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There are three movies on deck for Trailer Trash today. First up, I’m doing a Korean movie because as love/hate as my relationship with ROK cinema is, I gotta give some love to the people paying my rent. 😛

THE HOUSEMAID…

A lot of Americans can’t stand British films because the actors are so “ugly”. That’s because, in Britain, they are perfectly comfortable with sub-covermodels being involved in sexual situations; provided they can act. On the other hand, American movies do better in the international film community because they are perfectly willing to sacrifice a bit of acting talent to make sure the lead female in their erotic thriller is someone the audience want to see naked.

Korea is still deciding which side of this to fall on.

So, rest assured that the homely heroine is being portrayed by a dynamite actress. Okay, so… let’s analyze. We’ve got a poor girl (that cramped hallway at the beginning? yeah, that’s an officetel and they are bloody everywhere) hired by a rich family to scrub stuff. Predictably, the husband, being a rich Korean guy does what rich Korean guys do (especially with a very knocked-up wife) and, apparently, makes a habit of bedding the help.

(I take serious issue with Roger Ebert’s quote, but maybe that’s because I see the Korean movies advertised on the sides of buses and he only sees the ones that hit film festivals.)

Wife and mommy-dearest (note: Korean mothers are notoriously controlling of their married sons; at least, in movies) strike back at the maid, evidently there being a golf club involved and wifey pouring on the come-hither. Now, the bits about revenge and the blood-in-water visual, with the bathtub shots, makes me think the physical abuse on the maid causes her to have a miscarriage.

So, the “sexy” and “lurid” bit is in the first 45 minutes; then there’s about 30 minutes of shouting and lots of staring; with a final 20 minutes of non-stop stuff happening, ending with the husband dead (guaranteed) and probably the grandma. The maid will likely end up dead or in prison.

Not a classic for the ages, but a good date movie.

Note: “Baby Now” by Nichole Alden

THE OTHER WOMAN

So… basically, the same movie but the “feel good” version apparently. First up, I’ll say, good on Natalie Portman. She has hit upon that season in a good actor’s career when they’re in everything and she is milking it every which way to confuse people. Black Swan and The Other Woman seem a decent fit, but throw in that thing with Ashton Kutcher and… WTF? For intentionally confusing people as regards your identity as an actress, Natalie Portman, I salute you.

Now the crap she’s starring in. So, we’ve come to this. America has apparently tired of The Housemaid-style plots and is now trying to get us to support the mistress. Awesome. Rich lawyer boinks hot young new girl and then breaks the stereotype by actually following through on his promises and leaving his wife for her. Um… good? Okay, I get that Lisa Kudrow is supposed to be a shrill harpy that makes mild-mannered “Jack Wolf”s life hell, but the guy’s a lawyer named Wolf. F*** him.

Well, the charming(?) Mr. Wolf is settled down with his new wife when tragedy strikes. The audience realizes they’re being asked to think the cheating husband is a good guy. Oh, wait, no… sudden infant death syndrome causes their new look-how-liberal-we-are family to spin into turmoil and force misbegotten stepmom to bond with the impressionable young son who will totally grow up to be a loving and committed family man.

So, if you’re looking for a pernicious piece of trash that tries to sell you watered-down emotions as realistically subtle hoping you won’t notice that these are horrible people; yeah, this movie’s for you, ***hole!

THE RESIDENT

Remember Red Eye? The movie that killed Cillian Murphy’s rise to legitimate stardom? It was a 90 minute promo for a Dr. Phil book (no, seriously, a specific Dr. Phil book got mentioned like eight times and the resolution of the plot was a dramatized version of the book’s thesis) dressed up as thriller. It wasn’t thrilling and the “tension” between Murphy’s menace and Amy Adams’ being emotional was so mismatched that both looked completely ridiculous.

So, The Resident, yeah it’s pretty much that. The trailer doesn’t even look like an actual movie trailer, it looks like a PSA to get single women to change their locks. This trailer also breaks a major trailer rule by showing us the ENTIRE FREAKING MOVIE. Does anyone really expect there to be anything of significance in the movie that wasn’t obvious from the trailer?

My rule is that a good trailer only needs footage from the first 30 minutes. (Unless it’s a Korean movie, which have a tendency to switch plots on you half way through.) So, we know the whole story and the only mystery left is who is stalking her? The land lord guy from Watchmen, the ex-bf who keeps texting her or Christopher Lee? Or will they throw us a curve and her attacker is the ADT guy? More importantly, does anyone care?

Show of hands? No? Okay.

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