Aaron Seltzer

Aaron Seltzer

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Vampires Suck Review


Weak
Every time we see a new Friedberg/Seltzer film we hope maybe they've learned something and put their skills to more creative use. But no, instead we're once again astounded that anyone gives them money to make these unfunny rehashes.

When the mopey Becca (Proske) moves back to live with her small-town sheriff dad (Bader), she feels her life can't get any worse. Her childhood friend Jacob (Riggi) is acting rather strange, and she finds herself attracted to the sullen Edward (Lanter). As three vampires (Britt, Weber and Brobst) maraud through the landscape, Becca and Edward struggle not to consummate their relationship. And when Edward runs off to hide, Jacob makes his move. Note: Yes, this is virtually the exact plot of the first two Twilight movies.

Continue reading: Vampires Suck Review

Disaster Movie Review


Terrible

Satan is a studio head. That's really all one can say before starting a review of Disaster Movie.

After breaking up with his gorgeous girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minnillo), Will (Matt Lanter) throws a Super Duper Sweet Sixteen party -- even though he's 28. Along for the festivities are pregnant pal Juney (Crista Flanagan), best buddy Calvin (G. Thang), and his lady Lisa (Kim Kardashian). Without warning, the city is pummeled by asteroids, spoiling the fun and sending Will and his friends out into the streets. There, they run into an ice storm, a tornado, and various holdovers from the 2007-2008 movie season. When he discovers Amy is trapped in the local museum, Will vows to save her, as well as the planet. Of course, he must use the mystic powers of the legendary Crystal Skull to do so.

As expected, Disaster Movie is artless, humorless, and all in all worthless. It's the lowest form of comedic cunning (the obvious spoof), propagated by people who wouldn't know the first thing about funny business if Judd Apatow came by and farted in their face. Zombies are jealous of how readily so-called filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have cannibalized their commercial carte blanche. Instead of taking all the millions they made off the other awful examples of their (Insert Name Here) Movie template and putting it to proper entertainment use, they gather together a series of unrelated elements and pray that the pre-adolescent audience is too busy texting to pay attention.

When a slam at Pinkberry is your one and only laughing point, you know your screenplay is bereft of intelligence. Then again, no one ever claimed that Friedberg and Seltzer were scriptwriting geniuses. Instead, one can envision the pair seated in front of their feather light MacBook Air, Lionsgate contract, and several "social" beverages in hand, listing out the possible cinematic targets that have made an impact on the industry since the last installment of the series. Then they toss in some incredibly random celeb beats ("Amy Winehouse! Um... Wolf from American Gladiators!") and call it a payday. A big, fat, unwarranted, and unnecessary payday.

Nothing makes sense here: Not having Carmen Electra asexually wrestle Ms. Kardashian; not the appearance of Prince Caspian; not the flesh eating chipmunks, nor the nonsensical lifts from Night at the Museum. The guys even toss in an overlong High School Musical joke that might have worked had it not been so amateurish and obvious. Oddly enough, for a genre known for its gag-a-minute format, this film has more exposition and dead air than an NPR broadcast.

Yet the biggest sin committed by this ongoing assault to the parody genre is that Friedberg and Seltzer forget what makes a truly memorable lampoon. Airplane! wasn't just a series of last month's media notes. It actually used an entire category of film to formulate its farce. Indeed, from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (westerns) or High Anxiety (Hitchcock) to The Naked Gun (police procedurals) or This is Spinal Tap (rock and roll), the quality spoof has always been built out of something real and recognizable. What our dunderheaded duo attempt here is the kind of sloppy sketch comedy that makes the Friday series look like Monty-friggin-Python.

The end result is not just bad but painful, similar to having your wisdom teeth pulled without the aid of drugs, clean instruments, or an actual dentist. Maybe if the Juno material wasn't as overdone as Diablo Cody's own sense of self, perhaps if the elongated Enchanted sequences didn't choke on their own cheerlessness, we could tolerate the rest of this repugnance. Instead, Disaster Movie leaves one with a feeling of failure -- and the knowledge that, come this spring, these idiots will more than likely be back.

And may God have mercy on our everlasting, unamused souls.

There's not even any room for a Bristol Palin gag.

Meet The Spartans Review


Terrible
If Airplane! is the Mad magazine of cinematic lampoons, then Meet the Spartans is its subpar competitor, Crazy. Produced and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, this feeble spoof of 2007's surprise hit 300 is a year too late and several million brain cells too short. After delivering the appalling Spy Hard, Date Movie, and Epic Movie, the team has tricked yet another studio suit into letting them hurl this excremental example of their sodden, slapdash satire at audiences. No one aside from 14-year-old dweebs who've yet to know the touch of a woman will be laughing, however.

Following the Frank Miller/Zack Snyder spectacle beat for beat (King Leonidas -- Sean Maguire -- takes a dedicated group of Spartans to the Hot Gates to defend his city against the advancing Persian horde and their God King Xerxes -- Ken Davitan), Freidberg and Seltzer bloat their unbelievably bad script with every past-its-shelf-life pop culture reference imaginable -- including Carmen Electra. There are nauseating nods to Shrek, American Idol, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Deal or No Deal, Ugly Betty, Donald Trump, Transformers, Borat, and You Tube whiner Chris Crocker. When not foraging through those whose 15 minutes of fame expired several TMZ stories ago, Meet the Spartans is advancing child abuse, homophobia, and ethnic pigeonholing as part of its "only a joke" kind of insult humor.

Continue reading: Meet The Spartans Review

Epic Movie Review


Weak
The stigma of "I've seen it all before" pervades Epic Movie in unexpected ways. Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's previous credits, Scary Movie (as two of six writers) and Date Movie, tell you what you're in for: the skewering of some currently popular cinematic genre. Famous scenes will be re-shot, famous people lampooned, and there will be plenty of naughty bits. Experience might also alert you to the film's questionable quality. However, in a movie whose lifeblood is appropriation, borrowing, copying, and sullying (parody seems too sophisticated a description), it is surprising that Epic Movie feels tired not because it reminds us so often of the epics it sends up, but because it suffers from the faults of its "Something" Movie predecessors.As with Scary, Date, and Not Another Teen, Epic Movie takes for its plot a cobbled together version of the events of the films it lampoons. Thus, we first meet four orphans before they win a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory that leads to an epic adventure in Gnarnia (with a silent G, "for legal purposes"). First orphan Lucy (Jayma Mays) is the daughter of a Louvre curator who finds her golden ticket when clues around her father's dead body lead to, gasp, Da Vinci. Edward (Kal Penn) leaves his Mexican orphanage after a wrestler/monk tries to feed him a dead cat (apparently, Nacho Libre was an epic). Peter (Adam Campbell) is an X-Man with chicken wings, picked on in high school by Mystique (Carmen Electra) and LC (from the TV's Laguna Beach). The final orphan, Susan (Faune A. Chambers), represents the point at which the filmmakers just couldn't be bothered anymore. She was on a plane once, and so were some snakes.In as ambiguously defined and incredibly inclusive a category as "epic" there are ample opportunities for satirical sparks. And there are moments, fleeting as they are, such as Peter's exploration of the sexual shape-shifting possibilities of Mystique, when those opportunities are taken. More frequently, though, the order of the day is mere repetition. The Nacho Libre scenes and Snakes on a Plane sequence do nothing with the original material other than cast it with inferior actors. Later, aboard a more touristy "Black Pearl," SNL's Darrell Hammond is very good at impersonating Johnny Depp impersonating Keith Richards, but is given too little to do besides this. In all, the film lacks the perspective needed for effective satire. As with Date Movie, the filmmakers don't have much to say about the films they are dealing with. They simply present them to us in a burlesque fashion with a fart joke here and a rude word there.Worse still, the filmmakers have turned their attention too heavily to their back catalogue. There are the staple gratuitous slow motion bikini dancers, Carmen Electra is back, MTV references fill in where jokes cannot be found, and Jayma Mays seems with her dazed and confused performance to be channelling Scary Movie star Anna Faris. Rather than looking for things to say about the latest in epic films, they seek to appropriate a successful formula onto the latest box office successes. The movie is also entirely toothless. Discussing the film, Penn brags of how Friedman and Seltzer "ridicule" Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, in which he starred in 2004. Here, ridicule translates to a shot of a White Castle restaurant on the screen and Penn saying, "I have a feeling I have been here before." Perhaps this was my problem. I want some savageness in my satire, and Epic Movie is decidedly tame. As one who sat through The Da Vinci Code, X-Men 3 and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was expecting a suitably cruel counter attack. Instead, I got what I should have expected knowing the pedigree. In this latest and tiredest Friedman/Seltzer puff piece the law of diminishing returns persists.Lion for dinner? Let's go!

Spy Hard Review


Bad
Ugh. This is one of those reviews where I don't really know how to begin. Suffice it to say that I should have listened to all the friends of mine who refused to go see Spy Hard with me, saying that it wasn't their style, that star Leslie Nielsen had lost his comedic sense, or that the movie just plain looked bad.

They were all right.

Continue reading: Spy Hard Review

Date Movie Review


Terrible
A note to readers: Before Pete Croatto wrote his review for Date Movie, he wrote an impassioned letter (listed below) to Christopher Null, the editor in chief of filmcritic.com. Because of site policy, he was not able to write a review. We at filmcritic.com hope this letter serves as an able substitute.

Dear Chris:

Continue reading: Date Movie Review

Spy Hard Review


Bad
Ugh. This is one of those reviews where I don't really know how to begin. Suffice it to say that I should have listened to all the friends of mine who refused to go see Spy Hard with me, saying that it wasn't their style, that star Leslie Nielsen had lost his comedic sense, or that the movie just plain looked bad.

They were all right.

Continue reading: Spy Hard Review

Scary Movie Review


OK
A cynic would say any filmmaker is looking for trouble by trying to make a spoof out of another spoof.

Scary Movie is just that spoof, a Wayans brothers special that's a flat-out parody of Scream -- both of which ironically were produced by Dimension Films. Studio spoofs itself -- now that's comedy!

Continue reading: Scary Movie Review

Aaron Seltzer

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Aaron Seltzer Movies

Vampires Suck Movie Review

Vampires Suck Movie Review

Every time we see a new Friedberg/Seltzer film we hope maybe they've learned something and...

Disaster Movie Movie Review

Disaster Movie Movie Review

Satan is a studio head. That's really all one can say before starting a review...

Disaster Movie Trailer

Disaster Movie Trailer

Watch the trailer for Disaster MovieDisaster Movie is the latest spoof to be taken on...

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Epic Movie Movie Review

Epic Movie Movie Review

The stigma of "I've seen it all before" pervades Epic Movie in unexpected ways. Writers/directors...

Date Movie Movie Review

Date Movie Movie Review

A note to readers: Before Pete Croatto wrote his review for Date Movie, he wrote...

Scary Movie Movie Review

Scary Movie Movie Review

A cynic would say any filmmaker is looking for trouble by trying to make a...

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