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“Extract”
a review by Darby O’Gill

The king of blue collar movies is back, and this time Mike Judge brings us the tale of Joel, played by Jason Bateman, whose life just seems to be going nowhere fast. Joel’s small extract company is doing very well, but his employees never quite seem to be satisfied. Their hours are too long, their pay is never enough, and when rumors of Joel selling the company hit the floor, what little moral they had left goes right out the window. As if that wasn’t enough trouble for poor Joel, his marriage and sex life seem to be nonexistent, and when there’s an accident on the factory floor that causes one of the workers to loose a testical, things go from bad to worse. The incident not only threatens the buyout, but also catches the eye of a local grifter, played by Mila Kunis. Add to all this, a pain in the ass neighbor, brilliantly played by David Koechner, and a best friend bartender, played by Ben Affleck, who gives a surprisingly funny performance. This only seems to add to Joel’s troubles, when he suggests that Joel hirer a ringer to test his wife’s fidelity, so he himself might feel better about his thoughts of having an affair. Take all that and mix in Mike Judge’s unmistakable brand of comedy, and you have a bonafide hit.

Nobody can play an everyman quite like Jason Bateman. His timing is always just dead on. I could watch him all day, and I think I have on a few Arrested Development marathons. The entire cast does a phenomenal job, and Mike Judge’s writing/directing takes an average story and makes it something extraordinary. Just like Office Space, you’ll be quoting this movie in no time. Just ask ingus or dingus.

It’s not a bad way to start the fall movie season. After this past summer, we desperately need some good solid movies in the fall, and not just Oscar good movies either. No, we need fun, entertaining, and most of all funny movies. You know like… Extract. I can’t think of a better way to spend your Labor Day, than watching a bunch of people hate their jobs. It might even be safe to say that, Extract is so funny, you’ll bust a nut.” Too corny? Just go see it.

Rating:

4.5 Little People



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“A Perfect Getaway”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, it’s anything but perfect. The 2009 Summer of Shit continues. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for this summer to be over with. Writer/Director David Twohy has probably written one of the worst scripts I’ve ever had to sit through. First of all, I hate when screen writers write about screen writing; it’s just so self fulfilling. It makes me want to throw things at the screen; luckily for the Universal screening room I didn’t have anything handy. It’s really sad, because he’s written coherent scripts before in the past. Nothing mind blowing, but at least they didn’t feel like they were written by a first time writer like this one.

Okay, so here’s the gist of it, three sets of couples are on vacation in Hawaii, but one of the couples is a pair of serial killers, and they, wait for it… pray on vacationing couples. Box office gold! I have no idea how this made it into theaters. This movie has straight to DVD written all over it. It’s no fault of the actors; they do the best they can. Milla Jovovich, Steve Zahn, Kiele Sanchez, and Timothy Olyphant all give solid performances, but nothing can save a shitty script. Look, I’m going to talk about the problems in this script, and I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but if you’re a loyal reader of this site and still want to see this movie after what I’ve said so far, I might just have to ban you from the Stash.

The biggest problem I have with this script, is that David Twohy is such an untalented screen writer, that he has to lie to the audience in order to trick them. The only way he could get a, “I didn’t see it coming!” moment, which I didn’t fall for, was to have the killers, when they’re totally alone, talk about how they think the other couple are the killers. It’s a cheap trick, and one that should never be forgiven. It’s your job as a writer, Mr. Twohy, to come up with a creative way to solve that problem, and if you can’t, you really shouldn’t be writing scripts. I for one hope you never do again. Look, you have two characters talking about screen writing, and during their discussion, they bring up the topic of red harrings. Am I really not supposed to figure out your amazing script at this point? Come on! It’s like someone took a “What not to do in screen writing” script, and made a movie out of it. I think we all get the picture at this point. Let just rate it, and get on with our lives.

Rating:

0.5 Little People



“District 9”
a review by Dary O’Gill

First off, I want you to know that there are no spoilers in this review, so please read on worry free. District 9 is the story of a marooned alien spacecraft hovering over the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. The people of Earth welcome first contact in the beginning, but when nothing happens for the first three months, man steps in to do what he does best. Twenty years later, the Earth becomes an intergalactic melting pot, and the planet’s newest refugees are starting to outstay their welcome. The only thing the planet seems to still be interested in is the alien technology, mainly their weapons. No big surprise there.

New comer Writer/Director, Neill Blomkamp, masterfully tells a tale with social and political undertones, but manages to do so in a truly entertaining way, which never seems preachy. District 9 is based on Blomkamp’s 2005 short film “Alive in Joburg,” which reflects his views of growing up in Johannesburg. The movie is a beautiful mix of documentary filmmaking and that of a sci-fi thriller. And let me also just say, it was one of my favorite marketing campaigns in years. I love when movies use their marketing to make people say, “What is that poster for?” Most studios want you to know right away; but did you know anyone that wasn’t talking about the “Humans Only” campaign? The special effects were top notch, by doing things like using stock footage of riots in South Africa and adding aliens to the footage, District 9 gives itself an amazing sense of realism. Finally, a summer movie worthy of its namesake, and we only had to wait till mid August to get it. Let me tell you, this more than makes up for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. With a production budget of a mere thirty million, District 9 proves that it’s not the size of the budget, but the quality of the film making. In its opening weekend, District 9 quickly turned a profit by making a cool thirty-seven million in only three days. Are you listening Hollywood?! All you need is a concrete story and talented director to back it up. Thank God Peter Jackson got onboard with this project and saved it from the clutches of evil Hollywood executives. A friend of mine was saying this weekend, that when you see this movie, you’ll realize that you find yourself desperately hoping they don’t screw it up at the last minute. You’re actually pulling for the movie to stay true to itself and not go the way of every other movie this summer. District 9 is destined to be an instant classic! Humans may not be allowed in District 9, but lucky for us we are allowed in the theaters to see this monumental film.

Rating:

5 Little People