March 6th, 2008

THE HEARTBREAK KID (2007) ** ½

Ben Stiller stars in this remake of the 1972 Charles Grodin comedy as Eddie, a fidgety bachelor who “takes the plunge” and marries the first cute girl he sees.  On their honeymoon however, Lila (Malin Akerman) shows her true colors and becomes a nymphomaniac who likes rough sex with a deviated septum, a mountain of credit card debt, debilitating sunburn and an annoying singing voice.  This doesn’t sit well with Eddie and when he meets a cute chick named Miranda (Michelle Monaghan from Mission:  Impossible 3), he falls head over heels in love with her.  Will he break off his marriage to be with his true love?  What do you think? 

 

You know it’s hard to review a movie that conflicts with your personal beliefs.  As a happily married man, I believe that marriage is an institution that’s not easily broken and if you end up marrying a hot nymphomaniac with a deviated septum, a mountain of credit card debt, debilitating sunburn and an annoying singing voice, you have to stick with her and make it work.  You can’t run off and be with some sweet, wholesome, down to earth girl and leave your wife in the dust.  You got to take the good with the bad.  Despite all her little faults, Lila was still hot, a nympho and liked her sex kinky and rough, so what exactly was the problem? 

 

I’m sorry I didn’t mean for this review to become a dissertation about the bond of marriage.  It’s a Farrelly Brothers movie, and you’re not supposed to think about the sacredness of marriage, just the toilet humor.  I’m sad to report there’s actually very little toilet humor in the movie.  There is one good queef joke, but other than that, it’s more or less your basic romantic comedy with all the usual clichés thrown in there for good measure.  It’s not bad, but it’s a big comedown from such classics as Kingpin, Shallow Hal and Me, Myself and Irene. 

 

As a fan of the Farrelly’s work I must say it comes as a bit of a disappointment, especially considering the fact that it re-teams them with their There’s Something About Mary leading man Ben Stiller.  Stiller does an okay job, but it doesn’t help that he is more or less a jerk throughout the entire movie.  As Lila, Malin Akerman is definitely winning and gets naked a lot, which to me is a sure sign of marriage material.  It’s easy to see why the Farrellys cast her as she carries the Cameron Diaz cute gene and she proves herself to be an adept comedienne.  Carlos (Mind of Mencia) Mencia and Rob (The Daily Show) Corddroy are also pretty funny in supporting roles too, but it’s Jerry Stiller who steals the movie as Ben’s ladykilling dad who gets all the movies best lines like:  “Are you crushing any pussy?”

HEAVY METAL 2000 (2000) * ½

 

A space miner named Tyler (voiced by Michael Ironside) finds a glowing “key” that turns him power crazy.  He blows up half a city and kidnaps a space slut who happens to be the sister of a bad ass chick named Julie (voiced by scream queen Julie Strain) who sets out for revenge.  Unbeknownst to her, the key has made Tyler immortal, which makes him kinda hard to kill. 

 

Whereas the first Heavy Metal movie was a multi-part anthology of vastly different stories that captured the essence of the magazine of which it was based, this sequel tells only one story and not very well.  The thin plotline would have barely been enough to fill an eight minute segment of the original, let alone an eighty minute sequel.  In fact it feels more like an overlong half assed episode of Aeon Flux than an honest to goodness Heavy Metal movie. 

 

Speaking of Heavy Metal, the music in this one actually sounds like Heavy Metal, but that doesn’t mean it’s very good.    The animation is an amalgam of passable CGI effects blended in with traditional hand drawn animation.  The results are interesting and the movie at least is visually adequate, but that’s about the best compliment I can give it.  There’s also plentiful animated gore (bloody bullet wounds, sword slashings, etc.) and nudity, if that’s the sort of thing that turns you on.

 

Overall, the film feels less like a sequel and more like a vehicle for Julie Strain and her cartoonist husband Kevin (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) Eastman, who wrote the graphic novel this movie is based on.  This movie could have been fun, but the flick’s biggest problem is that Strain and her massive assets are much more fun to ogle when she’s flesh and blood and not comprised of a bunch of finger paints.  If you got a boner from Cool World, you may want to check this out; otherwise it’s strictly for Strain completists only.    

 

A mechanical sex toy gets the best line of the movie when she asks:  “Select your sexual preference, anal, oral, or other.”

ANTHONY PERKINS HOSTS THE HORROR SHOW (1979) ***

 

Anthony Perkins hosts this 90 minute collection of clips from old monster movies.  If you’re a sucker for horror movie compilations like me, you won’t mind seeing such time honored clips from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (monster eating the police officer), The Phantom of the Opera (the famous unmasking scene) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (creature coming up out of the water) trotted out for the 40,000th time.  It’s no Terror in the Aisles, but it’s definitely worth a look for any horror fan. 

 

Everything is covered from the silent era (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, and The Hunchback of Norte Dame) to the more recent fare of the day (The Omen, The Car and Colossus:  The Forbin Project).  Vampires are represented by Bela Lugosi in Dracula (“Listen to them, the children of the night!”), Lon Chaney, Jr. in Son of Dracula, John Carradine in House of Dracula, and Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula.  The Frankenstein monster is seen in Frankenstein (“It’s alive!”), Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein.  Werewolves are portrayed by Henry (Werewolf of London) Hull and Lon (The Wolf Man) Chaney, Jr.  Killer animals include the birds from The Birds, the rats in Willard and the shark from Jaws.  Monsters of the Atomic Age like The Incredible Shrinking Man, Them, The Deadly Mantis are also featured, while UFOs are seen in War of the Worlds, The Thing from Outer Space and This Island Earth.  Other classics such as The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and King Kong are also discussed but the best part about this comp is seeing rare footage of Lon Chaney Sr. without make-up.

 

Since Perkins is the host, there are plenty of clips from Psycho and Perkins even does an intro at the famous Bates house.  Some facts are fudged (Perkins says Frankenstein came out in 1930 and Bride in 1936), but the clips come so fast that you probably won’t care unless you’re a real stickler for that sort of thing.  Perkins more or less refrains from cracking bad jokes, but every now and then he’ll say something extremely silly like “Dracula was a jugular Don Juan!”