Larry Crowne

The Worst Films of 2011

There are two things you don’t want to watch getting made – sausage and the official Film School Rejects’s year-end worst-of list. Hideous, dirty, bloody, illegal stuff; many animals die in the process (disclaimer – no animals were harmed in the making of this list). It’s a fool’s errand, a losing battle, a terrible way to dig up the past pains of the year’s biggest flops – reverse therapy for cinephiles. But damn if the results aren’t hilarious. For this year’s Worst Films of 2011 list, our own Kevin Carr and myself teamed up to pick the most wretched of the wretched, the worst of the worst, the Adam Sandler films we’re all struggling to forget. There were many emails and even more tears. I doubt we’ll ever be able to look each other in the eye again. By the time Sir Carr and I were done volleying bad films back and forth at each other via the electronic mail system like a game of cinematic badminton that absolutely no one was capable of winning (and, really, how does one win badminton?), we were far too exhausted to even attempt to number the following twenty-two films in any kind of order. No matter, they’re all bad. We’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to take to the comments to call what you think is the worst (and what we’ve, quite unforgivably, left off).

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The Reject Report

So now Harry Potter’s patronus is in the shape of a giant dump truck loaded with million dollar bills. Is there such a thing as a million dollar bill? There probably should be. And while you’re at it, go ahead and put Alan Rickman’s face on it. In J.K. Rowling we trust. Okay, I’m done with all that. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, the last film of the 10-year series, has demolished all kinds of box office records. After breaking advance day records with $32m in tickets sales, it went on to make $43.5m in midnight showings. It wasn’t a shock to anyone when the Friday numbers came in and Deathly Hallows 2 had beaten The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s $72.7m opening day with its own $92.1m. But the young wizard wasn’t done there. No, satisfaction was not met at the defeat of New Moon, though we’re all pretty thankful for it. Deathly Hallows 2, and probably Warners had something to do with it, too, had its eyes set on that opening weekend. Another Warners film, The Dark Knight, was holding the #1 weekend slot for three years with its $158.4m three-day take. Now that Sunday’s numbers have come out, Deathly Hallows 2 has pretty much swept the floor with that record, too.

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Just a quick question to stir up the imagination. What do you think 4th of July is like at Michael Bay’s house? You think his friends and family sit around in lawn chairs sipping Corona while Bay sets off a bottle rocket every four or five minutes, or do you think it’s a blockbuster show of spectacle. I like to think he takes it easy on the one day when the rest of the country is making their own ‘splosions fest. But that’s just me. After this weekend, actually after the week since last Wednesday, Bay will have a whole lot more firework money to toss around.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Hold on, it needs to finish this level of Angry Birds, then it will be ready. Alright fine, one more level. Seriously, just give it a second. God*^*% stupid pigs! Alright, anyway, time to do the news. Tonight’s top story: former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel has been hired by Rovio to develop a film about the addicting mobile game Angry Birds. Apparently a game that has been downloaded over 250 million times has some sort of commercial appeal. Personally, I hate this idea. I thought Rovio made a great move partnering up with Fox on Rio and doing cross-promotion. It’s not a cinematic franchise, but I will buy a game with some Samba background music.

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With the state of the American economy still far from what you might call flourishing, it’s only natural that films would continue to reflect that. While we may not be in the textbook definition of a recession, the job market still sucks. It is apparently with that in mind that Hollywood has deigned to give us Larry Crowne. Tom Hanks stars as the titular Larry Crowne. Larry is a happy, upbeat guy working as a team leader at a big box department store called Umart. He’s clearly a hard worker who likes his job and everyone seems to like him, so when he’s called to the back one day he assumes it’s because he’s won his 9th Employee of the Month certificate. To his shock, he learns that he’s being fired because he never completed college and thus will never advance farther than his current rung on the Umart corporate ladder.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr decides to dump Megan Fox and hook up with a sexy British model who will shake her ass in front of a 3D camera for Michael Bay. Sadly, he couldn’t make that happen, so he heads down to the scooter pool at the local community college, hoping to find a free-spirited chick with a name that’s impossible to pronounce. Again, no dice, Chicago. So, Kevin abandons all hope and hides in a theater for almost three hours, watching Michael Bay’s latest spectacle. Then he postpones seeing Larry Crowne so he can stalk teachers from the aforementioned community college, hoping one is as drunk and pretty as Julia Roberts is in her latest film. How could this possibly end badly?

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That Thing You Do! is the kind of movie only a man with a particular amount of clout can get made. An off-beat comedy about a fake rock band from the ’60s starring a bunch of unknowns and unfamiliar songs to boot? Maybe if it was a comic book first. But thank the powers that be for Tom Hanks and his odd sensibilities. He may be a two-time Oscar winner and an impassioned producer of WWII serialized dramas, but when it came to his directorial debut, the end product was something closer to his Bosom Buddies/The Man with One Red Shoe days. When That Thing You Do! hit theaters it bombed, barely making back its budget and putting Hanks’s directing career in question. Not even Tom Freakin’ Hanks could get his passion project to play with audiences. That very well could have been the end of the actor behind the camera. But lo and behold, a decade and a half later, Hanks returns this weekend with another oddball flick, Larry Crowne. Whether the new comedy (sporting plenty of familiar faces) can counter-program Transformers 3 and survive the competitive summer isn’t the point — we should be happy enough he made something. With Larry Crowne, Hanks has succeeded in doing what so few of his actor-turned-director friends have managed: to make a second movie. Here are a few thespians who took the plunge into filmmaking, only to return to their day jobs after one outing.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as DogEatsHeart and 5Obstructions5 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair apply some sun screen and some green screen in order to forecast how the movies of Summer 2011 might shape up. Is there a secret weapon to its inevitable success? Is its success inevitable? Anything would be better than last year, right?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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Leave it to Tom Hanks to be part of the salvation of romantic comedies by making what looks like a throwback to the heyday that ended at the end of the 90s. Plus, he manages to do it all in his tighty-whiteys. He goes about 20% Forrest Gump for Larry Crowne where he plays a lovable, completely sweet guy who tucks his polo shirts in. Larry gets fired from his job because he doesn’t have a college degree, so he takes a public speaking class taught by Julia Roberts’s character. Love ensues. The trailer is adorable like a cat sitting in a sink wearing a hat:

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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