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.
Children of Men
Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Universal Pictures - Official Site of the Movie
Check out the discussion of this movie and comic on the boards!
If you’ve seen Children of Men then either you love it or, before you went to see it, you talked to someone that loved it. I definitely fall into the first category of people that were amazed and entertained by this very human story with a sci-fi backdrop. But everyone that saw it and loved it added to the hype. Hype that built up to the point where it could never measure up for those audiences that had to wait for the movie’s expansion from limited release. The result is another movie that suffers from the curse of expectation.
No one I’ve encountered hated the movie but I’ve had more than a few conversations with people that didn’t understand what people were freaking out about. “The characters had no motivation.” “The ending was anti-climactic.” “Nothing happens.” I think that early positive reactions led people to believe Children of Men would be more complex than the simple (but wonderfully done) story that it is.
This movie came out in England (and everywhere else in the known world) something like 6 months before it bowed here in the States, and in a way I think that was a good thing because it gave me a chance to get rid of my own evil expectations. When I first heard about the premise where 30 years in the future women can no longer get pregnant, my geek brain went into full swing and started to wonder why. But the longer I waited for the movie and the more times I saw the trailer where Clive Owen answers the question saying, “It doesn’t matter. We’ll all be dead in 50 years anyway.” The more I began to realize that the answers to my questions aren’t important at all. That’s not what THIS story is about. It’s just the environment it takes place in.
And it’s true, this story isn’t about life or science, it’s about hope and how far we’ll go for what we believe in. This isn’t the story of the unborn child that Owens’ character is put in charge of delivering to Earth’s smartest society, it’s about Owens’ own struggle to move past his own loss and find something new to believe in. Children of Men poses a lot of questions but doesn’t give many answers. Eventually you realize that the answers you seek really aren’t all that important. Not for this story.
The acting across the boards is top notch. Owen offers a nice shift from depressed indifference to passionate rebel in the course of the films events. Claire-Hope Ashitey as Key, the mother-to-be, lives up to the middle part of her name with a subtle performance of a character with fear of the unknown shrouded by optimism. It can’t be easy to play a modern day Virgin Mary but even with her young years she brings a lot of power to the role. The stand out performance has to go to Michael Caine who plays a hippy in a world that has grown up and crumbled around him. His character’s defense mechanism of laughing in the face of adversity yields the films strongest moments of laughter and of sadness.
Though the movie boasts a high level of acting quality, Oscar voters got it right when it came to the singling out the strongest pieces of this puzzle. Children of Men was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography in 2006. Audiences were surprised by how much humanity and emotional could be packed into a sci-fi story that takes place 30 years from now. We were given a movie where about people instead of the brand new world they live in. But even to those that weren’t taken by the unique idea Children presents, no skeptic can deny the unbelievable camera work in this film.
Absolutely stunning in every way. Even if you haven’t seen the movie chances are you’ve heard about the incredible steady cam shot that lasts nearly 5 minutes and contains enough moves, explosions, and background actors to make every take more expensive and more complicated then half the films debuting at your pick of indie movie festival. The amount of rehearsal, timing and skill involved in something like this is mind-boggling, and whether you like the film or not, this shot will be required viewing in film schools for years to come.
This scene towards the end where Owen crosses a city, mid-battle in search of Key, is the most ambitious of the film. But there are also two others that come before, which are impressive for completely different reasons. One that sticks out involves a car chase sequence where the camera never breaks. Somehow it’s able to simultaneously give a clear view of the action and make you feel like your right in the thick of things with the characters of the film. It’s a very unique experience and it’s marvelously done.
As much as I liked the strong camera work in the film, there’s no denying how distracting it is. As these shots went on longer and longer I would realize it and start watching and waiting for the shot to break. I would have trouble dissociating from what the camera was doing and how I was supposed to be feeling in the story. I couldn’t figure out if I should be focusing on the heart of the story, or the brilliance of the filmmaking. It was a tough juggling act that ultimately took me out of the moment of the scene, but it’s hard to complain when it’s this damn good.
Children of Men took home no Oscars last month and even though there were a lot of people pulling for it, I can’t help but wonder if it deserved them at all. Or were those people pulling for it just a passionate group of fans that felt this inspired movie deserved some sort of recognition for its achievement. Some sort of praise for an amazing piece of art that touched so many people. Well… not everyone can win and as cool as it would‘ve been, a golden statue on some other artist’s mantle doesn’t make Children of Men any less powerful of an experience.
Expectations apparently do though, so let this be a lesson to us all. If you love a movie, truly love it… tell everyone it sucks. Tell them it was so bad that it made you want to punch old people (more than normal). Then dare them to see it. It’ll create a lot of hostility in your life but at least you won’t be ruining any movies for anyone. So that brings us to my rating of the film. Rating: 1 out of 10 Ok ok…
Rating: 9 out of 10 - Expectation kills good and bad movies everyday. It would be a perfect world if we could go in blind and enjoy a film simply for what it is, but that’s not how tickets are sold. Marketing will give you a little information, then a little more, then you read a spoiler on line and your friend tells you something he heard, and the new trailer shows an actor you didn’t even know was in there… Before you know it you’re filling in the blanks yourself and then calling foul when the movie ends up being something completely different.
I’m beaten by the hype on a pretty regular basis. It hurt 300 for me, but I’m so glad I was able to experience and love Children of Men for what it is. To those victims of the hype, it might not be the movie you expected it to be but watch it again. You might be surprised.
I had Children of Men ranked as my third favorite film of the year (just afterThe Departed and Casino Royale) but as much as I absolutely loved it, I can’t say for sure that it’s really DVD worthy. If I were a film student I would consider it a must own. The storytelling and camera work are some of the most creative and ambitious in years. My real concern as an average movie fan is how often I would really revisit a film like this. I love it on many levels but do I love it enough to watch it several times a year?
At the very least the film deserves a second viewing. For no other reason then what’s going on in the story will distract you from the brilliant camera work and vice versa. Watch it once with your heart and once with your head. After that you’ll be getting the best of both worlds.
Children of Men comes out on DVD and HD DVD on March 27, featuring deleted scenes, insight from the actors about their characters and even comments from a philosopher about the subject matter. Huh… that sounds kind of fun actually. Maybe I will be stopping by Best Buy towards the end of the month…
Today’s comic has a list of names that my wise and stunning wife has already refused. She finds no humor in giving a child a funny name. She thinks it acts as an invitation for the kid to be mocked and teased on the schoolyard. Her name is Yeo (pronounced “Yah” not Yee-oh) and growing up in Virginia she was subject to the ignorant taunts of children that just didn’t understand her “different” name.
My theory is that kids are kids and they’re going to find ways to tease anyone’s name. Didn’t you ever see that episode of Full House where Stephanie wants to change her name to Dawn? The point is that every name can be made into a joke, even something as average as “Joe Dunn”. (Get it? “Average”) But you only live once so why not give you kid a cool name. It might be hard on him in elementary school but it’ll totally get him laid in college.
Yeo’s not bending though. She thinks it’s cruel to name a child “Switchblade” and I have to respect her on that. Though to her credit she’s starting to get warm up to the idea of our first born’s middle name being “Danger”.
Y: the Last Man - I’m going out on a limb here and recommending something that’s not even in the same medium as Children of Men, but Y: the Last Man,a graphic novel published through Vertigo, is so close in theme, and SO good that it’s hard not to be reminded of it, and not to recommend it to anyone that loves the conceptual end of Children of Men.
From writer Brian K. Vaughan comes a story about a man and his monkey who just so happen to be the last two male creatures left on earth. The comic begins with a mysterious plague that wipes out everyone with a Y chromosome except these two unlucky guys, Yorick (the man) and Ampersand (the monkey). “Last man on earth.” Sounds pretty good. You get your pick of the litter. You’re repopulating the human race. You’re the father of humanity. That is of course until the women go buck wild crazy.
It’s to be expected. When a world is plunged into a situation like this a little panic is really not that out of the ordinary. Yorick is discovered by the government and put in the care of a secret agent who takes him across the country for experiments. On their travels we’re shown the way a society copes with a disaster like this. It’s one of the most interesting and fun rides in comics right now and it’s so good it’s practically BEGGING to be made into a major motion picture.
Y: the Last Man has been optioned by New Line Cinema but it looks like that’s as far as things have gotten. I’ll update you as soon as the rumor mill gets in full swing but for now, sit down and crack open a comic book. It won’t kill ya.
Thanks for reading everyone. Be sure to stop by tonight and listen to the Pimpcast where we’ll be discussing this comic, the 300 comic, as well as all the comics here at Digital Pimp for the last week. The show starts at 10pm EST. Feel free to stop by and ask any questions about the comics or the process of making the comics. We’ll be happy to answer.
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