Premium Rush (2012)
One Line Description: A bike messenger is chased by a corrupt cop after being asked to deliver some sensitive documents.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of the hot names of the last few years. There are many who think he has the potential to be one the great dramatic actors of the next decade or so. This movie doesn’t go very far to furthering that cause. The story is bland and lacks almost any sort of depth, and while the exact details of the ending aren’t given away up front, there is enough writing on the wall to create disappointment. Michael Shannon plays the pursuing officer, and he is pretty good as a hothead nut job, but he plays that role frequently so it’s nothing new. The movie gets some points for being about bike messengers, which doesn’t seem to be a topic that shows up elsewhere, but this one isn’t really worth your time.
The Producers (1967)
One Line Description: A broke producer convinces his accountant to make the worst play ever in order to embezzle a large sum of money.
One of Mel Brooks’ movies, this one is known for spawning a very successful stage version in the last 20 years starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The movie had some funny moments, but felt very like a comedy from the recent generation, since there was almost no substance or depth to the story. Either than the two main characters, no one is around long enough to matter, and the outcome leaves a little to be desired. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I walked away pretty letdown.
Tower Heist (2011)
One Line Description: Employees of a New York high rise seek revenge on a tenant who embezzled their retirement funds.
Deep cast in this one (Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni) that is effectively Ocean’s Eleven will less skilled criminals. Plenty of funny moments, and an interesting story that gets a little off the rails towards the end, but not so much as to ruin the film. Eddie Murphy still has talent, no doubt, but obviously isn’t the guy he was 20 years ago. Stiller is his usual self, which to me is solid but unspectacular. He reminds me of Paul Konerko. Good for a long time, but never great, and will never be a Hall of Famer but carried some mediocre movies. If this one pops up on cable and you can catch it from the beginning it’s likely you will be satisfied, but don’t expect The Hangover or anything.
Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach (2009)
One Line Description: A former tennis pro turned janitor takes over coaching duties of the high school team after the coach dies.
This was part of the “bad movie marathon”1 we did a while back. We wanted it to be the tennis version of Happy Gilmore, but it was more like the tennis version of Kingpin. It wasn’t quite as raunchy, but it was pretty darn close. Sean William Scott, best known as Stiffler from the American Pie films, has some hidden gems, like Goon and Role Models2 isn’t horrible in this one, but isn’t winning any awards either. It’s clear that if you are looking for a raunchy tennis movie you won’t get it anywhere else, but this one is not for the faint at heart.
One Line Description: Two meat salesmen do anything they can to make a sale before getting fired.
Kevin James and Ray Romano star in this one from right around the time of King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond. It also stars a pre-Modern Family Sofia Vergara, Juliette Lewis, Michael Rappaport and Burt Reynolds. None of that was enough for it to make it theaters. Straight to DVD, which is exactly why you have heard of this. And trust me, that’s a good thing. This movie is terrible. You wonder how all of these people have ever been cast in anything more than a cereal commercial. It’s not even 90 minutes long, and the last 30 minutes is so perplexing and horrible, you don’t even see the ending coming. And when it does, you can’t believe that it just ended. One of the worst movies I have ever seen.