Bizarro Dad rented three movies last night: Christmas with the Kranks, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and The Island. Let's go over them, shall we?
Christmas with the Kranks
I don't understand how, or why, but someone somewhere must have blackmailed Jamie Lee Curtis into doing this movie. It is positively horrendous! Why Jamie? Why? I know you're good at comedy when you want to be, but for that to work out, the comedy actually has to be good. This just...isn't.
To begin with, Tim Allen is in it. And we all know that anything starring Tim Allen that isn't geared toward an eight-year-old is a guaranteed failure. Furthermore, the dialogue is crappy, and you can tell that nobody likes it because they all have crappy delivery. And why, why, oh why is it that Dan Akroyd's character and all his twenty children are always wearing plaid, all the time, everywhere, with everything? (Then again, Dan Akroyd seems to be all about crap in the last few years.) And someone please tell me, was it screenwriter Chris Columbus or director Joe Ruth who decided that Jamie's character should be shrieking all the time? Happy, shriek! Startled, shriek! Hiding in the basement with a statue of Frosty the Snowman, shriek!
And you know the worst part? This whole movie was based on a novel by John Grisham. No, I'm not kidding. It's titled Skipping Christmas. I've never read the book, and I'm sorry to say that I don't hold out much hope for it. I couldn't even get through the whole movie. I demanded that Bizarro Dad hand over the remote so I could stop the thing. See, there are movies that are stupid because they're trying to be that way, such as Dumb and Dumber, which I can't stand and tend to ignore. But then there are movies that are stupid because the people making them have butchered everything that could have been good, and these are the movies that make me violently ill, or violent, or both. This is one of those craptastic wastes of film. Jamie Lee Curtis, you are better than this.
Herbie: Fully Loaded
Speaking of better than this, what is wrong with you, Michael Keaton? And you, Matt Dillon? There was a time, Keaton, when you were freaking Batman, okay? And a damn good one at that. Not to mention your sheer brilliance in Much Ado About Nothing. And you, Dillon? The Outsiders, anyone? Beautiful Girls? To Die For? Any of this ringing a bell? What is the matter with you two?
*Someone taps Sleepless Mama on the shoulder and whispers, "Multiplicity. Jack Frost. There's Something About Mary. The Flamingo Kid." Sleepless Mama looks embarassed.*
Okay, well, maybe Keaton just needed money. But he sure didn't look like he was enjoying being in this movie. As a matter of fact, he seemed to detest his very lines, and made almost no effort to look like he cared when he delivered them. Not because he's a bad actor, but because he's a good actor in a terrible movie. As for Matt Dillon...I...have no idea what he was doing. I know he was playing the colossal jerk in this flick, but he sure was goofy about it. Maybe that's what the director wanted, though.
Lohan...was clearly smoking reefer when she was filming this. It's not that her lines were terrible. That whole "I'm being carjacked by my own car," was probably something you'd hear a real person say, if they were in fact behind the wheel of a car that suddenly did not want to follow orders. You know, after they stopped screaming obsenities and leaning their head out the window, begging the cops to come help them. The problem is that her emotional range in this movie was...oh, who am I kidding. The whole thing was dumb. She did this to keep herself visible to the public and to make some money. Business is business.
This movie is not without value, though. My four-year-old loves it. She screams at the screen, "No! They hurt Herbie! They hurt my car!"
I don't remember whether the critics liked this movie or not, but my dim memory is that they thought it was sorry for some reason.
You know what? Critics are paid to be negative about everything. You like science fiction? It's here! You like action? Right here! Explosions? Here!Attractive people? They're here! A few nerds for comedic relief? Dood! Here! (Inside joke.) Hot cars? RIGHT! HERE!
Oh, and there's, like, a message, too, for those of you who like to have that sort of thing in your movies. But I won't tell you what it is, because I don't want to give it away if you haven't seen it yet. I will say this: don't watch the previews, because that ruins the movie for you. Just go out and watch this movie.
I will warn you that some of the images are disturbing, but I don't think Hollywood is allowed to make sci-fi movies about human beings without the use of Disturbing Images anymore. You might not want the little ones to watch (hence the PG-13 rating), but we're not talking about anything that would make your preacher stare down his nose at you.
Besides which, it has Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, AND Djimon Hounsou. And if there's one thing I love to see in my movies, it's Djimon Hounsou. Whether it's for eye-candy purposes or ass-kicking, any movie with him in it is automatically ten times better.
And there wasn't one single time when I wanted to tell any of the actors that they were better than this movie.