by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
The “urban” comedy He’s Mine, Not Yours feels like it would be a better play than a movie. It's a dramatic farce (if such a thing can exist) about infidelity and trust that leaves women looking like harpies and shrews, for the most part. Firefighter Kent (Jason Weaver) is a former “player” who’s ready to settle down and marry the girl of his dreams. Because women in this universe seem to be based on an episode of Jenny Jones, his ladyfriend Brooke (Gabrielle Dennis) hires a professional temptress to seduce her man and make him unfaithful, thus proving her belief that “all men cheat.” This is all more trouble than it’s worth, if you ask me ... but are we really living in such a debauched, instant-gratification society that this is a fear of most women? I’m seeing this storyline in a lot of popular culture lately. He’s Mine, Not Yours just left me sad and pro-celibacy.
Every year, I am forced — yes, forced — to watch one inbred backwoods redneck cannibal maniac film after another, 75 percent of which make it into CineFiles. Maybe it’s this constant stream of unimaginative, uninspired chainsaw chicanery that made me love Tucker & Dale vs. Evil probably way more than a normal viewer would. It’s a horror-comedy that tells the story from the point of view of the hillbillies, with hilarious results. Tucker and Dale are just two good ol’ boys who want to spend a relaxing weekend at their rundown cabin, fixing the place up and maybe getting some fishing in. These plans are spoiled, however, when a group of classist college kids come to party, and end up getting themselves killed through their own stupidity, with Tucker and Dale getting the blame. It’s a truly genius take on the sub-genre, with enough gore to keep the horror fans happy and enough laughs to keep the comedy fans smiling.
As I have proven over the past year with positive reviews of films such as Marley and Me 2: The Puppy Years and Marmaduke, I am a total sucker for comedies with huggable animals anthropomorphized and made to do either heart-tuggingly cute things or hilariously inappropriate things, which, nine times out of 10, involve expelling bodily wastes of some sort. The Jim Carrey family comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins (apparently based on a kid’s book I’ll never read — send your letters to the editor now!) doesn’t let me down, giving me everything I want in a good-natured children’s vehicle. Workaholic Popper has no time for his kids until a bequeathment of penguins from his late father gives him cause to stop and re-evaluate his worthless life. Also, a penguin has diarrhea in a toilet. It’s silly and dumb, but I dare you to not be smiling and enjoying yourself for at least 85 of the 94 minutes.