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Greek Killer Spliced To Marmaduke

Poor Marmaduke.  But then again, perhaps Marmaduke is doing all right.  After all, is there a greater compliment to a character than to be reborn like a phoenix for a new generation?  Although, one person’s rebirth is another’s cash reward and this summer is littered with cash in sequels and unnecessary remakes, as Remarmaduke will demonstrate later.  First up, a pseudo sequel in the same way that U.S. Marshals was a pseudo sequel to The Fugitive because Tommy Lee Jones returned even if Harrison Ford did not.  The same happens here as Russell Brand reprises his Forgetting Sarah Marshall role as rockstar Aldus Snow, but don’t expect to see Jason Segel or Kristen Bell make any appearances.  Oh, and just because Jonah Hill is in both movies, doesn’t mean he’s the same character.  That’s your background on Get Him To The Greek (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“This wild, unrestrained roller coaster ride of vulgar, demented debauchery is – so far, as of early June – the funniest movie of the year.” Susan Granger SSG Syndicate

Five months down, seven to go.  Although, I’d wait to count that rubber chicken.

“A giddy Diddy turn aside, this wildly uneven comedy doesn’t travel very far.” Michael Rechtshaffen Hollywood Reporter

Dancing to a giddy ditty

“It strikes an entertaining balance between the predictable and freewheeling, between being conventional and outrageous…What transpires gives fresh meaning to ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.'” Boxoffice Magazine John P. McCarthy

How about procreation, intoxication, and having sexual intercourse?  Note: Sex appears twice because “Rocking and Rolling” used to be slang for “the horizontal mambo.”

“Goes for the heartstrings by way of the rectum and feels sorely uneven as a result.” William Goss Orlando Weekly

"Where are those darned heartstrings? I can't see anything in here."

“Mind you, the film’s problem isn’t necessarily its message; it’s the way such easy-bake sermonizing, handled with a dull touch, reveals the phoniness of the story’s have-it-both-ways strategy, one in which we’re asked to enjoy naughtiness but also tsk-tsk its wrongheadedness.” Nick Schager Slant Magazine

Sounds like a person telling you to avoid high fat diets while eating a Double Down.  Also expressed as: ‘Do as I say, not as I do.”  It’s a sort of double think that probably exists in the minds of mad scientists as they manipulate science into twisted new creations, or at least that’s my clumsy segue into the premise of Splice (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Brody and Polley, two intelligent actors (neither associated with the genre) anchor this well-produced sci-fi-horror-thriller, which plays with timely ideas (DNA) and smartly emphasizes the creature’s erotic-sexual dimensions.” Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com

Interesting.  The premise doesn’t sound far off from Species, in which scientists genetically recreate an alien, procreate with it, then get annihilated by it.

“If you’ve seen Species, you know where this don’t-mess-with-Mother-Nature horror show is going, though director-cowriter Vincenzo Natali has a few interesting twists up his sleeve.” Keith Uhlich Time Out New York

Luke had a few clicks up his sleeve.

“Flashy and entertaining, but nothing special…You willingly suspend your disbelief – but you won’t be proud of yourself for doing it.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

But if I don’t suspend my disbelief, what else am I supposed to do with it?

“Genre-savvy monster movie approaches Midnight Movie zone without abandoning the mainstream.” John DeFore Hollywood Reporter

That could have been the sales pitch.

“It’s a refreshing change from run-of-the-kill horror. Nothing in Splice feels done merely for the moment — it’s to creep you out later.” St. Petersburg Times Steve Persall

Delayed gratification may be behind this summer’s influx of sequels and remakes – people keep waiting for an old idea to seem fresh again.  And even when creators aren’t developing movies based on theme park rides, board games, and comic books, they experience a cruel and unfortunate piece of bad luck.  It happens when a new idea hits more than one person at the same time.  Remember how Armageddon and Deep Impact both came out in the same summer?  Or Wyatt Earp and Tombstone?  Or Volcano and Dante’s Peak?  Instead of apocalypse scenarios and western revisionism, the newly duplicated ideas of this summer both look like copies of James Cameron’s True Lies.  The premise: A good looking spy/assassin teams up (and steams it up) with a hot action newbie to battle international bad guys.  At the end of this month, the spy/babe combo are Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day, but this week it’s Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in Killers (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

Unfortunately, even though it comes out tomorrow, there are no reviews available for Killers.  When movies have a critical blackout before a film’s release, it’s the cinematic equivalent of pleading the fifth; you replace telling people you are bad with suspicion that you are.  In the absence of reviews, I will let the film’s promotional material speak for itself.

“[S]he (Heigl) and Spencer (Kutcher) are newlyweds living the ideal suburban life – that is, until the morning after Spencer’s 30th birthday when bullets start flying. Literally. It turns out Spencer never bothered to tell Jen he’s also an international super-spy, and now Jen’s perfect world has been turned upside down. Faced with the fact that her husband is a hit man, Jen is determined to discover what other secrets Spencer might be keeping – all the while trying to dodge bullets, keep up neighborly appearances, manage the in-laws…and work out some major trust issues.”

Since you are the jury, your suspicions are your business.  However, if you’re curious about a dog’s business, you’ll probably see plenty of it in Marmaduke (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Staple of newspapers since 1954, leaving the producers over 50 years of canine antics to help build a screenplay. So, naturally, they invent a series of urine and fart jokes to best service the enduring legacy of the rascally Great Dane.” Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com

If the urine and fart jokes are funnier than this, I call that progress.

“No animals were used, and no humans were entertained in the making of this movie.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

Since no animals were used, none were harmed.  It’s a shame the same can’t be said for theater goers.

“If you like the comic strip, now in its 56th year, maybe you’ll like it, maybe not. Marmaduke’s personality isn’t nearly as engaging as Garfield’s. Then again, if personality is what you’re in the market for, maybe you shouldn’t be considering a lip-synched talking animal comedy in the first place.” Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

In the genre of lip-synched talking animal comedies, having ‘less personality than Garfield’ is pretty damning.

“The flea-bitten screenplay seems to have been plucked from the wastebasket of recycled ideas and rewritten by someone whose third language was English — after Danish and Dog.” Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch

How do you say in Dog: "do these jeans make my butt look fat?"

“”Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” we owe you an apology. Among talking-dog movies, Marmaduke is the runt of the litter.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch Joe Williams

King Sheep wonders how long before another talking dog movie out-runts them both.

6 Responses

  1. Is that what I think it is in the denim short photo?

    (The Matt Pais review is funny.)

  2. I had no idea they were making a Marmaduke movie and I wish I still lived in my bubble of blissful ignorance.

    Maybe we should go see one of the first two movies in your review sometime this weekend. 🙂

  3. So the movies that are coming out are:

    True Lies
    Plains, Trains and Automobiles

  4. There are 11 sequels being released this summer, compared to 9 last summer and 7 the summer before that. Doesn’t do much to instill faith in new ideas for Hollywood summer movies eh?

  5. Hollywood needs an enema.

  6. Splice was eff’ing terrible… just… wow… bad…

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