Kevin Carr’s Weekly Report Card for 09.04.09



Studio: Miramax

Rated: R for language, sexual references and some drug use.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Clifton Collins, Jr, Mila Kunis and Kristen Wiig

Directed by: Mike Judge

What it’s about: Joel (Jason Bateman) runs an extract factory and is hoping to sell it to General Mills. However, a series of unexpected shenanigans have started to cause problems in his life. An injured employee is suing the company. A hottie tottie temp is trying to scam the company and the injured party. And his wife just might be having an affair with the gigolo pool boy. What’s a guy to do?

What I liked: Hands down, the best thing about Extract is the acting. Jason Bateman, who has made quite a name for himself over the years as a heel, initially in Arrested Development and later in a series of movies that starred Will Ferrell. He plays the fool perfectly and manages to be affable without being pathetic.

Rounding out the cast are some awesome comedy players, including Kristen Wiig and JK Simmons. However, Ben Affleck as Joel’s druggie bartending friend and David Koechner as his nosy neighbor steal the show with every scene they have. Oh, and Mila Kunis is hot. Not a great actor, but she is hot.

Finally, this movie went places I never expected it to go. Not that things are overly offensive, but there were some nice suprises along the way, and it’s really kinda hard to surprise me in a movie.

What I didn’t: Mike Judge will simply never live down Office Space. It was an awesome film ten years ago, and it will always be remembered for it… even more than Beevis and Butthead. Unfortunately, Extract isn’t as good of a film as Office Space. While the acting is better with its ensemble of players, the story doesn’t have much of a focus and even cheats the viewer at time.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy Extract, and I can’t say I never laughed. I laughed quite a bit, in fact. But the film just wasn’t very cohesive beyond the goofy characters.

Who is gonna like this movie: Anyone who has had to work a shit job, and fans of Mike Judge.

Grade: B


Studio: 20th Century Fox

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including innuendoes.

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper, Ken Jeong and DJ Qualls

Directed by: Phil Traill

What it’s about: Sandra Bullock plays a crossword puzzle writer named Mary who is set up on a blind date with Steve (Bradley Cooper). When she thinks that she has fallen in love with him, she follows him across the country on a news story and becomes a stalker. You see, stalking is just so darn cute when it’s done by Sandra Bullock.

What I might like: Well, I don’t have an immediate gag reaction when it comes to a romantic comedy, so I might like this film a little. I’ve always enjoyed Sandra Bullock in her stock roles (it’s her “serious” work like Crash and Infamous that I find lame), so her likability quotient for me is pretty high. Plus, Bradley Cooper was good in The Hangover and a lot of what he’s done before he became “That Guy from The Hangover” (like Alias, Kitchen Confidential, Wedding Crashers and Yes Man).

What I might not: A lot of problems seem to be plaguing this movie, and they have nothing to do with the plot, characters or story. First, Fox refused to show this to folks like me in flyover country. That usually means they’re hiding something.

Second, this film was originally slated for a March release, but was then moved back to… Labor Day? Isn’t that where movies go to die? I guess it makes sense. So many critics complain about the formula of a romantic comedy, and this one shakes things up. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’s a formula anyone is going to want to see.

Who is gonna like this movie: Chicks… maybe.


Studio: Lionsgate

Rated: R for frenetic sequences of strong brutal violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and language.

Starring: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman and Logan Lerman

Directed by: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor

What it’s about: Gerard Butler plays a convict in the not-too-distant future who becomes a pawn in a video game. If he can survive 30 games, he’s set free, but the game’s creator, who appears to be TV’s Dexter with a southern accent, has different plans.

What I might like: I like speculative and futuristic science fiction. The action looks like it might be pretty cool here as well. I suppose you can count on that from writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who gave us the Crank films.

Oh, and according to the MPAA, there’s sexual content and nudity. Woo hoo! Do you think that Gerard Butler’s going to bang Amy Smart in a public place.

What I might not: Considering that Lionsgate has a strangle hold on any screenings, not inviting press the country over, this might be a bad sign. Then, consider the fact that the few press members who were invited had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before it was shown, and you have the making of a crap-planet of a film.

And, it’s being released on Labor Day weekend. The only thing worse would be a film with singing and dancing in it…

…wait! Word on the street is that C. Michael Hall has a musical number. Is this an action film or a Broadway revival?

Who is gonna like this movie: People on crank… and those that liked Crank.

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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