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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.

The Heartbreak Kid

Starring: Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Jerry Stiller, Malin Akerman, Carlos Mencia, Rob Corddry, Danny R. McBride

Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Dreamworks Pictures

The Official Site of The Heartbreak Kid

Discuss The Heartbreak Kid on the boards!

The Farrelly Brothers have lost their sting. We're now in the age of movies made by the kids that grew up on their brand of gross-out comedies with heart. Every teenager that howled at Harland Williams drinking Jim Carrey's piss and the quick shot of Ben Stiller's balls butchered by a zipper has spent the last decade coming up with their own perfect surprise to make the next generation burst at the seems. And the old sensibilities of this dynamic duo just don't cut it anymore.

The pair took a conscious step away from the shock comedy that made them famous with 2005's charming but forgettable romantic comedy Fever Pitch. After getting that "forgotten" response, the brothers have returned to trying to surprise some laughs out of us. Hot peppers shoved up noses, ungroomed pubic hair and Mexico's most forbidden sex show aside, every extreme moment in their latest, The Heartbreak Kid, feels every bit like the desperate attempt it is.

The brother’s re-teaming with Stiller (who starred in their biggest box office success to date There’s Something About Mary) should have been the perfect recipe for success, but in this update of the Charles Grodin comedy about a commitment-challenged man that finds true love three days after marrying someone else, they were missing a page from the cookbook. Everything that worked so well for Mary back in 1998 didn’t show up this time around.

When the team up was announced last year along with a theatrical release date for early October, studios began pulling their comedies from that weekend in fear of being railroaded by Kid. (This explains why the current landscape is dry and drama-filled.) It’s hard for me to understand why they were so concerned though. Sure Mary was great. But so was Dumb and Dumber, and when Dumber’s breakout star Jim Carrey returned to work with the brother’s in 2000’s Me, Myself and Irene, it was hardly the same miraculous crack of lightning. This kept me skeptical even if I was hoping for the best.

You can’t deny that Stiller is a box office threat. With movies like Night at the Museum, Madagascar, and Dodgeball all scoring huge with different audiences, Stiller has proven himself as a bankable star. And even when he hiccups (Duplex, Envy) fans are quick to forgive and forget. In all his time though he’s never played a character so easy to dislike as the one in Kid. Without being rude he manages to come off as unlikable and untreatable. Of all the leads in any of the Farrelly’s films, I found this character the hardest to connect with. He's just a buffoon. And considering the company he's keeping (Harry and Lloyd, Munson, Jimmy Fallon, Hank Evans, Shallow Hal) that's saying a lot.

He lies constantly and comes as close to cheating as he possibly can. And the entire time we’re supposed to sympathize with his burden of a really hot whack-job bride. If he were man enough to admit the truth to the woman he married and the woman he’s fallen for I suppose there wouldn’t be much of a movie to watch, but they made it pretty hard to root for him. Malin Akerman (who embraces crazy like a pro) and Michelle Monaghan (who plays miss perfect with ease) are both impeccably cast. Stiller spends so much time scamming his way in and out of their hearts, which is vile on so many levels, but at least we have a nice view during his furious double talk.

Delusional and crazy are characteristics best reserved for whacky supporting characters, which is probably why the collection of degenerates assembled for Kid are the best thing about this film. Even if one of them is a joke stealing jackass.

I’m speaking of course about Carlos Mencia who I think is brilliant (if not original) entertainer that falls a little flat here playing a Mexican stereotype. With his wildly popular stand-up and hardcore following he reminds me a lot of a Mexican Dane Cook. And by that I mean that his expatriation date has come and gone, and if he doesn't change his tune soon (like Cook has done) he'll be easily forgotten. He's certainly forgettable in The Heartbreak Kid. Compared to the other supporting characters in the movie like Jerry Stiller, Rob Corddry and Danny McBride ("My name is Rico and I like to party.”) who steal every scene they're in, Mencia is painfully out of his league.

Those others are used wonderfully though far too sparingly. So much time is spent establishing Malin Akerman as bat shit crazy that everything else takes a back seat. It’s unfortunate because this is the first time since Arrested Development that I’ve seen Corddry used to his best abilities, and every second of Jerry Stiller saying “pussy crushing” is hilarious.

I would say that the Farrelly’s should give Stiller his own spin-off, but it would never work. I’d say they should go back to basics, back to what they know, but technically that’s what they did here and it didn’t work. I’d say they should cast a star they know they’ll work really well with but… well, you know. I have a lot of love for Peter and Bobby Farrelly, two men who have given me a lot of laughs and one of my top ten favorite movies of all time. (Kingpin is sweeter than Yoo-Hoo.) But I can’t pretend to like a movie that doesn’t deliver on its outstanding pedigree.

Rating: 4 out of 10 The one thing the movie gets right without fault is the soundtrack. The character’s are quickly introduced as David Bowie fans and we’re treated to a great collection of his hits. As disappointed as I was with the film, it was hard to leave the movie upset as Suffragette City blasted through the credits. But as soon as I programmed it into my iPod for the walk home, I had all but forgotten about the movie that made me want to listen to it in the first place.

While I have no doubt that the humor and heart will go over better on a repeat viewing I have no interest in confirming it one way or the other. I'm content in chalking this up as another Farrelly Brother's movie that didn't work as well as it should. Like Shallow Hal, Me, Myself and Irene and Stuck on You I will enjoy Kid when it's re-run endlessly on FX in a couple years, and be perfectly fine not having it readily available in my home library. That said, for some odd reason I own Fever Pitch. Curse Drew Barrymore's and her adorableness!

There's Something About Mary - It's hard to watch The Heartbreak Kid and not think of the genius that Stiller and the Farraely's were able to bottle in 1998 with There's Something About Mary.

Back then, this story of a man's attempt to win the heart of his dream girl, was a movie that the world wasn't ready for. The beautiful love story was sweet enough for the heavy hearted and just crude enough to make it not qualify as a chick flick. It managed to surprise audiences everywhere with its big humor and bigger heart. It was one of those comedies that you had to see twice in theaters because you couldn't hear all the dialogue over the laughter. Few movies in the 10 years since Mary's release can claim the same feat.

I remember it fondly as one of the first two movies I bought on DVD before heading off to college (The other being So I Married an Axe Murderer). I still watch it at least once a year. The jokes hold up great even in the era of gross-out copycats, and it's great to look back at Cameron Diaz's breakout performance. Fresh-faced and beautiful. Innocent and sexy… even with a load in her hair. The sparkle in her eye that made Mary a character worth falling in love with has faded in recent years. I want to watch her have fun again, and not have to sit through The Holiday to see it.

Looking back, Mary was a high point for everyone involved. They've all proven that they can be funny and successful post Mary, but there's no denying the magic of this comedy classic.

This joke is a little “safe”. And I think it’s good to have those every once and a while, I mean it can’t be boobs and violence all the time, you know? The problem here is that I spend the entire review ragging on a movie for be clichéd and unfunny, and I myself churn out a joke that’s borderline 80’s sitcom. I rationalize it to myself by saying, “This is one I can show to my grandma and not feel awkward about.” But my grandma doesn’t read the comic s should I be pulling any punches?

For the record, I really was a little hesitant to ask Yeo to marry me. I wanted to marry her very much, but I had it in my head at the time that I couldn’t ask her until I was financially secure to start a family. But the thing is, if you keep waiting for your life to be perfect so you can start making life’s big decisions, you’ll never get anything accomplished. Being with Yeo was the right thing, rich or poor. And we’ll figure out the next step together.

Last week’s Triple Feature got shut down on account of Talkshoe being stupid. It’s weird, but every so often the site is just completely impossible to navigate. The result is a canceled show. We’ve been lucky in the past to avoid the days when the site is acting up, but the problem has been showing up on Mondays more and more often lately. But we won’t give up the fight! Tune in tonight at 10pm EST to see how it goes.

I was happy to get this comic and review out to you, but tomorrow I’ll have something slightly more recent with We Own the Night. Sadly it’s another movie that hasn’t really struck a chord with audiences, but maybe I can persuade you otherwise. If you are looking for something more up to date check out my comic and review for the number one movie in America right now - 30 Days of Night, which went up last Friday.

I did the midnight screening for that one. That involves seeing the movie Thursday at midnight and staying up after the screening to polish off the comic and write the review. All in hopes of having something fun up by Friday morning for you to read. I did it with 30 Days, and a few weeks ago with Resident Evil 3, and I’ll do it again this week with Saw IV. I always have a lot of fun doing these. They feel like marathon comic making events where and at the end, I feel like I’ve accomplished something significant. It’s a fun challenge that I would do more often if theaters had more midnight screenings. But there’s no shortage right now so I have little to complain about. See you tomorrow!

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