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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.

Twilight Saga: New Moon

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning

Directed by: Chris Weitz

New Line Cinema

The Official Site of New Moon

Discuss New Moon on the boards!

If you’re not into it then you’re screwed. I’m not even talking about the huge Twilight phenomenon that has included controversial director shifts, tabloid cover stories and underage body building, I’m just talking about the rushed and inauthentic characters tossed out at us from the giant screen. If you can’t buy the unwavering, life-or-death love affair between wallflower Bella and vampire Edward then New Moon will be a sour story to swallow. At least the first 20 minutes of it.

Those 20 minutes are truly unbearable. It picks up where Twilight left off with our leads lost in a love that is not meant to be. Bella is haunted by the idea of growing old as her frozen-in-time true love stays fit, pale and forever in hair product. They are as awkward to watch as ever. Between their banter that comes off like rejected Shakespearean sonnets, their torturous attempts at kissing (like a person trying to lick a delicious cheeseburger without actually touching it) and, upon Edward’s departure, Bella’s introverted decent into crazytown, their daydream love plays more “teen drama club” than “end of the world”. Tough the target audience might disagree. Look, I’m not dead inside. I think it’s easy enough for most of us to sympathize with this sort of first love, first heart break situation and recognize that at the time it IS life-or-death. But from the comfort of my happy marriage, home and yard full of leaves begging to be raked it’s hard to objectively say that these loves… that this love… is worth getting all worked up over. Of course I never had to deal with a girlfriend constantly suppressing the urge to murder me. At least I think so. I do like ‘em crazy.

Edward realizes that his actions have put Bella in danger and decides to leave. Everyone in the audience sees through his cold act of rejection yet Bella seems crushed by Edward’s damning words and I cocked my head wondering why we should so willingly follow such a naïve heroine. Still, he goes and his absence brings new life to the film. (Sorry, Rob)

Bella becomes an adrenaline junkie after learning that being reckless brings on ghostly visions of Edward trying to protect her. She spends time with her old friend Jacob, a local werewolf whose newly developed abs and refusal to wear a shirt quickly grow on our lonely, lost lead. Jacob has replaced an emptiness in her heart and when they embrace it’s almost as if she’s replaced his missing shirt. It dials back the romance and starts from square one, which is great. Watching love develop is always more entertaining than watching love that simply “is”.

New Moon isn’t afraid to show off its big budget with some giant werewolf beat downs. The effects have their holes but I liked them overall. The transformations are smooth and visceral. Enough so to turn swoons to squeals from the pre-teen heavy crowd.

I’m happy to report that it also goes on to explore the monster mythology including that of wolf packs and their codes – another series of limitations creating another forbidden love situation for Bella (poor girl just needs a man that likes sushi). Even as it brings Edward back into the film we see a whole new aspect of his life in the larger world of vampires. Glimpses of the Vampire high council (lead by a pasty Michael Sheen who apparently only plays monsters and Tony Blaire now) inspire the potential of a larger vampire world exploring and expanding on the vampire mythos far beyond sparkle skin. It’s honestly nothing we haven’t seen before but it’s the promise that this series goes beyond the droning depression of forbidden love. It proves that it can create conflict and drama beyond the “should I or shouldn’t I be with you” bullshit that we kinda already know the answer to.

There are some noticeable holes but I think it’s another case of being in the moment. You could explain your way out of why Bella’s father leaves her alone with a pack of shirtless youths or why Edward doesn’t smell Bella approaching to save him even though he spent a third of the first movie going on about how awesome she stinks but it’s all kind of a stretch. These are thin characters waltzing through thin stories with thin motivations. Try not to rock the boat and just enjoy it for what it is. Because there’s definitely something there.

As New Moon drew to a close I was disappointed that they played all their cards. Spoiler alert but – Bella chooses a side. She ends the love triangle before it can even properly begin and it felt like a wasted opportunity to really develop these characters. How can they grow if they remain the same? I guess when you live for a hundred years you come to depend on your routines.

Rating: 6 out of 10 - I think that director Chris Weitz (About A Boy and the horribly underrated though perhaps rightfully so considering his own admission of studio tampering - The Golden Compass) has done an admirable job in righting this wayward ship. People really love the first Twilight film and that’s great but it’s nearly inaccessible to outsiders. Even as someone that read the novel I felt shut out of what was supposedly this fantastic adventure. And you can’t say it’s not for me because I’m not the target audience. The best adventures transcend demographics.

New Moon is a competent film that suffers from a clunky intro and highly motivated characters doing some very unnatural things (Bella forcing a pack of vampires to vote on her fate seemed a little stupid) but the adventure is there. The new love is there and it does become very exciting even for those of us not as connected to the characters as we might have liked to be.

The one flawless aspect of the film seemed to be its score and soundtrack. Weitz has mastered the montage with perfect track selection to set the stage with mood and tone. The film’s saving grace is its easy listening. If the film begins to fall apart just close your eyes and focus on what’s working.

This is an easy one for me to say pass on because it’s just not for me… but if you’re even slightly interested in this franchise than New Moon brings with it the romance, adventure and monster mythology worth drooling over. There are legions of fans eager to relive that. Curiosity upon the release of the next of the Twilight saga may have me returning to rent New Moon to recap what’s already happened, but shear testosterone will keep me from adding it to my permanent collection.

The girl in today’s strip is intended to be my sister who has actually appeared once before back in year one. If you know a Colleen Dunn that goes to your college tell her that her brother Joe says Hey. If it’s actually her that would be so creepy…

I find this team business fascinating. These shirts are actually made. Most often bootlegged but I saw some studio released ones actually on sale at the theater. When I showed up on Sunday morning for my screening the “Jacob” shirts were long since sold out. One woman in front of me seemed disappointed to be slumming it with Team Edward. I was more than happy to join up with Team Reeses Pieces.

Dueling Analogs is celebrating its 4 year anniversary and I’ve got a strip running up over there today. This was one of the ideas we were knocking around for our AVGW review of Uncharted but it didn’t make the cut. I always rally liked it though. Thanks to Steve for his kind words but for also being such a generous supporter of AVGW. He’s a big reason it has done as well as it has.

Joe Dunn's Facebook profile

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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