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Penny Glen’s Rants
Is there actually anything good out at the moment to watch? (Part 3)
Or are we doomed to mediocre films for the rest of our days?

Continued (Worst Things)
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Section Two: The Worst Things out at the Moment

Right then, again I’d like to express that this is my humble(or not so humble) opinion based on several contributing factors....and whether the title of the film is spelt properly. The creators of Anuvahood you know who you are...

The very worst ones that I warn people to stay away from are as follows: Skyline, Priest, Little Fockers, Gulliver’s Travels, Something Borrowed, Grown Ups, Battle L.A., The Tourist, Hall Pass, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Season of the Witch, The Dilemma and Your Highness.

If people bring these up to the till because they want to see them – good for them. Rather you than me. Etc. If they bring them to me and ask whether they are any good and it’s during the day I say ‘erm, there are definitely better things here’ and show them the better things. If they bring them to me after 9pm when I’m doing a 10pm close, I’ll say ‘ugh no, what the hell? Go Away’. Or something to that effect. I try to make sure everyone gets something similar or just better than one of the above titles because – believe it or not – I care whether people have a good night in.

Skyline is an alien invasion film, as is Battle: L.A. but they are both quite different. The former is The Brothers Straus’s (silly director’s name) pet project with the proceeds they made off of Alien Vs Predator Requiem. I would have avoided it based on this very assumption, but my curiosity got the better of me. It started out okay and the graphics were above average (despite the brothers being huddled in their basement with their computer doing the C.G.I.), but the ending totally ruined it for me. I know I’m potentially ruining it for you but I have to warn you. Like when I can see you about to bump your head on a low ceiling – I have to warn every one of impending bad films. I like the idea of making something as organic as normal people trying to figure out what is going on during an alien invasion, but the execution was sloppy at best. It started to make me care, and then I lost interest and then I got angry. Which is not good. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Battle L.A. was a different kettle of fish. While half contemplating where that saying comes from I’ll just say that I thought Battle L.A. was an okay film...if it weren’t for the shakey cam and the nauseous feeling it gave me trying to focus on the action. Also dealing with an alien invasion, it focuses on the United States military trying to sort out those pesky extra-terrestrials that look a little like that probe from the beginning of Star Wars with the big round head and the spindly legs. Aaron Ekhart was good enough as the leader guy, but what really annoyed me was the tactics. Even I’m smart enough not to go out into the open after being tricked and caught out by an alien ambush only minutes before. And I’m a 23 year old nerd. When aliens are hiding on the roof or in nearby buildings WHY would you (as an experienced army guy) yell out commands as to what your status is or what your current position is? The American army looked silly, were not believable and were even trained by ex-army men when I watched the behind the scenes footage! It was an alright film other than that, but lets just say I’m very glad I didn’t see it for my birthday at the cinema like I wanted to. Blimey
Priest is quite possibly one of the worst things I’ve seen in a little while. I love Karl Urban and Paul Bettany as actors, but not even they could convince me to finish watching the film or convince me that they were having a good time shooting it. The script is predictable, the dialogue awful, the acting questionable and the C.G.I. is diabolical. Just about everything is wrong in this film and its even got vampires in it! Apparently the collaborative duo of Bettany and his director from Legion just didn’t know how to quit and decided another similar film would be just what we needed. We didn’t.

Little Fockers is just more of the same from Stiller and Co., but seriously the only thing funny about it is the title. After you read it once you may snigger...and then it just isn’t funny anymore. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Gulliver’s Travels is your typical bad remake with an element of Jack Black thrown in. Apparently he hasn’t learned from his role in Peter Jackson’s King Kong that he can actually be good if he tries and he doesn’t have to do these silly, unnecessary family films anymore. The film is ridiculous and pointless and just plain offensive to the senses. Please only watch this if your child under five becomes obsessed with watching it. Otherwise it could be a hazard to your health. Your Highness is also a film in this category. It doesn’t even warrant a brief review, except to say that I despise Danny McBride’s characters in his films, especially the ‘stoner’ persona he often portrays. I’m not sure whether he’s like that in the real world, I’m not sure what was so funny about his other stoner comedy Pineapple Express (with the usually excellent James Franco) and I’m not sure whether I think the same as everyone else as these films seem to be popular. Your Highness has been likened to the Princess Bride, but no it is not. And I don’t even like the Princess Bride. The idiotic nature of this film is married with the actors faces when they think you’re not looking at them. Natalie Portman especially looks a little sheepish doing her thing and I don’t blame her. Just awful really, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Dilemma seemed like a promising concept. Man has a best friend. Both are married. Man finds out his best friend’s wife is cheating on him with hot male strumpet. Should Man tell friend? Should this film have actually been funny when it was written? The answer is yes, but unfortunately Vince Vaughn was cast in the lead role. He is the man who won’t stop talking unless you gag him and believe me I almost wanted to do that. The whole film is just him trying to use his gift of gab to get himself in or out of trouble. Not interested. I also got bored with the rest of the plot.

Grown Ups is just silly. I only made it about a third of the way through and I had to give up. Normally I like Sandler and co. when they attempt comedy – but this one fell short of the mark. Boring and repetitive. Hall Pass is pretty much more of the same, except Owen Wilson is trying to get his freak on with the permission of his fiancée. Both are just something I’d put on in the background for no real purpose. They would probably be alright if you and a large number of friends had been drinking for hours previously. Big Momma’s House deserves a mention as one of the worst films out there simply because I’d like to point out that Martin Lawrence probably isn’t getting a lot of money these days. We do not need sequels of him dressing up as a large woman to catch bad guys. I do that pretty well by myself. Something Borrowed/A Little bit of Heaven are two of the latest Kate Hudson rom-com vehicles. She certainly does churn them out at an alarming rate doesn’t she? One is slightly better than the other but you will end up wondering why you’ve spent a couple of hours of your life watching them. I did just that, then watched Jurassic Park again to make myself feel better. The Tourist tries to make itself out to be a great thriller, where there’s lots of twists and turns and you end up with something completely surprising. Nah. I guessed it right at the beginning and marvelled at how Angeline Jolie and Johnny Depp tried to keep this going like a Mexican wave from hell. Hated the hell out of it, especially how bored Angie looked. At least Depp tried. He also tried an awful lot for Pirates 4 (On stranger Tides) as Cap’n Jack Sparrow. Always consistent in his effort and performance, Depp carries the film and absurd plot while the rest of the cast might as well not be there at all. Never thought I’d miss the days when Keira Knightley and old Orlando Bloom were part of the cast. It’s just getting silly now and I’d like to let them all know that if they leave now they can have one of my last double chocolate cookies.

One more film that irked me was Season of the Witch. Nick Cage and his posse are travelling across long and treacherous lands so that they can make sure a woman accused of witchcraft can make it to her trial. It sounded alright so I decided to give it a try. After making it to the end and hoping it would get better I wished that I hadn’t. Mr. Cage is a brilliant actor, but recently he seems to have forgotten his roles in Leaving Las Vegas, Bad Lieutenant and Lord of War that greatly showed his talents. Then he was a dependable and fantastic actor, but every now and then he accepts roles that will make him look a little silly. I love the edgy, raw and unique Nicholas – not the annoying, over-the-top and bad wig wearing guy he is in most of the films he does today. Come on Cage! Be the man I love as an actor!

Justin Bieber’s film, Never Say Never is just wrong. It’s for kids under ten only, as is the live action version of Yogi Bear. I liked Yogi back in the day, but getting his sidekick BooBoo’s voice done by Mr. Justin Timberlake of all people just made this film further into a cash cow with no thought behind it – as most kids films are (bar a precious few). However there is one film that is worse than the two above films combined. If you haven’t heard/seen ‘Fred’ on Youtube – you’re probably the lucky few. A skinny, annoying, high pitched, moronic and slightly terrifying persona, Fred: The Movie is one of the most offensive things to my five senses that I’ve come into contact with this year. Although I’ve only seen the trailer, this was enough to make sure that if this film were to be shown anywhere near me – I would be on the first lunar shuttle to the moon as soon as I was able. Please stay away from it. Or at least watch the trailer to validate my warnings.

(to be continued next week)

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