The Devil`s Million Dollar Crashers

Saw a few movies this weekend. None of them were quite what I expected, but none of them really warrant a full heckle, so I`m gonna give `em a casual, part-time, Cary-kids-working-at-Moe’s-Burrito heckle.


The Devil’s Rejects

Ohhh, Devil’s Rejects. I didn’t see House of 1000 Corpses or whatever, but this was getting pretty good reviews (“`Terminator` of horror movies” might have come up) so I went for it. Hrm. Not scary. If I wanted to see bad crap happening to people without at least getting a good scare, I`d go visit my family OMG so funny!!!1 It’s weird how the cheap thrill of a scare justifies the bad crap. Otherwise, it’s like, here are some nice people getting tortured, and you should enjoy that for its own sake. Ew.

Other beefs.

  • Check out the Firefly family dental plan: Women? $6,000 in orthodontia and caps. Men? Mary Jane candy after every meal.
  • Firefly family hair plan: see above.
  • Baby, the hot daughter played by Sheri Moon Zombie, starts out as a knife-slinging badass, and then spends the last act as a stock 70’s run-and-screamer. Is this a statement that cowardice is the heart of violence? No.
  • Why would you cast Matthew McGrory in your movie and not let him speak? That’s like casting Kristin Kreuk and not letting her do the sexy smile.

    Bow before my sexy smile

  • You know what this movie needed? “Freebird.” In its entirety*. Accompanying blurry slow-motion extreme-close-ups in the vague real ending when the movie’s already ended twice. Oh, wait. Check.

*Okay, that’s an exaggeration. No one could play that much “Freebird.”

The Wedding Crashers

Ahh. There is something about going to a wedding that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy — especially when the production can drop a million a pop on them for set decoration, tailored costumes, hot bridesmaids and super-moussed, infallible ringlets like Alanis had in that video where she runs around town in a jumpsuit kissing people. No, wait — it’s not weddings conceptually that are so warm and fuzzy — it’s *being a guest* at one. Ah yes. Going to a big, ritualized party in your own clothes, with no worries about how much it cost or who among the caterer, baker, florist or DJ you necessarily have to deal with at the last minute is going to utterly pown you.

I will be too drunk to appreciate all this in five… four…

Of course, the weddings are beside the point in this movie — otherwise I would have nervous hives at how the bridesmaids and bride get to walk normally down the aisle in a procession rather than the step-together step-together walk of solo shame. Or that there’s a big stack of gifts at the reception OMG not cool!!!1one!

The point is Owen Wilson looking winningly hangdog and Vince Vaughn talking at 80 mph. When they’re together, they’ve got some great moments (Vaughn’s Jeremy eating breakfast apart; Jeremy confronting Wilson’s John about his downward spiral). But the pacing seems weird, like ten funny-ass, semi-improvised takes with individual rhythms were stitched together into a bumpy scene, which is probably the case. Like, Vaughn`ll rant for a long time, which is funny, and there`ll be a couple of winningly hangdog reaction shots from Wilson, which is funny, but then it’s time to move on so they abruptly resolve what they’re arguing about, and let’s shuffle in some distracting, unfunny inserts like Vaughn loading up his plate a-a-a-and CUT.

Yay, compulsive eating!

Then Vaughn says something that’s not words — like he goes “Graaa” or “Urf” — and that is some of my favorite stuff. People say stuff that’s not words all the time, but you can’t script that, doesn’t quite fly at the ol` table read. You just need an actor that can do it. I laughed a lot at that.

The sneaky thing about this movie is that even when the comedy’s not poppin`, the narrative keeps grooving along nicely. Whedonically, as soon as you get tired of a situation, it changes. Tapped the comedy of crashing weddings? Let’s cruise into the plot. Bored with Vaughn’s Stage 5 Clinger, Isla Fisher? Let’s change it up. Need a fresh perspective on Wilson’s plight? Here it is.

I will give you a dollar if you never say “Whedonically” again

Other notes:

  • Rachel McAdams is the grand high master of smart-warm-funny. She is all kinds of sympathetic, and helps surmount the romantic comedy obstacle of “if she’s so great, what’s she doing with this mook she`ll inevitably dump for our hero?” with a single scanty moment standing in a bathroom doorway. Good on the writing, too, for slo-o-owly building up the mook’s mookitude, and planting some reasons why they’re together in the first place. And then there’s another moment where she’s picking out flowers with Christopher Walken, as her dad, and she’s got so much warm and vulnerable working it makes *Christopher Walken* warm and vulnerable. RAWK!
  • It’s not the R comedy I thought it would be. There’s some strong language (OK) and some boobs (OMG so scary!; but only one situation that’s really R: the under-the-table hand service, which is funny, but OMG the bitter wacky irony would have been funnier if it weren’t interrupted with inserts of the actual hand service, thus no longer warranting an R! Discuss.
  • There’s some smoothing of the archetypes that makes them more realistic — granny is a mean old snake, dad is equal parts protective and oblivious, creepy son speaks in his own defense, boozy mom disappears after her Mrs. Robinson, manservant (played by movie’s only black actor — surprise!) is neither totally sassy nor totally subserviant. But…

    It’s cool, I`m used to it

  • …the mook boyfriend (Bradley Cooper) is still OMG so bad! His badness leads to my romantic comedy pet peeve: the stars have their lo-o-o-ong showdown in front of a hundred people, and everyone waits politely for them to get through it, and no one’s like, “hey, could we do this in private?” Plus it ends in fisticuffs. Satisfying but silly.
  • Speaking of things not quite clicking: Gloria can either be crazy stalkerina, or have an advanced super-game that outgames Jeremy, but she can’t be both. Because the stalkerina version definitely isn’t reeling him in. I wanted to see more of a super-game Gloria. I dunno. I wouldn’t care, but it’s sort of important to the plot.
  • I think I laughed out loud more at Fantastic Four. Why people be hating on Fantastic Four?

    Gives me a cute little vein in my forehead just thinking about it

Million Dollar Baby

NOT the movie I thought it would be. If you are looking for a feel-good to light-catharsis, beer on a Sunday night movie, THIS IS NOT IT. Rent Cinderella Man.

That is all.

*snif*… Mo Cuishle… BAWWWWL


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    c`est un trop trop bon film il est vrement genial… un tr�s bon film a pas manquer

  2. Tory says:

    OMG I *did* like Million Dollar Baby! It`s just when I think of certain parts even now I get a little spiky sensation in my nose. And now I`m craving lemon meringue pie, too. Mmm. Pie.

  3. Shestumbledin says:

    So you didn`t like Million Dollar Baby?! I`m still craving lemon meringue pie.

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