21 Nov


1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1/Summit            Wknd/$ 139.5            Total/$ 139.5

 2. Happy Feet 2/Warners                                   Wknd/$  22.0            Total/$   22.0

 3. Immortals/Relativity                                      Wknd/$   12.3            Total/$   53.0

 4. Jack and Jill/Sony                                           Wknd/$  26.0            Total/$   26.0

 5. Puss in Boots/Dreamworks                           Wknd/$   10.7            Total/$ 122.3

 6. Tower Heist/Universal                                   Wknd/$     7.0            Total/$   53.4

 7. J. Edgar/Warners                                            Wknd/$     5.9            Total/$   20.7

 8. Harold & Kumar 3D Xmas/WB                   Wknd/$     2.9            Total/$   28.3

 9. In Time/Fox                                                     Wknd/$     4.2            Total/$   33.4

10.The Descendants/FoxS                                  Wknd/$     1.2            Total/$     1.3



Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 opens at number one and that means this is almost over.  That’s all that matters.  Of course theater owners are shitting bricks as the guaranteed money-makers of Harry Potter and Twilight, which have been a godsend to a world under siege of shrinking windows (the time between a movie’s release and pay-per-view and DVD) are no more.  So if you thought you saw every single young-adult book series about magic being made before now, wait for the coming months as they look for lightning to somehow strike twice.  The Hunger Games is what everyone has their hopes pinned on, but given at its heart IT’S ABOUT KIDS KILLING EACH OTHER I’m not expecting the same results.



Happy Feet 2 opens at number two and I remember seeing the first one and I remember enjoying the first one, but I also remember I never really wanted to see it again and was more than a little shocked that it won the Best Animated Film Oscar, so you can imagine how I feel about a sequel.  Also there’s the small matter that Brittany Murphy voiced the female love interest in the original lending an overall air of sadness to this.  Replacing her with Pink is not going to make that go away.



Immortals is down to number three and starring as Theseus in this is none other than Superman-to-be, Henry Cavill and the only problem he really has is that he looks much better with a buzz cut and Superman just has to have a head of thick black hair.  I think they realize it here and hedged their bets by the comparatively weaker other men onscreen. We have far-past-his-prime, Mickey Rourke and “did-he-ever-really-have-a-prime” Steven Dorff. Seriously, who plans a swords and sandals movie and thinks, “You know what would be great? Steven Dorff as the charming rogue!”  No, no it wouldn’t as he is neither of those things.  Steven is what you get when Christian Slater has delusions of toughness. There’s a reason only half-out-of-her mind Britney Spears cast him as a love interest in her video. When she was clean and sane it was actual men.



Jack and Jill is down to number four, followed Puss in Boots at number five and the best thing about Puss in Boot is its depiction of Jack & Jill as pair of psychotic, hedgehog-raising henchmen voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris.  If the movie were more like their all-too-brief scenes it would have be much better.  No to mention if fails as “prequel” because it doesn’t explain how Puss in Boots comes to be the hired gun sent by the King to take out Shrek and Donkey.  One of the keys to this failure is that the director of the worst Shrek movie (Shrek The Third) is the director here.



Tower Heist is down to number six and also in this is Tea Leoni whom I’ve been a fan of since a little-watched show from the 80’s called Flying Blind.  It’s actually impressive she’s still working at such a high level with no real hits behind her. She’s one of those people in Hollywood who are clearly just well liked behind the scenes, because Jurassic Park III, Family Man, Spanglish and Fun With Dick & Jane were all A-list mediocrity that did no one any favors and she was the one constant in all of them.  Sadly, you can add this to the list. Fortunately, the blame for almost all of them fell on the A-list man in front (Nicholas Cage, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey and even though he didn’t direct, the only star of all Jurassic Parks is Steven Spielberg).  She actually started off as “the hot girl” (she was actually part of the first attempt to reboot Charlie’s Angels) but segued to  “wife” almost instantly, which is a shame ‘cause one good thing about the first Bad Boys is that it showed she had some killer gams.



J. Edgar is down to number seven but this isn’t an issue because as an Oscar-bait movie it’s not designed to start making money until awards season at the beginning of the year when all the various nominations start rolling out and it hopefully becomes a “must-see.”  Also, Clint Eastwood makes his movies fairly cheaply. Despite the A-list-“ness” of it all, it only cost $35M and has already made $20M in just a week of release.



A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D is down to number eight, followed by In Time at number nine and at number ten is second major piece of Oscar bait this month with The Descendants starring George Clooney who churns out quality project like this every fall like clockwork (last year it was Up In The Air). Unlike many stars, these aren’t mere vanity projects. He finds talented people like The Coens or in this case Alexander Payne and works with them as opposed to most stars who like to find young talent they can boss around which is why they make so much crap. In fact, Clooney’s worst director is himself.



So my body continues its betrayal not helped by the fact the pool at my gym is down until fucking February, which means I only get to swim once a week at the nearest Bally’s pool, which is on 33rd street and sucks. It’s smaller so instead of four lanes wide enough for two people in each one, it’s four lanes only big enough for one person each and two of them have been combined for “open swimming” which means that if you can’t reserve one of the open lanes, you have to be willing to try and swim through the mass of people doing all kinds of weird ass water aerobics bullshit. I’d actually taken for granted what swimming consistently did to me. I’ve literally shrunk which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I never wanted to be one of those short guys who went wide because they couldn’t be taller, but how quickly you can lose it is disconcerting. But what’s really important is that it’s weaker now and it’s been hurting like a sonofabitch recently for nor reason I can discern.  My ordinary routine is now too much for it, which led me to finally using my $100 Bliss Spa gift card. I’ve resisted for the usual reasons. A) I don’t like being touched and b) $100 at Bliss means you have to spend more to get anything good or waste some of it.  I wound up choosing the Bliss 49 ($115), which is 49 minutes (49th street is also the location of the first Bliss in NYC) of massage.  I got a guy this time as opposed to the 90-pounds-soaking-wet girl I had before at the other place. She was good, but couldn’t get in there like 6’4” dreadlocked, all-muscle Wayne could. Unlike the first spa I went to few months ago, Bliss is big business and not hidden in a non-descript building.  It’s a franchise with trademarked products to sell, so there’s a storefront where you’re given a key card, which allows you access to the spa on the fourth floor. And when I say “floor” I mean the whole damn floor is a labyrinth of pampering.  At that front desk (with a second, smaller shopping area) you’re given blue flip-flops and directed to the locker room to choose a locker and slip into the robe provided for you.  From there you go into the lounge to wait for the person who would be your therapist, while eating snacks, sipping cold water with lemon and perusing a variety of magazines. You also fill out a form about any injuries, allergies and places of particular maintenance or areas to be avoided.  Wayne retrieved me from there and took me to a room I’d need Dadeleus to find my way back from. There I slipped out of my robe, laid down and Wayne went to work on me.  I said upper back and that’s where he spent the bulk of his time, at times leaning on me with his elbows using his full weight, gettin’ in there deep the way a little girl couldn’t no matter how cute.  Yeah, I know how gay that sounds but I don’t care. I want to buy Wayne an apartment near to me so he can work on my back a few times a week. As it is, I may never see Wayne again, because with tax and a well-deserved tip it’s $155 a session.  Looks like I’ll have to make do with the Chinese guys at the street fair for $10 a pop. Sigh. Wayne…


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