Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Terrible 2's

Last week, I saw two movies I really liked. This week, the universe looked upon that situation and said, "This will not do," so it aimed its giant karmic middle finger my way and gave me two movies I absolutely hated. I know this is true because I hated them both for pretty much the same reason. In each case, the movie was a colossal bore infested by incredibly stupid characters.

The first clunker up is Life As We Know It starring Katherine Heigl. Those of you who've been paying attention to the movie scene for the past few years saw the name Katherine Heigl and said, "Say no more. We know why it sucks." Since Knocked Up, her one decent film, Katherine Heigl has replaced Rob Schneider as the person whose mere presence on screen guarantees an experience in pain. Some would blame her penchant for nutty, career-destroying statements she likes to make but the truth is that her movies consistently suck.

Life As We Know It is a light romantic comedy about a mother and father who die and leave their adorable baby daughter an orphan. I don't remember how they died but I assume it involved peeing on an electric fence because these people were idiots. Why were they idiots? Their will decreed that guardianship of their beloved child be shared by a couple who actively loathe each other. One of them is Heigl's character, Holly, a woman whose main focus in life is taking her elitist bakery that sells bread with unpronounceable names into a full fledged snooty restaurant. The other is Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), a guy who insists that you call him Messer because he's a douchebag and douchebags do things like insist that you call them Messer. Messer's spends his life doing three things: covering sports (his job), fucking women he's just met and bugging the ever-loving crap out of Holly, a woman he knows because of their mutual friends (the dead parents).

When Messer and Holly move into the home of their deceased friends and take over parenting duties of young Sophie, they reveal themselves as people who not only have zero knowledge of babies but probably weren't sure babies even existed. Simple, basic things like feeding and changing diapers seem to be far beyond the skill set of these two. They live in one of these movie neighborhoods that are heavily populated by colorful characters but, sadly, they're even dumber than Holly and Messer. I'd say it was all played for comic effect except that none of it is all that funny. Oh, there were a few laughs here and there but not nearly enough for this movie to honestly call itself a comedy. Anyway, it's a romantic comedy which means eventually Messer and Holly notice how good looking the other one is, have hot sex, fuck everything up for stupid, narcissistic reasons before fixing everything five minutes before the credits roll and if that's a spoiler to you then you don't deserve to ever step into a theater again.

Anyway, Life As We Know It was a mostly dull though occasionally funny and entertaining film. Congratulations, Life As We Know It. You were the best movie I saw all weekend.

The worst movie, surprisingly, is Wes Craven's My Soul To Take. It's simply the dullest movie I've seen in a very long time. The characters were stupid, the scares weren't frightening and the jokes were horrible. If this were a horror movie, I'd say Wes Craven was being possessed by a ghost or a demon who has no writing or directing ability.

It's about a man with multiple personalities, one of whom is a serial killer. The night he dies, seven kids are born. In the 16 years that have passed, the kids gather every anniversary of the killer's death to do, I don't know, something in the woods. "Some say the Ripper's seven personalities passed into us," one of them states. Really? "Who the hell is going around saying stupid shit like that?" is what I would be saying if this were real life but, then again, this is a Wes Craven movie (or at least a Demon-Wes-Craven movie) so it turns out I would be the jerk if I said that. Yes, these seven kids all have one of the Ripper's personalities. There are no clues as to who has the killer part other than whoever just got hacked up by the Ripper probably isn't the Ripper. The kids themselves range from dull (like Bug, the anti-social misfit who I'm fairly certain is the hero of the story though I can't for the life of me figure out why) to downright hateable (like Penelope, a really annoying Christian who has a crush on Bug and again, for the life of me, I can't figure out why).

This is normally where I'd try to be nice and tell you about the moment or two of the awful movie that I liked but there are no moments like that. There were no performances that rose above the others, no memorable dialogue and it was so visually unimaginative that I barely noticed it was in 3D.

So, ok Universe, message received. I was too happy last week, you balanced it out this week so maybe this Friday's release of RED will be watchable. I hope so as I've never been a fan of anything Jackass-related and don't see myself starting now.


Joe Barlow said...

Sad to hear that MY SOUL TO TAKE is a snoozer. I love Wes Craven, and had planned to see this. Might wait for Blu-Ray now.

Michael Clear said...

I suspect Craven died several years ago and they didn't tell anyone so they could slap his name on this. Kind of like what the Scientologists did with L. Ron Hubbard. I was wondering if it was just me so I checked Rotten Tomatoes when I got home and saw it ranked at 5%. It has since shot up to 6% so maybe it's picking up steam.