In her new film The Switch, Jennifer Aniston plays an unmarried 40-year-old woman who gives up on the notion of finding Mr. Right and contracts a sperm donor to have a child. Though it was plagued by distribution drama after Disney put Miramax Films up for sale, The Switch (which co-stars Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum) is set to bow in theaters nationwide on August 20th and its looming release date has headline stealing commentator Bill O'Reilly doing his thang.
While promoting the film, Aniston acknowledged the possibly controversial subject matter of the story, noting that "times have changed" and that "women are realizing it more and more knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child. Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere." Well, all-American O'Reilly didn't take kindly to Jen's views on modern parenting and retaliated with his own scathing analysis of the state of the nuclear family.
"She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad," O'Reilly said on his somehow top-rated Fox News show The O'Reilly Factor, adding that "Aniston can hire a battery of people to help her, but she cannot hire a dad." Unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, O'Reilly has twisted the statement of a well-known public figure to turn heads in his direction, since his bullheaded political views make him more irrelevant as the days go by. The public is well aware of Ms. Aniston's financial status and her highly-publicized relationships with some of Hollywood's biggest stars. Despite her comments, she hasn't decided to crank out a fatherless child just because physically she doesn't need one. She's been waiting for Mr. Right for years and will continue to do so because she chooses to, just like every woman has the right to choose what to do with her body.
Continuing on, Bill stressed the importance of the male presence in a child's life: "I think that men get hosed all day long in the parental arena...any man who leaves their children is not a man. Let's make that perfectly clear. But the fathers who do try hard are under-appreciated and diminished by people like Jennifer Aniston." Though I agree that having a father is a wonderful thing (I don't know where I'd be in life if I didn't have a male and female influence on my upbringing), as usual, O'Reilly cast a web of distorted truth over Aniston's statement and turned it into a man-hating meditation. Not once did she say that having a mother and father isn't ideal, she simply told the truth about the society in which we live - where approximately 21 million children are being raised by one parent and a staggering 83 percent of those households are headed by a single mother (via SingleSpouse.com). Nor did she encourage young woman to skip marriage and go straight into motherhood. She's telling it like it is, something that Bill should try sometime.
While I don't think that Jen has lost any sleep over O'Reilly's attack, the elegant actress seems to have had the last laugh as she comically responded to his negativity: "Of course, the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on earth," Aniston told People magazine. "And, of course, many women dream of finding Prince Charming (with fatherly instincts), but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options." Beautifully said, Jen. After all, most women I know would take a test tube over bumbling Bill any day of the week.
Source: CBS News, SingleSpouse, People
WHAT IT'S ABOUT?
Apparently modest box-office success is good enough for a sequel these days. After watching our hero Chev spend 24 hours keeping his heart going at lightning speed to fight off a deadly poison in the first Crank we now get the High Voltage follow-up which picks up exactly where the story left off. Chev survives a fall to certain death only to wake up three months later to find a Chinese mobster has replaced his all-powerful heart with a battery-operated device that requires constant jolts of electricity in order to stay alive. He escapes and with intermittent charging from car batteries and phone wires embarks on a marathon chase to retrieve his heart and fight off various bad guys including a Mexican gang boss and a group of Chinese triads led by 100-year-old Poon Dong who desires Chev's vital organs (yes even THAT one) for his own purposes.
WHO'S IN IT?
Jason Statham is back as Chev of course displaying the same combination of kickass frenetic action and dumb comedy that marked the first edition. Forced to act the human equivalent of a Road Runner cartoon Statham gives it his all but it's a stretch to say the least. Everyone else plays mainly one-dimensional buffoons including the moronic hyped-up Chinese stereotype from Bai Ling who has been given lines like: "This dude my Kevin Costner and he gonna beat you off" or "You need me like Whitney Houston dude." Apparently the 17-year-old The Bodyguard was the last movie these screenwriters saw. Clifton Collins Jr. (Sunshine Cleaning) seems to revel in overacting the Mexican baddie El Huron while a really old-looking David Carradine destroys any fond memories of Kung Fu as he plays the jokey Poon Dong. Back from the original are Dwight Yoakam literally phoning his part in as the ever helpful Doc and Amy Smart as Chev's hot girlfriend.
It's in focus.
Moviegoers with the stomach to watch nipples and kneecaps being sliced and diced dumb profane dialogue spelled out in graphic letters on the screen in case you're hard of hearing over-the-top acting and sleazy direction — you all will love it. It's a shame to see the usually solid Statham waste his potential in stuff that aims for the lowest common denominator and hits its target.
MOST CREATIVE SEX SCENE IN A JASON STATHAM MOVIE:
The horny and uninhibited Statham and Smart turn the racing track at Hollywood Park into their own personal motel room as they horse around in X-rated style while the betting crowd cheers them on. We're not sure about Win or Place but these two definitely Show.
MOST PROPHETIC LINE:
During outtakes over the end credits Statham blurts out "It's so hard to keep a straight face!" We were thinking the same thing Jason.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Netflix. But you know skip this and rent the first Crank instead where there is at least a modicum of originality.
Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) Krank have enjoyed many wonderful years celebrating Christmas with their only daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo) but when she goes off to Peru on a Peace Corps mission the two suddenly find themselves alone during that most precious time of year. Collectively now Awww! Not too worry Luther has a brilliant plan. He convinces the reluctant Nora to skip Christmas altogether--no decorations no tree no presents--and go with him on a sun-filled Caribbean cruise instead. Unfortunately the neighbors have a huge problem with it especially the neighborhood Christmas Nazi Vic Frohmeyer (Dan Aykroyd) and the battle between the Kranks and their neighbors soon threatens peace harmony and good will towards men. But then like a little Christmas miracle Luther and Nora get a call from Blair saying she's coming home after all (she's a sneaky one isn't she?). Can the Kranks crank it in gear and get themselves back into the Christmas spirit in time for their beloved daughter's arrival? Oh for the love of Kris Kringle I hope so!
It's not really Tim Allen or Jamie Lee Curtis' fault the movie fails to connect. Both are extremely adept at playing it for laughs especially with the physical comedy. Curtis is hysterical chasing the last canned ham through the grocery store parking lot as it slips out her hands and rolls out of control into the street while Allen's comic talents shine through as he attempts to eat after having Botox injections (though it's time for the actor to move on from Christmas movies). Yet somehow the Kranks slowly denigrate into whining screeching paranoid curmudgeons while the neighbors turn into creepy militants. By the time the Kranks get that all-important call from Blair and get all Christmas-y again it's too late; you're already thoroughly irritated with the lot of them. Only Aykroyd seems to rise slightly above starting off as the villain but ultimately becoming the beacon of community togetherness as he rallies the neighborhood to help the Kranks get back into Christmas.
Sing with me: "Have yourself a Kranky little Christmas..." Is it me or are the Christmas movies this season cynical downers? Of course they don't mean to be but they are just the same including the obnoxiously bad Surviving Christmas the eerily non-human
Polar Express--and now the ill-tempered Christmas with the Kranks. The idea of two people whose child has left the nest deciding to skip Christmas while those around them chastise them for it has some potential. But in this case the story comes from a John Grisham book Skipping Christmas--yes the same guy who writes legal thrillers. That should be your first clue. A second clue is that the script is written by Chris Columbus the same creative mind behind another Christmas favorite Home Alone. It's evident from both movies that Columbus is a sap for the whole holiday spirit thing but a tad mean-spirited at the same time. Only director Joe Roth (America's Sweethearts) recognizes what he's got to work with highlighting as much slapstick comedy as he can before the schmaltz takes over.