Kevin Carr’s Weekly Report Card: February 25, 2011

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr snubs his nose at all the films up for the Oscar in order to enjoy the R-rated smorgasbord that is available in the theaters. He kisses his wife and takes six days off from marriage, just like Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis in Hall Pass. He takes those six days to find a fast car so he can Drive Angry, following Amber Heard and her short shorts in 3D. Apparently no one told him she’s a lesbian now.

Want to hear what Kevin has to say on the Fat Guys at the Movies podcast? Take a listen below as Kevin is joined in the Magical Studio in the Sky by Kelly Gingery from the FlickChick.tv.


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Studio: New Line Cinema

Rated: R for crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use

Starring: Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Alyssa Milano

Directed by: The Farrelly Brothers

What it’s about: Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play middle-aged suburban husbands who are obsessed with sex. When their wives get tired of their wandering eyes, they give them both a “hall pass,” which is a whole week to do whatever they want and whomever they want without fear of consequence.

What I liked: Remember when the Farrelly Brothers made great films, like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary? What about when they made mediocre films, like Me, Myself and Irene and Shallow Hal? This film makes me long for those days… even the Stuck on You days. That’s a positive, isn’t it?

Honestly, I laughed once in this movie. I liked that one joke about poop in the middle. And you get to see Nicky Whelan (the hot Australian chick from Scrubs: Season 9) in all her topless glory. Yeah, I liked that.

What I didn’t: Call me crazy, but I’m getting tired of the ridiculous storylines that equate to nothing more than pornographic fantasies for middle-aged actors. We saw this a couple weeks ago with Adam Sandler’s craptastic Just Go With It in which he had to choose between Brooklyn Decker and Jennifer Aniston. We also saw this in The Dilemma, which featured Kevin James married to Winona Ryder. Or No Strings Attached, which featured the gorgeous Natalie Portman as a successful doctor who just wanted a sex buddy with no emotional attachment.

Sorry, Hollywood. If I want these kinds of stories, I’ll stick to actual porn, thank you very much. I’m a purist this way.

Hall Pass tries so hard to sell the premise that never quite sticks. And when the premise finally does get rolling, in typical Farrellys fashion, it attempts to have a heart, which sucks all life out of the film.

The scant 30-minute sit-com story is padded out with random acts of raunchiness that seem like they’re scraped from the cutting room floor of the Farrellys’ other films. Disjointed and awkward, Hall Pass strikes out.

Finally, I’m as tired of the Farrellys casting their Rhode Island friends in their films as I am of Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow casting their Hollywood buddies. We get it. You know people. Now, go make a movie.

Who is gonna like this movie: Anyone who has drank enough to be in danger of wetting their pants.

Grade: D-

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Rated: R for strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, Billy Burke and Katy Mixon

Directed by: Patrick Lussier

What it’s about: Nicolas Cage plays Milton, a dead man who escapes from Hell to avenge the death of his daughter at the hand of an effeminate Satanist who dresses like Elvis. He’s also trying to save his baby granddaughter, who was kidnapped by the cult and is to be sacrificed at the next full moon. William Fichtner plays “The Accountant,” who is in charge of bringing Milton’s sorry ass back to Hell.

What I liked: Even before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez released Grindhouse four years ago, I have been a huge fan of grindhouse cinema. When I was in high school and college, I spent plenty of hours in dark movie theaters late at night for midnight shows and all-night movie marathons. So there’s a special love for films like Drive Angry.

Like Machete from last fall, Drive Angry is an homage to these 70s exploitation flicks, featuring fast cars, scantily clad women, big explosions and tons of action. You get all of this in the movie. It’s not heavy on the plot, and the dialogue is often atrocious, but that plays into the high-octane midnight movie feel of this film.

Think of Drive Angry as Death Proof goes to (or rather comes from) Hell with less talking. In other words, it’s everything that Death Proof should have been when it was trying to be a badass action flick.

Finally, Drive Angry is being touted as being shot in 3D, which is always the preferable way to go. The movie includes plenty of gimmicky shots, but like Piranha and Jackass 3D, this movie is nothing but one big, fat gimmick of a film. The 3D plays into the midnight movie nature, and I loved it.

Oh, and Drive Angry has Tom Atkins and his ‘stache as the local sheriff. How freakin’ cool is that?

What I didn’t: I have a confession to make… I had to come into this film about fifteen minutes late due to a screening conflict. Normally that would yield some confusion on my part. However, I was able to pick up everything that was happening. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing for this movie, that you can miss twenty percent of it and still miss nothing. I like to think that plays into the entertaining nature of the experience.

So unless I missed a gratuitous nude scene with Amber Heard in the first act, that’s something the movie is missing.

Who is gonna like this movie: Grindhouse cinema fans.

Grade: B+

Want to see what Kevin had to say about the Oscars this week on TV? Check out his interview on FOX…

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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