One perk of being a film critic is that every movie you see is a good experience. Either you like the movie which is good, or if you don't like the movie you get to write a review tearing the movie into pieces which is particularly fun. Here are some movies, I didn't like much:
A View from the Top: (2003)
Gwenyth Paltrow plays a girl determined to rise above her small-town roots and, with the inspiration of a TV infomercial, become a stewardess. The story about this girl's search for happiness is moderately inspiring and when she finds it in the end, I'm touched. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble being forgiving for everything in the middle. I'm not sure whether it's a comedy or a drama but it doesn't really succeed at either. The movie has a grand total of maybe three minutes of humor in it. I'm not saying the movie tried to be funny and only succeeded a little. It clearly chose to infuse only a small scattering of jokes and to rely more on the touching story instead. Sadly, the casting director and the score writer were not informed of the game plan as comic genius Mike Meyers was cast and, unfortunately, underused and the score sounds like an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. As for the drama, it's really not compelling at all, possibly due to the lack of chemistry between pretty much anyone.
Down with Love: (2002)
I don't know whether Director David Reed was a fan of those Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedies that this is supposedly a tribute to, because he seems to be simultaneously trying to glorify and mock them. We are treated to a background of those neat bright colors from the 60s and the leads, Rene Zellweger and Ewan MaGregor, embrace their parts to the point where it's easy to join in on the fun. On the other hand, everyone here feels more like a caricature of the era than a real person. The sexual undertones are grossly exxagerated and the characters possess seemingly infinite smartness (when Zellweger's character makes a confession at the movie's climax, you'll know what I'm talking about). The point, however, is that Down with Love acts is of something was wrong with the 60s, and contrary to what history tells us, people back then were not thinking, 'this aversion to sex is ridiculous, if only this film had more direct references to sex, I really would enjoy this film.'
Hot Shots Part Duex (1992)
Due to an evident lack of standards in what he'll accept a paycheck for, Charlie Sheen returns in a sequel to the Top Gun as his character goes on a top secret mission to rescue hostages of Iraq, in what is possibly supposed to be a political send-up of the Iran Hostage Scandal and the Gulf War. The movie doesn't really ever decide what it's spoofing and doesn't think it needs to, although a central theme is the testosterone-heavy hero movies of the 80s as it takes cues from Rambo, the films of Jean Claude Van Damme, and violent comedy video games. The film also plays on everything from Goldfinger, to American Gladiator, to President Bush's famous vomiting episode.The tempo of the comedy is very rapid and very random with jokes being thrown from all directions. At best, this film can pass as a guilty pleasure, as you could take in the jokes that hit and discard the ones that miss.
Jonny English (2003):
I hate to say it but this movie would have been easier to enjoy if we hadn't been recently flooded with James Bond spoofs in the form of the Austin Powers trilogy. Still, Jonny English becomes pretty unique within the bumbling spy genre when it doesn't try to mock everything in sight and insert as much bathroom humor as they can fit into every minute. Rowan Atkinson plays the title character, a third-rate spy who comes to power when everyone else is killed in an explosion he accidentally caused, Ben Miller plays cinematic history's most overqualified sidekick, Natalie Imburgia exhibits a playful sense of humor as the steaming love interest, and John Malkovitch's performance as the villain is choked up in an annoyingly thick French accent. The humor, revolving around English's stupidity, gets to be repetitive and the film makes the mistake of caring too much about a plot not worth caring about.