Friday, July 27, 2012

The Watch: Costco Is For Members Only

The world is made up of two kinds of folks. Ben Stiller fans. And the other jerks.

OK, now you know which side The Movie Slut is on. And please know she's just kidding and has the greatest respect for those who shun the actor and all his movies.

This movie is for Stiller fans only. Once again he's a clueless, obsessive, uber-earnest guy, who never does anything unless it's 110 percent.

When he creates a neighborhood watch (with Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill) in his squeaky clean Ohio neighborhood, he's not fooling around. He means it. Watch out bad guys. And when slimy aliens turn up as the trouble makers, he fights them to the green oozing end.

Stiller, is the manager of a Costco store and he takes the members-only rule as seriously as he takes everything else. And that's all The Movie Slut will say about The Watch.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: End of the Trilogy

Reviewing this film after the Aurora tragedy is nearly impossible. It's difficult to view it without mourning for those who lost their lives on opening night. It's tough not to worry about those entering and leaving the theater while the movie is showing, and not to wonder what the young man sitting alone next to you is texting so busily.

Having said all that, the Movie Slut and her megaplex companion agreed this was far from the best movie of the summer. Strangely, that enhanced their movie going experience. The lazy plotting and sloppy staging made for some pretty funny moments. This Dark Knight is only for the bat guy's most ardent fans. The ones who love him unconditionally.

Good news. The Movie Slut is not going deaf. The reason she missed many lines in DK is because they were mumbled behind masks and competing with the thundering soundtrack. Thank the New Yorker magazine for confirming this. 

Beasts Of The Southern Wild: Water World

Beasts takes moviegoers into the soggy Louisiana bayou to meet a ragtag community of fiercely independent souls. The film doesn't celebrate their way of life. Indeed, most of us would consider them the underbelly of society, boozing, drugging and existing at the mercy of the elements.

And yet, they are living on their own terms. Is there not glory in that?

The film is elevated by Hushpuppie, the 6-year-old narrator, who never slips into obnoxious movie kid know-it-allness. She's as confused as anyone and just trying to make sense of her world.

The arrival of a ferocious storm upsets the tentative equilibrium of this community. You'll have to see the movie to learn the rest of the story.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magic Mike: Where The Boys Are

If Magic Mike were Magic Marge, this flick, starring Channing Tatum as a not-so-high-class stripper, would be considered sexploitation.

The double standard lives on.

Guys, you're gonna want to miss this one. As for you gals, well, get your tickets pronto.

That's not just for the beefcake. Magic Mike, who holds down two jobs and a big dream, is an appealing character even with his clothes on. Matthew MacConaughey—with a perm — is also not to be missed as the strip club owner, who's so sleazy that you'll think there's an oil spill every time he appears on screen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ted: Won't You Be My Teddy Bear

Trailers and critics will have you believing this movie about a man and his childhood plush toy is a one trick teddy bear.

It's more like three or four tricks.

Sure Ted (left) is the kind of potty-mouthed, pot-smoking "best friend" who keeps our Peter Pan of a protagonist (right) from moving on with his life. But, there's more to this flick than that.

Narrated and spun out in a 1950s rom-com style, the movie serves as a spoof of the old Doris Day/Rock Hudson romances. And when the music isn't 1980s (Hootie & the Blowfish, Tiffany) the period in which the action takes place, it echoes the decade three years earlier as well.

Ted also gets a boost from excellent performances by Mark Wahlberg, as John, and his long suffering girlfriend (Mila Kunis), who must compete with the "best friend" her guy can't seem to move past. Enough laughs, here, if you're standards are as low as the Movie Slut's.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

People Like Us: Make that the Best of Us

The less you know about this touching movie before you see it, the better. So, if you happen to be in a theater when the trailer is shown, please close your eyes, place a finger in each ear and mutter, "La, la, la" under your breath.

This is a boy-meets-girl flick, but unlike any you've seen before. It's also a film about family, the strength and resilience of family bonds. And that's all the Movie Slut is going to say about that.

OK, one more fact. You might want to see this movie just because it doesn't fit the hackneyed script with the de rigueur ending that's been played out ad nauseum. (Now that's a mouth full.)

Savages: Sex, Drugs, Drugs & More Drugs.

Got a hankering to see savages? Then tune in to CNN's coverage of the Syrian uprising. It's brutal, authentic and free.

Oliver Stones "Savages," on the other hand, is a gratuitous blood-and-gore-fest. Which is too bad, because it seems, the movie, based on a book of the same name, could have been a pretty smart film.

The Movie Slut read that it was also supposed to be funny. The wit escaped her, too, especially when characters were spouting blood, loosing their lunch or burning to a crisp.

There's a moment in this unnecessary flick when we learn that even the best of us can become savages given a certain set of circumstances. Tell us something new, Oliver. Anyone who's loved knows about that vulnerability.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

To Rome With Love: Lust and Cynicism

Woody Allen aficionados will thoroughly enjoy his new antipasti of a movie. It serves up a little of this and a little of that all on a single plate with a common theme, like marinara sauce, drizzled over the selections.

Since To Rome, which stars Allen and a superlative cast, is a rom-com, the theme is obvious.

But Allen's new movie is also like a lemon meringue pie: Frothy and sweet at first bit, but dense and tart underneath.

Allen dwells on one of his favored themes —celebrity —and reaches the cynical conclusion paraphrased here. Life is shabby and it sucks, but is a lot less crummy if you're a celebrity.

Most of the characters are swept into the cult of celebrity and willing to forsake the ones they love for a twirl with fame. In this way To Rome is a lot like a cup of espresso: dark and bitter.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Arachnidaliscious

When Marvel Comics introduced the now-famous Web-Crawler in 1962, he captured our hearts and heads, not only for his perennial do-gooder super-powers, but also for his compelling back story.

Abandoned by his mother and father, bullied by his high school classmates, invisible to the girl he like-likes, Spidey needs our protection and love. Until...

This new movie is the fourth for the Web-Slinger. One, 2002, two, 2004, and three 2007, starred a kinda goofy Tobey Maguire as the vigilante Web-Head. Now, Andrew Garfield takes over the role.

 Physically, he doesn't have the clueless, innocent look Maguire has mastered, but movie-goers will soon forget Tobey, thanks to a script that takes us back to the story's irrisistible beginning and keeps the camera focused on Spidey, the boy, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man.