THOU SHALT NOT TOP CHARLTON HESTON!

14 Dec

ND

1. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox                        Wknd/$ 24.5   Total/$ 24.5
2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1          Wknd/$ 13.2   Total/$ 277.4
3. Penguins of Madagascar/Fox                        Wknd/$ 7.3     Total/$ 58.8
4. Top Five/Paramount                                       Wknd/$ 7.2     Total/$ 7.2
5. Big Hero 6/Disney                                           Wknd/$ 6.1      Total/$ 185.3
6. Interstellar/Paramount                                   Wknd/$ 5.5     Total/$ 166.8
7. Horrible Bosses 2/WB                                     Wknd/$ 4.6     Total/$ 43.6
8. Dumb and Dumber To/Universal                 Wknd/$ 2.8     Total/$ 82.1
9. The Theory of Everything/Focus                   Wknd/$ 2.5     Total/$ 17.1
10. Wild/FoxSearchlight                                      Wknd/$ 1.6     Total/$ 2.4

LET IT BE WRITTEN. LET IT BE DONE.
Exodus: Gods and Kings opens at number one and why remake The Ten Commandments? You’re not gonna top Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner so why bother? Not to mention you’re living in a modern area where a lily-white cast playing non-whites is going to be examined, questioned and criticized, which this was. The animated version, Prince of Egypt made sure their leads were all nice and brown. I didn’t see it because I so love the Cecile B. DeMille version and look forward to it on TV every Easter. Yeah, I know I could just buy it, but it’s more fun to watch on TV. This, however, does not look enjoyable to watch much less fun. Add to this my dislike of Ridley Scott in general and you’ve got one less movie fare and apparently I was not alone because even though this opened at number one it was well below expectations. Good. Suck it, Scott.

WHEN TOM CRUISE CALLS, THEN YOU’LL KNOW YOU’VE MADE IT
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 finally dips to number two and also in this is Natalie Dormer a woman who knows something about giant franchises and getting in on the pulse of something. She was the blonde who makes out with Captain America in the first film (she also bagged Thor in the film Rush), caught the Sherlock revival wave as Moriarty on the Elementary TV show and is also on Game of Thrones.  Her agents and/or manager truly deserve their cut, as this career is incredibly well-managed. But she hasn’t “made it” yet because a) she hasn’t grabbed a leading role yet and b) it not with a star more than a decade her senior. Oh, shut up. You know it’s true.

NO, THEY DIDN’T CHANGE IT IN ENGLAND
Penguins of Madagascar is down to number three and here’s a little trivia for you: when animated films go overseas they often get the biggest stars of that country to do the voices. So if you wonder why this is doing better overseas than here that may have a little something to do with it.

BE YOURSELF ISN’T ALWAYS GOOD ADVICE
Top Five opens at number four and often I’ve said that Chris Rock is such a bad actor he can’t even play himself (an affliction shared by Madonna and Mick Jagger). Well, he sadly proves it yet again in this film where he’s basically playing himself: a comedian who went from stand up to films (though the character’s superstar level and increasing desire to be taken seriously as an actor is more Eddie Murphy). It’s unfortunate because this is probably his best film work ever, but it’s constantly being undercut by his horrible performance in dramatic moments. He writes scenes that he can’t even come close to performing. Even a convincing eyeroll is beyond his capabilities, much less the depth needed to play a recovering alcoholic secretly terrified that the can’t be funny while sober. He’s not helped by the fact that everyone around him is more than capable of performing, many of them not just comedians who parlayed themselves into a film career but Saturday Night Live alums as well. In fact, it’s easier to name all the black SNL cast members who aren’t here than are (Eddie Murphy, Tim Meadow and Keenan Thompson most obviously). And for the last time, NOBODY WANTS TO SEE YOU KISS ANYONE! A former friend once differentiated between Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy in that Rock was simply “unfuckable.”

PURE HATRED: THE PERFECT CURE FOR THESE WINTER MONTHS
Big Hero Six is down to number five, followed by Interstellar at number six and that warm feeling washing over me is the pure schadenfreude for it gaining exactly one Golden Globe nomination. For score. It may be the first time I’ve ever respected them.

LIKE GIVING A MONKEY A DIAMOND
Horrible Bosses is down to number seven and grossly underused in this is Christoph Waltz who seems more than game as a man who is not just a horrible boss but also a horrible father on top of it, but he has the least amount of screen time. Way to make use of a two time Oscar winner, guys.

FROM THE RIDICULOUS TO THE SUBLIME
Dumb and Dumber To is down to number eight followed by The Theory of Everything beginning its Oscar run with four Golden Globe nominations including Best Actor and Actress.

YOU CAN’T STOP HER YOU CAN ONLY HOPE TO CONTAIN HER
Speaking of Oscars, Wild enters the top ten and after some disastrous career moves that climaxed in a) stupidly saying she’d never be the star of an action movie (what do you think pays the bills, honey?) and b) choosing to be in This Means War, Reese Witherspoon is trying to turn the tide Matthew Conughey style with gritty indie work. She was even in one of his rebound films, Mud. You can’t get much grittier than a film called “Mud.” It seems to be working as the sole Golden Globe nomination for this film was for Best Actress, which is honestly the only reason it exists. This is not to say she’s not covering her bets, Hollywood style as she also released another racial “feel good” movie along the lines of The Blindside called The Good Lie. Also she originally optioned Gone Girl as star vehicle for herself, but had to settle for being a producer. Guess what film also received a nomination for Best Actress?

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