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The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)
An actual review of the movie (NOT the star!)
There's a certain thrill that comes with seeing films that meet with universal derision. I guess it's the hope that amidst the rubble of bad buzz, something halfway decent may emerge. I didn't take ANY hope of that happening with The Hottie and the Nottie. Didn't even plan on seeing it in theaters until a perfect storm of events came to pass. 1) The movie had a historically low turnout on opening weekend. 2) It reached the "top" on IMDb's bottom 100. 3) I had a friend who wanted to see the movie because she thought the trailer looked GOOD(!). How could I pass up the opportunity to be amongst the select few to say I saw this in theaters (I think more people have won lotteries).
As a bonus I figured on getting some laughs out of every abysmal joke that would make my easily amused friend laugh. With this in mind, no one was more shocked than I to find myself laughing at what was on screen. What most of the negative reviews fail to grasp is that the star of the movie is not Paris Hilton but the male lead, Joel Moore. The Nate character is that rarity in films, a dorky underdog who is nonetheless confident in his conviction of what he wants. Too often we are subjected to the put upon dweeb who blossoms (think Jason Biggs), or the part gets cast with a good looking guy like Dane Cook/Ryan Reynolds since confidence is only a trait of the pretty (I'd try to make a distinction between these two, but there is none when we're talking about this level of unfunny). Joel Moore looks and acts the part perfectly and is even able to wring new layers of laughs out of a sitcom level scene that has him trying to make up a name for a fictional friend who might be interested in dating the Nottie (the "Cole Slawsen" scene was where I finally gave in to the slapdash charms of this movie).
Paris Hilton isn't even the main female character. Christine Lakin as the Nottie really works in one of the most thankless roles I've ever seen. She has a good chemistry with Joel Moore and tackles the part fearlessly, somehow making you care about the Nottie's fate. Lakin's almost too good as the dignity and awareness she brings only makes me wish the filmmakers had gone for something a little less ridiculous in conceiving the hideous physical flaws of one June Phigg (that infected toenail bit belongs in American Pie) and put more effort into the strange relationship she has with Hilton's Hottie character. The premise of the movie is that every beautiful girl has a less than beautiful friend, so why not explore the darker aspects of that?
As for the notorious Paris Hilton, the truth is she didn't bug me here. The part is made with her limitations in mind and is akin to Bo Derek's in 10. Her main contribution is that her name was enough to get a movie made which stars unknown talents like Moore and Lakin as romantic leads.
So there it is, a good review of the worst movie of all time. I'd be shocked to see of anyone who finds this review "useful" based on the comments I've read so far. Let's see how that theory holds up.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007)
Why aren't you watching Hot Fuzz instead?
Saw this movie over the weekend and I'm still bruised in the ribs from all the elbow nudges provided by the wink-wink style of writer/director Michael Davis. This guy brings enough smug self-amusement to the table to make the entire writing room of "Family Guy" blush.
A little history on this fauxteur. Having conquered his need to be the impoverished man's John Hughes with such interminable teen "classics" as "Eight Days a Week" and the "100 Girls/Women" saga, Davis took a genre detour as the poor pedophile's Victor Salva with "Monster Man". Not content with redefining the depths of such reputable genres as teen sex comedy and straight to video horror, Davis decided to set his sights on the action film.
And what's his novel take on such a tried and true cinema staple? Why, to turn it into a revved up cartoon of course with all the boring talky parts taken out leaving a string of comical, over the top action set pieces to drive the audience crazy. At least that's what was promised by countless fanboy postings (apparently learning nothing from the Snakes on a Plane fiasco) and more than a few gullible critics. Unfortunately, all I saw was a tired attempt to parody something that was self-parody back in the seventies (has anyone even seen a Roger Moore Bond flick? Now that's how you do cartoon action). This dud announces it's exhaustion the moment Clive uses his carrot for a killing; it's not as funny as the corn-on-the-cob to the back in "Stephen King's Sleepwalkers" and not as memorably nasty as the rape from one of those "Jack Frost" movies (Now that's how you do carrot violence).
Upon reaching the end credits, I spent all of a split second to contemplate whether this movie would've been any more tolerable if a piece of genius like "Hot Fuzz" didn't exist. That thing managed to parody action movies while also celebrating them with some great action of its own. I want to believe that deep down, Davis was trying to accomplish the same thing. I want to believe, but the utter laziness of imagination displayed in this (and each of his other films) makes it impossible.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
You can't manufacture cult films
$25,000 Pyramid Clues: Deep Blue Sea. Tremors. Slither. Eight Legged Freaks.
Pyramid Category: Movies that were funnier and more thrilling than Snakes on a Plane.
Hell, with that definition I'd have to include the relatively harrowing journey of Ted and Elaine in Airplane! as superior to Snakes in both laughs and thrills.
The sad truth is that this isn't even close to the mother of all unintentionally intentional funny snake movies: Anaconda! Besides the never to be seen again casting of JLo-Cube-O.Wilson-Stoltz-Wuhrer in the same flick, you had Jon Voight pulling off the all-time cinematic heist. His final scene alone represents everything SOAP tried and failed to do as a "so-ludicrous-it's-fun" movie.
In the end, Snakes on a Plane is definitive proof that studio execs and fanboys make the worst collaborators possible. Every big scene had been discussed and dissected so much the last year, all that was left to amuse by opening night was the amount of fanboy flop-sweat that had to be mopped up at my theater. I heard more forced laughs here than at a studio taping for "According to Jim".