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.
My Sister’s Keeper
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva, Cameron Diaz, Jason Patric, Evan Ellingson, Alec Baldwin, Thomas Dekker
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
New Line Cinema
The Official Site of My Sister’s Keeper
Discuss My Sister’s Keeper on the boards!
“My Sister’s Keeper is pathetic Oscar bait” I’m paraphrasing and perhaps embellishing a little but someone wrote this in the chat field of the movie podcast that I take part in every week. They’d not seen the movie but made this claim based on the plot line of cancer tearing apart a family.
As the recorded discussion focused on cars turning into robots and how much that sucked (I’m speaking of course about Transformers 2, My Sister’s Keeper’s direct competition that destroyed it but left almost everyone in the world ready to rant) I grimaced in my seat at the gut reaction of someone that had shut themselves off from a film that has so much more to say than… well, than its direct competition.
Can you really call a movie “Oscar bait” when it opens in the middle of the summer on the same weekend as a movie that even my Grandmother saw? I’m not saying that they’re not using cancer to make a connection or as a method of getting a reaction out of the audience but couldn’t you say the same thing of any movie? Think about this little girl dieing of cancer as if she were a semi-tractor trailer about to sprout arms and rip someone’s face off. Every movie uses a trick or two. The big difference is that not every movie has something worth saying once the families are torn apart the giant robots have saved the day.
My Sister’s Keeper, adapted from the book by Jodi Picoult, tells the story of Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin), a young woman that has decided to sue her parents. Not for emancipation or the sweet sweet commercial money she earned as a Gerber baby, but instead for her kidneys, her bone marrow, her blood and every other part of her body that is fully compatible with her dying sister. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) has been losing the fight to leukemia for as long as she can remember. Anna was mixed up in a dish to be a perfect match for her sister. A failsafe to help her survive and fight on. Since birth her parents have been lifting pieces from Anna But she’s had enough. When we find out that Kate needs a kidney Anna contacts a lawyer
Okay, so the situation brings up some interesting questions. In a lot of ways Anna owes her life to Kate’s illness because she never would have existed if Kate hadn’t needed her “spare” parts. So she owes her… but to what end? The film wisely offers a variety of perspectives so that everyone in the audience can ask themselves the big questions. Would you force one child to hurt themself if it meant another would live? Would you stand by silently if you knew you were destroying the people around you?
The big question though, and the one that had me most anxious about seeing the film was, “Why would Anna refuse to save her sister?” Simple excuses about how losing a kidney will lower her own quality of life are presented but you know there’s a bigger motivation at play. What’s interesting is that it almost doesn’t seem to matter. This is a huge stance taken by a very young lady that causes a gigantic rift in her family, but the story, told through flashbacks and voiceovers as Kate reflects on her young life, with its characters and performances is captivating to the point that the reasons why seem inconsequential. I was more interested in finding out how they got there than I was in seeing them resolve it. Perhaps because resolution would most likely end with death or some kind of ending to a movie that was enjoying too much to close the doors on just yet.
Critically the story of the film has been about its performances. I thought the family all around handled the material with a lot of care and authenticity. They felt like a real unit. Breslin is sweet and genuine. Cameron Diaz ranges from warrior to beaten like the seasoned pro she is but chooses to hide away. Jason Patrick (who apparently came out of retirement for this film) is the kind of father we should all aspire to have and be and it was nice to see Joan Cusack and Alec Baldwin who both make the most of their brief roles neither stealing the show nor slowing things down. The real find though is Sofia Vassilieva who perhaps gets a little to wise and wistful near the end (both the film’s and hers) but shows a lot of different sides to a very complex character. It’s a wonderful ensemble that is very much worthy of all the praise.
My Sister’s Keeper is a well done film that will have you asking important questions about yourself and your life and not about where Optimus Prime’s arm is supposed to go when he’s in truck form. Not that that’s not fun to talk about but it’ll only seem important until the next action movie comes out.
Rating: 7 out of 10 - I find that I fall into the trap of rating movies comparatively to the movies that are released around them. My Sister’s Keeper is much more effective at attaining its goals than something like Transformers 2 but is it really a better movie (it is) and is it really fair to stack the cancer-tear-jerker up against a movie where cars can punch each other (it’s not)? Still, I find myself in this trap often.
Comparisons aside My Sister’s Keeper earns big points for finding that success in exactly what it intended to do. It’s sweet and funny, as well acted and as well produced as you may have heard. And most importantly… it will have you weeping like a baby.
Really that’s what we want from a movie like My Sister’s Keeper, an experience that will speak to us to the point of a good cry. If I were crying during Transformers 2 then I might be worried a little.
I actually attended the NYC premiere of My Sister’s Keeper which may or may not have had an impact on the experience. On one hand director Nick Cassavetes bumped into me after giving the film’s introduction. On the other hand, he bumped into me because the assigned seating had me in the front row of an antique theater. Old enough where the closest seats rested within reach of resting your feet on the same wall the screen is hung on. Figures were distorted. It was like watching the film through a wine glass. Not distracting enough to stop the tears though.
Sadly, My Sister’s Keeper would get no love in my DVD player. I would watch it once just to share it with Yeo but would probably never cross paths with it again until it was playing on TV and we got sucked into it. Fantastic film though. There’s no shame in adding it to your collection.
When I wrote this joke I thought it was harmless. Sure Sofia Vassilieva, the actress playing the older sister, is obviously far too young for someone my age but she’s a genuine talent, a real stunner, and I thought nothing of pointing that out. The creep-factor didn’t kick in until I realized she was one of the kids on Medium. Not to mention Cindy Brady in the Brady Bunch movies… Nothing will make you feel like a dirty old man more than appreciating the beauty of someone born when you were in middle school.
I’ve never been one for the “18th birthday countdown” of people like Hillary Duff or The Olsen Twins. Child actresses should never get hot. Can you imagine what it’ll be like when Dakota Fanning does a Maxim cover spread? Hasn’t the whole “Rudy from The Cosby Show” thing been enough for us to deal with this decade?
Okay guys… before I say one more word, you’ve got to head on over and check out Bloody Pulp, a comic by my friends Jorge and Jeff who prove to me every time I upload their page that I have no business making comics when there’s talent like this out there. They’re in need of some votes to get their comic to the top of the Zuda list and once you read a few you’ll see why it’s a strip worth keeping around. Go spend some time and support quality comics.
In other news… I painted a Mez-it (one of those little bubble-bodied figurines that promote creativity) for Mezco’s booth at Sand Diego Comic con and it made the front page at MTV. There’s a whole crazy story behind it that I will get into in the next update but for now go check out all the incredible entries (including ones from Mike Mignola and Angus Oblong) and then have a great Thursday. Back with Bruno (check out the review now) and Harry Potter soon.
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