Monday, February 28, 2011

Hall Pass Vs. Cedar Rapids: Viva la difference

All Dick flicks are not created equal. In fact, if they were comedians, "Hall Pass" (right) is to Bill Crystal as "Cedar Rapids" is to Ricky Gervais.
Both movies are
about men behaving babyishly and both have the requisite raunchy, gross out and scatological moments, but while HP slips them seamlessly into the uproarious plot, CR tosses them in gratuitously, for shock value only.
The Farrelly
Brothers are the wacko brains behind HP and they've made a movie in which we all, men and women, can identify. While CR is about people you've never met and never will. Ed Helms is a naif from the backwater who visits the biggish city. You probably know 5 year olds who are more street smart. It's all about the dirty joke, while HP is a movie with heart.

The Oscars: Gold Man on Life Support

Who will resuscitate the Gold Man? Last night's disaster of an Academy Award show done the poor guy in.
The best that could be said about Anne and James is that they're not Ricky Gervais. Oh how dull they were. Oh how boring, tedious
and catatonia-inducing. But at least they didn't infect the entire proceedings with nasty, bilious, aged, faux jokes.
Thanks to Anne and James, two actors the Movie Slut adores on the big screen, the MS had a sound, sound sleep on Sunday night. What a ginormous snooze-a-thon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am Number Four: A Real Ten

Halfway through this totally satisfying flick, a character observes, "My whole life has been like an 'X-Files' episode."


That's exactly what we need right now. At least the Movie Slut says so.
"Number Four has humor & horror, aliens & monsters, love & longing, friendship & jealousy, ignorance & intelligence, a shape-shifting canine, a flying fire goddess, and most important, characters we can really care about. Thank you director Michael Bay.
This is not a flick for everyone. But for "X-Files" fanciers, it has everything. Oh, how we miss you Mulder and Scully. No, they're not in this thoroughly satisfying sci-fi thriller, but the next generation of paranormal seekers are. We'll learn more about them in the sequel. Oh yes, a sequel is on the way.

The truth is still out there.

Movie Slut Rating:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unknown: Until The Movie Ends

Will the real Dr. Martin Harris please stand up? Is it Liam Neeson? Or Aidan Quinn? And while we're at it, who is January Jones married to?
All the answers to the mystery at the heart of this fun, frenetic film are answered in the last minutes of the movie, and while they do meet the plausibility test, it's doubtful any viewer will guess the outcome.
This is good and bad. Who doesn't like a real shocker of a surprise? Then again, aren't there supposed to be play fair clues sprinkled through the action?
Despite its basic unfairness, "Unknown" is an eminently fulfilling flick, which fits neatly into the old thriller genre — long on car chases and dead bodies, short on special effects. And best of all, it's not in 3D!
Movie Slut Rating: Four out of five lipsticks.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Barney's Version: Lose Lose.

"Barney's Version" is based on a Mordecai Richler book of the same name. Read the book. Or maybe you dig movies about beautiful, smart women who hook up with flabby, foul-mouthed morons. Then rent "Knocked up," with Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. And what if you're hankering for a film in which a guy falls for another woman shortly after he's hitched. Then check out "The Heartbreak Kid." The 1972 version.
Which leaves us with absolutely no reason to plunk down hard-earned cash on this loser of a movie.
"Barney's Version" begins promisingly, with some funny, sort of smart scenes. Alas, it quickly zooms downhill faster than a runaway roller coaster. There's a mystery at the heart of the movie and even that can't sustain our interest.
Paul Giamatti plays the eminently unlikeable Barney, who's not only exceedingly unattractive on the outside, he's also downright ugly under his hairy skin. In the book, he's a more nuanced character, which explains why gorgeous gals fall for him, while some call it Richler's masterpiece. In this icky flick, any redeemable attributes are on the cutting room floor.
But don't feel sorry for Giamatti. Trailers are already out for his new film, "Win Win."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just Go With It: Or Not

The new Adam Sandler flick is like that unfortunate early-'80s do — the mullet. It's uneven and equal parts horrendous and hysterical. Sandler, as usual, is an emotionally-stalled every guy (this time with $), whose plan to ensnare babes backfires when he actually develops — hold on to your seat — Feelings for a gal.
He's a cosmetic surgeon and the funniest scenes are those where he deals with cases of plastic surgery run amok.
Jennifer Aniston is his office manager and the smartest scenes are those in which she appears. Did she work with a different writer?
Then we have Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker (the latest It girl), who wants to prove she's got brains as well boobs and does a pretty fair job of actually acting.
Nicole Kidman appears for her bit part in a TD4 wardrobe. Who designed it? The Movie Slut is working on that. Chanel? Versace?
And you'll never guess who makes a surprise appearance as her nelly hubby.
Due to infantile pottie humor, the Movie Slut award is:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sanctum: Sinks

What's amazing about "Sanctum," the soggy new James Cameron dud, not to be confused with his soggy old overrated flick, is that it topped the box office on Monday. But then Monday wasn't exactly a blockbuster movie day. Still, the Movie Slut did see this misery of a movie that day. About half of it before she fled.
Problem No. 1: Whatever happened to character development? Who were these people? Who cares?
Problem No. 2: It's not so much that no A-list actors were on the screen. No actors appeared in this foul flick. Who were these losers?
Problem No. 3: The 3-D looked like grade-school dioramas. Remember the ones we made out of shoe boxes?
Problem No. 4: The dialogue. Oh, let's not even...bhah, blah, bor-ing.
Movie Slut rating: One broken lipstick.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Biutiful: Brethtaking

"Biutiful" is beautiful in the way that Amerika is America. It's a chord that's slipped from major to minor key. Biblicly speaking, Javier Bardem as Uxbal, a denizen of Barcelona's meanest streets, has been compared to Jesus. Maybe Job is the better metaphor.
"Biutiful" is not for everyone. Gritty and dark doesn't begin to describe Uxbal's world, and he's not alone. Every character in this crushingly breathtaking film was absent when the blessings of life were distributed.
The movie deals with death, mental illness, poverty, illegals, crime and corruption. Still, biuty — even beauty — ignites the screen.
While many serious contemporary films focus on men and women driven by greed, lust, pride and a few other deadly sins, Uxbal and the others in his grimy corner of the universe are motivated only by the will to survive. And miraculously, they rise above their agonizing circumstances with their fundamental humanity intact. They stumble along the darkest paths and yet they float above them.
It's difficult to imagine that this movie would be as powerful without Bardem (He has been nominated for a best actor Oscar), but the genius of director Alejandro González Iñárritu ("Babel" and "21 grams") can't be overestimated.
Movie Slut Rating: Five out of five lipsticks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Year: Feels Like Ten

How do you feel about watching a movie about people who are even more boring than you are? (No offense.) If this sounds like an interesting, enlightening or enjoyable prospect then, by all means, go see "Another Year." It comes to us from British filmmaker Mike Leigh, who gave us the delightful "Happy-Go-Lucky." His new flick might be called "Unhappy-and-Unlucky."

That's if you don't count the two main characters, husband and wife, Tom and Gerri, for whom contentment is an art form.

The trouble is that they're surrounded by misery. All their best friends lead lives of quiet, and sometimes not so quiet, desperation.
One reviewer called the movie "wise." And at the risk of sounding like a wiseguy, the Movie Slut wonders if Tom and Gerri have chosen a pathetic group of friends only to up their happiness ante. In comparison.

"Another Year," is peopled with a collection of eccentric British characters who manage to make their misery watchable, even at times — dare we say it — amusing.
Movie Slut Rating: Two out of five lipsticks.