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Iron Baby Mothers Trash Casino

When people reference the story of David and Goliath, it’s usually because they want to celebrate the little guy triumphing over incredible odds.  This week is the same story, but from the big guy’s perspective.  Goliath is the first big summer event movie: Iron Man 2 (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic), and the Davids’ don’t have a slingshot capable of denting Iron Man’s massive opening weekend box office armor.  In fact, saying they don’t stand a chance is a huge understatement.  Choosing to release your David-movie against the Iron Goliath is like inviting a high school junior varsity football team to play an exhibition game against this year’s super bowl champions – it looks like a competition, but really you could skip to the end and save yourself the broken bones and crushed confidence.  On that (slightly violent) note, behold:

“There was not one moment in Iron Man 2 where I didn’t think ‘I’m enjoying this'” Jordan Hoffman UGO

Was there a moment where you thought “I should stop internal monologuing?”

“It’s difficult to say whether the main problem with Iron Man 2 is that it suffers from too much plot or too little.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

Geez Goldihead, is there a plot that’s ‘just right?’

“Offers a burst of entertainment so fast and lively you might choose to wear a neck-brace while you watch it.” Andrew O’Hagan This is London

"This is exciting!"

"Doh"

“Iron Man 2 is the Tony Stark of films – utterly aware of just how awesome it is, and yet charming and funny enough to get away with it.” Giles Hardie Sydney Morning Herald

Saying a movie ‘gets away with being awesome’ is like saying the movie scams people by giving them something great.  I accept your apology Mr. Stark.

“Iron Man 2 feels less like a proper sequel and more like an extended, very expensive infomercial for Marvel’s future superhero movie slate.” Alistair Harkness Scotsman

Sadly, that’s par for the course in many modern sequels.  Weren’t the sequels for The Matrix and The Pirates of the Caribbean guilty of just setting up a trilogy conclusion rather than delivering self-contained satisfaction?

Back-yard office = self-contained satisfaction

“Iron Man 2 is the sequel everyone thinks Spider-Man 2 was.” Fred Topel Can Magazine

With great money, resources, technology, good looks, hot girls, huge mansions, expensive cars, military contracts, and power comes disproportionate responsibility.

“To find a comic-book hero who doesn’t agonize over his supergifts, and would defend his constitutional right to get a kick out of them, is frankly a relief.” The New Yorker Anthony Lane

Down with the tortured hero!  Up with the millionaire elitist hero!  What are we getting relief from exactly?  Oh well, if you were hoping Tony Stark’s heroic odyssey dealt with government corruption, you can either wait for the inevitably darker part 3 or watch an entire movie devoted to the subject:  Casino Jack and the United States of Money (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Casino Jack is really a look at how the culture of Washington was rebuilt to sell itself to the highest bidder.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

When did our government approve a Cash for Congress program?

“It should be required viewing for anyone who wants to vote in the 2010 election and has teabags stapled to their person.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

Uh, that’s a very specific audience.  What about voters who choose to use teabags for their intended purpose?

Like making their swimming pools coconut-chai flavored.

“I don’t know about you, but the moment I hear the word lobbyist, my brain glazes over. Casino Jack and the United States of Money woke my brain, and my outrage, right up.” Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

So, this movie is a subliminal light switch?  I say ‘lobbyist’ and you go into a brain-dead trance, then I pop in this movie and you become an angry, brain-on-fire activist?  I hope this movie doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.  With this power it belongs in a super villain’s arsenal.

“Move over, Tea Party revelers. Abramoff’s already been there, done that in this political porn in the raw. Nearly casting himself as loathsome lobbyist in his own Favor Factory reality show, with a perpetual smirk and a Blackberry in each hand.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze

The more people describe Jack Abramoff (with sinister grin and dual-wielding devices), the more he sounds like a formidable nemesis for comic book superheroes.

“That the film is overlong ultimately testifies to its importance, though after a while, the outrageous details start to run together like surreal satire. Except, of course, that it’s all true.” New York Daily News Elizabeth Weitzman

Except for that.

“With considerable attention to detail, the doc takes the view that Congress is influenced by cash. What a surprise!” Harvey S. Karten Compuserve

Cash is to Congress what sugar is to kids.  At least with sweets, only the teeth get rotten.  However, the relationship between people and their politicians is nowhere near the connection between Mother and Child (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).
“An extraordinary film about adoption and the lives of three very different women on separate quests for love, nurturing, and personal fulfillment.” Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality and Practice

“An insightfully observed and exceptionally acted ensemble piece precisely about what the title suggests.” Variety Todd McCarthy

It’s comforting to know that the title is an accurate representation of the material…unless you skip ahead to the last movie in this roundup.

“Woe, by the way, unto the good, decent men who cross these women’s paths. In the ovarian jungle of Mother and Child, each gent is undervalued in his own way.” Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

That should help balance out how rarely women are valued in most Goliath movies.

“Like a math equation whose inevitability doesn’t diminish its crisp clarity of truth…It unwraps its surprises in ways that pay off as the movie goes on.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

Does the line count as 'showing your math?'

“The hothouse drama Mother and Child is organized like a femme-friendly spa that specializes in treatments for the psyche rather than the skin. Soft New Agey music tinkles intrusively. Sore spots are prodded and massaged. Clients pass one another in the changing room. The ritual is exquisite to some, and excruciating to others.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

Another movie with psyche-influencing powers?  The David-movies have become part of the superhero narrative.

“Garcia, despite creating yet another vibrant canvas for his actors, deflects the burden of this toughest and most modern of familial conundrums, offering instead the bland, regressive ideal of motherhood as not only redemptive but required.” Movieline Michelle Orange

The message is that motherhood is painful and complicated, but women should put down their briefcases anyway and have Babies (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“With no narration, no subtitles and little language at all, this makes for a charming visual contrast in the ways of getting a child through that first year of life.” Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel

It sounds like a hybrid of someone’s home movies and two-hour advertisement for procreation.

“Cuts from rich nation (birthday cake) to poor (tub of viscera) are predictably pointed but not always thematically coherent. Still, the film stops short of it’s-a-small-world platitudes to elicit awe — and awwws.” Alicia Potter Boston Phoenix

AH AH AH AH!

“Babies is a chance to drink in the essence of experience, with extended takes devoted to these young things simply exploring their surroundings, which leads to bouts of joy or ungodly frustration.”Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com

I feel joy watching babies, but fear for their curious fingers as they approach light sockets and after two hours I’ve experienced a taste of what it’s like to have a baby?  So, it’s a baby demo.

“It’s the nicest Mother’s Day gift available at the movies this weekend.” St. Petersburg Times Steve Persall

For those of you who still need to shop, babies are a nice Mother’s Day gift.

Please don't re-gift me.

“Is Babies a good movie? Of course not. But that’s missing the point–like asking if a porn video is a good movie. Babies gets the job done.” Village Voice Dan Kois

Thank you for the segue from professional sex to unproductive procreative activities because our last movie’s title will make you lean towards your screen when you first see it: Trash Humpers (Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic).

“Never have so many curbside trash containers been violated in the name of art, as well as trees, a mailbox, and a forlorn electric pole.” Kent Turner Film-Forward.com

Well, that answers my starter question: “Does the movie live up to its title”?

“If this is what passes for contemporary art terrorism, we’ll opt instead for something truly subversive — like genuine art.” David Fear Time Out New York

Genuine subversive art

“It’s no accident that Korine’s visual style mimics that of a scratchy old VHS tape. There’s a name for the genre he’s now working in — it’s called glorified public-access TV.” Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly

That sounds like a lonely genre.

“A mind-numbing piece of would-be provocation from the button-pushing Harmony Korine, Trash Humpers gets no stars from me — not because it’s offensive and disgusting like his earlier “Gummo” and “Julien Donkey-Boy,” but because it’s about as enervating a way to waste 78 minutes as I’ve ever experienced.” New York Post Lou Lumenick

Trash Humpers has enervating and mind-numbing powers?   That means it’s the third David-movie to employ comic book conventions to stop the comic book hero.  Give it a rest guys, you aren’t the hero in this week’s cinematic showdown.

“It’s all very confusing and I have to admit, I’m not sure I even liked “Trash Humpers.” But, I respect it and I respect Korine as an artist.” Don R. Lewis Film Threat

King Sheep respects anyone who can look in the mirror and say "I respect Trash Humpers."

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4 Responses

  1. Don’t think I didn’t notice the reference to golf straight after mentioning The Scotsman — well played, sir.

    I think “babies get the job done” troubled me much more than “trash humpers” (although I still have no idea what that movie is actually about!).

    Slainte,
    Jason

  2. Poor dog!

  3. Poor trash cans!

  4. thanks for the information, your blog is very interesting, I like it….

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