Prisoners from Space and Jerks from Manhattan

We caught up on a few movies over the weekend, and here are some quick reviews:

Lockout: What I was hoping would be a big, dumb, fun action movie turned out to be just a big, dumb action movie. There’s a prison, in space, filled with horrible villains who are in suspended animation. The president’s daughter goes up to make sure the space prisoners’ rights aren’t being violated, and a prisoner escapes and kills the only two guards who bother to protect the big button labeled “Let All The Prisoners Out Of Stasis.” Naturally, there’s only one guy who can infiltrate the space prison to rescue the president’s daughter, a wise-cracking former special commando agent (or whatever) who is waiting to go to space prison for a crime he totally committed. Oh wait, SORRY, he didn’t commit it, in a shocking twist that’s never been done before ever.

This movie was terrible and no fun and after about forty minutes we just fast-forwarded to the end. Part of the problem, I think was that it was rated PG-13. Look, if you’re going to do a movie about horribly killing a bunch of space prisoners, make it rated R. There’s a scene where Guy Pearce puts an explosive collar around a guy’s neck and it explodes, and they don’t show it. Show it. Show all of the violenceseses. Give yourself a fighting chance to make your dumb movie at least gross-out entertaining. You have people being sucked into space and you don’t even get to see them pop. Lame.

Also, why not let Guy Pearce speak with his normal accent? He’s never been great about hiding his Aussie accent anyway, and Aussie accents are great, and an Aussie accent in space would be even greater. It might seem unlikely that a top American covert commando tactical spec-ops agent assassin (or whatever the damn hell) is Australian, but then it’s unlikely to have a prison in space, so don’t sweat it. You have Peter Stormare, too, and, come on, you’re not fooling anyone by trying to make him sound American. Let him talk how he talks, all Swedish or whatever. Not enough Swedes in space. Plus, the main two bad guys were Scottish, so having all those accents flying around (in space!) would have been fantastic. Being able to not understand any of the dialogue totally would have helped this film.

Friends With Kids: Wealthy gorgeous young-ish people in Manhattan with vaguely defined jobs dress really well and live in beautiful expansive apartments and attend fancy dinners and go jogging a lot in Central Park. But they have problems, you guys! Because raising kids is hard when you have a million dollars and live in New York and rent cabins for ski trips! The stress of interviewing all the full-time nannies you can afford just gets to you. I can totes relate because I am rich and beautiful but sometimes I’m like, AGGH, I haven’t had sex with Maya Rudolph as much as I used to so my life is garbage!

This movie is notable for having an incredible cast of some of my absolute favorite actors/comedians — Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd — and essentially doing nothing with them but having them all be kinda whiny beautiful jerks. I love Adam Scott, too, but he’s a unlikable idiot for way longer than he should have been (roughly 99.9% of the film). The director and lead actress was Jennifer Westfeldt, who has been dating Jon Hamm for years, so even if she’s bummed at making a crummy by-the-numbers romantic comedy, at least she can go home and stare at Jon Hamm. No matter how bad a day you’ve had or how bad a movie you’ve made, being able to go home and stare at Jon Hamm has to help.

Wanderlust: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are beautiful youngish people who live in the city (Manhattan, the city that never sleeps and also the only city that exists anywhere, ever) and are ambitious career types, but then their careers go bust and they have to go live in Atlanta with comical jerk Ken Marino, but along the way they wind up stopping at a hippie commune in Georgia and one of them winds up liking it while the other doesn’t, and then the first one doesn’t like it but the other does, and then conflict, and then resolution. Great bunch of comedians and actors: Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Joe Lo Truglio, Jordan Peele, Alan Alda, Todd Barry, Kerri Kenney. Lots of hippie humor. Some dongs and butts, jokes about weed and toilets, and Paul Rudd being inexplicably weird while talking to himself in the mirror. It was okay. Decent rental.


  1. I saw ‘friends with kids’ and yes it’s annoying that they are rich and beautiful and yes it’s very whiny white people stuff but I like whiny white people stuff on occasion and have been known to quote Notting Hill without ironic quotes and maybe even liked ‘Love, Actually ‘, so, maybe take what i say with a grain or bucket of salt, but it wasn’t completely horrible.

    The scene where Jon Hamm comes in and is just, like obliterated, by kids and marriage and life and can barely be bothered to be civil to his friends of many years is priceless.

    However, the main lead actress looked weird. Like, too young and too old at the same time. The romantic lead, meh. He’s like a A-lister for commercials about new korean import cars or some kick brazillian beer, but that’s it. Can’t hang a movie off him.

    There were good bits, overall, not a romcom I’d see again, but not lobotomize yourself with a melonballer bad.

  2. Have you seen Parks and Rec, Niteowl?

    Because Adam Scott is the male romantic lead on that, and he does fine.

    Also, it’s a really funny show.

    • I have tried to get into P&R, and likely will try again, but it seems my brain right now is geared towards funny shows along the lines of Archer and Community. P&R seems to have a slowerish/nuanced humour to it.

      • Christopher says:

        It took me a few tries to get into P&R too: it just didn’t click with me for a while. But it hit its stride in seasons 2 and 3 and now it’s one of my absolute favorites.

  3. Wanderlust was just okay, yes, but also it had a lot of little gems in it that made it more than just okay. Just okay+. I mean stuff like Michael Ian Black and completely relatable childhood memories of throwing batteries at small animals.

  4. Cpt.Average says:

    Is it just me or is the plot to Lockout the same as Escape from New York except in space?