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Inside Story: Jonah Cyrus Hexes Killer Toy

If Jonah Cyrus was a real person, this title could start an internet rumor.  Why does he hate this toy so much?  Is it ‘killer’ awesome or a ‘killer’ choking hazard?  Does jinxing plastic amusements warrant news coverage?  I love the idea of starting a foolish, but non-threatening, fabrication.  For example, did you hear that Eddie Murphy and the Jonas Brothers were going to star in a Jaws remake?  Did you hear that Nicolas Cage was planning on doing a one-man performance of The Magnificent Seven?  I even heard the next Pixar movie was going to done completely with puppets.  Although, still no word on whether there’s a fuzzy teaser before Toy Story 3 (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“A stunning, heartfelt and tremendously entertaining third entry that lives up to the standards of one of the best movie franchises of all time.” Hernán Alcerreca V Music

Leave it to Pixar to exorcise the trilogy curse.  From now on, people can no longer assume that the numbers after the title are inversely proportional to quality.

“Toy Story 3 continues Pixar’s unique tradition of sending grown men out of the theater pretending they’re not crying.” Gary Thompson Philadelphia Daily News

Just tell everyone the visual stimulation was too much for your eyes and they were ‘sweating.’

“Toy Story 3 is a salute to the magic of making believe.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

A salute to the magic of half-assed salutes

“On a scale of one to ten, Toy Story 3 goes to infinity, and beyond.” Scott A. Mantz Access Hollywood

As long as we’re making up ratings that are unrelated to their scale, I give that review a diarrhetic turtle.

“Toy Story 3 is the rare kind of film that, were it a human being, would be your best friend.” Peter Hall Hollywood.com

Okay, but that means its release date is its birthday.  Do I have to buy it a present?

“Locating a winsome blend of peppy ensemble adventure and nostalgic reflection, Toy Story 3 is the type of film adults might goad their just-as-eager children into seeing again.” Brent Simon Screen International

Hey kids, stop reading and playing outside!  Let’s eat ice cream for dinner and go see Toy Story again!  And as long as we’re discussing maturity-impaired parents, how would you react if you met the woman of your dreams, but you had to fight for affection against her son?  That’s the premise of the domestic dramedy: Cyrus (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“[Directors] Jay and Mark Duplass inch closer to successfully infusing comedy-of-awkwardness with pained pathos in Cyrus, a big-studio mumblecore hybrid of Mr. Woodcock and the Martin Short-Charles Grodin vehicle Clifford.” Nick Schager Slant Magazine

It’s a big studio, low budget, believably painful awkward comedy mumblecore.  For a movie that seems hard to classify, it doesn’t help to compare it to two movies nobody saw.

“Cyrus cues us to expect it to go over the top, but the film never does. That may be its neatest trick.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

The trick is that it goes through the middle?

“Despite their weird interrelations, these mismatched folks do seem like people you might know for real, the players in another of life’s random acts of kinkiness that help to keep our curious species fresh and interesting.” David Germain Associated Press

A random act of kinkiness.

“Step aside, Sophocles. This Oedipal story is funny!” Harvey S. Karten Compuserve

Sophocles and his Greek tragedy should hit the road because nothing says comedy like incest and betrayal.

“Although the film is labeled a comedy, it hovers on the dark side in so many shadows that it is rarely amusing. Yet it never has the courage to fully explore the havoc a real Oedipus complex can wreak on the lives of real adults.” Rex Reed New York Observer

Get back here Sophocles.  However, if you are longing for darkness and tragedy, there is plenty to be found with the Killer Inside Me (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The Killer Inside Me may be the darkest film noir ever made.” Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

That’s a dubious honor.  But then again, now that Oedipus is jolly, perhaps everything is open to reinterpretation.

“This withholding actor’s (Affleck) impish smile and mild, pale-eyed stare–not to mention the Clintonesque hoarseness with which he spins his convoluted lies–are sufficiently convincing to keep The Killer Inside Me from being just a steamy, stylish, punishing bloodbath.” Village Voice J. Hoberman

All that keeps the movie from being a pointless bloodbath are Affleck’s smile and a stare?  Couldn’t I just look at the poster to get that effect?

“The poster is stronger than any image in the movie.” J. Hoberman Village Voice

What does it mean if the book cover is scarier than the movie poster?

“This movie is so staggeringly violent and stomach-souring disgusting that when it screens, it is occasionally greeted with boos and almost always accompanied by massive audience walkouts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” New York Observer Rex Reed

While that review gives me pause, I would expect the ‘darkest film noir ever’ to cause ill will among some theatergoers.

“The violence isn’t the problem. It’s the rest of the film that’s not quite right.” Robbie Collin News of the World

Okay, aside from a creepy Affleck and some slightly-too-effective violent noir techniques, what’s the deal?

“As much The Kisser Inside Me as anything else, the film endlessly alternates between redneck raw sex involving well, bible belts as erotic female necktie foreplay, and elaborate slaughter. And a torture porn carnage inflicted on oddly forgiving females.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze

Uh, while I’m trying to sort out that collection of criticism, let’s switch from modern day cowboys who are ugly-on-the-inside to supernatural confederate cowboys who are ugly-on-the-outside with Jonah Hex (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Hex has a direct line to the cemetery, able to unearth old acquaintances for some good old-fashioned catch-up time. Whoa, pardner … is this paranormal activity or merely Facebook, circa 1876?” Kimberly Gadette Indie Movies Online

On the old west Facebook, de-friending was done with a shotgun.

“Jonah Hex somehow manages to waste the talents of Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Aidan Quinn and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a story that combines vengeance, the occult and an Old West war on terror (really).” Arizona Republic Bill Goodykoontz

I’m curious about how the War On Terror became historical neighbors with the Civil War.  Does the film argue that magic and the occult could help find Osama Bin Laden?  Does the 1876 US government use smoke signals to communicate the terror threat level?  Did all of this happen because Al Qaeda took a time machine back to the old west?

“Brolin is so damned good in the saddle, in the hat and in the part that a half-sober viewer could half forget how half-arsed this movie he’s starring in is.” Orlando Sentinel Roger Moore

Riders of the half-bike should be half-sober, halflings, or half-arsed ass hats.

“Compelling plot and character development get lost somewhere between explosion No. 1 and explosion No. 78, but the film certainly satisfies the popcorn quotient for summer cinema.” Tyler Hanley Palo Alto Weekly

You’d think it would be hard to get lost with explosions for landmarks.

“Everyone seems to be sleepwalking through this film. Except for Megan Fox, who is such a terrible actress that she couldn’t even act like she’s sleepwalking.”Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

It’s not Fox’s acting that draws pubescent boys into the theater, it’s the promise of her wearing a corset.  On the slopes she’d be a snow bunny, but in Hollywood terms, she’s a dough bunny.

“Jonah Hex is a good performance and a few good lines buried in a script whose authors should do a little time in writer’s hell for scribbling it.” Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel

King Sheep hopes to avoid writer's hell by typing instead of scribbling.

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3 Responses

  1. I don’t know… they all sound fun to me. I think I shall see them all and judge for myself.

    Great post, King Sheep!

  2. Flawless picture selection.

    I read AO Scott’s review of TS3 in the NYT and came away without knowing anything about the quality of the movie. But now that I know it will result in child goading I’m super-stoked!

    Great post,
    Jason

  3. “diarrhetic turtle” — hee hee!

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