A Break From The Stinker Trend

Posted in Movies on April 16th, 2010 and tagged , , , ,

My husband and I have been watching some stinky movies lately.  Many of them have had something in common, but I don’t want to say which ones or what their common trait is for fear of making these movies predictable and even worse for people who might decide to watch  them.  I will just name the titles of the movies we’ve watched lately that weren’t any good along with some quick notes:

Edge of Darkness (recent Mel Gibson mess), Shutter Island (so looking forward to this one and it let me down), Memento (man loses memory and uses Polariods to remind himself of his mission in life), Fight Club (made us permanently question imdb.com’s rating system – this one got an 8.8 and we hated it), The Skeleton Key (Kate Hudson voo-doo flick – need I say any more?), The Machinist (the best part of this movie was Christian Bale’s acting – what does that tell you?), Angel Heart (more voo-doo, this time from the 80’s with Robert DeNiro and “Denise” from the Cosby Show which will never be the same for me again – I saw more of Denise than I ever needed to see; there was little about this movie that wasn’t disturbing – why they are bothering with a remake in 2011 is way beyond me), Surveillance (I liked this one a little, but my husband did not.  One of the rare movies upon which we disagreed.  Bill Pullman was pretty good), The Collector (a horror movie that wasn’t quite as bad as the other mentioned above.  VERY gory, and the amount of squirms and gore did not outweigh the good things about the movie).

Some of those movies are newer and we saw them in the theater; others are older releases watched at home.  There just isn’t much coming to the theaters these days.  The Nightmare Elm Street remake is coming soon, but my hopes are not high for that one –  the Halloween remake was awful, and the redone Friday the 13th wasn’t much better.  I did enjoy My Bloody Valentine 3D that came out a few years ago, but then again, I never saw the original.

At least we’ve been offered a break from all the stinkers.  We saw the Steve Carell / Tina Fey comedy-adventure flick Date Night for our date night the other night, and it was enjoyable.  Better than I thought, actually.  Steve Carell plays an everyman suburban husband who takes his wife out for a date night, and they say they are another couple in order to get a table at a swanky restaurant.  Problem is, the couple they pose as are mixed up in no-good business – hijinks ensue.  Steve Carell wasn’t given much to work with for his character, but it amazes me how he brings life to every one of his roles and makes every character different from one another – how does he do that?

And surprisingly, we got a break from our stinker-streak for at home movies too with a Sarah Michelle Gellar suspense thriller that was actually quite enjoyable, despite my usual disdain for the actress.  It’s called Possession, but don’t let the title fool you – it was a pretty good suspense movie with a crummy title.  The movie follows a young couple who are very much in love and celebrating their first wedding anniversary.  Complicating their lives however, is the husband’s convict brother, who has just been released from prison and is staying with them.  There is a horrible car accident, and both brothers end up in comas with the brother-in-law waking up thinking he’s the husband…  sounds like a cheesy soap opera, but it was well done, and we liked it.  From what I’ve been reading, it’s a remake of a Korean movie called Addicted; I might have to check out the original.  There is also an alternate ending, but I’ll stick with the ending I saw – the alternate sounds dumb.

I’m just glad that we broke our stinker-streak, even if it did have to involve Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Consider this blog post your warning to stay away from the ones I listed above – some were almost bad enough to add to my “horrible movies” list; one that includes such bombs as The Love Guru and The Night Listener.  You’ve been warned!!

You Get What You Paid For At The Fun Park

Posted in Movies on August 14th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Not so fun.  Every once in a while our local movie rental place calls us up and tells us we’ve won a free rental.  It happened just this week, so we made a stop there yesterday, and since we had all the kids with us, my husband just ran in and tried to be quick.  He came out with a direct-to-video horror movie called The Fun Park.  It actually sounded pretty intriguing since it’s about some teens who were murdered by the ghost of a clown at an abandoned amusement park.  We know of an abandoned amusement park that we’ve visited, so we thought the movie would be extra scary.  But we were wrong.  It was awful – the 3.5 rating it got on imdb.com was no lie.  Free movie = boring clown.  For the first, I don’t know, about 30 minutes of the movie, they’re not even in the fun park.  The movie wastes time setting up the characters’ back stories – and who cares about that?  So finally they get to the fun park, and it’s not even scary.  The movie has no suspense.  There aren’t any chase scenes, basically the movie is the clown cutting off people’s faces.  I think.  The movie was so slow, I was dozing constantly.  But I don’t think I missed anything…  It was awful.  I would put it on my movie stinker list, but maybe it’s not fair because I wasn’t fully awake…  never mind, who cares, it was that bad.  At least it was a free rental.  And as far as my worries about being scared of clowns the next time we go to that abandoned amusement park, no problem – that movie was not scary at all.  The only thing scary about it was the idea that all the people involved in making it thought it was a good idea!

So here’s my updated stinker list of the worst movies I’ve ever seen:

The Devil’s Rejects
Doomsday
The Night Listener
The Love Guru
The Fun Park

No Country For Old Men… When There’s Yet ANOTHER Fog Day!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We stayed up late watching the Oscar winning movie, “No Country for Old Men” last night, so when the phone rang at 6 am this morning, my husband was overjoyed about the fog delay.  I did not hear the phone at 6, nor did I hear the follow-up call at 8 saying school was cancelled for the day.  I was up by 8:30, since that is the time we have our alarm set and my biological clock won’t let me sleep past then for fear the alarm won’t work and we’ll be late for school.  My husband was shutting off the alarm when I said, “We can’t sleep too long cuz Disney has a doctor appointment at 9:30.  Look at all those delays on the tv for Toledo.  Wonder how we got spared?”  Turns out, we did not, I just didn’t hear the phone ringing and Hubby was wondering why I was taking it so well that we couldn’t sleep in after all.  I don’t understand why it is that every time we have a doctor appointment scheduled for the morning, we have either a school delay or cancellation, meaning we can’t sleep in even if we wanted to.  And of course on these days, the kids always sleep in, whereas on the weekends, they’re up at their usual 7am wake-up-for-school time.  So now, they have yet ANOTHER day they have to make up in the summer, which brings them to July by now?  Dunno, I’ve lost track.

And today’s fog cancellation means we had to drag the entire family into the doctor’s office for our 18 month-old’s checkup – which did not go well.  Remember how I said the kids were going to sleep in today?  That means our 3-year-old, who is a stinker anyway, was not ready to get up, so she screamed from the time she was dragged out of bed until we got called into the doctor’s office.  So of course, the chain reaction was set into motion.  Seeing big sis so upset made Disney upset, and now she was screaming about everything the poor nurse and doctor were doing to her.  All painless stuff too that normally would not have been a problem – SCREAM, measure her head (46.7 cm), SCREAM, measure her length (32.5 in. – tall for her age), SCREAM, weigh her (22 lbs. 14 oz. – normal for her age, but a little on the skinny side because she is long), SCREAM, look into her ears, SCREAM, have her walk across the room to Mom and Dad…  well, actually, walk to big sis Taylor since she was upset with Mom and Dad for being accomplices to all the other horrors in the doctor’s office.  When it was finally over, she was better, and in the end, she didn’t want to leave because she was really happy with a toy they had in the waiting room she was playing with while I was making her next torture date, err appointment.  The good news is that Disney is exhaused from being so upset all morning, so I should get my nap today while she takes one…  hopefully.

Also, staying up late last night to watch the Oscar winning movie was regrettable.  I just didn’t get it.  I think I understood the movie, but not why it won 4 academy awards and got nominated for a bunch more.  I liked other Coen Brothers movies too – Fargo is really good, but this one was not very good in my opinion, and my husband agreed.  Just a story about a man who stumbles upon a crime scene and finds a ton of money, then he spends the rest of the movie trying to outrun the psychopath who is chasing him down for the money.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Tommy Lee Jones in this movie, because I didn’t know he was going to  be in it and I always enjoy his work – from Two-Face in the 3rd Batman movie, Batman Forever to Men in Black, to Volcano and The Fugitive, he’s a pretty good actor and always fun to watch – even in this movie, which I would officially classify as a waste of time.  Sure, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the other stinkers I’ve seen lately, like the Night Listener or Doomsday, the standard bad movies that I judge all bad movies by, but that’s only because it wasn’t as boring as the former and not as gory as the latter.  Academy award winning movies are always a hit-or-miss as far as I’m concerned.  I used to write them off, but when I started giving them a chance, I’ve actually enjoyed some, such as the aforementioned Fargo and As Good as it Gets, to name a few.  Now that I think of it, Coen brothers’ movies are kind of hit and miss also.  Ladykillers was just ok, Fargo was very good, Big Lebowski was average, I didn’t care much for O Brother Where Art Thou, and I’ll have to see Raising Arizona again since it’s been awhile, and I didn’t realize it was a Coen brothers movie.

I think I will skip the other Oscar winners from 2007 – seemed like a slow year.  I might be more open to nominees from other years past though…  a friend borrowed us Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic.  I’m not a huge Reese Witherspoon fan, but I do like Johnny Cash.  Been trying to get Hubby to watch it with me, though I’m as yet unsuccessful even though he admitted we should have watched it last night instead of No Country for Old Men.  Oh, well, now we have some Oscar-winning-film watching experience under our belt for future reference.  YES – the baby is down for a nap, think I’ll join her…  and a side effect of the fog day, actually a GOOD one – no need to wake from my nap by 3:30 to pick up kids!  Now if only the older 2 can settle down for an hour or more to give me peace and quiet…

Doomsday – Not Just a Clever Title

Posted in Movies on March 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The movie Doomsday is about a virus that wipes out all of Scotland.  I’m not really inspired to write much about it because I didn’t like the movie.  I can’t even think of anyone I know who would.  I wasn’t bored at the theater, but you couldn’t pay me to watch this movie again.  First of all, it wasn’t my type of movie.  It was sci-fi and took place in the future, which is already 2 strikes against it as far as I’m concerned.  And then there was the violence.  The never-ending, non-stop, constantly gruesome and always bloody violence.  People died in any and every way you can imagine and some hopefully you can’t.  I lost count after 5 decapitations, all very graphic, and there were also scenes of people getting squished, burned alive, smashed by cars…  like I said, you name a method of torture, it was in this movie.  I was not expecting this.  I thought the movie was going be more like Outbreak, where people try to combat the virus together – I would classify that as more of a drama from what I can remember.  After seeing Doomsday, I even had a dream involving severed limbs last night…  thank goodness it wasn’t nearly as graphic or bloody as the movie…  I wouldn’t even classify it as a nightmare.  And don’t go thinking I’m some kind of weirdo – if you were exposed to almost 2 hrs. of that kind of violence, you would understand why it came across in my sleep!  But anyway, Doomsday definitely goes on my Worst Movies I’ve Seen list.  So far the list consists of:

1.  The Night Listener

2.  The Producers (2005)

3.  Doomsday

4.  The Devil’s Rejects

5.  Meet the Spartans – I’m actually going to remove this one – it doesn’t really qualify as a movie, plus I didn’t see the whole thing.  I KNEW it was going to be horrible, but my husband wanted to try it for some reason…  we lasted for about 10 mins, if that.

This list is in no particular order.  It’s really difficult to do that because they were all horrible in their own unique ways.  I liked the original Producers (1968), but I never even saw the whole remake with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick because I couldn’t get past the first scene, which is rare for me, usually I will stick it out.  The Night Listener was horrible because it was predictable and dumb, but I would much rather sit thru that movie again than be subjected to Doomsday and all the violence again…  But when I saw each of them for the first time, I was more entertained by Doomsday than by The Night Listener…  so it just depends on the movie and what you mean by worst.  But they are all worthy of being classified as the worst movies I’ve ever seen, for one reason or another, some more than others.

I was totally surprised that Doomsday ended up being so bad after seeing that movies.com gave it an “A” as a rating!  I used to have this theory that I would go opposite whatever the critics said about a movie, and I think I will have to continue that trend.  If I remember correctly, Ebert and Roeper gave Devil’s Rejects “2 Thumbs Up”.  As I said, movies.com liked Doomsday, but I think the following excerpt of their critic’s review just about says it all – I say, see this movie at your own risk, on a dare, or if for some reason you are getting paid.  Otherwise, don’t bother with it, don’t know why we did!

From movies.com:

 “Name something you want in an ultraviolent action thriller and this movie delivers it. Impalement, decapitation, decapitated heads being affixed back onto bodies only to then take arrows through the skull and fall off again, motorcycles decorated with human skeletons, cannibalism, exploding bunnies, insane car chases, wacky costumes, incomprehensible editing, an indestructible a hot chick heroine (Rhona Mitra, who looks like what would happen if Kate Beckinsale and Victoria Beckham had a baby that was the Terminator) whose hotness grows in tandem with the number of people she mows down in the name of truth. Does it suck? Sorta. Is that awesome? Absolutely. In terms of sheer excitement, it’s the best movie of 2008.”

NOTE FROM ME – Best movie of 2008?  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re only in the 3rd month!