This week brings a couple of clunkers and an acclaimed release from across the pond. We have a talking dog, a Tyler Perry movie, and Michael Caine doing his best Charles Bronson impression. I’d be less than honest if I gave you more hope than that, Mr. Kersey. In the city, that’s the way it is.
Marmaduke – On the surface, you sorta understand why a studio would greenlight this film. You’ve got a character everyone has heard of and is on the ever disappearing list of characters that haven’t been adapted for film yet (Marmaduke), a name actor as the voice (Owen Wilson), hire some recognizable actors as various dog voices (George Lopez, Sam Elliot, Marlon Wayons, Kiefer Sutherland). Then start asking yourself, “Do kids even read the comic page in newspapers anymore?” I mean, if you ask the average 7 year old to name some funny pages characters that have never had cartoon series, how many are they going to spit out? How many 8 year old hardcore Dagwood fans are there out there? Also, the story of the film, which involves Marmaduke’s owners moving into a new neighborhood, was never really spelled out in the advertising. Of course, if that’s all the story is, I can see why. Every commercial was literally Marmaduke knocking people over for 20 seconds. Tom Dey, the director, made his debut with Shanghai Noon, which is actually a decent film. He has followed that up with Showtime, Failure to Launch, and now Marmaduke. If ever Director’s Jail was invented for someone, Mr. Dey would be it.
Why Did I Get Married Too? – I’m a pretty miserable person. I have been known to run into a room that my wife is sitting in only to announce that I have thought of another song that I want played at my funeral. I believe that is why, although I have never watched a Tyler Perry film in full, I find myself drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I don’t hate on Perry like a lot of people. Sure, I think he’s a horrible writer, and a pretty bad director, but that can be said for a lot of people, and the fact that he has turned this lack of talent into a hustle makes me admire him more. The two things I will join in on with the rest of the haters are his acting abilities and horrible film plots. As far as his acting goes, it’s not that I find it bad. I actually thought he did a fine job in his cameo in Star Trek, as a matter of fact. My problem is, you are writer/director/producer/best boy/craft serviceman/etc. Hire someone that can convincingly look butthurt at Janet Jackson for 120 minutes. Now, about those plotlines. In WDIGMT, four couples (all longtime friends) get together for their annual vacation in order to socialize and analyze their marriages. In real life, how quickly would these friendships dissolve? The first time you’re best friend said in front of your wife, “Well, I think it’s your fault that we don’t…” Goodbye best friend.
Harry Brown – The must rent/buy of the week! Michael Caine gets his Death Wish on at the age of 76, playing the titular Harry Brown, an ex-serviceman and widower who goes looking for revenge when his elderly best friend is savagely murdered by a gang of young punks. The buzz on this has died down considerably, but when it was first released there was talk of Caine being nominated for a Best Actor statue for this role. With a great supporting cast including Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing), definitely give this one a chance. Check out a clip from the film here.