Skip to main content

“There Must be More Celebrities Here Than Rehab”

Movie Review: New Year’s Eve (2011)
Summary: The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve.
Spoilers: none

Everyone is obsessed with the ball dropping in the holiday movie New Year’s Eve. In fact, the obsession is downright unnatural, if not unhealthy.

And “unnatural” is a term that can almost describe the movie overall, with its sleigh-full of celebrities in a film that basically gloats as it gets fatter in aim than it is in content with a near-shameless show-off of roles.

The movie follows six couples as they cope with drama in their respective lives, each wanting
different things. And there’s a Grinch-type in every holiday crowd. Aston Kutcher is that Grinch here.

I won’t even attempt to explain who is who because this film has more than a dozen “main characters” and no one of them is in focus for long enough to be appreciated. I’ll just mention some other celebrities (although I don’t need to): De Niro, Berry, Parker, Biel, Meyers, Efron, Bon Jovi.

The entire effort is like a New York informercial, a sadly bloated one. The real problems show up and compound themselves quickly with others.

The film feels too well scripted to allow for chemistry or any natural spontaneity (as though anyone on screen had time for it). Everyone talks with responses that sound like they’ve been crafted. The plot is spread so thin, and with characters like those found in a soap opera series crammed into a 2-hour movie.

And we have girl fits, elevators stopping working just long enough to start romances, and couples trying to win the money from having the first baby of the year. Now couples getting awarded prizes for having the first baby of the year is the kind of thing some want to hear about on the evening news, but not watch a movie about.

There’s too much star power, and the flick knows it – and counts on it – which is why we should hate it for having nothing else. We’d have less of a problem with it if the celebs were appearing as themselves, but most aren’t. They’re playing other people, which only makes it seem more like an empty and hollow effort.


There are some legitimate brief moments of touching emotional impact – and yes, some hurried scenes consisting of more than fair performances – but the movie itself doesn’t leave much to think on or like.

The congested plot makes it almost impossible to appreciate the humor when it is found. The one-liner quips one can get used to, but the story’s tendency to throw in a bunch of heartache (like a soldier abroad longing to be home and a dying patient) is presented so that it is perceived as yet more eye-rolling blockage tucked underneath the warm blanket of emotional manipulation. Blah!

(JH)

Grade: D+ (1 ½ stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for language, including some sexual references)
Director: Garry Marshall
Starring: “Ingrid” (Michelle Pfeiffer), “Paul” (Zac Efron), “Murray” (Michael Mandell), “Stan Harris” (Robert De Niro), “Nurse Aimee” (Halle Berry), “Nurse Mindy” (Alyssa Milano), “Tess Byrne” (Jessica Biel), “Griffin Byrne” (Seth Meyers)
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Trailer

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

When free spirit “Jules” (Anna “Go Girls” Hutchison) tells her best friend “Dana” (Kristen “Revolutionary Road” Connolly) what a good time they’ll be having at a cabin in the remote woods, you automatically know and are glad that she has no idea at all what awaits her or her friends, and neither does Jules’ jock boyfriend “Curt” (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). The same is true of their intellectual friend with his notably piercing gaze, “Holden” (Jesse “Grey’s Anatomy” Williams) and their stoner friend “Marty” (Franz “The Village” Kranz) who seems to have a better grasp of reality, despite himself. Takes all kinds.

After taking off in the RV up the mountain, they stop for gas and run into a weirdly cryptic and confrontational gas station attendant (Tim De Zarn). When they’re back on the road after a near-fight, it isn’t long before they arrive and forget all about it. Following horror movie suit in letting out their whoas about how cool the place is and how much fun they will have losing t…

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

At about 3 hours long, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest mental sickness-inspired adventure of a slave named “Django” (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, “Dr. King Schultz” (Christoph Waltz) who helps Django rescue his enslaved wife from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi.