REVIEW: Did You Hear About the Morgans?

13 01 2010

Hey, Hugh Grant, over the holidays, I watched you in “Love Actually.” Really good performance in a really good movie. So tell me, Hugh, why on earth would you choose “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” You usually have good taste, but couldn’t you just hear the crickets chirping as you read the script?

Hey, Sarah Jessica Parker, I got a chance to feel the warmth of “The Family Stone” this holidays, a movie that earned you a Golden Globe nomination. We all know you have acting chops, so tell us, why did you choose to star in “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” You don’t do many movies, but you have a lot of respect from winning award after award for “Sex and the City.”

Oh, the questions I would love to ask the stars. I can’t, of course, nor would I to their faces. But I couldn’t help but wonder why two very capable actors would waste their time on a movie like this? Honestly, this movie deserves the talents of Pauly Shore and Jenny McCarthy.

The movie hasn’t the slightest desire to be original or at least interesting. After seeing the trailer and the leading actors, we know that this New York power couple is going to get over their rough spots and get back together. It’s the classic formula, and everyone knows it. Grant and Parker play separated New York moguls who witness a murder and are forced to enter the Witness Protection Program together in Ray, Wyoming. It’s a fish-out-of-water comedy where the fish is dead when you take it out of the water.

Hugh Grant is fairly bearable in this unbearable movie. However, Sarah Jessica Parker is endlessly awkward, and her every movement just made me cringe. I haven’t the slightest idea why she reverted to these mannerisms. I never watched “Sex and the City,” but if people thought she was sexy on that show, she surely had to carry herself with more poise than this. And it’s not like her character is some graceless buffoon; she is a real estate tycoon who is on the cover of magazines!

When I made the decision to see “Did You Hear About the Morgans?,” I was in a very interesting mood. I didn’t really have the desire to see anything good; I just wanted to see something kind of trashy and dumb. Upon reflection, there is much better bad entertainment out there than this. It isn’t egregiously awful, but it is so unimaginative that I found it hard to even laugh at the movie as a whole. In fact, you don’t even have to see a movie to be more entertained than this at your theater. I’d recommend watching the ICEEs mix. D /

What To Look Forward To In … December 2009

14 11 2009

What is in my mind the finest month for the movies is almost here!  Let Marshall guide you through the best and steer you away from the worst, but most of all enjoy!  The studios have been holding back their best movies all year to dump them all here, where they can get serious awards consideration.

December 4

A major Oscars wild-card is “Brothers.”  No one really knows what to make of it.  If the movie hits big, it could completely change the game.  But it could just fly under the radar like most expect it to now.  However, the trailer makes it look as if it the movie could be absolutely mind-blowing.  Directed by Jim Sheridan, who has received six Academy Award nominations, “Brothers” follows Grace Cahill (Natalie Portman) as she and her daughters deal with the loss of her husband, Sam (Tobey Maguire), in war.  Sam’s brother, Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) comes to live with Grace to lend a helping hand.  But romantic sparks fly between the two at precisely the wrong time: the discovery that Sam is alive and coming home.  With the two brothers both tugging Grace’s heart for their share, a different type of sparks fly.

You have heard me say plenty about “Up in the Air.”  If you haven’t read my Oscar Moment on the movie or heard my bliss at the release of the trailer, let me give you one more chance to hope on the bandwagon.

But the movies don’t stop there.  “Armored,” an action-drama that is tooting its own moral horn, starring Matt Dillon and Laurence Fishburne.  “Everybody’s Fine” appears to be a holiday movie, so that might be worth checking out if you’re in the spirit.  The movie, a remake of a 1990 Italian film by the same name, stars Robert DeNiro as a widower who reconnects with his estrange children.  And “Transylmania” looks to cash in on the vampire craze sweeping the nation by satirizing it, but I doubt it will be financially viable because it is being released by a no-name studio and without any big names.

December 11

The highlight of the weekend for many will be “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney’s return to the traditional animation by hand musical.  The movie looks to capitalize on what we know and love Disney musicals for, adding some catchy tunes to a fairy tale we have known since childhood.  Anika Noni Rose, best known for her role as Lorrell in the film adaptation of “Dreamgirls,” lends her talented voice to the princess Tiana.  As a huge fan of “Dreamgirls” during the winter of 2006, I couldn’t think of someone better equipped to handle the sweet, soft Disney music (which isn’t designed for belters like Beyoncé or Jennifer Hudson).  That being said, the music won’t sound like anything you’ve ever heard from a Disney fairy tale.  It is being scored by Randy Newman, not Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,” etc.), and will have a jazzy feel much like its setting, New Orleans.

This week also boasts the opening of three major Oscar players. Two have been featured in Oscar Moments, “Invictus” and “A Single Man.” The former opens nationwide this Friday, the latter only in limited release. I’ll repost the trailers below because they are worth watching. But read the Oscar Moment if you want to know more about the movies.

According to the people that matter, “The Lovely Bones” has all the pieces to make a great movie. But for summer reading two years ago, I read the source material, Alice Sebold’s acclaimed novel. I found it dreadfully melodramatic and very depressing without any sort of emotional payoff to reward the reader for making it through. But maybe Hollywood will mess up the novel in a good way. If any movie could, it would be this one. With a director like Peter Jackson and a cast including Saiorse Ronan (“Atonement”), Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci, and Susan Sarandon, it could very well happen.  It opens in limited release on this date and slowly expands until its nationwide release on Martin Luther King Day weekend in 2010.

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