DEATH BY GINGER

13 Jan

ryan-reynolds-bradley-cooper

1. Zero Dark Thirty/Sony                             Wknd/$ 24.0            Total/$  29.5

 2. A Haunted House/                                    Wknd/$ 18.8            Total/$  18.8

 3. Gangster Squad/Warners                        Wknd/$  16.7            Total/$  16.7

 4. Django Unchained/Weinstein                Wknd/$  11.1             Total/$ 125.4

 5. Les Miserables/Universal                        Wknd/$  10.1             Total/$ 119.2

 6. The Hobbit/WB                                         Wknd/$    9.1             Total/$ 278.1

 7. Lincoln/Touchstone                                  Wknd/$    6.3            Total/$  152.6

 8. Parental Guidance/Fox                            Wknd/$    6.1             Total/$   60.7

 9. Texas Chainsaw 3D/LGF                         Wknd/$   5.2              Total/$   23.0

10.Silver Linings Playbook/Wein                Wknd/$    5.0             Total/$   41.3

 

REDHEADS ARE DANGEROUS

Zero Dark Thirty jumps to the number one slot thanks to multiple Oscar nominations (and the addition of over 2000 more screens) and much like Argo, you know a film is good when it tells you a story you already know (0r at least think you do) and it’s still suspenseful and interesting.  Jessica Chastain is a CIA agent who was apparently recruited out of high school (I think we just found the pitch for Justin Bieber’s first movie) and basically spends the whole of her twenties as part of the team tracking down Osama Bin Laden.  I don’t know about you, but I spent my 20’s slowly becoming less and less of a jackass and not much else. And I’m still pretty much a jackass, so it’s not like I was even good at it, much less having my actions change the world like she does.  But it makes sense to me because if I wanted to destroy a man I’d sic a redhead on him, especially a young one.  Those creatures don’t forgive or forget and won’t rest until they’ve put you in a grave. I’m lucky I escape…every time it happens.  When we first meet her she’s a rookie wearing her best suit to an interrogation that she can barely watch, but as time passes soon she’s not just participating in the interrogations, but telling off her bosses to the point where they goes along with her and ultimately describing herself to the head of the CIA as “that mutherfucker” that found Bin Laden, but all the while still seeming like this smart, geeky girl who has no business being there, much less in that line of work (given her pale skin, you’d think the desert sun would burn her to a crisp).  All the Oscar nominations here are clearly well deserved.

 

THE ONLY THING SCARIER THAN ONE LAME FRANCHISE IS TWO

A Haunted House opens at number two and the Scary Movie franchise was actually started off by the Wayans family for Miramax and later taken over by the Zucker team who brought us Airplane and The Naked Gun. Clearly there was a a falling out of some sort as this is the Wayans Family starting a rival franchise as the Scary Movie 5 is coming up which doesn’t look quite as funny as this one, even thought that’s not saying much at all and this one.  Clearly they’re stronger together than they are apart.  I might watch this on cable one day, but would never go out of my way to see it, which again is saying something given I paid to see all four previous Scary Movie films.

 

APPARENTLY NO ONE LIKES THIS PERIOD STORY, PERIOD

Gangster Squad opens at number three leaving Ryan Gosling still searching for that mainstream movie hit to match his commiserate level of fame.  This movie with Nick Nolte about the infamous “Hat Squad” of the LAPD which used dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of Los Angeles is not to be confused with Mulholland Falls, another Nick Nolte movie about the infamous “Hat Squad” of the LAPD which used dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of Los Angeles.  And neither is to be confused with LA Confidential, which also had the LAPD using dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of LA as part of its storyline. The difference between this and Mulholland Falls is that the writers strangely thought this interesting piece of history wasn’t interesting enough and spun off into some ridiculous story about atomic bomb testing and cover-ups.  Even the awesome LA Confidential didn’t make it the main story.  However, Mulholland Falls did manage to get Jennifer Connelly naked before the title credits even stopped rolling so there’s that.  Nick Nolte was the leading man in that one, but almost 20 years later now he’s old guy boss and Josh Brolin is the guy leading the hat squad (though that aspect seems to have been dropped here as well) and Ryan Gosling is one of his young, hot cops (between Chazz Palmenteri, Chris Penn and Michael Madsen, Nick Nolte’s team could also have been called “The Fat Squad”). I hate to say it, but the reason I passed on this story as opposed to the other two has more to do with Sean Penn in silly makeup and overacting as Mickey Cohen (his character’s death is the catalyst for much of what happens in LA Confidential, but is nowhere to be seen in Mulholland Falls).  He looks like he wandered in off the  set of Dick Tracy.  Is Haiti fixed?  Doesn’t he have something better to do than be the unpleasant hole in films I might otherwise have seen?

 

KEEPING B-MOVIE ACTORS WORKING

Django Unchained is down to number four and because this is a Quentin Tarantino it’s filled with all sorts of odd pop culture friendly casting, as evidenced by none other than Tom Wopat showing up as a US Marshal.  Yeah, Luke Duke in a Tarantino film.  Also here are Dennis Christopher from Breaking Away, Lee Horsley from Matt Houston and the great The Sword & The Sorcerer; Russ Tamblyn who once starred in a film called Son of A Gunfighter and plays that character here and daughter Amber is along for the ride as, yes, Daughter of Son of a Gunfighter.  And to top it all off, Don freaking Johnson.  Half the cast is a game of “Hey, it’s that guy!”

 

THE OTHERS

Les Miserables is down to number five followed by The Hobbit at number six and Lincoln at number seven.

 

WHEN BILLY MET MONEY

Parental Guidance is down to number eight and it looks like the joke is on me as this has made $65M off a $25M budget ($83M worldwide) and it looks like Billy Crystal has found the payday for his twilight years. And for him it’s not the move of a desperate actor looking to stay relevant (I’m looking at you Eddie Murphy), it’s just the easy payday he’s earned after 40 years.

 

SOMEWHERE ROGER CORMAN BEAMS WITH PRIDE

Texas Chainsaw 3D is down to number nine, but that’s okay.  It’s made $30M and probably cost about $5, so everyone is happy.  And it’ll be out on DVD in about a week.

 

IT’S LIKE THE BROCOLI OF MOVIES

Finally, The Silver Linings Playbook also returns to the top ten as a result of Oscar nominations and still they were not enough to get me into see it. Seriously.  I know it’ll be good, but I just can’t seem to get myself into the theater.  I chose Zero Dark Thirty at over two-and-a-half hours over this.  I’m going to have to make it a date or something so I feel obligated to go.  I’m blaming Bradley Cooper, whom I don’t mind, but still find terribly interesting and remain shocked he’s a now a box office draw and an Oscar nominated actor.  Somewhere Ryan Reynolds is confused, because he’s the same kinds of dull.  Yeah, but he’s a boring American, Canada-boy. Trivia: the role of Green Lantern came down to Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds.  Reynolds got the role and a wife from it, while Cooper went on to be in successful, critically acclaimed films.  Don’t kid yourself if you think Reynolds wouldn’t switch places with him. Hell, Blake Lively would switch places with him.  They’ve made film together so that press tour is going to fun…for one of them. The other will be staring daggers the entire time.

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