Tag Archives: Aaron Paul


23 Mar


 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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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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16 Mar


 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



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.



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.



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!



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.



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!”



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.



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.