Monday, September 19, 2016

Wknd Box Office: Snowden, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Blair Witch, Complete Unknown, Max Rose

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: Snowden, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Blair Witch, Complete Unknown, Max Rose

By Debbie Schlussel



Nothing to rave about (or even just like) among the new movies in theaters today, including America-hating Oliver Stone crap and two unnecessary, annoying sequels of movies more than a decade old.
* Snowden – Rated R: Remember when “conservative” talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Glenn Beck were gushing over ex-National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden as some sort of patriot, when he was and remains, in fact, a traitor who sold out America’s spy operations to enemies around the world? (I believe Mark Levin also spewed this crap, too.) Of course, each of them has since shut up about their weird mancrush Snowden but none of them has retracted or apologized for praising him profusely. Not a one has apologized for lauding the man who jeopardized and actually cost the lives of our spies around the world, after giving away their identities and locations to anyone who would listen.
And, yet, Limbaugh et al gushing over Snowden is echoed in boring detail and profusely-long propaganda on the silver screen in Snowden the movie, directed and co-written by America-hater Oliver Stone (who loves HAMAS and Hitler and whose son converted to Islam in Iran). Yup, they were–and to date, remain–on the same side as Oliver Stone. Congrats, bitches. I’ll never forget Limbaugh’s drooling over Snowden and lecturing us how Snowden is different from Bradley/Chelsea Manning, who gave away the store to Wikileaks and also cost us lives. Um, he’s different how . . .? Because he doesn’t want to cut off his penis and get breast implants? Wow, big difference.
If Snowden were really concerned with the privacy of innocent Americans, he would have raised only those issues, instead of giving away the store.
The movie–which has the real-life Snowden’s blessing (and he appears in it at the end)–shows us how simultaneously arrogant, smug, naive, and stupid Snowden is. He whines that the NSA isn’t just monitoring phone calls of terrorists in Lebanon, but also the Americans with whom they are communicating on the phone, “including a dentist in Buffalo.” Um, that’s exactly whom the government should be monitoring. If a Hezbollah or ISIS terrorist is on the phone with a Buffalo dentist, that’s a matter of great concern, and that dentist should be under a microscope (plus we should allow him to drill Edward Snowden’s teeth). Here’s a tip: Muslim dentists in Buffalo can be terrorists, just like six Muslim students in Buffalo–who had contacts with terrorists in the Middle East–turned out to be terrorists who trained in terrorist training camps and were planning to attack America. They are known as “The Lackawanna Six.” These are exactly the kinds of “Americans” (In Name Only!) we should be watching closely. That has no connection with the privacy of average Americans.
But let me get this straight: if a dentist in Buffalo is on the phone with ISIS chief Abubakr Al-Baghdadi, we should look the other way and ignore the conversations? Are you sh-ttin’ me?!
Because this is clearly propaganda–the sole purpose of which is as a salvo in the campaign to pardon Snowden–the movie is entirely one-sided. There is no mention of all the stuff Snowden gave away, all the lies he told, all the lives he jeopardized, all the spies he exposed. The report from a two-year-long bipartisan House Intelligence Committee investigation into Edward Snowden’s actions and claims found that Snowden violated American’s privacy rights more than he protected them and that the vast majority of his revelations jeopardized national security including military and national security operations. Very few of his actions exposed violations of privacy of innocent Americans, and he was found to be a big-time liar and exaggerator. In fact, the vast majority of the documents he stole were military and defense secrets that had nothing to do with Americans’ privacy.
And the concerns he raises seem anachronistic, simplistic, and out of touch. All of the same Americans who whine about online and telephonic privacy are the same ones who, every day, give up every scintilla of privacy they might have had so they can post pictures on Facebook of their cat who looks like Hitler. Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon know far more about their private lives and habits than the NSA. And they don’t whine about it because that’s not hip, chic, and mystique-filled, like whining about the NSA and helping the sacred Muslim terrorists and their precious Islam.
Snowden is upset that the NSA can look into which foreigners in a particular country that the President is visiting have made threats online against the President. Huh? The Secret Service and NSA should be looking into that stuff. Snowden is also shocked–shocked!–that we spy on allies or that we at one point have the whole of Syria’s social media posts under surveillance. Um, these are basic, necessary things. Every single country spies on its allies. Countries that don’t have idiots and incompetents running the show. A nation doesn’t have permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. But Snowden expresses dismay that we follow our enemies’ metadata. Um, why wouldn’t we?
Snowden lectures the moviegoer that our spy operations are “about control, about the supremacy of your [the U.S.] government.” Damn straight they are. The only reason anyone would object to that would be if they hate America and don’t believe it’s the best. If you share that view, go to Russia via China along with Snowden because we have no use for you here.
And on top of all of this, there are the “artistic” mistakes in this movie, which are legion. The two-hour-fifteen-minute celluloid screed is long, slow, and boring. I kept thinking we were at the end, and then it kept on going. It ended like 15 times. The movie is chock-full of confusing flashbacks and flashforwards. Also distracting is the fact that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks nothing like Snowden, but artificially pushes his voice down to mimic the real Snowden’s deep voice. It’s weird. Very weird. Then, there is the annoying, lackluster “acting” of Shailene Woodley in an obvious, terrible wig, playing Snowden’s pole-dancing girlfriend. Who cares? She added nothing but unnecessary melodrama to this already way-too-long baloney of a movie. And finally, the movie portrays this traitor as everything he’s not: a hero, bashful and modest (he’s actually unduly arrogant and the “smartest guy in the room” who is now stuck in a room in Russia), and a decent guy (how many died because he outed them?–we’ll never know).
One other thing this movie glosses over is Glenn Greenwald, the leftist-activist-cum-Guardian-“journalist” who broke much of the Snowden disclosures. In real-life he’s an anti-American schmuck who left America and gave up his citizenship and a self-hating, anti-Israel Jew In Name Only, who is also a gay activist. He is as traitorous as Snowden.
Oh, and by the way–the thing where Snowden sneaks out materials form the NSA in a Rubik’s Cube? Never happened.
Bottom line, this movie is a sun-kissed, whitewashed story of a traitor. It’s not a biopic. It’s a BS pic.
Watch the trailer . . .

* Bridget Jones’s Baby – Rated R: The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it co-stars and features a script co-written by Israel-boycotting Jew-hater Emma Thompson. I don’t support movies that finance anti-Semites, but I reviewed this with an open mind on its own merit (even though I recommend you give Fraulein Thompson the back of the hand). I couldn’t help but notice, though, that there is a dumb, snide line (among many in this film) about needing to “get footage of the attack on Ramallah.” Um, what attack on Ramallah. If anything, the Palestinian Muslim terrorists in Ramallah are attacking synagogues, bars, bus stations, etc. throughout Israel. Got that, Emma?
The second thing you should know is that the last Bridget Jones movie (“Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”) is from 2004. There is no need for yet another sequel. The story was best left buried in the graveyard for Hollywood hags. No need to revive decrepit old ghosts from 12 years ago. That said, the makeup artist for this film deserves an Oscar. He/she managed to erase star Renee Zellweger’s much-buzzed-about and very obvious plastic surgery on her eyes. In fact, she looks like the old Zellweger in this . . . very old. Although the character is only 43, Zellweger is 47 and looks like she’s 53.
On top of that, I felt like I was watching the 20th “Sex and the City” movie sequel. It’s the same old themes, same old in-your-face leftist social issues crap, blah, blah, blah.
Although the movie is mildly entertaining, it’s incredibly formulaic and predictable. I knew with whom Bridget Jones was going to end up and who is the father of her baby from nearly the beginning of that plotline. It’s soooo damned obvious.
And for a comedy, the movie’s jokes are mostly stupid and juvenile. Although I laughed a few times, the jokes mostly fell flat. Like Hamlet proclaimed, “Though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve.” And that applies to this entire movie.
The story: Bridget is turning 43 and is bummed that she is all alone. She and her dream man, Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth), have broken up after ten years together, and her other former flame (Hugh Grant) is presumed dead (she attends his funeral). Bridget is working as the hapless producer of a news show on a BBC-style TV channel. Her boss hates her seriousness and wants her to cover stories like tabloid-like stuff instead. Her best friend is the anchor of the show, and they go on a “glamping” weekend vacation at a Lollapalooza/Burning Man type of festival.
It is there that Bridget meets and sleeps with an internet billionaire (Patrick Dempsey). Then, a week later, she sleeps with Mr. Darcy, her ex-flame. And then she learns she is pregnant (the condoms were ancient and didn’t work). But she doesn’t know who the father is. Thereafter, the men fight over her, until the very predictable end.
In the meantime, Bridget’s stock right-wing mother is campaigning for public office by attacking gays, trannies, and single mothers. But then, when it’s discovered that her own daughter is unwed and pregnant, she switches sides. And, of course, she finds life is much more pleasant–and her run for office far more successful–when she embraces liberal social policy. Yay, Bridget Jones. Not.
We all know at whom this audience is aimed: bitter, middle-aged women who are feminists and angry that they didn’t end up with Prince Charming, so they want to fantasize about it with a sloppy, slovenly old movie character “friend.” That’s the point of this cheesy and saccharin sweet movie. That–and to grab mega-dollars from your wallet with yet another empty sequel tied up in an unrealistic, neat bow at the end. I found it incredibly annoying and obvious. And the only good thing about it is the soundtrack (usually the case for horrible movies).
Guys, avoid this mess chick flick to the best of your ability. Best shown to Gitmo terrorists–and not the only such movie out this weekend.
Watch the trailer . . .

* Blair Witch – Rated R: If you saw the original 1999 “Blair Witch Project,” you’ve basically already seen this, even though it’s supposed to be a sequel. The only difference here: new characters and the failed use of a drone (but, oddly, no GoPro!). Big deal. Same old thing. And it’s a bore.
Plus the same old herky-jerkiness of the original. I couldn’t understand what the big deal about it was back in 1999. Still don’t understand it now. The gimmick of “found footage” and a shaky camera is just that: a gimmick. That’s the hallmark of bad movies because they need a crutch on which to stand since the bad plot, poor direction, crappy story, and terrible acting can’t cut it. Same thing goes here. Plus the herky-jerkiness is a lot to take, and it’s headache-inducing and dizzying.
For what is supposed to be a “scary” or “horror” movie, it’s not scary at all. I didn’t jump or scream even once, and that’s easily elicited from me when a movie makes the effort. This just wasn’t good. Not even close. At least half of the movie is comprised of characters running and calling out each others’ names in the woods. Again, NOT SCARY. The other half is those same characters screaming, whining, sucking in breath while trying to speak. Big whoop.
The story: the brother and some friends of the original woman in the original movie (the one who disappeared and was never heard from again) go into the same woods with cameras and a drone, trying to find out what happened and get it on film. What could go wrong? Of course, they find nothing, and strange things begin happening. But, still, it’s not scary. People disappear and you never find out what happened to them. Nor do you care. These people aren’t likeable, and there is just no reason to get involved in what is happening.
For a movie that is only 89 minutes long, this moves very slowly and seems far longer than its actual running time. I couldn’t wait for this to end. But it kept on going.
I like a scary movie as much as the most ardent movie-goer. But this wasn’t it. This is just a Hollywood money-grab for what’s in your wallet. There’s nothing new here. It’s amateurish and seems like it’s incredibly out of date and unsophisticated. There seems to be no script to speak of. And it’s definitely not a tight script if there actually is one. Plus it’s mega-repetitive.
“There’s Something Evil Hiding In The Woods,” says the poster for this movie. Yeah, the Hollywood demon waiting to rip you off and take 1.5 hours of your life and 10-bucks-plus you’ll never get back.
Best suited as GTT–Gitmo Torture Material.
Watch the trailer . . .

* Complete Unknown – Rated R: I loved the idea and plotline presented in this movie. The execution–not so much. This could have been a very intriguing, suspenseful movie. But it wasn’t. Not even close. It just moves aimlessly, leaving the original idea in the dust, with nothing interesting happening. And it’s incredibly slow.
The story: Michael Shannon has been married for 12 years and is celebrating his birthday at a party he and his wife put on at their home in the New York City area. At his party, Shannon’s close friend (or co-worker or brother?–the movie doesn’t really make it clear) brings a date, a woman who is new in town, Rachel Weisz. But it turns out the woman is actually Shannon’s very serious ex-girlfriend from 15 years ago, who disappeared suddenly all those years ago. He hasn’t seen her since and didn’t even know if she was alive. Neither did her parents. So, now, she’s turned up, under a new name, claiming to be some sort of scientist who studies frogs. (She plays audio of frogs “singing” or crying for Shannon’s friends and relatives.)
The woman tells those at the birthday party of her exploits in lying to people and forever taking on new names and identities all over the country. This fraud is a source of moral debate among the party-goers, but Shannon is more interested in finding out what happened to this ex-girlfriend of his and why she has suddenly decided to show up. Moreover, he has to do this secretively, lest his wife find out. Shannon and his wife are enduring marital strife over her attendance at a jewelry-making workshop in California for two years (do you really need to spend two years to learn to make jewelry?!) and his refusal to go with her. There are also the unnecessary red herrings of the wife’s Persian background, her Persian male friend, and her speaking Farsi–none of which had anything to do with the movie and seem to be filler things added on to make this a 1.5 hour movie, when it’s really a 20-minute flick at best.
The rest of the movie shows them discussing it, but not too deeply. They fraudulently pose as medical doctors to a senior citizen couple, the wife of which they meet on the street. And then they walk through the street to the lab to see the frogs. Who cares? I didn’t. The movie just get more and more boring, sinking from what was a promising premise that never fulfills the tease it creates.
What a letdown.

Watch the trailer . . .

* Max Rose – Unrated: I mostly like Jerry Lewis, but the 90-year-old’s silver screen comeback in this is at best a boring TV movie. His acting is fine (though his face bears the same blank expression for most of the film), but the movie is slow and repetitive and seems longer than its 83 minutes. Much longer. And the story is old hat. I feel like I’ve seen it several times before and could predict exactly what was going to happen. My predictions proved spot on.
The story: Lewis is a retired jazz pianist who has just lost the love of his life, his wife of 65 years. But as he sits at home in the dark refusing to do anything, he suddenly discovers something troubling. Lewis’ wife’s treasured makeup compact bears an inscription of love and devotion from another man. Soon, Lewis is feverishly going through his wife’s drawers, documents, and other stuff, looking for clues about what was going on. He soon finds documents that make him even more certain that his newly-deceased wife was cheating on him with this man.
In the meantime, Lewis’ son and granddaughter are worried for his welfare. After a medical episode, they determine that Lewis should live in an assisted living facility and that his house should be sold. His granddaughter finds yet more evidence that implicates Lewis’ late wife in an affair.
So Lewis sets out to find the man and confront him. Lewis finds a very wealthy operator who is very sick. In the meantime, Lewis has become closer with his son and granddaughter, and the son and his daughter (from a first marriage) grow closer, as well. So, this quest achieved a positive result.
Also, the movie shows a few brief bromantic scenes, as the aging Lewis meets and makes fast friends with other male assisted living residents who share his widower status. But those scenes seem hollow and manufactured.
I understand what the writer and director were trying to do here, but they didn’t succeed. Instead of bringing us some touching scenes of a sorrow-filled widower trying to come to terms with his wife’s death and serious investigation into his perception of an extra-marital affair, we get what seems to be a half-hearted, cold, empty movie that is missing something–namely, warmth.
It’s been a long time since Lewis has done either telethons or acting, but this choice as his comeback film is lame. This movie is modest and understated in too many ways.
Fred Willard, Kevin Pollak, and Dean Stockwell all make appearances in this movie.

Watch the trailer . . .

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