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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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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.

The Holiday

Released: 12/22/06

Viewed: 11:50 pm 12/21/06

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns

Directed by: Nancy Meyers

Sony Pictures - Official Site of the Movie

The Holiday is based on the idea of a “Home Exchange”, a situation where two people from two different parts of the world vacation in each other’s houses. You get the house, the car and, according to this movie, you get to fool around with anyone that happens to stop by looking for whoever normally lives there. Apparently home exchanges are pretty popular but I can’t understand how anyone would be comfortable in that situation. I don’t like my wife poking around my side of the bed much less a stranger poking around my entire house. I guess I have trust issues. Plus the levels on my stereo are set exactly right. Don’t touch the levels.

We first fell in love with Cameron Diaz in There’s Something About Mary (to a lesser extent The Mask, but she was really just a hot girl in that movie. Her personality really broke out for the first time under the guidance of the Farrelly Brothers in Mary), and for all intents and purposes she’s been playing a “Mary” ever since. The one exception being Being John Malkovich, a film she was brilliant in, and one that hinted at a potential career of diversity. But she returned to “Mary”. I don’t mind. She’s good at it. And she’s funny, and beautiful, so why shouldn’t she play the dream girl time and time again?

Naturally there are variations on the character. Action Mary, business Mary, period/hooker Mary, Ogre Mary, but each Mary is still confident and desirable like the head cheerleader that would actually talk to you. What’s nice is that the character is aging with Diaz and she’s starting to play her differently in more sophisticated stories. I think 2005’s In Her Shoes is a perfect example of how talented Diaz can be, even playing the same character type. It’s a very well done romantic comedy that’s worth checking out.

The Holiday puts “work-a-holic Mary” in another grown-up story that offers the character more to do beyond standing there and looking good. As Amanda, a stressed out movie trailer maker on vacation in London, Diaz is as exquisite and natural as ever. When a romance with her house swapper’s brother Graham (Jude Law) suddenly happens, the only people surprised are the characters in the movie. Come on, people this good looking just gravitate toward each other. Hell, if you put a wig and some lip gloss on Law he could practically be a Mary himself. “Pre-op Mary”.

I believe the sudden and intense relationship between Amanda and Graham, but had problems with how perfect Graham is. He’s rich, ridiculously good looking, and charming, even when sloshed out of his mind. Even when a huge roadblock to their budding relationship is introduced (sorry, no spoilers) he still wiggles out of the sticky situation in a most convincing prince charming way. It was too good to be true. The only way it would have been more like a fairy tale is if he actually lived in a castle. But that’s London. I was much more a fan of the Brits adventures in sunny California.

Unlike Diaz, Kate Winslet is only just getting her feet wet in the romantic comedy field with The Holiday. Romance is the easy part from the woman that was nominated for an Oscar four times in four very different romantic performances (Sense and Sensibility, Iris, Titanic and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). To help out in the comedy department she’s paired up with Jack Black. A combination as unlikely as Black actually being in a serious romantic comedy, but if I can get a beautiful woman, anyone can.

Winslet, with or without Black, is very funny, and you instantly root for her as Iris, a heartbroken woman desperate to escape a bad relationship and find her self. I really like Winslet a lot and it’s nice to see her do something as accessibly fluffy as The Holiday in the same year as something as serious and stern as Little Children. She’s one of the best actresses working right now and people are going to figure that out sooner or later, even if she has to do a couple more of these predictable crowd pleasers.

I bought her relationship with Black’s character Miles because it was born from a friendship. Had it been a case of sudden and sure promiscuity with an American stranger, there would have been some serious eye-rolling going on in that theater, I tell ya. It was interesting to see Black in this role, especially only two months after its polar opposite The Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, and he certainly holds his own. He’s personable and funny in a kind and self-deprecating sort of way. Though, as a film composer, he draws on some of his comfort humor. Black uses some of the same musical tricks that were used in School of Rock as well as the Tenacious D movie. It’s his style, and I don’t hate it, but I was really hoping for something new. It just felt like the same old thing tested out on an older crowd.

Even with the relationships well intact, the things I find most appealing about The Holiday are the plot devices that set the stage. Diaz makes movie trailers and throughout the movie imagines herself in different trailers depicting her life. These were hysterical and unexpected vignettes that I welcomed every time. Incidentally, a mock trailer for a movie starring Lindsay Lohan and James Franco is shown in the beginning of the film, and it’s supposed to be a stereotypical Hollywood blockbuster movie preview. The sad thing is it looks better than anything either actor has done in years. Besides the Spiderman movies Franco was involved with. I like them both and found myself wishing this mock trailer would actually see the light of day. Ah well. (Recommended Lohan - Mean Girls. Recommended Franco - Freaks and Geeks(TV))

On Winslet’s side of the story we’re treated to a look at old Hollywood. Iris meets and befriends a retired screenwriter who tells her about the golden days of the movie business and recommends classic movies for her to devour on her vacation. His inclusion in the film leads to fantastic conversations about how the industry is falling apart and how the stories and characters worked back then. He says to Isis, “In a movie you have a leading lady and a best friend. You’ve been living your life like the best friend, but the moment I saw you I knew you were a leading lady.” The sentimental in me loves to see a sweet old man trying to brighten the spirit of a woman that’s been beaten by life. The cynic in me says, if this guy were 20 years younger, that would be “a line”. It’s a very sweet relationship though and a nice unexpected surprise.

The Holiday is a pretty good movie for what it is. I have too few years and too much testosterone to be the target viewer but, as far as romantic comedies go, I’ve suffered through worse. I would never in good conscious switch houses with any of these people. As charming as Isis’ cottage was, and as redonkulously large as Amanda’s DVD collection was (honestly, who owns Gili?) I just don’t want people messing up my stuff. And while I’d never make the switch with them, it was (and it shocks me to say this) nice to visit for a couple of hours.

Rating: 7 out of 10 - Light and fun with some conversation worth listening to. It wraps up a little too clean though. Granted, it takes place over the course of a couple of weeks leaving very little room for the magic to fade, but a little reality can often make a movie that much better. But we’ll let this one slip. It’s Christmas after all!

I like a romantic comedy as much as the next guy, I even like bad ones that lay it on thick and end in a way that’s so happy even Ned Flanders would call it corny, but The Holiday might be just a touch too far out of my age range to enjoy regularly. A lot of the humor is targeted right at… well for lack of a better target… my mother. And you mother and your friend’s mother and probably your mother’s mother. And since when is anything your mother liked cool?

I admit that the themes of love are ageless and the situational set-up is fun and different, but not so different that I can’t wait for this movie to pop up on TV in a year.

Featuring: Roadhouse - I’m just going to recommend Roadhouse, because I’m willing to bet the majority of the people reading this will never watch The Holiday let alone a movie that reminds me of The Holiday. Plus, Roadhouse is pretty sweet. I don’t know if you know, but Patrick Swayze rips some dudes throat out.

House swapping, premarital sex, British accents… It’s just one sin after another with The Holiday. Transformers can’t experience what you humans call “emotion” but if I could feel what you feel I believe the “emotion” I would get form The Holiday would best be described as vomiting.

That Kate Winslet sure is a looker though. 1 Halo up.

Featuring: Premonition - Sandra Bullock is back and after wowing critics with her award winning performance in this falls Infamous she’s dipping back into the well that gave her box office success this past spring with The Lake House. That’s right folks. – Sci-Fi romance!

Actually, Premonition appears to be more of a thriller but two decent looking sci-fi films in one year is certainly worth pointing out. Premonition has Bullock living the days of the week, of her husband’s death, out of order. He dies on Wednesday, she wakes up on Tuesday and he’s alive in the shower. A really neat idea that builds tension quickly as the days begin to overlap.

The trailer unfortunately gives a touch too much away, but I like the premise enough to explore it further. Plus if Bullock has another hit with Premonition, it’ll be no time before she’s exclusively sci-fi. Well, maybe not.

Happy Holidays everybody! I hope you’re all enjoying the season. Yeo and I celebrated our first Christmas as man and wife by going to the movies (Uh-Duh) and painting our bedroom. Not very exciting, but it’s been such a crazy year with the wedding and all, we were happy to keep it low key. I saw this weekend Night At the Museum which I reviewed on Friday, and The Good Shepard, which I haven’t tackled yet. We wanted to see Dreamgirls but that sucker sold out fast. We’re hoping to catch it tomorrow when the crowds are gone. I was also planning to see a late showing of Black Christmas, but that wasn’t even playing at my local theater. I had the comic all set to go, but it’ll have to wait for midweek I guess. For anyone that would like to check out the comic I’ll post it in the members section of the Digital pimp board.

That’s it for now. See you soon!

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

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