SO FUCKING TWEE IT HURTS

9 Apr

 

 1. The Hunger Games/LionsGate            Wknd/$  33.5            Total/$ 302.8

 2. American Reunion/Universal              Wknd/$  21.5            Total/$    21.5

 3. Titanic 3D/Paramount                          Wknd/$  17.4            Total/$    25.7

 4. Wrath of the Titans/Warners               Wknd/$  15.0            Total/$   58.9

 5. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                       Wknd/$  11.0             Total/$   36.5

 6. 21 Jump Street/Sony                              Wknd/$  1o.2            Total/$ 109.6

 7. The Lorax/Universal                               Wknd/$   5.0             Total/$ 198.2

 9. John Carter/Disney                                 Wknd/$     .8             Total/$   68.0

10. Safe House/Universal                            Wknd/$     .6              Total/$ 124.8

 

THE STARDOM GAMES

The Hunger Games hold at number one and let’s count the number of actors so happy they could shit that they’re part of this.  Not really Jennifer Lawrence because she was already the hot new thing and this benefits from her as much as she does from it.  No, it’s more people like Wes Bentley, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrleson, and Donald Sutherland.  People like Tucci, Harrelson and Sutherland always work, but they’re hit or miss in big films and know the value of a guaranteed moneymaking franchise that at the same time won’t pigeon-hole them (‘cause they’re old).  People like Elizabeth Banks whose box office returns didn’t match their growing fame and needed a hit under their belts.  People like Wes Bentley whoo needed something let people they’re working again after basically losing their career to drugs (that’s where he’s been since American Beauty).  And people like Liam Hemsworth who needed something to help get their careers established, especially when your older brother has already played Captain Kirk’s dad, is now playing Thor and will later be in Snow White and The Huntsman.  Otherwise you’re gonna get shit at the dinner table this year at Christmas cause your girlfriend Miley Cyrus is a bigger star than you are.

 

AMERICAN TRAGEDY

American Reunion opens at number two and needless to say I didn’t see this given I’ve always hated this fucking series just as I hated the premier sex comedy of my generation Porky’s (which also had multiple sequels).  And it has nothing to do with the fact I wasn’t getting laid in high school.  No, it’s purely because they were bad movies.  Still, it did help usher in a new spate of “R-rated” teen sex comedies in the 90’s after a time when teen comedies were very successful with just a PG-13, but that’s bullshit for a good “I’m trying to lose my virginity here” movie. You need to be able to show nudity and copulation and speak in graphic terms about nudity and copulation like actual sexless teenagers do (I speak from experience).  I guess the new harbinger of R-rated teen comedies is the recent Project X, which makes this new generation the luckiest of all as it was better than both American Pie and Porky’s.

 

CLEARLY 3D DOESN’T REFER TO THE CHARACTERS

Titanic 3D opens at number three and it’s telling that all the retooling Cameron did for re-release had nothing to do with possibly fixing that crap story.  What he should have done was use CGI to replace Billy Zane with Snidely Whiplash given that’s essentially the role he played.  I’m sure if he had a mustache to twirl he would have done it. 

 

2 OUT OF 3 IS VERY BAD INDEED

Wrath of the Titans is down to number four and it’s only now that I realize the last time Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were onscreen together it was for Schindler’s List.  From that to this sorry set of movies.  At least Fiennes probably uses his sell-out money for projects like his critically well-received adaptation of Shakespeare’s, Coriolanus.  Neeson pretty much makes movies that will entertain his teenage sons, which is why he did these, and will later be in Battleship.  Also, tuition isn’t cheap.

 

I HOPE THIS DOESN’T MEAN HER MOVIES WILL ACTUALLY GET WORSE

Mirror Mirror is down to number five and playing Snow White is Lily Collins, who is the daughter of none other than Phil Collins, meaning she’s in the family business as Phil was a child actor and his mother was actually an agent.  She’s from the second wife who didn’t inspire a good album.  Collins famously spoke of Lily Collins when he said in an interview that he wasn’t speaking to his children after leaving their mother for a woman half his age and actually asked the reporter if he should call them (the infamous divorce by fax story isn’t true however).  With that kind of parenting don’t be surprised if she winds up dating a series of older, famous men.  Hell, Clooney’s probably already called.

 

THERE’S JUST NOTHING LEFT TO SAY

21 Jump Street s down to number six, followed by Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at number seven, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen at number eight and John carter at number nine.

 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

Safe House returns to the top ten at number ten making you wonder just who in the world is watching it at this late date?  Granted it’s in less than 500 theaters and brought in only a little over half-a-million dollars, but that’s at least a few thousand people who got up, got dressed, got in the car or on the bus and paid money to see this damn thing over two months after it opened.  I just wish someone could ask them all “Why?  Why now?”

 

NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT MEAN GIRLS

Not breaking the top ten is Whit Stillman’s first film in 14 years, Damsels in Distress.  Back in the 90’s Stillman was a darling of the indie world with his film Metropolitan, a loving depiction of the urban upper middle class who were usually vilified or exaggerated to near parody (like they currently are on shows like Gossip Girl).  They were smart, witty and hyper-self-aware which lead to borderline precious dialogue.  He was dubbed a “WASP Woody Allen.”  This was  followed by Barcelona and the trilogy end in The Last Days Of Disco, which I loved, but apparently I was alone in this as it was his most expensive film (the music licensing alone must have cost a fortune) and only made a third of its budget.  Then…nothing.  Now he returns with more of the same only now I fear a line has been crossed when the dialogue and characters have gone from appealing in their idiosyncratic nature to flat out annoying.  Some creative people can take time off and come back energized.  Others are like athletes in that too much time off leads to an atrophy of the skills.  I’m afraid Stillman suffers from the latter as too much of this film seems to be twee for the sake of being twee and not much else.  Greta Gerwig (in a role that would have clearly gone to Chloe Sevigny who starred in Last Days of Disco) is the leader of a group of coeds who feel their mission is to help the less-fortunate, be it working at the suicide prevention center or dating very stupid, less attractive frat boys to help not just lift them up, but protect themselves from the heartbreak very good looking smart men might bring.  There’s a “rule of threes” when it comes to a joke (or in many concepts in writing).  The first time for initial effect, a second time to build upon it and then again much later when everyone has forgotten about it.  When Megan Echikunwoke (recently seen wonderfully naked in House of Lies as stripper who is in fact going to law school) makes a comment about Adam Brody making a “playboy move” literally five or six times in a few minutes, it not only loses its humor right then and there, but when it comes back later it falls with a dull thud.  And honestly, I didn’t wait 14 years for an extended, oblique running joke about anal sex, much less painfully deliberately attempts at whimsy with dance numbers (which he actually pulled off much better at the end of Last Days of Disco).  Maybe now that he’s getting back into the swing of things it will better, but now I just want him to go make sure the transfer of his older films to blu-ray is done properly.

 

ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS KIDS

Again the wonderfulness of TV never ends and this week it was Best Friends Forever, a new sitcom created by and starring two women named Lennon and Jessica about two women named Lennon and Jessica. Jessica’s marriage has just ended so she returns to New York (a New York of total fiction by the way, as we see her in the parking lot behind a bar at one point) and moves in with, Lennon, her best friend since freshman year…and Lennon’s boyfriend and the struggle between the two for Lennon begins as she compliments both of them perfectly.  She’s down for an afternoon endlessly discussing Steel Magnolias with Lennon, but at the same time loves that her boyfriend’s big trip is to Scotland where William Wallace died in Braveheart, quoting dialogue in a brogue over brunch.  It’s smart and funny and will probably die a quick death because that’s what NBC does with smart and funny shows while giving Whitney and Are You There It’s Me, Chelsea all the fucking time in the world to find an audience.

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