Welcome to a He Said/ She Said review of films! We’re just two newlyweds trying to navigate sharing the Netflix queue while balancing our diverging tastes in movie genres. Sometimes we agree – and sometimes one of us loses our place in line!
Rudy Duncan, a soon-to-be released prisoner, develops feelings for his cellmate’s pen pal. When his cellmate meets an untimely demise, Rudy decides to assume his former roomie’s identity in order to romance the comely pen pal. But who’s playing whom?
The film essentially opens with the ending. Several dead Santas (sorry, kids) are strewn about outside of a shot-up casino. We know bad shit is going to go down and it ain’t gonna end well. It turns out it doesn’t start out too well either when we’re introduced to a doughy Ben Affleck as prisoner Rudy Duncan gawking over cellmate Nick’s photos of his gorgeous pen pal, Ashley (Charlize Theron). Can you buy a pale, clean-cut Affleck as a hardened criminal? Yeah, neither can we…
She Said: Do you want to watch something else?
He Said: No. It’ll be easy to make fun of Ben Affleck. He’s such a douche bag. So, which one of his ex-girlfriends is in this with him?
She Said: None!
He Said: Wow, that’s amazing. Okay, I’m ready. Made for TV – but then put in theaters! So, do you think we’ll see some tits?
She Said: Honey, we’ve discussed this. A-list names means no tits. Especially Charlize Theron. If we see nipple, it’s going to be stunt nipple.
He Said: I’ll take stunt nipple. It’ll dilute the Affleck.
She Said: Awesome. Ben’s such a convincing hardened criminal that the freezing outdoor prison courtyard scene needs to be shot in green screen. What could Ben’s character have done to ever land him in jail? He barely looks tough enough to order a whiskey on the rocks.
He Said: It’s already the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen.
She Said: Yeah, Ben’s doing pushups and it’s still boring.
Follow me, gorgeous – I’m super tough!
Nick is shanked in a cafeteria brawl, but good old Rudy doesn’t have time to mourn! He’s released the next day to find the gorgeous Ashley waiting to pick him up fresh from prison. He pauses for about two beats before deciding to usurp Nick’s identity. Wouldn’t you? It’s frickin’ Charlize Theron!
He Said: I pity the poor person that wrote this.
She Said: The cinematography sucks too. Wow, Ben Affleck really can’t act.
He Said: Who’s the director?
She Said: Well, he passed away. [Celebrated director John Frankenheimer, most famous for his amazing film The Manchurian Candidate. Reindeer Games was unfortunately his last cinematic release.]
He Said: Sorry. Well, they’ve still managed to pluck every trite prison cliché and put it into one scene. Amazing. I want to punch Ben Affleck.
She Said: Yeah, you can see the plot from a mile away. This is schmaltz city!
Rudy and Ashley are on the fast track to intimacy since she believes him to be Nick, her longtime correspondent. Therefore she feels very comfortable going straight from prison to the sack. Rudy, naturally, doesn’t dissuade her.
He Said: She’s a Monster! She’s a serial killer. Don’t do it!
She Said: Yeah, J. Lo [Affleck’s ex] will kick your ass! Ugh, watching Ben make out with someone is so yucky. I’m glad I got a head start on the drinking. I’ve never been more grossed out.
He Said: Did a 10-year old write this? This movie is painful.
Not as hot as it looks, trust me.
Uh-oh! The lovers are not in for smooth sailing after Ashley’s brother Gabriel [Gary Sinise] shows up. Apparently Nick worked at a casino before landing himself in jail and Gabriel is here to force him into helping rob the place since he knows the building’s layout. The only problem? Rudy isn’t Nick and has no knowledge of the casino’s workings. What’s a poor guy to do?
He Said: Wow, it’s Gary Sinise looking like Chris Cornell from Soundgarden. I like that these people need money and are desperate enough to rob a casino, but they have their own semi with a custom trailer.
She Said: Maybe for Christmas we can buy this movie a script.
Wow, Ben really knows how to show a lady a good time!
We “suffer” a long disruption when the streaming gets messed up and stops synching the character’s dialogue. Thanks, Netflix – we’re happy to be paying more for this! Meanwhile, the plot rolls off the rails as Rudy continues to pretend to be Nick while he works overtime to secretly case the casino so he can stay alive.
He Said: You know what this movie has me thinking? I wish I still had some of those cheese twists or some chips.
She Said: Oh, that sounds great! Why don’t you go to the corner market and get us some chips? Seriously. Wait, what are you wearing?
He Said: A coat. With keys and wallet in hand.
She Said: God, I love that. I hope you’re using that to go get us some chips!
He Said: Of course I am. Fuck this movie. It sucks dog dicks. I’m going to get us snacks. But before I go, I’m saying one thing: Ben Affleck’s agent must hate him.
Stock up – you’ll thank us! [Photo Credit]
Larry returns with snacks, which help ease the pain of this movie. Those holiday beers pack punch! A bunch of violence goes down, with plot twists and double crosses added for a little spice. It turns out Ashley is not who she says she is and may have been in on this robbery from the get-go. Ah, you don’t say!
She Said: Did they think they were making Die Hard? If so, they added all the action but forgot to add the humor.
He Said: Dumb hard or die trying!
She Said: Wow, it’s just twist after twist. It’s like motherfuckin’ Hitchcock up in here. You know what I’m thankful for? This bottle of champagne.
He Said: And here’s to Anchor Steam!
She Said: I watch Rudolph [The Red Nosed Reindeer] every year. This makes me appreciate him even more. I don’t want to play this reindeer game! I can’t wait to decorate our tree.
He Said: That has nothing to do with this movie.
She Said: Exactly! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
This is the only reindeer game I want to see! [Photo Credit]
We recommend a drink off/taste test between Anchor Steam’s holiday beer and Deschutes’ Jubelale. Session Beer also has a great lager this year called Fest. It won’t make this movie go any faster, but it will make it a heck of a lot more fun. Oh, and I was wrong – you do get to see Charlize Theron’s tits. Happy Holidays honey!
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you think, “Ben Affleck as a criminal, really?”
Take a Drink: every time you think, “Why would a hot piece of ass like Charlize go for a criminal?”
Take a Drink: every time Rudy tries to act tough.
Take a Shot: Ashton Kutcher has a cameo, y’all!