Gigli: The First of Affleck’s Embarrassments

GIGLI

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DIRECTED BY: Martin Brest

STARRING: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha

GENRE: Romantic Comedy

YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY: United States

A lowly thug, Gigli, is assigned to kidnap the psychologically challenged younger brother of a powerful federal prosecutor to save his mobster boss from incarceration. Staked-out in his one-bedroom apartment with his kidnap victim, Brian, Gigli soon realizes that what he thought would be a routine assignment soon becomes a tumultuous task. Ricki, a gorgeous, free-spirited female gangster is sent to assist Gigli with the kidnapping because his boss does not think that Gigli is up to the job. But when his feelings for the decidedly unavailable Ricki begin to grow, and he actually becomes concerned for Brian, tough guy Gigli begins to transform into an actual human being…which considering his profession could be a very dangerous occupation.Screen Shot 2013-02-20 at 4.50.27 PM

I approached the most mocked movie of the year ignoring the months of anti-hype, scattered behind-the-scenes turmoil, and the media blitzkrieg that set out to destroy the creation known as “Bennifer,” the conjoining of stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Gigli is not the Thanksgiving turkey that the minions of star-haters would have you believe. Rather, it is a highly curious film that is not so much poor as it is the victim of its own unfortunate media backlash.

From his opening lines, it becomes clear that Affleck’s performance is utterly terrible. Clad in a series of bowling shirts, leather jackets, and wifebeaters, and with his hair slicked back, Affleck’s Gigli is like a hyperchauvinistic parody of Travolta’s Chili Palmer inGet Shorty, and speaks—nay, yells—all his lines in an absurd Jersey accent.

Tgigli-945he sexual politics of Gigli are so last century. Gigli views Ricki as a lesbian who can be turned straight by his relentless machismo, while Ricki’s version of flirting with Gigli consists of undercutting it (usually by calling him “gay,” or asking if he’s gay). Unlike another Affleck vehicle, Chasing Amy, this film presents the male fantasy of scaring a lesbian straight via their masculinity in such outrageously dumb fashion that it’s offensive. And, when Gigli and Ricki eventually get down and dirty, Lopez kicks off the proceedings by spreading her legs, and unleashing this head-scratcher of an oral sex invite: “It’s turkey time … Gobble gobble.”

PROS:

  • A curious film plagued by bad press.

CONS:

  • “Turkey Time”.
  • Poor main cast performance.
  • Sexual politics.
  • Failed accents.

SCORE: 3.5 / 10

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Home: Sheldon Cooper is Really an Alien!

Hello everybody, for today’s somewhat new show, we have the animated comedy Home.

HOME

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DIRECTED: Tim Johnson

STARRING: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin

GENRE: Family, Animation

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United States

When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, heRihanna-home-film-trailer forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.

I don’t normally watch family movies, as they are definitely not in my wheel house, but I had to at least give Home a try for its ridiculous voice acting cast. I mean come on, Jim Parsons, Rihanna, and Steve Martin? I do also want to point out some absolutely decent direction from Tim Johnson and the writing team as they try their best to keep the pacing fluid and on track. They just weren’t able to nail it completely, as that feeling of deja vu was DreamWorks-Animation-HOME-7always there.

It is obvious that there are plenty of other films just like Home, but what can you do? There are only a handful of types of movies you can make under the sun. That feeling of deja vu I mentioned above is the main drawback for Home, as it just didn’t stand out to me like it should have. Let’s just say, there my be no place like home but there are plenty of places like Home. 

PROS:

  • Voice acting variety.
  • Solid directing attempt.
  • Soundtrack.

CONS:

  • Deja vu.
  • Lacks unique elements.
  • Tropes.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

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