October 20, 2014

movie mondays: movies to avoid (amazon prime)

If you have any streaming services, you know your options often seem limitless. You also know that the majority of films available to stream are not the blockbusters everyone's heard of. No, most of the films are independent films, and their covers often announce all of these wonderful film festival awards. But how do you know if they're worth your time?

That's where I come in.

I have this incredible knack for picking out terrible films. Every once in a while, I'll hit on a gem, but usually, I strike out. (I'll tell you about the gems in an upcoming post.) So here are some Amazon Prime offerings that I've recently suffered through. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Or do--but don't say I didn't warn you!

Please Kill Mr. Know It All (NR)

This film actually inspired this post. The other night, I was looking for something to watch, and it popped up as a recommendation. It was awful ... yet I watched the entire thing.

Sally is an aspiring author who writes an advice column, Mr. Know It All, to pay the bills. For some unknown reason (or perhaps it is known, and I was just too bored to note it), no one knows Mr. Know It All's identity. Eventually, Sally has to come up with a "face" for Mr. Know It All, so she sketches Albert, a man she notices at the movies. Turns out he's a hit man, and his sudden notoriety makes it difficult for him to do his job, so he sets out to kill Mr. Know It All. In his quest, he meets Sally, and they fall in love. Throw in contracts on both Albert's and Mr. Know It All's lives, and Albert & Sally's romance may be over before it even begins. The resolution makes zero sense (how does putting a dead hit man's prints on Sally's coffee mug identify him as Mr. Know It All? And if Albert has already been identified in public as Mr. Know It All, wouldn't his reappearance a year later cause people to talk?)--but that's OK, because the resolution meant the movie was over.*

*I do have to say that I found both leads to be charming. But the script? Awful.

I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (PG)

I honestly don't know what possessed me to watch his film, except that I always love the underdog gets the girl story. It had some good reviews, and I guess I was in a sappy mood.


Bernie is a down-on-his-luck, overweight bachelor who still lives with his mother and runs his father's store. His whole family views him as a loser, and Bernie buys into that mentality himself ... until he meets Theresa. He is immediately drawn to her, and he finds himself transforming for her--he comes out of his shell, joins a gym, and stops buying Hershey's Kisses at the local drug store. Meanwhile, Theresa is using Bernie as the topic of her thesis ... something about overweight men. But of course, they fall in love, blah, blah, blah. Dumb.

Madea's Witness Protection (PG-13)

This film is the most "mainstream" film on the list--I recall seeing commercials for it on TV, and Tyler Perry is a pretty reliable "brand," love him or hate him. But chances are good that you haven't seen it, and you might be curious ... thus its inclusion.

As a general rule, I love Tyler Perry movies, especially the ones with Madea. But Madea's Witness Protection is a total bomb. I think maybe it tried to be too broad, with Eugene Levy, Doris Roberts, and Denise Richards as members of a family in witness protection who end up staying with Madea, instead of sticking with the normal formula of members of Madea's family in trouble. Perhaps the classic Perry morality lesson comes in at the end, but I couldn't force myself to watch the entire thing. I tried--multiple times--but ultimately, I decided the it just wasn't worth my time.*

*Looking for a Perry movie that is worth your time? Check out Madea Goes to Jail, Meet the Browns, or, if Madea isn't your thing, Why Did I Get Married? Unfortunately, they aren't available to stream for free.

A Big Love Story (NR)

This movie baffles me. As I said before, I'm a sucker for the geek/nerd/ugly girl/underdog falls in love story. And A Big Love Story has some absolutely amazing reviews on Amazon. But it is so, so terrible. While it's not rated, it definitely would be rated R if it had gone through the MPAA.

Sam is an obese former football player who decides to get in shape. He hires Cassie to train him. They both have train-wreck lives, and I'm pretty sure they fall in love. I watched the entire film, and, two months later, I can't even remember the end. I do remember some sub-plot about Sam's roommate and his girlfriend, who thinks she's pregnant, but she's not. This won a bunch of film festival awards, so obviously some people liked it--but I am certainly not one of those people. (It appears more and more people are agreeing with me, as many of the recent Amazon reviews are not so complimentary.)

The World's Oldest Living Bridesmaid (NR)

Yes, the title should have warned me off, and if not the title, then the picture. But this was a 90's TV movie, and I have such fond memories of other 90's TV movies with semi-bad to horrible titles (Our Son the Matchmaker, Chance of a Lifetime, Forever Love) that I thought I would give this one a chance.

I probably should have passed.

Brenda is a 40-something lawyer who can't seem to keep a secretary--they keep getting married. She ends up hiring Alex, a 20-something artist who works as a secretary because his art career hasn't taken off yet. They fall in love. She's embarrassed to be seen with him in public. He dumps her. She realizes the error of her ways and apologizes. He proposes. The end.

And the title? It's just a throw away line that Brenda utters at a cafe. She's really not obsessed with getting married; in fact, she shows no interest in it whatsoever until Alex proposes. The best part though? The waiter that she says the line to is Colin Mochrie of Whose Line.

Have you seen any of these films? What did you think? Can you give us other Prime offerings to avoid? Let me know in the comments!


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