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Dog Knight Grows Tooth

Or, if you prefer the visual version:
Armored dachshunds wouldn’t be most military strategists’ first pick for infantry, but they might make a workable cannonball in a pinch. The difference between mutt missiles, bowwow bombs, and other weaponized household pets and the modern approach to warfare is the difference between Knight and Day (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).
“In the end, Knight and Day isn’t really about much of anything besides having a good time or perhaps the meaning of Tom Cruise-ness in the universe.” San Francisco Chronicle Mick LaSalle

Far and Away, in the Days of Thunder, Tom Cruise was Born On The Forth Of July, but the Legend of Tom Cruise began with Top Gun Taps and a Firm Cocktail. However, it’s an (Impossible) Mission to always have All The Right Moves and eventually Scientology and couch jumping made him Risky Business and dropped him from Hollywood’s list of A Few Good (leading) Men, but Cruise keeps cruising through Collateral from The War Of The Worlds and Minority Reports of Tropic Thunder with the mindset that if it looks like the Vanilla Sky might Rain (Man), just keep your Eyes Wide Shut.  If you aren’t a fan of title finagling, the meaning of Tom Cruise-ness = The Color Of Money.


“Cruise is thrown into many sticky situations, with legions of trained assassins surrounding him on all sides, but he never once suggests that things aren’t entirely under control. It’s profoundly boring to watch a hero without weaknesses; after all, even Superman has Kryptonite.” The Onion (A.V. Club) Scott Tobias

I just spent a paragraph describing how ‘legendary’ Tom Cruise is and now you add that he’s tougher than Superman?

“Cruise, for his part, can still dependably produce unlimited quantities of Tom Cruise-ness, a natural resource undiminished and virtually unchanged since its discovery in 1983. The question for the 2010 audience is whether we have any use for it anymore.” Dana Stevens Slate

Tom Cruise-ness = easyobtainium

“A motorcycle chase through the streets of Spain during the running of the bulls is a great idea. A motorcycle chase through the streets of Spain during the running of computer-generated bulls is not.” Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

Consider that logic applied to another example: A group of men battling a giant shark is a great idea, a group of men battling a giant robotic shark is not. If you are condemning the special effects as the deal breaker, you’re blaming the messenger rather than the message.

“The premise is tired, the tone doesn’t exactly work, and I honestly still have no idea why it’s called Knight and Day.” Joshua Tyler CinemaBlend.com

At first, I assumed title = characters, but they are named Roy and June and their last names don’t relate to solar cycles.  Should a confusing title be cause for concern?

“If you can settle into its odd, low-key groove, I think you’ll find it’s a light pop beverage that goes down easy during one of the lamest blockbuster summers in recent memory. My parents are really going to like it.” Mike Russell Oregonian

It used to be the norm, but now ‘for parents’ is part of the sales pitch.  Of course, that assumes that your parents are Grown Ups (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“While Sandler has never trafficked in epigrammatic wit, there’s a difference between, say, Billy Madison’s “Of course I peed my pants–everyone my age pees their pants” or “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’s” shakedown of hetero squeamishness, and this lazy stuff–the difference between smart-dumb and plain-dumb.” Village Voice Nick Pinkerton

Regardless of whether it’s smart-dumb or plain-dumb, there’s one consistent word that lets you know what you’re getting.

“Beneath all the forced hilarity lies an awful fear of aging – and Sandler is only 43! This is gonna be rough.” J. R. Jones Chicago Reader

Now that I think about Sandler’s man-boy movies (Billy Madison, Click, Funny People, etc), they all deal with aging.  Does the fear of running out of days validate a carpe diem mindset and translate to knee-slapping audience laughter?

“Adam Sandler spends more time laughing at jokes than making them in Grown Ups, perhaps the slackest, shabbiest comedy in the star’s increasingly dreadful oeuvre.” Nick Schager Slant Magazine

They say laughter is contagious; perhaps Sandler wasn’t sick enough.

“It’s one of those Sandler movies where the inevitable Steve Buscemi cameo passes for the highlight.” Nick Pinkerton Village Voice

In case this post shares a similar fate, here's the requisite appearance.

“No plot and all punch lines, like a timing-impaired comic who sets up his one-liners with one-liners.” Matt Pais Metromix.com

On the bright side, I suppose it’s better than following your set up with another set up.

“Grown Ups is a pleasant, genial, good-hearted, sometimes icky comedy that’s like spending a weekend with well-meaning people you don’t want to see again any time real soon.” Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

Ben Franklin once remarked that fish and house guests begin to stink after three days.  In this case, 100 minutes might be more than audiences can handle.

“The only people humiliated, really, are older people and heavy people and nerds and vegans and black people and mothers who breast-feed their 4-year-olds. Everybody else gets a pass.” Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

Watching rich comedians make fun of others is one option, but if you’d rather make fun of power-tripping Greek patriarchs and the children who live with them, perhaps you’ll enjoy Dogtooth (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“How perfectly perverse: In a summer crammed with sequels, remakes, ’80s nostalgia and the frustrated sense of “What else y’got?” comes the most original nightmare in years.” Joshua Rothkopf Time Out New York

In case your dreams (and summer movie options) were boring, consider upgrading to a new nightmare.  However, I’m basing my nightmare expectations on the title and the poster, so what am I leaving out?

“Marking [Director] Lanthimos out as a great talent to watch, Dogtooth is a bold and unsettling mini-marvel that first sneaks up on you before biting you to the bone.” Pamela Jahn Electric Sheep

Thank you, my nightmare is coming into focus now that I’m afraid the film will eat me.

“Horror and cold humor commingle in Dogtooth, a Greek import whose screenwriters approach scenario construction like misanthropic social scientists planning an experiment — one whose result suggests that governments might want to rethink policies allowing parents to home-school their children.” The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

At least they warned us.

“A black-comic poem of dysfunction, a veritable operetta of self-harm, this brilliant and bizarre film from the Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos is superbly acted and icily controlled — it grips from the very first scenes.” Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK]

“The most original, challenging, and perverse film of the year so far, Giorgos Lanthimos’s artfully rigorous treatise on human conditioning can be viewed as absurdist horror or the cruelest of comedies.” Village Voice Aaron Hillis

This film must come from a conflated creative realm to be an absurd, cruel, brilliantly bizarre, dysfunctional horror comedy operetta.

“Suffice to say that we won’t be seeing an American remake of this one any time soon.” Scott Weinberg Cinematical

King Sheep would rather see a Greek remake of Grown Ups than the American version


3 Responses

  1. FTW indeed.

  2. You think you’re so slick, don’t you Tom. BUT NOT ANYMORE!

  3. Your Cruise bit is an instant Pat Classic.

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