An Awful Season at the Movies
Instead of reviewing the movies that premiered Friday -- which all sucked anyway -- we'll be taking a look at some of the movies to come (and also some that technically already premiered because, well, we're retarded like that). We'll preview films that are so bad it's scary for October, feast on the turkey turds that drop throughout November, and slog through the Oscar tripe that makes December the most depressing movie month of the year. Relax, buckle up and hold on to your puke bucket; it's An Awful Season at the Movies.
The FirmCockney Thriller
Director: Nick Lowe
Starring: Daniel Mays, Camille Coduri, Ryan Reynolds
The Lowdown: Nice one, bruv. Anuvver farkin' cockney movie about a load o' geezers muckin' abaht wi' footy hooligans and shit, guv. Come an' 'ave a butcher's hook, bish bosh malarkey, apples and pears cockney cockney cockney. Oi oi! 'Ave a banana! And so on, for 90 minutes. Basically, everything that is wrong with British cinema without actually being a Guy Ritchie film.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I don't speak cockney and no subtitles were provided so I have to assume that it was the best movie ever produced."
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Director: Bob Gosse
Starring: A gaggle of alcoholic misogynists
The Lowdown: Whoa, check it, broski! This movie's got beer, strippers, and a bunch of frat boys just like me on a wacky adventure! No doubt there'll be some mondo boobage, and at least one fat chick joke! I can't wait to get all my Alpha Beta Kappa boys together, get wasted and go see this! This movie, like, speaks to us on a higher level, man. It shows the true plight of being a drunken, anti-intellectual buffoon like myself, and how hard it is to score with the honeys!
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Well, it's no I Am Legend, but definitely the best movie of this year."
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Starring: Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton, a gaggle of alcoholic kids
The Lowdown: Remember when Kelsey Grammer used to get regular work? Neither does he apparently. That's why he's now hoping to live forever and learn how to fly and all the rest of it in this completely unwarranted and un-asked for remake of the already unwarranted and un-asked for 1980 movie of the same name.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Easily the finest performance of Grammer's young career."
Capitalism: A Love Story
Director: Michael Moore
Starring: A bunch of capitalist pigs, and a few commie saints to refute them
The Lowdown: Moore uses bad-faith editing tricks to present another alarmist, partially fictionalized treatise on the evils of America, this time focusing on how Wall Street assholes raped your grandmother by issuing a mortgage they knew she couldn't pay -- this, after HMO assholes forced your grandfather to perform self-amputation, Army-general assholes railroaded your working-class brother into a war on Iraq, media assholes compelled your cousin to shoot up his school, corporate assholes sold your uncle's job to India and the president of GM himself -- also an asshole -- forced your aunt to skin her rabbits for food.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Easily the most truthful documentary ever made!"
The Invention of Lying
The Office: The Movie
Director: Ricky Gervais
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Rob Fucking Lowe, some moderately attractive women
The Lowdown: Ricky Gervais figures out that everyone tells the truth all the time. He decides to lie to a bunch of moderately attractive women in order to have sex with him. This makes him a pathetic loser, and, according to some branches of feminist theory, a rapist...but all is well in the end, when Gervais learns honesty is the better policy. Basically, if x = Liar Liar, -1/x = The Invention of Lying -- and if you got that joke, you're probably too smart for The Invention of Lying.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I'm going to level with you: I've never actually seen a movie."
A Serious Man
Director: The Coen Experience
Starring: No one knows who these people are
The Lowdown: The next Coen Brothers film -- set in rural Americana for a change of pace and starring actors that no one's fucking heard of. Michael Stuhlberg plays some professor and Richard Kind (you'll recognize him as "that guy who plays annoying people") plays against type as an annoying person. Look for it to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Man, this film was way too serious."
Director: Drew Barrymore
Starring: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore
The Lowdown: Ellen Page finally breaks free from her typecast role of a quirky smart-mouthed grrrl in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. Bliss Cavendar (Page) just can't get along with the small-town bumfucks that surround her. All she wants is a marriage with Robert Pattinson and for everyone to understand that she is a unique snowflake who doesn't conform to society's values. Drew Barrymore plays Smashly Simpson, a character much younger than the old and decrepit actress essaying the role. And she had sex with Tom Green, who got ball cancer afterward. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Drew Barrymore causes cancer.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "You'll WHIP IT to Ellen Page's performance!"
Shaun of the Dead Redux
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Little Miss Sunshine
The Lowdown: Vampires may be the monster du jour, but everyone still seems to friggin' loves zombies. It's that kind of vague, blind adoration that's prompting Columbia Pictures to promote the ever-loving fuck out of Zombieland. Jesse Eisenberg, in a role originally offered to Michael Cera, plays Columbus, a nerdy, socially awkward wimp who is unfortunately caught up in a zombie apocalypse. In this film we will get to see Columbus woo a chick, played by Emma Stone -- much, much hotter than anything he could get in real life, which will break the immersion completely. Woody Harrelson plays himself.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "A gut-munching good time!
Marginally Racist Sex Comedy
Director: Ralphie "Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!" Parker
Starring: A bunch of white thirty-somethings...and one token black couple
The Lowdown: Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us. Vince Vaughn has labored for years under the delusion that he is not only perpetually funny, but also a good actor. In the heat of a scene, he has weaved a tapestry of shitty jokes that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan. And we see him on screen staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He has yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I shot my eye out!"
Extended Home Depot Ad
Director: Someone who has only directed random shitty television episodes and 2008's Prom Night
Starring: Dylan Walsh
The Lowdown: A kid returns home to find that his mom is fucking the guy from Nip/Tuck. While dealing with his repressed daddy issues, the kid begins wondering if the new man is not only a dreamy bite of sexual chocolate, but also a murderous psychopath. Is he? Isn't he? Well, the trailer has a scene of the stepfather attacking the crying family with a dangling saw, but I'm sure that has no bearing on his true intentions.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "This film kept me guessing 'til the very end!"
Where the Wild Things Are
Director: Spike Lee or Jonze -- no one's really sure on this point
Starring: CGI, so who gives a fuck?
The Lowdown: This avant-garde children's film stars Björk as the mischievous Max(ine), who, after going to bed without her supper, enters a magical landscape filled with strange creatures. Lee or Jonze shot the film over the course of three days in his parent's basement in Rockville, Maryland, using a Sony Handycam, hand-painted green screen and a fourth-edition set of Warhammer 40k Space Marines. If that doesn't give you a wettie for this film, well...what will?
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I am so wet right now. Really, Mank, feel my seat!"
Brain Freeze Nation
Director: Todd Philips
Starring: Seth Green, Michael Biehn, Ellen Page
The Lowdown: Seth Green stars in this parody of courtroom dramas as a man who takes his case to the Supreme Court when he becomes the latest victim in a conspiracy by America's frozen slush companies to cripple America's youth with brain freezes. There's early Oscar buzz behind Michael Biehn's turn as defending attorney Max Sternum. Sure to be a hit among Green's 700 Robot Chicken fans.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "My eyes were frozen to the screen!"
Director: Well...there's a first time for everything, Kevin Greutert
Starring: Tobin Bell, that creepy-ass doll and expendable actors
The Lowdown: Saw fans, rejoice! The long-in-the-works sequel to Saw V arrives just in time for you to see it a week before Halloween. It promises to not only build upon the Kafkaesque narrative set out by the brilliant Saw V (that's five, for those of you who don't read Roman), but also redefine the boundaries of good -- nay, brilliant -- taste.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Mank, I have something to tell you: I'm, uh, well..."
Australia 2: Australia's Revenge
Hugh Jackman Porn
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Hugh Jackman's pecs, Hugh Jackman's abs
The Lowdown: The true story of how a shirtless Hugh Jackman wears no shirt for approximately four hours. Rumours abound that Hugh Jackman will appear shirtless in this belated sequel to last year's romantic drama. In one particularly romantic scene, Hugh Jackman will remove his shirt and not put it back on again. Story? Who needs it?
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "...Australia 2 turned me gay."
The Vampire's Assistant
Director: Paul Weitz
Starring: John C. Reilly, Chris Massoglia, Salma Hayek
The Lowdown: Clearly riding the coattails of that other vampire series, The Vampire's Assistant once again proves that, yes, Hollywood will make movies out of goddamn anything. The film is based on a trilogy of books by Darren Shan, but the trailer suggests that it maybe should've been titled Vampire Movie. It's hard to tell whether it's trying to parody Stan Lee's X-Men or Tod Browning's Freaks. Hopefully neither, but probably both.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Get the lube, Mank. This is for both of us."
Director: Mira Nair
Starring: Hilary "Look, I'm not a guy, all right?" Swank
The Lowdown: Amelia Earhart is born, Amelia Earhart learns a thing or two, Amelia Earhart decides against all the best fucking advice provided to set records with a plane, Amelia Earhart dies.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "A heart-warming affirmation of the triumph of the human spirit."
Tony Fuckin' Jaa
Director: Tony Jaa
Starring: Tony Jaa
The Lowdown: Tony Jaa kicks butt in the only way that Tony Jaa can. In Ong-Bak 2, Tony Jaa will return as the orphan who kicks butts for 90 straight minutes. Plot? Fuck plots. This is all about butt-kicking Muay Thai action, you pussy. Wear a Tap Out shirt to the opening screening and receive one free reach-around from your sparring partner.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Hey, where's MY free reach-around?!"
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
The Lowdown: In this heartwarming romantic comedy based on a true story, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a mismatched couple who can't seem to get past their differences. They decide to take a trip out to their old cabin to rekindle the flames. Along the way, they discover that love comes with surprises, laughter and happiness...and sometimes you leave a little piece of yourself behind. Also starring John Rhys-Davies as "The Fox."
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Dafoe and Gainsbourg light up the screen in the best romance since Sleepless in Seattle."
Michael Jackson: This Is It
Necrophiliac Musical Porn
Director: Kenny Ortega
Starring: The waning wisps of legend
The Lowdown: In the tradition of impatient storytellers like Oliver Stone, the visionary director of Hocus Pocus makes his best effort to exploit a recent dead guy as much as possible. If you liked Let It Be, then you'll love watching an overworked, drugged-out skeleton do his best to appease his legions of slightly livelier followers. Quincy Jones has nothing to do with it, so it's doubtful it will be worth your time, much like anything after Thriller. If you're thinking about seeing this movie, it doesn't matter if you're black or white: just don't. [Editor's note: There was a child-molestation joke here, but after careful consideration it was removed. After all, how can we make such jokes about Michael Jackson after criticizing Kenny Ortega for abusing the man's legacy?]
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Do you have any idea how hard it to refuse the King of Pop when he's plying you with chocolates? Do you, Mank? Do you? I was just a kid...I didn't k-k-know..."
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
Fan Service for Faux Southies
Director: Troy Duffy
Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly
The Lowdown: Voted Most Anticipated Download of 2009 by BitTorrent fans everywhere, this sequel to the cult classic offers more of whatever mysteriously made it a cult classic in the first place. Look for it in college dorm rooms across the country on October 31st.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Mank, when I tap you on the thigh twice, it means 'pull out.'"
Napoleon Dynamite Redux
Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Mike White, Michael Angarano
The Lowdown: After Nacho Libre proved to the world that Jared Hess was in no danger of stealing Wes Anderson's thunder, he returns to what seems to work best for him: quirky comedies about the weirdos of whom even weirdos make fun. The Flight of the Conchords guy plays a fantasy writer who decides it would be in his best interest to steal a high-schooler's shitty manuscript and pass it off as his own. Hijinks of Napoleon Dynamite proportions probably ensue. Next!
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "A laff riot!"
Shit Blowing Up
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover
The Lowdown: Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Roland Emmerich, the most successful supervillain of all time. He's destroyed more cities than every single James Bond villain combined, and his movies continue to make a fucking mint and a half. This time around, he goes for broke and tries to blow up the whole damn planet. A series of creeptastic ads regarding the Institute for Human Continuity have kept the movie's buzz high and me too disturbed to sleep. Danny Glover plays the president, John Cusack tries to escape the planet with his career intact and an aircraft carrier crashes into the White House. Sign me up!
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Apocalyp-tastic!"
Death Wish Without Charles Bronson
Director: Daniel Barber
Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Iain Glen
The Lowdown: Straight-faced, straight-laced and straight-forward revenge thriller about an old man who avenges his old man friend who met his somewhat timely demise at the hands of a bunch of chavs. You could say it's Death Wish for the Death Wish generation, but with more allotments and pension cheques combined with fewer brutal and unnecessary rape scenes.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I slept through it, but I heard it was definitely a movie."
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Director: Chris Weitz
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Michael Sheen
The Lowdown: I'm so glad they're making a sequel to Twilight -- now the whole world will understand my pain. The only other time I get to express myself is when I sit in my dark room singing along to Avril Lavigne...or whoever it is that teenage girls like me listen to these days. If only a guy like Edward would come and turn me into an immortal, forever beautiful being of pure misplaced depression and self-harm, then I'd show my stupid parents for trying to make me eat pre-planned meals, get an education and not date drug addicts.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Wait...is Michael Sheen Charlie Sheen's dad?"
PG (a.k.a. Lame) Sci-Fi
Director: Jorge Blanco, Javier Abad
Starring: The Rock, Seann William Scott, Jessica Biel -- well, their voices anyway
The Lowdown: Planet 51 is the 681st movie this year to feature Also Sprach Zarathustra (better known by everyone whose name isn't Richard Strauss as "That music from 2001"). It's also the second movie this year to use the super-creative plot twist of the alien invaders turning out to be humans. Parents will jump at the chance to take their kids to a movie that isn't Twilight-related, while sci-fi geeks will continue to lament the use of their favorite genre as cannon fodder for cheap laughs. And so it goes.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Better than Dutch-ruddering Mank!"
8 1/2, Part 2: This Time It's Musical
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz
The Lowdown: Rob Marshall's Nine is based on a Broadway play, which is itself inexplicably based on Federico Fellini's 8 1/2. If Fellini's original was aware of the fact that it was a movie, does this mean that Rob Marshall's film will be aware that not only is it a movie, but it's also a remake of a movie that was turned into a musical as a greedy cash-grab? This could very well be the first time in film history that audiences get to watch a movie become self-aware, suffer a massive existential crisis and then shoot itself in the forehead. Or it might just be another musical. Really, it could go either way.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Bears zero resemblance to Shane Acker's original!"
PG-Rated Lemon Party
Director: Walt Becker
Starring: Vincent Vega, Mrs. Doubtfire, Chris Griffin
The Lowdown: This has got to be the most vanilla movie since Wild Hogs. The ever-excruciating Robin Williams and John "Battlefield Earth" Travolta team up to deliver us this 90-minute montage of groin punches. There are sure to be plenty of jokes about homophobia, not to mention prostates and anything else insecure 50-year-old men supposedly think is funny. By the end there will surely be some heartwarming lesson about family values, and we will no doubt leave the theater with an enlightened perspective on the world that only this movie can provide. It's a typical Tim Allen vehicle with a mysteriously absent Tim Allen.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "The greatest movie starring John Travolta and Robin Williams ever made!"
Director: James Cameron
Starring: The Faux Terminator, a lot of extras from A Bug's Life
The Lowdown: Cameron attempts to usurp George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola for the title of Most Batshit Bearded American Director with this smörgåsbord of half-naked blue aliens on pterodactyls and weak allegories for imperialism. It's basically Dances with Wolves in space, but it might actually be tolerable thanks to a lack of the 6-foot piece of driftwood that is Kevin Costner. DeviantART is steadfastly preparing its servers for the onslaught of depictions of two Na'vi double-penetrating Hermione Granger.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "I think the trailer is one of the best films of the year, but the actual movie had too much story."
The End of the Silver Sun
Born on the Fourth of July, 2009
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Sean Penn, Catherine Keener
The Lowdown: A gay Iraq War veteran (Penn) comes home an quadruple amputee. At home, he must deal with his intolerable heroin addiction, his kleptomaniac stepsister (Keener) that he's falling in love with, and the enormous pressures of a middle-class suburban lifestyle in America. He dies tragically at the end of the film. Penn reportedly had his limbs amputated for the role, but that might be just hype.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "If this doesn't win Best Picture, I will eat my hat!"
Another Fucking Comic Adaptation
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Carla Gugino, Bill Murray
The Lowdown: Now granted full creative control, the unstoppable Snyder takes another stab at the comic book world with Maus, based on Art Spiegelman's graphic novel detailing his father's experience with the Holocaust. Experimentation is the name of the game with this flick, as all characters are portrayed by animatronic representations of mice, cats and pigs. Feeling the need to amp up the pacing, Snyder has also inserted his own scenes of Vladek single-handedly liberating Auschwitz to the tune of Nine Inch Nails' "The Perfect Drug." Also welcome is the plethora of slow-motion shots we have come to know and love from this luminary director.
Predicted Ben Lyons Quote: "Better than the book!"
Ben "Slvbarek" Altenberg wants to be the next Werner Herzog, but doesn't think he has the courage to eat a shoe or get shot with a rubber bullet.
Matt "the" Gronke, arguably the most qualified film critic on the entire Internet, received his Bachelor's Degree in Film Criticism in 2006. When he's not busy being unemployed due to his degree in Film Criticism, he spends his time posting on Internet forums, scoffing with smug pretentiousness at every film mentioned. He's seen better -- much better -- and you are just too small-minded to "get it."
Sean "bad movie knight" Hanson thinks Under Siege rules while Raging Bull drools. Seriously.
Ian "ProfessorClumsy" Maddison is taller than most cats -- almost noticeably so. In fact, he is so tall that he can reach door-handles without any help and in spite of being from the north of England, he can successfully operate a computer without electrocuting himself.
Joseph "Jay Dub" Wade is a fledgling writer and film scholar who loves typing long, drawn-out sentences just about as much as he loves extolling the virtues of Shaun of the Dead...which happens to be quite a lot.