Thursday, July 16, 2009

Battle of the Netflix Stars #7

Bout #7: Battle of the Movies in Which Hugh Jackman Plays a Charming Bastard



Director:Marcel Langenegger
Woody Allen
Star Power:Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, Michelle Williams
Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen, Scarlett Johansson, Ian MacShane
Plot:Shy accountant Jonathan McQuarry (McGregor) goes about his humdrum existence auditing big-money corporations until, one night, an impossibly suave lawyer named Wyatt Bose (Jackman) breezes into his boring little world and offers him a joint. The bromance begins, and Wyatt shows his new pal how to have a good time (e.g., booze, ladies) before abruptly heading to London for vague, business-y reasons. But wouldn't you know it, turns out that Wyatt and Jonathan had "accidentally" switched cell phones! Almost immediately, Jonathan starts receiving lusty phone calls that end in him having anonymous hotel sex with gorgeous women. (And even though Jonathan hasn't had any action in ages, he is still AWESOME in the sack.) Soon, Jonathan realizes that he's been cashing in on Wyatt's sex club membership, but wants to opt out when he falls in love with one of the women - the mysterious S (Williams). Then RIDONK things start to happen, and Jonathan realizes he's being played by his good buddy, Wyatt, if that's even his real name (it's not), forcing Jonathan to finally find his balls. Or something like that.
After British reporter Joe Strombel (McShane) dies, he meets a woman in the afterlife who gives him the ultimate scoop - that Peter Lyman (Jackman), the son of über-aristocrat Lord Lyman, poisoned her after she discovered that he was the infamous serial murderer, the "Tarot Card Killer." When American journalism student Sondra Pransky (Johansson) volunteers to assist Sid "The Great Splendini" Waterman (Allen) in his magic show, the ghost of Strombel appears to Sondra in the dematerialization box and urges her to follow up on the story. From there, the bumbling pair of Sondra and Sid team up (posing as father and daughter) to get the goods on Peter, with whom Sondra is immediately smitten, and vice-versa. Even though she finds herself falling in love with the dashing Englishman, Sondra can't completely ignore some of the strange clues that start piling up, while Sid is completely convinced that the man shagging his "daughter" is guilty.
Pros:Hugh Jackman (shirtless at some point, as he should be) and Ewan McGregor. TOGETHER. If these two did a movie where they just sat there and watched paint dry, I would enjoy it on some level.
Hugh Jackman (shirtless at some point, as he should be...and even in nothing but SWIM TRUNKS). Most of Woody Allen's dialogue is hilarious.
Cons:Pretty much everything else. The whole thing is just so damned ridiculous. Especially the idea that just slapping some glasses on Ewan McGregor and slicking his hair down would make him completely unattractive to women. Oh, and his New York accent is totally whack. Fughettaboutit.
I can't think of anything really negative to say, but I still haven't figured out if I like Scarlett Johansson in this or if she's annoying. I go back and forth on it. On one hand, it's refreshing to see her as something other than the sultry sex bomb. But on the other hand, she seems to be trying to hard to be funny. But sometimes she is funny. So, I don't know.
My Thoughts:I would watch this movie again. On mute.
I was really surprised by this because I've never been the biggest Woody Allen fan, but I loved his character. He cracked me up. The movie as a whole was very cute - something of a nod to older screwball comedies. I guess Allen die-hards and film snobs would probably write this movie off as silly or lacking substance, but they should just stick to sucking lemons.
Final Grade:


* Put any other lead actors in it, and this stinkbomb easily gets an F.


Fancy Schmancy said...

I haven't seen either one, but I like the Woody/Scarlett matchup. Matchpoint was excellent!

McGone said...

I warned you about "Deception" 8 months ago and you said then you were putting it in your Netflix queue. You really are some kind of sadist, aren't you?

BeckEye said...

McGone - That would actually make me a masochist, right? Or am I a sadist for making you read about this horrible movie again, after you tried to help me?

Either way, I'll take any pain inflicted by either Hugh or Ewan (not to mention both at the same time). It hurts so good.

SkylersDad said...

Coming from the guy point of view, I would watch Scarlett on mute, watching her watch paint dry, in black and white.

red said...

I just added Deception to my queue...guess I'll take it out now...but I'll probably forget this review (as I forgot McGone's) and add it again when I see Ewan and Hugh together, at last!

Anyway, Scoop is one of Woody's least successful films, IMHO. Scarlett's actually "doing" Woody in this movie, which is weird, and there are many fun, screwbally WA movies like this that are way better.

Gwen said...

Okay, I put scoop in my queue. If it sucks I'm going to mail you cat poop.

Jenna said...

Deception was a terrible, terrible movie. It was like a contest between the two of them to see who could possibly have the worst accent. Incendiary, which came out the same year, is a much better example of a film that happens to have a McGregor/Williams sex scene.

Soda and Candy said...

I just hate Woody Allen. So I'd rather watch X-Men 2 again.

Megan said...

I was reading through your archive of match-ups, and I have to say, this sounds like a sure-fire way to beat Netflix's method of giving recommendations!

Slyde said...

i have to go with deception...

i cant stand me some scarlet johansan....

Gifted Typist said...

Scarlett makes me see, well, um, red.
I detest everything about her which is a shame cause I like Woody Allen's stuff

words...words...words... said...

I haven't seen either of these, but I will go with the Woody Allen movie because I usually do.


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