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Why Did I Watch “Why Did I Get Married, Too”? June 20, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Movies, This Week In Netflix.
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SPOILER ALERT: The below missive will have many spoilers. If you do not wish to know major “plot” points of this movie, discontinue reading.

The “joy” of watching a Tyler Perry movie is knowing that I will not get anything other than a treacly, self-indulgent, badly written and directed two-hour tour de force of misogynistic tripe. So, Perry’s thoroughly unnecessary follow up to 2007’s “Why Did I Get Married?” completely fulfilled me. And by “fulfilled,” I mean “It enraged me to the point of apoplexy.” How his movies haven’t been brought before the Hague on charges of human rights violations is beyond me.

Anyway, so we return to the stupidly sordid world of four self-absorbed bourgeois African American couples and watch as they spout platitude-laden dialogue that could have been written by Oprah Winfrey or Deepak Chopra. This time, the stupid, self-absorbed bourgeois Buppies are jetting off to the Caribbean for their annual marriage retreat. Must be nice to go to the fucking Caribbean for a marriage retreat. Mind you, the first one was pretty fucking disastrous, so nothing says “smart” like doing the same damn thing again, right?


Fig. 1: Yeah, because these retreats are nothing but success!

You’d also think that these fools wouldn’t have much to be all angsty about after the first movie, right? Well, in order for there to be a second movie, Perry has to completely wipe away any character development that occurred in the first one. Angela (Tasha Smith), the Loud, Angry Black Woman has returned—if you remember, she supposedly had calmed the fuck down and had quit drinking. Well, not this time! She’s back, and louder and angrier than before. Her husband Marcus (Michael Jai White) is still cowed by her—the only difference is that now he has a job as an on-air personality (a job that Angela nearly gets him fired from). Gavin (Malik Yoba) and Pat (Janet Jackson) are still the picture-perfectly fucked up couple…and the death of their kid that you thought they had worked through in the first movie is still tearing them up. I guess Gavin wasn’t strong enough for the both of them. Terry (Tyler Perry) and Dianne (Sharon Leal) appear to be the picture of happiness…until we find out that Dianne is “emotionally cheating” on Terry. And finally, we have Sheila (Jill Scott) and Troy (Lamman Rucker), whose marriage is floundering because, at Sheila’s insistence, the couple has moved to Atlanta and Troy can’t find a job. Oh, and Snidely Blacklash (or, Mike, as he’s played by Richard T. Jones) returns, because he has a timeshare in the Caribbean and just happens to be there at the same time as the four buppie couples.

After yet another disastrous bit of sharing during which Pat announces to the group that she and Gavin are getting divorced, everyone abruptly returns to their fucked up lives. I won’t even bother with the tedious details of their stupid storylines, because they can all be summed up thusly: the marriages are all fucked up because these Black women are evil and will do evil shit. Let’s examine this, shall we?

Angela: Loud, obnoxious, abrasive, emasculating. Doesn’t trust “her man.” As of the first movie, she had been “domesticated” so that she had even quit drinking. Now, she’s back on the sauce and is always yelling at Marcus, driving him further and further away. A Good Black Woman would trust her man and not drink, for drinking is the sure sign of an Evil Black Woman.

Sheila: Selfish. Wanted to move to Atlanta, uprooting Troy from his job as a sheriff. His joblessness is all her fault. A Good Black Woman would have let Troy be the Only Black Sheriff in Colorado and not dragged him to the apparently jobless wilderness of Atlanta.

Dianne: Slut. In the first movie, she gets her tubes tied without telling Terry, knowing full well that Terry wanted a boy. Now, she got them untied and the couple has a boy and a girl. Only now, she’s having “an emotional affair” with some dude at work. And because women are more emotional than men, this is worse than having gotten some sweet, sweet lovin’—this wisdom is from the mouth of Terry. What an unbelievable slut. A Good Black Woman would shoot Dianne and then marry Terry and provide him with all the babies he wants.

Patricia: Evil Harpy from Hell. Her emotional disconnect from the death of their cross-eyed kid plus her selfishness leads to her declaring a divorce from Gavin. Further, she tries to hide assets from Gavin, leading to an acrimonious divorce, which ends…in Gavin dying in a fucking car wreck. A Good Black Woman would have taken care to properly strap their cross-eyed kid into the car and would have shared the profits from her book with her deserving husband.

This time around, nobody actually deals with their issues—after Gavin dies, all that happens is Patricia bellowing that everyone should get over their issues. And voila! Everybody does.

What?

Oh, and to add insult to (fatal) injury, a year after Gavin gets pancaked by a rental van, Patricia is introduced to a “wealthy donor”…played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The grin on Patricia’s face was all “Fuck mourning! Helloooooo, Mr. Hottness!”

Y’all, I don’t even.

This Week in Netflix: “Gamer”(2009) February 5, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Movies, This Week In Netflix.
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Verdict: I’d rather play an actual video game.

I have to ask a question: does Gerard Butler enjoy being in shitty movies? I mean, really.

Ok, so I sit down on a lazy Saturday afternoon to watch “Gamer” and about five minutes in, I realize that this is a really shittacular movie. There isn’t much to say about this movie—it is pretty thin on plot. The plot (such as it is) is thus: “sometime in the future,” some jackwagon named Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall) has created a virtual reality game called “Slayers.” In this bit of enlightened gamemaking, “Slayers” is a game in which people can control other people in battles to the death. The people who’ve “volunteered” for this game are death row inmates. The most popular of the “icons” in this game is Kable (Gerard Butler). He is controlled by a seventeen year-old imbecile named Simon (Logan Leman), who has become something of a celebrity, as Kable/Logan has survived 28 rounds. If Kable makes it to 30, he will be released from prison. Of course, Castle doesn’t want Kable to make it to 30. I don’t know why.

Additionally, Kyra Sedgwick is in the movie as a reporter who is hot on the trail about…something. Whatever. All you need to know is that she helps Kable escape the Matrix and reunite with his wife and daughter. Added into this mix is a resistance group called “Humanz” led by, of all people, Ludacris.

Ludacris? That’s ludicrous. Get it? Get it? Aw, you’re no fun.

This movie was directed by the same people who gave us the instant classic, “Crank.” In other words, it’s as hyperactive as that movie and probably just as deep. At 90 minutes long, you won’t have time to try to examine the deeper implications of a society in which people can literally control other people and seemingly have no compunction against pitting people against others in brutal gladiatorial contests. No, there will be no deep thinking in this movie! You will, however, see lots of explosions, bare breasts, and one obscenely obese guy who plays the predecessor to Slayers called “Society” (this movie’s take on the Sims) and controls Kable’s wife.

Eventually, Kable escapes prison and is freed from Simon’s control. Then the movie turns into your standard C-grade action flick. I refuse to call it a science-fiction movie because it’s connection to sci-fi is tenuous at best. This movie could have been about Kable being forced to fight because Castle is blackmailing him or holding his family hostage (which, he does in a way); sure there’s a bit at the end where Castle goes through some scenery chewing about taking over the human race and what-not, but it’s pretty pointless.

All in all, this is a pretty pointless movie. Mindless violence and explosions coupled with Gerard Butler in a role that could easily have been played by a nobody. Frankly, this movie might have been better if it had focused on the kid doing the controlling. By making Simon a vapid rich kid, the story loses a golden opportunity to tell a much richer narrative. However, something tells me that those involved weren’t interested in telling a rich narrative.

This Week In Netflix: “Law Abiding Citizen”(2009) June 7, 2010

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A delightful, well-acted, well-plotted movie that’s fun for the whole family!

While I fairly “enjoyed” this movie (and by enjoyed, I mean I didn’t find it wholly objectionable), I did wonder why this movie had such a schizophrenic tone. This movie seemed to have been written by a committee of people each thinking this was a particular genre movie. Hence, what was produced was a movie that was almost science-fiction, almost action-adventure, and almost a psychological thriller. It was almost all of those things, but yet none of those things.

Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an “engineer” whose wife and daughter are brutally raped and murdered by two criminals. Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) is the hotshot lawyer who makes a deal with Clarence Darby, one of the home invaders that results in the execution of the accomplice. It was actually Darby who raped and then murdered the two, but Rice’s argument was that no one would believe Shelton’s eyewitness testimony…

…whaaa? It is at this initial point that the movie begins to flounder. Sure, Shelton had been hit in the head by the thugs, but, as we the viewer see, he had been awake long enough to see his wife stabbed, raped, and then killed. What jury wouldn’t believe his testimony?

Aaaanyway, Darby pretty much gets off, the accomplice gets executed…and dies horribly. It seems that someone has substituted one of the friendlier execution drugs with something more pernicious. In the meantime, Darby is being chased by the cops and receives a phone call from someone “helping” him—-that someone turns out to be Shelton, and Darby is being helped…right into a trap. Shelton quickly kills Darby.

Now, it’s clear at this point that this is a classic “revenge” movie, like those old Charles Bronson movies, and you’d think that once Shelton killed Darby and the accomplice, that the movie would be over.

Fig. 1: Studio Exec 1 to Studio Exec 2: “Hey! People loved those Death Wish movies, right?”

But you’d be wrong! So very, very wrong! You see, Mr. Clyde Shelton has now morphed into a weird combination of Batman, the Punisher, and a whacked-out Jedi/Ninja Assassin. Now, he’s going around killing EVERYONE who had ANYTHING to do with his case. Because Philadelphia is so unbelievably small, he winds up in front of the SAME JUDGE who tried his wife and child’s killers.

Fig. 2: The judge died because her cell phone was rigged to blow her head off when she answered it. Like I said, fun for the whole family!

But wait, there’s more! Not content to kill the killers, not content to blow the brains out of the presiding judge, he (of course) sets his sights on Nick Price and His Lovely Family. You see, in a not-at-all subtle move on the part of the writers, Nick also has a loving wife and daughter! The thing is, they’re never really put in any kind of danger. The worst thing that happens to them is the daughter watching a DVD of Shelton killing Darby—-yeah, that’s pretty fucked up, but since they never present any kind of repercussions of her seeing the DVD, I have to assume that after she had her crying scene, she just wrote it off and went back to being a precocious violinist. Besides, you didn’t rent this DVD to see Unknown Actress and Unknown Child Actor playing second fiddle to Oscar-winning star Jamie Foxx, did you? No, you rented this movie to see this:

And perhaps this:

Can someone tell me why Oscar-winning actors and actresses usually follow their Big Win up with less-than-stellar choices?

Anyway, blah, blah, blah, after Nick and Chief O’Brien from Deep Space Nine do some sleuthing around, they find that Batman has been tunneling out of his solitary confinement cell (so THAT’S why he killed his cell mate with a steak bone!) into his well-equipped lair. Seriously, this dude has more shit than Batman and James Bond combined. He somehow got ahold of a guided rocket launcher. And bombs. Lots and lots of bombs. This dude LOVES bombs. He’d probably fight for a constitutional amendment allowing him to marry his bombs if he wasn’t so preoccupied using them on people who really had fuck-all to do with his wife and kid getting killed. Hey, at least he’s task-oriented!

So the climactic confrontation between Ray Charles and THIS! IS! SPARTA!! is…pretty anticlimactic. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a movie that seems like it was thrown together twenty minutes before a meeting with drunk or coked-up studio executives. Happy endings for everyone! Everyone whose last name is Price, anyway. Everyone else?