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: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Chris O'Donnell, Donal Logue, Amaury Nolasco, Kate Burton, Olga Kurylenko
Directed by: John Moore
Twentieth Century Fox
The Official Site of Max Payne
Discuss Max Payne on the boards!
Max Payne was supposed to be kind of bad right? It was supposed to be the video game adaptation that forgets about character development in a hail of drugs and bullets like the Schwarzenegger/Downey Jr. buddy cop movie of the 80s that never was. Max Payne’s trip to the big screen surprised us all by scaling back the game’s notorious “shoot anything that moves” mentality and focusing more on the suffering of a cop seeking redemption. Thank goodness they didn’t completely take audiences by surprise when they had the good sense to still make it kind of bad.
Yeah we knew it would suck but we were looking forward to those explosions and those slow motion, gun-toting jumps through the air that made the game so much fun top play in the first place. Director John Moore and crew have mastered the look and the tone of the game in what turns out to be the most aggressive and expensive anti-drug ad you’ll ever see, but do little more to bring the game to life with any dignity.
Max Payne is a story about a man trying to find and punish the people responsible for the death of his wife and child. The trail leads to a drug ring where dangerous men that couldn’t hit a target if their life depended on it and beautiful women being stalked by winged Valkyries round out one koo koo bananas adventure.
The first hour is a slow torture as you wait for the daemons to be explained (courtesy of the wisest tattoo artist you’ll ever meet) and for Max to shoot somebody! ANYBODY! It‘s a lengthy set-up that is unfortunately action free choosing instead to focus on the cast of one recognizable face after another. (From Ludacris to Donal Logue to Nelly Furtado… Seriously…)
The problem with focusing on the characters is that none of them seem to be focusing on their acting. Wahlberg has proven he’s got the chops to waltz through a role like this, but you’ll feel nothing for the beaten down Max, a man haunted by the past and the possibility of revenge. It should be an easy connection to make with the audience but all emotion is replaced by aggressive sulking as his costars try to out cool one other. No one wins. Especially the audience.
As soon as Max gets his hands on some drugs things take a quick turn towards greatness, ending the movie in a very positive way. Regrettably it’s one of those endings that, instead of making you love the movie as a whole, will only make you wonder how that clunky set-up would have been if it were filmed with the same passion and adrenaline as the last half hour.
Our one hope is a sequel, something teased in the final scene, which they make you sit through the credits to see even though it would have fit well enough tacked on to the final fadeout. Hollywood, listen - If Tony Stark isn’t showing up to invite your star to join the Avengers then save us 3 minutes and just run the footage before the credits.
Max payne embraces the drama, which is fine as long as it’s leading somewhere. When the movie finally heats up it’s worth it (you can tell they were saving their money for the grand finale) but this is a movie that demands to be guns blazing from beat one and it just isn’t.
There’s not nearly enough of what should have been the shinning moment of the film – Bullet Time. This effect, a drug educed slow motion pause, something featured prominently in the game, should have slowed this movie to the point where it would have been totally believable if King Leonidas and his 300 burst into frame. Unfortunately the effect is only used twice and is marred by the fact that not one single bad guy can shoot for dick (I seriously dread seeing what the floor around their toilet looks like).
The effect looks strong but the bad staging makes it seem low class. Of course the fact that this movie trick has been done better a million times on the big screen before isn’t helping at all. Bullet Time may have been what made Max Payne the video game stand out oh so long ago, but in theaters the effect is old news and quickly labeled a rip off. Unless you can do it exceptionally, which Max Payne does not.
What is done exceptionally well is the look of the film. Flakes of snow are perfectly staged, the lighting department earned their paycheck and (as odd as they may seem in this world) the Valkyries look outstanding. It’s a lush and wonderful film to behold which only makes it worse when they can build nothing around it.
Rating: 5 out of 10 - What it comes down to is this - the ending kicks several kinds of asses. It’s really great and worth seeing the movie for. Just not on the big screen. Not that there’s a lot of incredible competition in theaters right now (poor Sex Drive couldn’t find a deserving audience) but save your money and wait for Max Payne to hit video stores. Make some time to soak up its extraordinary visuals and solid ending when you have a fast forward button at arm’s reach.
You know… my instincts are just to say, “No way, this movie didn’t work, I don’t want anything to do with it!” but I know myself better than that. I can see my DVD collection from here and it’s filled with a bunch of bad films with good bits and purchases based on hopes that it would be better the second time around. The two movies that Max Payne reminds me the most of, Constantine and Hitman, are prime examples of movies that I hated in theaters but learned to love on DVD. I have a silly hope that Max Payne will be one of those DVDs. I’ll wait for the price to drop, but… yeah… an unnecessary purchase is bound to happen.
Okay so today’s comic isn’t entirely truthful. Irv and I don’t drink tea... Okay seriously – we don’t hate Mark Wahlberg. I would say in fact that I’m a pretty big fan. I’ve loved his stuff ever since he was yelling at peepholes, diddling Reese Witherspoon and giving himself grammatically incorrect, homemade tattoos. After bringing us The Happening and Max Payne in one year though, (his worst back-to-back line-up since Rock Star and The Truth About Charlie), he deserved a shot.
When I wrote this joke on Friday it felt like a good one. As much as I like the guy’s movies he sort of comes off like he’d be kind of a jerk. Like he doesn’t know how to laugh at himself. Jokes on me though after his appearance on Kimmel in response to this SNL skit followed by his appearance this weekend on Saturday Night Live where he embraced some attention, made a mini controversy out of it and walked away with some HUGE laughs. I’m seeing him in a new light and sort of regretting the cheap shot. He and the movie deserve a little better in this instance.
Taken - I’d seen most of the trailers running before Max Payne (though was nicely surprised by a full trailer for David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons. Read more about my thoughts on that here) except one for some Liam Neeson thriller called Taken. It starts off harmlessly enough. Father (Neeson) hears daughter (LOST’s Maggie Grace) get kidnapped over the phone. After the kidnappers pick up the reciever the concerned parent, in the most soothing tones imaginable, explains how he will hunt down and obliterate every last trace of these men if they actually go through with it.
This could work out to be a run of the mill revenge tae but with Neeson in the lead you never know. We’ve never really seen him as a ruthless, bad ass in a modern setting like this. Just having the chance to see someone of his caliber follow through on some of those phoned threats seems like it would be worth the price of the ticket.
There’s another hefty review for you guys. I hope you don’t mind my rambaling. If you’d like to hear more about Max Payne Gordon, Tom and myself will be talking about it tonight on the Triple Feature. We’ll also be discussing Sex Drive and W. which I haven’t had a chance to see just yet. I’ll be sneaking out tomorrow afternoon to catch it and if you’d like to hear my first reactions right away be sure to follow me on Twitter or keep your eye’s peeled out for this thread where I invite you to leave your first reaction as well.
That’s all for now but more soon. Thanks, guys!
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