IT’S NOT EASY BEING CLOTH IN A CGI WORLD

28 Nov

 

 

1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1/Summit          Wknd/$  42.0            Total/$ 221.3

2. The Muppets/Disney                                    Wknd/$  29.5            Total/$   42.0

3. Happy Feet 2/Warners                                 Wknd/$  13.4            Total/$   43.8

4. Arthur Christmas/Sony                                Wknd/$   12.7            Total/$   17.0

5. Hugo/Paramount                                           Wknd/$   11.4            Total/$   15.4

 7. Immortals/Relativity                                    Wknd/$    8.8            Total/$   68.6

 6. Jack and Jill/Sony                                         Wknd/$   10.3            Total/$   57.4

 8. Puss in Boots/Dreamworks                         Wknd/$     7.5            Total/$ 135.4

 9. Tower Heist/Universal                                 Wknd/$     7.3            Total/$   65.4

10.The Descendants/FoxS                                Wknd/$     7.2            Total/$   10.3

 

AIN’T NO HAN SOLO HERE, KIDS

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 holds at number one and will anyone but Kristen Stewart have a career once this is over? I say only her, because she’s the only one who really had a career before this. For all the success and fame of this series, it’s not really opening that many doors for the cast. It’s like Star Wars.  Only Harrison Ford had a career that mattered in front of the camera.  Poor Mark Hamill. I blame Corvette Summer. Well that and a the car accident that destroyed his looks and not in a “character actor” way like Montgomery Cliff and Eric Roberts who also lost their pretty boy looks to car accidents.

 

AND THERE ARE NO PIGS IN SPACE TO TOP IT OFF

The Muppets opens at number two and it’s a sad day when sparkly teen vampires beat out Kermit & The Crew. This is what’s wrong with America.  Ironically, the Muppet movie is aimed more at an older audience with the jokes. They’re a bit more reliant on satire and “in-jokes” and quick throwaway jokes than previous efforts as I’m pretty sure the kids don’t know why the choice of actors to represent a Muppet’s human reflection is supposed to be funny or why it’s funny that Scooter works at Google. And they sure as hell don’t why Emily Blunt playing Miss Piggy’s assistant at Vogue in Paris, while the adults in the audience were cracking up over it (though Blunt’s in-joke was wasted beyond a wink and nod to The Devil Wears Prada).  Basically this a movie for adult fans of the old show, not to get new fans from kids.  I can always gauge the success of a family film by level of noise of the kids in the audience.  If they’re loud, they’re bored and you failed. They were loud here probably because they didn’t see why so much time had to be devoted to the movie’s human cast. It’s not called “Jason Segel” after all and the new Muppet who is supposed to be his brother is as dull as a human. For a fan of the Muppets, Segel (who is an executive producer) seems to miss they are supposed be somewhat flamboyant characters, not as boring as people.  Let me put it this way: you take him out and the movie does not change. Amy Adams on the other hand is practically a human Muppet herself and actually compliments the Muppets not detract from them.

 

 HOW ELSE CAN YOU GET TOP TALENT CHEAP?

Happy Feet 2 is down to number three and you can tell which superstar actors have kids because there’s no other reason for Brad Pitt and Matt Damon to be in this movie except for the fact they have kids.  “Daddy’s gonna be in that movie you’ve watched a million freaking times.”

 

AM I SUPPOSED TO BE AMUSING TO YOU? OH, WAIT. I AM.

The other reason The Muppets couldn’t beat Twilight is because of the glut of kid’s films opening in one weekend.  Arthur Christmas opens at number four and deservedly so for opening a full month before Christmas and Hugo opens at number five and deservedly so because I question the ability of Martin Scorsese to make a kid’s film and am afraid someone gets beaten to death in the course of the story.

 

SCENT OF AN EASY PAYCHECK

Down to number six is Jack & Jill and what the fuck is Al Pacino doing in this?  Seriously. Even as a joke (he plays himself), this is too much.  Even DeNiro’s whoring in Meet The Parents is better than this.

 

STICK TO YOUR GUNS, IGNORE ACTUAL STORYTELLING & FILM SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL WORSHIP YOU

Immortals is down to number seven and also in this is one of the Twilight boys. I only know this because I read it and have no idea what he looks like even though I read he plays Poseidon. Apparently he takes his shirt off a lot, which means he was perfectly cast for this film and with a $75M budget a total domestic take of $68M makes it less-than-a-hit (remember what I said about their eventual fates).  It’s made the same amount overseas, which means it hasn’t even doubled its budget. Again, not great news.  But if you think this is going to make Tarsem Singh pay more attention to story I’d like to remind you there’s this guy named Ridley Scott…

 

DEATH MATCH FOR LITTLE TOMMY’S ATTENTION!

Puss in Boots is down to number eight and this means a total of five family films (three animated) all fighting for the same dollar. Do these people not look at upcoming release dates?

 

I’M TALKING MAKING LETTERMAN LOOK GOOD

Tower Heist is down to number nine and I’m a little disappointed Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy won’t be doing the Oscars. Seriously, could it be any more boring than it already is? James Franco had to get stoned just to make it through the show as host. Not to mention it was going to be one of the most awesome train wrecks ever broadcast. Who didn’t want to see that!?!

 

AND YOU’RE TRAPPED IN IT!

Finally, The Descendants holds at number ten and if you think the basic premise of this, that a woman would cheat on George Clooney, was lost on him, think again. It’s so clearly playing against type for Oscar respect you can practically see the calculations playing out onscreen like when they look at the code in The Matrix.

 

READY TO FIGHT THE FASHION WARS

So, I finally got that damn coat/jacket.  If you remember—and you should—four years ago in the second episode of Gossip Girl, Dan is wearing a military style jacket. Absolutely none of you fashionista bitches were any help in finding it. In fact it was the fashion-savvy boyfriend of a friend who pointed out it was probably vintage which is why it couldn’t be found (also, it turned out to be a sports coat rather than an outwear jacket so we were all looking in the wrong place anyway). So I let it go…but every year when the new season of Gossip Girl would start I’d remember and ask again and again you’d all fail me. Finally this year I decided it was going to happen come hell or high water and began the search again in earnest.  Of course the best one was made by Hugo Boss and $450, which was simply not going to happen.  So I hit my old standby: Kenneth Cole. Unfortunately they didn’t have any to try on and my fears of ordering online came true when a cheap version ran small, meaning I basically paid $14 just to try it on (fuckers didn’t pay for shipping returns or refund shipping for returns).  Trying on other Kenneth Cole jackets and coats in Macy’s did nothing to alleviate my fears as sizing was inconsistent on a variety of coats.  Of course the Calvin Klein version was awesome but more expensive.  Also, did I want a jacket or coat?  Jackets of course being lighter are good for both Fall and Spring, but as we move into Winter I’d get to wear it twice before putting it away. A coat I wear for the winter then never see between and and October (global warming not withstanding).  Of course after running all over this city, I wound up finding what I wanted in the first place I should have looked: eBay.  More than that, it was coming from Brooklyn.  So I got my jacket and I was happy—until I saw the cyber Monday sales, which had newer, better variations (I prefer jackets and coats to be ass-length). Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!

 

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. LIKABILITY

I got HBO back for a month to watch How To Make it In America, because I enjoy seeing what it’s like to be young and hip and driven in NYC, as I’ve only had one of those. Because of this I’ve been seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World constantly and on a second look, knowing what to expect, it’s a lot of fun. Seriously. I not only wound up buying it on blu-ray, but the soundtrack as well. The initial problems, however, still remain: it’s a movie that’s basically a videogame crossed with Japanese manga style comics. How they thought this was going to fly with a mainstream audience is beyond me. This worked with a comic reading audience because they knew and loved those things, but the general public only knows videogames and isn’t fond of paying to see them in theaters, so when this irreverent romantic comedy about a slacker musician chasing a girl suddenly has him leaping a hundred feet into the air and doing kung-fu and everyone reacting like it was normal, many people were lost.  I know what manga is, got the videogame references and I was still taken aback. However once you accept the reality of this movie on its own terms it’s quite well-made technically and performance wise.  Chris Evans and Brandon Routh seem to take great delight in playing complete assholes.  But this only leads to the insurmountable problem: its protagonist is a dickhead. Scott Pilgrim is an unlikely heartbreaker, but that’s what he is and thinks little of the women who have fallen for him, be it the sardonic drummer in his own band or the sweet 17-year-old girl who can’t believe that his older (he’s 22), cool musician likes her and falls head-over-heels for him only to be dumped, ignored and actually have the highlights punched out of her hair (it’s supposed to be funny, but ultimately comes across as mean in light everything else she goes through).  Yeah, at the end of the movie he realizes the error of his ways and apologizes to everyone (in the original ending, penned before the end of the comic book series, he actually goes back to the sweet 17-year-old), but this is after two hours of him being an asshole.  Then there’s the matter of the over-the-top, silly battles—that end in death.  Seriously. That they turn into coins once defeated it is a fun motif, but then you realize that someone is dead over being an ex-boyfriend and again it seems incongruous. They should have had the coin result but still have a living body so our hero doesn’t kill six guys and one girl just to get a girlfriend. That’s not why you go to what is ultimately a musical romantic comedy.

 

 BECAUSE DEEP DOWN INSIDE I’M SEXY DANGEROUS. I AM SO!

You can’t prove I indulged in Black Friday and bought my first videogame in forever. I just seem to have the latest edition of Need For Speed called “The Run” and this time it’s a story where you’re a driver on the run from the mob who gets into a cross-country race for a $2.5M payoff.  Now, no one suffers more from buyers remorse than I do (see the jacket from earlier) and nothing prompts it more then time-draining, money-sucking (thought it was 50% off) videogames, but when I’m driving through San Francisco at 120 mph or beating up a cop in Vegas who tried to arrest me then stealing a Porsche and leading them on a high speed chase out of town, I don’t feel the pain.  Not to mention I’m selling this fucker on eBay the second I’m done.

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