(This blog was written while listening to the Black Crowes live recording “Freak and Roll into the Fog”. You don’t have to listen to it while reading this but it may help you to get your “Fuck off” in raspy/bluesy order.)
Not many of you may know that by night I am a stand up comedian but by day I am a movie reviewer for Botica’s Bunch in Perth. For those of you who have never ventured to the Wild West Botica’s Bunch have been number one on radio this week for ten years. Ten freaking years! How’s that for some skills?
Anyway, I have been lucky enough to be their guy for movies the past two years and it is by far the most fun I’ve had with a “job” since I used to be an umpire for Under 20’s women’s basketball. I see my job as an entertainer more than a reviewer so I try to give an honest opinion in a way that people can relate to and have a laugh at the same time. In the past two years I have reviewed 90 movies and have seen even more. The highlights in those two years would have to be (off the top of my head) The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Balibo, Where the Wild Things Are and Let the Right One In. Out of those movies I have to say that Dark Knight was by far my favourite and I still watch it on a regular basis (and if you don’t like that movie you are entitled to your opinion…but you must know deep down in your soul that you are wrong and a douche).
But who cares about what movies I loved? There is no fun in that! It is so much more fun to bitch especially at this time of the year so lets get into the five movies for 2009 that can go and get fucked!
1. He’s Just Not That Into You
Based on the wildly popular bestseller of the same name this movie tells the story of a group of interconnected twenty-thirtysomethings as they navigate the shallow end of the dating pool blah blah blah.
The only way I could have been angrier watching this movie is if after the credits someone had walked out, punched a puppy, told me that it was my fault and now, as comeuppance, I would have to watch the movie again.
Now before anyone accuses me of not being into chick flicks I will state some facts: I love Steel Magnolias, Miranda is my favourite character on Sex and the City and when no one is around I will watch anything with Hugh Grant in it including the original Bridget Jones Diary and Notting Hill.
The problem with this movie is the message: hey girls, if you nag a man long enough you’ll get a ring on your finger but if you end up alone, hey, that’s okay too. What year was this movie made? The early 80’s? At least then I would have a pretty decent sound track to listen to.
Scarlett Johansson should just give up acting and let her breasts bring home the cheques. Jennifer Aniston needs to stop playing characters that are desperate for a perfect husband…translation: stop playing herself. Drew Barrymoore needs to stop being so cloying in all her roles. And whoever decided to make newcomer Ginnifer Goodwin the main character in this movie needs to lose their job. She was so annoying that every time she came onto the screen I would try to think of something more interesting like watching ice melt. And what kind of name is “Ginnifer”? Hey Ginny, fuck off with your made up name.
The men in this movie are no better. Ben Affleck has already proven as an actor he is an excellent director; Kevin Connolly should stay on Entourage if he’s going to play the same character, Bradley Cooper was so insipid it took me half of the Hangover…which I loved…to warm to him. And Justin Long: how dare you have my first name if you’re going to be so fucking insipid.
I give this movie four “go fuck yourselves” out of five.
Ah remember the good old days when Bruce Willis would turn up in a movie and everyone would be excited? Well those days are long gone and if you really need proof then check out Surrogates.
In a world where people live their lives vicariously through surrogates (which are robots that look like people but are controlled from the safety of your own home…yep, that’s the idea for the movie) Willis plays an FBI agent who investigates a routine murder. But when the murdered suspect turns out to be the son of the man who invented the robotic surrogates, things turn out to be not quite what they seem.
First up the good news: it turns out in the future we will have robots that look like ourselves and can do all the things we humanly can’t. The bad news is that even with this technology we will still be unable to invent toupees that make Bruce Willis look like he has a real head of hair.
This is a movie that has said, “Right, lets take a splash of the Matrix, a dash of I Robot, sprinkle some Blade Runner over the top…and bake on high for an hour and a half and voila, what do you have? A meal so bad that your Grandpa at the old age home will be begging for you to feed him dog food again.”
And the greatest thing about this movie is that it only lasted 88 minutes which I reckon was 89 minutes too many. Normally I hate people who send text messages on their phone in the theatre but I found myself suppressing the urge to throttle the gen y kid next to me for not being a cliché. At least if he’d been sending text messages I could have been angry which would have proven I wasn’t dead inside…like this movie made me feel.
I give this movie three "fuck offs" out of five.
3. The Invention of Lying
In his latest movie Ricky Gervais plays a man who has just lost his job, found out he is hated and had the worse date of all time. But then he finds a loophole when he discovers he’s the one person in the world who can tell a lie and from here the story really takes off…and when I say off I mean like a dog turd that has been left in the sun on your door step for 36 hours.
The big mistake that Gervais is making is that he is forgetting what made him popular. In The Office and Extras his characters have been smart arses without the smarts, smarmy characters that revel in cruelty. Sure they may learn a lesson or two but they never deviate from the fact of who they are. In his Hollywood forays Gervais plays fat guys who are loveable losers. And they’re dull. They are vanilla slices without the cocoanut. Fuck off!
And I am sick of movies where fat guys score hot ladies. In Ghost Town Ricky scored Tea Leoni. She is married to David Duchovny! In this he wins over Jennifer Garner. She’s married to Ben Aflleck who while he may have the personality of a crushed walnut he is not an unattractive man. Stop living in these fantasy worlds and cast women you may be able to score like Bronwyn Bishop.
The premise is an interesting one but they take the easy way out by turning it into a sappy love story, which is the least interesting part of the movie. We barely see how advertising and entertainment is affected. What about politics? What about the financial situation? The premise isn’t even explored to it’s full comedic potential. The old Gervais would have lied to get Garner into bed. In this one he has a conscious and could never do it. Boring. What a coward’s way out. Use the powers for evil, let us have some fun with it and then ram home a truth or two. Bam! We have a happy ending and a funny movie. Instead we get a half-baked jab at religion with a character we don’t care if he ends up in Heaven or Hell. Hollywood has watered down the Gervais product, time to get back to TV or the UK or both and reignite what made him a star in the first place.
In the meantime, oh Rickey, what a pity, can’t you understand…you can fuck off with a three and a half star rating.
4. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
What do you mean a Matthew McConaughey movie made it into a list of movies that can fuck off? Has the world gone mad?
There’s not many films that within five minutes of starting you can say is dead on arrival but the Matthew McConaughey vehicle “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” is a stinky affair that will waft well after the end credits have finished.
McConaughey plays a freewheeling single guy who's had his way with a bevy of hot women in his time but when he attends his brother’s wedding he finds himself haunted by the spirits of girlfriends of the present, past and beyond as he comes up against the one girl who...oh...gag...oh dear...gag...there it goes...all over my shoes...
I find McConaughey to be an enigma of an actor, one that can so hilariously send himself up in movies like Tropic Thunder then make a movie like this that makes you pray for swine flu to kick in so you have a legitimate reason to leave the cinema.
Michael Douglas shows up as McConaughey’s dead uncle who has to warn him that if he doesn’t change his ways he will miss out on true love. Whatever! He doesn’t deserve true love with all the hotties he’s been consorting with. What would have made this movie so much better is if the ghost of Kirk Douglas had turned up to tell his son Michael he was looking more and more like him and if isn’t careful he’s going to freak out Catherine Zeta Jones!
In fact I’d take it one step further and have Charles Dickens’ ghost turn up and sue everyone who was involved in this supposed updating of the classic “A Christmas Carol”. Did we really need this classic piece of writing reworked so the protagonist is a master pork swordsman with intimacy issues? Listening to nails being dragged down a blackboard would have been less torturous than this film. I would not be surprised to find that American soldiers had been using this at Abu Grahib to get vital information out of captives and if this is the case I call upon the Geneva Convention to stop such atrocities.
I knew there were no redeeming features for this movie when Douglas pulls out an umbrella and insists that the rain coming down is actually the female tears shed for him over the years ... followed by a rain of tissues used to dab those tears ... followed by a rain of condoms he used. I saw this with my human eyes.
Sometimes a shitty movie can be fun but sometimes a shitty movie is just that.
I give this four “Ah, I’ve been fucked in the eyes” out of tive.
5. Couples Retreat
If you really love the following actors: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman and Kristin Davis avoid Couples Retreat with all your might or you may find yourself burning your copies of Swingers, Arrested Development and Sex and the City out of sheer frustration.
Four couples that are all friends go away together to a tropical resort to help save one of the couple’s marriage. Hilarity ensures. Well it was meant to. But it never does. Kill me now.
Where do we start? I hated everything about this movie. If you told me I had to make a choice between watching this movie again or be punched in the crotch once a month for the rest of the year I’d gladly say goodbye to my ability to ever have children.
Completely unfunny and little more than excuse to have everyone go to an island and film a movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the actors were just taking a vacation together and decided to quickly shoot a movie so they could pass it off on tax.
Here are some of the moments of comedy gold: Jason Bateman’s character once had a testicular cancer scare and all the guys make jokes about it. That is champagne comedy right there. Nothing like a bit of nut canc to really fire up the comedy laughter machine.
How about the really overweight guy having to get naked? Is there anything funnier than seeing a really fat guy in the nude? Well, it turns out yes, there are hundreds of things funnier and none of them turn up in this movie.
Actually nearly all the men in this are overweight. I don’t need to see Jon Favreau having his man boobs massaged on the big screen. The only way I want to see Jon Favreau naked is if members of Greenpeace appear and try to push him back out to sea.
This movie has set the women’s movement back to 1958. Kristen Davis who is great as Charlotte in Sex and the City is completely under utilized in her role and if Carrie, Sam and Miranda ever see this movie she would be stripped of her New York privileges. Her relationship with Favreau is so repugnant it makes Greg Norman and Chris Evert look like Romeo and Juliet.
There are jokes about men wanting to get themselves off, there are jokes about men being homophobic, there are jokes about men wanting to have sex with younger women even though they’re married to hot wives, there are jokes about women who are too young for older men just using them…the list goes on. The funniest moment in the movie is when Vaughn’s five-year-old son does a wee in a fake toilet on display in a white goods showroom. Well-written Oscar Wilde. And then just in case we didn’t get the joke the movie finishes with the kid back in the store having a poo in the same toilet. And that last scene summed up the movie perfectly.
I’m giving Couples Retreat six “I hope you fuck off and die” out of five.
So they are without a doubt my least favoured movies for the year. Don’t get me wrong; there were more shit movies out there (Anyone seen Avatar? Pocahontas meets Return of the Jedi with buff Smurfs? Go fuck yourself!) But these were the movies that actually made me, for just a short moment; hate my job as a movie reviewer.
And I love this job.
So in case you haven’t guessed, those movies can fuck off with a hearty fuck you.
Fuck you very much
Fuck you North
Fuckember 18th, 2009