SHOULDN’T IT “AFTER ERF?”

2 Jun

mr

 1. Fast & Furious 6/Universal                   Wknd/$  34.5            Total/$170.4

 2. Now You See Me/LGF                            Wknd/$  28.1            Total/$  28.1

 3. After Earth/Sony                                     Wknd/$  27.0            Total/$  27.0

 4. Star Trek Into Darkness/Par                 Wknd/$  16.4            Total/$ 181.2

 5. Epic/Fox                                                    Wknd/$  16.4            Total/$  65.2

 6. The Hangover Pt. III/Warners             Wknd/$  15.9             Total/$  88.1

 7. Iron Man 3/Paramount                          Wknd/$   8.0             Total/$ 384.8

 8. The Great Gatsby/Warners                   Wknd/$   6.3              Total/$ 128.3

 9. Yei Jawaani Hai Deewani/Eros            Wknd/$   1.7               Total/$    1.7

10. Mud/                                                          Wknd/$   1.2              Total/$  16.9

 

THE YOUNG AND THE BRAKELESS

Fast & The Furious 6 holds onto the number one slot and as been mentioned, this film heralds the return of Michelle Rodriguez to the franchise, which is pretty impressive given she died in number four.  I won’t give away how she comes back, but if you’re a fan of soap operas it’s going to feel pretty familiar to you. They even throw in some amnesia into really make it really feel like it’s an episode of “The Cars of Our Lives” or “All My Cylinders.” I’ve always joked that in every single film she makes Michelle Rodriguez is either in a white or black tank top or both. This film is no exception. I’m not exaggerating to a bit to say THAT’S ALL SHE WEARS!  Not even a gray or off-white tank, much less an actual shirt. Black or white tanks…period.  Granted she looks good in them and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but while other actors are sometimes delighted to take home their wardrobes, she’s probably sighing and thinking, “Great. More Hanes. Not even Calvin Klein.”

 

YOU WON’T SEE ME THAT’S FOR SURE

Now You See Me opens at number two and I’ll admit to a bias here, which is why I didn’t see it: I don’t particularly care for heist or con flicks.  No even when they’re comedies which is why I didn’t care for Ocean’s 11 beyond the first half hour recruitments, much less its plodding sequels.  They aren’t so much suspenseful or clever to me so much as clichéd (no matter how high tech the building is, there’s always a rat that threatens to undo everything) and condescending, trying to make me feel dumb that I didn’t see THE BIG TWIST at the end that now seems so obvious when they point out all the clues in the inevitable “Clarissa Explains It All” scene that comes at the end of the movie. My reaction isn’t so much, “Oh, wow” as  “F__k you and your little dog too.”  You may say this is just my own paranoia and insecurity, but that just means you’re against me as well!

 

NOT EVEN MR. MAY 31ST NOW

Opening at a disappointing three is After Earth despite a double dose of Will Smith and by that I mean his son, Jaden, aka “Will Smith 2.0.”  I’ve nothing against him personally and actually found him quite appealing in The Karate Kid remake last year, but you’re not doing a kid any favors to put him on the big screen during his “awkward” phase when every day you don’t know what octave his speaking voice is going to be and we get quite a few in this film (Will Smith himself has said that his son gained twenty pounds and a few inches from start to finish).  But we probably wouldn’t be paying as much attention to these things if what was going on in the film were more compelling.  This is basically a “coming-of-age boy against the wilderness” film in a science fiction setting. It’d be the same thing if set in the present and their plane had just crashed in any of the world’s jungles.  In this case it’s the Earth of the far future, where a thousand years after mankind had abandoned it due to pollution, nature has reclaimed it with a vengeance with the absolutely silly caveat “All life here has evolved to kill humans.” Not only is that completely ridiculous and the opposite of how evolution works (the absence of humans would be a lessened defensiveness to us), it’s not even true in the context of the film.  The animals don’t do anything that any wild animal wouldn’t do to you now and in one glaring sequence one actually seeks to aid the boy.  Not helping is that they aren’t very interesting given this is science fiction. Slightly mutated baboons, tigers and condors. That’s it.  I mean, at least throw in a giant spider or something really scary.  Maybe some apes on horseback.  There is one real monster, however, and it comes from an otherwise useless backstory involving aliens that ultimately plays no real part in the film other than to provide Will Smith 2.0’s final rite of passage.  It could have just as easily could have been a tiger or bear given a) he’s never seen one before so it would be a monster as far as he was concerned, and b) in a thousand years despite spaceships and warp travel and fighting aliens people haven’t developed any better weapons than a big knives. No, I’m not kidding. No guns in the future laser or otherwise, only big knives.  Because this is a coming of age film, Will Smith’s job is literally to sit around and watch his son (his legs are broken in the crash) and the weakest moments of the film are his tough military dad dialogue which boarder on parody like The Great Santini In Space (for a second I thought he was going to start hitting the boy in the head with a basketball while taunting him).  Not helping are the odd accents everyone has that the Smiths do the poorest. But ultimately what’s the point in have two Will Smiths if neither one is going to be Will Smith?

 

SPOILERS COMING AT YOU AT WARP SPEED

Epic holds at number four while Star Trek Into Darkness is down to number five and is being seen by Paramount as a disappointment.  It has yet to make its budget domestic or overseas, which was their real target audience to the point they were downplaying the “Star” in Star Trek.  Gee, can’t imagine why a series about adventures in space is disappointing you when you downplay the adventures in space part and make half of it happen on earth! Not to mention going out of your way to hide the fact that this is basically a remake of “Space Seed” the episode that introduced Khan who would later display some wrath in the film that jumpstarted the Star Trek film series after the first one, while financially successful, wasn’t exactly embraced by people other than geeks.  Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.  They’re trying so hard to keep the old audience while gaining new one that they wind up pleasing no one at all.

 

EVEN THE CRIMINALS KNEW THIS WAS A MISTAKE

The Hangover is down to number six and much was made of the fact Mel Gibson was bounced from a cameo in the second due to his treatment of his then girlfriend, with most of the pressure coming from Zack Galifinakis who didn’t want to work with someone who treated women that way. This would be impressive if convicted Mike Tyson hadn’t been in the first two films.  Maybe it’s the reason he’s not in the third. Or maybe he looked at the script and realized it was a bad idea to abandon the basic premise of your film.

 

SOMETHING ONLY GEEKS DO

Iron Man 3 is down to number seven and now’s the time when we play the game of looking back at past roles played by the actors and apply their comic book roles…so Pepper Potts dated Daredevil in Bounce and Happy Hogan was his legal partner.  War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Batman (George Clooney) were part of Ocean’s 11 while Iron Man and Batman (Val Kilmer) were private detectives in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.  Iron Man and Spider-man (Tobey Maguire) were lovers in Wonder Boys, while Iron Man and Catwoman (Halle Berry) were exes in Gothika and Iron Man actually beat up Blade (Wesley Snipes) in US Marshals.

 

IF PEOPLE LIKE WATCHING YOU DIE THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING

Speaking of Tobey Maguire, The Great Gatsby is down to number eight and it hasn’t done too badly, having made $248M worldwide from a $105M budget.  It’s already broken even and is $50M away from firmly turning a profit, so the rule holds true: kill off Leonardo DiCaprio in the end and your film will make money.  Titanic, Romeo & Juliet, The Departed and now this.  Blood Diamond is the exception that proves the rule.  No, neither Django Unchained nor The Quick & The Dead counts because he wasn’t the star of those.

 

THERE’S A WHOLE WORLD YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

Yei Jawaani Hai Deewani opens at number nine and if you’ve never heard of this (or can even pronounce it) don’t feel bad. Few people have.  It’s the Bollywood equivalent of those Christian-themed films that occasionally pop up in the top ten thanks to a devoted fan turnout. What makes this even more impressive is that it’s almost three hours long so couldn’t even run as many times a day as a normal feature.  Will this result in more Bollywood releases in the US? Of course not, silly rabbit.  This will be viewed as the aberration it is…no matter how many times it happens.

 

CANDY IS DANDY…

Finally, Mud closes out the top ten after a pretty good run and you can best believe the producers on Reese Witherspoon’s next film will be sure to get here ice and liquored up around release time, because there’s honestly no other reason why this happened.

 

 

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