ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK

31 May


1. The Hangover Pt. II/Warners               Wknd/$ 86.0             Total/$117.6

2. Kung Fu Panda 2/Dreamworks            Wknd/$ 47.8             Total/$  53.6

3. Pirates of the Caribbean 4/Touch         Wknd/$ 39.6             Total/$153.2

4. Bridesmaids/Universal                           Wknd/$ 16.6              Total/$  85.2

5. Thor/Paramount                                      Wknd/$   9.4              Total/$159.7

6. Fast Five/Universal                                 Wknd/$   6.4              Total/$195.8

7. Midnight In Pairs                                     Wknd/$   1.9               Total/$    2.8

8. Something Borrowed/Warners             Wknd/$   1.9               Total/$  34.8

9. Rio/Fox                                                       Wknd/$   1.8               Total/$134.9

10. Jumping The Broom/TriStar                 Wknd/$   1.8               Total/$  34.1

I CAN FEEL THE DEVIL SLIDING UP TO ME

The Hangover Part II opens at number one and if you liked the first, here’s more of the same.  Seriously.  It’s exactly the same, but in a different location.  And a monkey.  Clearly the break out star from the first was Zack Galifinakis and so his role has been beefed up.  Unfortunately his character more than once crosses the line from funny to absolutely fucking annoying.  Yeah, that he’s crazy is funny.  That he’s obnoxious and crazy is not.  I would have preferred more of the monkey.  And you have to pity poor Justin Bartha. Ostensibly, the first movie was about trying to find him and not only is he the only cast member to not be fronting his own film within the next two years, but he’s not part of the craziness in the sequel either.  Again, including him would have meant less Zack Galifinakis and given his character is in fact the brother-in-law to Zack’s character and has to be nice in a way the others do not, there’s a lot of humor to mined from that.  Things I’m sure he pointed out repeatedly to director Todd Philips, but to no avail.  And to add insult to injury, Ken Jeong is back with a beefed up role…and more male frontal nudity and you know Bartha was willing to that extra inch for more screen time (and I do mean “inch” as there’s an entire joke about how small his dick is).  But then I remember this fucker had a sitcom where his love interest was Sarah Shahi, so fuck him.

SO PANDAS ARE JEWISH?

Kung Fu Panda 2 opens appropriately at number two and this actually better than the first and surprisingly dark, making it the Empire Strikes Back to the Star Wars of the first.  Unlike The Hangover Part 2, this actually declines to just imitate the first film.  Po’s character is not only now an accepted, efficient member of the team, but his character is even thinner as result of his new life showing more character development already than 99% of most sequels.  He’s also beginning the next chapter of his training, which is very appropriately his spiritual development.  I’m very impressed they went this way, because that is actually the way it happens. As difficult as learning the physical skills are, the spiritual aspect is much more difficult, but one you get it they do take you to another level (not that I’ve been there).  The development is tied into the plot where we explore one of the slyer jokes from the first film about Po not realizing he’s adopted.  We learn here that he’s kind of the Moses of the kung-fu world as an evil peacock (how appropriate is that?) wiped out all the pandas when it was foretold they would be his undoing and only Po survived because his mother put him into crate of vegetables in boat that were eventually delivered to the noodle shop.  Even the villain’s plan is rooted in something real as he’s introducing guns to fighting to destroy kung-fu which isn’t what happened, but it did have a devastating impact. What also makes this film better is that they vary the styles. One of the highlights of the first film was the opening sequence done in a more 2-D style. That happens not once, but twice here in two different styles.  But even as it gets more sophisticated in storytelling and character exploration, it knows not to leave the humor behind and in on great sequence that first appears to be dramatic, Po faces off with the lead villain responsible for the loss of his family, shouting out a challenge from a rooftop…with the villain hearing only every other word because he’s too far away.  Totally unexpected (sorry to ruin it for you) and perfectly executed.

MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DON’T DO…THAT SCRIPT

Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is down to number three and I think the reason the monkey isn’t in this one is because it conflicted with The Hangover Part II. He made the right decision.

NOTE HOW NONE OF THESE ARE ART FILMS, KIDS

Bridesmaids is down to number four and also in this in yet another “in-and-out” supporting role is Jon Hamm, so he’s either very smart or very afraid of doing a lead feature that might tarnish his white-hot status as a result of Mad Men. In all these small roles (The Day The Earth Stood Still, The A-Team, The Town, Sucker Punch) he’s not responsible if the film fails, but reaps some reward when it succeeds.  But by the same token no is going to place a film on his shoulders based on any of them should the day comes he should want one.

HEY, IT’S NOT RULED BY THE ALL-MOTHER

Thor is down to number five and have we mentioned that Sif, wife of Thor in the classic Norse Myths and his sometimes love interest in the comics is running around in heels? Granted, not stilettos or anything, but she’s a freaking Asgardian warrior.  Why is she in heels?  Because she’s a girl.  Duh.  At least she’s completely covered.  One thing about this movie is that it has no less than four gorgeous women (Natalie Portman, Renee Russo, Kat Dennings and Jamie Alexander as Sif) but not one of them is even remotely used for her looks, while Thor has a completely useless and gratuitous topless scene. You’ve come a long way, baby.

WHERE THE ONLY BLONDE FEMALE WAS ASIAN

Fast Five is down to number six and if you didn’t stay past the credits you missed the jump off point for the sequel which involves an appearance by Eva Mendes from the second movie and a picture of Michelle Rodriquez from the first and fourth.  And now that I think about it, this series has had no white female romantic leads.  Like the other two, both Jordana Brewster and Nathalie Kelly (from the third film no one saw) is Latina (both are Brazilian) and Gal Gadot is Israeli and no, I don’t count that as being white.  This is what happens when two of your three directors are minorities.  They’re not blinded by the blondeness….Paul Walker being the exception to that rule.

THEY’RE PROBABLY DOCKERS ON TOP OF IT

Paris After Midnight enters the top ten at number seven and one thing that’s still really annoying about Woody Allen films where he mercifully inserts a younger doppelganger is that he still dresses them like himself.  No jeans ever. Just a lot of old man khaki, chinos and chords.  It’s like the goal is to make them as beige as possible.  It’s a guide for how not to dress.  I do want to see this, but that’s annoying me already.

HOW ABOUT SOME WHIPPING AT THE BRIDAL SHOWER?

Something Borrowed holds at number eight followed by Rio at number nine and Jumping The Broom closes out the top ten at ten and let me ask just who the fuck jumps the broom?  It’s a slave tradition and I cannot for the life of me think how anyone thought it was a good idea to return it to Black culture other than to simply be different.  “Yo, Jews smash glass. We should do something.” This is the best we can come up with. Hell, why not go the whole nine and plow some fields afterwards instead of a reception?

HE WAS AS TOUGH AND ROMANTIC AS THE CITY HE LOVED

So after a few weeks’ delay thanks to weather and hell, sheer laziness, I returned to my movie project of taking pictures of movie locations.  One problem was that I realized have to get up early to do it.  Trying to do it in the middle of the day especially on a weekend was simply not working because apparently there’s a lot of fucking people in this city, but mornings and I disagree something fierce and to top it off it pretty much rained for the month of May.  Finally I decided a holiday weekend would be perfect, because whatever sleep I lost getting up I’d have an extra day to get back.  So this is how I found myself on the D train to Bayridge at 6:00 am to do what is basically the jewel in the crown: John Travolta’s walk that opens Saturday Night Fever (after a brief stop to retake the picture for Fame because I used the wrong entrance to the church, but more on that later).  Now aside from just looking to avoid people, there was also the fact that Bayridge hasn’t always had the best reputation in NYC.  Let me put it this way: it’s right next to Bensonhurst, so a nice empty Sunday morning would be best.  But that was twenty years ago and now the only problem anyone might face in Brooklyn now would be someone Japanese and ran into some Chinese guy holding a grudge from centuries of conflict.  After that I headed into another part of Brooklyn to do the exterior of Dog Day Afternoon and because Brooklyn is annoying I literally couldn’t get there from here and had take a train to another part of Brooklyn, transfer and go back (and you people wonder why I won’t fucking go there…). From there it was easy.  Wall Street for Zoolander because the entrance to the walkoff scene is actually in front of the Sports Museum which is where the famous bull statue resides and if you think 9:30 am is too early for tourists, think again especially when you’re downtown.  After that a quick bus ride up to The Grand Hotel in Tribeca where I got my first ever question over what I was doing from one of the hotel employees (when you want questions answered send over a cute Asian girl in heels).  Of course this warranted them more than the others as I was wearing nothing but a shirt, boxer briefs, one sock and a giant clown tie.  Hugh Grant from Two Week’s Notice anyone?  Then off to SoHo do reshoots because I’m oddly lazy and anal retentive.   I was at the wrong building for 9 ½ Weeks the first time and even this time I got there the store was open so I couldn’t sit in the proper spot, so that will still have to be done again.  And while Unfaithful is better it still requires props that were simply unseemly for that morning, not to mention the hot weather.  Next time I’ll just have to man up and get it done and hopefully get the last few on my list at the same time.

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