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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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Blades of Glory

Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, William Fichtner, Craig T. Nelson, Romany Malco, Nick Swardson

Directed by: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Dreamworks - Official Site of the Movie

All right, who asked for a figure skating comedy? In what world does someone say, “You know what’s funny? Spandex and cod pieces!” and then actually follow through on it? Figure skating is the sort of subject that sounds hysterical when your high but by the time you get to page 5 on the first draft the next morning and realize that at least a portion of the movie is going to involve “gliding”, you shelf it and tackle a more approachable sport that doesn’t involve one person grabbing someone else’s balls. Something like bowling or golf.

But God bless the folks behind Blades of Glory who ignored those instincts, got high again, and kept on writing. Who knew that the answer to the problem was to make it about two men competing in couples competition? Double gliding plus double ball grabbing equals double funny. I apparently missed that day of math. By making it more awkward the humor leaps of the screen and into our hearts. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Will Ferrell is there to make violence on the ice and vomiting in a bear suit that much funnier.

In Blades, Ferrell and Jon Hedar play the two rivals superstars that decide to team up after a fight on the ice leaves them both banned from singles competition. A set-up like that invites an endless string of gay jokes and awkwardness on the ice, and in less capable hands I would have been worried, but between Hedar’s blissful ignorance and Ferrell’s overconfident bravado, they made those crotch grabs and dance practices some of the strongest laughs in the movie.

I know going in I was worried that the humor would be tired and old hat, but I was really impressed with the angle they came at things. It’s not all gags about figure skating manoeuvres and vibrant costumes. That’s part of it to be sure, but the movies sense of humor doesn’t hinge on you thinking that people look ridiculous in spandex. It expands past the sport itself and focuses on the characters, coaches, and even obsessive fans (represented here by Nick Swardson, one of the funniest men alive.) behind the sport. There aren’t even that many actual skating scenes. In their place, directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck offered up hilarious still photographs of the competitors routine and let the audience fill in the blanks. But after seeing the stills of the JFK/Marilyn Monroe inspired set performed by Amy Poehler (SNL, Mean Girls) and Will Arnett (Arrested Development), I’m dying to see some unedited footage on the DVD

What skating we do see is all handled very tongue-in-cheek which will be a relief to many people. A fair amount of the film’s humor is centerd around the world of figure skating and its competition but there’s a touch of booze, sex and crossbow action thrown in to keep non-fans invested. And it works. I’m by no means a figure skating fan and I loved the film, whereas I’ve talked to figure skating fans that were a little disappointed at the lack of skating the film showed. Go figure….

…skating.

Sorry.

Most of the “sex” I mentioned comes courtesy of Jenna Fischer, to my surprise. Don’t get me wrong; I think she’s drop-dead sexy, but in a very “girl next door” kind of way. Blades of Glory has her wearing corsets, getting fondled and making advances at anyone with a ridiculous hair cut (Except Craig T. Nelson who has a ridiculous receding main of hair for no apparent reason). What’s amazing is that because of the nature of her character she’s able to hold on to the good girl persona while still behaving like a tramp. She perfectly captures the innocent slut and will be turning on nerds across America for completely new reasons.

In Blades, Fischer plays Hedar’s love interested. Possibly just to assure audiences that their feminine ball handling leading man isn’t automatically mistaken as gay. It works. The two have a beautiful puppy dog romance that translates very sweetly.

I liked Hedar in this movie. As the kind but confident professional, his character’s love of the sport and undying spirit really ring true. And as an actor I think it’s the first time that he’s turned in a performance that didn’t at all remind me of Napoleon Dynamite, even though he does the voice and is as goofily awkward as ever. Maybe it was the flash of golden hair and ridiculous outfits that distracted me from the similarities, but more likely it was that he was completely outshined but every other major character in the film.

It’s not fair really to expect him to stand out when put next to Ferrell who delivers yet another destine to be classic character with an unmistakable presence and arsenal of quotable lines. Granted his edgy ice skater’s mannerisms are very reminiscent of the Neil Diamond character he did on SNL, but if he’s going to be delivering this level of comedy there’s no reason not to look beyond this small comparison. Besides, we’ve all wondered what it would be like if Diamond was a hard drinking, hard fighting skating phenomenon. Now we know.

Even if Ferrell was having an off day, Poehler and Arnett are in the wings to exploit the best comedic possibilities of bad skate song choice and the life of a bitter professional that was deprived of a childhood. And when all their forces combine - expect greatness. A particular chase scene between Arnett and Ferrell could possibly go down as one of the best chase sequences of all time. Certainly one of the funniest. Though the car chase in Blues Brothers and the final rundown in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off spring to mind. That’s just off the top of my head though, I’m sure there are plenty of hysterical chases out there. But how many take place on skates?

That’s a great way to view this movie. It’s just like one of your most cherished comedies, if the characters were wearing skates. And really how different is that? They’re a few inches taller… they walk a lot faster on smooth surfaces and equally slower on… well, any other surface. I’m not seeing a problem.

Blades of Glory manages to do for Figure Skating what Happy Gilmore did for golf, and Kingpin did for bowling. I imagine though that skating fans can rest easily in assuming that a bunch of high college kids wont be invading ice rinks across America like they bowling alleys and driving ranges back in the 90’s. It’s a lot more difficult to do a triple toe loop then it is change your shoes and roll a ball. No offence to bowlers. My bowling average is ridiculous, but I can still get the ball down the lane. I cannot however ice skate for more than 11 seconds. It’s too soon to tell if Blades will become a classic in my home the way those other two sports movies have, but a couple of spins on the DVD player and I’m sure in no time I’ll be itching to lace up and fall down.

Rating: 9 out of 10 - Blades of Glory is a surprisingly crisp and concrete comedy that manages to take a flimsy and predictable concept and do something remarkable with it – make it funny. Rock solid performances and humor will keep you laughing for the films entire hour and a half. There’s no drag and very few missed laughs once these comedic pros get comfortable and take aim. With it’s original characters and strong laughs Blades of Glory easily singles itself out as the strongest comedy of the year and one of the best all around movies that 2007 has had to offer so far.

I loved this movie in the theater but I know in my heart that my journey with it will not be complete until I own it on DVD and it really becomes part of my life. Once I have it in my possession it’ll only be a matter of time before I’m laughing out loud at moments not even intended to be funny and quoting character dialogue to the point where my wife threatens to leave me. On DVD Blades of Glory will flourish and thrive into greatness as a movie worth watching over and over again!

I’m being a little dramatic but seriously, this movie will kick all kinds of ass on DVD and most assuredly be filled with a ton of deleted scenes, alternate takes and a commentary from a group of people that know how to do commentaries right. Anchorman and Talladega Knights both featured bizarre comedies far beyond the wackiness of the movie that both add to the experience of the film while become their own feast of quotable lines. Rarely is a commentary as much fun to watch as the actual film but when a group of people get together and get drunk of their ass there’s no telling what hilarious nonsense will come out. That’s why I keep participating in Triple Feature (Speaking of which, listen to Episode 15 for our conversation about Blades of Glory.)

“Camel Hump” and “Moose Knuckle” are actual terms used to represent a covered male bulge, though “covered male bulge” is probably the most disturbing turn of phrase in the bunch. The origin of the term “Bullfrog” is kind of an interesting one, to me and my friends, because it’s the phrase we coined when we first encountered this clothing nightmare at a comic con a few years ago.

We had no idea what a “Camel Hump” or a “Moose Knuckle” were, though I’m sure tey were in popular use by this time. Perhaps the Digital Pimps have lived sheltered lives away from sex slang, but none of us had come across those terms in our day to day lives. Imagine our confusion when a plump, spandexed Spiderman turned the corner and Wizard World Philly and his junk was just straining to be freed from fabric with no secrets. We instantly started referring to it as a “Male Camel Toe” and wondered what the male equivalent of the “Camel Toe” actually was. It was Irv that came up with “Bullfrog” and we still laugh about it to this day.

I think of the three I prefer “Moose Knuckle” because it’s the most abrasive. It’s like a verbal punch, and I think it best describes the reaction most people have when they first come face to face with God’s greatest joke.

But these are just the names I could find. Do you and your friends have another phrase you use for the camel hump, or can you make up your own right now that will put the rest to shame? Send me ane-mail or post of the boartds I’d love to hear some hilarious and disturbing phrases.

Kickin’ it old School - Jamie Kennedy is back with another crazy character and another attempt to make white people pretending to be black funny. In Kickin’ it old School Kennedy plays a talented break-dancer in the mid 80’s that suffers a head injury at a young age putting him into a coma. When he finally wakes up from his comma 20 years later, he’s the same 12-year-old kid but in a 32-year-olds body. He’s a man out of time and thankfully one of those times is the 80’s so even if the movie is a complete train wreck, at least there will be some nostalgia to cling on to.

If this movie has anything fighting against it, it’s the memory of the tragically awful film, Malibu’s Most Wanted, a movie born from one of the characters on Kennedy’s prank sketch show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. A show that worked great in 6-minute clips but ran out of steam after 7 minutes on the big screen. That movie is painful to sit through and with Old School I can only say he doesn’t get caught in the same trappings and stereotypes that kept Malibu down.

Kickin’ it old School already has a better premise that will hopefully lead to some fresh and genuinely funny comedy. I believe that Kennedy has it in him, and I really hope this is the movie that brings it out.

Well folks, there you have it. A positive review for a movie about ice-skating. I’m as surprised as you are. Have you guys been reading The Outer Circle? Steve is having some fun with the movie web comic genre and I’m lovng every second of it. Catch up at the beginning of the arc here, and enjoy. As much as I’m loving I feel an unexplainable instinct to defend my territory. Should I retaliate?

Hey so what’s the deal with Stumbleupon? We’re getting a slew of hits form over there and I can’t even figure it out. I’m afraid to sign up so I can investigate further but I’m curious who’s embracing the strip and how they’re finding it. I fear technology so I’m sure I’ll avoid it for another few months.

More soon but don’t forget to catch up on Matriculated and Turtle Vs. Bunny while waiting for the next JLCM strip to pop up. BYE!

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

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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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