Friday

 

The Joneses

The Joneses are a spectacularly charming family unit consisting of two 40ish parents (Demi Moore and David Duchovny) and two teens. They are all impossibly attractive and charismatic, and they are obviously prosperous. They live in the perfect house in a ritzy neighborhood. They own every conceivable high-end gadget, and are in the vanguard of every new trend. The kids love their parents; they all seem to enjoy each other's company; they never seem vulnerable to the tensions and problems that beset other families. Everyone wants to be just like them. The perfect family.

Except they aren't.

They're perfect, but they aren't a family.

They are a team of upscale marketers with annual contracts. Their job is to move into high-end neighborhoods and convince all members of the local nouveau riche to buy certain cars, golf clubs, wines, electronics, clothes, beauty products, etc. The woman circulates among the local society women at the trendiest salons. The man networks at the local country club. The kids throw the best parties in history. Once the Joneses become the most popular people in their area, and have befriended all the local tastemakers, they kick their marketing efforts into even higher gear, their ultimate goal: the ripple effect, when everyone in their market wants what they are flaunting.

The marketing effort is initially successful, but starts to collapse in some ways. There are two flies in the ointment:

First, because the false family consists of real human beings with genuine human needs and desires. After all, how many actors can play a role like that 24 hours a day for a year, all the while eschewing any real family life, any real romances, even any revelation of their true identities and natures? Luxury is nice, but it isn't everything.

Furthermore, their actions cause consequences in the real world. Teen parties generate drunk drivers. A quest to "keep up with the Joneses" leads some neighbors to despair.

Those two glitches in the marketing scheme develop separately into two radical plot twists which come back-to-back, crammed into the film's final minutes, and swerve the script in the opposite direction from the dark, laid-back satire it had theretofore been exploring. First, there is a contrived tragedy of genuinely operatic proportions which generates a radical tone shift. Then there is an equally contrived happy ending which shifts the tone again. In the course of just a few minutes, the film moves from a Seinfeld level of unemotional and hug-free black comedy to an operatic level of sincere, hand-wringing tragedy, and then to a final sappy cop-out based on the premise that "love conquers all." It's as if some bold and edgy indie script had its ending secretly re-written by an out-of-work Hollywood hack. My take is that anyone who cared for the film's first hour would have to find at least one of those final twists to be false and most unwelcome.

Another problem with the film is that hypocrisy is inherent to its structure. While the film is essentially preaching a message against conspicuous consumption, it is simultaneously performing the same function as the fictional pseudo-family at its core: promoting a lot of upmarket brand names. In fact, this film does such a good job at product placement that I don't care about all that sappy redemptive baloney at the end. I just know I gots ta get me some o' that shit they were promoting! Anybody know how I can get a good deal on a new Audi? 


  • Rotten Tomatoes: 63% positive
  • Metacritic: 58/100
  • Ebert: 3.5/4
  • Berardinelli: 2.5/4
  • IMDb: 6.5/10

 

  • Box office: The distributors were beset by doubts, so The Joneses opened in only 193 theaters. The box office results in those theaters were not atrocious, but were not strong enough to generate any momentum, so the film died out with a total gross below two million dollars.

Anyway, the good news is that sexy Amber Heard took her shirt off. By the time I finished watching the film, Deep at Sea had already done his clip, so here it is. (I suppose a better source will be available in the near future.)

Amber Heard in The Joneses

 

 

 

  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.

OTHER CRAP:

Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost and Delirious

(2001)

Jessica Pare film clip (samples below)

Piper Perabo film clip (samples below)

Pare and Perabo together (samples below)

 

 

 

 

Antes de Morir Piensa en M

(2008)

Johnny's Comments:

Antes de Morir Piensa en M is a drama about a woman who is on trial for killing her former lover and throughout the film, we follow the woman, who is in a relationship with an older man. Of course, she gets bored with her husband, so she finds an younger lover and then things get messed up fast. Nothing new here, but who cares right?

Here are the film clips of Sara Valles

The collages are below:

 

 

Pics

Kyomi Ito in Rafureshia

Yumi Yoshiyuki in Rafureshia

Kim Ok-vin in Thirst

Lady Gaga: great shot of her boob in extreme HD!

Lady Gaga: no HD this time, but a bit o' plumber's crack

Tara Reid has looked better (no nudity)

A little "discovered nudity" from Lohan in I Know Who Killed Me

  A couple of (non-nude, but sexy) butt-shots provided by Lohan in that film

 

Clips

Angelina Jolie in Changeling in HD

Jacyln DeSantis in Carlitos Way: Rise to Power. Although this scene is brief, and Jacyln is a virtual unknown, this scene made our annual list of the best nude scenes. That tells you she has a mighty nice set of curves.

Julie McNiven in Carlitos Way: Rise to Power.

Misha Sedgwick in Carlitos Way: Rise to Power.

The gorgeous Alice Eve does an incredibly sexy wet t-shirt scene in Sex and the City 2. Also in the film, albeit somewhat less sexy, Sarah Jessica Parker, not nude.