THAT MUTHAFUCKA IN THE HAT

16 Apr

1. The Hunger Games/LionsGate                       Wknd/$  21.1            Total/$ 336.7

2. The Three Stooges/Fox                                    Wknd/$  17.0            Total/$   17.0

3. The Cabin In The Woods/LionsG                  Wknd/$  14.7            Total/$   14.7

4. Titanic 3D/Paramount                                     Wknd/$  11.9            Total/$   44.7

5. American Reunion/Universal                         Wknd/$  10.5            Total/$   39.7

6. Wrath of the Titans/Warners                         Wknd/$   6.9              Total/$   71.3

7. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                                 Wknd/$   6.8              Total/$  49.3

8. 21 Jump Street/Sony                                        Wknd/$   6.6              Total/$ 120.3

9. Lockout/                                                              Wknd/$   6.2              Total/$    6.2

10. The Lorax/Universal                                        Wknd/$   3.1              Total/$ 204.5

I THINK IT’S SOMETHING IN THE BALLS

The Hunger Games holds at number one, followed by The Three Stooges opening at number two and while I hate generalizations about gender (“women like this” and “men like that…and anal”) as so much of that is based on roles assigned by society, there’s an exception to every rule even if women ran the world I still think that they would hate The Three Stooges while almost every man in the world would still love them.  Apparently the Y chromosome likes something about grown men poking each other in the eyes.  I thought I was above it.  Yeah, I loved it when I was kid, but now I’m college-educated man having lived the bulk of his life in New York City seeing foreign films and shit.  Surely my tastes have grown beyond some slapstick, yes? Not so much. While the initial commercials and trailer had me rolling my eyes like the Manhattan sophisticate I am, the TV spot with a joke about boogers had me on the floor, stripped clean of my delusions of poise and refinement, revealing the giggling manchild I truly am.  But I still won’t see this.  Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

IT’S CALLED “SELF-LOATHING.” LOOK IT UP.

The Cabin In The Woods opens at number three and as a fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I am, of course a fan of Joss Whedon, the creator and driving force behind the character and the producer and one of the writers of this movie (the director and co-writer is Drew Goddard who also worked on Buffy).  While I couldn’t buy into either the too-precious-at-times Firefly or the supreme idiocy that was Dollhouse (hiring a 90-lb girl who’s been programmed to be a mercenary or hostage negotiator is not a better idea than simply hiring a fucking mercenary or hostage negotiator), I still hold him in the highest regard and bemoan the fact that his dumber, less-talented counterpart, JJ Abrams succeeds by leaps and bounds.  The problem is, where I respect, others fucking worship and their fanaticism is so annoying it actually puts me off Whedon’s work.  Granted, that The Cabin In The Woods initially seems like a horror film pretty much guaranteed I wouldn’t see it, the fact that Whedon’s group of lunatics would be praising it no matter what removed all doubt.  I’m not kidding. Based on the trailer alone these freaks were talking about how great it was.  As if Sucker Punch didn’t have a great trailer.  How’d that work out?  Exactly  It may seem like I’m throwing stones in my own glass house of fanaticism, but absolutely no one is beyond criticism for me and not everything they touch is gold.  That’s why I’m king of the geeks, and not just another chronic masturbator in the crowd in a Star Wars t-shirt.

AMERICAN GRAFFITI IT’S NOT

Titanic 3D is down to number four, followed by American Reunion at number five and I’ve spoken over the years how this series initially gave everyone a shot at the brass ring. Mena Suvari was in American Beauty, which totally put her over the top.  Sean William Scott was given leads in A-list action movies as was Chris Klein. Tara Reid inexplicably became “the hot chick” of the moment with Shannon Elizabeth appearing in every men’s magazine published and Jason Biggs wound up as one of the cyphers for Woody Allen  (Alison Hannagan was already on Buffy so this did nothing for her).  Only none of it stuck.  In fact, probably the most high profile cast member is John Cho whose role was so small that in the initial trailers from Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, one of the jokes was that it starred “that Asian Guy from American Pie.” Sean William Scott works consistently is more miss than hit.  Chris Klein, Natasha Lyonne and Tara Reid suffered substance abuse problems that crippled their careers.  Mena Suvari simply couldn’t find another American Beauty.  Every movie Jason Biggs made just flat out sucked (but I give him credit for using his heat to do work on Broadway) and Shannon Elizabeth couldn’t star in much beyond a layout in Maxim.  The casts of other teen movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Can’t Hardly Wait and even Clueless did much better.  Probably because all their movies were better to begin with.

THE ALBATROSS EFFECT

Wrath of the Titans is down to number six and you know a movie is bad when even an appearance by the scene-chewing Bill Nighy as the god Hephaestus is boring.  It takes a special talent to drain away the talents of others and this movie has it in spades.

HMMM, PLAY A CHILD OF WEARLTH AND PRIVILEGE? I THINK HE CAN DO THAT.

Mirror Mirror is down to number seven and also in this as Prince Charming is Armie Hammer (yes, of Arm & Hammer baking soda) and he’d better hope that Lone Ranger movie he’s starring in makes it, because his Social Network heat isn’t going to last forever and J. Edgar didn’t exactly set the world on fire.  You don’t want to go back to Gossip Girl, dude.  Trivia: he was signed up to play Batman in the abandoned Justice League movie and I can’t fault this casting.  In fact it’s almost typecasting.  They’d actually gotten so far as to have made the costume before it was ultimately shut down.  Maybe now that Chris Nolan and Christian Bale have made it clear they’re done with Batman he’ll get another shot.

HOW NOT TO MAKE AN ACTION MOVIE

21 Jump Street is down to number eight and opening at number nine is Lockout and remember what I said about having a special talent to mute the talents of others?  Well, the directors of this disappointment have it as well because it’s pretty hard to fuck up such an easy idea.  A tough, wise-cracking secret agent is sent in to save the president’s daughter who’s trapped in a prison overtaken by 500 hundred convicts.  Oh, and it’s set in the future. In space.  Add to this a production team who makes $20M look like $100M and your lead is Guy Pearce who’s good in pretty much everything he does and this is no exception.  Isn’t hit right?  Unfortunately that’s what they thought too given they didn’t bother hire a good writer or director.  For example: it’s a given that one prisoner is going to be smart and tough enough to take over and run the revolt. It’s also a given he’s going to have a maniac loose cannon on his crew, but while the loose cannon part is done well enough, you never get the feeling the head bad guy is ever remotely a threat.  He’s simply not smart or charismatic enough to pull it off.  And shouldn’t there be a big showdown between the secret agent and the bad guys in the end?  Isn’t that Action Movie 101?  Well, they missed that class because it not only doesn’t happen but one actually dies totally off camera and we’re denied the cathartic release of watching him pay for all the people he’s been murdering the for the last 90 minutes.  Even Guy Pearce’s wisecracks fall flat.  How much would it have cost to have some comedy writer come in and punch them up?  I think what sums it all up is the onscreen credit “From An Idea By Luc Besson.”  You need more than just an idea, kids. At the very least you could have watched The Fifth Element to see how it’s done right.

LET’S HOPE IT’S THE END

Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax closes out the top ten at number ten.

PEOPLE LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY BEST FRIEND

Ah, more new TV shows.  I just love it.  Now, my weakness for shows set and about New York City is well known and it leads me to at least giving a show a try (CSI NY) if not watching every painful minute of it like (Smash, which is sooooo bad, but NYC looks sooooo good in it).  Throw in something I can relate to and I’m watching full seasons of shows like How To Make It In America and I Just Want My Pants Back.  Add to this list Girls, the series from Lena Dunham whose indie film, Tiny Furniture, made her the critic’s darling last year.  Judd Apatow is the executive producer of it but his track record let’s you know he had jack shit to do with any show that’s about women as his big contribution to Bridesmaids was literally shit and vomit.  It too is about being young and trying to find your way in NYC and is actually shot here so of course I had to watch it.  The the first episode was okay.  She doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable humor that makes you squirm, be it flipping out on her parents like a spoiled brat because they won’t support her any longer or awkwardly fulfilling the sexual fantasy of her obnoxious fuck buddy.  She’s also very comfortable in her own skin and actually does more with her casual nudity than a thousand self-esteem articles in women’s magazines.  And while it would be nice if it weren’t so “white” the reality is the hipster Brooklyn life it depicts is in fact that way.  You can’t fault her for telling the truth about how these kids come from the whitest parts of America and simply recreate it here.  Not technically a comedy but funnier than most is The Client List. A show about Jennifer Love Hewitt giving hot guys handjobs. You only wish I were kidding. Based on successful Lifetime movie (which was of course based on real events) in which she also starred, Jennifer Love Hewitt is the mother of two married to a hot guy with an even hotter brother.  Times are tough and he’s out of work, so of course to console him she has to have sex with him in the middle of his birthday party, meaning her shirt comes off literally five minutes into the show.  Clearly she knows what the people want to see.  But it’s not enough and he leaves her and their giant car and big house (you know rather than get smaller, less expensive versions of both) forcing her to cross a line at her new job that she’d earlier refused: give handjobs.  Of course the only guys who want handjobs are all chiseled models with 2% bodyfat and the less attractive men either don’t want them or would rather talk than bust a nut.  In case you’re wondering how that happens you need only know one thing: Executive Producer Jennifer Love Hewitt.  I watch at fast forward until either her shirt comes off or they give us a nice shot of her criminally unappreciated ass, but I do watch.

CAT IN THE HAT

So The Libertine came to town and she and I did our usual thing of going shopping only this time I got talked into buying a summer hat. I don’t wear summer hat, but now I’ve got this straw thing that Taye Diggs rocks like a muthafucka, whereas I look more like that jackass Jason Mraz. I accidentally hipsterized myself.  Sigh.  That’s how it works. You see someone in a magazine, in a movie or even on the street rocking the hell out of something simple and you think you can do it too.  Only much later does it occur to you that the reason it worked was because that person  WAS SPECTACULARLY GOOD LOOKING. You are not. So take it off and we will not speak of this again.

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