Sunday, April 24, 2005

MOVIE CRITIC FOR A DAY

For a change I am going to weigh in here on some of the movies I've seen over the past month or so. I'm reviewing them, just for fun.

I want to see if I have it in me to be a movie critic, so I am going to give my assessment of some of the movies going on and let you know what to see and what to avoid. I saw most of these because I got a bunch of gift certificates as a birthday present, so I went to all the movies I could go to.

So I might as well talk about them. Besides, I saw a movie last night that I thought was a waste of money. A total, total waste of money and two hours of my life. So by voicing my opinions here maybe there will be people who will heed my advice and stay away from movies that are a total waste of time.

Anyway, here's what I saw. Figure out whether to buy the DVD when it comes out.

Hitch: Funny movie. Fun movie. Will Smith as the date doctor is really comical. You know, guys can relate to a lot of the nonsense these guys have to put up with, trying to get a date with these gorgeous women who wouldn't recognize a good thing when they see it and who would rather go out with these no-good, two-timing, player-type losers who break their hearts. The plot is kind of ridiculous, in fact the whole plot stretches credulity, but it is very funny.

Be Cool: The sequel to Get Shorty and the famed pairing, again, of John Travolta and Uma Thurman. But I found the movie's plot a little confusing and rather flat and unfunny. A lot of other people really laid into it and thought it was absolutely terrible. In the movie, they tried to make the audience believe that Travolta had discovered this big singing star who in truth wouldn't have been allowed onto American Idol. So it wasn't all that good a movie. I'd say only go if you're a die-hard Travolta fan, otherwise forget it.

Guess Who: This movie's plot line is sort of a modern-day version of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", except this time it's the white dude (Ashton Kutcher) marrying into a black family. And the father (Bernie Mac) doesn't like it. Not a complete disaster, has its moments, but not all that memorable, either. Kind of dull, in fact. Sort of like a sitcom for the movie screen (not a compliment).

Fever Pitch: Featuring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. "I am a Red Sox fan!" And so we see what fandom is really all about, and see how this poor guy tries to balance his passion for the Boston Red Sox with his love for his girlfriend, who of course has no clue about baseball at all. I can really relate to this poor guy. This is a movie that truly shows what it's like to be a die-hard sports fan and how crazy people can get, especially when there's big games. This one's another Farrelly Brothers picture and the Farrellys are known for their extremely funny, obsessive, gross-out movies which make fun of people with artificial limbs and mental health problems and the like. There is very little of that stuff in this movie, thankfully. They showed a lot of restraint, for a change, and ended up making a really good, memorable movie.

A Lot Like Love: Should rename the movie A Lot Like $%!t.
The trailers and the TV ads promised this laugh-a-minute movie, unfortunately they crammed the only highlights of the whole movie into something like a half-minute promo. This was a long, dreary, boring movie with two people in it with little apparent chemistry to begin with, and it was bogged down by what Roger Ebert describes as the "idiot plot" (when the whole story is due to idiot decisions by the characters). If these two blockheads simply fell in love in the first act, we would have been spared with this 107-minute atrocity.

In fact the whole audience, when this movie ended, stared at each other in disbelief as if they couldn't believe how bad this movie was, because the promos looked so promising. People were shaking their heads and complaining about how "lame" it was, so it wasn't just me. This one had Ashton Kutcher in it again and all I gotta say is that I plan to run like heck from the next movie he stars in, because it'll be a sure sign that it's crap. So far his movies seem to all be clunkers. At least Jimmy Fallon can say he appeared in a bona-fide good movie.

Amanda Peet, meanwhile, is usually also better than this stuff. It's sad, because usually I love Amanda Peet! That's why I was sucked in to going, I think she's the greatest! She's usually in roles where she seems like the girl you always wanted for a girlfriend: smart, funny and adorable. But not in this movie. In this movie she plays a ditzy, unadorable, total idiot. Too bad for Amanda Peet, and for the audience.

The other thing I gotta say about this movie is: it is obvious to me that all these ads in these screenwriting magazines for "script consultants" and "script doctors" to get your screenplays noticed in Hollywood are all a big ripoff, a waste of money. You can do everything right, do all the things these consultants tell you to do, and your movie will still get passed over in favor of junk like this, which ignores every rule in the script doctor's playbook. A Lot Like Love was too long, it was boring, the characters were forgetable, it had no real point to it, had an idiot plot and a contrived ending, and no coherent dialogue to speak of. I wonder what Robert McKee has to say about THIS piece of trash! (Die-hard screenwriters and movie people know who Robert McKee is, he advertises in all these movie magazines on all his screenwriting seminars he holds all over North America and he's making a fortune.)

You know, a lot of the movies I saw so far this year just weren't very good. I should definitely go to some better movies in the near future.

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