Archive for the M Category

Mars Needs Moms (2011) Simon Wells

Posted in M on February 9, 2012 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $150 million

Worldwide Gross: $39 million

Ouch.  Just ouch.  Normally when you think of something that might be one of the biggest box office bombs of ALL TIME (#1 unadjusted for inflation/#5 when inflation is figured) you have to think there is some reason behind it.  I mean, I’ve done some of the biggest bombs of all time and without checking I’d say most (if not all) had something go wrong.  Heaven’s Gate had a power man dictator of a director, Ishtar was a money pit of a production, Shanghai Surprise/Gigli had bad press with the actor couples, and so on.  But then you get these animated movies like Treasure Planet and Mars Needs Moms whose only crime is frankly being mediocre.  Well, in the case of Mars it didn’t help opening close to Rango but whatever.

I guess if I had to give my non-expert analysis on why this movie bombed so bad (other than the obvious of not spending 150 million on a kids film) is that, unlike other motion capture movies, this didn’t haveas good a gimmick to draw in the audience.  Movies like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol would be reasonably sure bets as those are established stories which could be made into one of those traditional Christmas films that could be played on TV every year.  It’s almost guaranteed to make its money back eventually on TV revenue and DVD sales alone.  With Mars Needs Moms, it is a rather odd concept that makes you wonder why this NEEDS to be done in motion capture.  Why do we need to spend 150 million on an idea which barely limps past 70 minutes (the movie is longer than that but the story essentially ends bythen)?  Unlike A Christmas Carol which was a star vehicle for Jim Carey, Mars also doesn’t have any big name draws.  Maybe I’ll get responses about how Seth Green deserves more respect but I don’t mean to slam Green.  I say that because Green is not in this movie.  Seth Green did the motion capture, but later the producers realized Green didn’t really have the voice of a nine year old so they replaced him with an unknown child actor.  So given the choice between that and Rango, I chose Rango.

Mars Needs Moms is an odd movie to watch.  It’s more of an action movie than a comedy to me.  It is like producers needed to justify doing this big money 3D motion capture realism stuff so it is played off like an amusement park ride or something.  Every ten minutes we have the characters falling down a long rollercoaster type chute which is designed to make us go Oooooooooh or there is some chase scene through the futuristic city and we are supposed to go Aaaaaaaaaah.  I’m sorry but I’m not easily impressed by that stuff now and going into a movie with a goofy title like Mars Needs Moms I was expecting more comedy than action movie.

And the comedy in this movie really isn’t comedy.  The filmmakers idea of comedy is having people do goofy characters and tricking people into thinking that is actual humor.  For example, the kid runs into this alien who acts like a hippy from the 60’s.  My initial thoughts were “Aaaaaaaand?“  And what?  What’s the point? Am I just supposed to laugh at the fact she says things like “Groovy“?  Dan Fogler plays a guy who acts like he was stuck in the 80’s.  Aaaaaand what?  Am I supposed to laugh at the fact he simply references Top Gun?  Where’s the joke?  I mean, take Kung Fu Panda for example.  Jack Black plays his usual slacker character but in the body of a fat panda.  By itself, probably not all that funny.  But there are jokes in the film about him beating people using the power of his massive gut and using his bulk to his advantage.  That’s a joke.  That’s why it is funny.  Dan Fogler doing a Jack Black impression with no real jokes; not funny.

As I mentioned before, even though this movie is technically like 85 minutes, it gasps across the finish like at like 70 minutes.  It is a horrible experience to be sitting there thinking “Man, this movie is dragging.  We must be in the third act by now.“ only  to look at the timer and see you are only 37 minutes into the movie.  Because the whole movie feels like filler.  The action scenes don’t feel natural, they feel like they are shoved in to artificially inflate the run time and to justify the budget.  The comedy isn’t really comedy but a bunch of people mugging for the camera.  There is no major character development or story to draw people into the story.  The movie is spinning its wheels the whole time and you almost feel bad for the writers as if they all came down with crippling Barton Fink like writers block during the making of this movie.

Mars Needs Moms really isn’t a horrible movie.  This is a meh movie.  It is a movie that couldn’t justify the expense or the production at all.  Mars Needs Moms would be a movie people would forget if not for the fact it is one of the biggest box office bombs of all time.  There is nothing which stands out as being very bad, but it all feels like a half assed effort.  While this wouldn’t be the worst thing to rent for your kids, I really wouldn’t recommend it to people.

A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (Woody Allen) 1982

Posted in M, Woody Allen Retrospective on November 15, 2011 by moviemoses

Blah.  You know, up till this point the retrospective has been pretty damn good.  Sure, there have been some Allen movies I might not have liked as much as the rest like Everything you Ever Wanted to Know About Sex.  But even that movie was still overall funny and good.  This one?  Just, blah.  I hate these kinds of reviews.  I like to be able to point out things I like or dislike.  I’ve spent a long time staring at the little blinky line of my word document wondering how the hell I’m going to explain why I don’t care for it but how do you express the sheer ‘meh‘-ness of this film.  The movie is partially inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s (at least tonally) Smiles of a Summer Night.  That is already a bad start for me since I didn’t really care for Smiles of a Summer Night.

The movie is about three couples going on a weekend trip to a romantic summer house.  You have the starchy scientist Leopold (Jose Ferrer) who is soon to be married to Ariel (Mia Farrow).  You have inventor Andrew (Woody Allen) who owns the house and is married to Adrian (Mary Steenburgen).  And you have Andrew’s tomcat friend Maxwell (Tony Roberts) and his date the ditzy Dulcy (Julie Haggarty).  During the weekend, each guy falls for another person’s date and the traditional wacky shenanigans ensue.

This movie doesn’t feel like a Woody Allen movie and instead feels more like an extended sitcom from the 70’s.  You have all these “quirky characters“ getting in “mixed up situations“ of trying to woo these women from their respective partners and the “hilarious misunderstandings“ that come of it.  I hope that by the excessive use of quotations you can note my sarcasm but if not I will outright say it is.  It is all played up with this aire of whimsy and wackiness but to me it felt tired.  There is none of the usually fresh Woody Allen banter nor the interesting characters.  It is just all stuff like, “Oh! Maxwell thinks he is going on a romantic walk with Ariel and Leopold thinks he is going to be meeting up with Dulcy.  Let’s sit back and watch hilarity ensue after a word from our sponsor!“

This movie is plotted a little too much which is why the characters are so weak.  Everyone here is a one dimensional stereotype: Leopold is a scientist so he is logical like a Vulcan, Dulcy is an airhead, Maxwell is the tomcat, etc.  The movie has all these characters finding true love and going through all this but I don’t really care.  I also feel Woody goes too far into the goofy in some areas.  I don’t mind a wacky movie, but the tone is rather inconsistent at times I guess is what I am saying.  For the most part you have a comedy about characters setting up various romantic trysts, but then you throw in stuff like Andrew inventing a bicycle powered helicopter or flying spirit balls which makes things too bizarre for the rest of the movie.

This movie was made while Zelig’s production had to be put on hold and for me it does feel like a diversion.  I’ll admit I wasn’t the best audience for this movie.  As I mentioned before, I didn’t like Smiles of a Summer Night.  So, if I didn’t like the original, why would I like Woody Allen trying to copy that formula?  There are some Woody fans that will say they love this film and hey, more power to em.  For me, this was one big ‘meh‘ sammich that I had to take down whole.  I didn’t like it, and I didn’t really hate it.  It just exists for me.  It ran for 88 minutes of my life and then was gone.  Blah.

Up next is Zelig.

Macgruber (2010) Jorma Taccone

Posted in M on May 3, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $10 million

Worldwide Gross: $9.3 million

It doesn’t happen often, but this movie scared me. I can’t tell you the number of times I picked this movie up at Blockbuster for the purposes of this thread, only for me to shiver and place it down just as quickly. I guess it’s the fact that it is an SNL movie that adds the extra stink to a turd. Now I’m not being entirely fair. The Blues Brothers and Wayne’s World are absolutely hilarious movies. However when the SNL movies go bad (The Ladies Man, Stuart Saves his Family, Superstar) they REALLY go bad. So it really didn’t help when this movie is based on a sketch that I didn’t like in the first place.

Macgruber is obviously a spoof of MacGyver. We follow MacGruber as he takes on his arch nemesis Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer). Von Cunth has stolen a missile he is going to launch against Washington and it is up to MacGruber and his two team mates (played by Ryan Phillippe and Kristin Wiig) to stop him.

When spoofing MacGyver, there are really only a few things that you can make jokes about. You can make fun of the fact MacGyver would do cool things with common household items and the fact the show was set in the 80’s (with Richard Dean Anderson rocking a powerful mullet). As you can imagine, you can hit those jokes within the span of your average SNL skit. So what do you do with the rest of your running time? Dick and fart jokes…basically.

You want to see Will Forte naked? You will see that A LOT. You want to see several items placed in inappropriate orifices? Sex jokes? Excrement jokes? Beating a dead horse with the fact the bad guys name sounds like ‘cunt’? Check check check! And since we don’t have nearly enough to spoof with MacGyver, the movie also takes its shots at Rambo and possibly even Road House.

To it’s credit, the movie did make me laugh at times. This type of humor is not for everyone, but if you know what you are getting into, then the movie does a good job in the gross out department. I have to hand it to Forte who really put everything out there (and I do mean everything) in order to get even the mildest chuckle. They earn every bit of their R rating. Ryan Phillippe also does a good job in being the straight man to Forte’s out of control acting. The only depressing performance goes to Val Kilmer. Holy crap does this guy look like he wants to kill himself in this role. It’s strange that the only thing I hear from people when I discuss this movie is how far Kilmer has fallen. I don’t mind at all that a former big actor is slumming it in a movie like this. What I do mind is Kilmer is a complete kill joy. Come on man! Everyone else is down with sticking produce up their ass but you are too good for that?In the end he seems like he doesn’t want to have any fun with the rest of the cast.

It is still shocking that after throwing everything and the kitchen sink in, MacGruber barely crawls past the 75 minute mark. If I were talking about going to a theater to see this movie, then it would be a waste of money. But with my Netflix it is no bother at all to rent it and check it out on a boring night. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome which is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love this movie. I went to absolutely dreading it to being mildly entertained. If you like gross out humor or if this seemed at all interesting to you from you liking the SNL sketches, then I think you would enjoy it if you rented it. If you still get that shiver when you pick up the box cover, then I probably would still steer clear.

The Message (1976) Moustapha Akkad

Posted in M on January 31, 2011 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $10 million

Gross: unknown

I can certainly see the interest in making a movie about the prophet Mohammed. Religious movies, especially Christian movies, are big bank. There were (at the time the movie was made) over 700 million Muslims and no movies had been made on the subject. Now I’m not saying that was the only reason the movie was greenlit. Moustapha Akkad (who is probably best known for producing the Halloween movies) is also a Muslim and wanted to spread the word about his religion. However there are a few reasons why a movie about Mohammed did not work with even someone devoted to accommodating the target audience like Akkad.

Hollywood did not want to invest in the film because Akkad wanted to move the production to Morocco (Wikipedia). Akkad found some financing however the cast was nearly stuck when at one point the foreign investors pulled out. The film was completed due to backing by Libyan leader Muammar al Gaddafi (wiki). Akkad did not want to offend his target audience so he worked with the University of Al-Azhar and the High Islamic Congress of the Shiat in Lebanon in order to make it as accurate as possible. Akkad made his own replica of Mecca, produced the film with an English and Arab cast, and dubbed the film in 12 languages. Production had to be moved to Libya when the Saudi Government convinced the Moroccans to stop production.

Even though Akkad worked as hard as possible to not offend his Muslim audience, there were many protests against the movie. Muslim beliefs states that Mohammed could not be depicted in any way, nor his wives or sons. In The Message, we do not see Mohammed or hear him speak. However, the movie was banned in many middle eastern countries simply because the idea of a movie is sacrilege (imdb). One of the worst protests happened when Hinafi Muslims took hostages in Washington DC in a 39 hour standoff (imdb).

Now after all that, let me get to my review. It is no secret I am an atheist (and probably not the target audience) but that doesn’t mean I am automatically disposed to hate this movie. I was actually interested coming to see how Akkad handled the subject matter. The thing I want to discuss first and which is probably most relevant to my feelings on the film is the matter of Mohammed. As I mentioned before, the character Mohammed is not in this movie. Well, he is but he is not. When he does appear (for lack of a better term since he cannot be shown) he is portrayed by a point of view camera shot accompanied by eerie music. He also does not speak a single word. It was actually a tad unintentionally funny because I got more of a Halloween/first person point of view kill vibe than a prophet of god vibe. I just kept expecting a butcher knife to come out when he is with Anthony Quinn is all I’m saying. But to get back on track that is obviously the biggest flaw of the movie. For a movie about the ‘prophet of God’ Mohammed, it isn’t really about Mohammed. I mean, try imagining seeing Passion of the Christ or Last Temptation of Christ but not seeing Jesus in it. Instead you have the apostles sitting around saying things like “Did you hear what Jesus did then?” or “And then Jesus told those moneychangers in the temple this…” Now I’m not telling Akkad to break with his own dogma and piss off the Muslim community just to make a buck, but you are obviously giving yourself a heck of an obstruction when you set out to make a movie essentially without a protagonist. I actually think Akkad would have been better served with making a documentary. That way he could talk all he wanted about Islam and Mohammed and spread the word without that problem. True it is not the Cecil B. DeMille epic you are planning for, but lets face it, The Message was never going to be that movie.

Okay, so instead of being a movie about Mohammed, the Message is more about the spread of Islam. Anthony Quinn plays Hamza (who is basically the stand in protagonist for Mohammed) who leads a group of Muslims just starting out in Mecca. The story is about how they are first persecuted by other religions including Christians and their eventual rise to controlling Mecca. First off, I have to admit I don’t know how historically accurate any of the movie is. I know I just mentioned how Akkad worked on the accuracy but that doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. You can be accurate to the Koran, but that doesn’t mean historical facts back it up. I’m not saying one way or the other.

The movie isn’t bad. It is well made and you can tell the passion Akkad has for this subject. He wanted to show Islam as a progressive religion (for example saying Islam had equal rights for women) and giving more a message of religious tolerance. The movie has good locations and with the exception of a few scenes (where you could tell they ran out of money) good production. A problem I have is there really isn’t any memorable characters. Anthony Quinn is the main actor in this movie, but even he is more a supporting character than a protagonist.

I actually didn’t mind seeing this movie. It is not all that good. As I mentioned, I think it suffers from some crippling storytelling problems. I don’t think I would recommend this movie to anyone that isn’t already interested in the subject. You don’t learn all that much about the religion and not too much historical reference.  I especially don’t know a thing more about Mohammed than I did starting out.   But this movie is a rarity and does have some redeeming points to it by the good direction of Akkad.  I didn’t really hate it but I won’t ever watch it again.

Meet Dave (2008) Brian Robbins

Posted in M on September 27, 2010 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $60 million

Gross: about $13 million

A group of miniature aliens come to Earth piloting a robot in human form. The aliens are looking for some orb that is the key to saving their planet. The robot, trying to blend in as Dave, has to find it using the help of a small child. However things get complicated when they become involved in the lives of the child and her mother Gina (Elizabeth Banks).

Okay, I got a pitch for you guys. Eddie Murphy walks around the streets of New York with buggy eyes and a child molester smile and creeps out random people for 90 minutes.

-I love it! Greenlight that son of a bitch! How much money you need? $40 million? Hell give him $60!

Alright, I think I got most of it out of my system. Ehhhh actually I think I have a few more random bits of frustration. 1. Why Bill Corbett (who wrote this movie)!? Did you want to make your own movie to riff on? 2. Really Ed Helms, you can do so much better than this crap. 3. Really Elizabeth Banks, you can do so much better than Meet Dave and Kevin Smith. SO MUCH BETTER.

Alright, alright, I’ll get to the review. I really don’t see much of a need to talk about the story of this movie since even the writers don’t really give a crap. And I’m not saying that to be particularly cruel, but the fact of the matter is the plot is the loosest of excuses to have Eddie do what he does.

So let’s talk about the meat of the movie which is the humor. It sucks. The majority of the movie is (as I indicated before) Eddie acting all bug eyed and trying to act as creepy as possible to see how the actors respond to him. Scenes are stretched beyond Family Guy levels of joke death as the camera just keeps rolling and the actor desperately struggle to fill dead air. I’m sorry if I keep harping on this but this is pretty much it. This is almost the whole movie. The script could look like this:

Eddie walks into (location): School/Police Station/Old Navy/Nightclub

*start scene*

Eddie walks in and looks creepy

Actor initiates dialog to find out why Eddie Murphy looks like a creepy bastard.

Eddie remains silent and creepy/will mimic the actor in an annoying game of mirror mirror.

Actor defies all reason and continues to talk to the creepy man instead of calling police.

Eddie continues to try to milk the joke.

I die a little inside.

*end scene*

There are some attempts to show just how oh so crazy these silly humans and their culture are. Now, I’m not saying this couldn’t be done well (maybe in a dry British comedy), but not with Eddie Murphy. Sorry, I don’t equate him with sharp social satire. I love Bill Corbett’s work on Rifftrax and MST3K, but actually writing jokes for this movie he is bad. Many of the scripted jokes are your most predictable set ups for lame punchlines. For example, the gruff security officer somehow sees A Chorus Line which makes him gay. Not just gay, but Village People gay with a limp wrist and stereotype voice. You see, because he was so macho you wouldn’t expect that he…*sigh* Where’s the booze? Now I guess I can make the concession that this is relatively harmless humor geared toward a kid audience and not offensive crap like Norbit. However, saying something is simply crap and not offensive crap isn’t giving it high praise.

Really, this movie is like a two-parter pilot for like a really crappy CBS comedy reboot of Mork and Mindy or something. Everything about this feels like it would be right at home playing back to back with the Geico caveman tv show. I say back to back shows because the final act is when we get a 30 minute, painfully boring action climax where the Captain (Murphy) has to get back to his ship to take it back from the mutinous #2 (Ed Helms). There really aren’t many jokes; we just see pedo-Murphy blowing things up for 30 minutes. This is probably where the majority of the budget went and, like Evan Almighty, the special effects are completely unnecessary. Did this movie NEED to be $60 million dollars? Did any of that money (and the subsequent effects shots) add anything to the humor? The answer is no.

All these bad elements really make me feel bad for the one bright spot of the movie which is Elizabeth Banks. She is the only really good thing about this movie and I will give her all the credit in the world for bringing energy and life to a dull, lifeless comedy.

This isn’t the worst Eddie Murphy movie but this is pretty bad. Murphy hasn’t been funny to me in a long time and when you plug him into basically a big budget sitcom it doesn’t help. The jokes are poorly written and executed, the acting (with the exception of Banks) is hammy and bad, and the whole production feels amateurish. I really wish Murphy would retire (or at least take a long break) from comedy.

Myra Breckinridge (1970) Michael Sarne

Posted in M on March 15, 2010 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $5 million

Gross: $3 million

Subsequent Earnings: $4.3 million

Myra Breckinridge was a highly successful novel written by Gore Vidal which was a satirical take on gender and sexuality at the time. Many considered it pornographic and the materials satirical edge to hard to translate and therefore unfilmable. Michael Sarne was a director who had a mild hit and wanted to make a name for himself with Myra Breckinridge (I’ll simplify with MB later). The shoot was typical bomb pandemonium you have come to expect. The script was being re-written over and over again, the stars (especially divas Mae West and Racquel Welch) had numerous public clashes, and the director was an incompetent tool. Reports were he would spend hours at a time getting the perfect shot of a car or spending a day on the set just to think to himself. It is rather clear Sarne (through the audio commentary) he did not like the material and only did it for the money. Sarne also did not like the homosexual content of the novel and wanted to work it out. The result was a massive failure which Gore has spent 40 years disowning. Sarne later got a job as a waiter in a pizza place, which Vidal said “proves that God exists and there is such a thing as Divine Symmetry.” (IMDb).

The story is about Myron who gets a transgender operation (from John Carradine no less) and becomes Myra Breckinridge (Racquel Welch). Myra goes to an uncle’s acting school and demands half of the property owed to her by Myron.

Really, this movie is so disjointed that’s the best I can do as far as a main plot. There are some side plots involving Mae West as a talent agent who sleeps around with her clients and Myra raping a male acting student.

It has taken me a while to compose my thoughts on this movie because, well, this movie is so freaking confusing. Not that this movie is so deep and prone to analysis, but because it is so poorly put together you don’t understand anything that is going on. I’m sure the book is much more fleshed out but here I don’t get anything. I don’t get why Myron becomes this militant feminist in the form of Myra. I don’t get why Myra gives two shits about her uncles acting school. I don’t get the entire point of the Mae West side plot. Seriously, we devote like 15 minutes to her just walking around giving her one liners and sleeping with various men (including a fresh faced Tom Sellick). This movie is 94 minutes and has all the logic of a fever dream. Scenes just splice together with no lead ins or narrative consistently and there really is no story arc. Sh*t just happens.

Much of the statement made by the book is lost in the translation. You get the fact she is rebelling against traditional glorified male personas and empowering the female image. But there is supposed to be more about sexuality and homosexuality which seems all but forgotten. I also have no clue what to make of what this movie has to say about Hollywood. Myra goes on extended rants about the age of Hollywood and movies like Tarzan and we see clips from (for example) Laurel and Hardy movies but I have no idea what this means. I really wish I could say more than “I don’t get it”. I wish I could convey just how inept and incompetent this movie is in its writing and direction.

The movie tries to be all “hip” and “groovy” and “screwball” *gets smacked for overuse of air quotes*…sorry. It tries to do all of those things but it tries too hard. Subtlety is thrown out the window as characters are overacted to beyond caricatures. The boobie prize has to go hands down to Mae West who at 77 years old was still playing the sex goddess who beds everyone. This is like when Tom Jones still thought he “had it” and released Sex Bomb as a single. No one bought it, and no one buys the Crypt keeper like West as some temptress. In fact the idea of her and Thomas Magnum getting it on makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

As I wrap up this review, I have to express my own disappointment at it. No matter what I say I can’t really describe how stupid it is. No matter what I think of the story is, the most damning indictment is that it is a satire that is not funny in the slightest. It is not funny as originally planned, nor is it funny in a ‘so bad its good’ way. MB is a waste of time and money and it deserves to get “balled” as they say in the movie. Or it needs to get Burger’d in the Blackmun by a gigantic Rehnquist (code words used by Vidal to get past pornography ruling in the Supreme Court).

Mary Reilly (1996) Stephen Frears

Posted in M on February 10, 2010 by moviemoses

Production Budget: $47 million
Gross: $6 million

I bet you forgot about this movie right?  You had filed this movie away in the deep recesses of you mind as a completely worthless and forgettable adaptation and I just dredged up the memories right?  Sometimes it is not that hard to find out why a movie fails.  It certainly isn’t a good sign when a movie goes through literally 25 rewrites.  It doesn’t help when the two lead actors have a public rivalry making the production a debacle and tainting the perception of the movie as a whole.  Finally I don’t need to mention Julia Roberts trying an Irish accent is one of the biggest movie FAIL moments in a long time (although I just did mention it).

So what is this movie about?  I’ve seen the damn movie and I’m still asking that question, but I’ll first start with the book.  The book is apparently a Saturn award winner (although I had not heard of it until now).  It is based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Mary Reilly is about a maid for Dr. Jekyll who has a romantic relationship during his experiments.

Knowing that still doesn’t change the fact all during this movie I was asking myself what the point was and what this movie was trying to be.  This isn’t a horror movie.  At no point did it seem like it was trying to scare me or horrify me.  This movie feels kind of like a Burton-esque gothic romance.  It should be no surprise then after checking IMDb Tim Burton was signed on but decided to make Ed Wood instead.  Mary Reilly doesn’t have the same quirky humor or imagination of Burton, but it has the same feel of a goth fucked up romance.

This romance also has all the passion and heat as sticking your junk on a block of ice.  There is no “romance” here.  Dr. Jekyll is only interested in Reilly clinically speaking.  Reilly is a f*cked up girl with a lot of emotional baggage.  There are extended scenes of Jekyll psychoanalyzing Reilly and I almost expect him to say “The lambs Clarice, tell me about the lambs…”

It also doesn’t help the pairing of Malkovich and Roberts are rather disgusting as romantic leads.  Roberts has been uglied up in this movie with almost bald eyebrows and pasty makeup that makes Seamus look like George Hamilton.  And I would sooner think of Tom Hanks as sexiest man alive than John Malkovich as a convincing romantic lead.  I won’t just pick on Roberts for her god awful accent (although its hilarious); even Malkovich has an equally inconsistent and terrible accent.

This is not a good adaptation of either the Stevenson story or the Mary Reilly story (based purely on reader accounts).  In fact, if you are not acquainted with the Stevenson story, it is almost not mentioned what the hell Dr. Jekyll is really doing.  Jekyll is just doing some secret lab work and he creates this douchebag alter ego.  Why?  For what purpose?  It’s never told in this story.  That leads to my next problem.

Mr. Hyde is not all that compelling in this movie.  He is built up all during the first half (kind of like Harry Lime in the Third Man) where we only get glimpses and whispers of how evil he is.  When we finally meet him we find he is not so much evil as just an asshole.  He beats up a few people but the majority of his evil acts are insulting people and drawing penises in medical textbooks (I’m not kidding).  Heck I can get than from any episode of House.  This culminates in a hilarious climax where Jekyll and Hyde mutate together.  We get a CGI Malkovich baby head pushing through Hyde’s chest and both screaming out.  If one of them said “Quuuuaaaaaiiiiiddd!” I would have lost my shit.

But I still come back to the tired question; what is the point?  What is the moral?  What does Mary learn?  I know what the original story had to say.  I have no point what this movie has to say though.  This movie just exists; it sits on your head and crushes you.  Mary Reilly is a dull mess with nothing good or interesting in any way.