Tag Archives: 300: Rise of an Empire

HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN

30 Mar

Ashley-Judd-ashley-judd-146503_581_666

1. Noah/Paramount                                       Wknd/$ 44.0      Total/$ 44.0
2. Divergent/LGF                                          Wknd/$ 26.5       Total/$ 95.3
3. Muppets Most Wanted/Disney              Wknd/$ 11.4        Total/$ 33.2
4. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                 Wknd/$ 9.5         Total/$ 94.9
5. God’s Not Dead/Free                                Wknd/$ 9.1         Total/$ 22.0
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox             Wknd/$ 8.8        Total/$ 24.5
7. Sabotage/ORF                                            Wknd/$ 5.3        Total/$ 5.3
8. Need for Speed/Touchstone                   Wknd/$ 4.3         Total/$ 37.8
9. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$ 4.3         Total/$ 101.1
10. Non-Stop/Universal                               Wknd/$ 4.1         Total/$ 85.2

BASED ON THE “ORIGINAL” BEST SELLER…
Noah opens up at number one and apparently The Bible is big box office these days. Well, maybe when you remake it as ecologically minded disaster porn, which basicall makes this a biblical version of The Day After Tomorrow. And just as we last saw Jesus as a hot surfer dude, Noah’s back as a sexy DILF, played by none other than Russell Crowe who’s gotta be glad this is washing the memory of Winter’s Tale out of people’s minds like the great flood. Needless to say, I had no interest. Not simply because it was a Bible story, because director Darren Aronofsky is using the “good book” merely for source material like any other best seller. In other words: giving it lip service. They even added the disclaimer “inspired by” to make it clear to the bible-thumpers they were not getting their usual handjob of a movie like those that have preceded this one. This is Hollywood, baby. We’re here to put butts in the seats, lifting your wallets, not your spirits. And clearly they’ve done it, but the question is what happens next week when that Christian money is gone, because if you’ve noticed something about these films, they open big because every. single. one. of those goes to see it, but rarely twice and no one else really cares. That’s okay when your movie costs about $10 and your biggest stars are Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo (more on that later), but this is a $125M film with an Oscar winner who has flat out told you he doesn’t cut his fee for big studio films. It’s gonna have to hang around for a while if you ever want to see another big budget Ten Commandments. My guess? Don’t hold your breath.

THAT MATTHEW MCCONUGHEY ISN’T PLAYING DADS HAS GOT TO HURT
Divergent is down only to number two so we may have actually found our successor to The Hunger Games and while I personally don’t care I’m a little pleased that the trend seems to be female driven. None of the dude-based Young Adult novels have come through onscreen besides Harry Potter. Between Twilight, Hunger Games and now this, it’s clear that women are more likely to turn out to see themselves. And you’ve even got an earlier generation of female lead actresses on-hand to support them as Ashley Judd is here and there was a brief moment in time when her name was above the title and expected to bring people in. Now she’s the mom of the main character. I am so old…

WHAT’S PLURAL FOR JESUS? JESUII?
Muppets Most Wanted is down to number three, followed by Mr. Peabody & Sherman at four and God’s Not Dead at number five and in this are Superman and Hercules, aka Dean Cain and Kevin Sorbo. Somehow it seems appropriate that a pagan Jesus and a pop culture Jesus are in this movie. And given that Dean Cain is a bit of a jerk (we now see that it wasn’t Teri Hatcher but him all this time) there’s schadenfreude that he’s been reduced to doing these kinds of movies. Feel bad for Sorbo, though. Even if he does believe his career has been hurt by being a devout Christian in Hollywood. Yeah, that’s the reason all your co-stars from the show have become such huge stars.

YOU KNOW THEY WANTED THE BEASTIE BOYS SONG
The Grand Budapest Hotel is down to number six with Sabotage opening at number seven and it’s an apt metaphor for Arnold’s attempts to return to movies. He can’t get out of his own way if these are the choices he’s making. First we need to give props to the audacity of the marketing. Rarely has a film been so utterly misrepresented in an attempt to get people into the theater. You think you’re seeing a film about Arnold and his team taking on a drug cartel who are coming after him and his family because they think money was stolen from them? Nope. His wife and family are shown taken (and killed) in the first two minutes then when jump ahead eight months where we see Arnold and his team steal the $10M in a raid where they destroy the rest. The movie is actually a grim drama about the corruption of vengeance with a Hamlet level body count so don’t get too attached to anyone and I mean anyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s any smarter than say Commando. No, Commando looks like it was written by Shakespeare compare to this. It’s stupid beyond measure and lacking the gunfire and explosions you need to forgive it. After the opening raid where the $10M goes missing, the entire DEA team is investigated. One character even asks how the government knew $10M was missing given their mission was to blow it all up and he’s never answered because there is no way they could have known! None! It was a perfect robbery. Then we get to our second bit of stupidity, that the Mexican cartels would be after them for stealing $10M when the team incinerated HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. Um, wouldn’t they be more pissed about that!?! And once we get into the story of Arnold’s wife and kid being kidnapped and killed we’re asked to believe that they [the cartels] came after them because Arnold’s team arrested a kingpin. Okay, that makes a little sense, but then we see that the cartel had the kingpin assassinated in custody, so why take a DEA agent’s family? And then we’re told body parts were shipped to him weekly? Pretty sure the DEA and the Justice Department along with the military would have unleashed the mother of all retaliations if for no other reason than to let it slide would set a horrible precedent for everyone carrying a badge everywhere. The cherry on top this is when we see part of the video of his wife’s death, the face of the guy who kills his her is easily identified (Arnold finds him relatively easily as well), but the whole of the entire US Justice department couldn’t find him!?! Also when the reasons for who is killing the team one by one (and horribly) is revealed it makes No. Freaking. Sense. At. All. It’s a waste of time, talent (seriously, look at that cast) and your life. No wonder Arnold is doing another Terminator film. He needs it like he needs air if these are the only other options available to him.

RENAME IT QUICK & ANGRY ALREADY
Need For Speed is down to number eight and you think this was a complete flop? Think again. It’s made $130M overseas. Yeah, I can’t believe it either. This actually makes sequels a possibility. Well, they’ve got nowhere to go but up quality-wise and given the bulk of the money came from overseas, expect it to be set there as well. You know, like that franchise it really wants to be.

THE END
300 Rise of an Empire is down to number nine followed by Non Stop closing out the top ten at number ten giving everyone in it one in the “win” column and Liam Neeson showing exactly how a 60-something has an action career. Paying attention, Arnold?

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YOUNG ADULT NOVEL ADAPTATION NUMBER 15

23 Mar

936full-eva-green

 1. Divergent/LGF                                           Wknd/$  56.0           Total/$  56.0

 2. Muppets Most Wanted/Disney              Wknd/$  15.6            Total/$  16.5

 3. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                 Wknd/$  11.7             Total/$  81.0

 4. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$   8.7             Total/$  93.8

 5. God’s Not Dead/Free                                Wknd/$   8.6            Total/$    8.6

 6. Need for Speed/Touchstone                   Wknd/$    7.8            Total/$  30.4

 7. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox             Wknd/$    6.8            Total/$   13.0

 8. Non-Stop/Universal                                 Wknd/$    6.3            Total/$  78.6

 9. The LEGO Movie/WB                              Wknd/$    4.1             Total/$ 243.4

10. Single Mom’s Club/LGF                         Wknd/$    3.1             Total/$  12.9

 

YOUNG PERSON, SPECIAL POWERS…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…YOU KNOW THE REST

Divergent opens big at number one and you know how for the past decade every studio has been buying up and making films based on Young Adult series in hopes of getting their own Harry Potter or Twilight and how when that seemed about done, The Hunger Games reignited it? Well, buckle up for the third wave because despite only three successes out of literally over dozen tries—what? You think I’m kidding? Let’s count it off: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Eragon, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ender’s Game, I Am Number Four, The Mortal Instruments, The Host, Beautiful Creatures, The Seeker, Cirque Du Freak, Vampire Academy… Yeah, now you believe me. But all this will be washed away from their memories with Divergent opening at number one. Now, I didn’t see this for pretty much the same reason I didn’t see the others: I don’t like the young people and I really don’t like reminders that I am no longer one of them.  That’s it. No, I’m not going to throw stones in my glass house made of comic books at Young Adult novels. No snobbery here. But I will say this: knowing that it’s a series tells me the movie won’t have a definitive ending and that does put me off a bit.  I’ve got my comic books for freaking stories that never end, thank you very much.

 

WHAT’S WANTED IS MORE CREATIVE PEOPLE AT THE HELM

Muppets Most Wanted opens at a disappointing number two, but honestly I’m partially to blame for that as I am clearly a representative of people who love The Muppets, have loved them all their lives, but still didn’t go to see this (and I saw Muppets From Space).  Not helping was that underwhelming movie that came out last year with one of the worst new Muppets since Scooter’s uncle…or Elmo. Yeah, I said it. Elmo sucks.  It’s like a red Grover baby-talking to you. This looks better, wisely making my favorite Muppet, Kermit, the central character, but still once bitten, twice shy so I gave it a pass in favor of more sleep and clearly I was not alone.  Especially when I saw that damn dull-ass Muppet from last time in the previews. He’s so horrible not even Tina Fey could overcome him.

 

NOTHING PERSONAL

Mr. Peabody & Sherman drop to number three and as the voice of Mr. Peabody is Ty Burrell who is also in Muppets Most Wanted and it’s looking like I’m personally dissing him. I am not. I love him as Phil on Modern Family.  It’s not you, dude. It’s me…and how you seem to appear in movies appealing to the child in me but getting it all wrong.

 

THAT’S SHE’S USUALLY NAKED HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT

300: Rise of an Empire is down to number four and if there’s any good to come out of this being a success, let it be that Eva Green is creeping ever closer to becoming a leading lady in her own right as she’s clearly the best part of this, leaving the charisma-free Sullivan Stapleton in the dust.  She’s going to be starring in Penny Dreadful on  Showtime, whose original programming is the best part of it.  But that’s not saying much given its abysmal movie choices. Let me put it this way: I’m getting it for free and I kinda want it to stop.  May it boost her profile to the next time I see her onscreen she actually lives to see the end. Oh, shut up. It is not a spoiler to tell you the bad guy dies.

 

SOUNDING A LITTLE DEFENSIVE, AREN’T WE?

God’s Not Dead opens strong at number five, picking up the baton dropped by Son of God Last week and whatever fundamentalist Christian movie came out before that.  I’m actually glad these people have their own films so now they can stop bitching about everyone else’s.  And you can’t beat that title.  Even though it’s not true. If it were, there wouldn’t be a fourth Transformers movie coming out this year.

 

EVERYONE KNOWS BAD GUYS ARE UGLY

Need for Speed drops deservedly to number six and one of the biggest mistakes of this is the casting of Aaron Paul as your lead. Sorry, but did they learn nothing from Fast & The Furious? Former model Paul Walker wasn’t cast as the good guy against appealing but-never-mistaken-for-pretty, Vin Diesel by accident. I maintain that Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper were sent each other’s scripts by accident and like the annoying actors they are, were happy to play against type for once.  They also failed to make Aaron’s character a genuinely good guy. As it stands he’s just the protagonist, which doesn’t necessarily make him moral.  And he’s not. He’s just better than Dominic Cooper, who’ll commit manslaughter without blinking and frame someone else for it.  Neither one cares about the innocent lives put into jeopardy by their racing on public streets in broad daylight. Even in Fast & The Furious the racers go out of their way to try and make the streets as empty as possible.  Not to mention Paul Walker being an actual cop (not to mention FBI Agent later).  Cannonball Run had a better grasp on these things than this movie does, which is not a good sign.

 

BUT I SAW NEED FOR SPEED. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?

The Grand Budapest Hotel rise to number seven after literally tripling the number of screens on which it’s playing. Hopefully my living room will eventually be one of them, because it’s looking like that’s the only way I’ll see it.

 

I BLAME HER LACK OF ONSCREEN NUDITY

Non Stop is down to number eight, followed by The LEGO Movie at number nine and Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club closing out the top ten at number ten.  You know it’s killing Nia Long to being reduced to being in this given at one point she was the Halle Berry heir apparent (remember: Hollywood can only handle one leading minority actor at a time; one from each ethnic group), but it’s clearly and overwhelmingly Kerry Washington (having been Zoe Saldana for a hot second, Thandie Newton before that and might be Lupita Nyong’o tomorrow).  Both she and Best Man Holiday co-star, Eddie Cibran, are both in this and I wonder if they rolled eyes at one another at the difference between that film and this one.

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NEED FOR FURIOUS

16 Mar

aaronpaulwalker

 1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                 Wknd/$  21.2            Total/$  63.2

 2. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$  19.1            Total/$  78.3

 3. Need for Speed/Touchstone                   Wknd/$  17.8            Total/$  17.8

 4. Non-Stop/Universal                                 Wknd/$  10.6            Total/$  68.8

 5. Single Mom’s Club/LGF                          Wknd/$    8.3            Total/$    8.3

 6. The LEGO Movie/WB                              Wknd/$    7.7            Total/$ 236.9

 7. Son of God/Fox                                          Wknd/$    5.4            Total/$   50.9

 8. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox            Wknd/$    3.6            Total/$     3.6

 9. Frozen/Disney                                           Wknd/$    2.1            Total/$ 396.4

10. Veronica Mars/Warner                           Wknd/$    2.0            Total/$     2.0

 

MAYBE IT’S IRONIC VIEWING GIVEN THE CURRENT STATE OF GREECE?

Mr. Peabody & Sherman rises to number one because apparently the movies are still cheaper than babysitters, while 300: Rise of an Empire drops to number two because, well it blows. But you might want to prepare yourself for a third installment because this has done gangbusters overseas. Apparently half-naked men fighting for the glory of Greece has an international audience (I doubt Greece itself has enough money to have bought all those tickets). I expect it’ll be about that final battle on Platea that was beginning at the end of 300, which in fact was the final defeat of the Persian Empire in Greece.  This will allow for Sullivan Stapleton to actually return as the lead for the sequel…not that anyone would care or notice, he’s so boring (he’s more interesting as an American on Strike Force).  Apparently Scottish Greeks are much more charismatic than Australian Greeks.  You know, the more of them that we see the more apparent is it becomes that personality isn’t a given amongst actors from “down under.”  Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are clearly the exceptions while blander than bland actors like Stapelton, Sam Worthington, Alex O’Laughlin, Matt Passmore and Ryan Kwanten and Jai Courtney are the rule.

 

I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED FOR A BETTER SCRIPT

Need For Speed opens at number three and the most remarkable thing about this movie is how long it too to get made in that it’s a very popular video game franchise and it’s clearly trying to cash in the Fast & The Furious Franchise with its eclectic group of multi-cultural street racers. Someone trying to make a buck on either is long overdue, much less someone trying to do both at the same time.    Now would think with all the time it had to try to this it’d be better. You’d be wrong.  The great thing about the Need For Speed games is that it decided anyone who’d attempt a street race would be set upon by cops, so you’re not just racing your opponent , but also trying to outrun the law, which is awesome fun.  This should be easiest thing to depict on film given the chase scene is a Hollywood staple, right? Wrong. And it doesn’t help that one of the first scenes in the film is set at a drive-in where they’re watching the first great car chase scene in Bullitt. Way to set the bar, morons.  Enjoy it because you won’t see another car chase for awhile and none in the Need For Speed mode until the very end and when you do the fun of out running cops in an exotic sports car is lost in the collateral damage caused. In a video game you’re not hurting anyone. You simply outrun the police. Onscreen we’re watching cops in wrecks so violent there was undoubtedly a loss of life. How am I supposed to root for the guy in a race that probably killed a cop because that cop was trying to avoid hitting that busload of children?  That the film is too long which gives you time to think on these things doesn’t help.  Rather than simply jump in to the main story which is Aaron Paul’s racing to get revenge and justice on Dominic Cooper for wrecking and killing Paul’s friend (and the younger brother of Cooper’s girlfriend) in a race, we have to see that race…and the situation which led up to it…and a dull race before that…and this is still after an expository opening scene with Michael Keaton as someone kind of internet radio host. He could have easy have summed everything up for us allowing us to start with the better part of the film which is Paul getting out of jail then trying to get cross country in less than two days to be in a race to defeat Dominic Cooper. That the movie is all kinds of dumb goes without saying.  The “big secret race” is anything but and Michael Keaton (who is also its organizer) is broadcasting it online in detail for the world to see!  Pretty sure the first rule of Secret Race Club is not to tell the world about Secret Race Club. He’s also supposed to be a mystery, yet he shows his face in his broadcasts!  Now, I know it’s dark and cynical of me to say that the Fast & Furious franchise is ripe for a competitor with the loss of Paul Walker, but it’s true.  Fortunately for them this isn’t it.

 

I AM JACK’S ANGRY TASTE

Non Stop is down to number four, followed by Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club opening at number five and I’d say that this opening low was a sign that maybe Tyler Perry’s annoying run was finally showing signs of fatigue, but it probably only cost about $2 to make, so it will probably be profitable in the long run.  In an odd way this may not even count as most of his films are aimed squarely at a Black audience (like a sniper’s rifle in my opinion, hating him the way I do) while this is clearly trying to bring a wider (aka “White”) audience.  The lesson that might be sadly taken away from this I don’t even want to think about, because it’s the excuse that Hollywood uses every day to justify a lack of diversity. Why am I even thinking this much about a freaking Tyler Perry movie!?! Next!

 

YET ANOTHER THING THAT IS AWESOME

The LEGO Movie is down to number six. Hold on. Let me think of how great, original and funny this was to wipe all thoughts of Tyler Perry from my mind. Ahhhhhhh. Now it’s been out for over a month and a half now so it’s hardly a spoiler to talk about how Star Wars pops up onscreen with Han, Lando and C3Po showing up in the Millennium Falcon. It’s a great scene and Billy Dee Williams and Anthony actually do the voices of Lando and C3PO. You know Harrison Ford was too much of a grumpy old man to do Han.

 

PTTD: POST TRAUMATIC TWEE DISORDER

Son of God is down to number seven, followed by The Grand Budapest Hotel entering the top ten at number eight and one of the great things about living in a city like New York is that I can literally see films that aren’t open anywhere else in the country.  And I used to do just that. I would have been on The Grand Budapest Hotel like a dog on a bone back in my indie film watching days.  Now I just tell myself I’ll eventually get to it…which I don’t. Then I tell myself I’ll just watch it on Netflix…but I don’t do that either. Sigh. What’s wrong with me? I find time for crap like 300: Rise of an Empire and Need For Speed, but not this. I blame my times as a indie film reviewer. It killed my ability to tolerate the self-indulgence that’s so much at part of indie filmmaking. Sometimes you wish some guy in a suit would walk in and tell them “No. This is just too pretentious. Stop it!”

 

IT’S LIKE BUYING BIRTH CONTROL

Frozen is down to number nine and should be gone as the DVD is coming out, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere who have to buy and now watch it every. single. day.

 

MORONS ARE LOOSE

Veronica Mars opens at number ten and the very existence of this movie makes me so angry can barely see. In case you didn’t know, this was crowd sourced. In other words FANS FUCKING PAID FOR IT THEMSELVES SO WARNER BROTHERS COULD MAKE IT THEN CHARGE THEM ADMISSION!  Aside from setting the horrific precedent of consumers paying multi-billion dollar corporations, it has to be biggest example of the truism “a fool and his money are soon parted” ever. Jack trading the cow for magic beans shows more common sense. What’s worse is you know these same idiots are going to buy it when it comes out on DVD so they’re paying 3 times!  Sigh. But you know what? I should be grateful because as  geek myself this crap makes me now look normal. Hell, it makes all fans look normal. You people getting married in Klingon and Elvish? You’re no longer the bottom of the fan barrel.  A new low has been achieved.

THIS! IS! CRAP!

9 Mar

300

 1. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$  45.1            Total/$  45.1

 2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                Wknd/$  32.5            Total/$  32.5

 3. Non-Stop/Universal                                 Wknd/$  15.4            Total/$  52.1

 4. The LEGO Movie/WB                             Wknd/$   11.0            Total/$ 225.0

 5. Son of God/Fox                                         Wknd/$  10.0            Total/$  41.5

 6. The Monuments Men/Sony                    Wknd/$    3.1            Total/$   70.6

 7. 3 Days To Kill/Relativity                          Wknd/$    3.1            Total/$   25.6 6.

 8. Frozen/Disney                                           Wknd/$    3.0            Total/$ 393.1

 9. 12 Years A Slave/FoxSearchlight            Wknd/$    2.2            Total/$   53.1

10. Ride Along/Universal                               Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$  123.2

 

IF THIS WERE A ROCK STAR IT’D BE DAVID COVERDALE

300: Rise of an Empire opens at number one and before seeing this, 21st Century Movie Buddy and I had a few drinks.  Now, when I say “before” I mean I smuggled a 32 oz container of hard cider with a few shots of whiskey in it into the theater. That 32 ounces was not enough tells you all you need to know. 300 was not a good movie, but it was at least fun to watch and not boring. In addition to not being good, this is not fun to watch and is mostly boring; the trifecta of suck.  In a weird way this almost validates crap filmmakers like Michael Bay and Zack Synder much in the same way the $50M attempted makeover of Jessica Simpson into a dance pop princess validated Brittney Spears: it’s harder than it looks (it ended Tommy Mottola’s tenure at Sony). No, it’s not art but some kind of effective skill is clearly needed.  Needless to say director Noam Murro lacks these skills. Yes, he’s hobbled by Zack Synder still writing and producing, but his previous effort was a talking head movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid called Smart People and that wasn’t much good either, so his skills are questionable in any arena.  In actual history while Leonidas and the 300 (not to mention twice the number of slaves and additional Greeks, so the number was closer to 5,000) were fighting on land, there was another war being waged at sea by Themistocles, which he won. While Athens itself actually burned, the people themselves had been evacuated, the culture survived and the Persians were finally stopped a year later in the battle that’s about to start at the end of 300. This was supposedly going to be that story…except it’s not.  It’s so desperate to tie itself to 300, it forgets to be its own film (they even open like the first with a narration telling you that the hero of the story is the person who partially caused the trouble and it is equally erroneous).  Basically every actor from 300 they could get to make an appearance is here. Xerxes, the queen, the guy who was sent back, the emissary who was thrown into the pit, even the hunchback.  Sadly, all played by the original actors whom you think would have moved on to better things and been able to say no. Even Lena Headey who has enjoyed a bump thanks to Game of Thrones is here (then again, she’s in the middle of a messy divorce and probably needed the cash).  Even the physiques of the male actors, for which the first film is most famous, is inferior. They couldn’t even get a trainer as good as the first. Now that’s just sad.

 

THIS TRICK NEVER WORKS

Mr. Peabody and Sherman opens at number two and while I hold a special place in my heart for these characters and was considering seeing it I ultimately gave it a pass because as part of the Jay Ward universe of Rocky & Bullwinkle and George of the Jungle the heart of the humor was the self-aware satire.  They mocked their cheap animation as world much as they were part of it.  This a $145M CGI feature. Not much to mock there.  Well, actually there’s a lot to mock about spending $145M on a near 50-year-old cartoon that wasn’t even title character (it was part of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show), but the trailer shows they aren’t even trying. This kind of misses the point to me, but I will watch when it shows up on cable next year.

 

BABY, SHE’S A STAR

Non Stop is down to number three and shouldn’t they be broadcasting that it also stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o?  Strike the iron while it’s hot, kids. In fact, between Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Lupita, there’s a boatload of all kinds of nominations and awards…and more people will see this than any of those films that earned them.  Same for Liam Neeson’s other film on this top ten, The Lego Movie, now down to number four. Real talk.

 

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL

Son of God is down to number five, followed by The Monuments Men at number six and Three Days to Kill at number seven and also in this is Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld who is learning as Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore have that nominations are nice, but they pay for jack shit.  Gotta do the popcorn movies too. Though hopefully better ones than this. Liam Neeson will always need someone to play his kids that are threatened so he can whoop some ass.

 

LEMONS FROM LEMONADE

Surprisingly Frozen got no Oscar bump from wining Best Animated Film. I’m sure the fact that the Academy utterly screwed up Idina Menzel’s performance didn’t help her.  Not only did they rush her, but also a verse was clearly cut.  The Roots did better with children’s instruments on The Tonight Show. Fortunately for her that was all overlooked thanks to John Travolta screwing up her name, which actually put her name on everyone’s lips the next day.

 

LIKE A WELL-MADE VEGETARIAN DISH; GOOD FOR YOU TO EAT, BUT YOU ‘D PREFER NOT TO MAKE A HABIT OF IT

12 Years a Slave did get a bounce for its Oscar wins back into the top ten at number nine. Now I said when it came out this was the type of film I’d probably see only if it got Oscars nominations and even then only on the day of.  That’s how I did Schindler’s List and this was the same. It’s good. It’s very good, but it’s difficult to watch for reasons you might expect. Accurate depictions of slave conditions will never be G-rated or for the weak of stomach and sadly, many of the things that transpire were taken directly from the book written by Solomon Northrup. I can’t really fault anyone for wanting to take a pass for that very reason, though like Schindler’s List when it’ s this good it’s something you need to do…and then you have a built-in excuse not to see any others.

 

MUCH LIKE THAT COFFEE, PEOPLE COMPLAIN, BUT THEY KEEP BUYING

Finally, Ride Along hangs on like a freaking barnacle. I blame the endless winter.  Cabin fever forces people to leave their homes, but the cold means they have to find another place to keep warm.  And it’s cheaper than Starbucks.

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