DRIVE, THE STUDIO ACCOUNTANT SAID! DRIVE!

27 May

Alice-Eve-5

 1. Fast & Furious 6/Universal                Wknd/$ 122.0           Total/$122.0

 2. The Hangover Pt. III/Warners          Wknd/$  51.0            Total/$  63.0

 3. Star Trek Into Darkness/Par              Wknd/$  47.0            Total/$ 155.8

 4. Epic/Fox                                                 Wknd/$  42.6            Total/$   42.6

 5. Iron Man 3/Paramount                       Wknd/$  24.4            Total/$ 372.4

 6. The Great Gatsby/Warners                Wknd/$  17.0            Total/$ 117.7

 7. Mud/                                                        Wknd/$   2.4            Total/$  15.0

 8. The Croods/Fox                                     Wknd/$   1.6            Total/$ 179.6

 9. 42/ Warners                                            Wknd/$   1.6            Total/$  91.4

10. Oblivion/Universal                               Wknd/$    .8             Total/$  87.6

 

MAKING YOUR BRAIN GO SLOWER SO THE CARS SEEM FASTER

Fast & Furious 6 opens huge at number one to no one’s surprise. The only real surprise is how this has gone six films with not a single imitator in sight. Seriously. When something works, everyone tries to create one of their own while denying they’re doing just that (remember how many Black family sitcoms popped up win the wake of The Cosbys or how many comedians got surnamed sitcoms in the wake of Seinfeld or how many 60’s period dramas showed up after Mad Men), but no one is making movies about fast cars much less multi-ethnic ensembles and there’s the real key to the success of this franchise. Everyone gets to see themselves onscreen as one of the good guys and not just working for the white guy (I’m looking at you, Star Trek).  In fact, if you want to be technical, Paul Walker is a minority as pretty everyone else is of color and yes, that includes Vin “Yeah, My Dad Is Black, But Let’s Not Make A Thing Of It” Diesel and Dwayne “Yeah, I’m Part Black Too, But I Self Identity As Samoan” Johnson.  Now, given the first film was pretty much a remake of Point Break with cars, you shouldn’t come in looking to have your intelligence taxed. Why this gets a break and Star Trek doesn’t is that Star Trek didn’t start off as mind-numbingly dumb.  In fact, its goal was to make you think.  This never pretended to be and would honestly prefer that you didn’t, starting with The Rock needing to recruit Vin Diesel’s team to track down a para-military group of automotive hijackers who are stealing military equipment, because apparently no one in NATO can be bothered to do it, nor do they have the personnel. IN ALL OF NATO!  I’d bring up Interpol not having the people either but given the only two people in all of Interpol we ever see are Vin Diesel and Gina Carano—even when the Interpol headquarters in London is being attacked—I’d say it’s pretty clear they’ve got staffing issues.  What makes this series run, what’s always made it run is the chemistry between the cast members, with Vin Diesel as its low burn machismo center.  In fact, if you timed it out, there may be more screen time spent on the characters interacting than on the physics and logic defying action sequences.  Maybe that’s the reason why there have been no imitators. No one can believe anyone is basically paying to see people talk in front of pretty cars they occasionally drive…and destroy.

 

IF THERE ARE NO SMALL ROLES ONLY SMALL ACTORS, THEN WHY ARE SMALL ACTORS SO MAJORLY ANNOYING?

There’s a movie opening at number two that has the characters from The Hangover films, but doesn’t even remotely follow the basic hangover plot, so I’m wondering why it’s called The Hangover Part III.  I mean, I guess you could argue that given the plot relates to the first film so it’s a “hangover” from that storyline, but that’s a tad esoteric for a film series that counts monkeys and sex with she-males in Bangkok as sources for humor.  Aside from utterly abandoning its raison d’être it also makes the mistake of pushing secondary characters to the forefront.  Zach Galifinakis and Ken Jeong made a little go a long way in both films as Allan and Mr. Chow, but this film could almost be called Allan & Mr. Chow, but isn’t because no one would see that and there’s a reason why. What was funny for a second, is irritating for five minutes and this is 100 minutes of mostly irritation.  Not to mention if the series has had any star it’s been Ed Helms as Stu, but with no “hangover” we lose Stu’s slow meltdown trying to discover why he deformed himself.  He’s basically reduced to Zach Galifinakis’ straight man here which is a criminal waste.  It’s probably the first time Justin Bartha didn’t regret getting more screen time in one of these movies.  But there are two golden moments: a post credit sequence that should have been the start of the film and we get to watch Michael Epps die onscreen. That’s always worth paying for.

 

THIS AIN’T THE 50’S. YOU NEED MORE THAN A RACK AND AN ACCENT.

Star Trek Into Darkness is down to number three and it’s been fun watching JJ Abrams trying to squirm his way out of Alice Eve’s gratuitous underwear scene.  While the writer flat out apologized for it, Abrams tried to laugh it off by pointing out Kirk had his shirt off earlier and there was a deleted scene with Benedict Cumberbach in the shower.  Um, no.  First off all the operative word for the latter is “deleted” so it doesn’t count. Second, even in you had included it, like Kirk’s scene that was about him.  It said something about those characters. Alice Eve isn’t in her underwear making a statement about her character while being ogled by the camera. That said, she looks amazing, but how long before Hollywood gives up on trying to make Alice Eve into something?  She’s been in a lot of Big Summer Movies (Sex & The City 2, Men In Black 3) but none of it is leading to her as a star in her own right.  I smell a sitcom headed your way. Better grab it before the next large-breasted pretty girl with an accent shows up. Just ask Julia Ormond.

 

IT SAYS HERE ON YOUR RESUME THAT YOU MAKE CRAP CONSISTENTLY…

Epic opens at number four and as attracted as I was to the basic plot of this (young girl is shrunken to find a civilization of tiny people living in the forest) I was repelled by the words “From the creators of Ice Age.”  That’s like telling me the great looking cake in front of me was made by the guy who cleans the bathrooms with no gloves. I’m gonna have to take a pass.

 

I KNOW YOUR MOM SAID YOU WERE SPECIAL, BUT SHE LIED

Iron Man 3 is down to number five and they’re talking about Robert Downey Jr possibly not coming back as Iron Man. Well when you give a guy $50M (his backend from The Avengers), his impetus to work decreases immeasurably.  Some worry that no one else can play the role. Yeah, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig might have something to say about that.

 

THE OTHERS

The Great Gatsby is down to number six, followed by Mud actually rising to number seven while The Croods drops to number eight.

 

NO UGLY PEOPLE IN OUR FRANCHISE

42 is down to number nine and also in this is Lucas Black, who was also in The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift. Wonder how he feels this morning looking at the box office results. I mean the guy who died in that film went on to make three more, but he was the actual star of that movie and is nowhere to be seen. You know when he runs into Vin Diesel (or the actor who played the dead guy) at parties it’s an awkward situation.

 

GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW

Finally, Oblivion closes out the top ten at number and with $120M budget, a worldwide return of $267M isn’t a flop but about $100M away from being in the black.  Needless to say, Mission Impossible 5 has been announced and don’t be surprised if there’s a Jack Reacher sequel as despite his horrible miscasting hat made over $200M worldwide from a $60M budget.  There’s still some juice left in Tom so long as you don’t spend too much squeezing it out.

 

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