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Movies for the Week of January 24th, 2014
  • Labor Day
  • That Awkward Moment
  • Gimme Shelter
  • Enemies Closer

Labor Day


Mike White: Man, seems like six months can’t go by without one of these movies set around a holiday.  I thought Garry Marshall was making a cottage industry out of these with New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day…

Oh, this isn’t a Garry Marshall movie?  It’s Jason Reitman trying to be serious after his fluffy movies like Juno? I’m not sure which appeals less — a romantic comedy set around Labor Day or this film about a guy whose agoraphobic mother gets a visit from a wonderful escaped murderer who teaches the boy how to play catch and fix a tire. The schmaltz may be too much to take.

That the studio is releasing this now (Jan 31) and not a few months ago to throw it into contention for the Oscars kind of says that they have no faith in it.  I don’t either.

Alex Jowski: Well Jason Reitman might make it watchable.  Juno was one of the worst things ever but Up in the Air still remains one of the best things to come out of 2009.  However this particular story doesn’t interest me one bit.  If I wanted something about Stickholm Syndrome I would just watch The Patty Hearst Story.  There is also the fact that whenever I see Josh Brolin in a movie now I keep thinking of that bad remake of Oldboyand it still hurts.

Martha Page: This is what’s wrong with American women today – they’re always falling for the wrong guy.  That’s an escaped murderer from prison and you’re going to fall in love with him and make him Super Dad?  Don’t be surprised when your kid grows up to be a felon because that’s who you chose to be his new Dad.  Also, that girl from Titanic got OLD.

Cecil Trachenberg: Interesting. The old criminal with the heart of gold with a bit of stockholm syndrome. I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting to give a crap but I think it looks pretty good.

Josh Hadley: Question the first… what year does this take place? I ask because the comic books on that spinner rack are from the 1980’s so either this drugstore is really slow on updating with vendors or this is a “period piece”.  Question the second… why the hell should I not immediately yak at the thought of this oh so artificial “romance” that blossoms out of the wet crotch of lonely housewives?

Charley McMullen I’m not going to make Jason Reitman apologize for Juno for the rest of his life.  I never saw Up in the Air, but I’ve not hear anything negative about it, and I’ve heard a Danny McBride fan could do worse.  That makes us even, as far as I’m concerned.  This move looks like a well-acted, well-written romance that did not fall into a single one of the romantic movie clichés that makes me a misogynist when I don’t mean to be.  I am totally open to seeing this.  Why the hell not?  Now, having said that, I feel that I should point out that Josh Brolin’s disappearing and reappearing goatee makes this look like a fractured, existentialist narrative following two simultaneous realities.  He’s evil in one and good in the other.  That either means this movie actually does that, which would be awesome, or just a nice, on-the-record “Fuck you.” from the trailer editor.

mister X: that was a pretty decently cut trailer…almost felt oscar-baity
will probably give it a peek on DVD

That Awkward Moment


Mike White: There’s an internet meme called “That Awkward Moment” that this film’s title is trying to cash in on.  The preview for the film starts off pretty bad, I’m suddenly thrown into kind of an anti-American Pie or maybe a bit of Love’s Labors Lost,  where our three main male characters forswear relationships with women (in favor of one night stands).  Alas, each one of the guys find themselves unable to abide by their own rules.

Alex Jowski: There were an awful lot of dick jokes in that movie, with a couple of romance stories crammed in there.  There were a few funny moments in there, I’ll give it that (That “rock out with your cock out” scene kinda made me smile).  It’s interesting to see that Zac Efron, once the innocent star of Disney’s High School Musical has progressed to such adult work without any kind of scandal about it.  Good for him, he seems like a talented actor.  The thing I do like best about this movie is the good looking cast though.  The story doesn’t interest me but that tasty looking male cast does.

Martha Page: I asked Jowski what else Zac Efron had been in and all he said was “my dreams.” Typical.  I like party movies and I like immature sex comedies like Sex Drive.  This movie seems like it’s going to be just like those so it’s something I want to watch.  I am going to be worried though that instead of just being a party movie it will ditch that and just start being a stupid romance.  How come the two white guys are shown getting girlfriends but the black guy doesn’t?  Are they trying to say something?

Cecil Trachenberg: Kinda funny. Could go either way. I’m hoping they didn’t show the funniest bits in the trailer or…this movie won’t be funny.

Josh Hadley: I am so fucking angry right now at this trailer… that this shit gets funded when not a SINGLE “joke” in it was funny while an actual comedy will die at the box office do to the masses being fooled into thinking that “boner pill” jokes are what qualifies as humor. Frankly why should anyone want to see this movie? To watch the “fun” adventures of those guys in high school you desperately avoided at all costs? Yeah, I want to see a fucking film with these retards acting like childish retards. Fuck me when I long for a Seth Rogan movie (that hurt to type).

Charley McMullen: This is just flat-out sexist.  Movies wherein all guys are soulless, sex-obsessed assholes who are terrified of feelings are about up there with buck-toothed Chinamen in terms of outdated clichés.  The characters in this thing did not even come close to resembling anyone I could ever give a fuck about.  I’m familiar with the concept of idiotic guys who act like assholes because there is a simultaneous generation of idiotic women out there who insist they can change them, but that doesn’t mean there needs to be a movie whose sole purpose seems to be to perpetuate the downward spiral.  But, whatever.  I guess those High School Musical movies justify zac Efron still being around.  If you’re one of the five people still living that saw Three to Tango, you may have also recognized that Zac Efron is the now Matthew Perry of his day, and it’s all downhill from here.  But enough about former Disney properties trying to be real people.  What’s the next movie…

mister X: if this movie was titled ‘DUMB GUYS BE DUMB N’ SHYT TIL THEY REALIZE THEY CAN’T FUK EACH OTHER N’ GET GIRLFRIENDS’ i’d TOTALLY be onboard…and dammit, i DID laff* at the ‘fake dong in the drink’ moment

*full disclosure: i AM high, so that may be a factor

*full disclosure: i AM high, so that may be a factor

Gimme Shelter


Mike White: The story of a hard core Rolling Stones fan who goes on a search for the meaning of the lyrics, this film is all about a dysfunctional teenager (is there any other kind?) who runs to Brendan Frasier and makes his life difficult.

I have absolutely no desire to see this movie, even though Brendan Frasier is in it.

Alex Jowski: The first half of the trailer grabbed my interest.   This yioung girl the victim of a meth-junkie mom and the carelessness of the social system as she tries to find her real father (Brendan Fraeser) and find her place in the world.  Nothing too new and with some rather forced melodrama, but one can hope for enlightenment in that.  However the movie then comes right out and tells you what to expect for its emotional crux, how she makes friends at a halfway house and it changes her life for the better.  You don’t make good friends at a halfway house.  Watch Linda Blair in Born Innocent and you’ll get an idea of the type of girls one meets in one of those kind of places.

Martha Page: Meth is one helluva drug.

This is going to be a great movie – an AMAZING movie because of two things.  1 – Brendan Fraser because he’s awesome. 2 – James Earl Jones because he never does a bad movie.  You don’t put James Earl Jones in your movie if you’re making a shit movie.  You put james Earl Jones in your movie to make your movie go from “pretty good” to “best movie ever.”

I don’t want to stare at this ugly chick for two hours.  There are so many good looking actresses in Hollywood going without work because they’re given work to the uglies.

Cecil Trachenberg: Bleh. So this is the movie Vanessa Hudgens went and uglied herself up for a few years ago. Was about what I thought. Tugging at the heartstrings nonsense. Don’t care.

Josh Hadley: Amazing missed opportunity for use of a Stones song here, that said this looks AWFUL. It’s all “my life sucks and no one understands me” waa waa shit. This is what happens when Lifetime and IFC decide to have sex behind an alley dumpster while a hobo watches and you get pink eye.

Charley McMullen:  Maybe I’m reading too much into this title, but if you use the title of something else (in this case, a Rolling Stones song) in an ironic way (implied meaning differing from the literal meaning), that is called a pun.  A movie about a homeless crack whore being abused by an indifferent system and a cruel society doesn’t seem to really open itself up for witty wordplay.  That’s just me.  I’m old-fashioned that way.  As for the movie itself, it’s hard to say.  I don’t want to be a dismissive prick just because Vanessa Hudgens was in the aforementioned and unforgiveable trilogy of High School Musical movies, but in the wake of Suckerpunch, it’s hard not to.  Maybe if Jason Reitman can make a good movie Vanessa Hudgens can star in one.  It’s anyones guess.  this could either be good in the way that Girl, Interrupted was, or bad in the way the Girl, Interrupted was.

mister X: …and high ALL THE FUK GONE NOW

looks dramatic n’ intense n shyt…but i get that in my real life too much as it is so tend to avoid it in my entertainment unless REALLY compelled

Enemies Closer

PictureMike White: Finally, a movie I want to see!  It’s the new JCVD movie… and it’s got Orlando Jones in it. I haven’t seen Orlando Jones in anything since Evolution in 2001.

I’m a little confused by Van Damme’s hair and I’m sad to see him playing a bad guy again. I thought, like Jackie Chan, he didn’t like to play bad guys but he’s been doing so (Expendables 2).  i want a kinder, gentler, ass-kickinger JCVD.

However, this was directed by Peter Hyams who gave us one of the best movies ever — Timecop — so I’m all over it.

Alex Jowski: Though the title is stupid this movie looks remarkably interesting.  I never thought I’d see the day when Orlando Jones and Jan Claude Van Damme share space in the same movie.  I never thought there would actually be a Jean Claude Van Damme movie I really wanted to see since I was in middle school.  This is not the same JCVD I enjoyed so much back in the early 90s when I watched things like Timecop orSudden Death.  This is an older JCVD and a bad guy at that.  Also the story, while nothing new, is something I want to see.

Martha Page: That’s not Jean Claude Van Damme.  I know it says Jean Claude Van Damme on the poster and it says Jean Claude Van Damme in the preview with a picture of that man’s face but that’s not Jean Claude Van Damme.  That’s Malcom McDowell.  He looks and acts everything like Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork Orange so I’m just going to say that it’s Malcom McDowell.  Even though the movie is gonna suck.  It tells you right at the end of the preview that it’s going to suck.  Right here:


Right at the end of this trailer the number two pops up like a subliminal message.  Film leader bullshit.  It’s a warning that this movie is #2 – it’s shit.

Cecil Trachenberg: Now we’re talking! JCVD in a reverse Hard Target. He’s been making some awesome DTV action flicks lately so I’m way the hell on board with this.

Josh Hadley: Oh Peter Hymns, have far you have fallen if this is what you proudly place your name upon. Over the top wirework, casting JCVD as a villain, a convoluted plot and all for what? A token release and then straight to the $5 bin at Wal-Mart? You made 2010 and Running Scared and Outland man, did A Sound Of Thunder really hit you THAT hard that you actually lost the ability to direct?  Damn.

Charley McMullen Nah, I’m good.  Even someone who likes buddy movies can only overlook so much.  This looks lame and predictable.  The cast is somewhat captivating, though.  Orlando Jones, Tom Everett Scott and goddamn Van Dame are a really weird grouping of actors.  I don’t have anything against any of these guys individually, I guess, but…damn.  It’s just bizarre.  Pass on this one.

mister X: this will either suck or be a return to B-movie awesomeness and it all boils down to this:

is the below shot representative of the flick or its’ highlight?


Next Week

  • The Lego Movie
  • Scorned
  • The Monuments Men
  • Vampire Academy
About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.

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