Archive for the B Category

The Big Wedding (Justin Zackham) 2013

Posted in B on April 25, 2014 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $35 million
Worldwide Gross: $21 million

The Big Wedding is about Alejandro (Ben Barnes) who is getting married to Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Alejandro’s mother is coming to the wedding from Columbia and she is an ultra conservative Christian. Alejandro believes if his mother finds out his adoptive parents are divorced, she will not give her consent to the wedding. So Alejandro lies and tells her his adoptive parents Don (Robert DeNiro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton) are married. They must now pretend to like each other until the wedding concludes.

Doesn’t the plot of this come off as severely outdated? It is especially weird as this isn’t about how Alejandro or Missy appear to their parents but how Alejandro’s adoptive parents seem to Alejandro’s mother. You could maybe, MAYBE do a movie where the mother disapproves of Missy’s religion or portray her a crazy free spirit as opposed to the mother’s ultra conservative views on what a wife would be. Pardon my language in advance, but who gives a flying fuck what Alejandro’s mother thinks about his adoptive American parents?

Nothing about this plot really resonates with or is relatable to the audience. The comedy is especially toothless as nothing is really done with it. Yeah, you heard me. The writers don’t really do anything with the main plot of the movie. You see, the mother speaks only Spanish, so our characters don’t even have to pretend very hard to like one another to fool mommie dearest. All they do is give a fake smile and mutter curse words at one another. So there isn’t really any comic potential where there is not a chance in hell she is going to find out Don and Ellie are not married.

But I don’t want to give the impression the Don, Ellie, and mother storyline is the only one working here. This is kind of an ensemble piece so there are several subplots I guess to show how crazy weddings can be and other such crap. Jared (Topher Grace) is a virgin who is saving himself in yet another strangely outdated character trait. Anyway, Madonna (Alejandro’s mother) brought his daugther Nuria as a translator and she is something of a flirt. Hilarity supposedly ensues as she will, for example, go skinny dipping and we see Topher Grace try to conceal a boner. When you are being upstaged by Two and a Half Men on purile sex humor, you are doing something wrong.

What else do we have. Don is a recovering alcoholic who is being driven to drink by the wedding. Wait, that’s not funny. Okay, well we have Lyla (Katherine Heigl) who is separated from her spouse because she can’t have kids. That’s not funny either. Oh, we have Bebe (Susan Sarandon) who is Don’s current girlfriend who is kicked out of the house when Don has to pretend to be married to Ellie. This provides no real conflict and Sarandon is out of the picture for long stretches of the film.

This movie is supposed to be absurdity after absurdity in the quest of keeping Madonna in the dark, culminating in the wedding when the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. But there are no big set pieces and the jokes are what you would get from the weakest episodes of How I Met Your Mother. I would mention the acting, but it doesn’t matter. You have very good veteran actors who try their best but they can’t do anything with this flat material. It is clear to see why this bombed. Why spend good money on a comedy that is less inspired and less funny than stuff you can get on free TV?

Branded (2012) Jamie Bradshaw/Aleksandr Dulerayn

Posted in B on July 24, 2013 by moviemoses

Production Budget: unknown
Worldwide Gross: $3.7 million

Yeah, I know no known production budget. Let’s just say with my limited experience in movies I can tell this movie didn’t cost less than $2 million dollars. While I didn’t find hard numbers I know this movie was called a bomb and like with other titles like this, if I find numbers to contradict it I will note the correction. Anyway, onto the review.

When you see the trailer for Branded, you get the clear impression this is a sci-fi movie akin to They Live. In the trailer we see strange alien like creatures are being mass marketing and are subliminally controlling people to buy their products. They Live worked because its tone played as goofy as the premise.

Branded is a film that almost has to be seen to believe. Almost. I say that because while They Live played things tongue in cheek, Branded decides to take the concept and play it completely straight. And boy is Branded a train wreck because of that decision. In the first minute alone we get a boy being infused with the powers of marketing by a constellation of an astral cow and they being struck down by a bolt of lightning. Again, this is played completely straight.

This movie feels kind of like another movie I reviewed called Dragon Wars (or D-War). It was a Korean film that was meant to be a kind of hybrid American/Korean film to appeal to both audiences. It had American actors but featured a story about a Korean legend about these spiritual dragons and whatnot. It was a movie supposed to appeal to American tastes but ended up feeling, well, odd. The same feel permeates this movie. We have American actors like Leelee Sobieski and Jeffrey Tambor to make it seem like a domestic picture, but once you watch it you get this weird spiritual cow stuff that makes you think this is more relevant to the Russian audience to where this was made. It seems to draw from spiritual folklore from that region (which seems silly to us), as well as cultural beliefs. Sure, in America advertising and marketing are crazy here, but you get the feeling in Russia especially after such a long period of Communism (where they didn’t have much exposure) there is more hostility about it. The message of this film simply isn’t “advertising has gotten out of control” but marketing in any form is immoral and is corrupting both culturally and spiritually. The very end of the film has all the nations of the world band together to ban marketing. That isn’t defined either, marketing in its generic term is banned. That makes no sense. I’m not even going to go into how having all nations band together for anything would be impossible but how would you ban marketing? Our main character even gloats about how a sign on the front of your business is marketing so people can’t even have signs with names? How would you find your way to any place?

I know, I’m getting sidetracked by stupidity but that is all you have to focus on. This is played as a cautionary tale like 1984. So Max von Sydow plays an evil marketing guy (with no name) who promises to make fast food moguls rich by changing people’s opinions that fat is now sexy. Misha (Ed Stoppard) is the up and coming ad specialist who I explained earlier was blessed by a sacred cow. Anyway, he soon learns the god like power he possesses and puts himself into exile ala John Rambo. He then performs a ritual where a white cow turns gold and then he decapitates it, burns the remains in a Russian version of the Wicker Man, and covers himself in the blood of the cow. And this means he can now see the things which have latched themselves onto people causing the evil marketing to…work? Misha then uses his marketing powers to cause the brands to fight each other until they are all dead.

Wow my head hurts from the stupid. Worse is this crap isn’t even internally logical. I still don’t get any of it. Who is Max von Sydow’s character supposed to be? Satan? Generic demon? You may think that due to the spiritual cow but the brands take the forms of giant grub worms and dragons. Why is he doing this? Money? Power? What the hell are the giant grubs and why do they care about advertising or if someone eats a damn burger? Are they aliens? You already feel dumb watching it, but now I feel worse because I am arguing the logic of a movie with magic cows and giant grub worms that feed off of the gluttony of children.

As I said, this movie almost has to be seen to be believed. This movie has so many moments where you scream “WTF!?” that it is like Russian Battlefiend Earth or Russian The Room. Words cannot describe my face when the brand of a vegetarian restaurant which is an egg hatches to become a dragon and the dragon fights a giant grub worm which is the brand of the in-movie MacDonalds brand. Your logic circuits just blow up in your brain and you have the most quizzical expression. There are many parts that if I had a group of friends that were game, we would rip this movie a new one MST3K style. This is a movie that needs to be Rifftrax’d.

What keeps me from recommending it for that is the movie is not all crazy. In fact, a good portion of this movie is boring. For about an hour of the film we go away from the main plot about aliens and advertising and focus on Misha and his relationship with Leelee Sobieski. There is this whole story about how we learn Misha grew up poor and that is why he wants to be a famous ad guy, and he learns hard life lessons with his first job, and then he dates Sobieski’s character and it goes on and on and you just don’t care. This isn’t Once Upon a Time in America, this is a movie where a guy has sex with a girl with a giant CGI worm on her back.

Make no mistake about it, this is a horrible movie. The only thing I have left to debate is whether this is enough to recommend to the crowd of bad movie aficionados or to skip it. It says something that after all my years of watching movies that I have come across a movie so uniquely stupid. Other movies have become cult classics for a lot less. But there is so much down time, boring character exposition, and incredibly slow talky scenes about advertising and relationships that it becomes a lot harder to recommend. In the end you have to judge for yourselves on what your tolerances are for pain. Branded sure is a memorable movie though.

The Babymakers (2012) Jay Chandrasekhar

Posted in B on April 9, 2013 by moviemoses

Production Budget: unknown
Gross: about $8,000

Audrey (Olivia Munn) and Tommy (Paul Schneider) want to have a child, but Tommy is having trouble with his sperm. In desperation, Tommy decides to rob a sperm bank where earlier in his life he made donations. Hilarity supposedly ensues.

You can almost see the desperation on Chandrasekhar’s voice as he pitches the movie. “Okay, okay, this is a bank heist film but get this: this isn’t an ordinary bank…this is a SPERM bank! Huh? Huh!?” But is this really a concept screaming for a movie? Let’s follow an infertile couple disintegrate into madness over something that is not such a big deal. Oh, the hilarity! Now I’ve said before that anything could be made funny given the right person. The Babymakers is an example of someone taking an initially bad concept and making it one of the most annoying films of the year.

The first thing to strike you is the laziness of the humor. If I told you that you were making a raunchy comedy involving a sperm bank couldn’t you already have the majority of the jokes visualized? There is going to be a lot of sperm flying around and a lot of jerking off. That is to be expected but the writers do nothing else with the humor.

Couple that with the fact they jackhammer a joke until they hit the Earth’s core. For example, in breaking into the sperm bank one of the character’s naturally get sperm on him. But he doesn’t just get a little sperm stuck to him. First he gets some on, then he flops around, then he knocks over a whole rack on him, then he flops around more, then he gets some in his mouth, then he swims in it, and it feels like this goes on for 10 minutes. We get it, jizz is icky. Can we move on?

In a comedy you have situations obviously exaggerated for comedy value. But in Babymakers, we linger so much on things that you get pissed off with the characters and the motivations. We actually have to spend the first fifteen minutes on the fact Tommy can’t have kids. There is a prolonged montage where they fuck, and fuck, and fuck, and fuck, and fuck to where they have been screwing for like six months straight. Instead of laughing, I’m yelling for the characters to just go to a fertility specialist. But no, we have to have several more scenes where Audrey gets pissed at Tommy. Why? Cause his sperm doesn’t work? Is that something you can blame a person for like it is a conscious decision? Besides you don’t know so go to a fertility clinic!

Then we get several “gut busting” scenes were Tommy has to jerk off for a sperm sample and apparently he has this thing about not being able to at the sperm bank. So he has to go home, jerk off and drive 100 MPH to get the sample to the bank in time. Really dude? Just jerk off in the office. I realize we wouldn’t have these comedy scenes if characters just acted normally but come on. Comedy is about exaggeration but it is not about making people into unbelievable morons.

So then we get the news Tommy’s sperm doesn’t work due to many hits to the groin. This prompts a montage of the easiest joke in human history short of the fart joke; man getting hit in groin by football. The news I couldn’t have kids wouldn’t deter me because there are alternatives. There is adoption or you could use a solution already mentioned in the movie. Audrey could artificially enseminate herself with another person’s sperm. After all, it is not like Tommy was hung up on him passing on his own genes. Tommy wasn’t really that enthusiastic about having kids but simply wants it becuase that is what Audrey wants. But no, that would mean thinking rationally and we wouldn’t have a movie. Instead we spend the next hour shaming Tommy for something out of his control.

I am not kidding when I say a good hour of this movie is person after person berating Tommy for his sperm. Now, as I said many times before I recognize I am not a regular person. I sometimes feel like an alien who doesn’t understand these illogical humans but I honestly don’t understand this. If I found out a friend couldn’t have children due to a medical problem with his sperm, my first response wouldn’t be „“Haha! You aren’t a man! Can I fuck your wife to get her pregnant?“ But that is what every character does. And they aren’t saying this to razz their friend, they are saying this to legitimately put him down. This isn’t the same as say, getting an errection. I honestly don’t get it, Tommy has no control at all over the production of his sperm. You are seriously making me question humanity movie. I could go on but you get the point. I can’t remember another movie where I spent so much time screaming at my TV over stupid irrelevant BS that didn’t make sense.

The acting in this movie is no good either. I’ve always thought Olivia Munn a black hole of comedy. It is sad when you have to be carried by Kevin Pereira of all people. But that being said, I can’t put too much blame on Munn as she is given nothing to do but be shrill at Tommy over not making sperm. Scheider too has the unfortunate duty of delivering terrible dialog in a horribly exaggerated manner.

Looking through the IMDb filmography, you can actually see the nosedive of talent that is Broken Lizard. You start off with Super Troopers which I love probably more than I should. Then you get a misfire with Club Dredd and a brief recovery with Beerfest. Then you have Slammin Salmon which is absolute ass followed up by Babymakers which is a serious contender for worst of 2012. I don’t get mad at movies usually. Seriously, I did a worst of list for 2012 and my common write up was that a movie was boring. The Babymakers pushed all my buttons though and it seriously made me consider stopping the movie several times and I never do that.

Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Woody Allen

Posted in B, Woody Allen Retrospective on December 27, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $20 million

US Gross: $13 million

This is a tentative placement due to the fact I can only find US numbers.  But that being said, it has been listed as a box office disappointment and if I can find anything to refute its bombing I will certainly update the review.

Bullets Over Broadway is set in 1928 and follows David Shayne (John Cusack).  Shayne is a struggling playwright and can only get his new production on Broadway through financing by a Chicago mobster.  The condition of getting that money is Shayne has to hire the mob boss‘ girlfriend Olive (Jennifer Tilly) as one of the leads.  Olive turns out to be an incredibly horrible actress.  Olive’s bodyguard Cheech (Chazz Palminteri) who has to sit in on the rehearsals, eventually gets fed up with the play and offers his thoughts on how to fix the material.  His suggestions are genius and Shayne and Cheech soon team up to finish the play.

I haven’t reviewed a Woody Allen movie in about three months mainly because Netflix was backed up and couldn’t get Bullets till now.  So I’ve pretty much had a vacation from my 40 film marathon.  So I should be re-energized and ready to go back to some classic Woody Allen.  There are times when it stinks having to write thoughtful movie reviews.  Bullets Over Broadway is one of Allen’s most highly regarded comedies in the second half of his career.  Critics praise it for being very smart and it even got nominated for more Oscars than Annie Hall.  Yet despite all the praise and my being “re-energized“ after about 15 minutes of watching Bullets I let out a weary sigh.  The part that sucks is I now have to explain why I didn’t care for this movie when even I can’t rightly justify it.  There are just some movies people love or are considered classics that when you watch them the only thing you can say as to why you don’t like it is something to the effect of “I just wasn’t into it“.  Sadly that doesn’t fit for a review like this so I have to try to find something more concrete.

The one thing I read from reviews is how intelligent and smart this movie is when I find it to be the opposite.  When I think of intelligent Allen I think Annie Hall or Manhattan where the relationships are more realistic and complicated and the dialog is witty.  In Bullets everyone is playing a broad character and the jokes are predictable and telegraphed.  I’m not saying broad characters are necessarily bad but I don’t see what people are saying when they claim its intelligent. To me this feels like Allen wrote another short film for New York Stories but inflated it to feature length.

The film really felt lazy to me as all the jokes are simple and telegraphed.  A perfect example is when Shayne hires Warner Purcell (Jim Broadbent) with the warning he is thin now, but as stress hits him he tends to nervously eat.  Sure enough in every scene he is in he has a turkey leg in his hand or is stuffing pastries down his throat.  I frankly don’t know how it passes as a joke or how this passes as smart Woody but then I’m not a comedy writer.  Of course Shayne gets funded by mobsters and of course they are stereotypical leg breaking mobsters and of course Big V’s girlfriend Olive is a terrible actress and…*sigh*.

I mean, am I being unfair here?  I know not everything Allen does has to be super smart and I love other movies where he gets silly.  But even in those films he is able to take an easy set up and still twist things in a new direction.  That is what I am wanting here.  I don’t need smart, but I need something fresh.

I guess you get that with Cheech becoming interested in screenwriting.  However, as I mentioned before, that feels like a premise for a short film which was inflated to feature length.  Admittedly those scenes are the funniest of the movie.  I enjoyed the idea Cheech viewed art the same way as the mob and used the same tactics to complete the show.  This sub plot saved it from being a bad film for me, but didn’t make it a good film.

The acting is hit or miss.  Among the hits are Palminteri, Romb Reiner, Jennifer Tilly, and Dianne Wiest, who won a Supporting Oscar for her role as aging diva actress Helen Sinclair.  Wiest does break out of her role, which no longer becomes a simple parody of Norma Desmond, and becomes a funnier role with her take on the funny “don’t speak“ scenes.  The big miss for me has to be John Cusack in the Woody Allen role.  I know, this places me in the minority yet again as everyone else praises his performance.  Even with Cusack allegedly toning down his performance, I still see him as trying way too hard.  Seeing Cusack go from forced stutters and slumping down to look smaller to gesticulating wildly and yelling in a high pitched voice made me feel sorry for him.

Yes I’m a grinch who hates everything including the genius Bullets Over Broadway.  I also realize I may be spoiled at this point since I’m nowhere near the bottom of Allen’s worst comedies.  Keep in mind I in no way think this is a bad film.  I just didn’t personally find it funny.  I was severely underwhelmed given the massive amounts of hype which was piled onto it.  To me it is an amusing film which is elevated in some peoples eyes due to how far Allen has fallen since.  This is one of the few times my opinion has differed from the majority of Woody fans, but for me it is a big ‘MEH‘.

Blow Out (1981) Brian DePalma

Posted in B on August 2, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $18 million

Domestic Gross: $12 million

I really have been sitting in front of my computer for a long long time trying to figure out how to put into words my feelings of Brian DePalma.  I mean, I like many of his films; “like“ the word I’d like to emphasize.  Going through his IMDb list I am reminded I like Carrie, I like Untouchables, I like Carlito’s Way (at least as much as I can remember it), I like Casualties of War, I like Mission Impossible, and I like Snake Eyes.  But that is as far as I’d go with him.  In fact, the only movies I’ve ever had an interest in watching more than once are Mission Impossible and Casualties.  Then I am reminded I didn’t like the The Fury, I hated Mission to Mars and Femme Fatale, and I downright loathe The Black Dahlia and Bonfire of the Vanities.  I don’t even want to get into Scarface at this time because that is a whole can of worms.  At his best he can mimmick the masters (and sometimes steal shots *ahem* Battleship Potemkin) to create an interesting visual style to match an effectively tense atmosphere.  At his worst I wonder what incriminating photos Uwe Boll had of DePalma to let Boll write screenplays for him.

So to make a long story short (too late) I figured I would see Blow Out which got released on Criterion and just so happens to be a box office bomb.  Blow Out is about a B movie sound editor Jack Terry (John Travolta) who is out in the woods one night getting new sounds when he catches a car crash on his sound equipment.  The person killed in the crash was a Presidential hopeful and while hearing the recording Jack hears a gunshot which leads to the titular blow out.

To a film nerd with no life like me, I could easily point out this is very strongly inspired by Antonioni’s Blow Up about a photographer catching a murder on film and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation which is about a surveillance expert caught up in a secret plot.  Those movies take a more complicated approach while Blow Out is content with being a thriller.  Believe me, I’m not slighting the film when I say that.  DePalma is great with suspense but he is shit when it comes to subtlety.  And by focusing on the murder plot, we are invovled in Jack’s paranoia and voyeurism without having to personally hammer it home.

I also have to think DePalma was taking some cues from Hitchcock.  DePalma sets up several set pieces where we know the danger is looming around the corner and the tension is wrung out for all its worth.  The visuals and the sounds are great as we are coaxed into focusing on minute details.  I can’t say enough about how well it was done when you are listening for the slightest creak or squak or bang.

Travolta does a great job as Jack.  He is not playing his usual cool personas but as the man who is in way over his head trying to keep his cool. We see the range of his character from confident, to vulnerable, to rattled, to full on wreck.  His performance really did carry the film.  You also get good supporting roles from Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz, and John Lithgow.

If I were to criticize the movie, it would probably be if you were to really scrutinize the actions of the villain, they don’t make a lot of sense.  In fact, even some of the conspirators question what the hell the killer is doing at certain points.  Also, I wasn’t exactly sold on Nancy Allen’s ditzy character.  While Allen does a good job, I figured her character would be more sexy and charasmatic rather than basically  Marissa Tomei’s character from My Cousin Vinny.

So because this movie is Criterion and I am a film snob I therefore have to like it.  In all seriousness this is probably my favorite DePalma movie.  I clearly don’t love this director as his previous works inspire either mild enthusiasm or utter contempt.  But this is the movie where I think DePalma puts it all together: great sound, great visuals, great acting, and effective suspense.  There are a few nitpicks and gripes but I thought it was a very entertaining movie.

The Beaver (2011) Jodie Foster

Posted in B on September 30, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $21 million

Worldwide Gross: $6 million

Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is a man with many troubles.  Walter can’t connect with his family, he is a lousy boss, and most importantly he doesn’t have any enthusiasm for life anymore.  One night he gets drunk and plans on killing himself when a beaver puppet he finds connects to his hand and starts speaking to him (doing a rather Ray Winstone-ish type impression).  The Beaver convinces Walter to do whatever he says in order to fix whatever is broken in his life.

You do have to wonder how many attempts at comebacks poor ole Mel has left.  First he has his anti-Semetic tirade prompting him out of movies for a bit and coming back with Edge of Darkness.  Then he has his embarassing yet hilarious phone calls with his wife which brought the focus back on crazy Mel and finally to The Beaver.  I don’t think it strange that I have two opinions of him based on his home life and professional life.  The man has A LOT of issues and a lot of bad things going on in his head.  But at the same time, the man is very talented at what he does.  This leads me to today’s movie.

The Beaver is a strange movie although probably not in the way you figure.  I figured the movie would be rather wacky or at the very least light-hearted with its goofy premise.  Harvey was light-hearted and (for a more recent example) Lars and the Real Girl, despite having some drama in it, was still fun.  I just didn’t figure seeing Jodie Foster’s Beaver would be so dark and depressing.  It is as if the movie took seriously the concept of Mel sticking a beaver on his hand would be and how sad it would be he lost his marbles.  Sure there is the initial hilarity of Mel running around talking to his imaginary Ray Winstone and his life somewhat turns around.  But then after a few weeks things get more and more awkward and people start moving away from the crazy man.  Next thing you know you are a * lonely * crazy man with a beaver on his hand and it is back to depression.  Intermingled with this you have a son who absolutely loathes his father, a wife who feels trapped in a ridiculous situation, and references there was a serious trauma earlier in Walter’s life.  Even near the end we are given a scenes done with a straight tone which deal with more thoughts of suicide and of physical mutilation.  I mean this is some seriously depressing shit.  I felt like I needed a Xanax after this movie was done.

It’s cause this movie, even though is about a beaver, was partially made about Gibson’s own media circus.  To the movie’s credit, Gibson is acting his ass off as if he really was working out his own personal issues with this.  You really see how good he is as he turns from wacky comedic in one second to slit your wrists depressing in another.  Gibson carries this movie which is both a positive and a negative.  The supporting cast and their storylines are bland and they aren’t given the same amount of screen time they probably deserve.  You have Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, and Jennifer Lawrence sitting around with nothing to do.

The Beaver tries as it is plain to see they weren’t trying to make some generic comedy.  Mel Gibson gives a great performance and Foster was trying to make the story more heartfelt than its wacky original concept.  The problem is I could not get into it at all.  Despite some funny scenes, the characters are all mired in a deep depression which permeates the whole production.  The supporting characters are not given the attention they deserved and by the end Gibson’s character goes so far it is hard to really side with him anymore.  While this is a noble failure and maybe some can be entertained by it, I never want to see it again.

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009) Troy Duffy

Posted in B on July 26, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $8 million

Worldwide Gross: $10 million

I can remember the first time I saw Boondock Saints.  I was going through my local Blockbuster (before most of them closed) and the typical busy body clerk suggested I check out this (for all intents and purposes) direct to video movie called Boondock Saints.  The guy was practically selling this like some lost treasure of the aisles of Blockbuster.  My expectations being at rock bottom levels because up to that point all DTV rentals were absolute shit, I was surprised to find out this one was actually alright.  Don’t get me wrong, Duffy was trying way too hard at being a derivative Quentin Tarantino (which some may argue is derivative of everyone else but that is another discussion).  In addition, the movie was juvenile, misogynistic, crude, offensive, and its morality so childish it should be written in crayon.  But the movie was well made, the actors were giving it their all to sell the material, the action was fine, and at times the script was so moronic it actually made you chuckle.  It was a far cry from most DTV movies where it just seems like the filmmakers are phoning it in.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a crap movie, but I can see people liking this as a kind of guilty pleasure.

That leads to the overpraise and backlash of this movie on the internet.  I hate to use the word “overrated” just because I think it is a trollish term.  I think one of the criteria of being a film snob is being able to call most of the films on the AFI Top 100 as overrated whilst simultaneously masturbating to Andrei Tarkovsky.  But there are a few films where I simply cannot get the praise for.  One of which is Scarface.  I can’t tell you how many teens I see with Scarface swag all over the place.  It also seems like a movie for posers so they seem like manly men to all their friends.  There is something about a guy who proudly proclaims Scarface is his favorite movie that makes me think they secretly have Sleepless in Seattle hiding in their bedroom.  Anyway, another movie that got overblown is of course Boondock Saints.  I swear, listening to some people this is the best guy movie ever and the greatest thing since sliced bread, and yada yada yada.  It is talk like that which makes you want to take back all the nice things you said about the movie in the first place to slap them down and tell them how epically wrong they truly are.  But it is now a half page on my word processor and I still haven’t gotten to the movie I am actually reviewing.

So with all the success it had on video sales, why wasn’t Miramax clamoring for a sequel.  Well if you have seen the documentary about the making of the film called “Overnight” (which is a much much more entertaining movie than Boondock Saints IMO), you get a pretty clear answer.  Troy Duffy is a complete egomaniac.  The person thought he was Steven Spielberg from day one of shooting and he had no problem with burning non-existent bridges with people and pissing everyone off in the industry.  I thought Boondock Saints II had about as much chance of being made as there being another Billy Jack movie.  I was wrong as ten years later they finally gave director Duffy the opportunity to direct a sequel.

So what is this sequel about?  Nothing really.  The story is about the Saints coming out of retirement (why they are in retirement I dunno) when a priest is killed in Boston with the same MO as the Saints.  Someone from the Saints or Poppa’s past wants them to come back to Boston and the Saints are looking to kill a lot more bad guys.  One problem is this plot really makes no sense when you learn all the details.  It makes no sense that Poppa wouldn’t try to get revenge on the person that put him in prison for the ten years since the first movie and it doesn’t make any sense why the mysterious bad guy drags the Saints back to Boston.  And yes, I know I am harping on the plot of Boondock Saints freaking 2 but hear me out.  Duffy had ten years to come up with a sequel and to basically prove himself to all his doubters and the best he could do is a stale as hell remake of the first movie that somehow makes even less sense than the original.  Is it so much to ask that something…ANYTHING is added to a sequel ten years after the last one?

It really is sad that Duffy has to recycle plot points and lame humor from the first movie like trying to push out ten year old left overs as fine cuisine.  All of the somewhat memorable scenes are paraded back out again to much groans of the audience.  Hey Duffy, if I wanted to see the first movie I would watch the first movie!  Even death doesn’t stop the director from going back to the well as we get several scenes of Rocco doing completely pointless crap.

The one person they couldn’t really get back was Willem Dafoe’s character and even for that they made a carbon copy in the role of Eunice (Julie Benz).  I actually really like Julie Benz but here she actually has the most annoying role in the movie by far (and for Boondock Saints that’s saying something).  She has the most over the top Texan drawl that she drones on for what seems like endless scenes of her talking and talking and talking.  They might as well have dressed her up like Annie Oakley and had her twirling a six shooter.  Oh wait, they did.  I fucking hate this movie.  The crappiness is compounded by the horrible script writing.  The “witty” dialog damn near unbearable as it seems like you got a group of braindead monkeys all hammering on typewriters trying to recreate a Quentin Tarantino script and the director using whatever draft came out first.  This humor makes Family Guy seem like Annie Hall. One of the people’s names in this movie is Kuntsler.  If you can guess the joke they say five seconds after revealing that then you shouldn’t be watching this movie because that is the height of wit and cleverness being used in the humor.  Seriously, this movie is one step away from naming the bad guy Norman Imastupiddickheadasshole.  Ridiculous right?  I mean, who names their kid Norman nowadays?

The rest of the humor is the typical misogynistic, racist, frat boy type humor you got from the first movie but also less inspired.  There is also a lot of homosexual humor in this movie.  I’m not saying you can’t do any of those jokes, but there is so much of it, it is actually distracting.  It really makes you wonder what kind of hang ups the director really has.

I don’t know how much else I can really elaborate on how much this sucks without people thinking I’m just straight up picking on it.  Even by judging the movie by the original’s standards I don’t think it is that good.  Saints II, in addition to being dumber and more cartoonish, is just derivative of itself.  It is a crappy repackaging of the shit we have already seen in the original with no attempts at bringing anything new to the table.  I think most fans of the original will already have seen this and own it on Blu Ray but for anyone else familiar or unfamiliar with the series, stay far far away from this movie.