Category Archives: Bad Movies

Miami Heat fall victim to the curse of the ensemble cast

Perhaps the only headline capable of distracting the masses from Weiner’s weiner this past week was the demise of LeBron James and the Miami Heat (one man displaying too much of his marbles; the other still trying to find his…) Even the basketball clueless could not escape the endless coverage of the Miami Heat this season and even the most novice of fans would predict that two of the best three players in the world along with another top-10 talent coupled with two more highly sought after veterans would lead to an inevitable championship.

So like, what the hell happened???

Simply put, the Miami Heat came up short much like He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day; two movies riddled with stars that had critics finding new ways to slam a movie and boyfriends checking their cell phones throughout the mediocre chick-flick dross.

Don’t believe me? Roeper of Ebert and Roeper said, “More than a dozen familiar faces are wasted in this trite, groan-inducing mediocrity,” in regard to Valentine’s Day. Time Magazine said, “He’s Just Not That Into You is like reliving your 20’s, without any of the fun.” And it’s not just those critics; both movies came up ‘rotten’ according to Rottentomatoes.com.

He’s Just Not That Into You featuring Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, and Kris Kristofferson andValentine’s Day featuring Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, and Taylor Swift are doomed to fail for having too many leading actors (or actors who think they’re leading material) in the same movie.

Tried-and-true Hollywood formula is: Male lead + Female lead + Male support + Female support + and Ed Harris (anytime you include and Ed Harris, the movie will improve) = Potential passable entertainment. Mess with that formula, and you have actors fighting for screen time or mailing in performances for the paycheck. There’s only so many minutes in a movie and so many cameras.

This is a lot like what happened this year with the Heat. Typical NBA formula is: Star player A + Star player B + Three useful starters + Three more useful bench players = Potential playoff team. The Heat tried to make it work with Superstar player + Superstar player + One good player + Whatever is left we can afford regardless if they have any talent at all (Mike Bibby).

There have been successful ensemble cast movies in the past such as A Time to Kill with Matt McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Ashley Judd, Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland. McConaughey deftly played his part as the star and Bullock, Jackson, Spacey and Judd (who have all been #1’s) supported him in every scene and never tried to do too much. Oliver Platt worked his typical role as the ‘glue’ to perfection. He was funny when he had to be and he was always adding to the scene; never taking away.

The actors all sacrificed a little screen time but it was for the greater good of a terrific movie. And they all trusted Joel Schumacher, the director, who had completed some fairly impressive movies up until that point. That is what the Heat have to do.

Wade is the McConaughey; he has to star in every scene and show up every night.

LeBron is Spacey; capable of outperforming McConaughey with movies such as Se7en or American Beauty but consistently turning in performances such as 21 and Pay it Forward.

Maybe the Heat can celebrate for real next year?

Bosh is Sam Jackson; maybe he’s Pulp Fiction and maybe he’s Jumper. We don’t know, but like with Jackson, we’ll appreciate his passion and the occasional “Yes, they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hellllll”--like intensity.

Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller need to play like Platt and Judd. Both have the ability to be a #1 but we’ve seen the wrestling movie Ready to Rumble and it wasn’t good (sorry Platt, I enjoyed it when I was 15). Everyone in this paragraph (Haslem, Miller, Platt, and Judd) are better served being the glue to hold the whole messy contraption together.

Lastly, the Heat need to find some ‘Sutherlands.’ Donald was funny and endearing; Kiefer was intense and psychotic. The Heat need a veteran to keep everyone loose and that’s where Donald comes in. The Heat had fewer smiles than championships this year (0). They also need a stone-cold killer like Kiefer; someone who’s crazy enough to fight an entire team and drain three’s like an assassin (just without the white-supremacist hatred…)

Put that together and the Heat go from Valentine’s Day flop to A Time to Kill classic. Now if only we could fast-forward to next year’s ending with a parade on Biscayne Boulevard…

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Filed under Bad Movies, Basketball, Miami Heat

The Slump

The Skeleton Key was really boring. You, Me and Dupree was tedious and should only be watched once. Fool’s Gold is the worst movie ever made. My Best Friend’s Girl robbed moviegoers of two hours of their lives. Bride Wars received mixed reviews at best.

These were Kate Hudson’s last five movies and she is just one more bad flick away from being relegated to B-list actress status. We love her because she is cute, bubbly, intelligent, and has good comedic timing, but she is mired in a slump.

Hudson was outstanding in Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but slumps do not care about past achievements. Much like Hudson right now, baseball hitters go through slumps too.

A slump for a hitter would be like recording zero hits in more than15 or so at-bats. Even the best hitters go into slumps, but all hitters have interesting ways of breaking out of them.

For instance, some hitters will change a pre-game meal routine or wear their socks high. Others will take a different route to the ball park. For really bad slumps, some hitters have even taken batting practice naked or have worn a thong during the game. Yes, the last two are true. And the scary thing is, if it works, you can’t change your routine.

So if taking batting practice naked and wearing a thong during the game breaks the slump, then that’s your new routine. So choose your routine wisely.

For Kate Hudson, it appears dating or hanging out with a random assortment of athletes and celebrities is her new thing. She’s been connected with Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodriguez and various rockstars. And there have even been rumors she’s had a little work done to ‘enlarge’ some of her attributes and I’m not talking about her personality.

The key to breaking out of a slump is admitting that you are indeed in one. This writer for instance, went through a slump on the pitcher’s mound and promptly shaved his head. It was a symbol for a clean purge, not to mention, it looked pretty cool.

Kate Hudson chose plastic surgery as a symbol of a new beginning. So between shaving your head and plastic surgery, lies your key to breaking out of your own personal slump be it a job search, the search for a romantic interest, or just a rut you find yourself trying to overcome.

Perhaps a new workout routine, hairstyle, cell phone case, or flavor of coffee is all you  need to attack your slump.

Best of luck finding that slump-breaker and best of luck breaking out of that slump…

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Filed under Bad Movies, Baseball, Kate Hudson, Slump

Movie Review: Ed (Joey’s Masterpiece)

Joey from Friends. A child in a chimpanzee suit. Minor league baseball.

Not exactly the recipe for an Academy Award, but a surprisingly entertaining movie experience? You bet.

Matt LeBlanc (Joey) plays Jack ‘Deuce’ Cooper, a down-on-his luck pitcher with a terrible curveball in the minor leagues. He is depressed with his pitching performances, his apartment is an absolute mess, and he is lonely.

Just when it all can’t get any worse, Deuce has to shelter the team’s new mascot in his apartment; the aforementioned child in the chimp suit.

It is supposed to be a real chimp in the movie’s reality, but the costume looks as if they bought it at Party City. However, I can’t fault the studio for going with the child-in-the-chimp-suit strategy especially after that 200-pound chimp in Connecticut went absolutely crazy.

The chimp, known as Ed, partakes in all sorts of semi-hilarious hijinks such as swinging on a light fixture or stealing Deuce’s food. Ed trashes the apartmment numerous times because he’s a wild animal, but one day, he saves the coach from a line drive.

The coach slaps a glove on Ed and voila! He’s the new thirdbaseman and star player! He’s so good that even Deuce starts to pitch better and the team begins to win.

The plot is terrible and the acting is not much better. This movie did not help anyone’s career (see LeBlanc in Joey or Charlie’s Angels). But surprise surprise! Jim Caviezel played the role of Dizzy Anderson. Caviezel was hardly on screen but his performance must have convinced Hollywood execs to cast him as Jesus in Passion of the Christ…

There is also a small love story woven into the plot. Deuce lives next to Lydia, a single mom (Jayne Brook of countless minor TV appearances) who he is too shy and too preoccupied with baseball to ask out. But Ed the chimp and Lydia’s daughter become best friends, helping Deuce and Lydia connect in the end.

If you go in expecting a life-changing cinematic experience, you will be sorely disappointed by this movie. But the unintentional comedy factor saves this movie.

For instance, one of the players was out all night before a game. The veteran coach gives him some ‘energy’ pills to fire him up. What? This movie was given a PG rating! Amphetamines were a major problem in pro baseball and it’s hilarious that a movie with a chimpanzee playing baseball  would include performance enhancing drug use.

The mere presence of Caviezel in a movie such as this is also incredibly funny. Lastly, the dialogue is surprisingly well-written. There are some great insults and cut downs between the players and when Ed misbehaves, Deuce simply and eloquently states, “I’m gonna spank that monkey.” Scorsese couldn’t write any better!

Ed is a bad movie. But I saw it on HBO the other day, and I actually laughed out loud a few times so that’s why I wrote the review. In the end, the baseball scenes are pretty bad, the acting isn’t great, the love story is forced, and there is a child in a chimp suit who is an amazing baseball player. You can definitely amuse yourself by making fun of the movie with some friends.

Amazingly though, Ed is LeBlanc’s masterpiece. His Apocalypse Now or Citizen Kane if you will.

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Filed under Bad Movies, Baseball

Baseball’s offseason: He’s Just Not That In To You

With the release of ‘He’s Just Not That In To You’ last Friday, what better way to illustrate the frustrations of baseball’s off season than to compare it with the frustrations that can sometimes accompany dating.

Baseball is currently in it’s off season, meaning there are no games being played and many players are without a team, making them ‘free agents’ (if free agents were in college, they would have ‘single’ under relationship status on Facebook because they are not in a relationship with any team, they are free to play the field so to speak).

Presently, the most prized free agent is Manny Ramirez, one of the greatest hitters of all time. Last year, he finished the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and that team is desperately trying to bring him back. They offered Ramirez a 3-year $60 million contract that he ignored and he turned down their next offer for arbitration. Recently, Ramirez turned down LA’s 1-year $25 million offer.

Three offers, three rejections. Uh Los Angeles, Ramirez is JUST NOT THAT IN TO YOU! Being rejected three times by the same person is a pretty good indicator that they are just not that in to you which is a lot like baseball’s free agency system. For whatever reason, Ramirez is not happy with the contract, the team, Los Angeles etc. Maybe he eventually sees the light and signs with the Dodgers, but as for now, the Dodgers will have to try find a new special someone (other free agents).

The somewhat contentious negotiation between Ramirez and the Dodgers means that both sides should probably move on like a dude spurned by unrequited love. Besides, that would give my San Francisco Giants the chance to make a move on Ramirez  because we are soooo in to what he can bring to our team (CHAMPIONSHIP).

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