Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.
Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.
With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.
Viewed: 7:45 pm 09/10/06
Starring: Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, Bob Hoskins, Robin Tunney
Directed by: Allen Coulter
Lions Gate Films Official Site of the Movie
About The Comic:
Hollywoodland left theaters about a month ago but this comic, that I finished back then, begged to see the light of day not because of the Superman joke (which would have been a lot funnier itself if it were a month younger), but more because of the young lady front and center. That’s Becky, my favorite employee of Multiplex 10, the fictional movie theater portrayed in the comic Multiplex. The reason her appearance in the strip is so significant is that today a guest comic I did is kicking of Multiplex’s first guest week ever! Such a great group of characters, you should head on over and get to know them.
George Reeves won our hearts as Superman, in a children’s TV show that leapt a few buildings of its own, becoming one of the highest rated programs of its time. By today’s standards Superman was pulling in numbers on par with American Idol. Hollywoodland takes a look at the burden of being Superman and the mystery that surrounded Reeves’ untimely death. If this were the only thing going on in Hollywood back then we might have a complete movie here, but get ready to fill in your own blanks.
A week after Hollywoodland came out, Brian DePalma’s new film, The Black Dahlia hit theaters. Dahlia covered a lot of the same territory. Both films featured real crimes, both unsolved, from the same time period, and in the same town. The difference between the two is that Dahlia ventures a guess at what really happened. Sort of like Alan Moore’s From Hell, a movie about Jack the Ripper that, based on evidence, attempts to fill in some of the blanks and name a guilty party to England’s most notorious serial killer. Are the guesses in either film correct? It doesn’t matter, it’s artistic license to put together a complete and compelling story. And they do.
Hollywoodland takes some guesses of its own but leaves the ultimate decision up to the audience. Scenarios are played out through the eyes of Detective Simo ( Adrien Brody) where we see a few different ways the murder could have played out. But even he can’t decide between home accident, jilted lovers revenge, or the good old fashion wrath of the movie industry. The fact that the film leaves it open ended honestly bothered me a little. I don’t need to be spoon-fed an ending but a mystery thriller is a lot less thrilling when the mystery goes unanswered.
The crime solving is part of two sides of this movie that apart felt incomplete and together felt as natural as fitting a square peg into another square peg. In the first half the momentum is with Brody as the case of Reeves’ death builds up. Once it becomes clear that no solid answers will be given the mystery looses its steam and Brody’s character gets lost in an avalanche of personal problems. Before he finishes his sloshed and drunken attempt to pick his kid up from school, you’ll be completely disinterested not only in his efforts, but in him as well.
The second side of the film dealt with flashbacks into the life of George Reeves. For me this end started off slow and I didn’t really get excited about it until he turns up as Superman. I couldn’t say if that’s the fanboy in me talking but I became much more interested in the character once his struggle was defined. And playing Superman was certainly a struggle.
The big story of George Reeves’ life is that he was typecast into that role as the man of steel. He was Superman forever, and among all the romance and drama, and murder that Hollywoodland delivers, this single point is the clearest made in the whole film. Credit to Ben Affleck who is more than familiar with having a public persona that’s hard to ignore, and can relate to that kind of Hollywood stereotyping. People are touting this as a comeback performance and to that I would say – he’s good. Very good. As good as he’s ever been, but how far is the character from the man? How much of this is acting and how much is just Affleck, and does that even matter? Give him the nod, but don’t etch anything in gold just yet. It’s only November.
The acting was strong for the most part but I think they completely missed the boat with Bob Hoskins who played the husband of Reeves’ mistress, Eddie Mannix. Mannix was an infamous player in the business of Hollywood at MGM studios. He was the kind of guy behind the scenes that would make sure things got done even if he had to get his hands dirty to do it. Think Suge Knight hanging Vanilla Ice out of a window style of enforcement, except classier and with an accent. He’s fine in the part but they don’t use him for what he’s worth. From the incredible explosion of evil he output in last years underground fighting film Unleashed, we know Hoskins can get mean. He’s the kind of guy that can make you piss your pants by the way he offers you a cup of tea. This mean streak is hinted at as Mannix mildly threatens a young actor that gets caught in an “indecent” encounter, but it’s never fully explored and is passed over in favor of more weepy romanticism and Brody brooding.
The behind the scenes aspect of this early era of Hollywood was something I was looking forward to but missed out on. I would have loved a better look at how scandals were dealt with in those days in comparison to modern times where we have a dozen entertainment shows constantly talking about who’s divorcing who, and who might be pregnant with what, and what third-world baby is getting adopted by what third-rate star. All of that nonsense was kept under wraps in the 50’s by men like Mannix, presumably in a very violent manner. I’d love to see a movie about that.
But that’s not what Hollywoodland is about. It’s a romantic mystery about passion and truth. Much more complex than I was able to hint at here. The emotion between Affleck and Lane is very true, Brody’s pursuit for the truth among a sea of people opposing him is inspired, and Reeves’ attempt to make something of himself other than a superhero was both crushing and heartwarming. Perhaps it was just too much to cover because as a Reeves biopic, as a Hollywood period piece, as a murder mystery, and as an epic romance, Hollywoodland has strength but is completely incomplete.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10
A nice story but to insignificant of an ending for the long ride it takes you on. The performances make the journey doable, but how often do solid performances yield a film that’s only “doable”?
Not for me. Some Super-enthusiast might appreciate the history of the characters first major star, but not if they want to see the whole love hate relationship he had with it. I’m not chomping at the bit to see it again, but when the next Singer Superman films comes out I might get nostalgic enough to update my Netflix account.
Outside the Theater:
Not too much to say today. I’m keeping busy with a bunch of side projects and trying to gear up for the big movie weekend. Borat, Flushed Away, and even The Santa Clause 3 all look interesting to me and believe me - I’m totally pissed about wanting to see The Santa Claus 3. I never thought I’d be interested in something like that, but God help me… it’s a good idea! The time traveling subplot to steal the throne of Santa will bring the science nerds and the fantasy freaks together as one! Martin Short is a comedy land mine that could go off at any second and ruin the whole experience, but the basics of the story are too good to ignore. Dollars to doughnuts it falls apart 30 minutes in, but you never know.
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Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - The Introduction
Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.
First Appearance - Fever Pitch
Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.
First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.
First Appearance - V for Vendetta
Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison
Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.
First Appearance - 300
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe
Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.
First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side
Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet
Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.
First Appearance - Four Brothers
Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.
First Appearance - Ultraviolet
Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.
First Appearance - The Producers
Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!
Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?
First Appearance - Saw IV
Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V