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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.

Mr. Brooks

Starring: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, William Hurt, Marg Helgenberger

Directed by: Bruce A. Evans

MGM - Official Site of the Movie

“In a summer of sequels, Mr. Brooks blah blabbidy blah blah.” That’s the kind of counter programming smear campaign the distributors of the new Kevin Costner hitman movie Mr. Brooks have resorted to. In a summer season where threequels are ruling the box office what other choice do they have for a dark and disturbing, twist ending movie that’s doomed to fail? Well the big twist in Mr Brooks is that it’s a better movie than the ad campaign is giving it credit for. Don’t see this movie as an alternative. Go see it because it’s a slick, smart and endlessly entertaining. You won’t be walking out making “thwip” noises or clanging together invisible swords, but if you enjoy a clever story and actors that love what they’re doing you’ll walk out of Mr. Brooks pleased as punch.

As Mr Brooks, Costner is a successful businessman, family man and serial killer. Albeit an Unwilling one in that he’s desperate to quit and has been successful in doing so using AA as his primary method. He’s managed to build himself a successful and credible life in his path towards the straight and narrow going as far as to win “Man of the Year” in the movie-opening scene. But addiction is a disease and ignoring it won’t make it go away.

Brooks relapses into his evil ways one night by killing a couple he’s secretly been stalking. But it’s been so long, and he wanted it so bad that he got sloppy. There’s a witness, played by Dane Cook of all people, who seems like a less than obvious choice for the company he’s keeping in a movie like this. Instead of Cook, who gives himself the name Mr. Smith, turning Brooks in to the authorities, he decides he wants in on the next kill. Taking pictures of good-looking people having sex lost its allure after the high of watching them die.

Cook’s expiration date came and went sometime last fall. His high octane brand of comedy is hysterical in doses, but it wore out it’s welcome fast, and “Dane Cook is so awesome!” quickly turned to “Dane Cook hooked up with Jessica Alba? Seriously?” I think he’s funny, but in the span of a year he proved himself to be a one trick pony. A movie like Mr. Brooks was the perfect choice to detach himself from the funny man label and show that he’s capable of being more than just the loveable goof with ADD. With his performance here, Cook shows us not only that he can get serious on screen, but that he’s taking the longevity and quality of his career just as seriously.

Originally the comic for Mr. Brooks was going to be something like this: Yeo: Hey, honey. Where are you coming from?

Joe (depressed): I just saw the new Kevin Costner movie Mr. Brooks.

Yeo: Oh, how was it?

Joe: Movies like that should not be made.

Yeo: Because psychological thrillers with big twist endings have been done to death?

Joe: No, because Dane Cook’s in it…

Cute, right? But after seeing the movie I realized that Cook deserved better. The movie deserved better! His performance as an obsessive voyeur is better than some third rate ”loser” joke that I could just as easily tack onto someone like Larry the Cable Guy or Nick Cannon. Please tell me that we’re over Nick Cannon. Right?

So even though in the back of my head I know that Mr. Brooks is a film that will more than likely get lost in shuffle of summer blockbusters, and that nothing short of me saying, “I’ll pay for your damn ticket.” will convince most of you guys to actually see the film, I wanted to show my respect to a really great movie by bringing my A material. Can we please ignore the fact that my A material is a boob joke?

If you’re on the fence about seeing the movie, or if you’re actually watching the movie and you’re on the fence about liking it or not, THIS is what will be your deciding factor: William Hurt. In the film he plays the voice inside Mr. Brooks that urges him to continue killing. He’s visible and audible to the audience and Brooks, but no one else. He has his own image and personality separate from Brooks that allows him to become his own unique and fascinating creation, to the point where Brooks interacts, confides in, and laughs along with the hallucination like an old friend. He is both haunted and comforted by this ghost that urges him to follow his bloodlust like the worst enabler, but is just as quick to eases him during his regret like a kind and considerate friend.

Hurt is so good. He makes it look effortless and fun! He and Costner are fantastic together, and who’d of thought that one of the best character moments of either’s career would be the two of them playing the same demented psychopath? You have to respect a guy like Hurt who is so good that he can show up to work, have the time of his life and just earn Oscar nominations. For proof of this check out A History of Violence where he’s on screen less than 10 minutes, but earns the best supporting nomination and clearly has a ball doing it. In Mr. Brooks he’s got more time to play, but his work is just as powerful and engaging. And either the guy is having a fantastic time playing this realized schizo-nightmare or he really is one of the best actors alive. Because if this at any time felt like work to him… it never shows on screen.

A couple of B stories featuring Demi Moore as the Detective trying to track Brooks down, and the return of Brooks’ daughter from college with a big secret, initially seem like unnecessary distractions but in a nice way end up fleshing out the characters and completing the story. With everything happening with Moore’s character they could have developed a movie around her, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining as what they ended up with.

Sandwiched between one major release after another Brooks will have a short-lived theatrical life, but if you’re tired of the cartoon Ogres, pirate battles, star saturated heist films and one superheroes after another, join the old people in the next theater over and enjoy a beautifully crafted, superbly acted, and one of the more enjoyable thrillers in a long long time.

Rating: 9 out of 10 - It’s a high rating, I know, but what can I say? I left the theater charged, excited after having sat through a movie that relied less on special effects and elaborate stunts in favor of a fantastic script and dedicated artists. I surround myself with these big budget masterpieces that I love to death, but then I’ll step out of the box and see something like Mr. Brooks, and it’s like a shock to the system reminding me how great a movie can be without all the pomp and circumstance.

Chances are your movie money will go elsewhere this weekend, and I can’t blame you. There’s a lot of great stuff out there. But I urge you to give Mr. Brooks a shot when it’s released on DVD. It’ll remind you how fun a simply made, dark thriller can be. It’ll remind you how great movies were 50 years ago when they couldn’t do special effects and were forced to construct incredible elaborate stories. It’ll remind you that Kevin Costner used to be a movie star.

Probably not, but it has more to do with the kind of film it is and less to do with the quality. I just don’t do thrillers on DVD. After the first time through, the thrill is usually gone. With a really great thriller a second look to take a closer look the storytelling and character development can be a really fun thing to do, but is paying 20 dollars to appreciate a films craftsmanship really necessary when I can just add it to my NETFLIX list and have a new movie 2 days later? Ah, who am I kidding, if the price is under 10 bucks I would probably snatch this movie up.

Fight Club - Ok guys, spoilers ahead for the movie Fight Club. But do I really need to be warning about spoilers for an eight-year-old movie that everyone’s seen? If you haven’t seen Fight Club – go do it now. Quit your job, abandon your responsibilities and watch one of the best movies of our generation.

I’m calling to Fight Club as a recommendation for Mr. Brooks not because of any underlying political statement, philosophy of life, or addiction control comparison. I’m recommending it because both movies feature a lead that is bat shit crazy. So bat shit crazy that they needed two people to play them.

The big difference is that in Fight Club, it’s a big reveal. Jack (Edward Norton) and Tyler (Brad Pitt) are not revealed to be the same person until the films final act, and I don’t know about you guys, but it took me completely by surprise. Mr Brooks uses a more direct approach, introducing Hurt as Costner’s Id within the first 5 minutes of the film. You don’t have the same satisfaction of the big reveal but there are benefits in knowing how detached your main character is. It ads weight to his emotions, to his actions, it fully develops the character right before your eyes as opposed to all at once seconds before the credits role. I love a good surprise as much as the next guy, but there are benefits to both methods, and I can’t help but admire the shrewd character development in Mr. Brooks.

But Fight Club had a larger message. It taught us about simplicity and necessity and revolution. Brooks’ message is less poignant but a lot of fun to watch nonetheless.

The Brave One - Ok, before I get into what The Brave One is all about, what is going on with Jodie Foster’s hair? She looks like a blonde Bruce Jenner or that girl on the Sarah Silverman Program that made Sarah les out. And the only reason I bring up her hair at all is because, like many actors, she uses it like a chameleon to change roles with a very dramatic trip to the beauty salon. This is a trip that she could have skipped. I would have been able to deal with associating her with one of her older characters ass opposed to a hairy mushroom or a Sergeant Pepper’s era Ringo. But I digress. This isn’t Joe Loves Crappy Hairstyles, it’s Joe Loves Crappy Movies, and hair malfunction or not, this actually looks like a good one.

Foster plays a woman who looses the love of her life (and her dog) in a racially charged mugging, and the movie deals with her coping process, and eventual turn to embracing her anger. The trailer shows her striking out against the next would be mugger with deadly force, and her continued evolution into a vigilante that tracks down and exacts vengeance against the men that changed her life that night.

The character’s transformation, even in the short span of the trailer is remarkable and it appears to be the kind of role that only someone like Foster could pull off. In my mind I was starting to see this as her Fugitive. That’s how intricate and entertaining the trailer looks. Then she utters her catch phrase, “I want my dog back” and it was a Flightplan caliber disaster all over again. We’ll see though. Prove me wrong Ringo.

For more on Mr. Brooks and Knocked Up be sure to tune in to tonight’s episode of the The Triple Feature where Tom, Gordon and I will be chatting up those movies and some of the weekend’s other releases. Show starts at 10pm over at Talkshoe.

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

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