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Posts Tagged ‘Gerard Butler’

Gerard Butler’s choice to play the Phantom like Gerard Butler was going out on a Friday night for some stalkage may have been … unwise.

Christine Daae is the orphaned daughter of  a Swedish violinist.   Before he died, he promised her he would send an ‘angel of music’ to watch over her.   Christine is taken in by Madame Giry and her daughter at the famous Opera house in France, where no one actually has a French accent except for Madame Giry.    Christine loves to sing but has been too grief stricken to sing properly; until, that is, she hears a voice behind a mirror helping her.

Now begins the parade of idiocy that runs through this movie.  Most of the general populace, however brain damaged, stupid or downright idiotic would hear a voice behind a mirror and do two things:  1) run or 2) grab something sharp and pointy.   No, Christine believes her angel of music has finally arrived.

Madame Giry knows the truth, since she’s totally BFF with the infamous Phantom of the Opera, who’s really a sideshow freak that she let live in the sewer bottom of the Opera.    Sadly, it does not have a charming view but Gerard Butler’s Phantom seems well stocked on candles.   He seems to have nigh on two million; perhaps he is a candle collector?

The Phantom schemes to get Christine in and Carlotta, the diva who can’t really sing, out of the Opera’s shows.    The whole time he’s trying to seduce Christine, taking her on fun boat rides to his Sewer Palace and wooing her with his dark and mysterious pipe organ.   Uh … yeah.

The problem here is that while Gerard Butler may look hungover, in need of a shave and a shower and possibly not all there sometimes, he is not bad looking.   In fact, I’d wager that it’s hard to ugly up Gerard Butler (although The Ugly Truth did a good job of making him seem vile) and sticking a bit of molded plastic on his face doesn’t make him look like a monster who has to chat up a girl by kidnapping her to his Sewer Palace with his candle collection; it makes him look like a guy with a serious brain malfunction.   Oh yeah, and a creepy, perverted one at that.

Competing for Christine’s affections is Raoul, the Vicomte with a heart of gold and nothing upstairs.    If one were to crack open Raoul’s cranial cavity, it would probably contain bits of cardboard and dryer fluff, with  a few starving moths flying around.    He’s obnoxiously bent on Christine-directed chivalry.

Needless to say the Phantom doesn’t like this.   And he doesn’t like that the new Opera owners won’t pay him his extortion money.   … And he really doesn’t like that Carlotta lady.   Yeah, so some people die.

The main problem with Phantom is the cast.  Emmy Rossum is convincingly dim, but her eyes are so … dead.    Not to be mean, but everything I’ve seen her in she’s got the same look that salmon has at the fish counter.   And Gerard Butler can eke out the Phantom’s songs, he looks like he shops at L’Abercrombie & Fitch in his spare time.    He’s not menacing or scary or even remotely creepy; he’s just Gerard Butler, running around an opera and doing his best sexy-eyes at Christine.   The guy that plays Raoul is no better, and Minnie Driver as the divalicious Carlotta is just exhausting.

The real guilty pleasure in all this is the amount of detail lavished on the sets and costumes.   The Opera is stunning, the costumes magnificent and everything seems to be locked down to the minutiae.   Lloyd-Webber’s music is cool, if you view it through the lens of when it was popular on Broadway (the ’80’s) and very bombastic.

Overall, it’s not … good but it is a guilty pleasure, if only to laugh at the idiocy of the main characters and gaze upon some awesome sets and costumes.   … And to see Gerard Butler attempt to act as a conflicted, disfigured person with lots of emo rage.

I suggest you all run off and read Cleolinda’s Movies In Fifteen Minutes Recap of Phantom of the Opera, which is far more hilarious and much more in depth than I could write — you can find it HERE.

 

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I can think of no finer example of genuine movie crack than Dracula 2000.

It’s a godawful movie.   It hammers you over the head with the subtext; the idea of (spoiler!) Dracula originally being Judas Iscariot is nothing new; it takes characters from the original Bram Stoker novel and warps them beyond recognition.   It’s nothing new or inventive, but yet it somehow manages to entertain me and my admittedly low standards.

The plot is ridiculously simple:    Van Helsing now owns an antiquities dealership in London, England.   He has stayed alive for many years to keep watch over Dracula by injecting Dracula’s blood and using its restorative powers to keep his body going.    (And here I thought milk alone did a body good.)    Some of his shifty employees break into his ubersecret vault to steal whatever precious jewels lay inside only to discover a single, silver coffin containing – GUESS WHO?    Ignorant of its contents, the sneaky employees smuggle it over to America to sell on the black market, but Van Helsing finds out and follows them.   A non-shifty employee of Van Helsing’s, Simon, tags along against Van Helsing’s wishes and soon discovers that Van Helsing has two missions:   recapture a now-escaped Dracula and protect his daughter Mary, who was born after Van Helsing started shooting himself up with Dracula essence.   This makes her a prime target for Dracula, who now wants her.   And not just in the whole “I shall suck your blood” kind of way.   More like the eternal kind of way.

Sucks to be Mary!

Jonny Lee Miller is in this movie and he is bad, bad, bad.  Not in a villainous way, in a “I really needed the money but I’m phoning this one in” way.   He’s got to be the most boring performance in the movie.   This movie could use a lot less Jonny Lee Miller.   He basically just runs around and is all English.    Really.   He pretty much is like, “Cheerio, where’s the Earl Grey?”  Oh, Jonny – you had such potential post-Trainspotting.   Stupid Sick Boy.

You know who else is in this movie?

VITAMIN C!

You guys remember her, right?   Her annoying Graduation Song is on the radio at the end of every school year; it’s practically a rite of passage nowadays to be forced to listen to this song on repeat if you’re graduating ANYTHING, I think.   Yep, she’s in this one too as Mary’s semi-skanky friend who thinks she’s going crazy.   Her name?   Wait for it…wait for it…Lucy Westenra.

Ohhh, yeah.   She’s nothing phenomenal as an actress, but she beats Mr. Union Jack Lee Miller up there, that’s for damn sure.

Here’s the selling point of the movie.   The one, the only…Gerard Butler.

Screencap courtesy of Movie Screenshots, since my screencapping software decided it was TOO GOOD to cap Dracula 2000.   Uh huh.

DAMN.

It really was the first movie role that brought Butler to the attention of American women everywhere and even I have to admit he looks positively gorgeous here.   Plus, I will say that Butler does pull off the whole ageless evil thing quite well, considering what he had to work with here (:cough: not much :cough:) and the quality of the acting near him.   Sure he’s cheesy at points but not only is he pretty, you can tell he doesn’t take himself QUITE that seriously as Dracula, which is actually…nice.

Bottom line is that the special effects are pretty awful and shockingly, Danny Masterson of That ’70’s Show Fame and Omar Epps, he of the future role of Dr. Foreman, put in bit appearances here.   It shouldn’t charm me.   The movie falls somewhere distinctly in the middle of the heap as vampire flicks go, but there’s something redeemably charming about the movie.   Is it doddering Christopher Plummer as Van Helsing?   Or perhaps Gerard Butler’s blank, vacant, listless Dracula?    Maybe it’s Dracula’s badly-acted Vampire Brides.   Who knows?

I probably have no excuse for liking it but what really puts me into the realm of the pathetic is the fact that I’ve seen at least one of the sequels (there are two).   And yes, they were nothing to write home about either – but they also lacked the charm of the first.

However, if you asked me any day to pick between Dracula 2000 and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I would easily choose the Gerard Butler fare ANYDAY over that Coppola piece of crap, even if it does have Gary Oldman in it.

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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.

Whatever.

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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You know, I’m all for liking actors who are immensely talented because they’re immensely talented…but every so often, you just have to go with the gut reaction, “Mmm, pretty”.   It’s not reasonable, sure, but it’s part of why some actors are cast.   And if you’re me,  you go for the ones that everyone else is thinking, “Him?  Really?”

In some ways, it’s really quite shameful, considering I’ve sat through an awful lot of crap for the ones I find irrationally attractive.

Nobody squees quite like J.D. squees, so this post is in his honor.

The following are the certified beloved actors of 1,416 and Counting, simply for the fact of…uh… “Mmm.  Pretty.”

ADRIEN BRODY – I sat through King Kong for you.   P.S.:  Make some better movies.   P.P.S.:   What’s with the wanna-be rapper stuff?  It’s seriously harshing my pretty buzz over here, Adrien.   The man rocks a suit, that’s for sure.

CHRISTIAN BALE – I have no problems with your movie choices, Christian, not even Newsies.   Please salvage Terminator 4 for me.  Yay!   John Connor will finally be smokin’!

CILLIAN MURPHY – Have a sandwich or seven.   You’ve got those very nice cheekbones and pretty blue eyes but you look like you weigh approximately seven and a half ounces, Cillian.   I’m worried you may break, and then where would I be?   Also, there’s no marks against you for movie choices, at least none that I know of.

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