Friday, March 18, 2011

Movies I Haven't Seen: The Lincoln Lawyer

This was a tough week for me.  I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to pull a review out of my ass.  But, yes I start sentences with but, after the success of my Drive Angry in 3D review that led to the movie bombing terribly at the box office that I take full credit for, and the fact that I missed a gem of a flick last week in Red Riding Hood because the trailers shockingly didn't give away enough for me to make a serious call on the ending, I have to work this week.  I have to destroy some people's moviegoing weekend because it just feels so right every time and I've missed doing it.  How dare you spend money on subpar filmmaking that I haven't taken the time to see myself.  But on the flip-side, I'm saving you at least seven dollars, depending on how much theaters rape your wallet where you live.  And you know you love that I save your wallet from being taken advantage of.  Yes you.  Don't look behind you, I'm talking to you...OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT!?

Surprised he's not surfing on that thing...

It feels strange making fun of a movie that's based off of a bestselling novel.  I feel like I'm ripping on a book I've never read, and I wouldn't stoop so low as to review a book that I've never read.  Don't read into that, just continue.  So I'll just disclaim...damn that's not the verb version of disclaimer....I had hopes. I have not read this book so every terrible thing I say about this movie is only pertaining to the movie.  There, conscience sated.  Now I can get back to what is good and just, reviewing a movie that I think looks like shit.  I guess shit isn't the right word.  There are movies that you see the trailers for and you go, "Wow, that looks like absolute shit.  My eyes are bleeding."  Those are the movies that make this blog a dream.  I ripped right through The Roommate without a care in the world.  But then there are movies you see that, honestly, don't look like someone wrote it while going through the worst diarrhea of their life.  Some of these bad movies actually look like people put a lot of time, effort, and yes, cold hard cash, into.  The Lincoln Lawyer looks like one of the later.  Someone read this book, wrote a screenplay, got it onto the screen, and it doesn't really look like they just want to make money off of it or show off your new hair that your ten year old son styled and cut himself...Nic.  But regardless of the slight praise I may have just given it, I don't know if saying it's not a money whore is really praise, it still doesn't mean it's going to be an engaging or original movie.

The Lincoln Lawyer is about a lawyer.  I know it's tough, but stay with me on this one.  This lawyer, he's a special one, he has an office in the back of a snazzy Lincoln.  See where they got the title?  He's a laid back kind of guy who doesn't follow all of your fancy-schmancy rules.  He's also a defense attorney, you know, one of the guys who takes that 'everyone deserves a fair trial' saying and changes it to, 'everyone is innocent as long as they've got enough money. ' Yeah, that's him.  And he and his wife are separated and he's a half-time father.  And you expect us to like this guy by the end?  A doozy of a case gets dropped in his lap.  A rich playboy allegedly beats up a hooker and gets nabbed.  But his money swears he didn't do it!  But as the trailer suggests, maybe he did?  And by suggests I mean it's not even a spoiler, it literally shows him beating up the woman in the trailer.  I thought that was supposed to be the twist but twists are so 1999.  It ain't Primal Fear I guess.  Never saw that either, but I know things...  But regardless, it's time for the morally ambiguous lawyer to defend the hell out of him and get him back on the street!  The west coast is just chock full of ice cream eating prostitutes that need a good 'talking to.'


This flick is absolutely stacked from the windows to the wall with people you would expect to pick better projects than a straight-up courtroom drama.  "But it takes place in the back of a Lincoln!"  Shut up, I doubt it!  He's still gotta go to court!  William H. Macy and Bryan Cranston are on hit TV shows and this is what they do during their breaks?  And you know Macy is on break because he's got the same hairstyle as in Shameless, on Showtime Sundays.  Shameless plug.  Pun.  Skipping right over John Leguizamo we come to Josh Lucas.  You know what I like about Josh Lucas?  He's a better Matthew McConaughey.  That's because he actually does more character roles instead of picking out a script where the character description says, 'A Josh Lucas-like man.'  It's gonna be bizarre to see him and McC yelling at each other in the courtroom...when they're like, the same dude.  What's weird is, he kind of reminds me of a mix between Bradley Cooper and McConaughey...which is creepy, because all of these people just had movies open this week.  I smell conspiracy.  I bet if someone was good at Photoshop, they could Photoshop a creepy hybrid of any two of those three men and it would look like the third.

Shit, nope.  That's Patrick Wilson.  I suck at Photoshop.

You know what I don't like about Matthew McConaughey, other than having to keep looking up how to spell that name?  I keep getting older and he stays at the same level of acting prowess as his cameo in Dazed and Confused.  I know there have been a million and one jokes about McC but I seriously just scanned through his filmography and there are two movies I like.  Three if you count Angels in the Outfield.  You get a lollipop if you even remember he's in that movie.  I didn't.  But I'm gonna eat one anyway.  He sure likes to be McConaughey, but I gotta say this for him, he's damn good at that.  I was gonna say at least this isn't a shitty romantic comedy with him as the romantic lead, until I realized this is like, the fourth time he's played a lawyer.  A lawyer!  Ryan Phillippe is the wannabe hoodlum, beating up on little girls.  I can see the draw of that role though, play the supposedly innocent rich boy with a dark and disturbing secret.  Are we sure this isn't Primal Fear?  I got no beef with Phillippe.  Seems like a decent boy.  Glad he got away from being the pretty boy in his Cruel Intentions days.  And then we come to Marisa Tomei.  McConaughey's ex-wife?  Yeah, I can see it.  Sad that she's in this and not, you know, something better, but I'll takes my Tomei where I can get it.  And enough with the 'Marisa Tomei didn't deserve the Oscar' horseshit.  Here's who she was up against that year: Some chick I don't know, some other chick I don't know, the old chick from Mission: Impossible, and the old chick from Sleepy Hollow.  Come on!  Give it up already!  With such a crazy cast, could it be possible that this could be a crazy good mo...oh, Trace Adkins is in this too.  Nevermind.  What, was Billy Ray Cyrus busy?

Okay, so, doesn't really look like a shit movie, the cast has some very notable faces and singer, so what is my deal with this movie?  Why am I not lining up right now to see it?  Why am I writing about this flick in a column designed to be about terrible movies that you should not spend your hard earned money on?  'Cause it's a freakin' legal drama.  You can't write a new legal drama.  It's all been done before.  I will write one right now as if I am a five year old and it will fit the plot of this movie.  And here come the spoilers.  Lawyer guy is good at job.  Lawyer guy gets big case.  Lawyer guy starts to feel uneasy about case.  Lawyer guy's case starts to intrude in his personal life.  Lawyer guy takes drastic measures to ensure safety of his family and put the bad dude he's defending behind bars, all while saving his reputation.  Okay, some of that language got a little old for a supposed five year old writing a movie, but you get the gist.  That's the movie, right there.  I'll fill in the blanks for you if you want.  McC gets this huge case where the defendant is willing to pay for his innocence and McC is just the cat to do it.  As he starts getting deep in it, he realizes that this 'nice guy' might be a douche and now McC has to decide if he's gonna drop it or continue defending.  The rich, innocent, pretty boy starts to get a lot less pretty and innocent as he threatens McC and his family.  But the money!  Someone has gotta die in this movie after discovering the pure psycho-ness of Phillippe, and my money is either on Macy, Cranston, or Leguizamo.  One of them is croaking, it is a sacrifice to the movie gods, and then there will be rain for twenty days for the crops.  I got off track.  Either McC is gonna pull some fast one on Phillippe and somehow get some damning evidence that sends him up to Folsom, or Phillippe is gonna push McC too hard and run up against the pure might of McConaughey, which will kill him instantly.  And McC will stand above him, blood on his hands, Tomei at his side, and scream to the smoggy heavens, "Alright, alright, alright!"  And then it'll be about time for him to take that shirt off.  Smash cut to credits!

This will be the last thing Ryan Phillippe sees.

So, like I said before, I can't really say that this is going to be an awful movie, because it really doesn't look awful.  But it is gonna be a courtroom drama, and if you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all.  I could even say if you've seen one Matthew McConaughey courtroom drama, you've seen them all.  That's a genre, a Matthew McConaughey courtroom drama.  What's next, Katherine Heigl psychological thrillers?  Robert Pattinson musicals?  Actually...