Directed by: Christopher Livingston
Starring: Brian Drolet, Hoyt Richards, Taylor Cole
Well, it’s almost the end of November, and you know what that means! It’s time for me to try hastily to watch a few movies made this year so I can seem even the slightest bit relevant! It’s just so hard to want to watch new movies when you get shit like Dumbbells as the status quo. I don’t want to sound old, but everything new is bad and the neighbor kids won’t stop smoking the dope on my lawn.
A once-promising basketball star ends up working at a gym after an injury that ends his career before it begins. When the failing gym is taken over by “the world’s first male supermodel”, the two get to know each other and become good friends who try to save the business together. Also, by complete coincidence, the actors who play those lead roles are also the writers and producers of the film. Anyway, there’s some stuff about a cult led by Urkel and Fabio is there… oh, and this is one of the most misogynist movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t think there’s a single instance where they could have called women “bitches” and they didn’t do it excitedly, laughing as they splash wiggling butts and boobs all over the place in a vain attempt to make the film even the least bit watchable.
The main characters in Dumbbells are the biggest pair of Mary Sues you could come up with. They’re both amazingly attractive and smart and athletic and they get the girls and make millions by the end of the movie, etc etc. The film just feels like an excuse for these two douchebags to fulfill their sad little fantasies of being constantly surrounded by hot half-naked cheerleaders. The plot is as fragile as it is predictable and every character has exactly one personality trait. And here’s a fun fact: the trait of every woman in the movie is “sexy”. The cast lists FORTY-FIVE female characters who’s names are some slight modification off of “Hot Girl” or “Sexy Girl”, not to mention the half dozen or so which have names in the credits but were never mentioned int he film. It’s fucking disgusting.
The only other thing I want to mention about this movie before I finish writing this and hopefully never think of it again is the plethora of guest stars who pop in for a scene, tell no jokes, and leave. Fabio is a fairly major part of the plot, but you’ve also got Jaleel White, Tom Arnold, Jay Mohr, and Carl Reiner, for fuck’s sake. Carl Reiner?! How could he not have known better than to appear in someone’s complicated masturbatory fantasy? He’s 92, for fuck’s sake. If Dumbbells is the last thing he’s in, it’ll be a serious disservice to an actual comedian’s career.
Directed by: Paco Cabezas
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rachel Nichols, Max Ryan
Remember that movie Taken with Liam Neeson where his daughter gets taken and he has to go save her? Well, WHAT IF! You had that exact same movie only it was Nicolas Cage instead of Neeson and there was a lot of pointless torture sequences? Good thing Rage exists so you don’t have to tax your imagination coming up with that far-fetched scenario!
Cage is an ex-con who’s teenage daughter gets killed and he suspect an old rival gang of taking her out in revenge for an old hit. He gathers his old gang buddies, who are all super amazing commandos for some reason, and they single-handedly take out the evil gang which, as it turns out, had absolutely nothing to do with his daughter. She was killed on accident because she and her teen friends were playing with a gun they found in a scene taken straight out of an after-school special. Joke’s on Cage and all those people he murdered, I guess!
Nicolas Cage is one of those guys like William Shatner who’s just become a parody of himself because that’s how the public perceives them. The result is that he just gets worse and more skull-poppingly insane with every new movie that comes out. We can only hope that he pops a vein in his neck and is put on permanent hiatus from screaming in front of a camera sometime soon or we’re going to have to deal with a 70 year old Cage frothing in rage over a dog crapping on his yard in some Gran Turino ripoff down the line. I don’t want that. I don’t.
Red Riding Hood XXX (2010)
Directed by: Ashlynn Brooke
Starring: Lexi Belle, James Franko, Danny Mountain
Red Riding Hood is such an old fairy tale, and one we all hear when we’re kids, it’s not surprising at all that there are a million porn versions of it out there. I think this one is specifically “parodying” a more recent film version of the story, but I haven’t seen it. Still, it’s very obvious to see how the situation of an innocent young girl being prayed on by an evil older man with questionable motives can be sexualized. And yet they still fucked it up big time.
You know the story of Red Riding Hood, right? Well, this is the same thing, except the “big, bad wolf” is played by some loser in a black wifebeater and really terrible fake sideburns that keep almost falling off. I know you don’t expect good production values from porn, and I am quite thankful they decided on that over a dude in a fursuit or something horrifying like that, but… come on.
When I sat down to watch a Red Riding Hood porn parody, I told myself the one and only criteria it would need to meet would be if it included the line, “My, what a big cock you have!” and this movie did not. So I give this movie an F-.
Degenerate Art (2012)
Directed by: M. Slinger
My mom’s been interested in glass blowing ever since I can remember. Of course, every time she made me sit and watch some guy make a piece, I was a little kid and the person was just making some cutesy little snowman or some shit like that, and I could not possibly have been more interested. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I never really thought of a glass pipe as being anything other than a tool, and definitely not an art form of any sort. Well, I was wrong.
Degenerate Art is a documentary about the underground world of glass pipe-making. Sure, the things are used for smoking weed, but drugs have nothing to do with it. It’s a movement of young men and women taking a new medium and finding out what they can do with it, and that’s just awesome. I could talk all day about how cool it is that people are still finding new ways to create art. I only with this doc had done the same.
Basically what it comes down to is that this is just a poorly-made documentary, and it’s a damn shame. It was definitely able to pique my curiosity about the art form, but it completely failed to answer every single question I had about it. For instance, it seems like an obvious step to start your documentary about glass blowing by telling your audience even the vaguest idea of how glass blowing works before launching into the self-congratulating fellatio of the artists involved, but nope. The director was clearly involved in the movement, and does a very bad job at explaining any background to people who don’t know anything about it. And I really WANTED to know more about it. I understand that it’s a little tricky, just because these people ARE making drug paraphinalia and it’s kinda sorta illegal-ish? But it just feels like if you made a documentary about programming in the 60’s and you completely failed to mention what a computer is or does. I really wanted to like this movie more than I did, which is the most disappointing feeling to have coming out of a documentary. Maybe in a couple years after weed is legalized we can get a real filmmaker to take a crack at the subject material.
3 Days to Kill (2014)
Directed by: McG
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen
Apparently this movie was directed by famous Scottish rapper MC G, well known for his other smash hits like Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and the music video for The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy). Not sure how he convinced Costner to be in a movie he didn’t also direct and produce and write and gaff, but he really shouldn’t have bothered.
Kevin Costner, 59 years old, is the most amazing super spy James Bond style guy ever. Unfortunately, he also has cancer, and only three months left to live. He decides to reunite with his estranged family after being kicked out of the CIA. His teenage daughter wants nothing to do with him, and to make things even more awkward, a hot young goth girl hires him to kill an albino in return for giving him an experimental cure (for cancer! That you just inject into your blood like, four times!), all the while disgustingly trying to get into his haggard cowboy pants. Will Costner reconnect with his daughter (his wife is estranged too, but he doesn’t seem to care)? Will he find and kill the bad guy and a hundred other vaguely connected people while asking them for relationship advice? Will he find time for naps in between shootouts? The answer to all these questions and more, is yes.
It’s kinda like they took two completely different movies together. There’s the actiony Jason Statham style secret agent fighting terrorists bit, then he turns right around and it’s a soulful family film about a deadbeat dad trying to make his teen daughter like him. AND BOTH OF THEM ARE DONE POORLY. Old Kevin Costner is not the guy to star in your shoot-em-up action movie, first off, and if you’re going to do the tired cliche of a dad with a past trying to make his estranged daughter like him, for the love of god do something, ANYTHING different with the tired premise. At least it’s only about two hours long, when I saw the words “Kevin Costner” I bundled up for the winter, expecting it to be 3 or 5 hours at least.