Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:48 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Focus Features
Release Date: 2004
Kiddie Movie: A little too involved for them.
Date Movie: Sure, it’s romantic.
Gratuitous Sex: A little.
Gratuitous Violence: Not really.
Action: Not really.
Laughs: Quite a few, but not gutbusters.
Memorable Scene: Joel and Clementine trying to hide the memory of her somewhere else in Joel’s memories.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: Michael Gondry

Part of me really appreciated the clever story and great acting in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” but as I was leaving most of me was saying “What the hell was that?” Let’s start with the story.

As the movie begins, we are introduced to Joel (Jim Carrey). He wakes up, finds his car is damaged, and begins his trek to work only to decide on a whim to go to Long Island. In a diner Joel sees Clementine (Kate Winslet), and makes the comment that he falls in love with any woman who will give him time of day. Low and behold, we see Clementine and Joel on the train back to the city where they hit it off. Then the opening credits roll, and we next find Joel, ready to give Clementine a Valentine’s Day/Make-up gift (they got in a big fight). At the bookstore Clementine doesn’t seem to know who Joel is, seems to already have a boyfriend, and Joel is really confused, until he finds out that Clementine had all memory of him erased. Not to be outdone, Joel decides to visit the same clinic and have Clementine erased from his memory as well. And then the fun begins.

So he meets Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkenson), his receptionist, Mary (Kirsten Dunst), and the Doc’s technicians, Stan (Mark Ruffalo) and Patrick (Elijah Wood). Joel gets set for the procedure by bringing every memento of him and Clementine, to trigger memory responses, which our good technicians will erase when Joel is drugged to sleep. So at first Joel is alright with these memories being erased, after all, they are the crappy memories at the end of the relationship. But slowly he gets to memories of Clementine when things are good and he no longer wants to forget her, but remember the good times. The problem is that Joel’s asleep, that and the fact that we’ve got two of the most unethical technicians and a stoned receptionist not paying attention to Joel’s fighting the procedure.

This is where the fun comes, with Joel and Clementine trying to find a place to hide Clementine’s memory in an old memory not scheduled to be erased. We get a trip to one of Joel’s most embarrassing moments (it’s pretty funny), Joel as a little kid in a giant kitchen, until eventually the Doc has to be called in to finally get rid of Clementine once and for all.

Alright, the story sounds a little complicated, and it is, but if you follow along, I think you’ll have fun with this movie. The only problem I had was that from the trailers, well, it really depicted this as more of a comedy than this movie is. It’s actually more of a romantic drama, with some comedic spots put in. Don’t think Jim Carrey as funny man, think of Jim Carrey as drama man, kinda more like he was in “The Truman Show” rather than “Bruce Almighty.” And he’s great at it, playing the loser-ish Joel, then the guy in a crappy relationship, then the guy in love, then the guy trying desperately not to lose the memory of the love of his life. Kate Winslet is great too. She plays Clementine with a whimsical look most of the time, until the end of their relationship when her talking too much is the problem, mostly because she’s not really asking how they can get their relationship back to its blissful period. You hate her, but then you really like her, and then everything comes together at the ending.

So, is the movie good? Well, I’m classifying “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” as an artsy romantic drama with some comedic elements to lighten the mood. Visually impressive with a creative story, Charlie Kaufman writes an entertaining look at if we really want bad memories erased. This is also the first movie that comes close to showing a person inside a dream, sometimes able to control the actions in the dream, then losing control, then controlling it again. It’s a weird experience when you’re dreaming, then realizing you’re in a dream and can control what’s going on (sometimes I’m able to do that), and the filmmakers have really brought this to light. And if they’re looking for any more wacky stories in a dream state, I can give them tons, like the butterman incident or the magic stones that turn into a staircase at the bowling alley. I’m sorry, I digress, back to the movie.

Anyway, if you like a more artsy movie, “Eternal Sunshine…” is as good as any. If you’re looking for an all-out comedy, keep looking and stay away. So I guess, in the end, even saying “What the hell was that?”, that I did like this movie. The acting was great, you get to see Kirsten Dunst in panties and an almost see-through top, and the story is kinda wacky. It’s just not the story I expected from the trailers. 4 stars out of 5 for this one, but remember, this isn’t an all-out laugh fest.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

The Cable Guy

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

The Cable Guy
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: 1996
Kiddie Movie: Mature situations I don’t think they’ll get.
Date Movie: I can think of better movies to bring a date to.
Gratuitous Sex: Sex and nudity would have made this movie better (Mann’s HOT!)
Gratuitous Violence: Nothing goolish but definitely psychotic.
Action: Ditto.
Laughs: Lot’s but I expected more.
Memorable Scene: “Medieval Times” busted my gut.
Memorable Quote: Chip: “I want a brother.”
Mom: “That’s why mommy’s going to happy hour.”
Directed By: Ben Stiller

Don’t take the kids to see this movie!
While waiting to get my free refill of popcorn* at the Marcus Theater I stuck up a conversation with the kid behind the counter. He told me “Cable Guy” was a black comedy. A black comedy? I thought the movie starred Jim Carrey and not Eddie Murphy or Martin Lawrence. What I think he meant to say was that “Cable Guy” is a dark comedy. That it is.

This movie could best be likened too “Fatal Attraction” on nitrous-oxide. Carrey plays Chip Douglas (remember My Three Sons). Chip is a loaner in life and will befriend anyone who is kind to him. When Chip juices up (free premium channels) Steven Kovacs (Broderick) cable, Steve makes the mistake of being nice to Chip. Thus begins the fatal attraction.

Chip pry’s into every aspect of Steven’s life. Social or sexual, Chip has no problem trying to fit into his new best friends life. This really pisses Steven off, but what can he do? He wants to keep his free cable so he plays along with Chip. This leads to a great roughhousing basketball game, Chip beating he piss out a guy in a bathroom who was hitting on Steven’s girlfriend, and a hilarious night at Medieval Times. The Medieval Times scenes are the funniest stuff in the whole movie and I can’t imagine how they ever got those scenes shot without the actors wetting their drawers.

A guy can only be nice for so long, and when Steve tries to give Chip the boot things turn ugly. Chip gets Steven arrested, makes a move for his girl, becomes beloved by Steven’s family, and even gets Steve fired. If I was Steve I would have ended this a lot sooner… with a shovel and a bag of lime.

So, why is Chip such a psycho? Here’s the message in the movie:. TV rots your brain and Chips brain was rotted at a young age. You see, while Chip’s mom was out boozing it up, she left her son alone at home with the baby-sitter (a television). Chip was lonely and wanted attention. Actually he wanted a brother “and that’s why mommy is going to happy hour.” At the end of the movie Chip realizes that the baby-sitter (now a satellite dish) is evil and must die so he throws himself on it(a great scene for the kids… Not).

So what do we have…? We have a movie that starts as a comedy, then gets psycho real fast, and ends with a moral (much like a Grimm Fairytale). I’m really glad I saw this movie at a matinee price because I wasn’t impressed. Sure you get a chuckle from Jim’s slapstick and funny voices but that’s not enough to make it worth eight bucks. I give “Cable Guy” 2.0/5.0

’nuff said.

*If you but a large popcorn or soda at Marcus you get free refills, so… Just find an empty and filler up. Hey! What do you expect? This job doesn’t pay much!

Bruce Almighty

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:41 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Bruce Almighty
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Catherine Bell, and a way-talented dog.
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 2003
Kiddie Movie: Lots of toilet humor, but maybe not too young.
Date Movie: It’s good for the both of you.
Gratuitous Sex: A scene with Bruce giving Grace the big “O”, and Jennifer Aniston bouncing her boobs noticing how big they’ve gotten.
Gratuitous Violence: The town begins to riot.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Lots.
Memorable Scene: The dog. That’s enough said.
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

I suppose if you give a character played by Jim Carrey the powers of God then there must be some kind of moral lesson given by the time the end of the movie comes around. Such is the price you pay in “Bruce Almighty,” the triumphant return of Jim Carrey playing a character Jim Carrey should play.

In “Bruce Almighty” Bruce (Carrey) is having a bad day. He’s a TV reporter relegated to the feel-good stories in Buffalo. He wants the anchor position that is opening up, and when he doesn’t get it, finding out on a live shot from Niagara Falls, he loses it on air. So Bruce gets pissed at God, and God, deciding he wants a little break, gives Bruce his powers to do as he pleases. What’s a man like Bruce to do? Well, being the selfish guy he is, Bruce toilet trains his dog, gives his girlfriend, Grace (Jennifer Aniston), bigger boobs, makes the new anchorman talk goofily, and decides it would be easier to just grant everyone’s prayers than actually hear what they are saying, the latter resulting in an uproar because everyone wins the lottery, and with everyone splitting the pot, well, the couple of dollar payoff given over 20 years just doesn’t seem like a win.

So Bruce has the power of God yet his life remains incomplete, mostly because he’s still a selfish prick. Now it’s time for the fun to end and Bruce to learn that being God isn’t as easy as it seems, and that maybe Bruce should look past himself and see that his actions affect a lot of people’s lives. It’s time for Bruce to learn his lesson, let God take back his powers, and live his life to make others happy.

Carrey has come a long way since the “Ace Ventura” days, showed he can tackle some real acting jobs, but the success of “Bruce Almighty” will show that the public isn’t looking for Jim Carrey as the serious actor because he is just so much better on the comedic side. Maybe sometimes it’s better to know your niche and stick with it, although I suppose it’s always okay to try something new every now and then. I thought Carrey was great playing Andy Kaufman, and did a fabulous job in “The Truman Show,” but most people didn’t care. His fans want comedy, and comedy he gives, and as talented as he is, you just can’t get enough of him talking out of his butt or giving his girlfriend bigger boobs. Carrey’s back where he belongs, in comedy, and it’s 4 stars out of 5 for “Bruce Almighty.” And, oh yea, as great as Jim Carrey is in this movie, I must mention the dog – he nearly steals the show.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!