Notes From the Back Row 

Man of the Year trumps Employee of the Month

By Feet Banks

Honestly though, who doesn’t love a nice set of breasts? I know I do, and so do all my friends.

We all started our lives hanging off of some so it stands to reason that every man, woman and child on this planet ought to have at least some fond feelings for a great rack. Yes, even women. Of course, they usually have their own so it’s a watered down affection, but put a woman alone in a room, with no one to impress or complain to, and I’m betting even she will appreciate a perfect set of titties.

All of this, however, is no reason to base an entire feature film around one girl’s knockers, particularly if they belong to your daughter. And yet, creepily enough, it seems that’s exactly what paternal pimp extraordinaire/producer Joe Simpson did with Employee of the Month , a new workplace comedy (and I use the term loosely) starring his biggest moneymaker, Jessica Simpson.

Jessica, or rather her breasts — seeing as she’d have a tough time acting her way out of a wet paper bag — star as a new cashier at a Costco-style superstore in which Zack, the slacker bag boy, and Vince, the ace overachiever compete for top status as employee of the month. Vince usually wins it and wants to keep his streak alive, Zack usually doesn’t give a crap except he’s heard top-dog honours will give him a shot at Jessica — a money shot, judging by the plunging necklines of her wardrobe.

Mediocre comedy, standard gay and fat jokes and some trash talking grannies isn’t enough to sell a weak film that they’re billing as “kinda like Office Space. ” Except that it sucks. I like stupid movies, and stupid girls can rule but Employee of the Month, a combo of the two, is just.., stupid, and in a bad way. I’d rather actually go to work than watch this workplace comedy.

Sticking with stupid, how about a film where the American voters, and a shiny new computerized voting system, manage to elect a late-night, Jon Stewart-style, comedian as president? Man of the Year, stars Robin Williams and it had potential — director Barry Levinson is no stranger to political satire ( Wag the Dog) and Williams does his best with the outdated jokes. But for some reason the movie favours a thriller plotline involving big corporations, cover-ups and wishy-washy chase scenes with big hypodermics. It should be a biting comedy but in end Man… just doesn’t stand up to the far superior Head of State , starring Chris Rock.

From Rock, back to rack. Remember in the old days when you could pretty much set your watch by the first topless scene in a teenage horror movie? ( Sleepaway Camp, Halloween, etc.) These days most of the horror is PG-13 and while the nudity suffers, there is, at least, some creepy stuff still going on. This week it’s The Grudge 2 a sequel to a remake of a hit Japanese flick that gives us more evil grudges, more frenzied rage, more gross black hair growing everywhere, and the staple, more creepy, pasty Japanese kids. That original creator Takashi Shimizu still has control over his franchise is a good sign, and watching Sarah Michelle Gellar die is always fun, but I for one miss the R-rated, sex-is-death horror films of the past.

Luckily, the B-Grade Horrorfest is coming up and there’s always enough steamy, scary, local content to entertain horror fans and breast-ogling perverts alike. Think 2003’s classic all-girl pillowfight film Terror in the Shitter and get your tickets on Oct 15 th at Millennium Place.

AT VILLAGE 8 Oct. 13-19: Grudge 2; Man of the Year; Marine; Departed; Open Season; Employee of the Month; Trailer Park Boys; Jackass 2; Guardian.

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