Tag Archives: battleship

IN SPACE NO ONE CAN SEE YOU’RE A MORON

10 Jun

 

1. Madagascar 3/Dreamworks                       Wknd/$   60.4           Total/$  60.4

 2. Prometheus/Fox                                           Wknd/$   50.0          Total/$  50.0

 3. Snow White & The Huntsman/U              Wknd/$   23.0          Total/$  98.5

 4. MIB 3/Sony                                                   Wknd/$   13.5           Total/$ 135.5

 5. The Avengers/Disney                                  Wknd/$   10.8           Total/$ 571.9

 6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox       Wknd/$    3.2            Total/$  31.0

 7. What To Expect When…/LGF                   Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$  35.7

 8. Dark Shadows/Warners                             Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  70.8

 8. Battleship/Universal                                   Wknd/$    2.3            Total/$  59.8

 9. The Dictator/Paramount                            Wknd/$    2.2            Total/$  55.2

10. Moonrise Kingdom/Focus                        Wknd/$    1.6             Total/$   3.8

 

HAPPY FEET…OF DEATH

Madagascar 3 opens at number one and I checked out on this lame franchise after the first one. The penguins were great, but it’s not about them. It’s about these four boring characters whose only real purpose seems to be to give Jada Pinkett Smith some semblance of a movie career. Speaking of those penguins, it’s been a common discussion on the internet but just in case you missed it, if you remember the first film you know that the penguins took over the ship and put the humans off in lifeboats.  Well, in that part of the world there’s no way they would have survived long enough to make it to civilization, so in effect they were murdered by a bunch of crazy penguins.  Now that’s funny.

 

COMING SOON: JAMES CAMERONS PROMETHUSES!

Prometheus opens at number two and this warms my heart just a tad as I do not like Ridley Scott and flat out hate his fervent fanbase who insist that Blade Runner is the greatest science fiction film of all time. It’s not. It may be the most beautiful, but it’s cold and empty, which is typical of a Ridley Scott film. Looks great, but with a heart of ice.  I didn’t expect this to be any different and I was right.  Basically a prequel to Alien because Scott was convinced someone besides himself thought the dead alien pilot they found in the first film was interesting, the film takes two hours to explain what anyone with a brain knew: the ship was transporting eggs, one got loose and killed him.  But even Ridley Scott knew that wasn’t enough so the actual plot is on how life on earth may have been founded by that same race of aliens and an expedition is sent off to find them, led by the absolute dumbest, most deserving-to-die bunch of scientists you’ve ever seen.  Seriously, if the goal was to have a cast of people you want to see eaten, Scott succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.  There are actually two scientists who quite rationally flee any type of contact with alien life, but when they come face-to-face with it, literally stop to fucking touch it and you can imagine how that turns out for them.  I won’t even get into the scientist who’s driving this entire thing (Noomi Rapace, the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) doesn’t do so based on any actual science, but faith alone. Sorry, but that’s the exact opposite of a fucking scientist.  Her boyfriend, who is also supposedly a scientist, gets drunk in a petulant hissy-fit because when they arrive on the planet all they find initially are corpses.  Seriously!?!  You find proof of intelligent alien life, the exact alien life you were looking for along with their technology and you’re butt-hurt because they’re not there to have a conversation with you!?!  Somebody get this guy a face-hugger quick. The saving grace of this film is Michael Fassbender as the android David.  He carries this film on his back and honestly when the most interesting and sympathetic character onscreen isn’t even human you’ve failed.  Still, like the original android in the Alien series, he’s not quite to be trusted, but at least in his case he’s earned it as pretty much everyone on the ship treats him like utter crap.  What’s funny is that his time alone while the humans are in hypersleep is pretty much the same of that as Wall-E, except he watches Lawrence of Arabia, rather than My Fair Lady. So don’t piss off Wall-E, you fat bastards.

 

BLUDGEN-Y

Snow White & The Huntsman is down to number two giving Charlize Theron two apparently successful, yet ultimately mediocre films in the top ten wherein she plays blonde ice queens.  Alfred Hitchcock would have loved her.  She’s come a long way since her catfight with Teri Hatcher in 2 Days in the Valley, which launched her career.  Also in this movie are a who’s who of crotchety old English dudes in Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones and Nick Frost…as the Seven Dwarves.  Seriously.  Only because this movie is all serious and shit, they don’t have names like Dopey and Doc because they’re warrior dwarves.  Yes, I’m still serious.  Still, they could have had names like “Killy” and “Stabby” and “Throat Slitty.”  Apparently actual little people are somewhat pissed at losing work over this and I suppose they have a point. These guys work in regular films all the time.  Not too many dwarves get cast as the CEO of a company or a police chief unless it’s a joke and even those jokes are few and far between.

 

HI, I WAS HOT FOR 15 MINUTES IN 2007

Men In Black 3 is down to number four and also in this for about five minutes is the former lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, Nichole Scherzinger.  Yeah, no one in the audience cared either.

 

MMMM, YOU SMELL LIKE LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

The Avengers is down to number five and they’ve started to rerun Chris Evans’s Gucci commercial from two years ago to try and catch a little heat from its billion dollar success.  Yeah, that’d be a good idea if the thing weren’t so freaking stylized you can’t tell who the fuck that is.

 

JOHN CANDY COULD NEVER MAKE IT TODAY

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel holds at number six with What To Expect When You’re Expecting holding at number seven and Battleship down to number eight and you know who else is in this?  Freaking Turtle from entourage.  I couldn’t tell you where but that’s understandable given he’s lost about a hundred pounds and no longer looks like himself.  Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and now Jerry Ferrara would like you to know that while it’s still better to be a fat dude than a fat girl, it’s still not good to be fat in Hollywood.  And now you know why I never made it as an actor.  More chicken fingers over here!

 

WE’RE JUST GOING TO IGNORE THE OCEAN’S 11 SEQUELS, OKAY?

The Dictator is down to number nine, followed by Moonrise Kingdom entering the top ten at number ten.  Now I do like Wes Anderson, but like so many indie filmmakers he has a tendency to be a tad too precious and whimsical for the sake of being precious and whimsical and when it works it’s amazing. Unfortunately it misses more than it hits and this looks like one big cutesy, twee, eccentric miss.  The only thing it’s missing is fucking Zoey Deschanel.  Sadly, he may sit alongside much, much, much lesser talents like Kevin Smith and Ed Burns as guys whose first films that suggested so much more, but soon stood out as actually the best they could do.  Makes you realize just how impressive Steven Soderbergh is to make sex, lies and videotape and to just keep getting better.

 

“IT’S DAGGONE ELEMENTARY THAR WATSON”

The summer TV season has kicked off and on my list was Longmire, based on a series of books by the same name.  It’s about a sheriff in Wyoming and it’s done in a very laconic, style, which I suppose, is another word for slow, but I prefer “deliberate.” It’s setting a style and mood in a Clint Eastwod kinda way and I appreciate it (while ironically hating when Eastwood does it), but I understand why others may have fallen asleep.  Longmire is a sheriff slowly beginning to crawl out the hole of grief he went into when his wife died a year previously, but it’s too little, too late for his deputy who is now running against him in the next election creating serious office tension. His other deputy is Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, who is a former homicide detective from Philadelphia, which we learn in a clumsy piece of expository dialogue in the first five minutes.  His best friend is Lou Diamond Philips who runs the local bar and apparently will serve as his unofficial liaison to the Indian reservation where Longmire has no jurisdiction and less help since he put their police chief in prison. Basically, it’s a western wrapped around a police procedural and I’m okay with that. The pilot was bit clumsy but most are, so I’m willing to give it some time to grow.

 

JUST DON’T BLOW ANYONE ONSCREEN, HONEY

One hallmark of an indie film is the number of visible moles on the stars.  Hollywood likes people to be perfect, but in indie town we keeps it real. Sadly this is what was on my mind during Lola Versus because it’s not like what was going on onscreen was all that compelling.  I was down for a little shot-in-NYC indie romantic comedy about a girl dealing with her life after he fiancée breaks up with her, but because it’s indie I was expecting something different than what I’d find Kate Hudson doing and aside from a few raunchy moments, that simply didn’t happen.  It’s so freaking conventional I’m surprised “Suddenly I See” doesn’t appear on the soundtrack during the montage sequence (yes, there is a montage sequence where she “finally pulls it all together”).  In addition to that crap we get a dirty-talking, man-hungry female sidekick, a nice sensitive male best friend who becomes a love interest, wacky parents, funny co-workers…etc.  And aside from a few witty wisecracks here and there, does nothing to elevate or re-imagine the concepts.  Greta Gerwig is the Lola of the title, but honestly she should be called Chloe Sevigny 2.0 because that’s who she looks like, that’s who she sounds like and that’s who she acts like, but I guess since Sevigny put Vincent Gallo’s dick in her mouth onscreen people have been looking for a new one.  One advantage Sevigny definitely has is nudity, because it’s utterly stupid that Gerwig and even the guys are constantly having sex with their shirts on.  Yeah, that’s the kind of edge you expect from indie film—or Lifetime TV.

 

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MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL/WHO MADE THE WORST SNOW WHITE FILM OF ALL?

3 Jun

1. Snow White & The Huntsman/U            Wknd/$   56.3           Total/$  56.3

2. MIB 3/Sony                                                Wknd/$   29.3           Total/$ 112.3

3. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   20.3           Total/$ 552.7

4. Battleship/Universal                                Wknd/$    4.8            Total/$  55.1

5. The Dictator/Paramount                         Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$  50.8

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox    Wknd/$    4.6            Total/$  25.5

7. What To Expect When…/LGF                Wknd/$    4.4            Total/$  30.7

8. Dark Shadows/Warners                          Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  70.8

9. Chernobyl Diaries/Warner                      Wknd/$    3.0            Total/$   14.4

10. For Greater Glory/Arc                            Wknd/$    1.8            Total/$    1.8

YOU’RE NEXT, SLEEPING BEAUTY

Snow White & The Huntsman opens at number one, which is good because it shows that a female themed and lead action/fantasy movie can do well.  The downside is that it sucks and will drop like a rock next week resulting in the impression that a female themed and lead action/fantasy film can’t do well.  Nice production design, beautiful costumes (Academy Award Winner, Colleen Atwood), solid cast (Kristen Stewart not withstanding) and a decent premise are all ultimately wasted thanks to listless direction and a weak script.  That the Evil Queen is so because she herself was a victim of the way men treated her for her beauty is a great jumping off point, but they ultimately do nothing with it.  If you’re gonna tell a feminist Snow White story, then fucking tell a feminist Snow White story!  That there’s a scene with an entire village of women who have scarred themselves and their daughters because The Evil Queen literally sucks it out of beautiful women suggests that’s exactly what they were going to do.  Instead they wussed out because they were clearly afraid of scaring off the frank & beans in the audience.  Then there’s the abandonment of logic.  Don’t have Charlize Theron keep Kristen Stewart alive “just because.” That doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense to a kingdom you’ve taken by force. So long as a legitimate heir lives she’s a threat.  It would make more sense if The Evil Queen had kept her alive because she either needed her to convince the people she had a legitimate claim or better yet saw a kindred spirit in her and wanted to make Snow White like herself and tried to fill her with a hatred and mistrust of men.  And she would do this against the advice of the Mirror who has foretold her fate should Snow White live.  This way you have an actual multi-faceted villain instead of a flat 2D one.  Also, maybe some of her lessons actually affected Snow White so she doesn’t fully trust The Huntsman giving them a genuinely antagonistic relationship instead of the faux one they have here.  When he tells her she’s given him nothing but trouble it makes no sense as she does pretty much everything he says.  They also fail in the basic story of Snow White, in that she lives with the Dwarves for an extended period of time.  Here, the dwarves (played by a who’s who of crusty old English character actors) are warriors so it would make sense that after a few years with them and The Hunstman she’d learned to a) trust men and b) become an actual leader and warrior which she isn’t but we’re supposed to believe she has become both after just a few days, delivering perhaps the worst inspirational speech in the history of film.  I know this was rushed to compete with the other Snow White film, Mirror Mirror, but that’s still no excuse not to have seen the glaring flaws therein.

RULE#1: BLONDES RULE. RULE #2: BOOBS RULE MORE THAN BLONDES

Men In Black 3 is down to number two and this is missing the one thing from the first that managed to actually be funny in the second movie: David Cross (the pug was only funny in the first movie).  He was the morgue clerk in the first film and the video clerk in the second.  Apparently both he and Rip Torn were given the brush off for this.  Yes, Zed is also not a part of this, his character being killed off and replaced by Emma Thompson, as “OO” who is played by Alice Eve in the 1967 sequences.  If I were Emma Thompson I’d be offended if I’m supposed to be considered the same age as fucking Tommy Lee Jones, who looks a thousand here.  Granted, there’s a joke about how the job has aged his character prematurely, but she’s supposed to be in her 60’s!  Alice Eve doesn’t care because after premature announcements as the “New Hot Young Thing” this is her first hit after a number of disappointments, including She’s Out of My League, Sex & The City 2 (she was the braless nanny) and most recently The Raven.  She’s even going to be in the Star Trek sequel (thank god there’s no Moneypenny in the new Bond films or she’d probably be playing her too), so she’s clearly got the hardest working agent in show business..…or maybe if you’re blonde, pretty with a big, real rack you get more chances than others.  Nah, that couldn’t be it.

HE’S IN A LOT OF MUTHAFUCKIN’ MOVIES

The Avengers is down to number three and this isn’t the first time the cast has met one another.  Jeremy Renner was in S.W.A.T with Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Evans was in The Nanny Diaries with Scarlett Johansson.  What does this mean?  It means the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon gets easier every day and honestly should be changed to The Six Degrees of Samuel L. Jackson and possibly reduced to Three or Four Degrees.

PROVING MY POINT

Battleship is down to number four and also in this is Tadanobu Asano, who was Hogun in Thor with Chris Hemsworth who is in The Avengers with Samuel L. Jackson?  See what I’m saying?  And Asano really doesn’t care one way or another how much this tanks in America because in Japan he’s like Johnny Depp.  Not to mention overseas this dungheap of a film is actually doing well, so it’s not hurting him in that respect either.

BEEFCAKE! BEEFCAKE!

The Dictator is down to number five, followed by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at number six and What To Expect When You’re Expecting at number seven and they seriously hedged their bets with this by not only stocking it with A, B and C list female stars, but every hot dude with a day off.  We have everything from the mature in Dennis Quaid to the teen thrill in Chace Crawford.  In between are Matthew Morrison from Glee, Rodrigo Santoro (who will forever be the hot guy Laura Linney didn’t get to bone in Love Always) and Joe Manganiello from True Blood.  Chris Rock is here too, but he’s one of “the dads” who’s here for comic relief because Chris Rock remains the only person who wants to see Chris Rock hook up onscreen.

WHAT OTHER EARLY 70’S CHARACTERS CAN WE RUIN?

Dark Shadows is down to number eight and once again overseas box office is making sure shit floats.  This is has made $120M internationally bringing the total to $191, making it very close to being profitable even before the home markets which is amazing, sad and ultimately horrible because it means Tim Burton and Johnny Depp will continue their love affair with make-up and eccentric characters over actual storytelling.

SPOILER ALERT!

There may be some of you strange enough to want to see the #9 movie, Chernobyl Diaries, so if that’s the case skip this paragraph….  Still here?  Okay.  Now, I read the Moviespoiler.com summary of this movie and really, who the fuck are you people who like it when the monsters kill everyone?  The only thing I want to see less than a horror movie is one where everybody dies and everybody dies in this at the hands of the flesh-eating mutants.  Who really likes that kind of darkness in their movie-going?  I need monsters to die at the end, period.  I can get bleak shit here in my real life.  I don’t need mutated Russian cannibals killing everyone onscreen when I’ve got the Russian Mob on Brighton Beach doing whatever the fuck it wants.  Now that’s scary.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

For Greater Glory opens at number ten and you’ll never hear about this movie again so pay attention.  This is about the Cristeros War in Mexico where the government was atheistic and actually came down on the Catholics which makes me wonder why it wasn’t called the War of Consummate Irony given how they’d done it to pretty much everyone else on the planet.  But seriously, fighting religion in a Catholic country makes about as much sense as fighting rain in a rainstorm and that it lasted even a day much less years is amazing.  Equally amazing is that this movie is even in the top ten because the last time anyone paid to see Andy Garcia, he was helping to destroy The Godfather. Since then he makes a buck getting punked by George Clooney. I can’t feel bad for him because he’s out of his mind and my tolerance for crazy people ended long ago.  Now, to see him here and actually a guest star on George Lopez’s sitcom makes me smile.  Also in this are Eva Longoria, Nestor Carbonell, Ruben Blades and every other Latin actor with a day off.  Tomorrow they’ll be back as “Latina Hottie” “White Guy’s Partner” and “Drug Kingpin.”

YOU WEAR IT WELL

So my fashion documentary viewing (Bill Cunningham’s New York, The September Issue) continues with Valentino: The Last Emperor, chronicling the 45th Anniversary and what ultimately turned out to be the last show of the famous designer.  But it’s as much about his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti who has handled the business end of the empire as well as seeing to the needs of its creative namesake.  I never knew Italians actually said “Mama mia” until hearing him sigh it for the umpteenth time after trying to reassure or placate Valentino.  Ultimately what ends Valentino’s career isn’t merely time but the changing times.  A subplot is the corporation that bought Valentino trying to inflict their will upon him, making it clearly they consider Valentino replicable at Valentino.  Giammetti explains the business was built of making and selling dresses, but no longer.  Now it’s the licensing of the name on other products that makes the money.  It’s the cache of the name from making the glamorous dresses that sells not the clothing itself and you get the definite feeling the corporate overlords were looking to have him making low-end dresses for Target, which is unthinkable for a man whose work was hand-fucking-made up until the end.  Giammetti flat out says about the president of the corporation that owns Valentino, “I like him, I consider him a friend, but what he thinks means nothing.” In the end that company sells Valentino to yet another, bigger corporation and rather than continue fighting these assholes, Valentino and Gianetti wisely decide to call it a day.  Honestly, there’s an air of sadness and finality about all the fashion movies as if an era has ended or is ending.  Fashion simply makes too much money to be left in the hands of women or those who love it for the sake of fashion.  The moneymen come in, promise support with no interference and are lying through their teeth.  Designers who know nothing about business are happy to turn it over to someone who does and then are shocked when they’re ousted because they won’t put their name on socks they didn’t make for some extra loot.  When you don’t create anything you don’t understand those who do and think they’re crazy for caring about it.  Whoa. Where’d that rant come from?  Anyway, Anna Wintour is also in this and given I’ve got two more to go, I’m hoping she’ll go 5-for-5.

APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED

29 May

 

1. MIB 3/Sony                                                Wknd/$   55.0            Total/$  55.0

2. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   36.8            Total/$ 513.5

3. Battleship/Universal                                Wknd/$   10.9            Total/$  44.4

4. The Dictator/Paramount                         Wknd/$    9.3            Total/$  41.1

5. Chernobyl Diaries/Warner                      Wknd/$    7.9            Total/$    7.9

6. Dark Shadows/Warners                           Wknd/$    7.5            Total/$  62.9

7. What To Expect When…/LGF                 Wknd/$    7.1             Total/$   22.1

8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox     Wknd/$    6.4            Total/$   16.6

9. The Hunger Games/LionsGate               Wknd/$    2.3            Total/$ 395.3

10. Think Like a Man/SGem                        Wknd/$    1.4             Total/$  88.3

IF YOU THOUGHT THE SECOND THEME SONG WAS BAD, ENTER PITBULL

Men In Black 3 opens at number one and the good news is it’s better than MIB2.  The bad news is it’s still a movie that didn’t need to be made.  MIB is a very good comedy that still stands up thanks to a great premise, notable supporting characters, solid pacing and a catchy theme song.  It was also a complete story, not meant to have sequels.  At least none with Tommy Lee Jones anyway.  But god forbid you try a movie with just a black guy and a woman, so Linda Fiorentino was unceremoniously dumped and the horrific MIB2 came into being whose soullessness was shown by Tommy Lee Jones who, when asked during filming if he were okay replied, “My per diem check cleared, so I’m okay.” Given his total screen time here is about ten minutes I’d say he made limited involvement a prerequisite of coming back.  The saving grace of this movie is he isn’t missed thanks to James Brolin doing a spot-on impression of a younger, much more genial Tommy Lee Jones, putting Will Smith oddly into more of a straight man role.  You even get a nice joke explaining how the 40-something Brolin is supposed to be playing a 20-something Jones.  But sadly it’s not enough.  The freshness of the premise is gone, so the fun of seeing popular celebs “outed” as aliens no longer works. It doesn’t help that the most obvious choices are made (Lady Gaga, Tim Burton, Mick Jagger).  Even the joke that all supermodels are aliens falls flat (they’re from the planet Glamour, get it?  Yawn.)  The only display of imagination is the alien who can see all probabilities of time at once and his simultaneous joy over seeing The Mets win the World Series and pain over the darker outcomes is well done.  Clearly they had no imagination left over for the plot and let me join the chorus to point out that the end makes no sense at all and pretty much serves to unravel the first film and all the motivations of Tommy Lee Jones’s character.  Will Smith said he made this because he felt the public deserved a better film than the second.  Well, keep trying, ace. Or better yet, don’t.

DROPPIN’ SOME GEEK KNOWLEDGE ON Y’ALL!

The Avengers is finally down to number two and as you may or may not know the reason Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury is because at the beginning of the 21st century Marvel Comics created a separate line called the “Ultimate Universe” which was modern interpretations of its classic characters.  Basically, it’s like if someone relaunched a soap opera so that it wouldn’t be burdened down with years of storylines, open to new interpretation and modernized.  Think if they instead remade Dallas, not about oil but the Ewings now run an empire like Microsoft.  Similarly, the Ultimate Spider-Man wasn’t a photographer, but a kid who helped work on The Daily Bugle’s website. Ultimate Captain America is more of hard-ass regular solider than he is a nice kid who just wanted to do the right thing and The Ultimate Red Skull is actually his son who hated that the US Government tried to turn him into his father and subsequently became a ruthless terrorist who began his career with Kennedy’s assassination. Ultimate Tony Stark not only has a brain tumor, but an older, blonde brother with the same genius.  Also in the Ultimate Universe they can kill characters off permanently.  Ultimate Cyclops, Wolverine, Daredevil, Professor X and even Peter Parker are all dead and are not coming back (the new Ultimate Spider-man is a half-black, half-Latino teenager named Miles Morales).  In this universe The Avengers are called “The Ultimates” (The Avengers are a nasty, black ops version of them) and work flat out for the government unlike the classic Avengers who were either a civilian force or reported to the UN. I personally read it as satire, so when Nick Fury who had always been an Italian American was made a black guy, drawn specifically to look like Samuel L. Jackson, it was clearly part of the joke.  The characters even discuss who would play them in movies and Fury says, “Samuel L. Jackson.”  Jackson didn’t approve this so instead smartly decided that to allow Marvel to continue made the deal that when the time came to bring the character into the movies the producers went with the him, which is why Nick Fury is not played by David Hassellhoff.  But to make matters even more convoluted, in the classic, painfully mercenary regular Marvel Universe they’ve introduced Nick Fury’s black son who of course loses an eye and subsequently decides to shave his head and go by dad’s name to coincide with the film.  Aren’t you glad you decided to have sex in high school instead of reading comics?

MOVIES IZ HARD

Battleship is down to number three and one must pity poor Taylor Kitsch because moving from TV to film is a tricky business.  You want to be in good movies, but you also have to grab the big money while you can.  Unfortuntely for every Bruce Willis scoring big with Die Hard there are millions of Blind Dates and Sunsets and other big releases that totally tanked for him when he made the move in the 80’s.  And then there’s George Clooney.  Can you say Batman & Robin?  Kitsch and his management are also trying the “swing for the fences” approach but all they have to show for it are not only the  two of the biggest busts of the year, but two of the most poorly marketed films.  Now, John Carter is not the worst movie ever made, but it surely is the worst marketed.  Battleship is a horrible movie (worse than Wolverine which also had Kitsch in it) that also had horrible marketing mainly because John Carter tanked in my opinion.  Taylor Kitsch is the star, but he’s tainted now so you can’t put him in the ads, which mean you can’t put the rest of the cast in the ads.  The problem?  The rest of the cast is white fucking hot right now.  Liam Neeson had a total middle-aged action hero career resurgence.  He’s not in the poster.  Brooklyn Decker is a swimsuit model currently the background on half the computers of men in America (Kate Upton has the other half).  She’s not in the poster. Alexander Skarsgard is the background on half the computers of women in America (Ryan Gosling  has the other half).  He’s not in the poster.  And Rhianna goes without saying.  Also, not in the poster.  Not a single one of them is to be seen in any print ad for this movie, because you can’t have them without the star and you apparently can’t have the star because he’s tainted.  How dumb is this line of thinking? That four actually famous people are countered by the failings of one semi-famous guy?  Proof once again, that Marketing as an actual degree you can learn alongside science and literature is a abomination.

LEARN WHAT NAPOLEON AND HITLER FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY

The Dictator is down to number four followed by Chernobyl Diaries at number five and was there any doubt I’d overlook this?  First of all it’s supposed to be scary and as we all know I don’t do the scary. Secondly it’s painfully, painfully stupid in its very premise of kids on vacation who decide not to go to Moscow but Chernobyl.  What’s more entertaining than this movie is that there was another bad movie last year about Americans in Moscow when aliens invade, so I guess you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM AND $2.25 WILL GET YOU ON THE SUBWAY

Dark Shadows is down to number six and is it part of their divorce agreement that Helena Bonham-Carter still has to appear in Tim Burton’s crappy films?  There was a time this woman was an art house queen and now she just wears a lot of make-up and camps it up.  Hmmm, I guess that makes her the female Johnny Depp.

SADLY, IT’S A BIG CLUB

What To Expect When You’re Expecting is down to number seven and what does it say that Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez combined can’t get people in to see a movie?  It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not. They’ve made money on crap before.  Also here is Brooklyn Decker giving her two crappy movies in the top ten.  She and Taylor Kitsch now have something to talk about.  But who really suffers the most here is Elizabeth Banks because the clock is ticking on her time to ascend from supporting player to leading actress.  What’s ironic about this is that she was Betty Brant in all three Spider-man films.  Betty was Spider-man’s first real love interest, but that story never was in the films, jumping straight to Mary Jane.  She was robbed of her “Lois Lane” moment and everything else since then save The Hunger Games has tanked (The Next Three Days, Man on a Ledge, Zack & Miri Make a Porno, Our Idiot Brother, etc) and that ain’t her movie.  She’s going to be stuck talking dirty in Apatow’s slob comedies if something doesn’t come through soon.  Taylor Kitsch and Brooklyn Decker should save her a seat.

THE REST

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is down to number eight, followed by The Hunger Games at nine (bittersweet for Elizabeth Banks) and Think Like A Man closes out the top ten at ten.

OLD SKOOL

So I’m trying to take advantage of the city more.  You know, go see the sights and shit, which is why I’ve been not only to The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, but this weekend headed out to Brooklyn (again) to catch the exhibit dedicated to DJ Ralph McDaniels and his seminal show Video Music Box. I guess had to be in the tri-state area to know about it, but then again, that was all that mattered in the so-called “Golden Age of Hip-Hop” from the early 80’s to the early 90’s.  But know that anytime you watch some old footage from that time on MTV or VH1 they had to pay Ralph McDaniel’s for it, because he was ground zero of exposure for hip hop in NYC.  He even started a production company for shooting videos where Hype Williams started out.  The display was at the MoCada (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts), located just off Atlantic in Brooklyn and appropriately enough there was some kind of African-American themed fair going on right there when I got off.  As you can imagine, it’s not a big space and was be divided up into three rooms.  The first was the large main room upon entry where there was a wall of text explaining the importance of Ralph McDaniels and Video Music Box along with artwork, benched and two monitors, one playing videos and the other playing a short documentary about the most legendary piece of phrasing in hip-hop history (it belongs to Rakim in case you were wondering).  This was followed by two smaller spaces one of which had my favorite exhibit of all time: an interactive program displaying the use of brand name champagne shout outs in hip-hop songs from the 80’s until now.  Cristal, Dom Perignon and Moet were the three most cited and it went from literally one or two in a year in the early 80’s to hundreds in the 90’s.  Apparently there’s another coming for all brand names and I’m personally dying to know how many fucking time Alize has been dropped.  Not to mention Gucci, Prada, etc.  Nonetheless the brevity of it was a bit disappointing. Given the medium was video, I’d have preferred fewer paintings and photographs (in which McDaniels ironically rarely appears) and more footage of those years.  There were also binders with articles and interviews but shouldn’t those also have been videos?  How exactly can you not have video interview with a man who was a pioneer in using videos to expand an art form?  Afterwards I went Carroll Gardens to drink in the middle of the day where one of my geek girls was tending bar.  That’s cultural, right?

SANK

21 May

1. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   55.1            Total/$457.1

2. Battleship/Universal                               Wknd/$   25.3            Total/$  25.3

3. The Dictator/Paramount                        Wknd/$   17.4            Total/$  24.5

4. Dark Shadows/Warners                          Wknd/$  12.8            Total/$  50.9

5. What To Expect When…/LGF                Wknd/$  10.5            Total/$   10.5

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox    Wknd/$    3.3            Total/$     8.3

7. The Hunger Games/LionsGate               Wknd/$    3.0           Total/$ 391.6

8. Think Like a Man/SGem                         Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$  85.9

9. The Lucky One/Warners                         Wknd?$    1.8            Total/$  56.9

10. The Pirates! Band of Misfits/Sony        Wknd/$    1.5            Total/$   25.4

THE DEFINITION OF “PRICELESS”

The Avengers holds at number one and given Ed Norton was the Bruce Banner who’s part of this series (the Ang Lee version no longer counts, so Eric Bana was never in consideration), I’d mock him for missing out on a billion dollar film and possibly the biggest of the year, but Norton is clearly such a douche, he probably doesn’t care and thinks the movie could have been made better by his last minute rewrites which plagued the production of The Incredible Hulk.  Then again, if I’d banged Salma Hayek, I could give a shit about some comic book movie and would also think I was a god.

YOU SANK MY LOVE OF FILM!

Battleship opens at number two and you can’t get Michael Bay (though why you’d want him is a mystery to me) then Peter Berg is clearly the man to call.  You want a big, loud completely empty movie that makes no sense, is horribly written and will leave you depressed afterwards?  He’s ready willing and sadly all-too able.  The only reason this isn’t as bad as a Michael Bay film is that despite all else, Berg is an adult and his characters aren’t belligerent assholes.  Nor does he take the opportunity to have the camera ogle the female cast members, which is a new experience for Rhianna and swimsuit model, Brooklyn Decker given their day jobs involve nothing but that.  But seriously, how difficult is it to make an alien invasion movie?  No one is asking for too much and it clearly doesn’t take too much talent as the success of Independence Day proved and proves every time it runs on cable.  It’s not a great film by any stretch but it is fun to watch and doesn’t insult you with every moment.  But year after year we see people utterly failing at a type of movie whose basic structure was laid out in the 50’s (or 1898 when H.G. Welles published War of the Worlds):  Hey, Something’s Coming! Hey, It’s Here! Hey, They’re Kicking The Shit Out of Us! Hey, They Overlooked This One Important Factor! Hey, We Won!  Berg must be equally confused given he used every cliché in the book, but like so many people who follow a formula, it doesn’t work if you don’t know that each ingredient actually means.  Yes, your hero can be an bit of an immature jerkso we can see him grow into a hero, but he has to be good at heart, not a non-stop raging asshole that you cannot root for, like Taylor Kitsch is here (or Shia LeBeouf in every single thing he’s ever made).  You can have the odds be against the humans because that’s where the drama and suspense of the fight comes from, but the crucial weakness of the aliens cannot directly contradict the basic premise of the film.  These aliens come from an earth-like planet, but have a problem with light, so when they attack it’s during the day!?! WTF!?! These aliens are as dumb as the ones that invaded earth in Signs. Water was their weakness but even though they have scouts they invade a planet that’s 70% water and even though they could traverse the galaxy, they couldn’t open doors. Well, the aliens here can also traverse the galaxy with all kinds of amazing war machines, but are so dumb they collide with a satellite that is relatively motionless in space and this is what sets the story in motion. And despite having sensors that can analyze people and objects so thoroughly they can discern whether or not it’s a threat, they don’t have radar!  And what they do have doesn’t seem to work at night!  If operating in low light is their native way, shouldn’t they be twice as dangerous at night!?!  Oh and given they’re going to destroy the planet they tend not to kill anyone who isn’t directly trying to kill them—except when they do, that is.  And this only the ridiculous alien side. I haven’t even gotten into the horribly failed attempt to create human characters.  I almost feel sorry for the people at Hasbro.  All they wanted was another giant commercial to sell toys like Transformers and G.I. Joe.  Sure they were awful and poorly reviewed but they made money and that’s all that mattered.  This will never get back the $200M+ they put into it.  Thank god.  Maybe it’ll give anyone planning a Candyland movie pause.

I’M NOT LAUGH AT YOU. IN FACT I’M NOT LAUGHING AT ALL

The Dictator opens at number three and I’ve never been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen.  I know what he’s about and I know people love it, but I don’t care for it.  It doesn’t help that his biggest fans don’t get that he’s actually making fun of them and their ignorance.  Even how he promotes his films annoys me as I’ve hated this type of always-in-character bit since Andy Kaufman was doing it 30 years ago.  Needless to say seeing this never even crossed my mind.

YES, THOSE LOSERS BEHIND THE COMPUTERS MATTER

Dark Shadows is down to number four and if you want to know why this is so bad know that it was written by the guy behind The Hard Times of RJ Beger that MTV show about a geek in high school who’s discovered to have a big dick.  Seriously.  That’s the entire premise.  The other writer is one of Tim Burton’s guys who brought us Corpse Bride, Big Fish, Charlie & the Chocolate factory remake and both Charlie’s Angels movies.  So yeah, this was doomed with it still on the printed page, because neither of these guys is particularly talented and it says a lot about Hollywood that they both continue to work and says a lot about what’s continually wrong with Tim Burton’s movies.

JNO

What To Expect When You’re Expecting open at number five and this just looked like a hot mess.  It was clearly from the formula that brought us such fine work as “He’s Just Not That Into You” of just shoving a bunch of stars together in a movie and hoping no know notices you didn’t actually understand the book it’s based upon.  Not to mention nothing, absolutely nothing with Jennifer Lopez onscreen is ever good.  She sits next to Kate Hudson and Jennifer Anniston as people who seemingly never, ever make the right choice regarding a movie.  Like Kate Hudson she has one great film under her belt (Out of Sight) and then can’t do anything right.  The best you can hope for is that it’s not awful.  The worst gives you Gigli.  This doesn’t look Gigli bad, just more of the corporate mediocrity along the lines of Monster-In-Law, Maid-In-Manhattan and her last pregnancy film, The Back-Up Plan.

HEY, DON’T I KNOW YOU?

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel jumps up to number six, followed by The Hunger Games at number seven and Think Like A Man down to number eight and also in this is Regina Hall who you don’t think you know but when pointed out that she was in all four Scary Movies you go, “Oh, her. I know her.”

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

Still hanging around is The Lucky One at number nine and you have to wonder what was going through the minds of the editors of Men’s Health when they picked the cover boy which is usually someone with a movie promote. When Chris Hemsworth was in Thor he was on the cover.  When Jeremy Renner was in The Town he was on the cover (Robert Downey Jr. could only make Men’s Fitness).  When they are in a movie along with Chris Evans (who was in an article in Men’s Health but couldn’t push one of the stars of True Blood off the cover and I actually get that) the editors decide to go with…Zac Efron?  Granted, there’s a teen girl audience they’d never touch who might buy it, but now they’ve missed out on one of the biggest movies in history and honestly only an idiot would think that the four combined on a cover wouldn’t dwarf him.

THE END

Finally, Pirates: Band of Misfits closes out the top ten at number ten.

 

HEAVEN IS A DANCE FLOOR

Sadly, Death continues her rampage and has taken the heart out of our disco memories with Robin Gibb and the queen herself, Donna Summer.