Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
I fully expect this to be the biggest hit of the upcoming holiday season.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
I fully expect this to be the biggest hit of the upcoming holiday season.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the state of comedy:
Yes, you are looking at the first picture of Adam Sandler as “Jill” from the upcoming romantic comedy Jack and Jill that we first told warned you about back here. Clearly, this film will be the height of comedy…in 1998.
Remember last year when we heard that Adam Sandler would play both Jack and Jill in a romantic comedy of the same name? That’s still a thing. I’ve learned from I Watch Stuff that Katie Holmes is being groomed for the role of Jack’s wife, which at least means we can all thank God that Sandler will not be shamelessly wooing himself on film.
But the real tragedy here is that while Jack and Jill is an actual multi-million dollar film, my pitch for the Dane Cook vehicle Old Mother Hubbard (Dane Cook must disguise himself as his own grandmother while still trying to score with the chick from Twilight) is still languishing in development hell! By which I mean Peter Segal hasn’t called me back yet. So I’ve decided that every time I read another stupid piece of news about Jack and Jill, I’ll churn out another “Nursery Rhyme Title as Raunchy Romantic Comedy” premise. Eventually, Hollywood’s sure to snap one up. Here’s my latest:
Jonah Hill stars as college senior Peter Peter. He’s about to graduate and he still hasn’t got up the nerve to ask out the hottest girl on campus (played by whoever almost wins this season of The Bachelor). His love life isn’t helped by his terrible allergy to pumpkin, which–instead of giving him a rash or killing him–causes him to launch involuntarily into a series of hilarious, and often racist, character voices. When the hotty dares him to eat 100 pumpkin pies before graduation, with a night of passion as the prize, Peter’s got no choice but to grab the Cool Whip and hope his uncontrollable alter egos don’t get him into too much trouble!
Done. Money in the bank.
No Joke: This has to be one of the worst posters I’ve seen in a long time.
I guess Summit Entertainment realizes that nobody actually sees these movies for the plot anyway (there was a book for that), so let’s just have our stars hang out in a dense fog and stare the public into submission. Oh, and “It all begins…”?! Isn’t this the third film? They really should start warning me about these things so I don’t have to sit through the first two. Also, I guess Stewart wasn’t available to pose that day, as it looks like they cropped two completely different images of her face together. Check out those eyebrows!
Well folks, Avatar’s two-month long reign of terror at the top of the box office has come to a close. As you may recall, Logan and I weren’t big fans of the film, so we’ve both been waiting for the arrival of the movie that would knock it down a peg. I’m proud to announce that that movie is Dear John, and when I say proud, I mean deeply, deeply ashamed.
I haven’t seen Dear John, and because I never will, I read the plot synopsis. After all, I had to know what manner of movie could dethrone the king. If you’re planning on seeing it, but are waiting to catch Avatar one more time for comparison’s sake, be advised that SPOILERS follow.
Okay. So apparently Channing Tatum, a soldier, and Amanda Seyfried, a girl, meet and fall in love. Channing confides that his dad’s been distant ever since his mother left. Naturally, this causes Amanda to suggest that, hey, maybe he’s autistic. This pisses Channing off, so he goes back to war, but the two develop a deep emotional bond through letter-writing because if there’s one person who you always bond with, it’s the chick you hooked up with one summer that told you she thought your dad was autistic right after meeting him.
They’re in so much love it’s not even funny. So naturally, Channing continually re-enlists in the army to make sure he’ll never have to come home and reveal to Amanda that he was actually born a woman. Just kidding! That would be interesting. Eventually, Amanda realizes that there are other men in the world, some of whom she’s met upwards of three times. Thus, she pens the titular Dear John letter. Channing assumes that Amanda’s going to marry her snooty rich friend from earlier in the film. This sends him into a patriotic super-rage, causing him to take a dangerous mission where he gets shot, but not fatally, leading me to believe that this was a failed attempt to have something actually happen in this movie.
Upon returning home, he discovers that Amanda has in fact married her NON-rich friend with the autistic child, which, since his child is autistic, makes everything heartwarming and all right. Channing says goodbye to his dying father, who manages to suddenly become important, then he sells his father’s coin collection to pay for an operation for Amanda’s husband, who, by the way, is totally dying. Be warned! A long distance relationship with Channing Tatum is so brutally unfulfilling, that it will drive you into the arms of your dying, non-rich platonic friend. I repeat: Three months of emotionally torturous hospital visits capped with a funeral is preferable to one letter from Channing Tatum.
So what I’m saying is this makes perfect sense. The only movie that could have toppled Avatar was one that actually outmatched its meandering, maudlin, plotless mediocrity in every way. Way to go Dear John! I look forward to the remake next year. And every year after that. And all years previous as well.
Vampires: Grim and gritty supernatural killers or creepy angsty stalkers? To make the call, we pit the Spierig Brothers’ latest against a movie we never thought we’d see. As Bela Lugosi put it, “I have never met a vampire personally, but I don’t know what might happen tomorrow.” REVIEWED: Daybreakers, *cough*Twilight*cough*
Subscribe in or via RSS.
After the stirring social commentary that was He’s Just Not That Into You, Logan and I suspected that we had a new trend on our hands. Well, this confirms it: We’re officially on to self-help books. Not since the board game adaptation trend, or even the amusement park ride adaptation trend, has a more exciting movie-from-not-a-movie trend crossed our desks.
Never one to lag behind the times, I threw the idea into the Critical End! Trend-O-Tronic Pitch Machine (TM) and it predicted what we have to look forward to between now and 2012 when John Cusack kills us all:
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Two single dads, hard working blue-collar contractor Danny Miles (John Travolta) and pampered blue-blooded aristocrat Trevor Pennybottom (Colin Firth) magically switch bodies thanks to a Wiccan ritual gone wrong. Can they each raise the other’s daughter while learning a little about themselves in the process?
Awaken the Giant Within
A young boy (Chandler Canterbury) is devastated by his parents impending divorce, so he retreats to a fantasy world (crafted by director Guillermo del Toro) where he is a man-eating giant. Aziz Ansari plays the dual roles of the kindly fisherman that befriends the boy and the voice of the giant’s comical fruit-fly companion.
Dr. Phillip Self (Jason Alexander) is a forensic scientist on the trail of the Paper Crane Killer. But the real casualty may be his long-neglected marriage. Bebe Neuwirth costars.
Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause
Will be exactly like the book except the full title will be Tyler Perry’s Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause.
Anyway, if you’re one of the 14 million people who have already read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, please don’t ruin the ending for your friends. (SPOILER: A baby.)
In a way, I’m glad that Sandler is apparently reversing his decision to go the way of Jim Carrey, filling the latter half of his career with maudlin “sad clown” roles a la Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People. I would have hated for him to gain any degree of semi-legitimacy. Although to be fair, Carrey, unlike Sandler, actually used to be funny.
What I’m getting at is the news that Sandler is set to star in Jack and Jill, a move in which he plays twins. Named Jack and Jill. And it’s a romantic comedy.
Beyond the inevitable Sandler-related factors (Jill will talk in a baby voice for some reason, Drew Barrymore will be put-upon but charmed), nothing more has leaked out about the plot. But Sandler fans will surely hail this as a return to form, and give it a great opening weekend.
With that in mind, I’m getting the jump on my own “Nursery Rhyme Title as Raunchy Romantic Comedy” pitches. Here’s a taste:
Old Mother Hubbard
When Dick Hubbard’s (Dane Cook) foul-mouthed grandmother dies during his annual visit, Dick stumbles upon her will and is shocked to discover that she’s left all her money to a local animal charity. If Dick wants his inheritance, he’ll have to pose as his own grandmother (with the help of his theater school pals) long enough to convince her lawyer to change the will. It’s the perfect plan until the sexy and passionate director of the charity (Kristen Stewart) shows up to plead the animals’ case and get back on “grandma’s” good side!
What do you guys think? I’ve also got a great poster for Little Jack Hornier…
Remember how they once turned Broadway musicals into movies?
In related news, I’ve decided to skip seeing Bride Wars in theaters, as I’m sure I’ll be able to catch it on Broadway in a year or so.
Look. We all remember that time we ate too much Mexican before the big meeting. That time we put a huge ding in Dad’s Oldsmobile. And that time we accidentally slept with a Nazi. I’m just saying regrets are a fact of life.
The Reader follows Michael Berg, played in his teens by David Kross (surprisingly compelling) and in his 40’s by Ralph Fiennes (phones it in). We begin in 1950’s Germany where Michael, after a chance meeting, is seduced by an older woman named Hanna (Kate Winslet). The two strike up an affair in which Hanna calls all the shots, demanding that Michael read to her (from classic books he’s studying) before any naughty stuff takes place. Everything’s peachy until the day Michael finds that Hanna has left with no explanation.
Years later, while studying to be a lawyer, Michael sits in on the trial of several former Nazi guards. And wouldn’t you know it? Hanna takes the stand. Yes, getting dumped by your first love can leave a scar, but finding out she was also a card carrying member of the most despicable organization in human history is in a class of its own. While watching the trial, Michael realizes that he’s got a key piece of info that could partially exonerate Hanna, but coming forward would mean admitting that he bedded Mrs. Hitler.
The movie needs me to feel conflicted for it to be impactful. I have to love Hanna, vicariously, as Michael does, while at the same time reviling her for the atrocities she took part in. But ya know what? Nazi. That trumps pretty much everything.
But, wait, the movie assures us, she’s one of those “just following orders” Nazis. She gives testimony that she joined up only because the pay was better than her old job. When recounting how she and her fellow guards refused to unlock the doors of a burning church full of prisoners, she explains that opening the doors would have been impossible. The prisoners would have escaped and it was her responsibility to guard them. So, you know, they pretty much all died. Great job, movie, you’ve convinced me that she’s not evil, just dumber than a box of hammers.
And yet, I actually did manage to get invested in this movie, due to outstanding performances by Kate Winslet and David Kross. Winslet absolutely deserves her best actress nomination. Even though their tryst comes out of nowhere, and its crippling long-term effect on Michael is at times unbelievable, I still believed these characters were in love and felt for them when things started to fall apart.
So we’re left with a pretty straightforward star-crossed love story. All the Nazi stuff is really just window dressing. (Any larger point the film may be trying to make about the way post-war Nazis were treated by society kinda falls apart when the Nazi in question is so outlandishly unaware of the morality of her actions.) As a tragic love story, it gets the job done, though the material never lives up to the effort that the leads put in.
The Reader is a mediocre movie elevated by great performances, but not nearly high enough to warrant its best picture nod.
6 out of 10
We put an action movie and a romantic comedy in a steel cage and force them to rumble to the death. REVIEWED: He’s Just Not That Into You, Taken. PLUS: Cut Logan’s hair for pennies a day!
(Side note: Yes, we are doing Friday the 13th. You get two shows this week. Stay tuned.)
Subscribe in or via RSS.