Monday, August 12, 2013

Wknd Box Office: Elysium, We’re the Millers, Blue Jasmine, Lovelace, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Jug Face, Prince Avalanche, The Canyons

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 choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: Elysium, We’re the Millers, Blue Jasmine, Lovelace, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Jug Face, Prince Avalanche, The Canyons

By Debbie Schlussel

Sorry my movie reviews are up late, but there are eight new movies debuting in theaters this weekend, and I just didn’t have time to finish my reviews of them all before the Jewish Sabbath. Trust me, you didn’t miss much. They are all pretty much dreck, with the best of the bunch–and that’s relative–being the Woody Allen flick and the kids’ movie. Even those weren’t too good, though. I sat through more than a full half day of crap for these reviews. So, better late than never. Or in the case of these movies, maybe it’s better never than late with most of ‘em.

* “Elysium“: This is nearly two hours of the most blatant silver screen propaganda I’ve seen in a while. And it’s incredibly boring, predictable, and a waste of your time. It’s a cinematic screed for illegal alien amnesty and Obamacare. Not surprisingly, the movie doesn’t accurately portray how America deals with illegal aliens or healthcare because in this movie, they actually catch and deport almost all illegal aliens. We barely catch or deport any. And we provide all of them with excellent healthcare, better than most Americans get, not as it is portrayed in this movie. Typical Hollywood class warfare yawn-inducing garbage.

The story: it’s the future, and all the poor people are stuck on Earth, where the air is polluted and conditions are horrible and squalid. Strangely, they all speak Spanish, even star Matt Damon who has said in interviews that his character is Hispanic (as are most other people remaining on Earth). The wealthy top percents of people–all of them Aryan, patrician types–live on Elysium–a nearby space station shaped like a giant wheel, where the lawns are lush, it’s always sunny, and everyone lives in a giant mansion. Also, no one is ever sick because they all have a contraption in their homes that looks like a tanning bed, but is instead an instant healer. It scans the body and eliminates all illnesses, including cancer. But it only works on recognized citizens of Elysium. Citizens of both Elysium and Earth have computer chips or tattoos of some sort on their arms that tell the scanner of what state they are citizens.

Matt Damon is a factory worker who helps make the robotic police that enforce the law on Earth and serve as Homeland Security deportation officers on Elysium. Damon gets is treated badly by the evil White people who run the factory and gets exposed to radiation there. He gets cancer, is given five days to live, and makes a bargain with an illegal alien smuggling ring so that he can get to Elysium to cure his cancer. His childhood friend, Frey, has a daughter with Leukemia, and he wants to help her gt cured, too. So, he gets operated on and inserted with a contraption and is supposed to download the information from the brain of the elitist billionaire owner of the robot factory in exchange for being smuggled to Elysium.

A very wooden Jodie Foster, who does a horrible fake accent, is the Secretary of Defense on Elysium (so clearly Elysium does not discriminate against lesbians), and runs Homeland Security with an iron fist. She employs violent secret agents on Earth and the robots on Elysium to track, capture and/or kill, and deport illegal aliens. She and President Patel are at odds about her violent methods, but she has a high success rate. Ultimately, though, Damon and his friend and her daughter make it onto Elysium. Soon they reprogram everything so that all citizens of Earth are citizens of Elysium.

We are the world, we are the children, amnesty, amnesty, yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah.

I struggled to stay awake through this horrible movie that was so action-packed and yet so dull and unexciting. Don’t waste your time or money on this.



* “We’re the Millers“: Absolutely awful and disgusting. This was supposed to be a comedy, but I barely laughed. Instead, it was an excuse to mock mainstream, Christian, middle Americans and was a vanity platform for Jennifer Aniston to do some dumb stripper dance and show us that, at 44, she still has a good body (and, yet, she looked every bit like a 44-year-old mom, anyway). If your idea of funny is seeing some grotesque depiction of a giant penis and testicle after they were bitten by a spider, then this movie is for you, you sicko. For everyone else, it’s an incredibly horrific waste of time.

The story: a minor drug dealer (Jason Sudeikis) is robbed and owes his kingpin (Ed Helms) the missing money and drugs. So he agrees to become a mule and transport a large amount of drugs over the border from Mexico. To do that, he gets and RV and recruits two of his neighbors–one of them an 18-year-old loser kid, one a stripper–and a punky girl from the street to pose as his family. We’re supposed to be so touched–after a lot of grossness and sickening behavior–that they ultimately, predictably, bond as a family. Awwww. PUH-LEEZE.

In one scene, Sudeikis asks his fake son to give oral sex to a Mexican police officer, so they can go on their way. In another scene, there’s the spider-stricken penis on the “son.” Even male critics I know who aren’t grossed out by anything were disgusted by this “sight,” and they kept showing it over and over again.

Oh, and did I mention that along the way, they meet a mainstream middle American family of Christians, who are mocked and depicted as idiotic, annoying, backward, and ultimately interested in swinging and other sexual weirdness. Yes, that’s the way Hollywood sees average Americans who go see their crappy movies (or are smarter than that and don’t go see them).

A total disaster. Skip this at all cost.


* “Blue Jasmine“: This is Woody Allen’s latest movie, and it is extremely depressing, not to mention yet another class warfare flick. I would be lying, however, if I said it wasn’t entertaining or funny. It is both, and it goes by quickly.

The main character is Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) a snobby White American woman who lived the life of luxury in New York, until she turns in her Madoff-like husband (Alec Baldwin), after discovering that he’s been cheating on her for years. Then, she loses everything. Her husband commits suicide in prison. Her son drops out of Harvard and disowns here. And she is forced to live with her working-class sister (Sally Hawkins), a grocery cashier, in San Francisco. But she remains a snob and can’t get used to being dropped so many rungs on the social class ladder. She insults her sister, her sister’s friends, and her sister’s way of life, all while trying to climb back up. She’s also extremely depressed and on pills for her mental issues (she talks to people who aren’t there). The movie goes back and forth with flashbacks, explaining what happened to her.

Again, it’s entertaining and funny, but not enough to make up for how damned depressing it is. I also note that the movie’s two leads, Blanchett and Hawkins, are not in fact Americans, and you can sort of tell by the way they talk that their American accents are not genuine. One of the few foreign actors (Canada doesn’t count) I’ve seen who does a great American accent is the very hot Aussie Sullivan Stapleton of Cinemax’s “Strike Back.” Blanchett is Australian, and Hawkins is British. Still, they make a good effort, and their acting is terrific.

I had mixed feelings on this (aside from it being so depressing), because of it’s class warfare aspect. And because I can’t ever envision Woody Allen going down from his wealthy lifestyle to that of a grocery cashier. Methinks he’d be even more snobby than Blanchett is in her takedown in this movie.

The best part about this movie is Andrew Dice Clay, by the way.


* “Lovelace“: This movie completely whitewashes the life of the late Linda Boreman a/k/a Linda Lovelace, the star of porn movie, “Deep Throat,” as portrayed here by Amanda Seyfriend in this. The movie blames here life as a porn star on her parents’ devout Catholicism and also claims that her parents (her mother is played by a low-glam and barely recognizable version of skank Sharon Stone) forced her back into a marriage to the wife-beater who “forced” her into porn because of their religion and opposition to divorce. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Although Linda Lovelace, throughout her life, claimed that her first ex-husband, Chuck Traynor (played by far-leftist Peter Sarsgard in this movie) beat her and forced her to star in “Deep Throat.” She also claims, as is shown in this movie, that she only spent 17 days of her life as a porn star. The movie makes it look as if “Deep Throat” was her only movie.

But the truth is otherwise. Lovelace starred in 21 porn movies, including several before and after she met Traynor. Before she even met Traynor, she willingly starred in bestiality movies and had sex with animals in front of the camera. If that was caused by Catholicism, we’d be a far more sick country than we already are, and America would be populated with porn stars.

Even though I’m neither Catholic nor Christian, I was extremely offended at the prominent blame the movie gives to Catholicism and religion as the cause of Lovelace’s warped lifestyle. In fact, America’s cities are now littered with out-of-wedlock births, crime, drugs, and deviance, NOT because there is too much religion in America and too many parents with family values, but because there is far too little of both.

The movie originally featured scenes of Sarah Jess-equine Parker as Gloria Steinem, because feminists ultimately took Lovelace under their wing (she said they used her and hijacked her cause), when she spoke out against porn. But the filmmakers cut that part out of the movie. That’s too bad because it would have lent to a discussion of what I’ve always noted with regard to her life: that it is ironic that feminists–who championed free love, the sexual revolution, the end of marriage, and the expansion of women in the workplace–hypocritically had the sudden urge to oppose pornography, which is the sad, depraved ultimate result of the lifestyle they championed.

Even though the movie showed the negative aspects of Linda Lovelace’s life–that her husband beat her, that she made barely any money after disgracing herself in a movie that made billions, that she was forced into prostitution and did drugs–it ultimately glamorizes that life. And that’s too bad.

Even sadder, is that being the star of pornography is, today, not frowned upon at all. Instead, it is viewed as a star turn, as shown by the Kardashians, who make nearly a hundred million a year, all because daughter Kim made a porn tape and her manager mother, Kris, marketed it to the world.

Sadly, the only message the world will get from “Lovelace” is that Linda Lovelace was born and began her career several decades too soon. Today, she’d be living it up like the Kardashians.

A disgusting display.

*** One other thing: star Amanda Seyfriend told interviewers that she began watching pornography at age five or six. Anyone who would brag about that is kinda sick and needs help. Her parents should have been locked up. It reminds me of serial killers who said they began torturing animals as kids. (Thanks for the tip on that to Brett Winterble.)


* “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters“: While there is nothing objectionable about this movie, and it’s fine for the kids who are its target audience, it’s kind of boring. This second installment of the Percy Jackson story pretty much matches my review of the first one. It’s too long, has too much stuff going on, is kind of confusing, and lacks the magic of, say, a Harry Potter movie, which this is trying badly to be (and even the Harry Potter movies weren’t that great, especially the last few). But, like I said, it’s one of the rare movies these days that doesn’t have anything truly objectionable in it and can be seen by kids and families.

The story, which–again–was confusing has to do with a prophecy that says that Percy, the demi-god son of a Greek god (Poseidon), will obtain the golden fleece, and he travels through a sea of monsters to a a defunct amusement park to get it. Ho hum. But it was okay.


* “Jug Face“: I guess I should not longer be amazed that such awful tripe as this gets greenlit for production these days. But it’s truly horrible. High quality Gitmo torture material.

A weird cult in the woods somewhere in the South consists of people marrying off their daughters and sacrificing people to a pit (after beheading them) to save themselves from illness and destruction. A mentally simple man makes jugs of people’s faces based on visions he has, and the jug bears the face of the next designee to be sacrificed. These cult members make moonshine and illegally sell it to the local city people to survive. A teen girl who is about to be married off to someone else in the cult, but she is pregnant from an ongoing sexual relationship with her brother. Her mother (a really haggard Sean Young) checks her daughter’s vagina on a toilet seat to see if she’s had sex.

Yes, this is the crap that comes out of Hollywood these days parading as an arthouse film. And it just gets worse and worse. This is yet another example of why, when people say I’m lucky to review movies, I tell them it’s not “luck.” It’s work. Normally, I’d stop watching the screener for this after two minutes and throw it out. So would you.


* “Prince Avalanche“: Yet another pointless waste of time that I’m not sure why they made. It’s a time bandit and robbed me of 1.5 hours of my life I’ll never get back. I could almost feel my IQ points being sucked down as I watched. The movie takes place in 1988 after a lot of homes were destroyed near the woods from a fire. I’m not sure why at all that’s relevant, but they make sure to tell you at the beginning, as if it is important. Nothing in this movie is important. Not even close. Just the exact opposite.

Two idiotic, dorky guys are painting yellow stripes on a road in the middle of forest land. One (Emile Hirsch) is a complete imbecile who is obsessed with sex. The other (Paul Rudd) is a nerd who is learning German and dating guy number one’s sister. The movie mostly features a lot of extended scenes of them painting the road, putting up signs, and living in the woods. Oh, and talking about inane things. So what? Please tell me why I just watched this. Or why you should waste at least ten bucks of your money and 1.5 hours of your life at this complete waste of time. You can’t. ‘Cuz there ain’t no plausible answer to that.

Just awful.


* “The Canyons“: Another time bandit movie robbing you of valuable time and money in life that you’ll never get back. Not sure what the point of this semi-porn movie is, other than a poor choice of a comeback vehicle for Lindsay Lohan . . . and to repeatedly show her topless and in weird sex orgies. Oh, and also as a star turn to “mainstream” porn star James Deen. Didn’t work. Just low-budget crap and filth. Yuck. It’s more hateful, class warfare crap written by heterosexual-hater Bret Easton Ellis.

The “story” (if you can call it that): Deen, a spoiled trust fund kid, is living with Lohan in a fancy house in the Hollywood Hills (or is it in the canyons?–whatever). He likes to find people on the internet to have orgies with or to watch him and Lohan have sex. He is also making a low-budget movie and has cast Nolan Funk, a poor guy who is struggling for money, to star in it. Funk is the boyfriend of Deen’s secretary, but he’s also the ex of Lohan. And they are still getting together behind Deen’s back, which he finds out about. So he plays games and tricks on Funk and frames him in a murder of Deen’s yoga instructor mistress. The end.

What a frickin’ waste of time.


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