Parker

As we near the end of the Jennifer Lopez season of the Ten Movies podcast we have been forced to confront some hard truths. Despite the love of the masses and almost certainly enough wealth to buy a castle made of diamonds, J Lo tends to not be in very good movies. Mostly not terrible movies, but, you know, forgettable ones.

Despite what its marketing would suggest, 2013 action-thriller ‘Parker’ is just such a film.

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Don’t get us wrong. If you enjoy a reasonably serviceable shoot–em-up featuring anvil-headed action star Jason Statham, ‘Parker’ will be right in your wheelhouse.

But Jennifer Lopez is ill-served by the thin material she’s given to work with here, as has been the case with a whole bunch of these movies. Her character, an amoral real estate agent forced into a life of gunplay and jewel thievery, mostly functions as a sidekick to Statham’s Parker, rather than the partner/foil that might have made for a more entertaining film.

Luckily, Brian and Hemal found all sorts of clever and insightful things to say, because they are professionals. You’re welcome, America. (Don’t forget to rate and review us kindly on the podcast-listening application of your choice.)

U Turn

This season on the Ten Movies podcast, we’re watching the movies of Jennifer Lopez. This week we made the terrible mistake of watching ‘U Turn’, a depraved 1997 noir/art-school crime thriller in which the viewer is forced to watch a series of gruesome but pointless barbarities, ranging from maimings to incestuous violations to brutal murders. It is literally excruciating to watch.

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Last week we watched ‘Gigli’, widely-considered one of the worst movies of all time. And boy howdy, it was awful. Yet both Brian and Hemal agreed that we’d gladly watch the bewildering, aimless mess that is ‘Gigli’ twice over before subjecting ourselves to ‘U Turn’ again. It sanded down our nerve endings.

Our project with Ten Movies is not to watch bad movies and make fun of them, as noble as that undertaking may be. Instead, we chart the arc of an actor’s work and ponder their cultural meaning. But we are beginning to lose faith in Jennifer Lopez. She’s magnetic, talented and skilled – yet we have yet to watch a truly good J Lo movie, and now we’ve watched two truly dreadful ones back-to-back. Conviction falters.

We cannot, of course, recommend this film in good conscience. It’s not so much the acting or the story, though they are lousy, but the ceaseless, pointless brutality. Over and over we are forced to witness horrible things for no reason – simply for the experience of witnessing them.

Yet, as always, our podcast (almost) redeems the experience of watching the movie, as we are reliably witty and delightful. So, you know, don’t watch ‘U Turn’, but definitely download this episode.