The Boos! Thanksgiving Movie Special!
Well, Whoop-doo! I'm back from the land of shame, sitting pretty in this Whoop-doo nation. We've got plenty to catch up on. But with the writer's strike still chugging along, none of it seems that important. Thanksgiving is coming up, so I've decided to dedicate this particular edition of the Boos! column exclusively to all the movies that are out there, haunting us this fine holiday eve. Nothing goes better with tryptophan than a generous heaping of Seann William Scott and a side order of Dustin Hoffman. Here's a look at what you can expect to find if you venture out to the multiplex on Thursday.
Hitman? Boo! I love Timothy Olyphant. I have ever since I first saw him in Go. Part of the appeal was his hair. Which he has all but shaved off here. He looks like a Sears department store mannequin that someone punched in the face, and then left face down in the young men's department. I don't like video games. I loath having to watch someone play video games. And I double dread having to watch a film base on a video game franchise. This one is no different than the other hundred or so crappy titles directly based on some fanboy's favorite first-player pastime. Watching Hitman is like being locked in a dew-hazey dorm room while people you don't really like suck THC vapors off a bong made from of a detergent box and fiddle-dick with the latest gaming council. It's why I always went home for the holidays when I attended college. This sucker gets zero out of five turkey legs.
Enchanted? Whoop-doo! I would have loved this film when I was five. It would have turned me gay, and I would be singing show tunes on a boat cruise as we speak had it come out in '79. This is pure Disney cheese. A tasty stick of string mozzarella that proved to be delicious teeth pull after teeth pull. My favorite part about attending the screening was watching my fellow journalistic comrades (all male) sit together and watch this princess cupcake of a glorious cinematic treat. Amy Adams smells like vanilla, whoring up the screen as Princess Giselle. She wholeheartedly throws herself into the role of a live action Disney Princess from 1939. And the feelings of joy she exudes are infectious. But it's her Prince Charming, James Marsden, who really steals the show. This guy was pounded for his performance as Ray Charles in the X-Men films, but ever since that time he has been the saving grace of every film he's appeared in. Tell me he wasn't the best thing about Superman Returns. And, fuck, the guy is deadly in Hairspray. Just a pure adrenaline rush of smoothness. And he can sing. Who knew? I totally fell in love with Pip the forest rodent. The original songs are a shoe in at Oscar time. If you have a houseful of little kids you are looking to entertain, drop them off here and go have a beer. They'll love you for it. And you'll have a much-needed buzz after dealing with Uncle Tupelo and his special augraten pea dish. I'm giving it Four out of five turkey legs.
The Mist? Whoop-doo!
Stephen King's The Mist? Whoop-doo!: Going to the movies Thanksgiving night was a family tradition when I was a kid. If that were still the case, this is definitely the movie we would have went and seen. And it doesn't disappoint on that level. This has everything you could want out of a holiday movie and more. And my dad would have especially loved the ending. It is a little depressing, but it made me smile. I can just imagine my dad sitting there, looking at grandma, wishing he were the one with the gun. Bang, bang! This has monsters and supermarkets. Two of my favorite genre staples. I love a good little nihilistic film where people are trapped with absolutely no way out. This is along the lines of From Dusk Till Dawn and Feast. (That would make for one heck of a triple feature.) If you are a fan of Stephen King, Frank Darabont, or Drew Struzen, don't miss this one. Five out of five turkey legs!
August Rush? Boo!
August Rush? Boo! More like August Suck! I hate Robin Williams when he decides to get all serious and sticky. Especially when he's channeling Bono for no particular reason. This is about a musical prodigy orphaned to live on the cold streets of downtown nowhere land. His parents, too consumed with their own Oxford musical talents, misplace him. And he is taken in by the creepy Williams. The kid becomes a street sensation, and his mother returns to reclaim his poor, little frozen bones. Trust me, there are a number of easier ways to make yourself cry on cue this season. You don't need this sorry excuse for a drama extracting crocodile tears out of your cheeks at twelve bucks a pop. Slam your fingers in a window. Swallow a wishbone. Snap your taint in a three-ring binder. All of these methods of evoking emotion will be funner than sitting through this cryptic ulcer. I give the film zero out of five turkey legs.
This Christmas? Whoop-doo!
This Christmas? Whoop-doo! I didn't actually invest my time in this holiday dramedy. I don't even know who the fignut Chris Brown is. I'm being told he's huge on the R&B circuit. Could have fooled me. The boy looks rather inarticulate in the trailers. But my esteemed associate Paulington J. Christensen III is telling me that this one is worth the price of admission. If you are black and looking for something to identify with this holiday season, go see it. The lumbering thing has spurts of good humor. And a few funny jokes. You could do a lot worse. You could do August Rush. The chicks in this flick are super fine. Sharon Leal is one of the hottest bitches out there at the moment. I'd pay to see her screw around with Santa. The girl has some delicious cookies. Based on Paulington's recommendation, I am giving this one three and a half turkey legs out of five.
Christmas in Wonderland? Whoop-doo!
Christmas in Wonderland? Whoop-doo!: This is the second Christmas-themed release being dropped on us this Thanksgiving Eve. Not since Moto X Kids have I been so flabbergasted by a film and its contents. This one stars Patrick Swayze as the father of two kids that happen upon a stash of counterfeit money in the local mall. And it is astounding. A cult treat that you have to see to believe. Trust me, you aren't going to want to spend any money on this. Wait until its available in the dollar discount bin or on basic cable. For bizarreness sake, I give the film four out of five turkey legs. If you are actually thinking about going and seeing this at the theater, I would only give it half a turkey leg.
The Orphanage? Whoop-doo!
The Orphanage? Whoop-doo!: Orphaned ghost babies! This sucker was produced by Spain's Guillermo Del Toro. And it has a creepy deformed kid wandering around in a potato sack. My beef with the film is that this poor, ugly little bastard dies. Why? Because kids can be cruel. But he comes back as a deformed ghost. He looks exactly the same in death as he does in life. Where's the hope in that? And, then, you have the umpteenth obligatory "surprise car kill" scene. I saw five of these exact same jump scares last week alone. The black cat pouncing out of the shadows used to be the go-to scare. Now, it's seeing someone get hit by a car unexpectedly. Comedies have their fart scene. Now, horror movies have their surprise vehicular manslaughter scene. Despite those two discrepancies, this is a pretty effective little spook show. I liked its Spanish flavor. I give it three and a half turkey legs out of five.
Southland Tales? Whoop-doo!
Southland Tales? Whoop-doo!: What a divine mess. I loved every minute of this spectacular, epic disaster. It sort of reminded me of Harmony Korine's "Gummo". You just don't know what to expect from one scene to the next. And you don't necessarily have to understand it to enjoy it. Hell, I highly doubt Richard Kelly, the film's director, could really explain what is going on. And that's part of its mystique and charm. Sure, it runs long at over two hours. But just when you are starting to get tired of it, it takes a most unexpected turn, and throws more exotic sand in your eyes. Its like "Ishtar" with a mouthful of peyote buttons. Dipped in ranch, T-Bone Tibbins style. I knew I was watching something special when, after some pretty heady stuff goes down, the Rock turns to the camera and says, "I'm a pimp. And pimps don't kill themselves." Then he dances with Mandy Moore and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a blimp that is being targeted by a phony anti-Christ. That kind of filmmaking takes balls. I'm not claiming that there is some important hidden message in Southland Tales. I think the fact that there isn't is the twisted surprise. The joke is on everyone involved. And I mean it, honestly, when I say the film gets five out of five turkey legs.
Beowulf? Whoop-doo!: You have to see this one in 3-D. The end battle sequence, where Beowulf goes up against a golden dragon, is one of the coolest climaxes ever committed to celluloid. I'm sure it sort of sucks in 2-D. But when it's popping out all over your face in IMAX, it's hard to deny its weight. The rest of the movie is kind of boring. There is a neat sequence where Beowulf battles some underwater monsters. And Crispin Glover is pretty awesome, as always. I'm recommending it on its 3-D merits alone. Check this shit out. You won't be disappointed. I give it four out of five turkey legs.
Mr. Magorium? Boo!
"Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"? Boo! Even though it was a thinly veiled remake of "Joe vs. the Volcano", I remember sitting at the drive-in watching Stranger Than Fiction hopped up on Bushmills, thinking it was the best film I'd seen last year. Sadly, its writer Zach Helm wasn't able to bring that same kind of fire to this rather bleak, somewhat boring kiddy comedy. Natalie Portman's haircut makes her look like a priest's wet dream, and Dustin Hoffman is channeling the dancing bum outside the corner Mexi-Market. Despite the fact that the ever-lovable Jason Bateman makes an appearance, this is doomed canned goods. It's like a mouthful of rotten cranberry gelatin. Still frozen and tart with mold. Enchanted is the better fantasy flick for your children this corn and mashed potatoes season. This sucker gets zero out of five turkey legs.
That's it for me. "Whoop-Doo!" Enjoy the food. Enjoy the movies. And I will see you next week, when Boos! And Whoop-doos! Returns to its regularly scheduled slot! Also, don't forget to check out Paulington's new column The Fuss. He needs a boost of wheatgrass. Let's all get the shits. Yeah!