The Movie Snob shares his pain
One for the Money (D-). Has Katherine Heigl (The Ugly Truth) ever made a good movie? I guess she hasn’t been in all that many movies yet, so she’s not like in Jennifer Aniston territory yet, with a list of awful movies longer than my arm. But she’s heading that way. Anyhoo, let the record reflect that today was the last day that I could use a free movie ticket at this one particular Dallas movie theater, so my options were extremely limited. I knew this movie was supposed to be bad, but I thought maybe it would be “fun” bad. No, it was more lifeless-on-the-screen bad. Heigl plays a broke chick in New Jersey who decides to become a bounty hunter to make some dough. Her first case is a rogue cop who is accused of shooting an unarmed man–and who just happens to be a guy who slept with her once when she was 17 and never called her again. Nice. Lots of faux-romantic dialogue, and lots of unbelievable run-ins with really bad guys who would’ve killed this ding-a-ling amateur within about 10 seconds. Let’s just say if I had paid money to see this turkey, I’d be one unhappy camper.
From the desk of The Movie Snob
The Ugly Truth (D). It stank. Now, don’t get me wrong. It is possible to make a good movie in which a prim and proper woman is thrown together with a rough-around-the-edges rogue, and erotic tension ensues. Think of classics like Gone With the Wind, The African Queen, and The Empire Strikes Back. But by no means think of this recent DVD release starring Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) and Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera). She’s Abby, an uptight morning-TV-show producer; he’s Mike, a crude Howard Stern type who’s foisted on her in order to boost ratings. Mike is supposed to have unique insights into what makes men and women tick, but in reality he’s just a foul-mouthed boor with a uniquely low opinion of men and women alike. In the real world, Abby would respond to this walking hostile work environment with a lawsuit, but in this cretinous film things turn out differently–perhaps because, just beneath the surface, Abby is almost as vulgar and unpleasant as Mike is. This movie will not only waste your time, but I honestly believe it will make you worse as a person. I lament that it grossed $89 million in this country alone. Avoid it.
DVD review from The Movie Snob
27 Dresses (C). A surprisingly high number of recognizable faces show up in this by-the-numbers romantic comedy. Jane (Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up) loves weddings, which is a good thing because she has been a bridesmaid 27 times. She’s also in love with her boss George (Edward Burns, She’s the One). But her kid sister Tess (Malin Akerman, Watchmen) swoops in and sinks her claws into George, while simultaneously Kevin (James Marsden, X Men), a newspaper wedding columnist, starts getting into Jane’s head. Two musical montages and one horrible barroom rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” later, we finally get to see who ends up with whom. On the whole, the movie is not horrible, but it’s not great either, and it is definitely a tad too long. Moreover, the terrific Judy Greer (Elizabethtown) is criminally underused as Jane’s best friend. See it if you must. You’ve been warned.
New review from The Movie Snob
Knocked Up (C). I can’t give this movie the lavish praise that my co-reviewer The Bleacher Bum did, but it’s not entirely a waste of time either. The premise is not very novel: thanks to a lot of alcohol, a successful and gorgeous TV personality (Katherine Heigl, TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) has a one-night stand with a flabby slacker (Seth Rogen, The 40-Year Old Virgin). She ends up in the family way and decides to keep the baby and see if she can make it work with the slacker, and we are off to the races in another “can the love of a good woman redeem an unworthy man?” tale. Personally, I did not find the comic bits all that funny, and the movie as a whole was more serious and less crude than I was expecting. In fact, the serious parts were more effective than the comic ones, and I found myself more interested in the subplot about the marital difficulties suffered by the TV star’s high-strung sister (Leslie Mann, The 40-Year Old Virgin) and her more laid-back husband (Paul Rudd, The 40-Year Old Virgin). But the subplot disappears from view as the movie drags on for over two hours, which is just too long. Tolerable, but there are better options out there.
New review from The Bleacher Bum
Knocked Up is an instant comedy classic. It is the type of cult comedy that usually only becomes popular after the DVD release. See Van Wilder. The movie stars Katherine Heigl (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy), Seth Rogen (The 40-Year Old Virgin), Leslie Mann (Big Daddy-she was the witness in the classic cross-examination scene), and Paul Rudd (yes-Virgin). Knocked Up is about a drunken hook-up and the resulting pregnancy between Heigl (professional and career-driven) and Rogen (classic slacker). The majority of the movie centers on the relationship between the expectant mother and father and preparing for the baby. Anyone that has had a child or a one-night stand can surely relate. The movie provides a lot of laughs and a good time. Except for Dan Quayle, I can’t see anyone not truly enjoying this flick.
Bleacher Bum Movie Scale
Knocked Up: Triple
New from The Movie Snob:
Side Effects (D-). A thrilling expose of corporate malfeasance by big pharmaceutical companies. A charming and attractive heroine. An involving love story. These are just a few of things that you might find in The Constant Gardener but definitely will not find in Side Effects. This hilariously amateurish and low-budget effort stars Katherine Heigl (whose star continues to dim after her turn in the excellent television series Roswell) as Carly Hurt, a young drug sales rep who hates her job. Then she meets an unappealing balding guy who once had the same job and quit after a week. He suggests that she should do the same, an idea she apparently never would have come up with on her own. Carly inexplicably falls for this dude, leading to some long and unpleasant sequences of the two of them making out. So she vows to quit her job in six months. (I don’t know why. Maybe that’s when her 401(k) will be fully vested.) In a hugely ironic twist, her new devil-may-care attitude suddenly makes her a sales superstar, and the company slaps the golden handcuffs on her with big bonus checks and a new BMW company car. Now she’s on the fast track to management and doesn’t have time for bald guy or the dog they picked out together anymore. He’s sad. (The bald guy, I mean; the dog seems to be unfazed.) But wait! The president of the company inexplicably entrusts 23-year-old Carly with top-secret test results showing that the company’s upcoming new drug release Vivexx causes liver damage. What’s a girl to do?!? This movie is obviously terrible, but I give it a D- rather than an F because it left me bemused at the filmmakers’ inadequacies rather than angry at wasting my time. Avoid it.