Tag Archives: Ben Stiller

EVERYBODY LOVES A CHICK FIGHT. EVERY. BODY.

13 Apr

chickfight
1. Furious 7/Universal Wknd/$ 60.6 Total/$ 252.5
2. Home/Fox Wknd/$ 19.0 Total/$ 129.6
3. The Longest Ride/Fox Wknd/$ 13.5 Total/$ 13.5
4. Get Hard/WB Wknd/$ 8.6 Total/$ 71.2
5. Cinderella/Disney Wknd/$ 7.2 Total/$ 180.8
6. The Divergent Series: Insurgent Wknd/$ 6.9 Total/$ 114.8
7. Woman in Gold/Weinstein Wknd/$ 5.9 Total/$ 9.3
8. It Follows/RTWC Wknd/$ 2.0 Total/$ 11.8
9. Danny Collins/BST Wknd/$ 1.6 Total/$ 2.5
10. While We’re Young/A24 Wknd/$ 1.4 Total/$ 1.4

CHICK FIGHT!
Furious 7 holds at number 1 and in addition to Tony Jaa the other martial artist in this is MMA Champion, Ronda Rousey. Like Jaa she has to pretend that her opponent wouldn’t be toast in 30 seconds. Just as Paul Walker’s character suddenly became a master of hand-to-hand combat, Michelle Rodriguez’s character also developed martial skills. Not only does she take on Rousey, but a team of female Arab bodyguards before that. And in the previous installment she took on Gina Carano. But like Carano and Tony Jaa and Bruce Lee before her Rousey clearly made it part of her deal that she wasn’t going to lose in a straight-on fight to some actor. Yes, Jaa loses, but not because Walker punches him out or anything. Similarly, Rousey’s fight with Rodriguez ends in a draw, which is good, because if my eyes had rolled back any further in my head I’d have seen my own brainstem. But don’t get me wrong. I am perverse enough to enjoy a good chick fight and I’m not alone considering this was twice as long as the Carano fight. Though the fact they were in evening gowns is clearly someone else’s fetish. Seriously, you just know that’s his kink because he views it as some kind of clever irony. It’s not.

HE HAS HIS OWN SUPER POWER: PANTY DROPPING
Home holds at number two, followed by The Longest Ride opening at number one and the most notable thing about this is that the male lead is Scott Eastwood. Yes, it’s his son, if you couldn’t tell simply by looking at him. Now I will give him credit for at least attempting a career without using his famous name (he used his mother’s surname), but he quickly realized that it’s stupid not to use every advantage you have. Especially when you actually like your dad unlike say, Angelina Jolie Voight. But let’s face it, if a name really did anything for you, Tyrone Power Jr. would have been a giant star, as would Jennifer Grant (yes, Cary Grant’s daughter). And do we have to once again bring up the sad story of the other son of Kirk Douglas who was an actor? Not everyone can be Jeff and Beau Bridges either. Needless to say the simple fact it’s based on a Nicholas Sparks novel guarantees this a place on the crap list, but I’ll never know because I will never, ever see it. In fact, I’m still angry I was tricked into seeing The Notebook (and by “tricked” I mean a really pretty girl I knew named Jennifer wanted to see it). But being in one has never hurt a career if you’re young (Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Miley Cyrus, Amand Seyfried), so it’s a smart move on his part. Another smart move is getting into a comic book movie. Learning that he’s going to play Steve Trevor actually made me interested in a Wonder Woman movie for the first time.

IT’S AN ABOMINATION
Get Hard is down to number four, followed by Cinderella at number five and yes, they are making live action versions of everything now, including Winnie The Pooh and Dumbo. Now, Pinocchio I get, because that has been made into live action features before, but Winnie The Pooh and Dumbo? Why!?! Simply because CGI means you can doesn’t mean you should. May god have mercy on their money grubbing souls…which they clearly gave up long ago.

NOW BEST KNOWN AS A NAME IN AN EMINEM SONG…
The Divergent Series: Insurgent is down to number six and let’s rundown the adult cast in this thing: Oscar winner Kate Winslet, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, two time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Maggie Q, Tony Goldwyn, Daniel Dae Kim and Mekhi Phifer. Remember when he played the male lead to Beyonce in MTV’s version of Carmen? Me neither. Though judging by his size on House of Lies last season, brutha hasn’t missed many meals.

IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
The Woman in Gold holds at number seven and also in this is…Katie Holmes? Well, it makes sense given this is little more than a TV movie that escaped into theaters, though the smart move would have been to be an adult in one of the YA novel film adaptations. I also recommend taking that “hot mom” role on a TV show. After all, it’s where you began. Dawson and Pacey have already accepted their small screen fates. Time to join them, Joey.

HOLDING MY WUSSY GROUND
It Follows is down to number eight and yes, I still refuse to see this.

IMAGINE IF THE LETTER HAD BEEN “YOU SUCK. QUIT NOW.”
Entering the top ten at number nine is Danny Collins, which is based on the true story of a folk singer to whom John Lennon once wrote a letter of encouragement, but since no one really gives a crap about a folk singer, the movie makes it a rock singer and if you’re having trouble seeing Al Pacino as an aging rock singer, come sit right next to me. Yes, he was the same age as John Lennon, but still it doesn’t seem to fit. That said, the movie follows this fictional character who like the real life folk singer never received the letter until 40 years later and it makes him reevaluate his life. Honestly, though I still don’t give a crap about folk singing, I’m more interested in how the real life guy handled it, not this clichéd story of about a man trying to re-connect with the son he’s basically ignored for almost 40 years. Not helping is that his growth is also indicated by him dumping his 20-something girlfriend and becoming more interested in the older manager of the hotel where he’s staying, played by Annette Benning. Pacino is 74. Benning is 56. That’s not age appropriate. Not even close. God forbid you give an actress his age a job. Last I heard Julie Christie is still working. How about giving her some fucking work?

OLD PEOPLE NEED MORE SLEEP
Speaking of age appropriate casting, Ben Stiller is forced to submit to it in While We’re Young, entering the top ten at number ten, since age is kinda the focus of the movie. It’s about two 40-somethings played by Stiller and Naomi Watts (two movies in the top ten this week) who reevaluate their lives after striking up a friendship with two 20-somethings, played by Amana Seyfried and the actor, Adam Driver, who plays Hanna’s creepy boyfriend, Adam, on Girls. This is from writer/director, Noah Baumbach (whom I’ve loved since Kicking & Screaming) who’s banging a 20-something in real life while getting divorced from Jennifer Jason Leigh so like most of his work it’s drawn from his real life. I’m not going to say what’s keeping me from seeing this is because it strikes a little too close to home (not the banging a 20-something part), because it’s not. I’m just lazy. That’s the real reason.

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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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“SECRET” LIFE SOUNDS BETTER THAN “QUIET DESPERATION”

29 Dec

47_Ronin_Poster_Intenational_e_JPosters

 1. The Hobbit 2/Warner                               Wknd/$  29.9           Total/$ 190.3

 2. Frozen/Disney                                            Wknd/$  28.8          Total/$ 248.4

 3. Anchorman 2/Paramount                        Wknd/$  28.8          Total/$   83.7

 4. American Hustle/Sony                             Wknd/$  19.6           Total/$   60.0

 5. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                    Wknd/$  18.5            Total/$   34.3

 6. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                         Wknd/$  14.0           Total/$   37.8

 7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty/Fox       Wknd/$  13.0           Total/$   25.6

 8. The Hunger Games 2/LGF                       Wknd/$  10.2           Total/$ 391.1

 9. 47 Ronin/Universal                                    Wknd/$   9.9           Total/$   20.6

10. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Xmas/LGF          Wknd/$    7.4          Total/$   43.7

 

FILLED WITH ELFIN HOTNESS

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug holds at number one and here as the character of Badass Chick Elf created by Peter Jackson is Evangeline Lilly and I maintain that’s the name of someone who sleeps with James Bond, not a real, live person. She acquits herself well enough with the English accent—that all characters must have in fantasy films and historical characters that are not American must have—like Liv Tyler before her. Which makes sense given that she’s here basically to fill that hole of a hot, badass chick elf.

 

DOING THE HEAVY LIFTING THE SCRIPT DOESN’T

Frozen actually rises to number two and I seem to be in the minority of people who don’t see this as a new Disney “classic.”  I’m thinking crap like Madagascar has lowered the bar so severely of what people expect from an animated film that anything even slightly above average gets an undue amount of praise.  In this case it’s that damn song that’s basically carrying this whole film, which I kinda understand. I hate songs in animated films, but even I like it. It’s that good.

 

WILL FERRELL IS BETTER FOR YOU THAN A GIANT ROBOT

Anchorman 2 is down to number three and finally in a big A-list film is Meagan Good, who was basically Megan Fox before Megan Fox, as in an actress whose name and look is more commonly found in porn, in that both are very exaggerated.  Between this and actually being the lead in a serious “let’s-cash-in-on-the-success-of-Scandal-with-a-hot-black-chick” drama in prime time (yes, it was cancelled almost immediately, but that she even got the role is the victory), it seems after 15 years in front of the camera, Meagan Good is becoming an overnight success.  I mean, unless you’re black, which means you’ve been watching her for 15 years, since Eve’s Bayou and are quite frankly shocked to see her in a role where she’s not in short-shorts and a push-up bra. Maybe we’ll all be shocked to see Megan Fox make the same type of ascension in ten years. Hey, it could happen!

 

THE DOUCHE OF WALL STREET

American Hustle holds at number four and no matter how many people tell me this is a mess, a mess with this cast is still going to be interesting at the very least, unlike say The Wolf of Wall Street which opens at number five.  It has a pretty interesting supporting cast, but unfortunately a center of doucheness composed of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Yes, I know that their actual personalities shouldn’t affect your opinion of them onscreen, but guess what? They’re playing douchebags here too, so I’m not sure how much acting went into it.  But it’s Scorsese Oscar-bait so I guess I have to see it.

 

NICE PEOPLE DON’T GET MUCH DONE

Saving Mr. Banks (the unofficial sequel to Saving Private Ryan?) is down to number six and remember how I said this was a fairy tale to portray Walt Disney as a great man at her expense?  Well, she was no saint either.  Seems she adopted a little boy…but not his twin brother! Why?  Astrology. You only wish I were joking. But it gets worse. She never told him he had a brother…until he ran into him in a bar one day.  A bar because they both developed alcohol problems.  Gee, I wonder why?  Yeah, you’d have to lie to tell a story that put either of these two people in a favorable light.

 

THE BEN STILLER MOVIE

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens at number seven and this isn’t so much a remake as it is a reinterpretation of the short story, as the difference in tone and intent is as different as night and day.  The Danny Kaye version was a lighthearted musical comedy while this is an introspective comedy drama about a man who feels his life has so passed him by he can only cope by constantly losing himself into his daydreams.  Now if you’re someone of a comparable age and situation you might find yourself crying at regular points throughout, especially when his daydream actually enables him to find the courage to take a literal leap when reality fails him. All set to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” being sung by Kristen Wiig (I’m not crying! You’re crying!). I’ve long complained about not being able to take any more of Ben Stiller’s “Theater of Pain” style of comedy, which is basically watching him suffer an infinite number of indignities. It got so bad someone once joked that it was amazing he wasn’t in Passion of the Christ (get it? a suffering Jew?).  This film is ironically both the best use of that idea and the source of its worse missteps.  The humor that comes from him struggling to live life rather than just dream about it as he unburdens himself with the responsibility of taking care of his family is  very natural. The bit where he’s beaten down by airport security over a flute—all seen through an x-ray machine—is like a leftover bit from his show on Fox in the 90’s.  It’s a very flawed film, but sadly it spoke to me and I loved it as a result. This unfortunately means I lose the high ground I once had over my baby sister who loves the horrid Casual Sex movie for similar reasons. Nah. This is still better than that turd of a film.

 

47 REASONS WHY NO ONE SAW THIS

The Hunger Games: Catching Fires is down to number eight while 47 Ronin opens at number nine and Universal has already written this off for their 2013 taxes.  Ouch.  It was plagued with production troubles and while I don’t mind taking the famous story of the 47 Ronin (it’s considered a defining moment in Japanese culture and is celebrated annually) and setting it in within the world of Japanese mythology where magic and monsters are real you kinda wonder what was the point?  Especially when there are a) so few and b) only one of them that really matters.  And you have ample time to wonder because the film is paced so poorly. The first 30 minutes should have been part of the opening narration, as the story doesn’t begin until the 47 samurai become 47 ronin at the death of their lord (a samurai’s duty is to protect his lord and to become ronin is a disgrace because it means he as failed).  That would take this down from a bloated two hours to a tidier, yet still weak 90 minutes. Sorry, but a samurai film where the only blood seen is when they cut their thumbs to mark a document is ridiculous.  And we haven’t even gotten into the Keanu Reeves factor. Now, I like Keanu and am impressed that he’s finally playing Asian after all these years (his father was Philipino-Chinese) but he still sounds like a surfer with a head cold and even though the film is filled with Japanese actors speaking accented English, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The best part is the female villain who is working for a much better movie than she gets.

 

DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS

Finally, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas closes out the top ten at number ten and good riddance.

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