Archive for the ‘Mockery’ Category

There is a problem with your movie if the title translates to “Hands:  Hands of Fate”.


Confession:  I had to cheat just a little bit on this one.   Netflix doesn’t offer the regular version of Manos:  The Hands of Fate, so I had to “settle” for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version.   All in all, I’m sure it saved me a lot more grief than normal, but even with the MST3K overlay, Manos:  The Hands of Fate is just a wretched, lumbering monstrosity.

It’s widely believed to be one of the worst movies of all time, a fact which I cannot repudiate.   It is one of the worst of the worst.  In fact, the only movie that I’ve seen that edges out Manos is Ax ‘Em, but that’s mainly because of the technical screw-ups (like no sound, for example) in Ax ‘Em.   They’re both equally sophisticated in their storytelling.

HANDS:  The Hands of Fate begins with a family traveling to some vacation spot.   Before they really can kick the movie into gear, you’re treated to fifteen minutes of repetitive scenery.



It’s strikingly clear from the first minute of the movie that the person who directed this had no idea what in God’s name they were doing and refused any sort of help, psychiatric or otherwise.   It should be noted, friends, that this is essentially the best part of the movie.


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You know how when you’re dating someone and they really, really like something and it irrevocably ruins it for you after you break up? Or, you meet someone that you have some sort of horrific experience with and something they like sticks out in your head and consequently you always associate them with that thing they like?

That’s what I’m talking about here. For one of my friends, it’s music; for another of one of my friends, it’s places she and her ex went.

Can you guess what it is for me? I promise, it’s really easy.

Stupid movies.

To be fair, none of these guys are bad guys; most of the time, we should’ve just never hopped on that train to Relationship City, nor should I ever have assented to have dinner with some of them in the first place. What can you do? But in the shallow crevasses of my mind, I get these things stuck in there as being connected to these fine gentlemen forever and ever and ever. But you do, at least, get random, off-putting stories about why I can’t stand these movies anymore.

So, behind the cut, five movies I can’t watch ever again, and the stories behind them.   Because that is how I can, and do, roll, my friends…


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Family members used to say to me when I was a kid, “If you keep rolling your eyes like that, your eyes are going to roll right out of your head.” And my mother, bless her, would tell me, “Your face is gonna stick like that if you’re not careful,” when I was in awful, sour moods.

Momma, assorted family members: My eyes didn’t roll out of my head and my face didn’t stick like that, and I think P.S. I Love You is the scientific test to see if either of those statements are actually true.

This movie is so bad it has to be given the full, awful treatment. What can I say? The suffering – I’m passing it on. Think of it as paying it forward, just with badness. Strap in, grab your booze, because I’m going through this one every arduous bit.

We start out in medias res (how’s that for a fancy term, eh?) with Holly and Gerry, a married couple living in NYC who are having a huge fight. Holly’s mad that Gerry told her mother that they wanted to wait to have children, which she equates with Gerry telling her that this means she doesn’t want to have children. From this ensues the most manic, nonsensical fight I’ve seen on film in a while. It’s a lot of What Holly Thinks Gerry Says and Gerry just standing there, bewildered and defending himself, while his wife throws shit at him and has a Life Crisis.

This is where I firmly hopped on the “I HATE YOU, P.S. I Love You,” train, for two reasons: One, I loathe this sort of thing, where the woman rants and raves about things that make no sense while the husband has to calm her down, and two, because she pretty much gets away with throwing shit at her husband’s head. If you’re trying to make me like Holly, this isn’t the way. If you reversed their roles, no one would ever think Gerry throwing things at Holly was remotely acceptable, but since she’s a woman and she just threw a Marc Jacobs shoe at him, that’s okay.


Then they kiss and make up and Gerry says, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” – cue me, screaming at my televison, “FOR WHAT? MARRYING A CRAZY BEEYOTCH?” – and they go to sleep, with words of love and giggling. So, I’m already reaching for the whiskey bottle that doesn’t exist.

Also, I have a really hard time buying Gerard Butler as a devoted husband. Gerard Butler always looks to me like the drunk guy at the end of the bar with the cute accent. He’s the guy that you know is a lot of fun, but only in that he’s fun from the hours of 9 p.m. to last call o’clock and that he’s a miserable wretch for the rest of the day. So seeing him as Husband of the Year is kind of weird to me, in the sense that I keep thinking, “Don’t you have somewhere to go to pickle your liver or something?”

Moving forward.

We land in the present time, where we’re at a bar. And while we’re at it, let’s cue up the Irish Stereotype Counter right about now.


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I don’t know how many more complete thoughts my brain can put together after watching this not-so-fine piece of Van Dammage but, here goes the truncated review:

  • Van Damme cannot even play the part of an emotionless reanimated corpse correctly.   Worst. Actor. Ever.
  • Dolph Lundgren is seriously scary.
  • I do NOT want to see Van Damme’s butt ever again…especially that many times in a row.
  • Reanimating dead soldiers and submitting them to mind control so they’ll be perfect soldiers?   Yawn.
  • I say there’s not enough Van Damme dancing in this one.
  • Ice being used as a Band-Aid by the reanimated soldiers is so stupid.
  • Bloodsport was way better.   The soundtrack was especially better.

Did I love it?

OF COURSE.   If you took out all of the Van Damme butt scenes, though.   That just makes me want to vomit.

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Edited to Add: It figures my 100th post would be about this damnable movie.   Somewhere, my dad is laughing at me…in good fun, of course.

There’s a story with this one.

Years ago, when we were all smaller and shorter, my family always watched movies together. Usually my parents picked the movies, and every so often, my dad would insist we watch a certain movie, knowing if he didn’t insist, we’d never watch it.

Such is the case with Night of the Lepus. We were eating dinner together, and my dad told us, “There’s this wonderful movie on tonight, and we’re going to watch it. Together. And it’s called Night of the Lepus.”

My sisters and I probably stared rather blankly at my dad. As a group, we began to speculate what a lepus was. Was it a shark? A monster? A dinosaur? Cue a young me: “Knowing Daddy, it’s probably about chipmunks or something.”

Well, I wasn’t far off.

The movie we watched, incidentally, is not this one. The Internets claim (wrongly, I think) that this is the only version of Night of the Lepus. It’s not. We watched this one, which is a ’70’s facsimile of the original..only worse (if that was even humanly possible).

But if you’re still wondering, dearests, what in the world a lepus is…look no further:

That’s right. Night of the Lepus is about KILLER RABBITS.

I think when we first realized what a lepus was, my father nearly had a full scale revolt on his hands. We stayed, though, and we watched, and to this day when my father suggests watching a movie of dubious character, we ask, “Is this like the time we had to watch Night of the Lepus?” Dad, meanwhile, sat back and I’m sure internally laughed at us all the way through the movie.

In a small town in Arizona, rabbits are eating ranchers out of house and home. So, some local dude (played by DeForrest Kelley) goes to the local university and digs up some scientists who are supposed to be pioneering some sort of research that kills off only one kind of animal, instead of poisoning everything in general. The ranchers don’t want to kill everything, you see, only those cute little cuddly bunny rabbits.

There’s one problem, though: Our intrepid scientists? Work with bats.


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Dear Quentin,

This is like… the second letter I’ve written you.  It’s not good when I write you letters, is it?

THEN LET’S STOP DOING SILLY THINGS, SHALL WE?   Casting Eli Roth in Inglorious Bastards?   Really?

Have you lost your ever-loving mind?

Don’t get me wrong.   I know you and Eli are all buddy-buddy.   You probably watch movies together and go bar-hopping and whatever it is that you do, but he is not an actor. Presumably, you’ve seen him act since he was in one of your own movies.   Dear God, QT, just look at the man.   I like Roth’s movies when he’s behind the camera, not in front of it.   And I’m assuming the role you’re putting him in is not a pervy frat-boy role, is it?

No disrespect to Roth.   I thought Cabin Fever was funny and a good horror film, and I liked both the Hostel films.   I thought his trailer for Thanksgiving was delightfully campy.   But every time I see him, I just have flashbacks to:  “Yeah, he’s a Professor!   A professor of being a dog!”

Bless his heart, I just don’t think Eli Roth was cut out to be an actor.   No harm, no foul, except for him being in this movie.

You need to hire someone to tell you “no”, Quentin.  You need to hire a “no person”, who will tell you when you’re out of your damn gourd and you sound like you’ve been inhaling paint fumes because your thinking is schizoid.   Is it fun to go shoot a movie with your friend for a few months in Europe?  Sure!   Will that make your movie good!?    IS YOUR FRIEND ELI ROTH?  Just say NO.

Your no person, incidentally, should be equipped with one of those enormous and squishy inflatable plastic mallets – the kind with the squeaky toy inside – so that when you “leak information” – like “I want to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as a German SS dude” – said no person can administer a swing to your head like Mickey Mantle.  It won’t hurt you, but it will keep your wits about you and you’ll even get the added bonus of sound effects.

It’s not hard, QT.

For God’s sake, just get on with it.

No love (at the moment),


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Look, I know why remakes get made – the almighty dollar. I get it. Well, in some ways I do and in some ways, I don’t. But for the love of all in this world that is sunshine and rainbow-y goodness, can we not leave some things alone? Can’t some movies be like art in a museum, where you get fifteen feet from them and if you get any closer, the burglar bars and silent alarms activate before you can get your nasty, greasy, grubby hands all over that Picasso?

I just read this: Natalie Portman will star in a remake of Suspiria, due in 2010.

Is nothing sacred?

First Halloween. Then Friday the 13th. Now they’re in the process of remaking Nightmare on Elm Street. And then comes the announcement that Suspiria is going to be remade.

Why?! Tell me why, God, tell me why!

For heaven’s sakes, there’s NOTHING wrong with the original. If we have all really reached the point in movie-going culture where people are too lazy to watch the original damn movie, or complain that it’s too “old” or whatever, we have some serious problems. Guys, I have an idea, let’s just not make anymore new movies. Let’s just remake the same damn movies over and over again. It’s all easier on our brains, right, rather than coming up with something new-fangled and original?

For the record, I call shenanigans.

This is why we can’t have nice things. And I swear to Jimmy Stewart, I’m going to pull this car over if one of you in the backseat even remotely thinks about messing with one more Hitchcock movie, because there CERTAINLY IS one unnecessary Birds remake in the pipeline right now.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to quietly slink into my premature old ladyhood and feel sad.

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I see a lot of confusion in the movie blogosphere about the upcoming movie Twilight, based off of the popular book series by Stephenie Meyer. Twilight fans are a hardcore little group, and the amount of internet buzz they’ve helped generate for the movie is insane. But…your rank and file movie fan has no idea what this is all about.

Friend, you are in for a real treat.

Twilight‘s a lot like Peeps. For those of you without access to Peeps – the horror, I say – let me explain. Peeps are marshmallows covered in colored sugar that traditionally have been sold at Easter. (The Peeps people have realized the marketability of these things at other holidays and have seized on them, but they’re mostly associated with Easter). They were originally sold as these mounds of marshmallow shaped into the form of a chick and covered with fine, granulated sugar in a variety of colors – mainly pink and yellow, should memory serve me correctly.

One Peep is good. But before you know it, you’ve wolfed an entire box down, you’ve gone temporarily insane from the sugar high, your mouth is coated with pink sugar and you end up face down on your bed, with half your teeth having already rotted out of your skull from the massive sugar consumption, a nasty headache and a killer feeling in your stomach.

So, Twilight‘s a lot like that. It’s essentially the book form of movie-crack.

My inner twelve year old liked Twilight. My grown-up self has serious issues with it (namely, some bizarr-o, bad portrayals of a “healthy” romantic relationship) but I won’t touch on that here. Instead, I’ll give you the basic rundown of the story and some snicker-worthy factoids, so you’re prepared.

And oh yeah, it’s behind this little separator, so all of you who wish to remain unspoiled may do so (although why in the world you would want to remain unspoiled for Twilight is perfectly beyond me).


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Oh, good God.

Talk about formulaic.

Seriously, the acts are virtually the same, just with different little puzzles and similar parts. It’s like watching the first movie, but not. I certainly don’t mean that in a good way, quite frankly.

I can imagine the meeting of the minds on this one:

Jerry Bruckheimer: Okay, guys – what did we not cover in the last National Treasure movie?

Nicolas Cage: Ooh, the Civil War!

Crazy Jon Voight: That’s right! We didn’t talk about the Civil War at all!

Jerry Bruckheimer: Hmm, I like where this is going. Throw some buzzwords at me. Give me some ideas, gentlemen.

Nicolas Cage: Abraham Lincoln!

Crazy Jon Voight: John Wilkes Boothe!

Nicolas Cage: Mount Rushmore!

Crazy Jon Voight: Queen VICTORIA!

Nicolas Cage: PARIS!

Jerry Bruckheimer: I like all this, I like it. I think it’s going to be hot, gentlemen. Let’s just work all this into a script and see what we get.

Someone needs to have an intervention with Nic Cage. And by “intervention”, I mean, “stop him for his own good”, because heavens to Betsy, my instinctual reaction to someone’s face should not be to cower under the chair in terror and scream “Dear GOD, what is that THING?!” When I first saw Cage, my first reaction was some pseudo pearl-clutching followed by “…What’s wrong with his hair? No, really…what’s wrong with his hair?” He looks disgusting. I don’t just mean in the stinky, looks like he could use a shower or ten kind of department, although that’s part of it. He looks like he’s about to be slapped on an embalmer’s table somewhere after his liver’s exploded during a rough weekend in Vegas.

So, Ben Gates is back – and this time, he and Riley are in all sorts of trouble. Riley owes a ton of back taxes to the government after a shady accountant does him wrong; Ben has lost Abigail after a rocky relationship. Then a odd character comes forth, stating that he has the missing page of John Wilkes Boothe’s diary, implicating a family member of Ben’s in the plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Of course, Ben and his father are determined to clear their family member’s name, but the shady character (Ed Harris) is using Ben to help him find a treasure. (Are you shocked yet? No? Really?!)

The problem is that National Treasure 2 is the exact same movie as the first. Literally you can pretty much track the second from the first, right down to the discoveries timed simultaneously, Riley offering up pertinent information at exactly the right time, hidden compartments, etc. It feels like an odd sense of déjà vu watching this one, because it feels like it’s the same movie, but it’s not.

You kind of have to mentally shake yourself a bit to remember that you didn’t accidentally take too much NyQuil or something when you weren’t looking.

Jon Voight is so remarkably atrocious in this. He’s playing the doddering old fool, but he’s Jon Voight, so he’s a little crazy to begin with. And add in the fact that it looks like someone gave him a strong sedative before sending him to film his parts and you have a slightly stunted, completely slow looking performance.

What in the hell was Helen Mirren doing in this movie? And could Ed Harris have phoned it in even more? Both of them look like they’re slightly dazed all the way through it, as if they’re trying to mentally communicate, “Bruckheimer hypnotized me and forced me to be in this movie; send help. For the love of God, send help”. Ed Harris isn’t very convincing as a bad guy, mainly because he doesn’t do that much bad stuff, and I think it’s practically a contract stipulation with Harris that if you write him in as a villain, he must have a “conscience” or whatever that thing’s called that gives you a moral compass – or at least a damn good reason for doing whatever the character’s doing.

Even at the end, the discovery of the “treasure” is so cheap – because you know from the start exactly how it’s going to happen because you watched the first movie already (probably). The first movie was a fun cheese-tastic kind of thrill ride, and this one falls flat, mainly because you already know what twists and turns are coming for you right around the bend.

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