AIN’T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING

7 Apr

leebyunghun-20101008

 1. Evil Dead/Tristar                                    Wknd/$ 26.0           Total/$  26.0

 2. The Croods/Fox                                      Wknd/$ 21.1            Total/$ 125.8

 3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation/Paramount         Wknd/$ 21.1            Total/$  86.7

 4. Jurassic Park 3D/Universal                  Wknd/$ 18.2           Total/$  18.2

 5. Olympus Has Fallen/FD                        Wknd/$ 10.0           Total/$   71.1

 6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation/LGF             Wknd/$ 10.0           Total/$  38.4

 7. Oz The Great & Powerful/ Disney        Wknd/$   8.2           Total/$ 212.8

 8. The Host/ORF                                         Wknd/$   5.2            Total/$   19.7

 9. The Call/TriStar                                       Wknd/$   3.5           Total/$   45.5           

10. Admission/Focus                                    Wknd/$   2.1            Total/$   15.4

 

YES, THE TREE IS STILL IN THE MOVIE

Evil Dead opens at number one and as we all know I don’t do the scary, not even when it’s the deliberately “campy scary” of the Evil Dead series, which came to a wonderful climax in Army of Darkness aka Medieval Dead aka Evil Dead 3 (which I actually did see).  It doesn’t help matters that the creators behind this remake have gone all torture porn gory on it, so rather than scare you and make you laugh they’ve just gone bloody.  Yeah, you can keep it.  But this is a smart move by the little redheaded girl from Suburgatory (Jane Levy, and it’s a good show you’re not watching) to transition into films.  Like children’s films there’s a built-in audience for horror so chances of success are high and when it fails no one blames you.  It’s a win-win scenario and she won.  Unlike her appearance in Fun Size earlier this year, which was a loss, but Victoria Justice took the rap for that since she was the draw. Even tweens saw the ridiculousness of two girls so pretty somehow not being in the popular circle or being invited to hot parties.  It required more suspension of disbelief than a book of evil.

 

THE BRUCE LEE RULE: IT AIN’T KUNG FU IF EVERYBODY’S GOT THEIR SHIRTS ON

The Croods Hold onto number two, narrowly beating out G.I. Joe: Retaliation and by the way, that line was cut from the movie and only shows up in the commercials.  Not in the commercials but the highlight of the film for me is none other than The Rza, appearing as a ninja master in the most enjoyable part of the film which is the ninja war storyline.  It was almost 1987 all over again!  As the ninja GI Joe, Snake Eyes, is Ray Park, who shot to immediate fame as Darth Maul in the first Star Wars prequel and later turned up as Toad in the first X-Men movie.  But more interesting than him is pretty boy Byung-hun Lee as his lifelong ninja rival, Storm Shadow.  Lee has basically been “the girl” in both movies in that they both find some ridiculous reason for him to take his shirt off.  They like it so much he survived his apparent death in the first film to come back and disrobe here.  Even Channing Tatum doesn’t even have to do this.  Lee’s going to reunite with Bruce Will in Red 2 later this year, so we’ll see if they pull off the hat trick.

 

COULDN’T WAIT ONE MORE YEAR FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY?

Jurassic Park returns in 3D format at number four and given this is running every other weekend on cable I can’t see why anyone would bother. Then again I can’t stand 3D so it’s not for me anyway. I’ve no doubt it’s still fun to watch because it’s still fun to watch every other weekend on cable.  Oh, the kid who plays Timmy?  He’s all grown up, playing a soldier in G.I. Joe Retaliation.  Yes, you’re old.

 

IT’S ALL POLITICS

Olympus Has Fallen is down to number five and also in this are Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman as the Secret Service Director and the Speaker of the House, respectively speaking and in movie world, it’s demotions for both.  First of all, Glenn Close got to at least be Vice-President in the last time a Die Hard type of storyline was applied to the president in Air Force One.  And Bassett herself was White House Chief of Staff in Contact.  Though important, Secret Service Director (the first female director was actually appointed only a week ago, by the way) is still a massive step down.  Not to mention Morgan Freeman has been both The President and God and now he’s just Speaker of the House?  Please.  At least let him be the trigger happy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Robert Forester gets to play.  But if Martin Sheen has taught us anything, it’s that you can always come back.  He started off playing JFK, later showed up as Chief of Staff in The American President but returned to Commander in Chief on The West Wing, because if there’s anyone you can buy as the First Female President, much less the first Black Female President, it’s Angela Bassett.

 

SPOILER WARNING: IT SUCKS!

Down to number six is Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and it’s time so for spoilers to let you know how horrible Perry can get with the hardline Christian dogma that runs through all his films.   The female protagonist winds up with HIV. Yes, the price of infidelity is an incurable disease and that’s only probably only because someone told him that contracting it is no longer the death sentence it once was.  Clearly that whole “love and forgiveness” message from Jesus was lost on Mr. Perry. What makes this particularly offensive is that Black women make up 2/3 of all new HIV transmissions among women.  Clearly they are all cheating whores who aren’t there for their men and need to find themselves some Jesus.  Did I mention the first time she actually gets raped?  Or that she not only goes on to have a relationship but he beats her and gets her addicted to cocaine?  None of which would have happened if she’d just resisted temptation. Or should I say “Tyler Perry’s Temptation.” Hey, isn’t pride a sin too? Or in this case “Tyler Perry’s Sin.”

 

ETC

Oz The Great and Powerful is down to number seven, followed by The Host at number eight and The Call at number nine.

 

SINS AGAINST COMEDY

Finally closing out the top ten at number ten is Admission and I do think there’s something amazingly appropriate in comedy legend Lily Tomlin playing Tina Fey’s mom.  Not enough to make me see it, but it is nice. Oh, and Michael Sheen who played Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock is also here as Fey’s cheating boyfriend. My god, how much talent did this film freaking waste?

 

CEREAL KILLER

I can’t stress enough how much I love that new TV shows never stop coming.  When I was kid we had to wait once a year. You people are freaking spoiled. This week Hannibal—which I thought was coming next fall—debuted and this should be of great concern to The Following given it was a thinly veiled rip-off of the entire relationship between Hannibal Lecter and the man who caught him, Will Graham as best shown in Manhunter (we’re going to pretend Red Dragon just never happened, like most of Brett Ratner’s career).  Charming, college professor contacted by FBI agent while researching killings turns out to be the serial killer.  They even had James Purefoy give Kevin Bacon near fatal wounds during his apprehension, just as Lecter gave to Will Graham.  Needless to say, it’s infinitely better. Better writing, better cast, better direction, better everything.  Maybe a bit too stylized which is easy for a pilot, but more difficult to maintain on a weekly basis since it has to fit the murders. One significant change is that Will Graham isn’t an FBI Agent due to the fact he’s suffering from Asperger’s/is autistic and is just a consultant (but he still gets a gun like Kevin Bacon it seems).  Again, this seems a pile on of “hey, let’s make him more interesting with a trendy disorder.”  Add to this he suffer from nightmares that make him sweat through sheets and collects stray dogs and you wonder what eccentricy they actually left behind. I’m waiting on him being a virgin to come up.  Of course the first time we meet Hannibal he’s eating. Right after we’re told the killer in question is eating the liver of the girls no less.  And because you can’t have a show named after him without him doing what he does best, he kills one poor girl and eats her lungs.  It’s actually short of gore, but infinitely more disturbing than the bloodletting on The Following.  The problem with this show is that how long can Will see Lecter every week and not see he’s a serial killer? We know the endgame and will only wait so long and can only endure so many “close calls”—not to mention the inevitable deaths of people who stumble onto the truth—before we get there. Yeah, I know they stretched out Clark Kent becoming Superman to ten years on Smallville, but you don’t want to have that be your example. Then there’s elephant in the room: an appearance by Clarice Starling? I honestly think the nothing lets you know how good a show is than feeling it should have a definitive beginning, middle and end and not go on forever.

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