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Horrible Bosses (2011) – A prime example of the archetypal, half-assed, Hollywood comedy. Jason Suedekis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day play three nice, hardworking fellows who all happen to work for selfish pricks. They haphazardly concoct a plot to kill each other’s authority figure problem. The black comedy potential here is ripe and yet it isn’t touched on in the slightest. The three bosses, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell, are so far over the top that the movie blows any chance at genuine laughs immediately. No one would ever remotely behave like these three cretins and watching good actors mug like this seems unfair to the talented performers trying to have fun. Suedekis, Bateman and Day pepper a few chuckles into things in a few places but the movie fails to build to anything. It gives up on its own sinister plot and instead turns into a lazy farce where nothing interesting happens and everything wraps up nice and neat. Snore.


Fright Night (1985) – A not quite icon of 80’s horror films but something that numerous horror buffs know and appreciate. Vampire moves in next door to a teenager who too quickly learns that he’s a member of the bloodsucking undead. It is very hard to watch at first due to the nagging lead character and sheer dumbness of his actions. Most of the other characters don’t seem to bright either. William Ragdale’s is handed a top flight moron of a character to play and everything about it feels painfully forced and idiotic. There are so many contrived moments I can’t even begin to list them. Despite the first reels agonizing fumbling’s it gradually gets past its brainless tendencies and turns into a half passable horror show. Chris Sarandon steals most of his scenes as the suave, prostitute killing vampire neighbor. Also helping are some physical effects which are quite gnarly and wonderfully grotesque. Some shades of Carpenter’s The Thing came to mind. A sequence where an impaled wolf turns into a human is a real highlight. Curious to see if the upcoming remake does anything better with the premise.


Of Gods and Men (2010) – An acclaimed French drama about a group of French monks running a monastery in Algeria circa 1996. The monks are an integral part of the community, providing medical supplies to the poverty stricken locals as well as building spiritual bridges between Islam and Christianity. Then Muslim extremist move into the territory and begin to threaten and kill all foreigners regardless of intent. The monks must choose, stay in their monastery and carry out their duty to the higher calling they’ve chosen or pack up and abandon the community that depends on them to save their own lives. It’s all very moving and tastefully handled, but if you’ve ever seen a movie anything like this you know how it ends as soon as it begins. Fans of finely crafted, spiritual movies, of which there are precious few, will have no problem appreciating this kind of high minded movie experience. If you prefer things with cool explosions and ass kicking, this is not for you. At no point do these monks kick anyone’s ass.


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