Admittedly, it’s kind of a disappointing week for mainstream releases, but as usual, the more obscure new films offer some promise. This week we’ve got another Best Picture Oscar nominee, Matt Damon’s zoo, Father ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, Mat ‘Bruce Willis with flippers’ Fraser, a bad case of writer’s block, and Chloë Grace Moretz might be a Commie bitch.
We Bought A Zoo
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures
Hellacious Acres: The Case Of John Glass
The Midnight Disease
To find out which is worth watching, keep reading. For some Netflix streaming suggestions, click War Horse
After Vince’s succinct review and GWAR’s slightly more elaborate one, what’s left to be said? I could try to make a joke about War Whores, but then I start to think about the Joy Division thing from WWII, where Jewish women were allegedly forced to be sex slaves for the Nazis, and that makes me think about the band Joy Division, and that makes me think about Ian Curtis, and that makes me think about suicide, so in conclusion: War Horse will give you suicidal thoughts.
Cameron Crowe directs Matt Damon in this family friendly ‘true’ story. Here’s what bugs me: In the trailer, they’re touring a house, thinking about moving in, and all of a sudden a lion or something roars, and they all flinch with surprise. Matt Damon even does a little hop. It’s at that point that they find out it is a zoo. What the f*ck, were they blind pulling up to the house? Did they all have some sort of previous trauma and lost their sense of smell, because zoos stink. If the lion is so close that Damon hops, how could they have missed it? Vanilla Sky makes more sense than this.
Paddy Considine (this guy with a moustache) makes his feature directorial debut with this film. It looks bleak as hell, and I don’t really think it has anything to do with dinosaurs, but it’s supposed to be really good anyways. It won a BAFTA, which is the British Oscar, if that matters to you. Of course the real reason you should see it is that Sam Rockwell told Vince personally that we should all watch it.
I suggested this a while back as an option for Netflix streaming, but now it is also on DVD. I haven’t seen this yet, so I don’t know if it gets covered, but Kevin Clash, who performs Elmo, also performed Baby Sinclair on Dinosaurs. Baby’s mother, Fran, was voiced by Jessica Walter, who also gives voice to Malory Archer. None of this has anything to do with anything, but the next time you watch Dinosaurs (which I’m sure is pretty often), all you’ll hear is Malory Archer.
This is a Russian cartoon about the first dogs in space. I’ve found it extremely difficult to confirm, so it could be wrong, but apparently Chloë Grace Moretz did some voice work for this English-language version. Did she? I don’t know. Does she play a dog? I don’t know. I’m sorry, I could find nothing definitive. That being said, I know she has a lot of ‘fans’ who read this website, and I would be remiss to not mention a movie with which she might be involved. Also, I found it funny that the cute and loveable creatures have American and English accents, while the fleas are more…ethnic.
Oddly, this is another foreign-produced talking animal cartoon that claims to be based on real events. Assuming that is true, you’d have to also assume that every other aspect was stolen from Finding Nemo. Instead of Chloë Grace Moretz, this film features the voice talents of Kathy Griffin and Anthony Anderson. If you’ve ever wondered who could hear Kathy Griffin’s shrill whine and say, “Let’s hire her to voice our cartoon!” the answer is the Belgians. Now you know. Motherf*cking Belgians.
Thomas Dekker stars as an inept dad whose negligence leads to the death of his toddler. I’ve seen it and I’ll save you the trouble: He’s a dick, but the mother’s worse, Mira Sorvino hasn’t aged well and Jeremy Piven plays a douche. If you have kids, this flick tries to shamelessly manipulate your emotions and if you don’t have kids you rightfully couldn’t care less. Don’t waste your time, unless you really want to see Kate Walsh and Elizabeth McGovern as a lesbian couple. If that’s you, dive right in.
Mario Van Peebles directs Michael Clarke Duncan in this gritty urban tale about the struggle of African American males in a society where…wait, that’s not right. It’s about country singers in Tennessee, and it co-stars Luke Perry. It may seem that Van Peebles and Duncan are stepping out of their usual wheelhouses, but that is, in fact, not true. Both are still firmly involved in a sh*tty looking film that no one wants to see.
Canadian kids get involved in the dangerous world of illegal gambling. It’s like Brick had sex with Rounders while visiting Vancouver. Look, I can buy that bored teens with too much disposable income could get in too deep with an illegal gambling ring. I’ll even accept the whole murder-staged-to-look-like-a-suicide. What I do not accept is that the main character has a pretty girlfriend. He spends all his free time playing games in his friend’s basement, but somehow still snagged the homecoming queen? Bullsh*t. This dude is literally dating the Canadian Girlfriend.
This documentary tells the story of how some dude totally knew Bernie Madoff was running a ponzi scheme, but couldn’t get anyone to listen. I’m not surprised, either. He sounds like a whiny dick. Right or wrong about Madoff, this guy is that dude who needs everyone to know that he was right all along. F*ck this guy and f*ck this movie. This movie is like one long, breathless “I told you so…” What’s that? Wall Street’s been screwing people over and the rest of the 1% let them? Shocking.
Yes the title is lazy. Yes the acting is horrible. By all accounts, I shouldn’t be excited to see this, but god damn it, I am. The trailer works. Right around the time I saw ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper dressed as a priest headbutt some chick, I knew it had promise. When the kid’s severed head starts talking, I knew I was in love. I won’t even spoil the karate kids for you. Just watch the trailer. It’s totally stupid, but it looks like so much fun.
I could try to be politically correct about this movie, but that would just be insincere. Remember that movie, Kung Fu Flid? Well that guy, Mat Fraser, is one of several people featured in this documentary about living with the deformities caused by thalidomide. I could tell you to see it because it is an inspiring tale of overcoming adversity, but I won’t. Instead I’ll tell you that the trailer is totally NSFW, and it will blow your mind. I literally stood up and cheered the first time I watched it.
Sure it’s a cabin-in-the-woods horror movie, but this one has something that the others don’t: it’s co-written by the dude who wrote Abduction. For realsies. They even brag about it in the trailer. The man who wrote one of the 10 Cheesiest Movie Moments Of 2011 gives you the latest flick to use one of the most tired horror movie clichés. Even the trailer is lazy; they give it a red-band hoping it will get the viewer all riled up and then deliver a green-band trailer. There was nary a tit shown nor a ‘f*ck’ uttered. Not even any decent violence.
The title’s weird, but maybe a little intriguing. Same for the box cover. If you watch the trailer, it’s kind of the same thing. Pretty weird, but it makes you curious. Eventually you get bored and wonder if the whole movie is just the guy from the box cover walking around doing stuff and then they flat out tell you that there is lots of walking around. It’s like the fat kid who jokes about his own back-tits before you can make fun of them. I honestly don’t know what to think.
Another low budget ‘true’ horror film. Insanely abusive mother beats her teenage daughters with a paddle. That’s about it for the trailer, at least. All four minutes of it. I know, I know, that sounds pretty great, but trust me, it gets boring really fast. I can only imagine the whole movie is just as boring. There was a time that if you had told me the day would come when I would get bored watching teen girls getting beaten by an older woman, I would’ve called you crazy, but here we are. I guess we’ve all learned a little something today.
Robbie Ribspreader (Real name: Charles Ribspreader) writes and co-directs this awful looking horror film about overcoming writer’s block. (Note to aspiring writers: Writing about writer’s block is the laziest thing ever. Don’t do it.) I’m betting it was shot in Ribspreader’s own sh*tty apartment, too. The whole trailer shows exactly one location and the poster on the wall is for a previous Ribspreader film. It’s probably not worth your time, but I give the trailer points for the inexplicably black-eyed chick at :40, the music beginning at 1:15, and for the shot at 1:34 with empty beer bottles left in the shower. That’s a truth any aspiring writer will recognize.
I’ve suggested it before, but Being Elmo is still streaming if you’re interested. Besides that, the only other new DVD that you can stream is NoBody’s Perfect. Honestly though, what more could you want? It truly is a wondrous time to be alive. We’ve also got some previously featured DVDs that are now available: The Catechism Cataclysm and The Human Centipede 2. For this week’s suggestions, we’ve got a couple classics (hand-picked by Vince) that are always worth watching (or re-watching) and two new additions to the streaming catalogue.
When you think about the title and the plot, there is no way this movie should be anything but garbage, and yet, it’s a masterpiece. Plus, it looks like Netflix is streaming the unrated cut.
A buddy cop action comedy starring Mel Gibson and a black man? What!?! Strange but true. In hindsight, Gibson should’ve been nominated for an Oscar. Also, Gary Busey. [Vince’s Martial Arts Dork Note: Of all the times I watched this movie, and trust me, it’s a LOT, I never remembered that Mel Gibson takes Gary Busey out with a triangle choke. Turns out Rorion Gracie was a technical advisor on the movie, and this was six years before UFC 1.]
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Steven Seagal plays Jake Hopper, a former CIA operative who has to rescue his daughter from Islamic fundamentalists. His side kick is a Buddhist monk. C’est magnifique.