5 Aug

1. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners            Wknd/$   36.4            Total/$ 354.6

 2. Total Recall/Sony                                      Wknd/$   26.0            Total/$  26.0

 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3/Fox                   Wknd/$   14.7             Total/$   14.7

 4. Ice Age 4/Fox                                              Wknd/$     8.4            Total/$ 131.9

 5. The Watch/Fox                                           Wknd/$     6.4            Total/$   25.4

 6. Ted/Universal                                             Wknd/$     5.5            Total/$ 203.4

 7. Step Up Revolution/Summit                    Wknd/$     5.3            Total/$   23.1

 8. Amazing Spider-Man/Sony                      Wknd/$     4.3            Total/$ 250.6

 9. Brave/Disney                                                Wknd/$     2.9           Total/$ 223.3

10. Magic Mike/Warner                                    Wknd/$     1.4           Total/$ 110.9



The Dark Knight Rises holds at number one and I actually liked Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.  She had the right combination of playfulness and amorality that Catwoman is supposed to have.  I know people like to cite Michelle Pfeiffer, but Michelle Pfeiffer didn’t play Catwoman. She played a Tim Burton character named Catwoman, but there’s nothing about her than was ever a part of Catwoman in the comics.  She was just another freak in his parade of freaks. Danny DeVito didn’t play The Penguin either. He played Edward Flipperhands.  But all the Catwomen live in the shadow of Julie Newmar.  She defined the character.  Not to mention she was the absolute hottest.  She freaking danced with Fosse.  These others have nothing on her.



Total Recall opens at number two and this commits the gravest sin any movie can, even worse than being bad: it’s boring.  This is bad in any movie but it’s twice as bad in an action movie.  Utterly unforgivable when it’s a remake of a movie known for its over-the-top action.  Let’s go with the first mistake here: Len Wiseman as the director.  He’s a B-list actioner who strangely gets to direct A-list budget, which is how you get Live Free or Die Hard and this.   He’s better when only allowed limited resources and control, not greater.  Your second mistake was the very limited scope of the movie.  The first time we went to Mars.  Here, the world has been destroyed with the exception of England and Australia and you travel between them on an elevator through the center of the Earth. If only that was as much fun as it sounds. This is such an over-the-top concept it demanded an over-the-top movie.  What it got was the lackluster vision of a limited mind. When Luc Besson clearly borrowed from Blade Runner, he made it bigger and brighter.  Here you see elements of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element made smaller and dimmer.  And it doesn’t even follow its own premise.  If the world is limited and cramped, why do Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale still seem to have a nice apartment?  It makes no sense that they repeatedly refer to it as a dump.  The future still looks too nice to be so horrible.  Now Blade Runner made living in the city look like crap and it didn’t have to destroy 99% of the world to do it.  And the apartment Bruce Willis had was genuinely tiny.  But these are just details.  The real problem is the action scenes are dull.  There’s not an iota of kinetic energy when Colin Farrell suddenly realizes he got the skills of James Bond and takes out an entire police squad and it doesn’t get any better as the film progresses, not matter how much jumping, shooting and robot punching they do.  The performances are equally muted.  Everyone is sleepwalking through this for a paycheck and it shows. They all knew it was a mistake and wisely chose to save their energies for something else.  The only exception is Kate Beckinsale who was obligated by being the director’s wife to try, giving it her best shot to fill not just the shoes of Sharon Stone but of Michael Ironside as well as their roles of wife and hunter were basically combined.  Maybe she tries so hard because she realized if she actually succeeded in killing Colin Farrell the movie would be over.



Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days opens at number three and this has become quite the little franchise while no one was watching…including myself.



Ice Age: Continental Drift is down to number four, followed by The Watch at number five and you’d think this would be funnier given it was directed by a guy who is a member of Lonely Island and directs all their videos.  You’d be wrong.  You’re probably better off watching “Jizz In My Pants” again.



Ted is down to number six, followed by Step Up Revolution at number seven and The Amazing Spider-Man at number eight and also in this is Dennis Leary as Emma Stone’s dad.  He’s also a voice in Ice Age so he’s technically got two films in the top ten and there was a brief moment when he thought he could be a comedic lead.  You’ll see them turn up on cable in the wee hours of the morning all the time.  And once you have you’ll realize he’s lucky to have this.



Brave is down to number nine and still has yet to double its budget worldwide. That’s pretty sad.  Especially when you realize that crap like Ice Age Pt 29 has made over $700M.



Magic Mike finally closes out the top ten at number ten and technically is the most profitable film of the summer, even more than The Avengers which crossed the billion dollar mark.  While The Avengers has made six times its budget, Magic Mike has made fifteen times its cost.  That’s some cheese on your whopper.



When I was a kid, The Olympics was the worst thing ever. It was two weeks when all your favorite shows wouldn’t be on.  Now, I was actually excited, even watching fucking swimming prelims a few months ago.  I don’t know when this happened, but I’m actually glad because it’s two weeks of totally interesting, suspenseful TV. You find yourself watching shit you’d never watch and being captivated.  Trampoline as an Olympic sport is stupid…until you see it.  And there’s an unending sense of awe of seeing people who have spent literally decades training their bodies to be the best in world for events where it’s only required for a few seconds.  There’s also the cheap thrill of ogling said bodies because they’re like Greek statues come to life.  As someone who does swim, I naturally like the swimming, but even though I hate running, that’s fun to watch too.  Especially the women.  As a geek it made me think about the competition the Amazons had in the comics to see who got to become Wonder Woman.  When the show came on in the 70’s it was a bunch of less-than-athletic models and actresses, when it should like the Olympics, where it’s pure muscle and sinew.  But ironically about the same about serious cheekbones.  And there’s still another week to go!  And when it ends, football’s back.



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