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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.

Stranger Than Fiction

Released: 11/10/06

Viewed: 7:35 pm 11/10/06

Starring: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah

Directed by: Marc Forster

Sony Pictures - Official Site of the Movie

Stranger Than Fiction goes to extreme lengths to tell you a very simple message. The journey is intelligent, sweet, and entertaining but one of the more complicated paths taken to say, “Life is important, don’t waste it”. If the film weren’t so deliciously well cast and the editing weren’t so crisp and clever, I might’ve been angry at how long it took to get to such an evident conclusion. But when someone tells you something in such a way, even if it’s something you already knew, it’s hard not to be grateful for the trip.

Harold Crick is the star of Kay Eiffel’s new book. He also happens to be a real person. In his tangible form, Crick is played by Will Ferrell who has won us over as an outrageous extravert in films like Anchorman and Talladega Nights, but for the first time will touch your heart playing a careful and soft-spoken introvert.

Harold’s life is very precise. He count’s brush strokes, he can do complex math in his head, and his apartment is bare except for the essentials. As an IRS agent, his working environment offers even less stimulation to make him a character worthy of his own novel. But he has his routine, and to someone that’s remarkable, so it must be going somewhere.

When the fictional book and the actual person collide, Harold begins to hear the narration of his life as his living it. Eiffel’s voice, a forceful, well-educated woman’s (Emma Thompson), hauntingly reminds Harold of everything he’s just done. Annoying but something Harold does his best to ignore until the voice announces his “imminent death.”

There are worse voices you could hear in your head than Emma Thompson. Even though she was reading a script I’ve always gotten the impression that she was as intelligent and witty as her character is made out to be. Plus she has the British accent so even if you’re not doing anything terribly exciting, at least there’s some culture to it. Her vocal performance is so important to making this entire scenario work and she delivers stronger than I could have imagined. She even impressed me with the scenes her character is actually seen in. Very dry in her comedy like few seasoned professionals are capable of, with great care and attention taken to the finer points of the character. Notice how even in the pouring rain she takes care when putting out her cigarette. If someone has to narrate your life and James Earl Jones is out of your price range, you could do a lot worse than Thompson. If someone told me I was going to die, she’s as good as any I suppose.

A voice in your head is one thing, but a voice that’s telling you you’re going to die is something to get proactive about. Enter Dustin Hoffman, a literary professor that helps guide Harold towards figuring out if the story being told about him is something worth worry about. Hoffman is very understated and quiet in the role, but ends up with some of the funniest dialogue of the entire film. I’ve never appreciated his comedic ability in the past but in Stranger, he takes what he’s given and steals his scenes.

This set up leads to numerous comical situations and not as many serious ones as early reviews have implied. The movie may have trouble finding an audience if it’s misrepresented too much, and I believe it is. There is tension and drama, but the overall tone is much more lighthearted than you’ve been lead to believe. It’s hard to stay completely funny with the subjects of love and death are buzzing around, but while I did feel the tension of Harold’s “imminent death”, I also felt free and easy enough to enjoy what was left of his life playing out.

And that’s the message. Enjoy life. If you live with structure and routine, you’ll always be on time for the bus, but you’ll never learn how to play the guitar. You’ll never appreciate a fresh batch of cookies or the love of a woman you might never have considered.

I often wish I had more structure in my life. Something to keep me on track and keep me productive, but if getting more done meant losing the good things I have then I would gladly miss the train every other day.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Stranger Than Fiction is really smart, and a lot of fun with a strong message. It’s one of those messages you already know but the telling of the tale is original and witty enough to make up for the unnecessary life lesson.

I feel like not mentioning Maggie Gyllenhaal and Queen Latifah was be a horrible oversight. I’ve always liked Gyllenhaal in the past but I felt like with Stranger, I saw her for the first time the way all my repressed friends see her. For the first time I saw the appeal and would actually describe her as fetching. Latifah, isn’t really my type, but she was great too. I love the way her career is blossoming and even though she’s not given much to do here, it was still a great movie for her to be attached to. Plus the fact that she held her own with Thompson just shows how good she can be.

DVD Worthy?:

I’m not sure. Half way through it I would have said no but the ending had me second-guessing its DVD possibilities. What I’m worried about is that I’ve been charmed by the clever finale and I’m somehow equating that to the film being better than it actually is. It’s great, but I’m not sure I need a copy, ready to watch at any second, as a reminder of how great it is.

Trailer Hitch: We Are Marshall

There’s been some nice early buzz on We Are Marshal, the true-life story about a championship level college football team killed in a plane crash. The assistant coach (Matthew Fox) and few players that weren’t on board, with the help of a new head coach (Matthew McConaughey) set out to rebuild the team and honor the memory of the fallen players.

It’s a beautiful, inspirational story, but one that’s possibly been told one too many times lately. I almost want to believe that there can be football with out a life lesson, but you have to go all the way back to 2005’s The Longest Yard to see some mindless gridiron action without a loaded back-story. But if anyone can make it work it’s McConaughey and Fox, the Double Matthews!

I’m actually excited to see Fox’s transition to the big screen. It’s an interesting first choice when I’m sure he was being tossed a ton of scripts after the success of LOST. And in all seriousness I actually got goose bumps when watching the trailer for this movie so either it’s the real deal or I’m an easily influenced emotional sap. Probably a little of both.

Outside the Theater: The big movie news right now has little to do with what’s out in theaters and a lot to do with stuff that won’t be in theaters for months. How many times have you watched the Spiderman 3 trailer?

People in general tend to get more excited about movie trailers than they do the actual movie. How many of you went to go see Meet Joe Black because it was the first movie to show the trailer for Star Wars: Episode I? How many of you sat through the obscenely long Brad Pitt tearjerker for the chance to see it again when the movie ended? People love expectation and there’s nothing wrong with getting excited for a great movie, but it becomes a problem when no movie could meet those expectations. I actually have a lot of faith in Spiderman 3 though as the effects look insanely cool, and director Sam Raimi has been nothing but respectful to the series.

The Spiderman 3 trailer is on line now but will run in theaters first before Casino Royale this coming Friday. It’s a safe bet that I’ll talk a little more about it then but in the meanwhile – How badass does the Sandman look?

The other sneak peek worth mentioning is the one for The Simpsons Movie, which aired on Fox about 10 minutes before me writing this. It was nice, funny, a teaser in every sense of the word in that it gave away virtually no plot information. All it did really was confirm that Homer is in the movie and that even on the glory of the silver screen he’s still a colossal moron. I’m looking forward to The Simpsons movie, but they’ve jumped so many sharks in the series over the past 17 years that I can’t even begin to imagine where they’re going to take it. As long as there aren’t too many spontaneous musical numbers – I’ll be fine.

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

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

pimptour
@pimptour
@geekboypress Let me know what booth you're at and I'll swing by!
07 Aug 2022
Kevin Gleason
@retail_rage
@joedunn721 Unbelievable how many steps back we are taking.
23 Jul 2022