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Labor Day (2013)
Like Watching Paint Dry
We went to see Labor Day primarily because some of it was shot in Shelburne Falls MA, a town we know well. When we were there last the Visitor's Center had articles about the makeover the town got. We both thought the film dragged... to the point I could not wait for it to be over. It was like watching paint dry. I've not felt this way about a film since Butterfly and the Diving Bell. While for the most part the performances were fine, I felt the premise was implausible, highly contrived and full of holes to the point of being distracting and laughable. The scenes that were to add suspense felt stilted. Since we had some fine actors here... I can't give it a #1. Was it the director's fault for making such a boring film?
The Other Guys (2010)
Don't Waste Your Money!
My girlfriend and I needed some laughs and were looking for a decent comedy. When in doubt she goes by the IMDb ratings. Over the weekend the Other Guys was rated 7.4 but there were only 1800 votes at the time. Of course I'd been trying to talk her into seeing Predators LOL.
So since Tuesday is discount movie night we went to see The Other Guys. I was wondering whether we'd made a mistake about 5 minutes into it. It went downhill from there. I can think of only one funny moment: when the Rock and Jackson go for the bushes.
Will Farrel has had some decent films, the Anchorman comes to mind. There may have been a number of flops I just never considered seeing. I like most of Wahlberg's films. The Big Hit proves he can do deadpan comedy.
So where did this film fall sooooooo flat? I thought the screenplay was dreadful and good actors can't compensate for dreadful dialogue, unfunny characters or jokes. And it's not as if the plot was that coherent. Neither my girlfriend nor I thought this movie was in the least funny. I must have asked her about 5 times... shall we try to get our money back? When there was no redeeming finale, she finally agreed staying to the end was a mistake.
Our recommendation is don't waste good money or 2 hours of your life seeing this film on the big screen. If you really want to see it... it will soon be a $1 rental at a Red Box near you.
Then if 15 minutes into it, you stop watching out of disgust, you're only out $1.00.
Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007)
Like Watching Paint Dry
The movie has a lot going for it... good acting and cinematography. And I can feel compassion for Jean-Dominique Bauby's plight. After suffering a massive stroke he lost the use of everything but his mind and one eye. Yes, given his condition it was a marvel the was able to write a book about his condition using nothing but an alphabet chart and a blinking eye.
That being said, what the movie lacked was a compelling reason to keep watching. While all the tedious communication between Bauby and his nurses and family may have been historically accurate, it translates into tedious cinema. For me, this movie was as interesting as watching paint dry.
The ONLY part I found interesting was the reverse time photography during the final credits.
Meet the Spartans (2008)
Meet The Spartans; Why IMDb Needs a NO STARS Rating Option
I'd seen Meet The Spartans on the shelves of the local rental store and got it when I was running out of choices and desperate enough to rent anything. Hmmm... no quotes from critics. That's ALWAYS a bad sign. Was it straight to video? But it started out with the 20th Century Fox intro so it couldn't be that bad... right? Perhaps I'm not qualified to give a review let alone rate this film since I thought it was idiotic by minute 1 and getting worst by the second. By minute 3 I'd already thought I'd wasted enough of my precious life and turned it off to get back to the HBO mini-series on John Adams. Now THAT is something worth seeing. It is for movies like this that IMDb does its readers a disservice by not allowing a NO Stars vote. The default 1 Star = awful ends up being too generous for trash like such as this.
So this film actually made it to the theaters?
Between the Walls (2006)
Cheap Fundamentalist Film
The only reason I rented this film was because it was not listed as a Christian film. Who could know the Family Friendly rating and the WYSIWYG Film Festival were Christian! So not knowing the above and only briefly skimming the notes, I tried to get into this film despite the terrible acting, hoping the intriguing backstory might be prove to be worthwhile.
The main character's dad was a dictatorial Christian control freak who recorded everything in the house. He was both an omniscient and vengeful figure whose mode of interacting with his son is through punishment. The similarities to the god of the old testament are unmistakable. These tapes are not discovered until the house is to be repossessed.
While there were some interesting juxtapositions where the main character as an adult relives his painful past through his father's tapes, the movie's heavy-handed fundemenalist message was overbearing. According to the filmmakers humanity by nature is inherently depraved and we are not worthy of anything unless we surrender to God. This is not a Christian message.
The only way I can justify having wasted 72 minutes of my life is to warn others.
Running with Scissors (2006)
Perhaps the worst film I've ever seen!!!!!
I had been looking forward to seeing Running With Scissors ever since I'd heard a movie was being made from the book. Not that I knew much about the book but interviews with the author made it sound intriguing. When I rented the DVD and looked at the list of actors I was impressed. How could anything with a star cast including Brian Cox, Annette Bening, Alex Baldwin, and Gwyneth Paltrow be anything but a smashing hit? How wrong I was.
I'm generally not very critical of movies. And it's rare that I hate a film so much that I want to hit the eject button some 10 minutes into a film. The last one was when I rented the Black Dahlia imposter film. Perhaps I watched the whole thing hoping it would all fall together. Perhaps it was only to come to IMDb and see if my opinion was so far off the norm. After reading all the negative comments, I see I'm not.
I still haven't pinned down what I so disliked about this movie. Bening's, Baldwin's, and Cox's performances were adequate to good, but I didn't sympathize with, or find any of the characters in any way credible. And that has to be the problem with this movie. When the material is so marginal, all the lipstick in the world won't change the fact that a pig is a pig. A good soundtrack usually doesn't stand out, it just blends into and enhances a film. I found this soundtrack annoying in the extreme. As for the story line, it goes nowhere and as a story just does not gel. What a god awful mess!!
I can never get my two hours back... but I can make it my mission to warn others not to make the same mistake I did.
"What Dreams May Come" as a comedy?
A comic version of What Dreams May Come? Imaginative premise with stunning, creative, visuals: a bad acid trip with a heart. Brandon Fraiser is in his element though I'm not sure I liked Whoopie's role played for so many laughs. I regret putting this movie off as long as I did.