I’m really starting to wonder what’s happened to the movie industry. It wasn’t that long ago that my mom and I made it a regular Sunday evening event to go to dinner and see a movie. I had children and movie theater tickets just became too expensive in recent years, but I’m still a movie buff, albeit from home. I rent four or more movies a week from Redbox and forgo the expensive movie packages from my satellite provider.
Even with handpicking my movies and thoroughly reviewing them on Redbox’s website, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find a movie worth watching. In the past two weeks, I’ve rented “A Thousand Words,” “LOL,” “Intruders,” “Wanderlust,” “Friends with Kids,” “Lockout,” “Machine Gun Preacher,” “21 Jump Street,” “Jerusalem Countdown,” and “Brake.”
I usually go to Redbox after my rental and rate each movie I watched, and I found myself not giving anything over three stars - So that’s ten movies, none deserving four or five stars, and only one deserving a three star. That’s kind of sad! What was wrong? Let’s look at a few:
“A Thousand Words”
This movie stars Eddie Murphy as a smooth talking, do anything kind of guy. He didn’t place much meaning in the words he spoke until he only had a thousand words and each had to count. It had a good moral point about making your words mean something and knowing that words are meaningless without action behind them. But the entire story was something that could’ve been told in about twenty minutes. The genre was supposed to be comedy, but it really wasn’t funny, and the movie certainly didn’t live up to the “heartwarming and hilarious” quote from Fox on the movie’s advertisement. I think I laughed once the entire movie. I gave it two stars for story value only.
Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore are a daughter-mother duo trying to survive the teen years and the fallout of divorce. Miley, or Lola, is doing all she can to push the limits – drugs, sex, parties, etc.. Meanwhile, Demi the mom is trying to figure out her own sex life and whether or not she wants to be the mom that says no when no is warranted or the cool, friend mom that always says yes. IMHO, A very poor message for teens and moms. “LOL” got two pitty stars for at least having good acting.
Although a very different plot, this movie reminded me a lot of “The Forgotten.”
There was nothing scary about “Intruders” and the main piece of suspense took a cliff dive after the first 1/3 of the movie. I love Clive Owens, but not even he was worth sitting through this weak, weird story line and lackluster ending. Clive and his young daughter are the only ones that see a fictitious faceless monster, Hollow Face. Too many odd transitions between time, too many odd transitions between reality and Sci-fi, and barely worth the 1 ½ stars it got from my review. There are movies like “The Forgotten” that blur reality and Sci-fi perfectly, leaving watchers in suspense – Who’s crazy? What’s real? What’s really happened? Why? – However, what makes movies like that work is that watchers get a final, stark, and question-less conclusion one way or the other – craziness or Sci-fi. Sadly, “Intruders” wasn’t one such movie. It left no explanation for the Sci-fi parts, but still wanted you to conclude the pair wasn’t crazy.
There are people like Richard Pryor that can make profanity for the sake of profanity funny, but Paul Rudd proved in this movie that he certainly isn’t a Richard Pryor. This movie was full of profanity and nudity that not only lacked humor, but was completely pointless and unnecessary. In fact, I would say that the actual storyline took up about 1/10 of the movie and the rest was profane fluff for shock value. The ending was completely hypocritical. The supposed point of the movie was finding value in the simple life, without the hustle and bustle and money of city life. Yet, the main characters all end up becoming successful at “real jobs” and making tons of money. So….it really moots the point of the movie and leaves you having watched two hours of nudity and profanity. ½ a star was being really, really nice.
“Friends with Kids”
Same old trite, boring, predictable story of friends thinking they can have sex, even have a baby together, and still remain the same good old friends they were before. It was kind of like “The Switch,” “The Object of My Affection,” and some B list porn movie intertwined and had a movie love child. Again, profanity that wasn’t needed and that actually detracted from any good points the movie might have had. A ½ star was really, really generous for a movie that ends with “please let me f*** you.”
Sadly enough, this was the best movie I’ve seen in the lot, and ironically enough, 98% of the movie took place in the trunk of a car. Stephen Dorff is a Secret Service agent that awakes in the truck of a car. With no escape in sight, no memory of how he got in the trunk, and terrorists wanting him to betray sacred oaths he took to protect the nation, Dorff is left in a real conundrum. The mystery deepens as Dorff simultaneously tries to figure out what people and information can be trusted and how he can escape with his secrets intact. I gave the movie three stars verses four or five because of subpar cinematography; the acting and plot were worthy of five stars.
I just can’t figure out what’s going on with Hollywood. This is really the best they’ve got~? It seems like they’re just rolling out any kind of script and putting a well-known star’s name under it to draw watchers. There’s not any real quality to be had from most of today’s movies. Sad! What’s been your experience with movies lately?