Weekend Movie Guide: Let’s Save The Rec Center Or Whatever

Opening Wide and Saying, “Ahhhhh”: Joyful Noise, Contraband, Beauty and the Beast 3D

Opening in Limited Release: The Iron Lady, We Need to Talk About Kevin

FilmDrunk Suggests: Not The Iron Lady, that’s for sure. Did you read Vince’s review? This one, right here. Man, that’s some brutal criticism. I don’t know who keeps giving that Meryl Streep lady jobs, but she needs to give up and go get her secretary’s license.

Joyful Noise

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 39% critics, 72% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“And the film, written and directed by Todd Graff (‘Bandslam’), feels both overstuffed and glossed over. It wants to be a charming, down-home good time, but it struggles to hit the right notes. It’s a song that never quite comes together.” – Adam Graham, Detroit News

“So let me hear an ‘Amen’ — or at least an ‘Okay.’ Admitted, ‘Joyful Noise’ is sweet and slow and overstuffed — but like those Sunday dinners it mimics, it also satisfies, if you’re not too stuck on yourself to let it.” – Stephen Whitty, The Star Ledger (How about a big, ol’ hell naw?)

Armchair Analysis: *cracks knuckles, loosens bolo tie* I’ve been waiting for this one. Have you seen the trailer for this soggy dump? It’s here. For starters, the acting just looks terrible. Second, Dolly Parton as a hip grandma? Awesome. Believability at its best. Above all else, though, someone has once again brought to us the equation of (insert random talent + overcoming a rivalry) x kids being the voice of reason = saving the rec center. In this case, it’s a church choir saving a church. Great job, Hollywood. Way to really redefine creativity.


Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 48% critics, 79% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“Contraband would be even more fun if filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur (star of Reykjavik-Rotterdam) could have figured out what to do with co-star Beckinsale. While Chris is committing piracy on the high seas, she’s left at home, being guarded by a twitchy pal of Chris’s named – uh-oh! – Sebastian (Ben Foster).” – Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail (Nobody puts Kate Beckinsale in the corner!)

“But darn it, I just couldn’t help having fun. The action goes all over the place, so that at one point Chris gets recruited into a Panamanian armored car robbery — the heist within the heist. (Actually, there’s yet another layer of theft, which I’ll leave the audience to discover.)”– Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Armchair Analysis: I love that in the commercials for this film, they say, “Mark Wahlberg from The Italian Job”. Because that’s basically what this is, a meaner, darker Italian Job, minus Charlize Theron, whose trash I would sleep in for 16 days just to tell people I was in the same zip code. Then again, Kate Beckinsale ain’t so bad, amiright, pervs? But Contraband, which I think will be a quite enjoyable film, has given us my latest nominee for the 2012 Taylor Lautner “Not if I find you first” Cheese Dick Line of the Year, when Giovanni Ribisi screeches, “Say goodbye to your wife!” Slays me every time.

Beauty and the Beast 3D

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 91% critics, 86% audience (I assume that’s mostly furries)

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“It’s not surprising that an attempt has been made to replicate that success with ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ a film that takes a similar view of its audience and transfers some of the earlier film’s most inspired staging ideas from an underwater setting to 18th-century France. But it is a surprise, in a time of sequels and retreads, that the new film is so fresh and altogether triumphant in its own right. Lightning has definitely struck twice.” – Janet Maslin, NY Times (New film? All they did was make it 3D.)

“Yet despite the splendid new visual presentation, the main attraction ofBeauty and the Beast remains its smart, courageous heroine – a ‘take-charge kind of gal,’ as Globe and Mail critic Jay Scott wrote in his review of the original movie. And now a 21st-century kind of gal.” – Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail (Stupid Disney and its female empowerment.)

Armchair Analysis: *closes eyes, imagines Walt Disney executive walking up to ATM, inserting Beauty and the Beast DVD, withdrawing $1 billion, opens eyes* Just another day at the office for Disney. Parents, take your kids and help teach them that beauty is only skin deep or in the eye of the beholder or whatever nonsense you want them to harshly discover the opposite of in high school. This movie still doesn’t hold a candle to The Jetsons Movie.

The Iron Lady

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 54% critics, 63% audience (That means it really sucks.)

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“The term biography applies loosely here, since about a third of the film takes place in the modern day, as Thatcher, suffering from dementia, shuffles about her home, talking to her dead husband (Jim Broadbent). It’s hard to imagine screenwriter Abi Morgan or director Phyllida Lloyd somehow got transcripts of these unlikely conversations.” – Tom Long, The Detroit News (Good God, that sounds awful.)

“This conceit works precisely because Thatcher’s popular appeal was so deeply rooted in nostalgia for the days of empire, and Streep, no fan of Thatcher, nicely undercuts the poignancy of her current condition with flashbacks that reveal her brittle arrogance in office.” – J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader

Armchair Analysis: Did you read Vince’s review earlier? He didn’t like this one very much. Neither did half the critics that saw it. Maybe Meryl Streep should have played the role in black face so everyone, including Armond White, would be pleased.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 83% critics, 86% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“Miller, so good as the chubby-chasing son in City Island, is bonechilling and a scary match for Swinton in looks and temper. Is the mother seeing the worst of herself in her child and skewing reality for both of them? That’s the mystery at the core of Ramsay’s mesmerizing film.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“You’d get the point without all the pointing. But the film’s bluntness doesn’t diminish the power of the nature-versus-nurture questions Eva’s asking herself. Or of Swinton’s harrowing portrait of parental guilt.” – Bob Mondello, NPR

Armchair Analysis: This movie confuses me. On the outside, it looks like a creepier retelling of The Good Son, which would be cool because I like Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly. But I have this feeling it’s going to be so much deeper and more intellectual and I’m just in the mood for a dumb movie this weekend. That’s not a deterrent to seeing the film, mind you. I just felt like opening up a little. Anyone wanna be friends?