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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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Hitman

Starring: Timmothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Robert Knepper, Ulrich Thomsen, Henry Ian Cusick

Directed by: Xavier Gens

Twentieth Century Fox

The Official Site of Hitman

Discuss Hitman on the boards!

My first reaction to the latest video game to make the live action leap to the big screen was that I couldn’t believe it was over. 100 minutes of a movie that couldn’t commit to its mystery, its action or whatever that was that passed for an underdone, undefined love story, all that capped off by the most anti-climactic finale I’ve seen in ages... and I was flabbergasted. I was in complete disbelief that this was how they chose to end the winter’s first big “action movie”.

My friends and I had been looking forward to the film all week long. We even met before hand to get some drinks and try and convince ourselves that it MIGHT be good. But after the credits rolled we all stumbled into the lobby shocked. I kept screaming, “That’s it!?” eventually going as far as to mock the films final shot of Agent 47 striking a pose with his sniper rifle and red tie flapping in the breeze. The heroic stance of a hero that barely did anything.

Now, if I’m being honest, I didn’t expect a whole lot from this film to begin with. First looks weren’t giving us too much to get excited about. The movie looked anything but original. I’d jokingly been calling it XXX3 to my friends for months, foolishly assuming that, even if it did so unsuccessfully, Htiman would follow the same high octane, non-stop adventure pattern. Say what you want about XXX: State of the Union… At least Ice Cube drives a train off the bridge at the end.

When I got back home I flamed on line that Hitman was the worst movie of 2007. Something I willingly took back after remembering the horror that is Epic Movie. But had Kal Penn driven a train off a bridge or something… I’d be doing some recalculations.

A week later I was still upset about the inconsistencies of the film. How it took a great idea from the game and left out al the originality. I was talking about it one night with my wife complaining specifically about how there are hints, but few direct references to Agent 47’s supposed connection to the church. She of course pointed out, “Well he did have that key to the Archbishop’s office.”

To which I replied, “There was a key?”

One please for Hitman.

Yep, I went back. I bought a second ticket to see Hitman. I was blanking on some of the finer points and realized that I may have had one too many pre-movie cocktails. I decided that I had to give the movie a fair shake it deserved. It’s a complicated story about a hitman whose secretive employers turn on him after one of his assignments goes bad. (Like Bourne, but he remembers everything and doesn’t tell us anything.) But with everything going on, and in my inebriated state, there had to be more that I missed besides church keys and bodies in trunks. Also, I think that secretly I had convinced myself that that grand finale, that left me fuming and inspired the comic, really was the slick exclamation point that this movie deserved.

Yeah… no. It wasn’t. The second time through I picked up some great details and was able to see how deep Agent 47’s plan really went, but the action… is just bad.

To be fair though, and this is gonna sound stupid, killing people isn’t what Hitman is all about. The series of games have always been about stealth not body counts. Get in; Kill some dude; and get out with no one the wiser. That doesn’t really call for a barrage of explosions, jump kicks or exploding jump kicks. But this adaptation doesn’t aptly deliver on either extreme. There are nice moments that come close like a quick kill in the toilet and a gun deal gone bad where 47 makes nice use of a grenade, but neither is true to the spirit of the game.

Something that didn’t get lost in the game-to-movie transition was the planning. Agent 47 must have been a boy scout because he’s ready for anything. In the game it’s rarely about walking from point A to point B to make your kill. You have to set the stage. You have to poison the doughnuts and make the FBI guy eat them before you can steal his suit and walk around uninhibited. I was relieved to see that the film makes good use of hidden guns and quick escape plans, even if it never shows a proper hit from start to finish convincingly.

The film’s acting is a little all over the place, but I liked the two leads. Timothy Olyphant pulls off the shaved head and grit that Agent 47 really needs. And it was a risk casting him. He’s been in a bazillion movies, but even after starring on Deadwood and shooting John McClane earlier this summer, I think it’s still fair to say that he’s not an A-list headliner. Hitman’s not the film to make him a household name though.

Olga Kurylenko is a target’s love slave that gets caught in the middle of things. She was kind enough to play show-and-tell with her boobs but was so convincing as a third-world hooker that it’s barely enticing. Barely. When her character first appears on screen she defines “skank”. She looks like she stinks of cigarettes and piss and that’s kind of hard to get passed even after she flashes her high beams.

After she calms down and 47 cleans her up, the camera takes time to settle on her face and she’s absolutely stunning. Here’s hoping that this gorgeous newcomer gets a chance to play the girl next door in her follow-up project.

Something two viewings, some senseless Internet flaming and failing to pass the second board in Hitman: Blood Money without those damn guards seeing me, has taught me is that first reactions can be dangerous. Even the worst movies that blow their natural potential and fail to live up to the basics of whatever genre they’re pretending to be, will still have something to offer.

Except Hitman.

Rating: 3 out of 10 - Hitman had as much potential to be a fantastic game adaptation as it did to be the male version of Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider without Angelina Jolie’s rack. That sounds about right. That’s what they gave us.

I’m as shocked as anyone but… Yeah, kinda. The movie is a complete train wreck but I love the tone and I love Olyphant in the part so chances are that when the opportunity rolls around I’ll be willing to give this movie another chance. But that’s just for me. I couldn’t in good conscious recommend that anyone else blow 10-15 dollars on Hitman even if the action-nut in me knows that DVD is the only chance for this franchise to take off and improved upon. Don’t laugh. If it worked for The Transporter, it could work for any movie.

The Punisher - In my second time through Hitman I realized I was having a similar reaction to it that I did when I saw The Punisher a second time around. Neither film is very impressive, partially because they seem to never truly embrace their source material.

Some movies can ignore source and still work. I think that Constantine did a fabulous job of creating a compelling adventure even without a blonde wig and a brown trench coat. But the same cannot be said for The Punisher. While the film boasts some cool moments (The battle with the Russian is still a lot of fun), there are too many glaring differences to make the first viewing an enjoyable experience for anyone familiar with the source. They killed his WHOLE family? Whatever.

It’s been few years and I do own the DVD. I pop it in every few months or so and enjoy The Punisher for the adventure it is and try not to linger too long on the moments that don’t quite gel with the perception I have of the character. And if you can do that it’s actually a half way decent movie. It’s still in Miami though.

Marvel is of course doing a reboot of the character in Punisher: War Journal. Apparently they’re embracing the R-rating and the first set picture is promising. I’m hopeful, but I want to see a trailer before I start calling this Frank Castles great rebirth.

I Am Legend - On Tuesday when I posted the comic and review for The Golden Compass I also announced the creation of the brand new JLCM Book Club as well as its first subject, I Am Legend. The JLCM Book Club is exactly what it sounds like – a get together on line to discuss the novels that upcoming and current movie releases are based on. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long while, and after devouring Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend over the weekend I was inspired to get the ball rolling.

The turn out in the forums has been good so far from long time fans of the story, but the floor is still open for discussion. And once the movie is released I’m sure we’ll be taking a look at how well or poorly it compares with the original text. Feel free to join in and have your say, and if you feel out of the loop be sure to stop by later in the week when we begin picking out our next book to read. Because even though I chose I Am Legend to get the club off the ground, it’ll be a group choice on what we read next. Have your voice heard!

It’s that time of the year where you start sending and receiving holiday cards. This is the first year where I’m helping you do it! I proudly introduce… the very first JLCM Holiday Card! These card are ready for download as print or e-cards courtesy of Cickwheel. I’m really proud of this image that features some of the JLCM cast decorating the Christmas tree with Alien and Predator. Plus there are a lot of other cool movie nods hidden in the decorations and Christmas cookies. Check it out!

More soon!

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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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