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.
I Think I Love My Wife
Starring: Chris Rock, Gina Torres, Kerry Washington, Steve Buscemi, Edward Herrmann
Directed by: Chris Rock
Fox Searchlight - Official Site of the Movie
I don’t “think” I love my wife, I know I do. Because if I didn’t, she would murder me in my sleep. Seriously, I’ve been very lucky in love and ended up with a smart, funny, stunningly gorgeous woman that really loves me, even though she’s completely out of my league. I tell her that all the time and it really bothers her, but she is. Ask anyone. If I were to ask my best friends if Yeo was too good for me, they would look me straight in the eye without blinking and say, “Yes. You don’t deserve her. She has my number right?”
My worthiness of her is just one of things she and I squabble about, but it doesn’t worry me at all, because all married couples fight. Money, sex, politics, empty toilet paper rolls… whatever your argument of choice is, all couples fight. If Chris Rock’s new movie, I Think I love My Wife, does anything, it reminds you that you fight. You could be having the best day of your marriage – brunch in the city, shopping at a jewelry store/video arcade, morning sex… but if that perfect day also happens to include this movie – you’re screwed.
Not because it will cause a fight like The Break-Up did when it was released last year, but because it will remind you that you fight. You’ll remember that the brunch in the city was over-priced, the jewelry she bought and the video games you played were the first for either of you in years, and if you are both being honest, between the morning sex and an extra half hour of sleep… it could have gone either way.
Through its story of a bored married man that becomes tempted by a woman from the past, I Think I Love My Wife (based on the French classic Chloe in the morning) is able to remind you that you fight, but also remind you what you’re fighting for. It’s a great character study of life after you’ve settled into marriage. Something more than half of the world can relate to, though more then half of those people never get a chance to go to the movies because of the damn kids. So the 18-25-year-olds out to see their favorite comedian’s next big movie, are going to get a crash course in suburban home life. And though I loved the story and the performances that told it, I couldn’t help but wonder, “where are the laughs?”
This is a Chris Rock movie. Unless I missed a memo about him striking out into the world of drama, there should be some laughing, right? Every funny moment, every single one, is featured in the promotion for this movie. The only thing it doesn’t cover is the occasional curse word sprinkled in to give that little extra punch. Promotion is huge, you have to put the asses in the seats, but usually one can expect a few nuggets from the A-list material to surprise them throughout the movie. The closest we get is an impromptu moment where the movie suddenly becomes a sexy funk musical. But by then you’re at a point where you’ll laugh at anything, as if all the expected laughter you had going in had built up and you’re desperate to release it, even on jokes that are beneath the people telling them. Jokes about not having sex or how your wife wears giant underwear. Standard “married man” shtick that plays just as plain even with a dirty word prefacing it. Richard Jeni told these kinds of jokes and he shot himself. (Too soon? He actually had some funny moments.) There’s something to be said for a comedian that can tell this kind of joke successfully. I Think I Love My Wife is pushing its luck all the way through.
AS I anticipated some original humor I found a comfortable distraction in Kerry Washington who is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine! So fine. Her character is sexy and sophisticated and into the Foo Fighters. What more could you ask for besides someone that doesn’t stalk you one minute and leave you waiting with baited breath the next? She’s a walking case of the blue balls.
I’ve had a little crush on her since (of all things) the Wayans Brothers movie Little Man where she plays Sean Wayans’ wife. There was just something about her that was so appealing. Washington is so cool that she’s even in the Fantastic Four. Not the best comic book movie to be associated with, but it’s a comic book movie nonetheless. Plus she’s blind in it and, in going along with today’s comic, there’s no way she could tell I was checking her out. Throw in a couple of Foo Fighters tunes and we’re in business.
If you didn’t stop me I could talk about how beautiful Washington is all day long, but what makes her appearance in I Think I Love My Wife so much more effective is the performance she gives from behind those lacey outfits and ass shots. Washington is seductive and sly and untouchable in more ways than one, teaching young ladies all over the world how to play the flirty bad girl without crossing over into skank territory. She has a commanding presence that goes far beyond her features, and it’s very effective in this film. It’s easy to see how even the most noble and loyal man could be distracted by a woman like this.
Such praise for performance could also be given to Rock as well as his wife, played by Gina Torress, who have a very believable life of comfort, boredom and love. As the scenes between them heat with anger there chemistry is strong and you can hear the voices of people that have had this argument (or one like it) before.
Perhaps that is they key. Maybe this is why I didn’t get it. As a moviegoer I can appreciate the complexity of a particular situation and the evolution of the story, but when it comes to really understanding what these characters are experiencing, can a man that’s only been married for 8 months really grasp it? Rock’s character comments on not being able to trust a marriage counselor that isn’t married herself. She just can’t relate. In promotion for this film Rock has related stories about taking on the director’s chair after unmarried men couldn’t relate and dropped out. So perhaps I’m in the same boat. Maybe the married jokes and boredom of life will hold more weight once I’ve been locked down fro 7 years.
Maybe, but should I really have to be “bored” or “old and bored” to enjoy this or any movie? Should it not stand on its own merit and be accessible to everyone on some level? Either way, Rock has proven that he can write and direct an excellent, layered story about real people in relatable (ring or no ring) situations. But I didn’t hear that many people, married or unmarried, laughing.
Rating: 5 out of 10 - I thought it was a really nicely told story, frustrating at times but I doubt that was unintentional. But how much praise can I give it if it was going for laughs but not really connecting with them. A man’s life tumbling out of control us frustrating on one level but I can’t express to you how frustrating it is to watch a movie written by Chris Rock and Louie C.K., and wonder where the laughs are. I want it to be funny because it’s funny, not because I have the life experience that makes me understand it better.
If the laughs were there, sure, but they aren’t so I’ll have to pass. I love that Rock took a chance in developing characters and telling a very real story, but it’s too real for me to use an escape while I’m doing my DVD watching. Why should I watch a man argue with his wife when I can argue with my own wife and watch James Bond beat the hell out of some guy afterwards?
I do really respect Rock as a filmmaker and he seems very capable behind the camera so if there were a commentary track or a featurette that gave a little background on the movies development and production, I would up for a rental. But short of a deleted scene where Kerry Washington gets REALLY R-rated there’s not much that could make me even break out my wallet for I Think I love My Wife.
Mean Girls - This Tina Fey comedy from 2004 handles story and characterization just as well, handles satire better, handles the vignettes within the characters head better, and is just funnier. All without an R rating. Now obviously, these two movies are going to appeal to completely different audiences. Most people that got excited this year to see an edgy comedian deal with martial problems and infidelity, aren’t going to be able to relate to a teen queen’s struggle do feel accepted in the world of teenage girls. They’re just different worlds but for those of you like me, where the genres cross over and you can get excited about both for different reasons, Mean Girls shines and easily accomplishes the things I Think I Love My Wife wasn’t able to.
Year of the Dog - From writer/director Mike white (The Good Girl, School of Rock, Nacho Libre) comes a new comedy about how to cope when your dog dies. After all, they are man’s best friend. The trailer makes Dog look like a sly comedy about how people connect with their dogs and how some of those people have trouble finding similar strong connection with other human beings. Molly Shannon stars as the widowed owner who reaches out to friends and potential partners including John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, and Laura Dern who are the standouts in a cast list that makes you wonder if the script is really that good or if talented people are just obsessed with dogs.
Mike White’s voice is something I’ve really enjoyed over the past few years but Dog is his first trip behind the camera. The trailer reveals a unique perspective. Most noticeably a lot of straight on shots with the characters looking right into the camera. It feels like a Wes Anderson movie. It feels like Stranger Than Fiction and while some people will dismiss those comparisons as impulsive, I think this creator and this movie have the potential to surprise us.
On Sunday I had a guest strip go up at The Outer Cirlce. This is one of the funniest daily strips on line and I admire Steve’s ability to keep it funny, entertaining, and worth coming back to on a daily basis. How dedicated is he exactly? Well even though he’s been running his guest comics for a couple of weeks now, he’s still been doing his own comics that run below the guest comics. Graciously enough, these guest comics are about the comics and creators that are questing that day.
If that weren’t enough he’s also got a second strip, Dueling Analogs, which dares to challenge the big boys in the video games genre, and does a pretty good job. Steve is a busy guy and if you aren’t reading his stuff, you’re missing out. The guest strips are part of The Outer Circle’s second anniversary. I was lucky enough to be invited to do a strip last year for the first year anniversary.
check it out.
Before I got, a quick reminder to stop by tonight at 10 EST and give a listen to the newest Triple Feature talk cast! This week Tom, Gordon and I will be talking about Casino Royale which came out on DVD this past week. I got my copy. It even came with a weird little metal poker chip. We’ll also be discussing the box office winners form the past weekend and what there is to look forward to at theaters next weekend.
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