Sunday, November 18, 2012

Twi-Curious Part Deux


I do not own the above image. Copyright Summit Entertainment. All rights reserved. For entertainment purposes only.

                Good news, everyone!  Bella Swan (Stewart) is not dead.  Bad news: she is not exactly alive either.  The transfusion during the birth worked and Bella is now a vampire & a mother. So she, Edward (Pattinson) and daughter Renesmee can go away and we all can have happy lives right?  Wrong!  A serious misunderstanding leads the Volturi believe Renesmee was originally a human, which breaks vampire law, and the Cullens must be destroyed.  But they won’t go down easily.
                And therein lies the problem with the series: the movie does not get to the end credits soon enough.  To paraphrase the late Johnny Carson, The Twilight Saga is about five hours of sparkling entertainment, spread out over ten hours of movies.  But Breaking Dawn Part Deux may be the biggest culprit.  About 35 minutes is wasted traveling to all points of the globe to find witnesses to the mutant beauty of Renesmee, only to not really use it.  Another 35 minutes is used to show just how happy Bella is to be a vampire now, even though KStew has major issues trying to express any emotion at all.
                For all intents & purposes, The Twilight Saga has featured a bunch of no names and bad actors.  No actor is worse than Taylor Lautner.  I have never seen a worse actor get top billing in a movie.  Never.  I don’t hate Lautner.  I just feel he should find another profession.
But he shouldn’t exit stage right alone.  After Part Deux, I have officially moved into the “Kristen Stewart is a terrible actress” camp.  Anytime she should have a clear emotion, she looks conflicted or like she is having a vicious bowel movement.  Robert Pattinson, on the other hand, needs to hire an acting coach and disappear for about a year.  He has potential, not a lot but way, way more than the other two.
                Most of the rest of the cast are a bunch of nobodies who I suspect won’t get more than two lines in anything for the rest of their careers.  If someone told me the only people who would hire Lee Pace are the folks involved with this, I’d say Hollywood is a really sad place.  Dakota Fanning was in four of these and did one thing, which I will get to in a moment.  But the star of Part Deux is Michael Sheen.  I can’t remember an actor having this much fun on screen.  One of his line readings got one of the ten biggest laughs I have ever heard in a movie theatre.  It is almost as if Sheen said to himself, “Boy, everyone here looks like they at a funeral.  Let’s see if I can cheer them up.”
                For as much money that was spent on this movie, I see the minimum went into the visuals.  First, there’s a three & a half minute opening credit sequence that would feel out of place in a Pacific Northwest nature documentary.  Second, the effects during the action scenes look like they were done by the best visual effects team of 1997.  But worst of all, director Bill Condon made the decision to computerize Renesmee’s face.  With effects that would work in a horror movie.  The effects are at least $10-12 million under budget.
                There is a lot of buzz about what happens at the end.  I won’t spoil it for you.  But while what occurs is the best 15-20 minutes in the series, what happens immediately after is the most infuriating.  When the sequence is over, we realize some things.  First, that the crew, especially Condon & screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, truly believes that the audience is extremely stupid.  Stupid enough to think that just because about twenty minutes of this movie is entertaining, in extremely campy fashion by the way, that we will forget the other 100 awful minutes and call the movie “good”.
But second, and most important, that writer Rosenberg is entirely capable of writing something of substance.  The spoiler sequence is a deviation from the book but then cops out and returns to the boring, simple book ending, still leaving several unanswered subplot questions.  If “author” Stephenie Meyer allowed Rosenberg to change what she changed at the end of Part Deux, I would think that asking Meyer to change or straight up cut scenes that only serve to satisfy fans.  Or is that what Rosenberg is, a fan first & screenwriter second.  I have no issue with fans working on movies.  But understand that not everyone watching will have read the books let alone be a fanatic.  Take The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Peter Jackson is a fan.  But Jackson realized that certain things needed cut in order for the movies to work and appeal to all audiences.  To this day, 12 years after filming ended, Jackson still gets it for removing Tom Bombadil from the story, with Jackson simply saying that Tom didn’t add anything to the main adventure.  There are so many moments in Breaking Dawn Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo that serve little purpose or are virtual copies of previous scenes.  Minutes of all our lives could have been saved but someone in the editing room saying, “Does Jacob need to take his shirt off three times in four minutes?”
                Our moviegoing experience was something else.  We showed up 45 minutes before the show to get seats to observe the crowd.  Immediately, a group of 6 girls sits to our immediate right.  They talked right through the commercials & trailers and even the beginning of the movie before we quieted them.  Throughout the movie, people would take their leisurely time walking out for whatever reason.  One teenage girl did it thrice.  At the end of the movie, no one, not even the six girls beside us, talked about the movie.  Instead, they talked about tomorrow or Sunday or next weekend.  Am I shocked?  A little.  I mean, why would you wait in line 45 minutes before to see the “movie event of the season”?  This leads me to believe that many, at least at my showing, that it is less about seeing the movie and more being seen at the movie.  Worst of all, these people are slobs.  The Wreck-It Ralph screening we went to, full of 6 year olds, needed a lighter cleaning crew.
                Breaking Dawn Part Two is an 85 minute movie with a plot contrivance that adds at least thirty.  Hopefully, Bill Condon gets to make whatever movie his Oscar winning self wants.  Just about everyone else?  I could care less about them.  Words cannot describe just how pissed the last 25 minutes made me when all was said & done.  And with all of these things combined, I fear the future for movies.  Breaking Dawn Part Deux, coupled with its four predecessors, is a deep tear on the painting that is the history of motion pictures.  I hope that we can all one day, sooner rather than later, look back & laugh.  Laugh at ourselves for being duped into watching these.  These hideous, amateur excuses for movies.

*1/2

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twi-Curious


I do not own the above image. Copyright Little, Brown and Company.  For entertainment purposes only.

Before the evisceration, how about I tell a little tale from school.  My final semester in college was the fall of 2008.  After weeks of job searching and door knocking & phone banking for then President-elect Barack Obama, I went back to old reliable for some much needed R&R: a dark, not-so-crowded movie theatre.  It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and the only major release was the film adaptation of a teen book series that I had heard rumblings about.  I was all set to hightail it across town for the 4:15ish showing when something funny happened: mother nature decided to drop about 3 inches of snow in about 90 minutes before & during my last class for the day.  Needless to say, I just got out of Dodge and thought nothing of going again.
That is until this week.  You’d think someone somewhere was trying to tell me something about Twilight.  But no, I used my Netflix subscription and around nine hours of my time (plus about three of my loving yet befuddled wife’s) to catch up for Friday.  I wanted to stop after two hours or four or six plus.  But I pushed myself with as much leverage you need to watch a movie.  And well, I need to work on my self-control…

TWILIGHT
                To say the premise is basic is an insult to Sparknotes™ everywhere.  A human girl (Bella) falls for a male vampire (Edward).  And a conflict occurs when another vampire clan doesn’t like the idea.  The movie is two hours of muted teen angst set against the backdrop of a small Washington town that looks rather quaint and peaceful until the forced conflict arrives.  Director Catherine Hardwicke tries her best to make the movie look like professionals were on set.  One problem: the foreground (acting) and background (story & screenplay) had to be shown.  I remember Kristen Stewart as the worst element of the best movie of 2007 (Into the Wild).  Stewart has potential but it appears she has no control of her face.  Her reactions are all wrong and her speech is too damn quiet.  Robert Pattinson, best remembered as Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire, isn’t that much better.  Pattinson has plenty of trouble with his voice and mannerisms as well.  But the major failing is screenplay.  Screenwriter Melissa Rosenburg appears to write the screenplays as if leaving one intricate detail or one line of precious, bland dialogue would offend one of the Twi-Hards.  But when you consider the source material, Stephenie Meyer’s technical-deficient novel, you can’t wholly blame the screenwriter.  There is a laughable scene involving a backyard baseball game that needs to be seen to be believed.  And the conflict, which would rear its ugly head later on in the series, ends in a clich├ęd, anti-climatic fashion.
*

NEW MOON
                Production here started with a suspicious move in canning Hardwicke and moving on with Chris Weitz, whose 2002 film About a Boy remains his highlight.  New Moon, focusing on Bella’s “inner” struggles with her love of Edward and her growing relationship with a Native American turned hunky werewolf Jacob.  Until someone can prove to me that director Weitz said otherwise, he told the actors to not disturb the townspeople by whispering or grunting every line of dialogue.  I had to turn the volume to eleven to hear the insufferable 130 minutes of insufficient verbiage.  I thought Stewart & Pattinson were bad but Taylor Lautner may have negative acting ability.  Lautner has some vocal ability but only has two faces, cheerful & emo and neither one are particularly convincing.  Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning waste their time and talent as a sort of vampire council.
The overall movie is almost laughably bad but the last scene in particular is atrocious.  After returning from Italy, Edward & Bella find Jacob in one of the numerous wooded areas around Forks.  It is clear that Stewart & Pattinson are on a soundstage due to the poor green-screen effects.  But Lautner?  Towards the end of the scene, you can see VISABLE CARBON DIOXIDE AS HE EXHALES.  Seriously, did you really need to have your second male lead stand shirtless in the cold British Columbia air while the “stars” get luxury?
ZERO STARS


ECLIPSE
                With Bella back in Edward’s arms and the audience’s lunches back in their laps, the last of the villainous vampire trio has returned and she brought company in the form of “newborns” or newly bitten vampires.  Meanwhile, Bella is deemed unsafe with the Cullens so Jacob and the werewolf tribe are there to help.  The movie is shockingly fascinating for the 45 minutes or so it focuses on the creation of the vampire army.  People on screen acting, even if it is overacting, is invigorating compared to the blandness of the Cullens and the whatever-the-director-thinks-that-is of Jacob & his clan.  Director David Slade, who I actually had to look up since I never heard of him before, does his best but the screenplay by Rosenberg is way, way too heavy on the love triangle.  The fight at the end followed by the scene with the Volturi along with the triangle are extra depressing alongside the good stuff.  The best of the four but still terrible.
*1/2

BREAKING DAWN: PART ONE
                Edward & Bella were sitting near a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.  First, came “love”.  Now comes marriage.  And then Bella almost dying from carrying a mutant vampire-human creature to term.  Jacob and the pack, not pleased.  The Volturi, apparently less pleased.  Director Bill Condon, who should have been given a shot at the script since he is an Oscar winning screenwriter, tries his best to send the movie into camp territory, especially towards the end.  One problem: no one else, from KStew to RPatz to TLaut to the those “writers”, got the memo.  The honeymoon lasts about 45 minutes but only 10 minutes of events occur.  And that birth and that Jacob imprinting scene left me speechless.  Two hours for a wedding, a honeymoon and a baby should be way, way more exciting.
*
                The popularity is mystifying.  So mystifying that I will be at The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills Cinemark at 8:45 Friday night to witness the finale.  To witness the Twi-Hards lose it one last time over Edward & Jacob.  To witness the end of the long international nightmare.  And to wallow in the misery of others.  Oh how torturous and wondrous that night will be.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises




Note: I do not own the above image.  For entertainment purposes.  Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures & Legendary Pictures.  All rights reserved.

Warning: Minor spoilers in paragraph four.

               Eightyears have passed since Gotham City lost its greatest warrior, DistrictAttorney Harvey Dent.  Since then,organized crime and crime in general has disappeared from the streets, with CommissionerJames Gordon (Oldman) still in charge.  Allgoes right in Gotham without the help of the Dark Knight.  In fact, Bruce Wayne (Bale) has not been seenin years, whether it be as the Caped Crusader or the billionaire playboy.  With a healthy Gotham City and need for a “vigilante”at an all-time low, what could possibly go wrong?  A lot, and in more ways than one.
                Since2002 when I had the privilege of seeing “Insomnia” in theaters, I have beenable to consider Christopher Nolan a reliable director to provide the true thrillsand suspense that is missing in most big-budget movies these days.  Nolan’s first two Batman films may be greatbut his originals in between (The Prestige & Inception) are his truemasterpieces.  With a history like this,it makes the failure of The Dark Knight Rises all the more depressing.
                Thedecision to use the villain Bane (Hardy) was a mistake.  A huge mistake.  Bane is not an interesting villain,whatsoever.  His backstory is notparticularly fascinating and his method of his terror is rather boring.  But worst of all, Bane’s voice is borderlinelaughable and eventually becomes a hazard on the ears.  Bane’s voice is a combination of Ian McKellan& Master Control Program from “Tron”. I wish I could hear Bane’s original voice so I could understand whyeveryone was freaking out at first.
                WhatChristopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan, who co-wrote the screenplay, do toyour favorite characters in the series both baffling & unforgivable.  (SPOILERS!) Why does Alfred disappear halfway through? What is the point of Commish Gordon being in a hospital bed for at least an hour?  And didn’t Bruce Wayne already go through an identity crisis?  (END SPOILERS) The ending actionsequence began and Braveheart broke out. Nolan also gave cinematographer Wally Pfister very little to work with,another major disappointment.  All thatbeing said, only Anne Hathaway could of played Selena Kyle/Catwoman.  And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bonafide moviestar, no ifs, ands or buts about it.
                Overall, I don’t believe I have ever been let down this much by a theatricalrelease.  “The Dark Knight Rises” provesthat a great villain is needed for a superhero movie, or any movie for thatmatter, to be effective.  I hope Nolangoes for something out there and original in three or four years.  Am I discouraged?  Not really. Even Spielberg made “The Terminal”.

** (out of 5 stars)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Deconstructing Sandler - Billy Madison


I do not own the above image.  For Entertainment Purposes Only. Copyright Universal Pictures & Roberts Simonds Productions.  All Rights Reserved.

Billy Madison (Sandler) is the lone heir to a multi-national, multi-million dollar hotel chain.  His father (Darren McGavin) decides to retire but doesn’t want to give the company to Billy, mainly due to pressure from his #3 in command, Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford).  So, Billy, in order to keep the company and his lifestyle, must graduate, one grade every two weeks.  Can he do it? Will he get the hot 2nd grade teacher to fall for him?  Will I give a crap?

Best joke: I laughed twice.  Not a typo, twice.  Both times were at the impeccable tone & timing of Norm MacDonald.  The first time was early with the line about getting a job after first grade.  The second was about 45 minutes later while commenting on the news report.  Everything else, especially Billy's antics in the beginning, are worse than Edward Scissorhands & Wolverine collaborating on a rock band featuring chalkboards.

Worst joke: Of all the jokes I didn’t laugh at, from the various jokes on the field trip to the “strip study session” to Steve Buscemi in makeup, one ready grinded (ground?) my gears.  During one of the graduation parties, a clown on stilts is hired.  Something runs amok and causes the clown to fall.  Everyone laughs.  Well, except for the clown, who has blood gushing from his head, dying.  About 45 minutes later, during the musical number, he emerges from behind the fountain, as if nothing happened.  This joke really isn’t offensive but it is tasteless.  First, the audience has to find joy in the fatal injury of a character on the screen in 4 shots.  Second, we get a totally ineffective joke that has no relation or bearing on what is happening on screen, which isn’t very funny to begin with.  And do not even get me started on the borderline anti-Catholic or Protestant “O’Doyle rules” “gag”.

Sandler’s character: I am just going to come out and say it: Sandler’s Billy Madison is the most annoying and pathetic main character protagonist in the history of motion pictures.  Andrew Dice Clay was in a movie once and wasn’t this bad.  Billy is a spoiled rotten man-child before the term was on Urban Dictionary.  We are introduced to Billy by him riding a jet ski in a fountain then chasing a penguin on a riding lawn mower then finally making baby noises during a business dinner.  He acts like the petulant ten-year-olds who go to every one of his movies wants to act.  Billy only changes when threatened with losing his lifeline.  Even then, he never does.  He still acts like someone who started noticing boobs an hour ago.

Love interest: Veronica Vaughn, played by Bridgette Wilson, better known today as Mrs. Pete Sampras, is Billy’s 2nd grade teacher.  At first, she is just like the audience should be: repulsed by Billy.  Somehow, someway, Veronica falls for him.  Why?  It seems that the screenwriters, including Sandler himself, made her do it.  And worst of all, it just occurs.  There is no series of events between Veronica & Billy or just Veronica herself showing that she is even falling for him until she becomes the subject of “strip studying”.  Even sadder than this role, Wilson next most famous role was as Elsa in “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.  Just sad…

Message: As noted by Veronica at the beginning of the third act, you can be anything you want to be because you always have it inside yourself.  I call bullshit!  The only thing Billy has inside him at all times is light beer.  Until the ill-conceived and utterly pathetic bribe ruined the original plan, Billy showed little to no improvement as a human being.  And yet, he not only had the ability to graduate high school all along, Billy could be a successful teacher.  Of what?  Fat, Drunk & Stupid 101 at Faber College?  Someone alert Flounder.

Overall Impression: Simply put, “Billy Madison” is a reprehensible waste of 35mm film.  Georges Melies had to melt about half his masterpieces to make shoes so he could eat and stay warm.  Adam Sandler, because of the success of this heinous glob of dog intestines, is able to make any movie he wants and is paid enough to sleep on a fresh bed of caviar every night.  I can’t believe I wasted 90 minutes watching this and an additional hour or so writing this.  To all the fans of this movie, if you can actually read and made it this far: F!@# YOU!!!

0, zero, nada, zipo, squadoosch, love, bubkiss, lint in your pocket is better than this stars(out of five)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Mid-Summer Night's Update

I know some of you have been wondering (all 6 of you) where I have been over the past few weeks.  Well, best news of this post, I am still alive.  As good of news, I will still keep blogging.  During my absence, I have been looking to change my career path in the field of accounting.  Two weeks ago, I was let go from my job at a small CPA firm.  I have been looking for work almost non-stop for 3 weeks.  While I look, I have put movies on the back burner.  That is about to change.  I am still looking for work but movies are helping me get though these times.  So, while I am not seeing new movies for right now, I am still a Netflix subscriber. 

I am continuing my Deconstructing Sandler series.  My thoughts on "Billy Madison" is about 80-85% finished and I just watched "Happy Gilmore" two nights ago plus I will have "Bulletproof" in the mail tomorrow.

I will also start two new series.  The first is "Best Picture, Backwards".  To simplify, I will be watching all 84 Best Picture Oscar winners in reverse order starting with "The Artist" through "Wings".  Two notes: First, I will be watching "The Godfather" before "The Godfather Part II" and both after I watch "The Sting".  Second, Netflix doesn't have 5 or 6 of the movies available as of right now.  I may skip them or find another means to watch them.

I am also working on "I Can't Believe I've Missed This".  I am making lists of the most glaring omissions to my viewing history.  The list will be from the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s and pre-1979.  The 2000s list will be 10 movies long and the other three will probably be 20 movies long.  I will not list the movies beforehand so you will be surprised.

Thank you for reading my blog!  I am having a blast writing when I get the chance.  Please feel free to leave comments, questions and suggestions.  And please follow me on Twitter: @almostflmcritic (there is no "i" in film)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Double Dose of Bad This Weekend


That’s My Boy
                Famous for fathering a child with a teacher at age 13, Donny (Sandler) is deep in IRS debt and needs to track down his son “Todd” (Samberg) for a made-for-TV event to get the money to get out of debt.
                This is a Sandler movie that is actually funny for a long stretch of time but still has all the little Sandler ticks.  Like the trend these days, the humor veers into the raunchy realm, especially in the very funny second act.  The second act, obviously inspired by The Hangover, revolves around “Todd’s” (there is a reason for the quotation marks) bachelor party with guests including Will Forte, Nick Swardson & Vanilla Ice.  Yes, that Vanilla Ice.
                Unfortunately, the movie isn’t 40 minutes long.  There are another 75 minutes buffering it that range from insomnia-curing to nearly offensive.  Most of Sandler’s trademarks are there: his annoying voice, this time for the entire movie; the deliberate commercialism (count the Budweiser cans & signs); old ladies saying or doing un-ladylike things; the sentimental story with a fake moral; and cringeworthy moments waiting for a laugh.  Add in more cameos than usual plus making the plot a MacGuffin, That’s My Boy is a slightly funnier version of every Sandler movie thus far.

** (out of 5 stars)

Rock of Ages
                Set in an alternative universe where most hair-bands don’t (technically) exist, an aspiring young singer (Hough) meets and falls for and aspiring rocker (Boneta) in 1987 L.A.  They work at a bar run by best friends (Brand & Baldwin).  Meanwhile, the wife of the mayor of L.A. (Zeta-Jones) leads a group of concerned mothers looking to end the evils of rock ‘n roll.  Finally, Arsenal, the biggest band in the world, is playing their last gig at the club before Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) goes solo.
                Director Adam Shankman, most famous for the surprising remake of Hairspray five summers ago, tries with this material, adapted by Justin Theroux, who continues to show me he isn’t funny, but fails miserably.  Shankman tries to go campy but isn’t talented enough on a technical level to do so.  The leads are totally uninteresting and the story is a laboring mess.
                The big names, however, do their best to save this as much as they can.  Balwin & Brand are solid with one fantastic sequence to start the third act.  But the real star is Tom Cruise as the (undiagnosed) legally insane rocker.  There are times where you’d swear Cruise was born to play Jaxx.  Cruise & Malin Akerman, who is wonderful in her small role as well, share one of the most wonderful and steamy scenes you will see in this or any summer.
                Regardless, Rock of Ages is a disaster with the boring leads and messy musical numbers despite the flashes of awesome.  In the end, to quote the closing number, “Oh the movie never ends/it goes on and on and on and on.”

*1/2 (out of 5 stars)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman


 I do not own the above image.  For entertainment purposes only.  Copyright Universal Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

In today’s Hollywood environment, you need to be able to do two things: take an idea that has already been done before and put your own spin on it.  How much you change can make or break your project.  You can go the J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” path and change one detail that causes a ripple through the backstory but is still effective & interesting.  Or you can rewrite anything that you hate about a few mythical creatures’ identity into your liking and throw a boring love story inside.  That’s right, “Twilight”.

The story of Snow White, for the second time in 2 months, is twisted for our palates.  This time, director Rupert Sanders (first motion picture, per IMDb) and a trio of solo writers ending with Evan Daugherty (first full-length motion picture) take the fairy tale in a darker direction.  Snow White (Stewart) is held prisoner for about a decade by Ravenna, the Evil Queen (Theron).  Before she is to be raped by the queen’s brother Finn, she escapes and runs off to the Dark Forest.  The Evil Queen sends a small army led by the hired Huntsman (Hemsworth) to go retrieve her.

I want to preface this by saying I have never liked Charlize Theron in anything, even Arrested Development.  So to watch her try to impersonate Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate”, which she saw firsthand 15 years ago, was infuriating.  She either enunciated every syllable or screamed at the top of her lungs.  Theron makes the opening 20 minutes nearly impossible to watch.  Kristen Stewart, to her credit, isn’t as terrible as she usually is.  She isn’t helped by the fact that the screenplay has her Snow White play hopscotch with the fine line between heroine & damsel in distress.

There are two fantastic elements to the movie that make it worth attending a matinee.  First, there is a 75 minute sequence after Snow White escapes the castle.  There are sequences involving a troll, a village of intentionally battered women and, best of all, the dwarves.  A special treat awaits for true movie fans with the dwarves.  Second, and best of all, Chris Hemsworth can act.  His character is the most amusing & enjoyable to watch, even if he is only called The Huntsman.  Even with all the visual effects & action sequences in the movie, Hemsworth’s monologue towards the end of the second act gave me the biggest smile.

“SWATH” is better than it has any right to be.  With an Oscar winner & a MTV Movie Award winner who aren’t very effective at all at the center of this movie, this could have been a complete disaster.  But with a fascinating middle, an adequate third act and an actor-making turn by Hemsworth, “SWATH” is a minor surprise.  Now, Hollywood, build a movie around Chris Hemsworth.  And I’m not talking about “Thor 2”.  Maybe something Ryan Gosling said no to?

***1/2 (out of five)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Deconstructing Sandler: Airheads


I do not own the above image.  For entertainment purposes only.  Copyright 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

Guitarist/singer Chazz (Brendan Fraser), bassist Rex (Steve Buscemi), & drummer Pip (Adam Sandler) make up The Lone Rangers, the oxymoronically-named band at the center of Airheads.  Chazz spends his days breaking into poorly guarded record labels hoping to catch an exec in a good enough mood to sign trespassing musicians.  Rex works at a toy store terrorizing customers and bosses.  Pip is a less-than-hunky pool boy whose van doubles as the Rangers transportation.  In an act of desperation, the trio decides to break into a radio station to try to finally break through.  Within minutes they have five hostages, including DJ Ian (Joe Mantegna) & station manager Milo (Michael McKean).
Best joke: I laughed once and chuckled three times at the same thing: Michael Richards’ prat falls.  Richards plays the accountant or business manager or something like that trapped in the station.  He has to navigate through an air conditioning crawlspace.  The looks on Richards’ face are priceless, at first.
Worst joke: Well, being a movie this boring, some jokes had to be terrible.  Well, none were memorably terrible, except one speech that can be considered laughably bad.  The assertion by Frasier’s character that non-grunge late ‘80s/early 90s rock is somehow better than The Beatles would have been the funniest joke if he didn’t have a straighter face than in any shot of The Mummy.
Sandler’s character: Sandler is Pip, the drummer.  Pip is third fiddle not only in the band but also in the script.  He is given little to do except for a minor sub-plot explained later.  Also, other than the description above, little is known or explored of Pip.  Sandler actually excels in this, if only because he is relegated to the background.
Love interest: A totally & completely ditzy secretary, Suzzi, played by Nina Siemaszko, who recently had a bit part in Best Picture winner “The Artist”.  Sandler plays dumb, more like complete moron, and gets the girl.  Pet peeve: Why did nearly every early-to-mid 90’s comedy play it safe when it came to sex?  Case in point: Sandler & Suzzi sneak off to bang.  They are caught a few minutes later.  Suzzi is in her bra & skirt.  Sandler is dressed like Flea.  How good could the sex have been?  Lasted five minutes and she was mostly clothed.
Message: If you are a rock band, don’t sell out.   But if you can’t get attention from anyone, invade and hold-up a radio station!  Actually, this movie, unlike most of Sandler’s stuff, doesn’t really have one.  Kinda refreshing, huh?
Overall Impression: Every once in a blue moon, I see a movie that plays before my eyes, affects me in no visible or measurable fashion and then the credits roll.  “Airheads” is just that.  Nothing happening on screen, except the Richards gags above, caused a feeling other than boredom.  I cared for no one.  The conflict that arises in the third act involving Chaz is totally non-dramatic and non-confrontational for anyone who has seen a movie before.  Of course, what do you expect from the director of “Heathers”?
*(out of five)