THE BOURNE STUPIDITY

12 Aug

1. The Bourne Legacy/Universal              Wknd/$   40.3           Total/$  40.3

 2. The Campaign/Warners                        Wknd/$   27.4            Total/$   27.4

 3. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners         Wknd/$   19.5            Total/$ 390.1

 4. Hope Springs/Sony                                 Wknd/$   15.6            Total/$   20.1

 5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3/Fox                  Wknd/$     8.2           Total/$   30.6

 6. Total Recall/Sony                                     Wknd/$     8.1            Total/$  44.2

 7. Ice Age 4/Fox                                             Wknd/$     6.8           Total/$ 144.2

 8. Ted/Universal                                            Wknd/$     3.3           Total/$ 209.9

 9. Step Up Revolution/Summit                  Wknd/$     2.9            Total/$   30.2

10. Amazing Spider-Man/Sony                   Wknd/$     2.2            Total/$ 255.5

 

THE BOURNE REDUNDANCY

The Bourne Legacy opens at number one and wasn’t the raison d’être of Bourne was that he was a young secret agent as opposed to Bond who was always a man?  That being the case, why the hell do you hire 40-year-old Jeremy Renner to take over?  Shouldn’t it be somebody from a vampire movie?  Or at the very least tall?  And they might have come up with a better plot.  Bourne was being chased because basically he was the loose cannon of government officials who’d been misusing that weapon and they didn’t want it to get out.  Jeremy Renner is being chased because…Bourne got away.  Seriously. They’re killing off all their super agents who haven’t done anything wrong and aren’t being used inappropriately because they’re afraid it will get out that America has created super agents to defend itself. I’m pretty sure post-9/11 America would fucking love to learn that its government had created super agents to defend it, so none of this makes a lick of sense.  It doesn’t help that characters within the movie are asking the same question: “Why do we have to destroy everything?”  The only answer Ed Norton gives us is an ominous “Just imagine what happens when all this gets out.”  WHY!?!  We’re never told why this is all so wrong.  Plot aside, the other hole in this is Jeremy Renner never fights his equal the way Bourne always did in all three movies.  They sent other super-agents after him so you got a battle of equals along with him trouncing others.  Renner never once goes mano-a-mano with another super-agent, which makes most of this like watching an 8th grader beat up a bunch of 6th graders.

 

THERE IS SUCH A THING AS TOO FUNNY

The Campaign opens at number two and for me both Will Farrell and Zack Galifinakis don’t work as leads because they will always be supporting comic foils to a straight man. This is why both their breakthrough roles came in movies that had just doing just that.  For Ferrell it was Old School and Luke Wilson filled the role.  For Galifinakis, it took both Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms to balance him out.  So the thought of them together with no one to balance it out doesn’t appeal to me.  Yes, I know Jason Sudekis and Dylan McDermott are here to do that to a certain extent, but honestly they’re both like wheat before the scythe for these two.

 

HOLY UNVARINISHED TRUTH!

The Dark Knight Rises is down to number three and as everyone probably knows by now Joseph Gordon Leavitt plays a character whose real name is revealed in the closing minutes to be “Robin” which seems like a tribute from Chris Nolan on his way out the door, but is really Chris Nolan giving those of us who love Robin The Boy Wonder the finger on his way out the door.  See, in his world of a man dressed up like a bat fighting crime without a gun talking in a stupid voice and fighting a guy with an even dumber voice who manages to take over an American city for months without the might of the United States government being able to stop him, a kid sidekick is totally ridiculous.  Here’s a little known fact: Batman only existed 11 months before Robin showed up.  So exactly 1.27% of Batman’s 72 year history is Robin-free.  He needs the Boy Wonder like he needs air.  Robin is what saved Batman from being lost in rush of superheroes that popped up in the wake of Superman’s success.  He allowed for Batman’s audience to imagine themselves fighting alongside him in a way that could never be for Superman who was an alien and the last of his kind.  Robin was also the first wisecracking teenage superhero, so you’re welcome as well, Spider-man.

 

FALL OF 2013

Hope Springs opens up at number four and this is one of those movies with a lot of good actors that gets mostly positive reviews that you know you’d probably like if you saw it, but you never do until years later when it’s on cable one night and you go, “Hey, that was all right.”  So, I’ll see you in a few years with my thoughts on it.

 

THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THE WORSE IT GETS

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is down to number five, followed by Total Recall at number six and as long as we’re picking on this lame remake of Total Recall, let’s pick on the original story. Exactly how was turning Hauser into Quaid supposed to allow him to infiltrate the rebellion?  On friggin’ earth no less!  Was the job he was working some recruitment spot?  In fact it only works because Hauser’s memories bleed into Quaid’s mind and he goes back to Mars.  And if that wasn’t already a problem they cut the balls off the character here by making Hauser a bad guy who turns good and that’s why his memory gets wiped (though it still makes no sense as to why his memory gets wiped and him again taken away from the rebellion which is this time in England).  In the original, Hauser was evil through and through but inadvertently creates a hero in himself.  Here, falling in love with Mileena changes him. That’s the equivalent of Greedo shooting first. 

 

GO AWAY ALREADY!

Ice Age: Continental Drift is down to number seven, followed by Ted at number eight and Step Up Revolution at number nine.

 

YOU KIDS WILL LIKE HER. YOU’LL REALLY LIKE HER.

The Watch and The Amazing Spider-Man actually tied at number ten, but since I have nothing to say about The Watch, some final comments on The Amazing Spider-Man, where they actually show his dad, played by Campbell Scott and it freaks me seeing him playing older men when I remember him clearly as a young guy in Singles all those years ago.  And I love that Sally Field is playing Aunt May.  She’s gotta be 70, but she’s one of those people who looks forever young and now a whole new generation who never heard of Gidget, The Flying Nun, Smokey & The Bandit or Norma Rae will get to know her.

 

SUPER ART

My continuing attempts to get some culture crossed paths with my own geekness with an exhibition by photographer Gregg Segal of photographs of superheroes in “everyday situations” at the Chelsea Market.  Wonder Woman takes out the trash. Captain America gets his mail or fixes his car.  Superman vacuums his home filled with Superman paraphernalia.  It was borne out of the people in Hollywood who dress up and take pictures with tourists.  For a briefly moment they’re special, but at the end of the day they go home and they’re ordinary people and Segal wanted to convey that.  He also has photos from another project where Civil War reinactors go to the actual sites of Civil War battles that are now expressways, neighborhoods and department store parking lots.  The juxtaposition is surprisingly poignant.  See? I can talk some art!

 

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