McMovies 

Succinct Reviews for the Discerning Cinephile

Fool's Gold
dir. Andy Tennant
Opens Fri Feb 8
Various Theaters

Like a precisely shaped slab of processed meat, Fool's Gold is a triumphantly unedifying McMovie: Matthew McConaughey (who can hardly be faulted for figuring out how to be paid millions for being a beach bum) and Kate Hudson are resurrected as a screen couple after the success of 2003's (more enjoyable) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. They play Ben and Tess, an estranged couple who spent eight years together hunting treasure in the Caribbean (after the whole Pirates of the Caribbean thing, how could treasure hunting plus McConaughey's bare chest possibly go wrong?). Just as things are ending between them, a clue reignites the hunt and—can you guess?—their romance.

The thing about McDonald's hamburgers and McMovies is that while you can harp all you want about their lack of nutritional value, they actually taste... kinda good. So if you're willing to under-analyze the intelligence and easy stereotyping of the characters (including a hiphop mogul villain, Donald Sutherland as a millionaire, and a pipsqueaky bimbo celebutante), you can indeed enjoy McConaughey's bare chest, the action-packed finale, and that hallucinatory warmth that comes from spending two imaginary hours in the tropics during the dregs of February. Alternatively, you could read a book. MARJORIE SKINNER

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
dir. Mike Clattenburg
Opens Fri Feb 8
Clinton St. Theater

Even if you're a TV lover, there's an excellent chance you've never heard of Canada's hugely popular sitcom Trailer Park Boys. The show is a uniquely Canadian venture, in that it's funny... but not that funny, y'know? However, what it may lack in laffs, it makes up for in great acting, strong character development, and a good dose of humanity.

Per the name, Trailer Park Boys: The Movie is about the denizens of a Nova Scotia trailer park. And as it turns out, Nova Scotian trailer parks aren't all that different from their American counterparts. When not in prison, Julian, Ricky, and the mildly retarded Bubbles make ends meet by growing pot, repairing shopping carts, and stealing change from parking meters. However, after one stint in the joint, the threesome decides to go for the "BIG DIRTY"—the one big crime that will ensure they never have to work again.

TPB is less of a crime caper than a funny character study that, in a weird way, actually dignifies the thieves, potheads, strippers, alcoholics, morbidly obese, and other crackpots that populate this trailer park. While not hilarious, it's still a fun place to park for a while. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show
dir. Ari Sandel
Opens Fri Feb 8
Century Eastport 16

A few months ago, in a particularly unfortunate review of the film Fred Claus, I made the rather shameful admission that I—despite the lofty layers of shit that he calls a resume—have yet to fully tire of Vince Vaughn's schtick. With this confession to my credit, I was entrusted with the unenviable task of reviewing this ridiculously titled vanity affair, which was—as you might imagine—more than enough to put me off the puffy-eyed asshole for the rest of eternity.

In Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show, Vince and a busload of similarly molded (yet profoundly less charismatic) douchebags take to the "Heartland" (read: Chicago, Southern California, and a couple of stops in between) for 30 days of tired-ass stand-up comedy and unremarkable hijinks. There are no laughs, no likeable personalities, and most explicitly, there's no point whatsoever. Couple this with the fact that it looks like it was shot on my cell phone, and one can't help but wonder how someone could have possibly deemed this worthy of theatrical release—we're talking sub-DVD extra here. And while Vaughn's cohorts do manage to elevate their stumbling ringmaster by way of sheer charmlessness, they also make him guilty by association. ZAC PENNINGTON

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