premium Rush becomes a totally forgettable MacGuffin chase featuring one of the lamest villains in recent memory, whose motivation is his “poor impulse control”.  That means he’s selfish and willing to do anything to pay off his gambling debts so he can turn around and gamble some more, and of course that’s more important than whatever plans any other characters have for their lives or their money.  Not even Michael Shannon can give the bad guy more than one dimension.

You may like this movie if your fantasy is to take your bike-riding idiocy to the big stage of New York City (or I suppose you may also relate if your fantasy is to live a life of corruption in order to feed your gambling addiction, though in that case this movie may not have quite the ending you’re hoping for).  If that’s you then allow me to point out that you are a terrible person and I would rather you spend your time watching this movie than inflicting damage to those around you.  For everyone else, Premium Rush is one to avoid.

 

 

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The Accidental Husband

A “love doctor” radio host counsels a caller to break up with her fiance. The jilted ex vows revenge on said love doctor. Hilarity ensues?

This plot is so predictable. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the fire fighter who gets left in advance of the alter. He doesn’t stop for even a second to ask himself if perhaps his gaping immaturity might be a contributing factor, and instead hatches a plan for vengeance against the well-meaning woman (Uma Thurman) who suggested that a caller follow her own intuition and call off a hastily planned wedding to a guy she’d only known a few months. His plan is to of course humiliate the good doctor in her own love life, making it impossible for her to wed her intended (Colin Firth).

1533_largeIf you’ve seen more than 5 movies, then you already know what’s going to happen: she’s going to hate the hell out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan right up to the moment when she falls madly in love with him. She will ditch her fiance, who is not a bad guy, whose only flaw seems to be believing his girlfriend isn’t a complete whack job.

I loathe this movie. I detest all movies like it. I can’t even decide if it’s more demeaning to women or to men but it’s god-awful and doesn’t even have the courtesy to make sense. Spoiler alert: this movie is for the brainless. If this is your idea of a romantic comedy, you deserve to die alone, your bloated corpse eaten by your cats who never respected you anyway.

The Accidental Husband has a 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and this had made me FURIOUS. Who is the piece of shit 6% who’s ruining it for the rest of us? Well, I was incensed enough to track her down: her name is S. Jhoanna Robledo and she’s the ONLY critic who gave it a fresh rating, and I’m assuming also the only critic to have guzzled the sperm of this movie’s lousy director, Griffin Dunne (who has not been allowed to direct a movie since, thank fuck). Robledo writes for Common Sense Media, a website that – get this! – helps parents decide if a movie is okay for kids to watch. She told parents that The Accidental Husband is “teen-friendly” but forgot to mention the part where it makes monsters and rapists out of boys and pathetic, subservient nincompoops out of girls. Christ Almighty.

Monster Trucks

Who is this movie made for? It talks down to its audience like we’re 5 year olds, yet it stars a 27 year old man playing a broody, 16 year old teenager. Okay, so maybe he wasn’t 27 when it was filmed – maybe he was 24. Ish. This movie was slated for release in 2015 but was delayed two years for “post-production” – it lost Viacom a LOT of money before it was even released.

Lucas Till plays the “teenager” in question, old enough to shave, but still makes fast-car noises with his mouth as he pretends to drive a car.

In a small town, an oil company is drilling for oil. They probably should have stopped monster-trucks-lucas-till-trailerwhen they detected a possible ecosystem but guess what? Oil guys are not super ethical! Surprising, I know. Of course something happens: something comes out of the hole. Turns out it’s a new life form, monster-ish in appearance, with a mean craving for oil. It rips through cars in the search for “food.” Tripp is busy brooding away with a strand of perfect blonde hair in his eyes when he encounters the monster he names Creach, and of course befriends it. Creach somehow becomes the motor in his beat up truck, making it go real fast and stuff.

Barry Pepper, Amy Ryan, Danny Glover, and Rob Lowe all have embarrassing roles in this piece of shit. There are trucks and there are monsters and there isn’t much of a story in between. Even my 5 year old nephew would stay away from this thing, and he loves both monsters and trucks. He does not, however, appreciate any love interest in his movies, and by making the protagonist a love-struck teenager, the film effectively eviscerates its only possible target audience.

There goes 104 precious minutes of my life, time I could have spent learning napkin folding or looking for love on Craigslist. What a wreck.

 

Going In Style

going-in-style

Am I having a senior moment?  For the life of me, I still cannot remember the name of this movie without looking it up.  I can always recall the “Going” part but then it gets muddled in a lot of different ways – “Going Out In Style”, “Going All The Way”, “Going Out On A Limb”, “Going For Broke”, and on and on.  I mention that because the first impression given by the title, i.e., generic, forgettable, and lazy, is a good summary of this film.  Along those same lines, with how generic it is I am not one bit surprised to have just discovered this is a remake of a 1979 movie starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg.  I guess I am about 65 years too young to remember that one, even though I was alive when it came out.

I think I am still about 65 years too young to find the 2017 version tolerable.  And that’s a shame for three reasons: (a) Academy Award Winner Michael Caine; (b) Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman; and (c) Academy Award Winner Alan Arkin.  I absolutely love each of those old guys.  They are endlessly charming even when they phone it in.  And they are totally phoning it in here, probably because they knew that even at 100% effort this movie would still suck.

If you absolutely have to watch this movie, you will not suffer all that much.   You may giggle once or twice and you will feel good despite your cold-hearted cynicism when [SPOILERS] they get away with the heist [/SPOILERS].

But why would you watch this shitty film when, if you want a movie about getting even with those evil banks, you could watch Hell or High Water, which just came to Netflix and is not only a fantastic film, it also has Jeff Bridges in the curmudgeonly old guy role to tick that box.

Or if you want to be charmed by Michael Caine, you could watch any movie Chris Nolan has directed in the last decade (literally).  And for an instant Caine fix while deciding which Nolan film to pull from your DVD collection, I present Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon trading Michael Caine impressions in The Trip.

Morgan Freeman?  Since you can catch him in basically any movie ever, it is almost guaranteed that you can be charmed by him in a much better film (but be sure NOT to resort to Ben-Hur).  If I had to pick only one, it would be The Shawshank Redemption – that is peak Mo-Free on display as an old criminal with a heart of gold.

Alan Arkin?  Argo and Little Miss Sunshine.  The perfect grumpy old guy double feature. It’s just so easy to find something better to watch.

That’s the problem with Going In Style.  There are so many superior options, you have to wonder why anyone even bothered, other than Caine, Freeman and Arkin who I hope got paid at least as much as their bank-robbing characters did.  See?  I can’t hold anything against those guys, not even this terrible movie.

 

The Good Guy

Bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Bad bad. Bad bad bad. Bad very bad bad bad. Bad bad bad. Bad bad BAD. Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad badbad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.

Alexis Bledel plays a protagonist you can’t help but hate because she has it all but still whines and complains and makes terrible decisions she’s too old to excuse away. She has a sexy Wallstreet boyfriend who’s willing to defer sex until she’s ready so of course she falls for his co-worker. And then to defend her actions we villainize the boyfriend so we can send him away without a wrinkle in our consciences. The whole thing is cheesy, badly acted, and an insult to bipedals everywhere. Honestly, folks, we’re better than this.

Sam

Somebody really set out to make this Sam character absolutely despicable. He’s a caricature of the worst kind of womanizer – a pig, sure, but an all-around jerk with no redeeming qualities. He only seems to get ahead at work because his boss is nearly as greasy and gross as he is.

Perfect women are described as “skinny, stupid, and mv5bnjqzmzywmzu4ov5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdg2otyxote__v1_uy268_cr120182268_al_drugged out of their minds” – models, of course. So how do we punish such a misogynist? We turn him into a woman of course. Yup, it’s an identity swap movie, and there’s not even a cute cat in it to make it remotely palatable. And the worst part is that once “Sam” is turned into a woman, the misogynist bullcrap is ramped up because it’s somehow funny to have a cute girl spouting utter shit. I might,  might, look past this if there was anything remotely non-disgusting in the script but in fact, all the men are dogs and all the women are shrews. Like real life! And then there’s all the implausible bits.

Anyway. It made me think about what it would be like if my friend and fellow asshole Matt talked to me like the dudes talk to each other in the movie. If Matt were to always refer to Sean as “the old ball and chain” and mocked me openly for being in a relationship with such a “ball buster” and refused to do anything with us as a couple because Sean is insufferably beneath us.

So do you know anyone like this? Someone who openly denigrates marriage and talks about women like all they’re all either secretaries or temptresses, or better yet, both?

And do you think that your workplace would ever accept a random cousin of yours mysteriously filling in for you if you ever disappeared without notice?

Ghost Team

A man obsessed with the paranormal (Napolean Dynamite himself, Jon Heder) decides to put together a “crack” team, including Justin Long, Amy Sedaris, and David Krumholtz, to do a little ghost-hunting himself.

27-ghost-team_w1200_h630The team are meant to be losers and comically so, but that doesn’t explain away the incredibly bad acting, particularly by Justin Long who was never great to begin with but now has fallen down into the boggy ditch-water of has-been celebrities.

You may remember Justin Long’s brief time in the sun: 2006-2009. He’s Just Not That Into You was probably the pinnacle of, and the virtual end of, his career. The world just wasn’t that into him anymore. He’s continued to work, sporadically, nearly invisibly, in pity projects that his old friends throw him, like scraps to a dog. And god knows he does have those puppy dog eyes. But even among the B-listers in this movie, he’s a stand-out bathed in a spotlight of inferiority.

Anyway, the one interesting thing about this movie is that it fails on so many levels: it fails to be a juicy ghost story, it fails to be a decent horror, and it definitely fails to be remotely funny. It’s ostensibly trying to make fun of those paranormal “reality” shows but doesn’t have a goddamn thing to say about it, really. The jokes are paper thin. There’s a third act twist that’s almost good fun but they misuse it by throwing it in beyond the point of our caring. Most people will have turned Ghost Team off well before they ever see it. And truly, it’s not worth hanging in for. Nothing is. This straight-to-video waste of time is better left unwatched.

Meet The Blacks

Carl Black moves his family to California when he meets with a bit of success. His timing’s terrible though – the city is about to have its annual purge, where all crime becomes legal for 12 hours. Sound familiar? Yeah, there’s already a whole franchise called The Purge. But this purge is – you maxresdefaultguessed it – black! Or more specifically, it involves the only black family in a gated community.

I cannot review this movie. I turned it off halfway through. Not even when I’m stuck at work trying to kill time can I sit through a movie this magnificently bad. Is this supposed to be a parody? I can’t even tell. The title is useless. It’s colossally bad. Not in the history of this site have I walked away from an unfinished movie. Isn’t that remarkable? I sat through The DUFF, the Do-Over, Get A Job, and Accidental Love. I didn’t even flinch. There isn’t even a category for how awful this is, or for how much George Lopez embarrasses himself in it.

It’s a black hole of comedy, where a couple of bucks bought a very cheap production, one that is severely unwatchable. They hope to cover up the lack of laughter by lobbing constant racist shit at you. Um, I know the difference. And no amount of Snoop in white face is going to convince me otherwise.

Meet the Blacks is unbearable, and the only thing it’s good for is as a movement to purge all spoof “comedy” henceforth.

Night Owls

We’ve all been there: it’s late, she’s hot, you take her home even though she’s maybe a little crazy. The sex is good because that’s all there is. Dirty, nasty sex. Classic one night stand. Which is what Kevin thinks he’s doing with Madeline until their hook up turns into her suicide attempt, and he realizes he’s not at her house, he’s at his boss’s house, the one he shares with his wife and kids. Sooo….what the fuck?

smoke.pngBecause the plot necessitates it, he can’t call an ambulance in the name of “discretion.” I hate this movie less than 10 minutes in. I have 0% sympathy for 100% of the characters.

A highly qualified foot doctor shows up and slaps her back into consciousness, only to abandon his patient (and his Hippocratic oath), obligating Kevin to “keep her alive” through various contrived soul-baring, post-suicidal flirting sessions. I burst a blood vessel from rolling my eyes so goddamned much.

156 words to say: Not good. Not worth it. Bad bad bad. I could have used its 90 minute run time to drive to the dive bar down the street, make eyes at some loner on a barstool and had my own ill-fated one night stand, and even factoring in some disappointing sex and a persistent case of The Herp, I still might have come out ahead.

The Do-Over

I contemplated going with a one-word review here: sophomoric. Sophomoronic. It’s another piece of shit put together too-quickly by Adam Sandler and friends as part of his Netflix package deal where they gave him millions and he gave them movies he seems to invent as he goes in about 3 days flat. Although I doubt this one’s as bad as as his previous abortion, The Ridiculous Six, it’s also not much better. These are way below the bar of Adam’s regular movies, so you know it’s a low, low standard of fare being offered here. Low. Super low.

Like here’s Adam Sandler’s last theatre-released movie, Pixels. Pretty shit movie actually, but not the worst thing ever made.

And lower than that: a romance that makes you barf in your mouth it’s so damned cheesy and stereotypical.

And underneath that: movies where people are battling sharks, or sharks are battling nature, or nature is battling some other super scary sea creature.

Even lower: films where foreign characters are played with racist enthusiasm by white people.

Even lower: movies starring Johnny Depp made this century.

Lower: super hero movies ruined by Josh Trank.

Lower still: found-footage films made by 8th graders.

And then: the footage from any 3 random colonoscopies.

Finally: Adam Sandler’s Netflix movies.

So there. You’ve been warned. But instead of just telling you to stay away, I’m going to fulfill some of my community service obligations by giving you a short list of stuff that’s way more worthy, and available on Netflix right now.

Requiem For The American Dream: Four years worth of discourse with Noam Chomsky on the defining characteristic of our time – the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.

Autism In Love: A documentary that follows the love-lives of 4 people, complicated (and sometimes not) by their autism.
Dope: Life changes for Malcolm, a musically-inclined geek who’s surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a scary Los Angeles adventure.
A Single Man: An English professor is barely coping with life a year after the sudden loss of his boyfriend. Colin Firth at his melancholic best.
Eagle vs Shark: New Zealand’s sense of humour is among the best, and Taika Waititi is one of my favourite film makers. This one is astoundingly funny, about a woman who falls in love with a loser.
Short Term 12: Brie Larson before the Oscar, but just as Oscar-worthy, about a young woman who works in a group home. Tough fucking job.
Force Majeure: A real conversation piece. When a family on a ski vacation suffers a near-death experience and the father doesn’t quite live up to expectations, everyone’s disillusioned.
Two Days One Night: Marion Cotillard has not very long (guess HOW long!) to try to save her job before it throws her family into a desperate situation.
Philomena: Brilliantly acted by both Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, an elderly woman tries to locate the baby she gave up to adoption many years ago.
The Boxtrolls: Lovely stop-motion animation. A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator.
Fruitvale Station: Cops killing black people for no damn reason. Deeply emotional. Michael B. Jordon establishes himself as a star.
Beginners:A youngish man (Ewan McGregor) is shocked by two announcements from his elderly father (Christopher Plummer): that he has terminal cancer, and that he’s gay.
Amelie: You’ve probably already seen it, and should probably see it again. Total whimsy. Amelie is an innocent who decides to help those around her and, even if she herself may need help too.
Boy: Another one by Taika Waititi because I couldn’t resisit and really, why should I? Boy is an 11 year old Michael Jackson fan who gets to know his criminal father when he returns home to retrieve buried treasure.
The Queen of Versailles: One of my favourite documentaries about the 1% – specifically a couple trying to build the biggest single-family home ever but then the recession hits and things get awkward.
What are your favourite Netflix recommendations? Feel free to leave relevant links in the comments! Let’s work together, film community, to make sure nobody has to sit through this movie. We can do it!
Some other great recommendations:
Europa Report
New on Netflix: Grandma, and Infinitely Polar Bear