Movies I Slept Through – New Year’s Eve

[Note: This review contains massive SPOILERS(not that anyone cares) and some pretty aggressive language, but it’s deserving of it.]

When it comes to realism and the people who made “New Year’s Eve,” not a single fuck was given.

During the credits of “New Year’s Eve” they play outtakes. This is a common practice which harkens back to the days of “Smokey and the Bandit,” but there’s one outtake in particular that sums up my feelings on the movie as a whole. A doctor is between a woman’s legs and pulls out a copy of “Valentine’s Day” on Blu Ray(it’s written and directed by the same duo). The doctor then pulls out a copy of “Valentine’s Day” on DVD and says, “Look twins.” It’s a clever plug for their other film and I really have no problem with it in general, but my problem is that DVDs and Blu Rays aren’t FUCKING twins. There is no care taken in any of the details of “New Year’s Eve.”

At first glance, “New Year’s Eve” seems like a quick cash grab with a bunch of possibly-could-be stars and no-longer-what-they-used-to-be stars and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not going to bother reviewing the acting or directing of this it because there isn’t one solid plot. It’s just a bunch of different stuff contritely tied together. Yes there are a lot of story lines and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up, but they’re all so bland you wouldn’t want to if you could. The style isn’t the problem. It’s the execution at every stage.

You can feed me warmed over crap and I’ll accept it. I may not enjoy it, but I’ll still watch it. “New Year’s Eve” actually laps itself and came back to me actually enjoying its awfulness.

So here’s the deal. I’m going to touch on most of the story lines and explain my major problems with them. Some of these are not complete thoughts or sentences because the filmmakers didn’t give a shit and I figure I shouldn’t either:

  • The movie revolves around two major parties. One of them is at Times Square and the other takes place at the Brooklyn Museum. Many of the characters travel back and forth with absolutely no issues. I know it’s probably because I live in New York, but I call bull shit. It’s just impossible to get back and forth in any reasonable amount of time. Especially on New Year’s Eve.
  • At one point, Bon Jovi’s character was in his bus strumming on his guitar and playing a Meatloaf song. That’s almost not fair to Meatloaf. It’d be like if Ryan Reynolds started playing Silent Bob in Kevin Smith movies.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer’s resolutions…
    • They were so absurd that if you read them and saw she waited til the last day of the year to accomplish them the only appropriate response would be, “Bitch, please.” One was “take a trip to Bali” and another was “take a trip around the world”. In one day? come on, lady.
    • The courier(Zac Effron) was helping her solve her resolutions in order to get tickets to a party. He delivered the tickets to her, but they were for a party that her work was throwing. Why would he specifically deliver tickets to one lady at this office? Would a large shipment have come in and the company distribute them then?
    • I’ll be generous and say this storyline started around 2pm. The amount of times they go from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Queens is absurd, especially considering that some of the “resolutions” took time to complete.
  • I’m not sure if you watch “Modern Family,” but Sofia Vergara has an accent. Oh, and boobs, she has boobs too, but mostly an accent. The trend continues here.
  • There’s a refusal to curse in this movie, which I understand, but at one point in time, one of the characters points it out and it drove me crazy.
  • Josh Dumael’s storyline:
    • He was trapped in New Jersey and must get back to meet his lost love and to give a giant speech at the company party. Oh, and his dad died at some point.
    •  Good thing he catches a ride with a family that’s going to see something at Radio City Music Hall on New Year’s Day and they think it’s a good idea to drive into the city on New Year’s Eve in AN RV. WHAT?!
  • My favorite line in the movie came from Abigail Breslin’s character to her mom, “You’re just acting all clingy and mean because you don’t have a man in your life.” She’s a great role model for young women. Especially during the climax of the film she sees her crush kissing another girl at midnight. Later, at a diner, she confronts the boy and instead of him explaining, he just kisses her. I honestly don’t know if this was supposed to be a happy ending or not.
  • Hilary Swank as the Times Square Alliance lady:
    • At one point in time, the ball that’s supposed to drop at midnight gets stuck. One of the lights goes out and she makes a comment along the lines of, “It’s 2011 and we haven’t moved past the Christmas lights where if one goes out the whole thing doesn’t work?” Hey, she makes a good fucking point. How can you have that in the script and still go along with it? Clearly, someone along the lines realized this was bullshit and left it in.
    • They bring in a guy to fix that she apparently fired even though he had worked there for 37 years. If you have worked at a place for 37 years, the only reason you should be fired is if there’s a Sandusky situation.
    • At one point when the ball is broken, she address the Times Square crowd via the screens in Times Square where everyone listens patiently and are deeply moved by her speech. No one has ever given a crap about the Times Square Alliance and never will.
  • The two pregnant couples:
    • Two pregnant couples are trying to be the first to have a baby after New Year’s to win a cash prize. They are apparently the only two couples in New York City who are aware of this contest.
    • It’s one of many sitcom story lines crammed into this movie.
    • The two couples go back and forth in blah blah blah stuff. The big issue with this story is that around the 4th or 5th time we see these couples, it’s revealed that one of them already have kids and need the money more, but the kids weren’t in any part of the rest of the movie. Even when both couples were entering the hospital at the same time.
    • When the two couples make their final appearance at the hospital, the nurse checking them in asks how far their wives’ cervix are dilated, and the fathers know off the top of their heads.
  • There’s a masquerade party where 15% of the guests are wearing masks.
  • Trapped in an Elevator:
    • Ashton Kutcher and Lea Michelle get trapped in an elevator. Yay, another crappy sitcom storyline.
    • After escaping from the elevator, Lea Michelle makes it to Times Square just in time to find out that the big pop star decided to leave to go back to the Brooklyn Museum, but for some reason everyone is ok with her, as a backup singer, just moving along with the show.
  • Halle Berry plays  nurse. At the end of the movie, she gets all dressed up like she’s going to party, but then goes into a room to talk to her soldier husband on a video chat. In the background of the room there are CHRISTMAS decorations. You guys CHOSE to decorate the room with stuff from a holiday that happened a week before? If this is an attempt to point out that she’s a busy nurse who doesn’t have time to take down her Christmas decorations, then I counter with why did she hang up a sign in her own apartment that said, “Merry Christmas?” Is she just trying to remind herself everyday that she’s alone?

Okay, I can’t go on any further. Just know that there are entire story lines that I didn’t even MENTION. This movie is bloated piece of crap and it’s treatment of time and space makes “Inception” seem plausible. If you’re a glutton for the awful, like me, then I would say check it out, but if you have any normal set of criteria for watching movies, only see this if you’re in a Coma.

Movies I Slept Through – The Illusionist

“The Illusionist” is a French made animated movie that is very subtle and has almost no dialogue. In other words, it’s perfect to sleep through.

“The Illusionist” follows an aging magician in a world that just isn’t interested anymore. He’s being replaced by rock n’ roll and doesn’t know what to do with himself. He eventually meets a drunk that’s impressed by his magic. He’s then invited to Scotland where he meets a young woman who’s also impressed. When the man is leaving town, the young woman sneaks out of her home and onto the train. It’s kind of like Lolita except it isn’t sexual, and I’m pretty sure this woman is of age. Ok, ok, so I never finished Lolita(kept falling asleep) but I imagine it takes place in the type of world where an old man could impress a girl with magic tricks.

The animation is incredible. It manages to be grounded in reality and whimsical at the same time. I found myself dosing off a bit just because, well, no one was saying anything and I figured I could slip in a couple of z’s without it mattering.

“The Illusionist” is powerful, if you aren’t careful, it might make you remember you care about things. That being said, isn’t for everyone. If you’d be upset that the old man doesn’t even try to “tap that” then strap on your coma pants and snooze away, but if you’ve ever sat at your crappy job and wondered why your BS degree didn’t bring you all the riches the world can offer, then drink a cup of coffee or two before hand and enjoy.