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You Don’t Mess With the Zohan
I recently hung out with a friend of mine who’s going through a pretty rough patch. A breakup that resulted in him setting up camp the first dismal apartment he could find. He’s got no job and any prospects of employment are drying up quicker than Kathleen Turner’s junk. Hope’s turning into a four-letter word for the guy. But he did tell me that the worst part of the whole goddamned thing was everyone telling him that it couldn’t get any worse.
“Of course if can get worse,”I told him! “Watch the trailer for You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.” The poor bastard quivered in horror. And why shouldn’t be? Not only is Adam Sandler in it with the obligatory Rob Schneider cameo (and while I’m on the subject—why? Why is Rob Schneider in what’s got to be every single Adam Sander movie? I know they were on SNL together, but seriously. Did Schneider once save Sandler’s life? Is Schneider blackmailing him with a picture from the mid-‘90s of his dick in Sandler’s open drooling mouth after he fell asleep? Wait—let me guess—Schneider introduced Sandler to his wife—awwwwwwww, how cute!), but Sandler plays an unrealistically proficient Mossad agent who either leaves the agency for New York, or gets transferred, or he’s still hanging around after rigging up WTC 7 with explosives or something. You know these trailers. They don’t give a shit about secondary plot points.
So Sandler’s character wants to be a hairstylist and of course just when he thought he was out he gets pulled back in when he gets spotted by some terrorists blah blah blah. The title You Don’t Mess With the Zohan sounds an awful lot like the one line You Don’t Fuck With the Jesus from The Big Lebowski. Maybe Sandler and company think they’re being clever by associating the sheer, unparalleled joy that only The Big Lebowski can bring with this well-greased turd that stinks worse than Schindler’s factory. And I also smell the rank pungency of Borat envy.
And as I forced my woeful friend to sit through the Zohan trailer I saw a little part of him die. But he did thank me for not only telling him, but showing him that things could get worse. A whole wing of the Smithsonian dedicated to how awful this looks worse. Not only will I not mess with the Zohan, but I won’t bother with the Zohan.
The Incredible Hulk
I’m one of about 435 people on the entire planet Earth who like 2003’s The Hulk. It was by no means a perfect movie, but still nowhere near as bad as any overweight fan-boy would have you believe. The story was great, even if the buildup was a tad slow, the cast was as stellar as Ang Lee’s direction, and even though there weren’t enough of them, the action scenes were dare I say… incredible.
But as cool as its non-sequel The Incredible Hulk looks, I saw an awful lot of pandering going on in that trailer. The whole “man on the run”thing that the ‘70s television series seemed to be so fond of. And while we’re talking about the TV show, did anyone else hear that melancholy little melody playing in the background? You know the one—that same somber tune that lead into Banner wandering off to the next town in search of a cure. You’d think they’re trying to forget that first Hulk movie ever happened.
So they get a whole new cast. Eric Bana’s replaced with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. Okay, I had no problem with Bana but Norton’s a great actor. Things get worse from here. Liv Tyler replaces Jennifer Connelly as Betty Ross. I’m getting angry. William Hurt takes over as Thunderbolt Ross. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. In the director’s chair, Lee gets replaced with Louis Leterrier. He made the second Transporter movie. GRRRRAAAAAAAARRRR! HULK SMASH! Thank god my purple pants stayed intact!
A supporting cast so benumbing that you can’t even appreciate the fact that Tim Roth’s the bad guy! A director of 2-hour car commercials! An intelligent and cerebral approach traded in for drunken, awkward, clumsy poking with the all-too-familiar cheap beer aroma of a post-frat party tryst straight up action flick! And say what you want about the first Hulk, at least Lee made an effort to make the Hulk look like Eric Bana. This Hulk looks nothing like Norton. This Hulk just looks like a really big, pissed off cholo who got blindsided at a Nickelodeon kids choice awards show.
As bad as The Incredible Hulk is sounding, I’m not entirely pessimistic about it. I just had an imaginary drunken conversation with Edward Norton and he assured me that even though this movie promises more brawn than brains it’ll be okay; he rewrote the screenplay when he signed on. Besides, the more highbrow version he lobbied for is sure to end up on DVD in time for Christmas. And I believe him. And that 26-minute fight between the Hulk and Abomination can’t be all bad, can it?
Maybe I’m just an insane person, but wouldn’t you think with a movie called The Happening that something would, I don’t know, happen? Well, what do you expect from M. Night Shyamalan? Someone should’ve tossed him into a well years ago. Every time Shyamalan puts out a movie, I picture a truly pissed off Rod Serling standing at the gates of purgatory with a lead pipe and a pair of needle-nosed pliers. He’s got a gang of McCarthy-blacklisted writers who look none too happy in tow, waiting to get that little prick bastard son of a bitch Shyamalan. I used to watch his movies and feel like I was the only one who failed miserably in seeing what the big goddamned deal was. Now that I skip the funeral (movie) and only go to the wake (trailer), I feel even more alone in the world.
The plot of The Happening is that Mark Wahlberg is a teacher (an absurd twist in itself) and more and more people are dying off in large amounts, due to unexplained and inexplicable reasons. This is a movie about humanity mysteriously dying off. I couldn’t be more excited about a movie even if it was about a dumpy thirtysomething film fanatic with no ambition. But Shyamalan strips away any anticipation or excitement I would’ve felt for this movie (presuming someone else was making it of course) and replaces it with zero-calorie mysterious coldness. How do you screw up the end of the world? That’s like producing a reality show on Bravo! without any gay people in it.
This couldn’t be worse if I was to wake up in bed with Rachael Ray tomorrow morning. That frog face snoring inescapable asshole chomping shit breath in your ears, nose and throat. Still drunk—not enough to forgive myself for allowing this catastrophe to happen, but just enough to allow total panic to set in. I can picture it now: I’m completely willing to abandon my own place and belongings, never coming back and giving it all up, if I can only leave ever so slyly and slowly. I can picture those crusty eyelashes parting for a look of recognition just before she shows that goddamned donkey-toothed smile through that big goddamned Joker mouth. The fucking horror. And this sloppy-drunk cow asks, with that Chesterfield-ravaged voice that makes Harvey Fierstein sound like Dakota Fanning, if I’m up for an encore or worse yet, “Where we goin’?” Ewwwwww. My only respite could come from choking her to death with her own underwear.
Sorry. Day terrors.
So the only hope I’ve got to ever hope to avoid becoming a self-immolation statistic at this point is to put a hit out on Shyamalan’s little monkey ass. I’ll get this out of the way: I can’t really pay you with money and I probably can’t offer you much. I can make you pancakes. With chocolate chips if you want. I think we’ve still got some left. But we’ve definitely got a new griddle what works like a dream. And of course we’ll watch movies. And if you do him slow, I’ll even make the pancakes from scratch!
Normally watching Steve Carell play a bumbling moron on “The Office”is one of the high points of my week. He’s hilarious, has impeccable comic timing and, most importantly, he’s not Carlos Mencia. And I know that Get Smart is based on a ‘60s TV show I was never interested enough to watch, but the title Get Smart just seems like it’s trying to tell me to muster the intelligence to not even bother with it. I think it’s telling me that, if I were indeed smart, I wouldn’t watch it.
As entertaining as Carell might be as Maxwell Smart, I’m not biting. Even though Anne Hathaway is playing Agent 99 and has been known to be cute, she looks like an alien if not properly lit. Not quite to the butterface level of Kirsten Dunst, but the risk clearly outweighs the reward here. We’ve also got The Rock, who can be funny as all hell (check out his cameo in Reno 911: Miami and his role in the otherwise avoidable Be Cool if you need coaxing), but the whole thing’s just not coming together. And even though Hiro Nakamura from “Heroes”was trolling around in the background, Get Smart offers little hope but no encouragement for entertainment value.
So if you see my dilemma here, what do you do? Have an “Office”marathon. After that, skip to the scenes in Havoc where Hathaway shows her ta-tas, watch those Rock movies I mentioned and then watch the episode of Heroes that takes place five years in the future. Too much work? I know. Screw the whole thing. Just screw it.
The Love Guru
When I got done watching the trailer for the new Mike Myers movie The Love Guru, I was filled with the same horror that struck me when I heard a backstage story about a country megastar extraordinaire and all-around sack wrangler Toby Keith concert a friend of mine worked stage setup for. All the things wrong with this story (namely the imagery) are nothing in comparison to the payoff. So some trailer skank who really digs Keith agreed to fellate a line of his touring road crew. You know the type—she’s been diddled more times than she’s had hot meals. Supposedly, if she could get through his smarmy chain gang of good ole boys (including a 500-pounder called “Hoss”), a picture with Keith and herself would adorn her Myspace page. So this chick apparently got maybe halfway through this tour of misery before she stumbled off the tour bus, carrying herself as if she had just shotgunned an entire case of beer, cleared a half a tank of nitrous and took a cinderblock to the right side of her head. So Stumbling Dice is staggering side to side and leans against the side of the bus, resting on a weak and rubbery arm as she tries to collect herself.
Yeah, yeah. So what? Well hang on. This chick proceeded to puke up what could not have been less than two pints of semen. I’m told the way that shit hit the ground is legendary. Supposedly, it landed on the pavement in slow motion. In slow motion! But perhaps the best part was her unsuspecting boyfriend/husband/whatever, who didn’t notice the DNA cocktail at his feet. Apparently, she felt worlds better as she scraped the remnants or her bus ride from her mouth with a cardboard tampon applicator. And no, I’m not making this up. You can’t make this up.
I think that everyone can agree that it’s a lot better if we don’t have to look at Mike Myers. If nothing else, the success of the Shrek movies has proven this. So why the hell is Myers playing some imported self-help guru assigned to help a hockey player get back together with his wife in order to shake some cockamamie sports curse? Is Jessica Alba supposed to get us to care? Oh wait! Mini-Me is in it! Shame on John Oliver of “The Daily Show” for being in this movie! The only vaguely redeeming thing about this flick is that the two disturbing seconds of Justin Timberlake looking like a ‘70s porn star seemed amusing. But you don’t have to be a brainiac to know he’ll have maybe 7 minutes of screen time and Myers will get 106 minutes to rehash rejected ideas from Austin Powers brainstorming sessions. Or that this movie looks like two pints of baby batter splattered on the sidewalk.
I know this is going to come off as a twisted statement from someone who only wants to see (at press time) five movies in the theater this summer, three of which are based on comic books, but enough with the fucking comic book movies already! Even if it’s based on an obscure comic book such as Wanted.
Yeah, yeah. Some sorry anonymous son of a bitch is told that he’s destined for greatness and gets harangued into some super secret club of badass assassins. What’s supposed to make you forget that you’re getting into a Matrix rehash (strong black leader with a dignified, velvety voice and all) is Angelina Jolie’s hotness factor. She’s got no makeup hiding her 3 dozen tattoos and let’s face it—that’s probably the only reason she’s doing this movie. Her turning this movie down would be like me saying no to a job I could show up loaded to.
But she’s looking borderline grossly thin. And when I say grossly I don’t mean excessively or abundantly, I mean disgustingly so. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big proponent of swamp cows, uggos or the like, but I don’t like hearing about a woman’s internal organs being liquefied by her body because she gave up eating for lent or because weighing 135 pounds labels you an automatic pig.
But never fear. Even if you’re in the minority who can’t bring yourself to appreciate brittle-looking bones, or refuses to utilize Jolie as masturbatory fodder until she eats a sandwich, you’ve got plenty to fall back on with Wanted. This summer action orgy offers some weird physics-defying marksman technique, wherein the trajectory of bullets curve around objects to hit their intended target. Naturally this lends to plenty of bullet time CG shots (also see The Matrix) and 20th century John Woo two-handed gunfights that you’ve also seen before. If impossible science doesn’t do anything for you, there also appears to be plenty of fancy driving in repugnantly expensive automobiles, and slow motion shots of Jolie firing her unconventional and complex-looking firearms reveal that her bullets actually have the words good-bye etched into them. Come on. Who does this? Oh wait, anorexic, black-clad angsty characters in bad action movies with slightly decent casts. I forgot. Sorry.
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