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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.

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Wild Hogs

Starring: John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, John C. McGinley, Jill Hennessy, Tichina Arnold, M. C. Gainey, Kevin Durand

Directed by: Walt Becker

Touchstone Pictures - Official Site of the Movie

Discuss this movie on the boards! Plus two extra paragraphs that were edited out of the review!

In the mid 90’s the devil made a group of actors famous. Lush movie roles with box office success, beautiful wives and all the fame and recognition that selling your soul can get you. In 2006 the Devil cashed in when casting Wild Hogs. There’s no other explanation that this group of people have come together for a family friendly, midlife crisis movie. It just doesn’t match up. You’ve got this group of legitimate talent in a movie that is at best a tired cliché. So much of a cliché that people never bothered to make that many midlife crisis/road trip movies. I guess some movie producer saw a market there.

To all of us that scoffed at the premise and scratched our heads over the cast list, the jokes on us. Wild Hogs had the biggest March opening weekend… EVER earning just under 40 million dollars with the closest competition some 25 million bucks behind it. The sickest thing of all, the thing that will keep me awake at nights for weeks to come is that it’s not a fluke. The great cast and the stellar box office are there for a reason. As much as it kills me inside to say it, the movies pretty good. I know, I know – who’s selling their soul now. And for nothing more than a couple of old man jokes.

Four men (John Travolta, Tim Allen, William H. Macy, and Martin Lawrence) hit a midlife crisis for completely different reasons and decide the answer to their problems is to take their weekend hobby of motorcycling under the gang name “Wild Hogs”, to the next level. The middle-aged Hogs hit the road and quickly learn the vast difference between a real motorcycle gang and four guys that put on leather chaps and faded AC-DC T-shirts once a week.

This reality check comes courtesy of Ray Liotta and his grizzled, tattooed, gang the Del Fuegos who with their loud antics and rough edges are clearly the ones having the most fun here. The four actors playing the Hogs each have uncomfortable moments on screen where they go over the top or play up the comedy a little too hard, but Liotta and his group come out unscathed, able to find a nice balance between authentic biker and family fun. If such a balance exists.

Director Walt Becker hangs up the R-rating that had such cult success on Van Wilder for a very safe PG-13. With the lower rating he’s still able to find enough of an edge to keep things interesting for anyone that happens to be over 13. In real life, for four guys on the road, even middle-aged guys, the talk would be all curses and boobs. That’s not quite the edge that’s hit in Wild Hogs but there are more than a few “assholes” tossed out and they definitely push that 13 as hard as they can without too many trips back to the MPAA. I’m sure half the judges read Tim Allen’s name and automatically gave it the family rating. The other half read Lawrence’s name and picked it to death. But as PG-13 as it may be the edge is still there. I promise you, this movie is as lame as its target audience might imply.

I really loved how the movie started out. Economically and comically the four main stars and their four different situations are introduced. Most of the truly funny moments from this introductory period are peppered all over the trailers, but these formalities move quickly and get to the point. Before you know it we’re on to the plot of the story and some funny stuff that no trailers or TV spots have ruined. Yet.

Like most movies that start out well Hogs stalls a bit in the middle and damn near gets confused at the end. Where it slows down it’s never really boring but more as if these old timers were just trying to catch their breath. The end however awkwardly stumbles along as the Hogs face off against the Del Fuegos in battle and can’t decide if they want to fight it out or talk it out. It’s not even like the characters couldn’t decided, it was more like the filmmakers couldn’t. The ending feels a little unnatural and while there were hints to it in the movie it felt as if the script had painted itself into a corner that it wasn’t really sure how to get out of.

When I heard it was a road trip movie I didn’t have much faith for any new ideas, and the spin of “old men recapturing their youth” proved to add little to genre other than homophobia. A skinny dipping scene takes a weird (but funny) turn, and John C. McGinley as a reoccurring state trooper obsessed with man-love does nothing but make you question what kind of Brokeback road trip this really is. None of it is offensive but more awkward four these four best friends who vocally warn each other about trying to look at each other’s junk.

It’s true that road trips have been done to death, but Wild Hogs somehow manage to keep things fresh, even though they never really get that far down the road. They focus on the friends and their relationship and I think that’s why it holds together.

I do love this cast. I’m a fan of everyone involved even if collectively they’ve had more misses then hits over the last few years. It’s easy to joke that this cast came together under some sort of devil contract, or bet, or dare but everyone in this movie is having a good time. How often do you think William H. Macy gets to really act like a goofball? This was just a chance for him to cut loose and try something different. It’s different for all of them. None of these stars are really used to ensemble pieces. Tim Allen has been floundering in movies like the Shaggy Dog and Zoom, but as part of a group, when he doesn’t have to carry the movie on his own, his humor is spot on and fun.

I think a movie like this is perfect for Martin Lawrence who we’re so used to seeing as pretty much the same character in films like National Security, Blue Streak and Black Knight (I own all three of those movies by the way), but like with Allen, when put in a group he’s able to shine and support. I’ll still go see Blue Streak 2, but it’s nice to know that a couple of smaller roles in decent movies aren’t beyond him. Lawrence is a smart guy. Wild Hogs was a good move.

The oddest fit in this mix is Travolta, and for a time I was certain that the comic for this movie would be a tombstone with the words “Travolta’s career 1977-2007” written on it, but everything that’s been said of the other three leads could also be said for him. Why shouldn’t he be able to act like a goofball? Why shouldn’t he be able to do a smaller movie that doesn’t rely on his performance? He’s a star, they all are, but does that mean they always have to have the starring role?

Based on the previews and the concept I would have said this was a bad move for all of them, but after watching a film that had me laughing throughout and that was just plain fun, I can’t fault them for this choice. They had fun. I had fun. Everyone wins. It’s true, by the standards of most of the outrageous and memorable comedies of our time, Wild Hogs is more than a little tame. It’s family fun with the slightest bit of edge to make sure that the adults in the room aren’t bored to tears. It’s more Hogs than Wild. But since when aren’t hogs funny?

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 - Big surprise that this movie was even watchable. I would have assumed that it might be good if I was drunk off my ass, but that’s just being generous. Magic beverages can’t save every movie and Wild hogs certainly didn’t look salvageable.

I’m realistic that most of my readers won’t check out Wild Hogs and I applaud anyone that actually made it this far in the review. I realize you’d rather see my thoughts on Zodiac or even another comic on Silver Surfer over this movie, but there’s a place and a time for everything. And movies like Wild hogs are what JLCM is about. None of your friends are going to see it and are you going to trust one of the critics that was forced to see it? I do this for fun, though if someone paid me I would probably still do it. I think I hate myself… :D

I’ve kind of teased my wife that Wild Hogs might be DVD worthy and this infuriates her. She already thinks I waste too much money on DVDs. I can’t blame her. We do own the entire Deuce Bigalow franchise, but I still like to tease her from time to time. The truth is though I’m not sure how much I’m kidding with Wild Hogs. It was fun. And every time I think about it I know I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. In the end it’s going to come down to cost. If I can find Hogs on sale or used at Blockbuster for under 7.99, I’ll most likely pick it up.

Don’t think I’m not feeling immense amounts of shame over this. I am. But either I really do love crappy movies or I’m a gluten for punishment.

My concern after finishing this comic is that readers might confuse the two girls in the comic as Phil and Joe’s daughters. Not Phil’s daughter and Joe’s daughter, as it was intended, but Phil and Joe’s adopted love children. Anyway, on the right there in panel two is my future daughter, little Switchblade Motorcross Dunn all grown up. Some of you may remember a younger version of her from the Silent Hill comic and it’s a safe bet that she’ll show up again.

TMNT - We’re getting closer and closer to the TMNT release and while I wasn’t too keen on the look of the animated updated a few months ago, I admit that I’m warming to it. Nostalgia has been kicking in and I can’t deny that some of the animation and character design looks pretty sweet. What’s most exciting at this point is the clarity of the action. Even though the scenes take place at night with dark characters it’s still easy and clear to see who’s doing what and what’s going on. I’m still sceptical but I admit… I’m kind of looking forward to it.

So after nearly 4 years, Digital Pimp has finally managed to put together our first collection of strips in one trade paper back. The first target is one of our flagship titles, Matriculated. This collection brings together the first 13 months of strips with commentary, guest pin-ups from some of your favorite web comic creators, and brand new title pages for each chapter of the story.

In celebrating the launch of Matriculated: The First Semester we’re offering a bundle package that includes:

-Tales from the PIMP #0 - 3

-Matriculated: First Semester TPB

-Matriculated: Comics, Comics, Comics and Sci-Fi Expo minicomic

-Your choice of a Digital PIMP shirt

Basically our entire printed works plus a shirt of your choosing for 30.00. For those of you eager to support Turtle vs. Bunny those shirts count too (though we’re currently out of the Regular Turtle T-shirts so this might be a “Bunny” kind of week.

We’re so excited about this new collection and the step it’s taking us in the direction of collecting all our strips in printed form. It feels like a new dawn at Digital Pimp. If the Matriculated trade does well we could be moving on to the “JLCM: The First Ticket” (probably not the real title) trade collecting JLCM’s first year. I can’t even believe it’s been more than a year. So anyway, if you enjoy Matriculated check out the trade. I promise you it doesn’t suck.

Other than that my focus has been pretty fixed on developing TvB. Are you guys enjoying it? I’ve been focusing more on the blogs of each update even including new incentive images in favor of who’s winning strip to strip. Don’t forget to check back every Tuesday and Thursday at the TvB main site to see who’s in the lead. And remember – it’s completely interactive. Your votes, Pin-up’s, T-shirt Shots and other forms of voting determine how the comic turns out. All right… I’m going on and on about it. Sorry. Despite my overabundance of excitement… check it out.

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