Tag Archives: Annie (2014)

NEXT TIME YOU’LL BE TAKEN STRAIGHT TO STREAMING AND DVD

11 Jan

gander
1. Taken 3/Fox                                                Wknd/$ 40.4   Total/$ 40.4
2. Selma/Paramount                                     Wknd/$ 11.2    Total/$ 13.5
3. Into the Woods/Disney                            Wknd/$ 9.8     Total/$ 102.3
4. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies        Wknd/$ 9.4     Total/$ 236.5
5. Unbroken/Universal                                 Wknd/$ 8.4     Total/$ 101.6
6. The Imitation Game/Weinstein             Wknd/$ 7.6      Total/$ 40.8
7. Night at the Museum: Secret…                Wknd/$ 6.7     Total/$ 99.5
8. Annie/Sony                                                 Wknd/$ 4.9     Total/$ 79.4
9. The Woman in Black 2/Relativity          Wknd/$ 4.8     Total/$ 22.3
10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1  Wknd/$ 3.8     Total/$ 329.5

I SINCERELY DOUBT IT TAKES LONGER TO BEAT UP PEOPLE IN LA
Taken 3 opens at number one while Selma moves into the top ten at number two and what’s the difference between it and the second sequel to an utterly ridiculous action film? 19 minutes. What. The. Hell!?! There’s not much good I can say about the first Taken movie other than it gave Liam Neeson a new career and it was short. 93 minutes was all it needed to tell its severely right wing fantasy (American dad is the savior while mom is wrong, daughter is wrong, foreigners are bad, the French are untrustworthy allies, the party girl dies a heroin addicted prostitute and the virginity of the good girl saves her because it makes her valuable to the dirty Arabs trying to buy her). This somehow needs nearly the same amount of time another film needs to deliver a complex, detailed accounting of one of the most turbulent times in this nation’s history. This is not to say a good, dumb action film cannot be long. Die Hard is over two hours, but given how the first one was so ridiculous I passed on the second (which was actually 92 minutes, because they didn’t need to explain the plot), I sincerely doubt this is similar. I did mean to see it but either I was more tired than I thought or my subconscious simply refused to let me awaken to go through this again. This is supposedly the last one but don’t kid yourself. They are not going let go of this cash cow. Neeson just won’t be in it. And it’ll probably show up on Netflix. Let me put it this way. They fourth Scorpion King movie has just arrived on DVD. Fourth. There were only three Mummy movies, which is where the character originated.

CLEARLY SOMEONE REALIZES STAR TREK CAN’T BE DEPENDED UPON
Down to number three is Into the Woods and once again I have to give Chris Pine his props for choosing roles that take him outside of the typical leading man fare. Though he’s playing the leading man archetype of Prince Charming it’s still a musical, which is as anti-action film as you can get. Not to mention it’s a supporting role. This is how you manage a career, people. Especially when you’re never going to be mistaken for Daniel Day Lewis.

BECAUSE THE BRITS ARE EVIL TO BEGIN WITH, THAT’S WHY
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is down to number four, followed by Unbroken at number five and The Imitation Game rising to number six and also in this are Charles Dance and Mark Strong which would be so awesome if this were a Bond film and they were facing off against Daniel Craig. If you don’t recognize the names, trust me, you know their faces. If you’ve been watching action films for the last 20 years you’ve seen them on a regular basis tormenting basically every leading action hero from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Russell Crowe. Strong is actually in that Jaguar commercial about being a villain. He’s neither Gandhi nor Loki. Yeah, that guy.

UNFORTUNATELY NOT EVERYONE CAN END IT WITH MOVIE LIKE NETWORK
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is down to number seven and it’s not just Robin Williams for whom this is a posthumous release, but Mickey Rooney as well. If you remember he was one of the night watchmen along with Dick Van Dyke. If you’re surprised he lasted that long, know that no one was more surprised than Mickey.

PEOPLE DON’T APPRECIATE A MOVIE CALLED SEX TAPE WITH NO NUDITY. JUST SAYIN’.
Annie is down to number eight and also in this is Cameron Diaz who had a bad 2014 thanks to Sex Tape and the abomination that was The Other Woman. She needed a good film like this to round it all out, even if it’s not breaking box office records. Needless to say, Bad Teacher 2 is coming, as it was her last real hit.

NOT BAD. FOR A GIRL.
Woman in Black: Angel of Death is down to number nine with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 finally closing out the top ten at number ten after being here for two months. Let’s take a look at the numbers: $125M budget, $701 worldwide with $330 of that being domestic, which is the money that really matters. Divergent comes from the same studio so you’re probably not surprised when I tell you that the final book of that series has also been divided into two films. Thanks for nothing, Harry Potter. You realize if they did Star Wars now Return of the Jedi would probably be two movies? It’s only got about 30 minutes of watchable material as it is. Hey, there are no sacred cows here!

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NEW YEAR, SAME CRAP

4 Jan

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1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies         Wknd/$ 21.9    Total/$ 220.8
2. Into the Woods/Disney                             Wknd/$ 19.1    Total/$ 91.2
3. Unbroken/Universal                                  Wknd/$ 18.4   Total/$ 87.8
4. The Woman in Black 2/Relativity           Wknd/$ 15.1    Total/$ 15.1
5. Night at the Museum: Secret…                 Wknd/$ 14.5   Total/$ 89.7
6. Annie/Sony                                                  Wknd/$ 11.4    Total/$ 72.6
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1     Wknd/$ 7.7      Total/$ 323.9
7. The Imitation Game/Weinstein               Wknd/$ 8.1     Total/$ 30.8
9. The Gambler/Paramount                          Wknd/$ 6.3     Total/$ 27.6
10. Big Hero 6/Disney                                    Wknd/$ 4.8     Total/$ 211.3

LITTLE BIG MAN
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies holds at number one and I wonder about the future of the actors who play dwarves, because honestly that’s how I see them, even though I know the actual actor, Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin, the leader and king, is 6’2”. You think he shows up for auditions and people are like, “Oh. We thought you’d be…shorter. Sorry.” Notice how the only people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy who really got boosts in their careers played regular sized people. Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom even Ian McKellan. None of The Hobbits found a lot of leading man work, much less Brian Blessed as the dwarf (he’ll always be Voltran the Hawkman who stole the Flash Gordon movie). Martin Freeman’s lucky he already had an established career before he took on the role of Bilbo or he’d be lucky to have a TV show on basic cable talking to a man in a dog suit. Sorry, Elijah.

THE POINT IS THERE IS NO POINT TO BE MADE
Into the Woods rises to number two and in this are Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep, reuniting after both being nominated for Oscars for The Devil Wears Prada. Meanwhile, their other co-star, Anne Hathaway, who wasn’t nominated actually won an Oscar for a musical. I don’t really have a point. I just thought that was interesting and a tad ironic. And this is doing relatively well. Are we really seeing a comeback of the musical? God, I hope not.

IT CAN BE A SOAPY BATH TOO. I’M NOT INFLEXIABLE
Unbroken is down to number three and this was directed by none other than Angelina Jolie and it remains odd that anyone anywhere would give her money to direct a film that she’s not even in (this is her second). Usually, it’s a Stallone kinda thing where he can direct all he wants so long as he’s also in front of the camera shooting people. Or Eddie Murphy, so long as he’s being funny in front of the cameras. You’d think to give Jolie a film there’d be an insistence she at least play the girl back home waiting on him to return…who takes long, soapy showers. Well, that’s what I’d have demanded anyway.

IT’S COLD & DARK IN THE THEATERS RIGHT NOW
The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death opens at number four and here’s your first clue it’s January, one of the traditional dumping ground of films. August is the other time period. This is where you drop films that you feel can’t handle any real competition. And it didn’t. It’s literally the only wide release this week…and still couldn’t break the top three. But if it cost as little as the first, then it may not matter. That was only $15M with Daniel Radcliff as the star. This has no one so may have been even less, which meaning it’s already made budget.

BETTER OR WORSE THAN BEING LIZ HURLEY?
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is down to number five, followed by Annie at number six and The Imitation Game picking up steam to rise to number seven and also in this is Keira Knightley who may have mixed feelings about this being a success. Obviously it’s good to be in a well-reviewed successful movie, but once again it’s a period piece for her. She’s become the new Helena Bonham Carter…which means she’d better get used to it.

THERE ARE NO SMALL JOBS, ONLY SMALL ACTORS
The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 1 is down to number eight, followed by The Gambler at number nine and also in this is Jessica Lange who’s having a bit of a resurgence in her career thanks to being the only reoccurring cast member on American Horror story, playing different yet similar characters. So maybe that FX show may work for Elijah Wood after all. Oh, wait. It was already cancelled. Whoops.

THEY’VE A YEN FOR SUCCESS. GET IT?
Finally, Big Hero 6 returns to the top ten at number ten and this is finally going to see a general Asian release which it kinda needs given that it has yet to make 3x its budget, our usual rule of thumb for a successful film. Though recent information has suggested that really needs to happen domestically because the bulk of international grosses stay international and the Hollywood take can be as little as 14%. But given this is Disney, they’re probably going to make their real money off the merchandising so it matters little. Thanks for nothing, Cars.

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WE GOT COAL IN THE THEATERS THIS YEAR

29 Dec

mark-wahlberg-ck

1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies          Wknd/$ 41.4   Total/$ 168.5
2. Unbroken/Universal                                 Wknd/$ 31.7   Total/$ 47.3
3. Into the Woods/Disney                            Wknd/$ 31.0   Total/$ 46.1
4. Night at the Museum: Secret…               Wknd/$ 20.6   Total/$ 55.3
5. Annie/Sony                                              Wknd/$ 16.6   Total/$ 45.8
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1    Wknd/$ 10.8   Total/$ 306.7
7. The Gambler/Paramount                         Wknd/$ 9.3     Total/$ 14.3
8. The Imitation Game/Weinstein                Wknd/$ 7.9     Total/$ 14.6
9. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox                 Wknd/$ 6.8     Total/$ 52.5
10. Wild/FoxSearchlight                              Wknd/$ 5.4     Total/$ 16.4

I’LL TAKE “QUESTIONS NO ONE EVER ASKED” FOR A $100, ALEX
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies holds at number one and it’s bad enough that they stretched this out to three movies but they include a scene to set up the first Lord of the Rings movie, because it was killing you not knowing how Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen met. It’s so painfully contrived I’m surprised that Liv Tyler’s character doesn’t get mentioned as well.

WHILE I COMPLAIN HOW THE CABLE GOING OUT AGAIN IS KILLING ME
Unbroken opens at number two and this is the true story of a man who not only survived inhuman hardships (WWII, being shot down, Japanese prison camp), but also excelled in his personal life (Olympian). It’s supposed to be inspirational, but honestly it just kind of reminds you of what a loser you are. Yeah, you!

TO BE FAIR I DIDN’T SEE THE NON-SINGING LITTLE RIDING HOOD EITHER
Into the Wood opens at number three and I thought and considered seeing this given the obvious fantasy element (after all I did see that lame Jack & The Beanstalk movie last year), but I simply could not get over the musical part. Sorry, but if Gene Kelly isn’t dancing, I’m not down. I hate it even in animated movies. Somewhere down the line, for people to stop and start singing just began to rub me the wrong way. Bear in mind if I could sing my way though life I most certainly would. “Stop, wait a minute Mr. Postman/Did my package come from eBay/I was hoping to get it today…” I just don’t want to watch other people do it. Especially in that “musical theater” style.

THE SKILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is down to number four and honestly I can’t blame Ben Stiller for doing either these or those horrible Meet the Parents movies when films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty just die on the vine. You tried, the public said no so you give them the crap they deserve and make sure your kids go to a nice college. I ain’t mad atcha.

ALSO KENNY ROGERS ISN’T IN IT
Speaking of musicals I will never see, Annie is down to number five, followed by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 at six and The Gambler opening up at number seven and this briefly interested me, but I have a problem with movies whose plotlines are based solely on the protagonist stops making mistakes. If he stops being stupid, you have no movie. Needless to say, a movie about a man with a gambling addiction simply isn’t going to work for me. Yeah, I know it’s a compulsion he can’t help and I’m being uncharitable, but it’s not like he’s struggling with cancer or even a drug addiction where the body physically suffers. He’s just getting off on the rush. Not to mention any movie where Mark Wahlberg is playing a good-looking professor is straining my suspension of disbelief, starting with that good-looking part. Call him sexy, call him charismatic, but do not pretend he’s good looking, ‘cause he ain’t. He ain’t by his own admission, which, ironically, is one of the reasons I do like him. But in other movies.

ALTERNATE TITLE: UNGRATEFUL
The Imitation Game enters the top ten at number eight and this is based on the true story of the man who helped break he Nazi spy code and was later destroyed by a seriously ungrateful British government for being gay. Yep, nothing like that uplifting Oscar bait. Remember the Oscar requirements: mentally or physically disabled, addicted to something, gay or die. It helps in you can combine them and do it with an accent. This has at least three of those for star Benedict Cumberbatch.

TRIVA: IN THE 50’S THE EGYTIAN ARMY WAS USED IN THE FILM
Down to number nine, Exodus: Gods & Kings is getting hated all over the globe it seems. The Egyptian government just banned it for sucking. Okay, that’s not entirely true because then Transformers wouldn’t play there. It was banned for taking too many liberties with The Bible, aka “Enough with the lily white historical stories. No one in this damn thing looks like us and it takes place here!” On one hand I’d delighted to Ridley Scott fail, but on the other this will just push him back to trying to make more Alien movies for money.

CUTE BLONDE GOES FOR A WALK. PEOPLE PAY TO SEE IT.
Finally, Wild holds at number ten.

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IT’S FINALLY OVER

22 Dec

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1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies       Wknd/$ 56.2     Total/$ 90.6
2. Night at the Museum: Secret…            Wknd/$ 17.3     Total/$ 17.3
3. Annie/Sony                                           Wknd/$ 16.3     Total/$ 16.3
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox              Wknd/$ 8.1       Total/$ 38.9
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1  Wknd/$ 7.8       Total/$ 289.2
6. Wild/FoxSearchlight                             Wknd/$ 4.2       Total/$ 7.2
7. Top Five/Paramount                             Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 12.5
8. Big Hero 6/Disney                                Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 190.4
9. Penguins of Madagascar/Fox              Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 64.2
10. P.K./UTV                                             Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 3.5

FREE AT LAST!
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies opens at number one and our long national nightmare is finally over. Seriously, the biggest complaint about these films even before they were made was that stretching the one novel into three films was a shameless money grab and nothing makes is clearer than this one. It’s like watching the final battle of Star Wars stretched out over three hours. You know Smaug, the dragon whose appearance single-handedly saved the second film? Dispatched in the first ten minutes. Now, you’re probably wondering why couldn’t that have been in the second film. What part of “shameless money grab” did you not get? The only thing I felt at the end of this film was a sense of relief that I’d never have to go through it again. Thankfully, the Tolkien family has refused to license the other books so we won’t have to…until they decide to remake them. You know they will.

NEXT UP: THE MUSEUM OF FURNITURE!
Speaking of shameless money grabs, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens at number two and the first film was only barely entertaining, so I didn’t come back for number two. Apparently I was alone in this because here comes number three and it looks awful. When a monkey peeing on people is one of your selling jokes you’re clearly out of ideas. They’re also running out of museums, because when you think America it’s New York and Washington (sorry, Chicago and don’t make me laugh, LA), which have been done and this is the London museum. What’s next? I’m pretty sure the Louvre doesn’t lend itself to wacky hijinks. I hate to say it, but the only good thing about Robin Williams’ death is that they can’t make any more of these. Oh, shut up. You were thinking it too.

PLUS I HATE EVERY SONG I’VE HEARD FROM IT
Speaking of remakes, this is the color-blind remake of Annie which is a good thing ostensibly speaking, but it’s still a musical so I still don’t care.

SUDDENLY EDWARD G. ROBINSON LOOKS GOOD
Exodus: Gods and Kings is down to number four and to give you an idea of how wrong-headed this movie is John Turturro is Seti. Yeah. That kid from Breaking Bad with the gravelly voice? Joshua. Yeah, it just keeps getting worse

HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY, BABY
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is down to number five, followed by Wild jumping up to number six and also in this is Laura Dern. Hey, girl! Where you been? Oh, that’s right. On HBO. She’s been getting better notices for this than the star, which I’m sure is going over well given this was her comeback vehicle, not Dern’s.

HOW DID AUNT TOM FEEL ABOUT THIS?
Top Five is down to number seven while most of the film is good and I give it special points for taking not one, but two shots at Tyler Perry it unfortunately itself relies on distasteful cliché of far too many films from Black filmmakers: homophobia. This is coupled with the other sad cliché of romantic comedies that any rival for the lead characters affections not only lose, but fail in their own right. Gabrielle Union as Chris Rock’s reality star fiancée can’t just lose him, she has to be every horrible thing you expect Kim Kardashian to be. Rosario Dawson’s boyfriend likewise can’t just lose her to Chris Rock, he has to turn out to lying her to her this entire time as he’s actually gay, or at best bisexual. And the “big joke” is how she should have known by what he asked for in bed. Seemed he liked a little ass play, as if that makes a man gay. The same men who think this are the same guys who are obsessed with sodomizing their girlfriends. I got news for you, dude: ain’t nothing in her ass that’s not in yours, so if she can learn to enjoy it so can you. Of course we have see him naked on all fours begging for something to be shoved up his ass, ‘cause now he’s the bitch. Get it? Sigh. It’s really so far beneath this film I have trouble believing the otherwise intelligent Rock not only wrote it, but also filmed it, saw the footage and still didn’t see a problem. Then again, he also sees himself as a romantic lead.

SOME THINGS ARE JUST UNIVERSAL
Big Hero 6 is down to number eight, followed by Penguins of Madagascar at number nine and opening at number ten is P.K. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. I’m guessing it’s either Christian or Indian. Yep, it’s the latter and seems to be some Forrest Gump type of tale about an idiot manchild who helps people learn what life is really about. See, this kind of shit exists all over the world. It’s not just us.

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