Tag Archives: Any Given Sunday

Late Night Movie House: Zoolander 2

16 Feb

February 16, 2016

LNMHOC zoolander

In a recent review, Leonard Maltin explained that, for the first time in his career, he walked out of a movie he was intending to review. Unsurprisingly, that movie was Zoolander 2.

But as I embarked on the experience of watching Zoolander 2 at a press screening the other night, I had an immediate reaction of annoyance and impatience. The film was stupid right from the start. I told myself that I was wasting my time for no good reason.

Still, I stayed. Ten minutes passed, then twenty, filled with puerile and unfunny gags; along with gratuitous cameo appearances by everyone from Katy Perry to Willie Nelson. If even one of them had seemed clever I might have summoned some hope for the rest of the picture, but it was not to be.

Mind you, I thought the original Zoolander was pretty funny. I had no reason to expect this one to be so much worse. But it is.

Finally, after almost an hour, I strode out of the theater, proud of myself for taking positive action and sparing myself further insult.

But could Zoolander 2 really be that bad? Sure, it looks bad. And sure, everyone says it’s bad. And yes, the commercials all make it seem bad. But is it really bad? I sent some of the regulars from this blog to check it out and get their opinions.

It's the sequel no one wanted ten years too late

It’s the sequel no one wanted ten years too late

I can relate. I saw the original Zoolander in the theater when it first came out in 2001. I recall laughing here and there, but I also recall that the laughs became less and less as the film rolled on. It became less funny as it went on too, and more stupid. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that as the movie went on, I realized there was less to it than it seemed. It was just a generally stupid movie. I was feeling stupid for buying a ticket. I should have been warned by the presence of Will Ferrell, whose bad films and roles are slowly piling up higher than his good films and roles.

Let’s put Will Ferrell on the Mike Meyers scale.

meyers scale ferrell head

But aside from all that, I sat through the original Zoolander and every other film I’ve paid to see. Unlike Leonard Maltin, I never left a movie before it was over. But In retrospect, there were some films I wish I did walk out on.

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. This was Oliver Stone at his worst, and that’s saying a lot. The film was close to three hours long and several people left after about an hour and a half. Unless you’ve seen it, you don’t understand the pain we felt in the theater.

STARSHIP TROOPERS. That movie wanted you to root for the Nazis. A lot of people say how great the novel is, and it is- I read it. But none of the satire or real meaning made it to the screen. It was simply disgusting Nazis fighting disgusting bugs. I was rooting for the projector to break.

BATMAN AND ROBIN. Do I need to explain this? To borrow a phrase from MST3K: “Deep Hurting.”

Honorable mentions- I did not walk out but others did.

BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. This was a found footage movie before people knew what that was. I saw it in a theater that was half full when it began, nearly empty when it ended. I enjoyed it but there was a lot of loud and rude complaining from almost everyone else throughout.

THE SOUTH PARK MOVIE. A lot of people brought their kids. Big mistake. They left very quickly, but as soon as I realized it was a foul-mouthed musical, I settled in and enjoyed the ride.

 

BONUS! ROGER EBERT’S REVIEW OF NORTH (the movie, not Kanye’s kid)

I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.

Best review ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Your Honor, I move for dismissal on the grounds that the movie sucked (Classic Legal Nonsense Repost)

17 Jul

July 17, 2012

Silly lawsuits never go out of style. Enjoy.

From November 4, 2010

Coming up is a story that you’d expect came straight from the United States, where it is every citizen’s right to file ridiculous lawsuits and waste the court’s time with nonsense. In fact, it has been estimated that if all frivolous lawsuits were dismissed immediately, and no further frivolous lawsuits filed, the entire legal load of merited cases could be handled by Judge Judy in a single afternoon, leaving the Supreme Court free to do what it does best, which is age at an alarming rate.

Of course not every lawsuit is frivolous, just ask these fine folks who filed suit, as found in The Huffington Post:

  • In 1991 Richard Overton tried to sue Anheuser-Busch for $10,000 because upon drinking copious amounts of Bud Light, beautiful women didn’t come to life in a tropical setting, as shown in the commercials.
  • Allen Heckard had a unique problem: people constantly told him he looked like basketball star Michael Jordan. Except Heckard saw it a bit differently, Michael Jordan looked like him. Naturally, he decided to sue Jordan and Nike for $832 million for his “emotional pain and suffering.”
  • In 1995, Robert Lee Brock attempted to sue himself for $5 million claiming he violated his own civil rights by getting intoxicated and committing crimes. He was serving a 23 year prison sentence at the time and thought the state would have to pay because he was incarcerated.

So obviously the legal system is pretty busy these days.

This problem is not unique to America. This story comes from China, where if they saw what passes for Chinese food in this country they would have a good laugh:

A lawyer in Xian, China, filed a lawsuit in September against a movie house and film distributor for wasting her time — because she was exposed to 20 minutes of advertisements that began at the posted time for the actual movie to begin. Ms. Chen Xiaomei is requesting a refund (equivalent of about $5.20) plus damages of an equal amount, plus the equivalent of about 15 cents for “emotional” damages — plus an apology. [The Guardian (London), 9-8-10]

Are you as shocked as I am? Imagine- only $5.20 for a movie! OK, she sat through some commercials, big deal. I sat through Starship Troopers and I paid around $8 for that. Other lousy films I paid to see were Batman and Robin and Any Given Sunday. Trust me, if anyone deserves to be sued it is Oliver Stone for that cinematic piece of crap. And Starship Troopers? If you voluntarily rent this film knowing that it is near the pinnacle of Casper Van Dien’s craft you deserve what you get. But this when he was only a new bad actor, not an established bad actor. I was young, I was naive, I was disgusted that the film wanted me to root for the Nazis.

But I digress.

I actually think that Ms. Chen Xiaomei should consider herself lucky. Not only would that film have cost around $12 in America ($145.50 in NYC, $195.50 for 3D) but while waiting for the commercials to end she would have likely consumed here entire 7.50 bucket of popcorn and 7.50 large soda. (Of course, she could have easily saved some cash by purchasing one of the theater’s combos, where the soda and popcorn would have only cost her $15.)  That amounts to $27 even before the coming attractions, and of course doesn’t take into account a date, which this female attorney didn’t seem to have.

I hope she wins the $10.55 she is suing for.

All this brings me (nearly) full circle from lawsuits to movies to lawyers. Can you imagine that this lawyer values her time so little that she is filing suit and spending time arguing a case for $10.55? (Ironically, the case is about wasting time.) She is either a very poor attorney or has very low self-esteem, either of which would also explain why she was alone at the movies in the middle of the day.

At any rate, and perhaps more importantly, she is also suing for an apology. Yes, an apology. She wants an “I’m sorry” from the theater, which makes me wonder if this case was filed in Ms. Wagner’s third grade class. I wonder if the judge will sentence them to shake hands and make nice? Or perhaps to kiss and make up, which may work out well for Chen Xiaomei if she can parlay that kiss into a date.

However, I may be minimizing the importance of the apology. No less an esteemed legal mind that Judge Marilyn Milian of The People’s Court says that small claims court is usually not about money, it is about the principle. She must be right. How else to explain the case, from the crotchety old Judge Wapner era, where one man sued another for 65 cents, the cost of a can of soda?

Frivolous lawsuits and bad movies will always be with us. True as that is, it is hard to believe that there are not many movies about frivolous lawsuits. Even if they were, however, they would not be prosecutable. If so, I’d have sued Jennifer Lopez for Gigli years ago, and put an injunction on Ban Affleck in the process. That man must be stopped before he acts again!

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