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Great another cliché. Just what we all need
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Okay, so right off the bat I have to say that Monster In Law is bad. It's really dumb, cliché ridden, and common. It's not Showgirls bad but it is mediocre and I think I've had quite enough of mediocrity. I know many of you out there might be saying: "well what do you expect, Citizen Kane". Well, yes I do. At least the "Citizen Kane" of modern romantic comedies. Hell, I'll take an attempt at something unique or original; but to be honest I'm sick of settling and forgiving these films for their lack of creativity just because these movies are charming.
Set in the near future a space alien steals the DNA of just kidding. Monster in Law is the story of the nicest girl ON THE PLANET (Jennifer Lopez) who meets the perfect man (Michael Vartan). When I say perfect I mean the dude is perfect; he's a surgeon, you see, and every time someone on his operating table dies he yells: "It just doesn't get any easier!!!" No, I'm kidding again. He is a surgeon, yes, but he's perfect so no one dies. Anyway, nicest girl, perfect man want to get married. Enter perfect man's mom (Jane Fonda). JaFo doesn't want MiVa to marry J.Lo. I wasn't quite sure of the reason why. I think it had to do with some sort socialite caste system. See, Jenny From The Block is merely a temp/dog walker and Hanoi Jane is a rich T.V, talk personality who drops names like a seagull at a statue. So obviously Lopez isn't good enough for Vaughn I mean Vartan.
Over the course of the movies 90 minute running time you will be subjected to the following: Conspiracies to derail the wedding. The Clinging Mother who feigns anxiety attacks. The "Dogs attacking Prada/Gucci/Fendi" gag. The sleeping pill resulting in the face- in-the-worlds-worst-food/dish joke. And, if orange is the new black; allergy flare-ups in romantic comedies must be the new fart joke. Oh, and just when you think they couldn't possibly go there, the words: "You win, the wedding's off" actually are spoken thus giving us all the required rom-com conflict clichés.
There is something that I must concede. Wanda Sykes not only steals this movie from its two stars but she is so good that I would pay money to see her do it again (rental people rental). She is hilarious as Fonda's caustic quick-witted assistant. Sykes has made a career out of playing the sidekick and all her training has paid of beautifully. No one could've delivered the line: "I think I dislocated my vagina" as well as Sykes. She is the reason you won't ask for your money back at the end of Monster In Law.
Sykes aside Monster in Law has remained faithful to the unoriginal formula Hollywood has been recently churning out. I, for one am done forgiving talented people for being just good enough. You hear me Keanu! You make too much God Damned money to suck as often as you do. The same goes for Fonda and Lopez. Vartan gets a pass cause he's new.
xXx: State of the Union (2005)
First 40 mins SUCKED...The rest? Who knows.
I walked out after the first 40 mins. It was just too much to take. I have a very high tolerance for "bad" films(I really dug the first xXx) and have only walked out three time before (Dungeons and Dragons, Bad Company, and The Musketeer). This ego driven piece of garbage was just intolerable. Every time Ice Cube (a man I quite like) mugged for the camera I cringed. And Willem Dafoe is SHAMELESS. After 40mins of excruciating dialogue and NO PLOT I had to leave. I'm sure this movie is about something and there's some cool stunts, I just wasn't about to waste the rest of my evening in hopes that the film got better.
So to be fair I can't really give this a review but I can say that life is short and sometimes we just gotta put our foot down and not take the crap the studios are feeding us. Because this was clearly a movie made on autopilot. Boo!
Mean Girls (2004)
Tight Script. Really enjoyable movie.
I really dug this movie. I've seen it twice and it stood up. The script it tight. And Lindsay Lohan is going to be a huge movie star. She's climbing up the adult
content meter at the perfect pace, going from G to PG to PG-13. A couple more smart dark comedies and she'll be ready for more edgy dramatic fair.
Tina Fey has written a really good script. Even though this movie lives in cliche ville, Mean Girls is not at all contrived. It was sort of like "Heathers" but not as fantastic or dark. I think the comparisons are a little unfair (flattering, I'm sure, but not accurate). I guess there just needs to be more "Smart, Dark Comedies"
about high school. I say Tina Fey should write those ones too.
Tim Meadows has some of the best lines and the biggest groaners. It's good to see him out there without a lisp and lust for "Da Ladies".
Tina Fey is excellent as the math teacher. Her bit with her working two jobs is actually a smart little subversive jab at the Economic Policies in America. Speaking of subversive I loved the use of "coarse language?" in this film. Very PG-13. Words like: "A" hole" and "Fugly", we get the meaning and yet, kids can watch too. Very smart Good stuff Tina Keep it up.
Van Helsing (2004)
Contender for the Worst Film of The Year
Wow, what a stinker. Before I go on, let me just say that I'm not a hard man to please. All I ask is that a movie commits to something!! ANYTHING. Van Helsing was so all over the place it didn't know whether it was a Broad comedy or an action FX extravaganza. It failed on every level.
Van Helsing must vanquish evil in all physical forms (good premise) He travels to Transylvania (where every woman in drop dead gorgeous) to battle Dracula and a Werewolf, who happens to be the blood relative of the best looking woman in Romania: Anna (Kate Beckinsale). Van Helsing must kill Dracula so that Anna's clan may enter the gates of Heaven (for many. many, many, generations they have been cursed). Rome orders Van Helsing to, at any cost, protect Anna and vanquish this evil before her lineage dies and the whole damn family spends eternity in purgatory. Sort of a "Saving Private Ryan" for the occult set. Again, cool premise BUT WAIT there's more: Van Helsing is really...oh I can't ruin this one you have to see it for yourselves to believe it.
There are baby vampires?!? And a monster who, after being locked under ground for a year, still seems to know how everything works.
Look if you're going to give a character exposition, at least give it to someone who knows what their talking about! I mean really, HOW WOULD FRANKENSTEIN KNOW EVERYTHING? He's been in exile. I know the information needs to come out but come on even the 8 year old kid sitting a row away at the screening said:"How come he knows that?" Bad play Sommers.
Nope this movie is a dud. Hugh Jackman is wasted, and so is Kate Beckinsale. It's too cheesy and contains way too many SPFX. What happened to stunt men and stunt women. We can tell, you know, it's not seamless. And the dialogue..Oh my God it's atrocious!!!
Mom always said "If you don't have anything nice to say..." so I have to say I really liked the woman you played Dracula's Red headed wife: something--ina, she's the last bride to die and she seemed like she was having fun. I also dug the...no I didn't it sorry. The rest sucked. Too bad I thought "The Mummy" was fun.
A Problem with Fear (2003)
Would work as a short Film
Gary Burns likes to be cool. His movies are cool. "waydowntown" was really cool. "A Problem With Fear" is not cool.
"A Problem With Fear" has a great premise, is well acted and (sometimes) well shot. The problem is it just does not work for 90 mins. It could have if the director gave us more plot and less cool. Instead of giving a little more exposition and back round, Gary Burns decided to populate his movie with lots of subplots and shots of naked women running across the street. I'm sure it all means something...something really cool.
"A Problem With Fear" is set (I think) in the "Not So Distant Future" where one company is trying to cause the stock market to crash by sort of 'V' chipping the city into a "Fear Storm" (this happens by having the most phobic person on the planet send telepathic waves of fear which manifest into real tragedies: escalator deaths, elevator deaths, traffic deaths...) Make sense? No? Well that's okay neither does the movie.
"A Problem With Fear" is just too busy being a satire to really get a grasp on what it's satirizing: Corporate fear mongering for profit (Code Yellow anyone?). If Gary Burns had spent a little more time with plot points and character arcs and a little less time on glib hipster-mall -culture wit he might have made a movie worth thinking about. As it stands now this film is just a wannabe Lynchian fable. Sorry but the naked woman running in slow motion, for no reason, isn't symbolic...it's dumb. I don't know, maybe I'm just not hip enough to get it.
Gary Burns should keep doing what he's doing, eventually he'll make a REALLY COOL Movie. As it stands "A Problem With Fear" should have been a really cool short film.
Really good movie. Look forward to the next one.
I think people should see this movie. It's a well made DV feature with a good story and really good acting. In the center of the film are it's three protagonists (Darla, Stevie, and Boy) and their relationships with abuse. A simple enough concept, an easy view, but what makes this movie special are two things: A) the abuse is never exploitive (See: Larry Clark's "Kids") and B) Although centered in reality there is enough cathartic visualization to distract the viewer. This also sort of works against the film in that when we get sucked into the reality of the story our hearts break, but when we see or hear something a little out of place we become slightly removed from the mythology the script had created. For example: when the trio are on the swing set and its pouring rain, as they swing higher and higher they scream louder and louder. This is a really nice visualization of Catharsis but it may be a little to arty for the gritty DV reality that are the lives of Darla, Stevie, and Boy. Another example (although much more palpatable): The Bonfire Scene. The trio throw into a bonfire that which binds them to their abuse. As a visual statement, it's very powerful, I just don't know that the Characters in this film would have that sort insight ; they seem smart enough to concoct a wonderfully clever rouse yet not smart enough to leave their respective situations...grant it that's kind of the point Dimarco is making: Abuse is not something easily walked away from. Steve Dimarco is also wonderful writer: "there are worse things a guy can put inside of you besides his cxxk"-Darla "Like what?"-Stevie "Like his thoughts"-Darla I just don't know that these characters would say these great lines. Maybe they would, I mean they did so obviously they 'would'. And these critiques are minor ones. I was really affected by this movie. I think it's a great calling card for future features from a brave new voice in Canadian Cinema. I hope Steve Dimarco is well funded and finds the perfect medium for his visual ideas. See this movie. Good Stuff.