I want my money back – Man on a Ledge (2012)

“From Summit Entertainment” (the company responsible for unleashing the “epic”  ‘Twilight Saga’ to the innocent masses) “and the producer of ‘Transformers’ and ‘Red'” (like anyone cares who he is) comes “Man on a Ledge”. Seriously? This is how you get people to watch an action thriller in 2012? By hinting the crew members of the film instead of the actors and/or the fucking director ?! Next thing you know,  more and more trailers for action films will include text like: “From the script supervisor of ‘The Expendables’ (like that film needed a script! HA!), and the boom operator for “The Artist”(I know! It’s not an action movie. But because it’s a silent film, you won’t need a… oh, never mind!).

But you see, “Man on a Ledge” is actually directed by a dude named Asger Leth. Nobody knows who he is. Wikipedia doesn’t have any info on him. IMDB, however, has a list of his previous films and a very short biography on him (son of some guy, and one of three children). But of course, nobody is going to watch an action thriller directed by Asger Leth unless there was someone in it who’s worth watching for at least 90 minutes of your life. Unfortunately, we’re given Sam Worthington.

Am I the only one who thinks Sam is really not that great of an actor? He wasn’t bad in “Avatar” (mostly due to the fact that he was a blue alien through most of the film). But I despised him in “Terminator Salvation” and “Clash of the Titans” due to his piss-poor acting in both films. I have yet to suffer, I mean, watch “Wrath of the Titans” which also stars Sam as the lead actor.  And yet, here he is in this film, bringing the same C-grade acting we’ve come to expect from him. However, it’s not just his performance that brings this film down. It’s not even Asger’s direction. IT’S THE FUCKING STORY!

Allow me to explain. Or attempt to.

PLOT

Nick Cassidy is an ex-cop who was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit – the theft of a $40 million diamond from businessman David Englander. While in jail, his ex-partner Mike Ackerman tells him that his father passed away. Of course, Nick is allowed to attend the funeral. And of course, he uses the advantage of being outside to escape. He gets into a car and speeds off, with the police hot on his trail. He even drives over a train track, only to have the car run over by an oncoming train. And amazingly enough, he survives! I mean, if he didn’t, we won’t have “Man on a Ledge”. Sigh. How I long for a non-generic action film to be released this year.

Anyway, cut to a month later, and Nick checks into the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. He has a nice meal, washes his hands and face, and then steps out the window onto the ledge. Pedestrians stop and stare upward at Nick, wondering (or hoping) that he falls face-first to the street. Obviously, the police step in to investigate. But Nick only wants to speak with the negotiator Lydia Mercer. Why? ‘Cause Sam Worthington needs a female interest, regardless of the fact that he spends most of the film on a fucking ledge! Or at least that’s what I believe. Lydia arrives and persuades Nick to get off the ledge. Nick keeps telling her that he was innocent of the diamond robbery, and that he was framed by Englander. Meanwhile, Joey, Nick’s brother, and Angie, Joey’s girlfriend, are trying to break into the building across the street, where Englander’s jewelry vault is located. Surprisingly (and ridiculously) enough, Nick is actually orchestrating the heist via radio contact with Joey and Angie. In other words, while Nick distracts the cops, Joey and Angie break inside the vault to steal the same diamond he was initially accused of stealing. Will they succeed in stealing the diamond? Will Nick slip off the ledge by accident and fall on his face? Or will he fall on his back? Or will he break his legs? These questions will be answered in “Man on a Ledge”.

CHARACTERS

Nick Cassidy – Sam Worthington

Lydia Mercer – Elizabeth Banks

Joey Cassidy – Jamie Bell

Angie Lopez – Genesis Rodriguez

Mike Ackerman – Anthony Mackie

David Englander – Ed Harris

MY THOUGHTS:  As you may have gathered, “Man on a Ledge” has a REE-DICK-YOU-LUST plot. If I can sum it up into one sentence, it’ll be this: Arrested for his assumed involvement in a diamond heist, an escaped convict tries to prove his innocence by attracting the police’s attention through a suicide attempt on the ledge of a high-rise hotel, while his brother attempts to steal the SAME diamond that he was accused of stealing in the first place. You gotta be fucking kidding me! And even in its ridiculousness, there’s no attempt – NONE – to develop the script further. The viewer is expected to be dumbed down by the visceral thrills that the film provides.  This, of course, is an attempt by the filmmakers to make the viewer unaware of how stupid the story really is. The actors in this film (with the exception of Mr. Sam Worthington who doesn’t even try to act) try their hardest to play their roles seriously. Even Ed Harris, who appears to be gradually turning into an alien as he ages (look at the face and head on that guy for God’s sake) tries to cope with the stench of the film’s storyline. But even his talent was wasted. The direction by whatshisface isn’t anything extraordinary or notable or memorable for that matter. And by the film’s end, and even after you finish read this review, you’ll forget his name anyway.  The action scenes are forgettable, and the heist scenes are preposterous. Even Genesis Rodriguez (who just so happens to be both attractive and annoying in the film) stripping out of her black outfit during the middle of the heist is preposterous. Ultimately, Man on a Ledge isn’t just a generic action thriller, but an insult to the intelligence of anyone watching it. It isn’t the worst film to come out for 2012, but it’ll definitely be forgotten before year’s end. Just like the name of its director.

SHOULD I SEE THIS FILM?  Though I didn’t watch “Man on a Ledge” in a movie theater,  that doesn’t stop me from DEMANDING MY MONEY BACK!  That being said, there’s better action thrillers out there that you can look at instead of this film. If you still believe that story doesn’t matter when it comes to an action movie, then by all means, watch it. But after you realize that you’ve wasted 102 minutes of your life, PLEASE…..PLEASE do not look for a high-rise building to jump out of! The last thing I want is blood on my hands. I’m just saying.

MY RATING – 2 out of 5 stars (“I Want my Money Back”)

– Matthew

Burn this movie. Literally! – Jack and Jill (2011)

With “The Hunger Games” dominating the box office and “Titanic 3D” hitting theaters in the next couple of days, you may be wondering why I chose to write about this piece of rhinoceros excrement. Well, it all has to do with a certain event called the Razzies. For those who think the Razzies is the title of a children’s show created by Wu Tang Clan founder The RZA, it’s actually short for the Golden Raspberry Awards – a movie awards ceremony that celebrates the WORST that Hollywood has to offer. Typically, it’s held one day before the Academy Awards, but this year, the decision was made to push it to April 1st. The results came out today, and I was curious to see who won the award for Worst Picture of the Year. And as I expected, it was “Jack and Jill”. However, I was surprised to see that it won ALL TEN CATEGORIES! Never in the history of the Razzies has one film taken all the awards. Never!

Adam Sandler must be SO proud of himself right now.

And to think, he started off so well as a comedian and actor. Just like his Saturday Night Live predecessors, Adam started off in TV, and then hit the big screen soon after. A slew of successful comedies followed in his wake: “Billy Madison”, “Happy Gilmore”, “The Waterboy”, “The Wedding Singer”(arguably the BEST film he’s ever done) and “Big Daddy”. But then, the 2000s hit, and his films started to switch between the lanes of monotony and utter bullshit: “Little Nicky”, “Mr. Deeds”, “Eight Crazy Nights” (yeah, I said it!), “Anger Management” and “50 First Dates”. He picked up a bit of momentum with “The Longest Yard” and “Click”, and even proved a few times that he can still act (“Spanglish”, “Punch-Drunk Love”, “Reign over Me (UNDERRATED performance)). But then he reached into that stage in a comic actor’s life (*cough* Eddie Murphy *cough*) where you can tell that he’s trying WAY TOO HARD to stay relevant in the changing times of Hollywood (“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”, “You Don’t Mes with the Zohan”, “Bedtime Stories”). Even his appearance in the comedy-drama “Funny People” didn’t help.

And then, 2010 hit…. and Adam threw in the towel. Not in terms of retiring from acting for good, mind you, but instead to not give a rat’s ass whether people found him funny or not! Longtime fans of Adam Sandler who grew up quoting his best lines from his best movies ( “And I like Vicki, and she like me back! And she showed me her boobies and I like them too!” is still my FAVOURITE quote from ‘The Waterboy’) had to sit back and cringe as their comic idol desecrated the legacy that he himself created. In that year, he released not one, but TWO SHITTY FILMS: “Grown Ups” and “Just Go with It”. But last year, apart from starring in “Jack and Jill”, he WROTE and PRODUCED “Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star”. If you’ve never heard of this movie, it’s okay. Let’s just say that it’s best that “Bucky Larson” stays unknown….and forgotten.

But enough of the exposition. Time for my review. But first, let me state that I will do my review a little different than usual. My synopsis of the plot will be short, since stating the events of this film will give me, and you, a splitting headache! Also, I will divide the “MY THOUGHTS” section into categories. Each category will be based on one of the awards that “Jack and Jill” won during the Razzies. This is my way of showing you whether the film deserves all the accolades it’s receiving or not. Capiche? Let’s begin.

PLOT

Jack Sadelstein is an advertising executive and a family man. Jill Sadelstein is his ANNOYING twin sister, and she’s still single. Jill visits Jack and his family during the Thanksgiving weekend. Jack tries to get Al Pacino (playing himself) to star in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial (I shit you not!). Jill tries to get herself a boyfriend.  By some twist of fate (or just by lazy scriptwriting), Al falls for Jill. Hilarity, or lack thereof, ensues.

CHARACTERS

Jack Sadelstein /Jill Sadelstein – Adam Sandler

Erin Sadelstein – Katie Holmes

Al Pacino – Michael Corleone/Tony Montana/Satan (in “The Devil’s Advocate”) etc. etc. etc.

Ted – Tim Meadows

Felipe – Eugenio Derbez

MY THOUGHTS: There’s 10 categories here, so bear with me.

WORST SCREENPLAY:  Written by Steve Koren & Adam Sandler (surprise, surprise) and based on a story by Ben Zook (WTF is a “Zook”?!), the screenplay of “Jack and Jill” goes from generic to mind-numbingly horrible in just a few seconds.  The dialogue is lame, the jokes fall flat and the characters are unappealing. Even Al Pacino, one of the greatest actors of all time, is forced to spit out, and shout out, shitty lines. The ONLY memorable line he has in this film is: “Burn this. This must never be seen by anyone”. You know how a famous line captures the essence of a famous movie? Like “If you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk”, “E.T. phone home” or “I’ll have what she’s having”? Al’s line captures the HERBAL ESSENCE of “Jack and Jill”. Too bad people won’t remember it. Or know about it. And to think “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I” got nominated for this category!

WORST SCREEN COUPLE: Adam Sandler actually won for three worst screen couples: himself and Katie Holmes (who just shouldn’t have been in this film because….she’s Katie Holmes), himself and Al Pacino (i.e. the scenes involving Al, Jack, Jill and in one sequence, Jack PRETENDING TO BE Jill – long story) and himself and himself (that’s pretty self-explanatory). And to think “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I” got nominated for this category!

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL: Apparently, it won for ripping off the granddaddy of bad movies – the “so bad, it’s good” cult classic Glen or Glenda (which is actually worth seeing if you’re a die-hard fan of cult films – like yours truly). Both films are radically different, but they both involve cross-dressing. And to think “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I” got nominated for this category!

WORST DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan, the guy who directed six Adam Sandler films in his career…. and now he has this piece of shit to add to his portfolio. Great job, dude! Fun fact: He also won in this category for “Just Go with It”.

WORST SCREEN ENSEMBLE: The entire cast of “Jack and Jill”. Ouch! And to think “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I” got nominated for this category!

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Al Pacino. We’ll always remember you…. in great movies like “The Godfather Trilogy”, “Scarface”, “Scent of a Woman”, “The Devil’s Advocate” etc. etc. etc. Sniff.

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: David Spade (Adam’s buddy from the SNL days who also evolved into a terrible actor). Here, he plays “Monica”. Yes, he too plays a woman in this film. Which proves once again that SNL actors are more likely to cross-dress than win an Academy Award. And to think the Victoria’s Secret model  from “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” whose name escapes me got nominated for this category!

WORST ACTOR: Adam Sandler – for both “Jack and Jill” and “Just Go with It”. Judging from what I’ve just written, should ANYONE be surprised at this? And to think he beat Taylor Lautner from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. Now THAT”S saying something!

WORST ACTRESS: Adam Sandler. ROTFLMFAO!!

WORST PICTURE: Yes, it is.

SHOULD I SEE THIS FILM?  AWW HELLLLLLLLL NO!!! “Jack and Jill” is the equivalent of a 90-minute bout of diarrhea! It’s that bad! Not even the cameos in this film, from Johnny Depp to Jared, the Subway Guy, are worth seeing. The only reason I’m giving this a half of a star is because of one scene where Adam is watching a clip of “Scarface” (the famous “Say hello to my little friend” scene) on his laptop. That scene reminded me of the awesomeness that was Al Pacino. And this film best represents how far Adam Sandler has fallen in his career. In short, do not watch this movie. If someone lends you the DVD, burn it. Literally! Like put it on top of a newspaper, pour some kerosene on it, light a match and watch it burn! And then watch “The Wedding Singer” or any other film from Adam’s early film career. Or better yet, watch “Scarface” or any other great film from Al Pacino. At least that’s better than suffering through this shitty movie!

MY RATING – 1/2 out of 5 stars (“Burn this movie. Literally!”)

– Matthew