31 Dec


1. The Hobbit/WB                                         Wknd/$  32.9            Total/$ 222.7

 2. Django Unchained/Weinstein                Wknd/$  30.7            Total/$   64.0

 3. Les Miserables/Universal                        Wknd/$  28.0            Total/$   67.5

 4. Parental Guidance/Fox                            Wknd/$  14.8            Total/$   29.6

 5. Jack Reacher/Paramount                        Wknd/$  14.0            Total/$   44.7

 6. This Is 40/Universal                                 Wknd/$  13.2            Total/$   37.1

 7. Lincoln/Touchstone                                  Wknd/$    7.5            Total/$  132.0

 8. The Guilt Trip/Paramount                       Wknd/$    6.7            Total/$    21.1

 9. Monsters, Inc (3D)/Disney                      Wknd/$    6.4            Total/$    18.5

10. Rise of the Guardians/PDW                    Wknd/$    4.9            Total/$   90.2



The Hobbit holds at number one and while I don’t deliberately troll people I won’t pretend not to enjoy the utterly irrational anger of Tolkien fans who cannot bear the thought of anyone not loving this movie.  They want to blame high expectations because of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, but I personally didn’t think they were that great. I thought the first one was good, but became quickly bored with the final two. Especially the last one. I mean how many times can we watch Frodo fall and Sam not kiss him like he desperately wanted to?  I was actually hoping for something better from The Hobbit, but instead we got the naked money grab of stretching one book into three and incredibly poor pacing to justify that decision.  Not to mention Peter Jackson has joined James Cameron in becoming one of those directors so enthralled with new technology, they’ve lost the sense of basic storytelling.  Maybe if he weren’t so in love with using a faster frame rate he might have realized the film doesn’t start for almost a full hour.



Django Unchained opens at number two and this is a must see, though I’m not the biggest fan of Tarantino and Jamie Foxx flat out annoys me.  I just want to be able to join the heated arguments going on all over the interwebs with authority. Especially when I start shutting people down.  I should have tenure, I’m schooling fools so often.



Les Miserables opens at number three and thank god this opened at Christmas when I was away seeing my family so my movie buddy couldn’t drag me to it.  Sorry, but if Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse aren’t dancing I could give a rat’s ass about musicals, much less those that come from theater.  Yes, I live two blocks from Broadway and yes I watch the horror that is Smash, but that’s because the rents were relatively cheap when I moved here and it’s TV’s best bad TV show (also I love Debra Messing so much I even watched The Starter Wife for her). Now, I might have overcome my dislike of theater and seen this if Lea Michele had gotten a role because I love her egomania without reservation.  She would have been on every TV show and in every magazine talking about how much she’s not a diva while dropping the fact she did the Broadway show of Les Miserables unlike everyone else.  It would have been glorious.



Parental Guidance opens at number four and this had a two pronged advertising attack, which is smart. The first one, aimed squarely at adults was about Billy Crystal and Bette Midler taking care of their grandkids by Marisa Tomei.  The second was aimed squarely at kids and was about tem terrorizing their grandparents with their wacky hijinks and set to the music of Peter and The Wolf.  Unfortunately, I was too young for one and two old for the other and in fact found them both horrible.  Remember when Billy Crystal was a superstar? Bet he does to.



Jack Reacher opens at number five and with this Tom Cruise joins Sylvester Stallone as part of the Menopausal Action Heroes Club, as every scene has the singular goal of letting you know either how tough Tom Cruise is or how much women want him.  The unintentional parody starts the very second his character’s name is mentioned and doesn’t stop for over two hours. We’re supposed to take the half-naked woman in his bedroom at the beginning of the movie as proof of Jack’s virility, but he shows little to no interest in Rosamund Pike, much less her cleavage and push up bras which both increase as the film goes on.  What does he show an interest in?  Men. Dishing out pain to them that is. What did you think I meant?  They’d have been better off just making this a flat out action comedy as there are some very funny moments which are intentional and filled with violence. The scene where a briefly stunned Jack Reacher watches in disbelief as two big men beat each other up while trying to simultaneously enter a tiny bathroom to beat him up stands out.  Couple this with the insane speech he later gives to explain why he lives like a drifter (it’s the freedom he fought for as a soldier) and it’s a comedic masterpiece.



This Is 40 opens at number six and this is proof of Sartre’s statement that “Hell isn’t a place; it’s other people” because sitting through two hours of Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd tormenting each other was nothing but.  It’s what’s known as “character driven” meaning there is no real plot but watching them make each other’s lives (and ours) miserable in the days between her 40th birthday (which she denies to everyone) and his.  Many people rightly criticize Judd Apatow for making his wife’s character shrill and humorless, but they miss that Paul Rudd’s cowardly husband would do that to most anyone.  The opening scene is the two of them having sex in a shower and while she’s silly for getting upset that he took Viagra he’s equally a moron for telling her that he took one to begin with, much less in the middle of it.  It’s a deliberate plot point that they’re both screwed up thanks to their fathers (I’ve got $10 says it was mom first, before Apatow was attacked for his misogyny) but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch and it only gets worse when said selfish fathers show up to add to the misery (both have remarried younger women and started second families and are also apparently screwing them up).  Yes, there are laughs…painful, uncomfortable laughs you get from watching horrible people in awkward situations.  I left not wanting contact with another human, much less marriage or children.



Lincoln is down to number seven, followed by The Guilt Trip at number eight and I just have a rule about not seeing anything with Seth Rogen in it if I can avoid it, much less Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand, who at 70 should be playing his grandmother, not his mother.  It made sense she’d be Ben Stiller’s mother.  Here, not so much.  And road movies are difficult with actors you like.



The gravy train that is 3D continues with Disney’s re-release of Monster’s Inc down to number nine, which also doubles as an ad for the blu-ray release and the upcoming prequel no one asked for, Monsters University.  I suppose I should be glad they don’t make sequels to my favorite Pixar movies (The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up, etc) but there’s no reason to make them for the lesser movies like this and Cars either.  I mean aside from naked pursuit of money, that is.  I don’t know why I expect better from Pixar. I just do.



Finally, Rise of the Guardians closes out the top ten at number ten and with a $255M worldwide gross from a $145M budget this is a bit of a disappointment and it’s a sad because you know it’s probably a result of the decision to make the images of Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Sandman and The Tooth Fairy more “interesting” than “safe” and have paid a bitter price for it.  I’m loathe to agree with the marketing guys who probably came into to the room and suggested it, but just as a broken clock is right twice a day, they were probably right in this instance. The Easter Bunny should be more “cuddly” than “bad-ass.” Besides, it’s funnier when the cuddly character does bad-ass things.  And scales on the tooth fairy?  This isn’t Neil Gaiman, people. It’s for kids.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: