BUT NEVER A BRIDE

16 May

1. Thor/Paramount                                         Wknd/$ 34.5      Total/$119.3

 2. Bridesmaids/Universal                              Wknd/$ 24.4      Total/$  24.4

 3. Fast Five/Universal                                    Wknd/$ 19.5        Total/$168.8

 4. Priest/Screen Gems                                    Wknd/$ 14.5        Total/$  14.5

 5. Rio/Fox                                                          Wknd/$   8.0       Total/$125.0

 6. Jumping The Broom/TriStar                     Wknd/$   7.3       Total/$  26.0

 7. Something Borrowed/Warners                  Wknd/$   7.0       Total/$  25.6

 8. Water For Elephants/Fox                            Wknd/$   4.1       Total/$  48.4

 9. Madea’s Big Happy Family/LGF                Wknd/$   2.2      Total/$  50.2

10. Soul Surfer/TriStar                                      Wknd/$   1.8       Total/$  39.2

AND SOME PRETTY GUY AS THE LEAD

Thor holds at number one and after all this time they still follow the basic rule of Superman The Movie: if you want people to take your comic book movie seriously, pack the cast with talent.  Here we have two Oscar winners (Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman), two nominees (Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner) one actor of renowned weight (Stellan Skaarsgard) and another of significant weight (Idris Elba).  If they play it straight, you’ll buy it and it has worked for the most part.  Probably the most surprisingly effective of these is Idris Elba as Heimdall, guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, which links dimension/universes.  You know how good an actor you have to be to pull off some silly shit like that? Another instance of the old adage, “There are no small parts, only small actors” as he spends most of the movie standing still but conveys more power than Thor does causing earthquakes and ripping through a monster’s skull.  Yeah, a brutha is playing a Norse god and just because he blew it out of the water doesn’t make it any less a bit of heavy-handed political correctness.  Who really expects racial diversity in the depiction of Norse Gods!?!  This is one of the few times you’re perfectly safe with a bunch of blonde white people.  Not to mention Hollywood would burn to the ground if a White actor were hired to play an African or Asian god.

THE HANGOVER WITH BOOBS

Bridesmaids opens at number two and the title is a misnomer.  It’s really about Kristen Wiig as the Maid of Honor, but that title was taken by a bad Patrick Dempsey movie last year.  It’s a shame really because this movie would have benefitted from more use of the other bridesmaids, because currently it’s the female equivalent of a Ben Stiller movie or Charlie Brown cartoon; laughs generated primarily from the extreme humiliation of the main character.  And I don’t mean once or twice, I mean almost every major joke sequence is based on that, save one of the most scatological in movie history, ironically involving pretty much every character but Kristen Wiig shitting or vomiting on themselves…or others.  But all the rest of the pain and suffering is hers and hers alone, which is too bad because in their moments the other ladies show they can shine.  Mindy McCarthy’s universal praise is proof of this.  She’s given a little more and runs with it.  The others should have been given the same chance.  All the great male slob comedies from Animal House to Caddyshack to The Hangover have distributed the wealth.  Learn from this, ladies.  Everybody needs to be humiliated, not just the main character.

LIKE DEMI, BUT YOUNGER AND ALL-NATURAL

Fast Five is down to number three and do you think Ashton Kutcher is flat out forbidden to make a movie with Jordana Brewster? Maybe not even talk to her?

WHEN TWILIGHT HAS MORE SENSE THAN YOU, THERE’S A PROBLEM

Priest opens at number four and the inability of so many movies to duplicate the success of Blade and Underworld astounds me especially when they all make the same mistake: nobody wants an ugly vampire.  Make them good, make them evil, but above all make. them. pretty. This isn’t a bad opening, but making the vampires pale, eyeless monsters I feel cost them a great deal of the goth crowd who’ll watching anything with bloodsuckers so long as they can romanticize them.  You can’t romanticize something that looks like walking sperm with teeth.  And it’s a waste of casting Karl Urban as a good-looking vampire to have him be the only one and not even remotely seductive or sexy.  As the first human vampire he should have been building an army of other good-looking vampires, not monsters.  Based on a comic, it’s set in a dystopian future where thousands of years of war with vampires has ruined the earth and humanity was only saved by the creation of super “priests” who defeated them.  Even so, humans are huddled in cramped, polluted cities ruled by The Church, while the remaining vampires are in reservations, which makes no sense. Why would you let vampires live at all if you’ve beaten them?  And the use of the term “reservation” is useless beyond the “old west” feel of the small towns outside the city, which look like 1885 but then a train from 2095 come barreling into town.  There’s a lot going on that looks good, but the little to no meaning and certainly a lack of efficient use.  And we could question how Paul Bettany keeps winding up in these B-movie science fiction-fantasy action flicks, but his life choices mean he goes home to Jennifer Connelly every night. Where have your life choices lead you?  Exactly.

AND THEN ALONG CAME ZOE SALDANA

Rio holds at number five followed by Jumping The Broom at number six and the female star of this is Paula Patton who occasionally looks a bit like Halle Berry but without the same career trajectory—unless this is his her B.A.Ps.  Another actress in this who also seemed poised to ascend to play the “young black female” roles Halle was clearly too old for is Megan Good (where’s Gabrielle Union to complete the hat trick), but just like Megan Fox she flat out looks like caricature of a hot girl moreso than an actual one, making it hard to take her seriously as anything but “the hot girl.”  You’re sure as hell not buying her doing your taxes.  And if you wonder what the real life class divide between Black people looks like, look no further than some dumbass boxer going on about he doesn’t think Donavan McNabb is “black enough.”  What’s sad and funny about it, is it stems from his belief that McNabb snubbed him for being low-class, confirming his own insecurities—which is basis for the conflict in this movie only a lot more interesting, taking up a lot less of your time and none of your money.

THE NEW JON CRYER

Something Borrowed is down to number seven and one thing I will give this movie credit for is not trying to present John Krasinski as “the hot guy.”  He’s best buddy of the main character who’s into “the hot guy” which is how it should be.  But he probably gets her in the end as when a goofy-looking guy is the best pal, she ultimately realizes he’s the one, but when the goofy-looking girl is the best pal, she just learns to suck it up.  I’ll never know, because I simply cannot watch this shit. And believe it or not, I enjoyed Le Divorce.

THEY JUST WON’T DIE

Water For Elephants is down to number eight, followed by Madea’s Big Happy Family at number nine and still holding on is Soul Surfer at number ten.

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One Response to “BUT NEVER A BRIDE”

  1. The Lunatic May 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Two things:

    1) I can’t believe such a thing as “Rainbow Bridge” exists in mythology (or comics) because as anyone who’s ever had a pet can tell you, “Rainbow Bridge” is the cloying, inescapable euphemism used to describe a pet’s death. When my dog was dying I was constantly running across Thomas Kincaide-style paeans to the “Rainbow Bridge” and I can’t see that term without shuddering.

    2) The greatness of the late John Hughes is apparent in the fact that his “Pretty in Pink” heroine wound up with the hot, rich guy instead of the slavishly devoted geek. None of that nonsense where she realizes who’s really been there for her all this time. I’ve always thought that was one of the most cruel, and therefore brutally realistic, endings of any teen movie. At the same time, he had no problem with utilizing that cliche in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” but in that case the slavishly devoted geek was a girl. John Hughes knew his audience and wasn’t going to spit in their face. Now I’m also thinking of that awful Taylor Swift song, “You Belong to Me” where she tries to sell you on the idea that she’s a bleacher-warming Plain Jane who’s no match for the short shorts-clad head cheerleader. Yeah right. But she too is playing to an audience of real-life Plain Janes who secretly want to believe that one day, some guy will notice they are really Taylor Swift.

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