Travers of Rolling Stone
are people who love tons of movies in hopes of getting their
names in the paper, and ads only use their quotes when they can't
find legit ciritcs. According to this week's Quote Whore:
Wonder Boys is "A comic dazzler!"
is good because
"Director John Frankenheimer keeps the action flying on
Boiler Room is "Spellbinding! Ben Affleck
has never been better."
Magnolia is "One of the bestmovies
of the year - startling, innovative, hugely funny..."
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
"Look, Bob and Harvey, you don't have to share."
I am getting really fucking tired of seeing bad movies. Everyone
seems to think seeing shitty movies is some sort of fun lark,
but it's getting old. If Hollywood doesn't release something
soon, I'm getting in the Galaxie and driving out there to bust
open some skulls. Hell, I am running out of ways to say
"Fuck You, Hollywood."
With "Reindeer Games, " Bob and Harvey Weinstein
fuck us up the ass with their dried out, brittle Christmas tree,
a tree that should have been thrown away in early January (note
to Mrs. Filthy: I am going to take ours out this week, so stop
Always-annoying Ben Affleck is a bad boy in prison for car
theft. How do we know he's a bad boy? Because he has tattoos
and he does pushups in his cell, never mind that he looks like
he should be manning the keg while his fraternity brothers watch
"Shasta McNasty." His cellmate James Frain and he are
due for parole when Frain is killed in a prison riot.
Right before Christmas (a point that is driven home like a
Mack Truck), Affleck is released alone, and assumes Frain's identity
so he can bang the snot out of his roommate's pen pal, Charlize
Theron. After some unappealing sex, Affleck learns that Theron's
brother is the leader of a gang of bad guys straight from the
"A-Team's" central casting. My God, these greasy, goateed
baddies, led by Gary Sinise, travel around in a black 18-wheeler
with "Motor City Monster" and flames painted on the
side, and that is their most subtle characteristic. These cartoon
villains, thinking Affleck is his cellmate, make him help pull
off an improbable Indian casino heist.
For the next hour, the following scenario is played out at
least four times: Affleck tells these guys he is not who they
think he is. Then they threaten to kill him, so he says he is
his cellmate. Round and round, in a series of talky scenes weighted
with dull dialog from the "I want to Be Quentin Tarantino
Too" school of hipster talk.
I couldn't help wondering why Affleck didn't escape, given
many opportunities. Or, he could have slipped out through any
of the gaping holes in the story. They were even big enough for
Finally, after more unnecessary twisting and turning that
would have only surprised me if they made sense, we get to the
money shot. That is, the casino heist. This casino is slightly
larger than my broom closet, and not that much more convincingly
a casino. And yet, the movie wants us to believe they have millions
of dollars and about a dozen security guards on hand. The Motor
City Monster gang, with Affleck along, dress as Santa and shoot
the place up. They get the loot and lots of people get killed.
I should note that right after I saw this movie I went home
and watched a tape of "North by Northwest," another
story of mistaken identity, but one that is elegant in its simplicity
and characterizations. Holy fuck is it a great movie, full of
necessary scenes and characters who are interesting and believable.
Plus, it's got a plot that sends things in crazy directions,
but is plausible and exciting.
Hollywood seems to be confusing convolution with the cleverness
of Alfred Hitchcock. Last week, the infinitely worse "Whole
Nine Yards" had so many of plot twists and turns that it
forgot to keep track. This week, the same lazy turd. Rather than
tell a simple and clever story, these movies just pile shit upon
shit on in the hopes that something will stick. The ending has
about eight shitty twists when I would have been more than happy
with one good one. I mean, one that makes sense, is believable,
and that doesn't open up more gaping holes than a hundred dollar
bill does in a crack whore.
But, lazy bastards like writer Ehren Krueger don't care about
making a coherent plot. They aren't interested in elaborating
on a simple idea. For an idiot there must be some sort of cheap
satisfaction in sitting in the coffee house, scratching the goatee,
and coming up with yet another preposterous convolution.
In particular, the ending of this movie is absurd. I don't
want to spoil it for you because then you might not see it and
give Miramax your hard earned dollars. So, let me just say that
Affleck's cellmate didn't really die and has masterminded this
whole scam alongside the scheming Theron. But, luckily, Affleck
kills them both, gets the money and then stuffs it in random
mailboxes until it is all gone. This twist is not only as retarded
and unpleasant as an Academy Awards Show dance number, it's completely
unbelievable, and it doesn't shock because it's based on nothing
the movie has thrown out previously. Plus, Affleck giving the
money away to strangers instead of the Indians it was stolen
from is the kind of feel-good horseshit that only Hollywood can
believe in. The rest of the country is actually driven by something
The plotting of this movie is about the same on any PBS mystery
program. On PBS, stuffy old farts sit around English drawing
rooms and tell each other why they plotted a murder. Because
"Reindeer Games" aims to be insufferably hip, they
replace the drawing rooms with gritty motels and coffee shops,
and they replace the English accents with variations on the word
"fuck." In the first hour and a half, the plotting
is stale because everyone has to spend most of their time trying
to convince us that totally implausible things could happen.
These twists are so lame that even the explanations require more
explanation. Blah blah blah. In the last half hour, the clichéd
action sequences actually are a welcome relief because then everyone
shuts the fuck up.
Ben Affleck is about as likely an ex-convict as any other
guy in Sigma Nu. They put tattoos on his shoulders to trick the
audience into thinking he's a bad boy, but I didn't buy it for
one moment. Nope, he just looked like an annoying copier salesman
whose idea of a good time is getting a dirty pay-per-view movie.
Affleck does nothing to change my mind, either, as he plods through
this shit with the level of effort usually dedicated to picking
up dogshit. Charlize Theron is just plain terrible. I don't even
think she's that hot and the boobs she show are nothing I want
to see again. In every scene she is either a lost waif full of
goodness or an evil, scheming bitch. She and the script are incapable
of shading her anywhere in between. And, the way her scenes alternate
is pretty damn jarring and inconsistent.
The rest of the cast has nothing to do. Sinise is shaded so
clearly evil that no personality shines through. In fact, he
is given all the trappings of a bad guy, but not a single original
thing to do or say. Well, except for that bad ass truck he drives
around in. I just hope B. A. Barracus doesn't catch up with him.
His henchmen have no personality. I mean, they are so obvious
and uninteresting that the one time one of them actually said
something interesting, it threw me off-guard.
The setting feels so lame. A heist at an Indian casino? I
assume "Reindeer Games" was meant to climax in a more
interesting target, like a real casino in Las Vegas or Reno,
but cost-cutting made them shoot it on the cheap and it shows.
The snow looks fake for some reason, and so much of the movie
is shot in poorly lit rooms and truck cabs that it gets claustrophobic.
But, the most annoying thing is how heavily Christmas is featured
in the movie. It's just a constant reminder that those fat fuck
Weinstein Brothers pussed out on releasing it back in December
because they knew it sucked and would get eaten alive. It's like
their personal way of saying "We fucked you again, suckers."
There is a bright spot. Director John Frankenheimer does the
best he can with the material. In a perfect world, Kruger would
have been run through a wood-chipper before he ever wrote this
mess. Since that didn't happen, at least we can thank Frankenheimer
for doing the best he can and making the talky scenes as lively
Two lousy fingers for "Reindeer Games." One
for each of Harvey and Bob's stockings next Christmas.
you see the Second Annual Filthies