Trashy Movie Friday: Let's Hear It for the Girls!

By: Mike McCrann

"You screw a few hundred guys and the whole world turns against you."
--Kim Cattrall as Monica Velour

The past two weeks I have concentrated on various male hunks and their new films. Now it is time to give equal measure to our female stars. This past weekend I had a trashy time seeing Kim Cattrall, Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren in their new films. (I walked out of one of them, but the other two were revelatory.)

Cate Blanchett is considered a great actress by a lot of people, and Kim Cattrall is considered an over-the-hill starlet by others. Helen Mirren is pretty much respected and loved by everyone... But guess what— in the movies I saw, Kim Cattrall gives a wonderful performance and Cate Blanchett gives the worst performance of her career. As for Helen Mirren, she is wonderful as always even if I could not watch more than 10 minutes of Arthur.

From Worst to Best.

Arthur Arthur-movie-poster
I could only stomach about ten minutes of this film. Russell Brand is so totally repulsive, and I have such good memories of the original, that I just had to leave. Mirren was perfectly professional in the few scenes I saw, but everything else in this ghastly remake was beyond bad.

Hanna Hanna
This action film is one of the worst films of the year thus far. This story of a child being trained to be an assassin officially stars Saoirse Ronan, who is actually quite good in this poorly defined role. The film was directed by Joe Wright who gave Ronan her big break in the excellent Atonement a few years ago. But Hanna is just a mess.

To start, the only opening credit is "A Joe Wright Film." I am so sick of the auteur theory, that director is responsible for everything in the film, that I wanted to scream. When directors hog the spotlight like this (ignoring the actors, writers, cinematographers, etc.) that I insist on putting all the blame on them as well.

Moving on, Blanchett plays a driven woman who is out to kill Hanna (don't ask me why, as I am not sure about much of the silly plot.) But she looks awful, painfully thin and given atrocious makeup and red hair. She looks like Melissa Gilbert from Little House on the Prairie on steroids. And Blanchett is really bad. She uses a southern accent at times, and looks and acts like a robot. Why she would appear in such drek is beyond me. Blanchett has always been an acquired taste. Yes, she was great in Elizabeth but she has been pretty mediocre in lots of other films—like this one.

The only plus is sexy Eric Bana, especially when he is dragged out of the water wearing only his underwear!

Meet Monica Velour1 Meet Monica Velour
This indy film stars Kim Cattrall as an over-the-hill ex-porn star living in a trailer park in a barren Indiana town. A teenager obsessed with her former work seeks her out and their relationship is the basis for the story.

This film is only so-so, as some of the writing and the lead nerd are pretty annoying, but Cattrall is a revelation as the boozy, washed-up porn queen. Cattrall allows herself to be photographed looking grubby and out of shape. She does not shy away from any unflattering angles and her character too has a lot of unpleasant pluses. The writing is very good in a number of her scenes, and with her performance in last year's Ghost Writer, Cattrall seems intent on proving she is an actress.

But here's the sad revelation I had upon leaving the theater: When Kim Cattrall outshines Cate Blanchett as an actress, you know it is time to take a break from trash movies.