Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Step Families


Thursday means a lot of things. It means that the work week is almost over. Pretty soon, it will mean football. Shortly after that, it will mean turkey. Most importantly, it means more Thursday Movie Picks. That, of course, is the wonderful meme hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. Click the link to find out the rules and how to get in on this. Then get in on this. The topic this week is The Brady Bunch. Okay, not really, but close. It's step families. Usually, I try to go with hidden gems. However, I'm feeling in a bit of an ornery mood, so I'm going with three that are terrible. Proceed at your own risk.

Are We Done Yet?
(2007)
This is the not-at-all-highly anticipated sequel to the cute Are We There Yet? in which Nick (Ice Cube) wins over Suzanne (Nia Long) by escorting her children not so safely to Canada where she is on business. The two are now married and moving into a brand new house that's somewhat of a fixer-upper, to say the least. It's simply one terrible gag after another. The entirety of the plot is Nick pitching a bitch at the top of his lungs as local yokel Chuck (John C. McGinley) cons him over and over and over...and over again. It occupies a dubious place in movie history as it is that rare movie that is not only a sequel, but a remake of a movie that had nothing to do with its predecessor, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. This means it's a sucky sequel AND a sucky remake.


The Uninvited
(2009)
Speaking of sucky remakes. Let's get into another one. This time, the Korean horror film A Tale of Two Sisters was butchered by good ol' American know-how. Like its predecessor, The Uninvited features Anna (Emily Browning), a girl who has just come home from a mental institution. She still suffers ghastly nightmares and visions. Plus she has to deal with her whiny older sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel). They both have to deal with Rachel, their evil stepmom played very poorly by Elizabeth Banks. Somehow, the normally excellent David Strathairn got roped into playing the dead. Well, not somehow. His performance looks very much like he was slumming for a paycheck. Sigh.


The Stepfather
(2009)
To hell with it. We're going all remakes this week. The 1987 flick of the same name is the victim, here. We start the movie with David (Dylan Walsh) leaving behind the wife and kids he just murdered. Shortly after this, we see him all happy and in love with a new woman who has kids of her own. And no surprise to us, Dylan is absolutely off his rocker. You know what? Rather than coming up with new stuff to say about this film, I'm just going to quote myself from an old review. "The pedal stays to the metal. It throws everything at you, repeatedly. David suddenly appears out of nowhere about a thousand times, always accompanied by a hard note of music. He’s also prone to violence at the drop of a hat which leads to a knock-down drag-out finale. We even get the time-tested cat thrown across the camera to create a jump-scare." Oh, it's THAT kind of movie. In case I couldn't remember, that old review also says "The stupidity is unending." However, those are precisely the reasons I can't hate this one. It goes so far over the top it's almost not to be believed. In other words, it's so bad it's awesome.


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22 comments:

  1. Yeah, those were pretty bad. I don't blame for being in a bad mood. They're all terrible.

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    1. Lol. I didn't just watch all of these this week. That would make me suicidal. Just felt like being a dick.

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  2. Oh my! Thanks for the warning! These all sound...dreadful. The one bright spot in all those is that you reminded me of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Love that movie! No one can describe colors like Myrna Loy.

    My first two are straightforward stepfamily situations but the third is full of complex family blending, however somewhere in there someone is a step parent.

    The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)-Taking the quintessential 70's blended sitcom family and transporting them to the 90's but keeping them firmly locked in their time is a perfect way of updating the material and this is a goofy and fun picture.

    With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)-Widow Doris Day who has three young sons and widower Brian Keith a teenage daughter, played by a very young Barbara Hershey, fall for each other and decide to marry but run into problems when the kids resist making any concessions. Light, pleasant farce was Doris’s feature film swan song.

    Tomorrow, the World! (1944)-A young German boy who has been recently orphaned comes to America to live with his spinster aunt (Agnes Moorehead), widowed uncle (Fredric March), the uncle’s teenage daughter and his future wife (Betty Field). Problems arise when it turns out he is a Hitler youth thoroughly indoctrinated in Nazi propaganda. While the family tries to make a home for him and basically deprogram him he resists and goes out of his way to be cruel to his uncle's fiancée, a Jewess, and does everything possible to tear the family apart. The film can be somewhat pat at times but it does try and tackle a complex subject.

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    1. To be completely honest, I purposely didn't see The Brady Bunch movie. I saw the TV show a lot as a kid because it was always on, but I really wasn't a fan. The commercials for it just didn't appeal to me.

      With Six is one of those titles on my never-ending to watch list. Never heard of that last one, but man that sounds like a tough film. You've definitely got me interested. Thanks

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  3. I didn't hate the Univited as much as everyone else did, but it's probably just because I love Emily Browning so much. (Though some of the movies she picks are terrible) I haven't seen the other two.

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    1. Browning really hasn't made much of an impression on me one way or the other. My faults with the movie lie heavily with the writing and E Banks' rotten performance.

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  4. ICE CUBE remade Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House?!? WOW. I don't even remember this sequel existing lol.

    The Uninvited looked like crap, but even then it was only after I heard it was a remake of A Tale of Two Sisters that I knew I had to stay away.

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    1. It shouldn't have existed. Surprised you haven't bumped into by accident since it plays on TV all the time.

      The Uninvited. Sigh.

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  5. I haven't seen any of these, and I never will!!! Go me!!!

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  6. I heard of the first one and even the trailer for the film made me want to run the other way. The other 2 do not sound like a fun time at all unless there is nothing else on TV

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    1. I wanted to run the other way, but the kids asked to see it and, at least they liked it.

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  7. God I hated "Are We Done Yet?" I didn't realize that was a remake...shitty sequel, yes. That said ARE WE THERE YET was one of my favorites that starred Ice Cube

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    1. It was just awful. I was only lukewarm on Are We There Yet? so I was certainly not in the target audience for this.

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  8. I haven't seen any of these -- I guess I'm not missing much. :-)

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  9. I didn't hate Uninvited - Browning and Banks were good enough for me to like it, plus they are both so pretty

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    1. They are pretty and so is Kebbel, but this just didn't work for me.

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  10. Haven't seen any of these, come to think of it I don't think I've seen too many films about step familes.

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    1. Remembering most of them takes some effort since they're usually not marketed as such and not always important to the story, but they're out there.

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  11. Ok I completely forgot about The Uninvited...I could totally have went with it or the original.
    Stepfather - don't remember it being any good and I thought Penn Badgley already looked way too old to be a teenager.

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    1. Yes. And yes. Stepfather was ridiculously bad. That's why I loved it.

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