Monday, March 4, 2013

Wknd Box Office: The Sweeney, 21 and Over, Jack the Giant Slayer

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to chosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: The Sweeney, 21 and Over, Jack the Giant Slayer

By Debbie Schlussel

Two out of three ain’t bad. Here are my reviews of what’s new at movie theaters, this weekend.

* “The Sweeney“: My biggest complaint about this movie is that many of the characters speak in a very heavy Cockney English accent, which is difficult to decipher. I also had problems with the glorification of a bad cop. On the other hand, the movie is very entertaining, has a great plot, and is a very suspenseful thriller.

Based on a British TV show, the Flying Squad (a/k/a “The Sweeney”) of London’s Metropolitan Police is a hard-charging law enforcement unit that foils bank robberies and major thefts. One of its most grizzled veterans, played by the always excellent Ray Winstone, isn’t exactly honest but he has his charm and the movie roots for him. He skims off of the recovered loot and makes his own rules. There is something to be said for acting like criminals in order to catch them, but he goes too far and is under investigation by the internal affairs investigator with whose wife Winstone is having an affair. The wife, as well as Winstone’s nephew, work on the Sweeney squad. The Sweeney detectives try to figure out who is behind a jewelry store robbery in which a young customer is executed. They chase after the man who Winstone believes is the culprit, a career criminal Winstone has put behind bars time and again. But is he really the man behind it all? What is really going on here?

Lots of action, car chases, guns, shooting, and thrilling adventure. You definitely won’t be bored. I watched an online critics’ screener of this on little sleep at three in the morning, and I was riveted. While I don’t like the idea of cheering for a dishonest cop, I couldn’t help but join the filmmakers in cheering for him to beat the rap and the criminals, even if the plot resolution (regarding who is behind the robberies) is a little confusing and a tiny bit of a letdown.

This English film is largely in arthouse theaters. If you can’t find it there, it’s a definite candidate for Netflix or DVD when it’s available.


* “21 and Over“: This movie by the makers of “The Hangover” (read my review) makes “The Hangover” look like a masterpiece. This is so absolutely awful, I can’t even make it sound as bad as it is. Complete and utter garbage. I hate every single character and actor in this movie. Forever. It’s just gross, disgusting, lewd, vulgar, and not funny at all. I laughed like maybe three times at the most. If your idea of “hilarious” is a teddy bear glued to a naked Asian guy’s penis, while two of his friends stretch it and pull it off, then this is your movie, and please stay miles away from me. If your idea of “funny” is an Asian kid eating tampons, you’ve got a screw loose. Also, two guys running around naked with tube socks tied around their penises–this is funny how?

The “story”: three friends from high school get together when two of them surprise the third on the night of his 21st birthday. They want to take him out to celebrate and get drunk, but he needs to get to sleep early for his morning interview for medical school. The friends take the third guy, “JeffChang,” out anyway, get him drunk, and then can’t find the way home to where he lives because they don’t know the address. Instead, they are on a wild goose chase all night, including getting tortured and branded by a Hispanic sorority, whose members force two of the guys to make out with and fondle each other while naked.

Yup, Hollywood is getting classier and classier.

This movie is an IQ test for America. If you wasted $10 and two hours of your life to see it, you failed. If you liked it on top of that, you not only failed, you’re a lowlife. How many idiotic “parents” around America will buy their kids tickets to see this? Far too many. That’s why this country is down the drain.


* “Jack the Giant Slayer“: I thought I would hate this, but it was really much better than I expected, and it was much more faithful to the “Jack and the Beanstalk” fairy tale than I expected. Although I thought it was a little too scary and violent for kids, I liked it. It is a little long and slow and the CGI (Computer Generated Imaging) is very obvious. Still, it’s rare these days when a Hollywood movie based on a fairy tale doesn’t reverse things and make the woman the masculine character and the man the chick. That’s why I liked this. Jack is still the hero in this one, and the princess (which I don’t remember from the original fairy tale) is rescued by him. You never see that anymore. It’s nice when the men are masculine and the women are feminine, instead of playing unbelievable she-men swashbucklers slaying men three times their size.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a poor farm hand who trades his uncle’s horse to a monk for magical beans. The monk, who is trying to escape the evil suitor of the princess, tells Jack not to get the beans wet. He warned the princess’ suitor that the beans are of black magic. We learn they are the relics from the days when King Eric had to get rid of the warrior giants from the kingdom so the people could live in peace. But one of the beans falls through the cracks of Jack’s uncle’s house, and a rain storm gets the bean wet. Soon a stalk grows through the house and the princess is stuck in it. Jack must climb the stalk with the King’s men to try to rescue the princess. The king of the giants has a second head, which comprises a retarded character. I could have done without that absurdity. And the movie gets a little carried away. But overall, it wasn’t bad as far as retelling of fairy tales goes in the movies today.


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