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Archive for March 23rd, 2009

When one of my friends found out I was doing Moonraker, he said (and I paraphrase):  “I love James Bond but I don’t even own that piece of shit, Caitlin”.   Praise, indeed!

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The nominators for this one were the sisters Pookie and Schnookie, who have long James Bond marathons and enjoy such things as Murder, She Wrote and quilting, so you know we get along well.   I was warned in advance that this was awful.  I believe there were some admonishments about how none of Bond’s quips even make sense given the situation at hand, but nothing, really, can truly prepare you for the cataclysmic ineptitude that is Moonraker.

There’s no real use in summarizing the plot since every James Bond movie has the same plot for the most part.  In this one, Bond must stop the villain Hugo Drax from doing something villanous involving outer space.   He must battle Hugo Drax’s feared henchman Jaws and Bond’s contractually obligated to have sex with a couple of pretty girls who have vaguely pornographic names, too.   In theory, it’s hard to completely fuck up the premise of Bond.   He uses some gadgets, drives a cool car, gets laid and bests the baddie.   If you’ve seen one…

Moonraker, however, is in a league of its own due ot the fact that nearly every aspect of it is shitty.   Hugo Drax, the villain, is so bland that I didn’t even bother to take a screencap of him.  His dullard henchman is more interesting than he is.

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Jaws is a simple fellow who likes to bite things with his metal teeth, stand around being intimdating and generally walking around with a big smirk on his face.   That, ladies and gentlemen, is the mark of a great Bond villain.

Oh, except for the fact that Jaws turns “good” in the end…for love.

The man just runs around and bites things and is a strong freak, okay?   That’s all he does, right up until the very end.    How memorable.

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God, this thing wears thin fast.

Just My Luck involves Ashley (Lindsay Lohan), a fashionable Manhattan career girl who has everything go her way and Jake, a guy who does something involving music and who seems to be perenially cursed with awful luck.   When the two inadvertently cross paths at a masquerade party and kiss, they switch luck .  This leads Ashley to take up a desperate hunt for Jake as she gets fired, goes to prison, and  nearly electrocutes herself in the few short hours after they switch luck.

The concept of “luck-switching” is boring enough, but to stretch it out for hours is maddening.   I swear that the word “luck” has to be repeated enough time for it to be drilled into your brain with a Pavlovian response indicating pain.   Not only is it boring and tedious, but the general overall feel of the film doesn’t even feel romantic – and it’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, for goodness sakes.

Lindsay Lohan does not do her best here.   She’s mechanical and robotic at times, something which is odd considering the fact that she ought to be holding her own and then some.   Given the subject matter, this is Lohan’s previous bread-and-butter; a family-friendly comedy with a bit of romance and quirk.  In some regards, this is charted, simple territory for her. Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen and Freaky Friday were similar roles in Lohan’s repertoire.   The performance she gave in Mean Girls indicates she’s far better than what she gives here, which is supposed to be a lucky but unappreciative career girl who learns the true meaning of being grateful for what you have.   Lohan, however, can’t even sell you that Ashley is appreciative for her luck, let alone capable of giving it all up for twoo-wuv.

Let’s hope Chris Pine isn’t as instantly forgettable in Star Trek as he is here.

There are some “what-if” premises that just can’t be stretched into a feature length movie without being exhausting and full of mediocrity and tedium for the viewer.   Just My Luck started out as one of those premises.

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