3 Dec


1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2                       Wknd/$   17.3            Total/$  254.6

2. Skyfall/Sony                                                Wknd/$   17.0            Total/$  246.0

3. Lincoln/Touchstone                                   Wknd/$   13.5            Total/$   83.7

4. Rise of the Guardians/PDW                     Wknd/$   13.5            Total/$   48.9

5. Life of Pi/Fox                                               Wknd/$   12.0            Total/$   48.3

6. Wreck-It-Ralph/Disney                             Wknd/$    7.8            Total/$  158.3

7. Killing Them Softly/Weinstein                 Wknd/$    7.0            Total/$      7.0

8. Red Dawn/FD                                              Wknd/$    6.6            Total/$   31.3

9. Flight/Paramount                                        Wknd/$    4.6            Total/$   81.5

10.The Collection/LD                                       Wknd/$    3.4            Total/$     3.4


Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 holds at number one and also in this is Michael Sheen and while many justifiably think of him as a more “serious actor” Sheen has never been above throwing himself into absolute silliness which is why the best films of that other vampire franchise, Underworld (where he ironically plays the head of the werewolves), have him in them chewing up the scenery with reckless abandon.  Actually, having good actors in crap like this serves to give them a grounding element that they would otherwise lack, which is why producers and directors want them.  Actors just want to have a little fun and make money.  See also, Chronicle of Riddick with Judi Dench.  Yes, Judi Dench in space.


Speaking of Judi Dench, Skyfall holds at number two and—WARNING: FROM THIS POINT ON SPOILERS LURK!—one of the reasons I dislike this film so much is that the misogyny that has unfortunately always been part of Bond gets and unexpected flare up as every woman in this film suffers and none more than M. The entire plot of the film is about Javier Bardem’s character wanting to embarrass, destroy then kill her.  Guess what? He does all these things as M is dead by the final reel, her career in tatters.  Yes, I know Dame Judi is losing her sight and wanted to leave, but Bernard Green got sick and fucking died without his version of M suffering (and despite the fact that one of the books Ian Fleming wrote is about James Bond being brainwashed and sent back to kill him!).  Q’s switched without him needing to fail horribly, but the strongest woman ever in a Bond film and perhaps the only one to never have been sexualized is disgraced then killed.  (gee, maybe director Sam Mendes isn’t as over his divorce from Kate Winslet as we might have thought).  Women who sleep with Bond and die have always been part of the series, but here the woman is question isn’t a willing villain but has been a sexual slave since childhood and looks to Bond to save her.  What she gets is unceremoniously murdered followed by a tasteless joke from Bond about the real crime being the whiskey shot that was sitting on her head at the time.  Last but not least we get the introduction of Moneypenny who is an unnamed field agent who accidently shoots Bond at the beginning of the film.  She “chooses” to become the secretary of the new M (Ralph Fiennes) after deciding field work isn’t for her. So the end tally is dead, dead, secretary.  In the meantime the men fail left and right and all get to live and actually get promoted in the case of Ralph Fiennes.  Did Oliver Stone slip into a consult meeting?


Rise of the Guardians holds at number three and voicing Santa Claus is Alec Baldwin who does so with a Russian accent. I guess Turkish or Dutch, where the true origins of Santa Clause lay was too difficult, but points for depicting Santa as something other than English or American in something clearly meant for a mass audience.


Lincoln holds at number four and continuing the parade of character actors that populate this film is David Strathairn as the Secretary of State and usually he’s the guy you call when you need a male lead for an actress of “a certain age” who won’t overshadow her having done so for Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Helen Mirren and Kathy Bates.


Life of Pi holds at number five, followed by Killing Them Softly, opening at number six and people seem surprised by Brad Pitt playing a dark role, apparently not realizing Brad Pitt loves, loves, loves to play against his looks.  His breakout role was the two-bit hustler who rips off Thelma & Louise which ultimately helps to send them to their doom.  He was the white trash serial killer who befriends David Duchovny in Kalifornia. He was the perpetually stoned roommate in True Romance.  He scored an undeserved Oscar nomination for 12 Monkeys as a mental patient proving the old adage in you want to get noticed by the Academy, play drunk, gay or crazy. He was an unintelligible boxer in Snatch (admittedly ripping off Benicio Del Toro’s character from The Usual Suspects) and the jewel in his crown of creeps is of course Tyler Durden in Fight Club.  He doesn’t give a crap how well a film does so long as he gets to be dirty.


Wreck It Ralph is down to number seven, followed by Red Dawn at number eight and also in this is Jeffery Dean Morgan, most likely to mistaken for Javier Bardem in an airport and proof the right TV role can still make you a star. His role as the “can’t die soon enough for me” Denny Duquett on Gray’s Anatomy didn’t just make him a TV star, it pushed him directly into leading roles in movies…which he unfortunately squandered in choices that seemed like sure things, but ultimately disappointed like The Watchmen and The Losers.  Yes, The Possession was a hit, but it’s genre film and anyone could have played his role and had the same result, which is why they hinder as much as they help.


Flight is down to number nine and The Collection closes out the top ten at number ten and did you know this was a sequel to The Collector? Well, count yourself among the many.  Clearly the torture porn genre isn’t as dead as we’d all hoped.

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