It was a long week and I was on call for the weekend so I rented bad movies. Not really bad movies or inventively bad movies but run-of-the-mill Hollywood bad movies. Ones that I could put my head in neutral and watch. And, since I wasn’t leaving the apartment except for food (or fire), these are ones I could get via the cable system’s Movies on Demand. My selections of the weekend’s crap movies:
- Identity. I had hopes for this one, I didn’t expect it to be a junk movie and now I feel cheated. I like John Cusack’s choice of roles and Ray Liotta usually turns in a solid ‘B’ performance but not this time. The previews looked edgy but the movie sputtered halfway through. The actors looked like they phoned in their lines, lots of standing around chewing up the scenery and taking in the Hitchcockian strangeness. I’m not going to spoil the suspense by explaining the that it all hinges upon multiple personality disorder (now there’s a modern deus ex machina) and that the whole movie is one man’s delusion because the that would blunt the disappointment. Who cares what happens to the characters? Apparently, not the screenwriters so they slacked off after the setting up the plot.
- The Italian Job. A very pretty remake starring Mini Coopers. My expectations were low and they were met- chases, gadgets, explosions, joke lines and a straight ahead plot line that doesn’t blink at holes big enough to drive all three Minis through side by side. The only time I wasn’t chuckling and laughing was when Seth Green (Lyle) drops the Ducati. Of course, the original was better but this one just looks so good (except for Edward Norton’s cheesy mustache) that you enjoy the spectacle. And I feel relieved not to have paid $10 to see it.
- Bulletproof Monk. I sought crap and I got it. The movie has a good sense of humor and how can it not? A magic scroll? Flying monks? Nazis? New York City? Mako as the owner of a Chinese movie theater? This movie practically has cheese branded on it. The fight choreography is clever and lifts liberally from the canon of Kung Foo theater with some original (at least to me) use of props. In the end the plot drove down into cutesy, heart-warming rubbish. Nothing’s perfect.