The embattled, multiply delayed, recut for the allegedly prudish American audiences I Love You, Phillip Morris is finally in theaters in the States, and though the version I saw this weekend is the sanitized American one, it so lived up to the hype that I can't wait to find a way to watch the original version enjoyed by European audiences by not at all illegally downloading it now. (Great job, movie industry!) Here's why it works even without all the incendiary stuff that scared every distributor in North America.
There have been many great adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The updated comedy Scrooged with Bill Murray is a modern classic, and The Muppet Christmas Carol alternates between Michael Caine's fine performance and the Muppets' rampant silliness. And the more traditional interpretations are numerous. So when we heard that the newest interpretation would be fully animated -- by Robert Zemeckis, who last directed Beowulf and The Polar Express -- and most of the roles would be played by Jim "The Grinch" Carrey... well, we got a little nervous. Vloggers Omar G. and Pablo G. watched the same trailer we did, and they have similar reservations. See what they have to say about the level of detail on Scrooge's nose and the imagery of Scrooge shooting through the sky on a rocket in the latest episode of "Trailers Without Pity," embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
Apparently, Jim Carrey still has it, as his wacky comedy Liar, Liar-- uh, we mean Yes Man topped the box office this weekend, beating out Will "I am Box Office Legend" Smith's sad-looking Seven Pounds. But just barely -- Jimbo got $18.1 million, while Big Willy got an even $16 mill. Still, they were the standouts of the weekend, which remained mellow in the face of holiday shopping. (Expect the holiday weekend, with its six major releases, to turn everything on its ear.)
Going into Disney's A Christmas Carol, I was expecting a lot of wacky slapstick comedy, because when you put Disney and Jim Carrey together, that's what you get. But even though Jim Carrey provides many of the voices and a lot of the visual inspiration for the characters, there was hardly any wackiness to be seen. In fact, most of the movie is pretty dark. If you've seen Robert Zemeckis' previous animated feature, Beowulf, you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect here, although the character designs are a bit more exaggerated, and some of their movements a bit more cartoonish. Still, this was one of the creepiest versions of A Christmas Carol I've ever seen, creepier by far than my two reigning favorites, Scrooged and The Muppet Christmas Carol. And you know what? Creepy ain't always bad.
When we heard that the Farrelly Brothers (Kingpin, Dumb and Dumber) were going to be making a new Three Stooges movie, and that they were referring to it as "Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest," we didn't have high hopes. We figured they'd cast a few small-time comedy actors, it would be a creative failure that couldn't possibly live up to the originals, and everyone involved would try to forget it ever happened.
There must be some sort of Venn diagram which illustrates that the likelihood of a Hollywood actor to try his hand at rapping is directly proportional to how insufferable he is in other facets of his life. Let me give you an example: Did you know that Tom Green has released not one, but two hip hop albums? True story. By now you've probably seen the footage of Joaquin Phoenix onstage rapping (and promptly falling off the stage -- hee!) for some documentary Casey Affleck is producing about Phoenix's attempt to become a hip hopper. And just a couple days ago, Jim Carrey jumped up onstage with Fiddy Cent for no apparent reason.
It's a crazy, mixed-up world, and I Love You, Phillip Morris looks like it might be a bit mixed-up, as well, if the newly released French trailer is anything to go by. The movie stars Jim Carrey as a church-going married man named Steven Russell, whose revelation after a car accident is that he's gay. He then embarks upon not just a life of uninhibited gayness but crime, as well. The latter lands him in prison, where he meets Phillip Morris (played by Ewan McGregor) and the two fall madly in love. It's based on the true story of a Texas man who escaped prison four times to be with his former cellmate. Sounds good, in theory. Who doesn't love a good against-all-odds love story? The problem is that mixed-up trailer.
There are a few things you need to know about tomatoes:
1. They are a fruit, not a vegetable.
2. If they turn murderous on you, you can save yourself by playing really terrible music.
3. A comic book based on the 1978 cult favorite Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is hitting shelves tomorrow.
4. Proving you can't keep a bad tomato down, a remake of the same movie is due out next year.
Ready for another helping? Grab your salt shaker and pull up a seat.