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Family Remembers Green Wedding League

Before we get started on this week’s movies, I’d like to briefly address last week’s box office.  Alice in Wonderland made $116 million, which was $102 million more than the second place finisher.  Also, it already bested Avatar for the biggest 3D opening despite Avatar being the biggest movie of all time.  Explained allegorically, 3D is the rainmaker and Hollywood is the field of hungry seeds waiting to turn green.  Several years ago, Hollywood was concerned that the growth in home theater systems and HDTVs was killing their market and they went looking for ways to woo patrons back into theaters.  Now that the Avatar/Alice combo has demonstrated that 3D is a sufficient woo-er, every major TV manufacturer is planning to release 3D TVs as early as this summer.  It won’t be long before we say goodbye to 2D movies and hello to Feelies.  Au revoir  cinema, Remember Me (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“For those looking for the rare romantic youth drama without vampyric overtones or other gimmicks, Remember Me should satisfy and it works as a much-needed change of pace for the talented Pattinson who remains one of the most watchable of our young stars.” Boxoffice Magazine Pete Hammond

The compliment is that he’s watchable?  If I’m looking at the screen, isn’t that unavoidable?

“A distasteful meal that Pattinson’s partisans might mistake for profundity.” Brett Michel Boston Phoenix

A pathetic picnic that Pattinson’s partisans probably presume is profound.  Appreciate additional alliteration?

“Bless you, R.Patz & Co., because this gloriously steaming pile is officially in the bad-movies-we-love pantheon.” Keith Uhlich Time Out New York

Usually a movie needs something ridiculous to be so bad it’s good, like ninja robots or snakes in overhead compartments.

Or awesomely bad translations.

“More tacky and preposterous than the worst blockbuster phone-in.” Nick Pinkerton Village Voice

It’s tackier and more preposterous than Razzie winner Transformers 2?

“Slaps, screams, and airborne fire extinguishers thoroughly destroy the film’s air of mopey sincerity to bits.” Ed Gonzalez Slant Magazine

Maps, booms, and shaking camera techniques await in our next film: Green Zone (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“So vivid and convincingly realistic is the physical depiction of Baghdad in the early days of the American occupation that the introduction of trumped-up thriller elements feels like an unwanted intrusion.” Todd McCarthy Variety

How dare Hollywood insert a thriller into a war movie!

“Green Zone can’t make up its mind whether it’s “The Bourne Insurrection” or “Hurt Locker: The Prequel.”” St. Louis Post-Dispatch Calvin Wilson

One part spy thriller, one part tortured soldier; wouldn’t a better title be Bourne Hurt?

“Green Zone approaches every human activity as if preparing to defibrillate.” Anthony Lane New Yorker

High Five?

“Once Damon’s one-man truth squad goes off the reservation and starts behaving too much like Jason Bourne for comfort, the film begins not only spilling more blood but also leaking crucial credibility.” Variety Todd McCarthy

The movie is hemorrhaging accuracy. We need a reality plug and a plot bandage!

“Shot by Barry Ackroyd, the same cinematographer who filmed The Hurt Locker, and using the same camera techniques, this movie looks like outtakes from a much better film.” Rex Reed New York Observer

That review sounds negative, but how bad is it to be the leftovers from the year’s best picture?  Or maybe Green Zone director Paul Greengrass looked over at Academy Award Winning Director Katheryn Bigelow and thought: She’s Out Of My League (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).  And in honor of the writers out of my league, I will communicate the following commentary through images.

“The movie is not a comedy classic. But in a genre where so many movies struggle to lift themselves from zero to one, it’s about, oh, a six point five.” Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

“This appealingly cast movie seesaws from unlikely thoughtfulness to imbecilic vulgarity.” John Anderson Variety

“A well-made movie. I cared about the characters. I felt for them. Liberate them from the plot’s destiny, which is an anvil around their necks, and you might have something.” Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

“What threatened to be yet another routine exercise in raunchiness instead turns out to be a sweet, charming, hilariously funny love story that could emerge as a sleeper hit.” The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

“If you’re going to make a romantic comedy called She’s Out of My League about a schlubby nice guy and a pneumatic blonde, the last thing you want is for the audience to be left thinking: “He’s right. She’s way out of his league.”” The New York Times Mike Hale

Which leads us to: Our Family Wedding (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).

“Though the intended hilarity is forced and flat, there’s a sweetness to the silliness.” The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

The intended jokes suck, but the goofy stuff might make me go “awwwww?”

“Aside from an uncomfortable-looking Carlos Mencia, who seems to actively cower before the camera, the cast is robotically efficient–though that’s not the same thing as coming out of this lifeless mess unscathed.” Time Out New York Nick Schager

Did anyone else get a Wizard Of Oz vibe off that review? We’ve got a cowardly Mencia and a heartless robot, all we need is a scarecrow, flying monkeys, gold bricks, witches, dogs, and some ruby pumps.  So close.

“We remain a nation divided, but hopefully we’ve at least progressed beyond the need for clumsy message movies about racial tolerance, as fortified with dick jokes.” The Onion (A.V. Club) Nathan Rabin

In defense of that idea, no one’s ever tried to unite a nation using dick jokes.

“Alternately rancid and ridiculous, strident and sickly sweet, Our Family Wedding offers plenty that’s old, borrowed and blue; it’s the something new that’s missing.” The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

Previews don’t count?

“As wilted as last weekend’s bridesmaid bouquet, “Our Family Wedding” manages to be offensive to African-Americans, Latinos, women, men, and sentient life forms of any kind.” Nell Minow Beliefnet

PDJ congratulates trees and robots for dodging this bullet.

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6 Responses

  1. “Crazy Heart” it is!

  2. When feelies finally appear, I wonder if Mel Gibson will get to keep making movies. Who’ll want to feel like they’re getting tortured for two hours?

  3. Well, some people say they try to live by walking in Jesus’ shoes, so it might at least prove that very few actually can.

    I like the Wizard of Oz references, Pat. Strangely, I’m not a big fan of the actual movie (I saw it way too much as a kid).

    Also, damnit — I wasn’t the first to comment. 😦

  4. The transition from Tom and Katie’s wedding pic to Our Family’s Wedding took my breath away. Beautiful work!

  5. Carlos Mencia is by far my favorite racist in showbiz today. He gets it, he really does.

    I’ve read your blog a couple times now and you are pretty funny sometimes too.

  6. i have both DTS and Dolby Surround home theather system at home and the sound is superb ~”`

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