FASTER CINEMA, KILL KILL

2 May

1. Fast Five/Universal                                    Wknd/$ 83.6           Total/$ 82.6

2. Rio/Fox                                                         Wknd/$ 14.4           Total/$103.6

3. Madea’s Big Happy Family/LGF             Wknd/$ 10.1            Total/$  41.1

4. Water For Elephants/Fox                         Wknd/$   9.1            Total/$  32.3

5. Prom/Disney                                                Wknd/$   5.0           Total/$    5.0

6. Hookwinked 2/Weinstein                         Wknd/$   4.1            Total/$    4.1

7. Soul Surfer/TriStar                                     Wknd/$   3.3           Total/$  33.8

8. Insidious/                                                     Wknd/$   2.7           Total/$  48.3

9. Hop/Universal                                             Wknd/$   2.6          Total/$105.3

10. Source Code/Summit                                Wknd/$   2.5          Total/$  48.9

YOU KNOW I WAS JOKING WHEN I SAID THEY’D SET THESE SEQUELS ALL OVER THE WORLD, RIGHT?

Fast Five opens at number one, so cue the wailing from the pretentious pseudo-intellectuals about the death of film, unoriginal Hollywood, blah, blah, blah.  Listen, it’s been a long, cold, miserable winter and a mindless movie set in a warm location is what we all needed.  Hell, the moment I saw Jordana Brewster behind the wheel of a car in the desert I briefly thought I could watch an entire movie about her just driving hot cars.  And judging by the fact I can never find shit in my size during a sale, I’m far from unique, so I’m sure the thought of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and few other pretty people behind the wheel prompted similar reactions from the movie-going public. As far as the F&F movies go this isn’t the worst (that honor belongs to Tokyo Drift, where some idiot mistakenly thought that a good looking male lead wasn’t needed), but none of them are ever really good, they’re just not-wholly unpleasant ways to pass the time.  Ironically one thing almost all of them have in common is a lack of proper car action.  There’s usually one race and one chase, which is a little sparse for movies ostensibly about fast cars.  This is no exception, but it does have the best and most imaginative car chase of all the movies involving two cars pulling a multi-ton vault behind them through the streets of Rio de Janeiro while being pursued by corrupt cops.  I’m pretty sure there’s more proper use of physics is Star Trek, Star Wars combined in their entirety than in this movie.  The plot since the second have been to take down some crime lord to save their own lives and this is no different, but unlike the others, this is a heist flick AND I HATE HEIST FLICKS.  Nothing to me is more boring than watching people sit around and plan and again this is no exception. All that saves it is the all-star team up of characters from the previous films and Dwayne Johnson (who no longer goes by “The Rock”) as a Federal Agent out to capture Diesel and Walker.  He brings a straight-up action element to the franchise it desperately needs because it tends to think it’s some kind of actual crime drama, focusing way too much time on the characters talking to one another about their feelings.  For that you need real actors and a real script and this is lacking either.

ONLY THE CLEVEREST WITTICISMS HERE

Rio holding a number two actually gives us two films in the top ten set in Rio and both containing cartoon characters. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family is down to number three and while not set in Rio, also is filled with cartoon characters.

AND SHE HASN’T BEEN KIND TO BLONDES EITHER

Water For Elephants is down to number four and I can’t feel sorry for Reese Witherspoon’s lack of continued success (not that this is some kind of disaster) because she crapped all over science fiction and action films as if she’s somehow too good for them, apparently unaware what Monsters Vs. Aliens is about to this day.  That’s unforgivable in the world of geeks.  Not to mention, I can’t forgive any Southerner making a piece of shit like Sweet Home Alabama.

UH-OH, I THINK HE JUST SPIT ON THE SIDEWALK!

Disney’s Prom opens at number five and watching the trailers for this was painful, as if a) a pretty blonde girl wouldn’t have a prom date and b) there was ever that boring a “bad boy.”  Seriously, not since Henry Winkler wore a light blue windbreaker as The Fonz on Happy Days has there been anyone less rebellious on a motorcycle.  And with 90’s bad boy hair no less.

THIS IS ALREADY LONGER THAN THE PLOT

Hoodwinked 2: Hood Vs. Evil opens at number six and this isn’t worth the keystrokes it would take to rip into it.  In fact, I’d probably put more thought and effort into ripping it apart than they did into making it.

THE OTHERS

Soul Surfer holds at number seven, followed by Insidious at number eight and Hop at number nine.

DID YOU KNOW STING HAD A SON & DAUGHTER WITH ALBUMS OUT?  EXACTLY.

And holding on at number ten is Source Code have we discussed the director of this is none other than Duncan Jones aka Zowie Bowie.  Yes, David Bowie’s son and it’s fitting that this is his second science fiction film in two years. I mean, what else does the Space Oddity’s kid make?  You think he and Stella McCartney talk about how sad  Julian Lennon and all the other rock children are trying to make it in music?

I’M BEGINNING TO THINK FOUL-MOUTHED IRISHMAN IS REDUNDANT

The Tribeca Film Festival is back and every year it totally surprises me when it shows up. There was a time I knew weeks before it opened, downloaded the schedule, made my picks and even used the fact that American Express holders get to buy a day in advance to get tickets that I wanted. Now, I’m waiting in the last minute rush line on the second-to-last day to be amongst the last few people allowed the theater.  This year the only thing I saw was The Guard and honestly it was so great it’s all I needed to see.  Brendan Gleeson plays a foul-mouthed, drug-using, prostitute-frequenting bigoted small town Irish cop who has is existence interrupted by drug smugglers and the FBI Agent following them, played by Don Cheadle (who was also one of the executive producers).  This is one of those movies labeled “Tarantino-esque” because it’s filled with eccentric, self-aware, profane criminals, as evidenced by the first time we meet them they’re arguing about philosophy in the car and later complain about the lack of trustworthy people in the drug business.  Even the character of Gleeson isn’t new. The seemingly boorish small town police officer who is both exactly what he seems to be while much, much deeper. As Cheadle says to him, “I can’t tell if you’re really just muthafuckin’ dumb or really muthatfuckin’ smart” to which Gleeson just smiles.  It even ends with outnumbered cops in a gunfight on the docks, but it’s not the use of all these conventions (there’s even a meta-textual comment on the fact there’s so many story clichés present), but the execution and the execution is simply perfect.  I hope it finds a distributor…so you fuckers can all ignore it when it comes to your local arthouse theater.

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