Weekend Movie Guide: The Non-Lucy ‘Lawless’

Opening Everywhere: The Possession, For a Good Time Call

Opened Wednesday: Lawless

Not Opening Anywhere: Doggie B

FilmDrunk Suggests: I suggest that you write every Hollywood studio exec, your congressman, senators, President Obama, Mitt Romney, whoever runs Canada (just in case), your uncle who always talks about how he knows powerful people, and anyone in the Target break room that will listen to you and demand that Doggie B be released nationwide. It is an atrocity that we can’t readily see this film.


Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 64% critics, 83% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“With a dynamite cast, an iconic screenwriter in rocker Nick Cave and an Aussie director in John Hillcoat, you assume a new classic. What you get is an ambitious try.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Much of the action may be nearly as grim as in director John Hillcoat’s previous feature, ‘The Road’ – ‘Lawless’ is very bloody – but the scenery and production design are a whole lot nicer.” – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

Armchair Analysis: I didn’t even realize this came out on Wednesday, that’s how serious my summer movie season coma has been. I’m a big fan of these old “turn-of-the-century” crime dramas, and the Guy Pearce/Tom Hardy/Gary Oldman trio is a total bro magnet. Alas, I’m done with Shia LeBeouf. If he really wants to be as serious an actor as Sean Penn, because he actually strapped himself to an electric chair for a role and that’s acting, then someone get this dude a death penalty movie ASAP before we have to see him standing 69 Vincent Gallo as they choke for their art. F*cking child actors.

The Possession

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 36% critics, 85% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“The film is basically a compendium of possessed-child clichés reaching back to The Exorcist.” – Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail

“Anyone who actually believes in dybbuks and other ghoulies will find ‘The Possession’ terrifying. For the rest of us, the movie is a cleverly constructed, well-paced piece of hokum.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post

Armchair Analysis: Ladies and gentleman, this year’s winner of the “Uhhhhhh, how about we make a movie about a little girl and she’s creepy as f*ck” Achievement in Laziness goes to… Sam Raimi. Congrats, Sam, we hate you.

For a Good Time, Call

Rotten Tomatoes Scores: 58% critics, 78% audience

Gratuitous Review Quotes:

“It’s a showcase for writing that doesn’t dazzle and a story of self-discovery that reveals no new insights.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

“Adheres to those familiar, looping patterns of joy, rancor and revelation that everyone, in the age of Final Draft, have come to expect of a standard comic screenplay.” – Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle (Not to defend this film, because I’m certainly not doing that in the next paragraph, but I’d love to read one of Amy Biancolli’s groundbreaking comic screenplays. I bet she can make grown adults piss their pants with laughter.)

Armchair Analysis: My natural hatred of Justin Long and his punchable “That guy?” acting range aside, I don’t get this premise. It’s 2012, do people still use phone sex lines? Does the film take place in the 90s? Because in this age of instant, on-demand free porn, this plot of two girls teaming up to run a phone sex line is just absurd. But I give them credit, because I want to see it just to figure out how it’s happening. [Vince’s Note – for what it’s worth, the same director did “The Saddest Boy in the World,” which I want to crush up, liquify with a lighter, and inject into my veins.]