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.
Starring: Hilary swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, Stephen Rea
Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Warner Brothers - Official Site of the Movie
I love when movies take a deeper look at religion and really explore the history and myth involved with it. “Myth” is a dangerous word to use because a lot of what’s being discussed is based on people’s faith, and I would never mean to disrespect that. But what a lot of people lose sight of is that some of what is being discussed is representative. An angel isn’t always an angel. Sometimes it’s just a person in the right place at the right time. And a plague isn’t always the wrath of God. Sometimes it’s just a snowstorm or skin infection or mad cow disease. And that’s where The Reaping reels you in.
Science vs. Religion, or more specifically – disproving miracles with scientific facts, is the most appealing part of this movie. And even though they don’t promise it will be an interesting battle, the previews didn’t say anything about one side throwing in the towel half way through. This movie with a fantastic premise gets lost as the plagues get bigger and more ferocious. And as it rounds the final turn the only thing that could justify the fantastic things we’ve seen is something as preposterous as it is disappointing. p>
As a theology professor and former minister, Katherine Winter (Hilary Swank) now travels the earth disproving the so-called miracles that she once had faith in. One day a representative from a small town named Haven comes calling for her help in scientifically proving that a biblical plague has not struck their town. Because if she can’t disprove it, a very religious townsfolk will lynch the small girl that may or may not be possessed by the devil. Winter begrudgingly analyzes the town’s plague, a river that has turned to human blood, and can’t explain it.
Before they have time to wash the DNA off their boots, plagues start coming at them one after another. Frogs, hale, dead livestock, boils, lice, locusts… the whole bit. God’s most vicious attack is now envisioned in the Louisiana bayou. It makes Katrina look… well it makes it look just as devastating, just not as impractical. After all, Frogs plummeting from the sky is pretty weird.
After that The Reaping becomes a movie about a woman trying to hold on to what her eyes show her while ignoring what her heart believes could be real. Even though these plagues appear to be legitimate, can there really be no explanation? If this is God’s will, should she let this frightened town sacrifice the “daemon child”? Should she help them? Who cares? The one thing this movie had going for it, a confrontation between faith and reality, is long gone. I’m a man with faith but debates are better when both sides are contributing. Plus, having the film slink from scientific analysis into sci-fi thriller territory is such a cheap way of explaining the unexplainable. A wizard did it! I would have been much more impressed had they been able to talk themselves out of all those fancy special effects with an 8th grade science book instead of the Bible.
So after a strong start the movie has nowhere to go and crumbles on a Wicker Man scale including a double twist ending that will have you frowning or laughing hysterically at their gall.
The Reaping is very frustrating thematically but there’s no denying that it’s a pretty well made film. The effects a crisp and impressive, and there’s some excellent camera work and transitions that lend themselves very well to the non-stop creepy atmosphere. It’s almost like they were 10 million dollars away from being able to make a real biblical disaster movie. Like Armageddon but with locusts. That locusts scene is actually the most impressive in the film They’re mass is grand and imposing, and creepy enough to curl your toes.
Swank is good, and a lot of fun to watch, but she’s stuck in scenes that we’ve seen a thousand times before. And as she does her best going through the motions you want to yell to her, “Don’t go through that door! Don’t sign that contract! I know it’s a lot of money but you’re better than this!” The good news is that people know she’s better than this, and the Reaping will be long forgotten by the time we’re praising her for her next achievement.
I really enjoyed the supporting cast and only wish the movie offered them enough chances where I could really sing their praises. But if anything, The Reaping shows that even good talent can get lost in a bad script. The devil child is played by AnnaSophia Robb who most people will recognize as Violet Beauregarde from the Wonka remake, but was much more fun in this years children’s head-trip Bridge to Terabithia. I’d prefer to see her as that character, a genuine little girl with life and hope. But she’s stuck here as the American white trash version of the longhaired, wet, Asian girls that terrorized screens during the Japanese-horror-remake obsession we went through over the last few years. She’s fine in the film, but this is an actress that is better than the 2 lines of dialogue, temper tantrums and menacing gazes this script gives her to do.
I was happy to see Stephen Rea form last year’s V for Vendetta but disappointed to see him suffering through the “old priest with a dangerous warning” part. He never stood a chance.
The person who does the most with the little they’re given is probably Idris Elba, best known for his work on The Wire though he should be playing the lottery after stacking together a busy and respectable resume this year with The Reaping, Tyler Perry’s: Daddy’s Little Girls and the highly anticipated 28 Weeks Later. He plays Swanks assistant who, unlike her, has not lost his faith and manages to keep her grounded without getting preachy or being a judgmental jerk about it. They have a real connection, respect and friendship that is felt even though the two barely have a chance to analyze a dead frog before the other is pulled off to see the next disaster. As a believer that has dedicated his life to disproving miracles Elba is probably the most interesting character in the film. A man with faith that hasn’t blindly shut off his brain.
The Reaping has some great ideas and good intentions but enjoys a premise that’s better than its resolution. A constant tense atmosphere, and clunky ending put me off, and the twist upon twist ending they attempt to hurl at you in the final act will leave you not shocked and amazed but more likely disappointed and angry. The filmmakers build an interesting dilemma, but it built too big, too fast. When it came time to solve the problem they panicked after realized they had dug themselves a hole that even God couldn’t crawl out of.
Rating: 3 out of 10 -
You can’t blame Swank for taking this one. She’s had great success in indie movies that have won her awards and made her a star, but haven’t exactly done much for her bank account. With an interesting set-up and a hefty pay check I’m sure The Reaping looked like a respectable endeavour, but she’s not going to be highlighting it on her resume when going for that next big role.
What I want to know is whose idea it was to release a movie about disproving God on Easter weekend? The Reaping was bumped up to Thursday, I assume to avoid opening nation wide on Good Friday when it was originally scheduled, but is that really any better? Who knows though… if they intentionally pushed the controversy a little more, they might have been able to scare up a little publicity.
Heavens no. I really enjoy movies like this but I was too tense and too disappointed with the very ending to actually want to revisit it. If it came with a documentary about real miracle debunkers I would be much more interested in that, but chances are I’m more likely to find that on the Discovery channel, than the second disc of some DVD that moviegoers have already forgotten about.
Miracles: The Complete Series - This time… I’m recommending a TV show. How many of you remember Miracles, a short-lived drama on ABC starring Skeet Ulrich about a team of miracle solvers? It came out the same year as Medium and went head-to-head against it during some sort of creepy “dead people phenomenon hour”. Well apparently only I remember because before the season was over Ulrich was back doing direct to video movies. Meanwhile Patricia Arquette and her weird bangs are still talking to dead people.
I don’t know how great this show actually was, because not many episodes aired and it’s been a few years, but I was enjoying it enough to look forward to it, and start a thread about it that long ago. If you’ve got a spare slot in your Netflix cue add disk one and let me know if it’s worth getting into again.
Is Hilary Swank even that hot? I guess I’m so used to see her play tomboys or girls that want to be boys or Karate Kids, that I never really thought she was that stunning. Even when she was on 90210 a show that requires its cast to be drop dead sexy, I always thought she was playing second banana to Tiffany Amber Thiessen or Jenny Garth. It wasn’t to recently that I started to notice her classically beautiful features in movies like the Black Dahlia or at awards shows. Then the cover of Esquire hit stands and I had to catch my self and figure out how she had slipped under my radar all these years.
She’s a great actress, no one is going to argue that, but she’s really blossomed into not just a celebrity but also a real movie starlet. In the classical sense the way you would think about Betty Davis or Audrey Hepburn as these larger than life figures or icons. Of course her matching Oscars aren’t hurting this comparison, but she really does have the talent, beauty and charisma to be compared to the very best.
There was a good response to the possibility of making a Ben Kenobie T-shirt. Enough of a response where I’ll take it to the next stage and actually do an image. If things go well from there then by June we could all be scaring our elders with cool new shirts. Other than that – no news is good news. Smell ya later.
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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