Poster 2012This disaster movie turned out to be just that, a complete disaster! I wasn’t expecting much going in, in fact I knew going in that this was going to be just a special effects extravaganza and might be only that. Still, something entertaining to watch with popcorn and gummy cola bottles. As you can tell from the trailers, the film is simply about the earths crust shifting and disaster begins, and it is the mission of a family that has discovered the secret to survive by reaching an ark that will save humanity. Sound familiar? Deep Impact, Armageddon…take your pick of several.

With some of the big name actors in this, you wonder how they got this film so screwed up. John Cusak (High Fidelity, Grosse Point Blank) plays a writer who has figured out the governments secret and is trying to save his family. I use the term PLAY loosely, as he does absolutely nothing special in his role. Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers, The People vs Larry Flynt) plays the obligatory crazy conspiracy theorist that has the whole thing figured out and no one seems to listen. As much as I thought he was perfectly cast in Zombieland, he is that much miscast in this one. If it was a comedic break to put this character in, it fails miserably. Thandi Newton (Crash), Amanda Peet (The Whole Nine Yards), and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon)  are also on-screen simply getting a paycheck. The only character I was sort of interested in was Carl who was played by Oliver Platt (Frost Nixon). I thought he had a few lines that brought comedic relief to the film, but not for long. His character in the end was as flat and left for dead just like everyone else.

Ok, let’s get to the special effects. If you saw the trailer, you have seen the best of them, and there wasn’t much more than that. The effects were not even that enjoyable to watch as they had to make EVERY effect just hugely over the top….and I don’t mind over the top, but this was over kill. Every plane that took off had to escape an oncoming black cloud (Seen that one in Dante’s Peak), every car scene had to jump a chasm caused by an earthquake that just happened right in front of them. Every effect seemed to have the most unreal of circumstances happen in each one. Why not just make a scary situation and put the people on the edge of their seat? Na, just make everything so over the top and unbelievable that leaves the audience sighing and shaking their head in disbelief.

Well, you don’t have to guess whether I would recommend this one or not. This movie is basically an insult to an audiences intelligence. For example a girl whistles for a dog that is 100 yards away and among 1000s of rioting people, and goes to the girl. Ok, so maybe a dog’s hearing is good, the dog is a King Charles Spaniel, and very sweet dogs, but dumb as a bag of hammers (If I can borrow the line from George Clooney in O Brother). Yet this dog tight rope walks a steel cable like nothing else. My brothers King Charles is a connoisseur of Barbie Clothes and small rocks, so tightrope walking, give me a break. Also, this film gets very old as each character, (conveniently representing different nationalities and races) are given the chance to say good-bye to loved ones. I couple of scenes, OK, I will live with it, but give me a break.

This movie is not worth seeing at all, and not even a rental for me. It is terrible acting and absolutely no story. Had I not seen Year One, this film would have got my vote for worst picture this year.

After Hours


After Hours seemed to start out a little bit slow for me, but I will admit, it was reeling me in for events about to happen. This film follows Paul Hackett, played by Griffin Dunne, through the events of an evening. Starting off trying to hook up with Marcy, played by Rosanna Arquette, Paul finally calls her and agrees to meet her at her friends house in Soho. Certain events happen (not giving too much away here…just check out the film) that evening and the only thing Paul wants to do is tell his story to the cops and go home. Anything that could happen to Paul, does happen. His world slowly crumbles and he seems to go to deeper darker places in the nightlife world of Soho. There are some great characters throughout the movie, Terri Garr (Tootsie) plays Julie the emotionally unstable waitress, Will Patton (Armageddon) plays a leather enthusiast and Catherine O’Hara (Best In Show) plays a plaster sculpture.

This film was directed by Martin Scorsese. After Hours is a very good dark comedy, something I wasn’t expecting from a director know for violence, having directed Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and more recently The Departed. The movie does seem dated in its style and music, but it still seems to work. Even though it seems a bit out of the norm for Scorsese, this is a very entertaining film. And if seems to start out slow for you, hang in there with it. This one is worth checking out when you in the mood for a black comedy.

–The Singing Hot Dog