15 August 2008

Beer For My Horses

And Much More Needed For Me!

What can really be said about a movie written by Toby Keith and Rodney Carrington based on a song written by Toby Keith that has not already been said or at least thought? Exactly! Nothing! Now, I have to admit that I could not help myself, I wanted, almost needed, to see this film. In the spirit of Billy Ray Cyrus’ Radical Jack, I wanted to see this film because someone green lit it and thought it was a good idea for a movie. There are very few singers turned actors who do not stink up the screen. Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg lead this short list. It is also worth mentioning that the director, Michael Solomon, chose to make this his big-screen directorial debut. He only had a few music videos to his credit according to IMDB before making this. So, this movie did not disappoint because I had zero expectations for this movie, as did most of America since I was all alone in the Thursday night showing. I had to catch it Thursday because it was leaving that night after a total of 7 days in theaters.

Beer for My Horses opens with a trailer park domestic dispute. Classy. Rack and his partner Lonnie, Toby Keith and Rodney Carrington, are called to the scene. Of course, some “hilarity” ensues. From there, we see Gina Gershon, in her only scene, leaving Rack because he is a bad boyfriend. Next, we meet Sheriff Landry, played by once respected Tom Skerritt. He puts his B-Team of Rack, Lonnie and Skunk, played by silent Ted Nugent, on a mission to stop a group from stealing fertilizer in their efforts to make methamphetamine. While busting them, they arrest a Mexican drug lord’s brother. Then, right on cue, old flame Annie, cardboard actress Claire “I was in Meet Joe Black please remember me” Forlaini, returns to the small town to give Rack someone to care about. And, as no surprise, she is kidnapped by said drug lord and held as collateral for the arrested Mexican. This incites Rack to go to Mexico with his band of misfits to thwart the drug lord’s plans and rescue the damsel in distress.

Why go into this any further? It was a formulaic as it gets. This movie offered nothing I haven’t already seen in my obsession with 80’s B-Action movies. The real problem this movie had, other than the obvious acting, was that the script sounded like it was written by a 6 year-old in crayon. I might also add that the movie had nothing to do with the song itself. As far as movies go, this should have been a direct to DVD release and spared the humiliation of the theaters. With a box office of just over $250,000, I am proud to say I saw it in theaters. I just wanted to be able to say that. Verdict: Unless you are a glutton for punishment like me, a severe passing on this is recommended.

06 August 2008

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

The Mummy Didn't Return

Well, I had a free ticket good for Wanted, Incredible Hulk, Hellboy II: The Golden Army or The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Since I had already seen the first three options, I decided I would go see the fourth and final option. Ten minutes in, I regretted not seeing one of the other three movies for a second time. I cannot remember the last time a movie was this underwhelming. The entire movie seemed as though it was making fun of the fact that this was an embarrassing attempt at reviving this franchise. They should have left it alone after the spin-off Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Scorpion King.

It opens with a familiar tone of a voice over telling the tale of Emperor Han, played by Jet Li, and his rise to power. It makes sure you understand that he was a terrible person. He sent his trusted friend and right-hand-man General Ming to find the secret to eternal life. Michelle Yeoh plays Zi Juan, who is beautiful and lusted after by Emperor Han. She also has the secret to eternal life. Unfortunately, she falls for General Ming and he is killed for it. She curses Han and his army, turning them all into terra cotta statues for eternity. Not too bad. This was the end of the opening ten minutes.

Cut to modern times, 1947, and we see that Rick O’Connell, reprised by Brendan Fraiser, is trying to learn to fly fish, but he is terrible at it. There were a few sad attempts at slapstick humor that missed, horribly. Next up, we see Evelyn O’Connell, played by Maria Bello taking over for Rachel Weisz, at a book reading of her second bestseller mummy novel. We then see them together talking about how bored their lives are now that they are retired from the adventuring business.

Finally, we see that Alex, played by newcomer Luke Ford, on a dig in China in search of the opening to the Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. When he finds it, he is attacked by a mysterious Chinese lady. We then see that the parental O’Connell’s are propositioned to return the Eye of Shangri-La to China. The meet up with Evelyn’s brother Jonathan who is living in China and opened a bar called Imhotep’s, the mummy from the first two films incase you forgot. They run into Alex who is there.

From here, it was all pretty formulaic. They raise the mummy. They have to stop the mummy. They travel to exotic locations in the process and have many adventures along the way. These include bad jokes about yaks yakking and Yetis kicking field goals to name a few. Sadly, the scene in the preview about no seatbelts and laughing about it was the only scene I laughed at. I saw it coming and tried not to laugh with all my might, but alas I still laughed. I am ashamed of myself.

The script was written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. They were the creators of Smallville. This explained a lot. That show has suffered for the last couple of seasons and so, the creators left. Now they are making terrible movies. It was directed by Rob Cohen, who had a few good shots in the movie, but nothing too memorable. Stephen Sommers wrote and directed the first two and split from this one. As did Rachel Weisz as I mentioned above, and Freddie Boath, who played young Alex in The Mummy Returns. This was a good career move for these three. Sadly, I just read that there are plans for a fourth. Hopefully, this will not happen. If it does, short of another free ticket, I will not be there. Verdict: DUH! Do not waste your time. Go see The Dark Knight again. I have been twice and I plan to see it again. Even my mom has seen it twice!