Background Movies: The Noise While I Work

Try and digest this image for a while.

Try and soak this image in for a while.

As a guy who does most of his work from his home office, I tend to just have the TV on in the background all day while I work.  I turn my head and check out what’s on the TV every so often, and if I’m doing a tedious task that doesn’t involve audio, I can hear what’s going on relatively well.  I usually just leave it on one channel for most of the day, and every so often I’ll change the channel like when I eat lunch or something.  If you’ve never just left your TV on all day, every day, let me tell you…  they play the EXACT SAME movies over and over again for weeks at a time.  This is a list of those movies that keep coming on that I usually check out in random out-of-sequence chunks, until I can piece together a full story in like two weeks time.

So again, as just a disclaimer, I have seen none of the movies listed below all the way through.  Did any of them redeem themselves in the scenes I missed?  I doubt it…  But you tell me…?





How is this not a Michael Bay movie?  It has all the supermodels, explosions, and semi-blue color tinting that I would expect from a Bay picture.  I guess it’s because all of the side characters aren’t annoying comic relief caricatures?  Is that the difference?  Like clockwork, I almost always turn to this movie when the Samoan guy tries to fist fight a robot in the engine room, and then the guy with no legs tries to fist fight a robot next to a Jeep.  I’ve probably seen about 60% of this movie, but I’ve never seen the beginning.  I don’t know how the aliens show up.  But the ending is pretty terrible, with John Carter asking Liam Neeson for his daughter’s hand in marriage.  Blech, who wrote that scene?  Also, the part when the real old guy Navy veterans show up and are trying to deliver dialogue in a major Hollywood movie was…  odd?  I suppose, though, from what I’ve seen of the movie, it’s stupidly entertaining enough.  Nice loud background noise.  Is Taylor Kitsch officially considered Hollywood poison at this point?

5 out of 10



Grown Ups

What a riveting scene for a major motion picture comedy.

What a riveting scene for a major motion picture comedy.

I’ve probably seen about 3/4ths of this movie, and I’m pretty convinced that Grown Ups doesn’t actually have a script.  Or if it does, it’s a few lines written for the women and children, and then four pages written in size 140 font that reads “WE’LL FIGURE IT OUT ON THE SET”, and then a few more lines written for the women and children.  Most of the scenes in this movie were just Sandler and his friends improvising the same five jokes over and over again:  Sandler is “too Hollywood”, Kevin James is fat, Chris Rock is a house-dad, David Spade is a sleaze, and Rob Schneider likes to bang old ladies.  So, make some comments about each character’s one obvious flaw, and apparently you’ve got 90% of the jokes in this film.  Also Sandler’s movie children are spoiled brats (that’s their exploited flaw joke), but the way that he reacts to the way they behave is like he’s never met his kids before the first scene of this movie.  “What?  You kids like playing video games instead of going outside?  What?  You like drinking vitamin water?  Oh my god, I’m going to act so surprised right now for some reason…  This is probably only the 2000th time you’ve acted this way in your life, but I’ve forgotten all the times that it’s happened before, so I’ll get frustrated like I’m not used to it.  Also the fact that you’re spoiled is entirely my fault, and I refuse to accept responsibility because I wasn’t spoiled when I was a kid.  (waves hands wildly) WHOOSA DOOOBA WADOOO DAAAAAA.”

4.5 out of 10



American Wedding



This movie starts with a scene of Jason Biggs getting pleasured under a table of a restaurant, and then Eugene Levy shows up, and it’s an awkward moment.  I don’t think anything sexually awkward has ever happened to Jason Biggs’ character in this series before.  I also don’t think Stifler has acted deceptively sleazy to a woman in this series before.  And I don’t think Finch has acted like an uppity know-it-all in this series before.  …At least Oz wasn’t in this one.

3 out of 10



Tower Heist

A bland picture for a bland movie.

A bland picture for a bland movie.

This was a kind of enjoyably stupid movie.  I’ve tuned in a few times to this though, and I don’t really have a clue what this movie is actually about.  I think Alan Alda fired everyone who works in his building, and screwed them out of their benefits or something, so Ben Stiller tries to steal back the money from him.  I don’t know any other details.  I once turned this movie on and Matthew Broderick was hanging off of a car that was getting lowered out of the top story window.  I did not ask any questions…  But…  why does Gabourey Sidibe have a comically bad Jamaican accent?  This seemed like the kind of movie where everyone involved with it watched and laughed with each other because they had such a good time making it, but then the rest of humanity wasn’t in on the joke.  It felt like Ocean’s Eleven, only less funny and much less clever.

5.5 out of 10 



Larry Crowne

Ha!  Scooters!

Ha! Scooters!

Tom Hanks plays a guy who gets fired from his job of 20 years at a retail store because he doesn’t have a college education (By the way, can they do that?  Maybe try for a wrongful termination lawsuit?).  So he goes to community college and forms a relationship with his teacher (Julia Roberts).  From what I’ve seen, which consists of almost nothing from the second half, this seems like one the most harmless movies ever made.  I WONDER IF THEY GET TOGETHER AT THE END?

6.5 out of 10 



The Girl

You glorious pervert, you...

You glorious pervert, you…

A made-for-HBO film about Alfred Hitchcock (with Toby Jones as Hitch).  It’s mostly about how Hitchcock was a total creep and tried to force himself sexually onto his female leads.  I have no idea if any of these allegations are actually true, but this was a hell of a lot more entertaining of a storyline than the Anthony Hopkins Hitchcock movie.  If there was anyone to cast as a power-hungry sex hound, I’m happy it was Toby Jones.

8 out of 10



The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"Why did I choose to die in this awful country...?"

“Why did I choose to die in this awful country…?”

I’ve never caught the beginning, which may be the most important part in terms of plot, because I have NO IDEA why all of these old people are in India.  But they certainly do have difficulties and uncomfortable situations waiting for them!  It seems like only two of the old people are actually there for a direct purpose; one of which is reconnect with his lover from years ago, and another old guy seems like he’s just there to get laid.  I think?  In typical Hollywood storytelling/casting,  he goes to India to have a sexual revelation, and he ends up having sex with an old white lady who also happens to be living in India.  I have no idea why all of the other old people are there, because they seem freaking miserable.  It’s not a bad movie from what I’ve seen, but it’s totally all over the place.  And while I haven’t even seen the whole thing, it still seems too long.  I’m sure it’s based on a boring novel, it just seems like that kind of movie.  But basically, it somehow turned into the first ever coming-of-age film about 80-year-olds.  Also, Bill Nighy is one of the weirdest looking, sounding, and moving people on the planet.  He’s like a melting marionette puppet that magically moves without strings and speaks with a mouth full of taffy.  I mean that in the most awesome way possible.  I would have went with a hipper title for the film though, to draw in the younger crowd, like MOTH BALLZ 2 DA WALL: FISTS OF CURRY.

7 out of 10



Rock of Ages

"WITH ARRRRMS WIDE OPEEEEEEEN"  (1990's edition of Rock of Ages)

“WITH ARRRRMS WIDE OPEEEEEEEN” (1990’s edition of Rock of Ages)

Yeesh.  I was a little embarrassed for society that this movie actually exists.  The first scene of the film was a girl singing “Sister Christian” on a bus with all the extras joining in.  I proceeded to not focus on this movie for the next few songs because I almost threw up in my mouth.  Next thing I know, Catherine Zeta Jones is singing “Hit me With Your Best Shot”, and I start to watch it more intensely out of morbid curiosity.  I thought she was *against* rock and roll music?  Then why is she singing a rock and roll song to show her feelings?  Shouldn’t she be singing like a Whitney Houston song or something?  And Tom Cruise is supposed to be this SUPER DEMONIC WILD AND CRAZY ROCK GOD, and his big intro song is “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi…?  Really?  Bon Jovi is about as demonic as this sandwich I’m eating right now, and it’s just turkey and cheese on white bread.  I didn’t even use Dijon mustard (THE DEVIL’S CONDIMENT).  Though, I guess he DID get all the 40-year-old ladies in the movie all hot and bothered.  That’s pretty accurate for Bon Jovi.  Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston, and Paul Giamatti seem way above this trash.  Yet Russell Brand fits right in with his terrible looking wig and obnoxiously annoying scream-acting.  This movie is the worst kind of Hollywood schlock, and I imagine the Broadway show it’s based on is equally as annoying.  I think if someone offered me the chance to either see Rock of Ages on Broadway, or the Green Day Broadway show; I’d take the third option of sitting in an Arby’s reading internet articles on my phone for two hours.  For a film that’s supposed to glorify the “rebellious” “awesome” nature of 1980s rock and roll (which is already known as one of the goofiest times in the HISTORY of rock and roll), they did a great job picking possibly the most generic, worst soundtrack possible.  They couldn’t have thrown an AC/DC song or two in there?  Maybe an Ozzy song?  Queen?  Van Halen?  TALKING HEADS?  …No, they chose Whitesnake and Journey instead.  At some point we should put an end to all this 80s nostalgia.

2 out of 10

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