21 Apr


 1. Oblivion/Universal                                    Wknd/$ 38.2        Total/$  38.2

 2. 42/ Warners                                                Wknd/$ 18.0        Total/$  54.1

 4. Scary Movie 5/Dimension                        Wknd/$   6.3        Total/$  22.9

 3. The Croods/Fox                                          Wknd/$   9.5        Total/$ 154.9

 5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation/Paramount             Wknd/$   5.8        Total/$ 111.2

 6. The Place Beyond the Pines/Focus         Wknd/$   4.7         Total/$   11.4

 7. Olympus Has Fallen/FD                            Wknd/$   4.5        Total/$   88.8

 8. Evil Dead/Tristar                                        Wknd/$   4.1         Total/$   48.4

 9. Jurassic Park 3D/Universal                      Wknd/$   4.0        Total/$   38.5

10. Oz The Great & Powerful/Disney            Wknd/$   3.0       Total/$  223.8           



Oblivion opens at number one and I’m going to turn this one over to my 21st Century Movie Buddy (who is also one of my geek girls). I shouldn’t because she’s better than I am, but fortunately for me she’s too burdened with an actual social life and career to truly replace me…


“I’m going to start by complaining of a small but significant pet peeve: excessive use of horn blares (you know: BRMMMMMM) in sci-fi movies. They’re using these a LOT nowadays to elicit a reaction of foreboding and uncertainty and this movie is no exception. The problem? There IS no foreboding or uncertainty in this movie because it’s utterly predictable. There was not one aspect of this movie that you couldn’t guess if you’re paying minimal attention, or have been watching or reading any sci-fi made in the last hundred years or so. I’m fairly certain that I could go through the Star Trek omnibus (or as Angrygeek suggested The Outer Limits) and cobble this movie together with three or four intersecting plots.  Speaking of the plot, here it is: it’s 2077, sixty years after extraterrestrials referred to as “Scavs” blow up the moon, which caused tectonic devastation and wiped out a huge chunk of the human population. Humans retaliated with nuclear weapons, resulting in a pyrrhic victory. Most remaining humans live on Saturn’s moon, Titan, and on a way station in the earth’s orbit called the Tet.  Tom Cruise is Jack, a technician and one of the last remaining humans on earth. His job is to maintain drones that protect giant sea pumps (they are mining water for the Titan settlement) from Scav marauders. Andrea Riseborough plays Victoria, his comm officer and occasional unsexy pool sex partner. They both report to Sally (Melissa Leo, without crunchy Southie bangs), leader of mission control on the Tet. Tom Cruise often dreams about That One Bond Girl (Olga Kurylenko) meeting him on the Empire State Building, but the timing is off as the Empire State Building has been in ruins for decades, destroyed before he was even born. One day, while out surveying a mysterious signal broadcast by the Scavs (incidentally, from the top of the mostly-buried Empire State Building), That One Bond Girl coincidentally crashes from the sky and everything he knows is now in question (BRMMMMMM REMEMBER HOW COOL THESE WERE IN INCEPTION BRMMMMMM).  I’m not allowed to spoil the movie (which is like drinking lots of water and then being told I have to stand next to a toilet for two hours without being allowed to pee) but let’s just say that a) there’s an obvious twist, especially if you’ve seen the commercials, and b) once you learn the twist, you will ask yourself why Joseph Kosinski didn’t invest in a script doctor. The space villains who want to decimate everything on earth are essentially a MacGuffin…until Kosinsky decides halfway through the story that they aren’t. He doesn’t make this switch effectively because he’s not willing to give any rhyme or reason. Instead, we get an hour of Tom Cruise motorbiking in the desert, taking naps in the grass while listening to Led Zeppelin, falling into obvious booby traps, and replaying a De Beer’s diamond commercial in his head.  The cast isn’t horrible, but they’re also not compelling. As you suspect, Tom Cruise plays Tom Cruise, because his celebrity has transcended his acting.  He and his asymmetrical front teeth pull you out of the action from time to time when you start wondering if he made a space movie so he could put subliminal photos of David Miscavige in the background (I counted seven). Olga Kurylenko is beautiful but literally passive–she spends the movie in stasis, fainting, lying in bed, lying injured, and in stasis again. She’s also there so the studio can fulfill Cruise’s perpetual contractual request to ride a motorbike with a hot chick on the back so that focus is drawn from his height. Andrea Riseborough plays a beautiful, svelte redhead with an accent who only exists to follow protocol and serve Jack forlornly, which is a totally new and not at all familiar direction for Tom Cruise’s love interests. Morgan Freeman and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau play some other surviving humans and are in the film for about five minutes each because they are both taller than 5’7″.  The only good thing Oblivion did for me was remind me to watch Game of Thrones, because Coster-Waldau was like a sexy, brooding Jaime Lannister if he were The Road Warrior. Don’t let the horn blares distract you–unlike Inception, there’s nothing intriguing about this film that hasn’t been done before, and better.”



42 is down to number two and also in this is Harrison Ford who long ago reached the “Sean Connery” portion of his career—the realization that he can no longer open or carry a film despite his permanent A-list status and now needs a young actor to do the heavy lifting—but this is the first time it’s worked out.  The key is a “young” actor, not merely “younger.” Ford is in his 70’s. EVERYONE is younger than he is!  Arnold Schwarzenegger is younger than he is!  The entire cast of The Expendables is younger than he is! Not to mention Daniel Craig who was his co-star in Cowboys & Aliens and Brendan Fraser who was his co-star in Extraordinary Measures.  40-something is not a “young” co-star. Only Rachel McAdams was truly younger in Morning Glory but most people stayed away from that for fear that he might kiss her and they’d be vomiting in their popcorn after watching Grandpa Solo make out with her (for the record they are not love interests, but it doesn’t make that movie any better).  Only Josh Harnett truly fit the bill in Hollywood Homicide, which tanked, but hey, Connery stumbled at first too with Miles O’Keefe as his young co-star. Don’t remember Miles O’Keefe? Exactly.  I’m thinking Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum is about five seconds away from happening.



The Croods holds at number three and none is more grateful than Ryan Reynolds as this continues the illusion that he has hit movies.  He’s just a voice, but his agent would be the first to remind you it still counts.



Scary Movie 5 is down to number four, followed by GI Joe Retaliation at number five and also in this is none other than Boyd Crowder hisself, Walton Goggins, who is ratcheting up a nice little resume from Oscar-winning quality (Lincoln, Django Unchained) to big-budget popcorn fare like here.  Of course in two out of the three he doesn’t live to see the end, but it’s a small price to pay to be in two Best Picture nominees in one year.



The Place Beyond the Pines jumps to number six thanks to an additional thousand theaters added to its release and also in this is Eva Mendes making it clear that Ryan Gosling is one of those actors who hooks up with his single co-stars, going back to Sandra Bullock in Murder By Numbers. Or it could just mean he likes a swing on that back porch because there’s only one common denominator between Blake Lively (though he didn’t work with her and tried to keep it under wraps to no avail), McAdams and Mendes and Sir Mix-A-Lot would understand. Now, in a business where women are marginalized once they’re over 30 Mendes is not only working, but regularly as the love interest to male co-stars who are actually younger than she is.  I’ve no doubt it’s because like many minorities the usually white people doing the casting have no idea how old she really is and their liberal guilt won’t let them admit it (thank you 30 Rock for showcasing this expertly).



Olympus Has Fallen holds at number seven and this was directed by Antoine Fuqua, who actually directed Eva Mendes in her big breakthrough role in Training Day over a decade ago.  This is semi-important because along with GI Joe Retaliation director, Jon Chu, he proves that minorities can direct successful big budget action movies.  Of course given how utterly stupid both movies are, it’s a dubious honor to be added to a list alongside Michael Bay.  It’s like the first time you see a minority cop being accused of police brutality.



Evil Dead is down to number eight, followed by Jurassic Park 3D at number nine and Oz The Great and Powerful closing out the top ten at ten and you have to wonder if the producers are now a tad pissed at James Franco when he clearly gave them nothing for their $215 budgeted film, but was invested in the micro-budgeted Spring Breakers and even the opening sketch on last week’s MTV Movie Awards (aka, Stars Turn Out To Push Their Summer Movies On The Kids).  On one hand you have a hit and you can’t prove he wasn’t part of it, but on the other hand he could give a crap and doesn’t care if anyone knows it.



So, I’ve recently rediscovered the public library. Granted, it’s due mostly to money issues (I’m still paying for ’12) but I’ve no regrets, especially given it’s allowing me to take home super expensive photography books that I could never afford otherwise. I mean I could, but I have a hard time rationalizing forty fucking dollars for a book of pretty pictures.  I say this with full awareness of the fact I now have a full Funko Pop Justice League collection, which is 8 figures at no less than $10 a pop.  I think this fully explains the money issue that brought back to the library in the first place, no?  No I used to have a card a million years ago but mostly would the library as a place to crash between job interviews when I was living in Brooklyn right after college (Sunset Park, bitchez!).  But my pit stop of the Mid-Manhattan Library (right across the street from THE New York Library with its two famous guardian lions on 42nd Street) bears little resemblance to that place.  Aside from the goddamn Dewey Decimal system (yes, I’m old enough to remember it) being wonderfully replaced by computers, which even tell you what floor you can find your book are the freaking comic books. Oh, sorry. As a geek I should be the first to call them “graphic novels” but who are we kidding?  They are comic books and you can actually take them out.  The only thing sadder than that is that I was tempted to do so, but then remember the stack of unread comics on my floor at home (and we’re back to the money issues that have me there in the first place). Honestly, I only meant to look around that first time because there was no way I could take home massive, expensive coffee table books, could I? You bet your ass I could. Herb Ritts’ Notorious is gigantic and out of print but it was in my backpack and out the door. Of course, there’s a price and in this case some of the pages were clearly ripped out (this is why you can’t have nice things!) but the fact it was even there to be borrowed was stunning.  So was Annie Lebowitz’s tome about her entire career!  This is crazy! Don’t you know you can’t trust people!?!  Why would you let them take these things!?!  But they do, and I have every weekend since.  Also, because I have to take it back, it forces me to actually read the books, unlike say the books I’ve bought which sit unread, gathering dust (and one more time, back to money issues).  Of course it’s not all peaches and cream.  It is public and by definition that means anyone can go there, making it an oasis for the homeless and those damn near, judging by the smell and it’s debatable if the Library’s attempt to mitigate with air fresheners makes it better or merely combines with it to make it worse.  And I’d avoid the bathroom if I were you.  They befall the fate of any public toilet.  But again: FREE BOOKS AND MOVIES (that technically you pay for with your tax dollars).



Drea DeMatteo is a tough cop who doesn’t play by the rules.  Jodi Lynn O’Keefe is a beautiful assistant DA fighting politics for justice and Mena Suvari is the lesbian stalker they’re after in Stalkers, a Lifetime Movie, which was clearly a pilot for a series. What wasn’t clear is how it wasn’t little more than porn and the three of them didn’t end up in a naked sweaty heap.  But again, it was Lifetime and their insistence on seriously looking at how women’s complaints against their male stalkers are devalued in society until its too late wouldn’t allow this cliché-ridden TV movie to be the softcore porn camp fest I so wanted it to be.  Come on, I can’t be the only one who was waiting for DeMatteo or O’Keefe to be “forced” to go undercover to try and get Suvari to seduce them and have “feelings awakened.”  Fine, then. But it’s good to see DeMatteo again. After her most recent appearance on Californication where she was a sight more “full-figured” than her days on The Sopranos, I thought she was going to be one of those actors who frankly didn’t give a fuck and wasn’t going to diet to make Hollywood happy, but the weight is gone and she’s back into fighting shape and clearly down for a series of her own.  O’Keefe’s icy beauty best known from her turn as the bitchy prom queen in She’s All That has aged nicely into the embodiment of what Goldie Hawn referred to in The First Wives Club as the “The Three Ages for Women in Hollywood: Sexy DA” which comes after “Babe” which she clearly was.  So was Suvari after American Pie and American Beauty, so I guess there’s a DA role for her somewhere as well.

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