Tag Archives: black widow

GIRL YOU’LL BE A WOMAN…ONE DAY

20 Apr

blackwidows 1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier        Wknd/$ 26.6     Total/$ 201.5
2. Rio 2/Fox                                                         Wknd/$ 22.5     Total/$ 75.4
3. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                           Wknd/$ 21. 5     Total/$ 28.5
4. Transendence/Warners                                Wknd/$ 11.2      Total/$ 11.2
5. A Haunted House 2/ORF                             Wknd/$ 9.1        Total/$ 9.1
6. Draft Day/LG                                                  Wknd/$ 5.9        Total/$ 19.5
7. Divergent/LGF                                                Wknd/$ 5.8       Total/$ 133.9
8. Oculus/Relativity                                           Wknd/$ 5.2        Total/$ 21.0
9. Noah/Paramount                                           Wknd/$ 5.0        Total/$ 93.3
10. God’s Not Dead/Free                                   Wknd/$ 4.8       Total/$ 48.3

THERE’S JUST NO PLEASING A GEEK
Captain America: The Winter Soldier holds onto the number one slot for the third week, which is great for me because I’m a Cap fan, but sad for me because I think this success should have been for a better Cap movie. I’m also not thrilled that this cements Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. Yeah, I know this is the third time she’s played the role, but she’s still horribly miscast. The Black Widow is a woman, not a girl and even though she’s 30 now, ScarJo (as she hates to be called) still looks like a girl and I’m supposed to buy her as the best spy in the world (which is what she’s referred to in the comics). It’s still painful to think that Emily Blunt was in consideration for this role and we got stuck with someone who was cast for obvious reasons (blonde hair, boobs). It’s not to say she doesn’t make a decent sidekick. She is and gets some great lines, most of them at the expense of Captain America whom she gently teases throughout the film, but she’s just not The Black Widow as shown in Marvel Comics for the last 50 years. Now, if they made her the character in the comics who was the successor to The Black Widow, using her name and who was in fact a young blonde, the angrygeek in me would be fine with that. But they didn’t so I’m not. Grrrrrrr….

GET IT?
Rio 2 holds at number two and it’s still too little too late for me to see or care about it.

GUESS WHO MISSES THE FIRST DECADE OF THIS CENTURY?
It’s somehow fitting that Heaven is For Real is opening at number three in front of Transcendence at number four because “transcendence” is achieving at type of heaven, no? The former is just the latest in a stream of Christian movies that its target audience is only too happy to turn out and support, turning a profit almost immediately in defiance of all reviews. What’s surprising is that Greg Kinnear is in this one, as these movies are usually for no-name actors or those who need work and are in no position to be picky. While Kinnear is far from his glory days as an Oscar nominee (utterly undeserved for his stereotypical portrayal of a gay man) he still manages to be enough of a name to get cast as a male lead in A-list films and on television. How is a mystery, given he hasn’t be in a hit since Baby Mama which was a Tina Fey/Amy Poelher success. He was just the guy lucky enough to be in it. Yeah, he was in Anchorman 2, but no one saw it for him. Same for this film. It’s a success, but he has nothing to do with it. The failure of Rake is closer to reality. It’s also becoming a reality for Johnny Depp who hasn’t had a hit without special effects, Tim Burton or a pirate hat since Finding Neverland in ’04 and now even with special effects (The Lone Ranger and this) and Tim Burton (Dark Shadows) it’s slim pickings so look for him to put that pirate hat back on in the next 15-20 minutes. In fact, he’s the main reason I didn’t bother seeing this. I likes me some science fiction and have no problem the trope of the scientist who loses his humanity when he achieves some degree of omnipotence of omniscience, so I was ripe for this. Honestly, it’s the casting of Johnny Depp that put me off. I have such a dislike of him that even with commercials every day I still didn’t remember it opened this weekend. It seems many people felt the same. I, for one, have been insisting for years that the Emperor of Cool has no clothes but now that he’s openly the pathetic stereotype of a middle-aged man, hooked up with a 20-something former model now actress (who was gay before Depp, so make of that what you will), others are seeing it as well. Such a shame too, as there’s no shortage of good actors I do like in it from crusty old Morgan Freeman to relatively fresh and new Kate Mara and people like Paul Bettany, Cole Hauser (how is this man not as star) and Cillian Murphy in between.

SEIZING THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION
A Haunted House 2 opens at number five and this is the franchise that spun out of the Scary Movie franchise when the Wayans family realized that even though they launched it, they didn’t own it and decided to just make their own and keep all the money. And given the first Haunted House basically went head-to-head with Scary Movie 5 and made about the same but at literally 1/10 the cost, I’d say it was a wise decision. Releasing this in April rather than October? Now that decision I question. But it only cost $4M and already made $9M so clearly the Wayans family knows more than I do.

SUPERMAN FAMILY
Draft Day is down to number six and also in this is none other than Tom Welling, who played Clark Kent on the show Smallville, not to mention Frank Langella who played Perry White in Superman Returns. I like to think they both looked at Costner with pity for being in Man of Steel. And all three of them looked at Jennifer Garner with pity for being in Daredevil and Elektra.

YOU AIN’T JENNIFER LAWRENCE YET, GIRL
Divergent is down to number seven and even with a $200M+ worldwide box office, this isn’t a rock solid franchise success, given it had an $85M budget. Even by conservative estimates, it’s gonna have to hit at least $255M, which seems less and less likely as we approach the summer releases.

GOD COULD MAKE IT RAIN ON THE BOX OFFICE JUST A BIT MORE
Oculus is down to number eight and it’s already turned a profit so the producers could care less as they prep Oculus 2, while Noah—down to nine—faces the same issue as Divergent in that it cost so much, it’s$290M box office still isn’t enough to be profitable.

NO, BUT THIS FINALLY IS
Finally God’s Not Dead closes out this very Christian friendly top ten.

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NOT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

6 May

1. The Avengers/Disney                              Wknd/$200.3            Total/$200.3

2. Think Like a Man/SGem                        Wknd/$   8.0             Total/$  73.0

3. The Hunger Games/LionsGate             Wknd/$    5.7             Total/$ 380.7

4. The Lucky One/Warners                        Wknd?$    5.5             Total/$  47.9

5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits/Sony       Wknd/$    5.4             Total/$   18.6

6. The 5 Year Engagement/Universal      Wknd/$    5.1             Total/$   11.2

8. Safe/Lion’s Gate                                       Wknd/$    2.5            Total/$   12.8

7. The Raven/Relativity                               Wknd/$    2.5            Total/$   12.0

9. Chimpanzee/Disney                                 Wknd/$    2.4            Total/$   23.0

10. The Three Stooges/Fox                           Wknd/$    1.8            Total/$   39.6

AKA, IRON MAN PT 6.

The Avengers opens up at number one and this is the end result of an effort that first began four years ago with Iron Man when Agent Coulson of  SHIELD appeared and Nick Fury popped up in a post-credits scene to discuss “The Avengers Initiative.” That same summer, Tony Stark also appeared in a post-credit scene in The Incredible Hulk and just last year Agent Coulson and Nick Fury again appeared in Thor and Nick Fury did his final post credit scene in Captain America.  All of that has led to this and…it’s not bad. Sorry, I can’t be a spewing geek like all the rest, but I’m still a little resentful that some of the previous movies were flat out sacrificed to build up to this (Captain America and Thor are little more than prequels).  And when all is said and done a lot of it is as calculated as that build up.  That Joss Whedon did this well certainly amazing and in just a few scenes makes a better Hulk movie than Ang Lee and…whoever-the-hell-that-guy-was did in two, but far too many scenes are “Let’s set this up” none as painful as “This is the scene where we set up Captain America as a leader” which frankly doesn’t ring true since Chris Evans lacks the gravitas needed for that position, though he does get the earnestness down pat. Also forced is the infamous bickering that was part and parcel of The Avengers, which made them more human than say, the perfect “we-do-all-just-get-along” Justice League of America (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc) that The Avengers were basically ripping off by the admission of Stan Lee himself.  Straight arrow Captain America conflicts with the morally flexible (by comparison) Iron Man. Demi-god Thor won’t be held accountable by any mortal and The Hulk…well, he hates everyone (missing from this movie are original Avengers Ant-Man and The Wasp and instead have Hawkeye and The Black Widow because it’s also based on a cynical version of The Avengers called The Ultimates). In this movie it’s a painfully long scene to make sure even the morons “get it” and movies shouldn’t be written for morons, even those based on comic books.  You didn’t see The X-Men beating you over the head with mutants being allegories for racism.  Also the plot mysteriously revolves around Loki needing to destroy The Avengers which makes no sense given they don’t exist yet.  In the comics Loki is the reason they come together.  Here they also come together because of him but apparently he’s got a plan to defeat them even before they do so?  Huh?  But no one is here for a plot. Not really.  You’re here to see a big superhero battle and you get it.  You even get then comic book standard of good guys fighting each other before they realize they’re friends.  But even that’s flawed as arrows and really hard punches can defeat the invading aliens. Given the conventional might of humans works why do we need The Avengers?  And why mysteriously do all the agents of SHIELD not show up for the final battle against the invaders?  All we see are some cops and get a one liner about how long it’s going to take the army to get there, which rings false for New Yorkers who see military men with machine guns on the street on a regular basis.  I won’t even get into how it’s impossible to be as cavalier seeing buildings destroyed in NYC as it was pre 9/11.  But overall the movie works when history has shown us the capacity for failure grossly outweighs the potential for success, especially given the many moving parts.

 

MORE PEOPLE LIKE CHOCOLATE THAN CARAMEL

Think Like A Man is down to number two and the person benefitting the most from this other than Steve Harvey (and Steve Harvey’s accountants) is Michael Ealy, who has been bubbling under as the next Black Leading Man for years now, but I’m gonna be real for a moment and say it: Hollywood, America and Black people like their Black Leading Men dark as much as they like their Black Leading Women light, which is why for the last decade it’s been Halle Berry (for whom Ealy was once the love interest) and Denzel Washington.  This is why as pretty as Shemar Moore is, he never was as successful as Taye Diggs, why Terrence Howard could never really supplant Denzel despite an Oscar nomination and probably why Michael Ealy has taken so long.  But between this and the new TV show on USA where he’s an actual lead it may finally happen.

 

CAIN AND WHATSHISNAME

The Hunger Games holds at number three giving us two Hemsworth brothers in the top ten, but Chris far ahead in The Avengers than Liam here.

 

ALWAYS USE A CONDOM, KIDS. EVEN WITH SUPERMODELS.

The Lucky One holds at number four, followed by Pirates: Band of Misfits at number five and let’s count down the actual stars who did this.  Hugh Grant who’s never done the family thing before, but recently became a father (aka, stupidly raw-dogged it with a half-his-age golddigger) probably did it for his new child, but he’s followed by an impressive amount of Brit talent who probably relished the idea of working with the people behind Wallace & Gromit.  Imelda Stanton, David Tennant, Brian Blessed Martin Freeman and Brendan Gleeson are all here alongside the less-than-impressive American contributions like Jeremy Piven and…Al Roker??? Seriously?

 

THAT OSCAR NOMINATION AND $2.25 WILL GET YOU ON THE SUBWAY.

The Five Year Engagement is down to number six and Emily Blunt was originally supposed to be The Black Widow.  Think she’s regretting that decision right about now? I know her agents and accountants do.

 

BREASTS. THAT IS ALL

The Raven is down to number seven and whaddya know?  Brendan Gleeson is here too, but who we’re really talking about is Alice Eve, a would-be “hot girl of the moment” who really isn’t but they’re trying because she’s skinny, blonde and has big, REAL, boobs, which may have been the most interesting part of Sex & The City 2 (she was the nanny).  And if you don’t think it doesn’t matter in this world of fake ones take note of how you think of Pamela Anderson vs. Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Yeah, exactly.  Real ones still rule and will get you somewhere especially if you have a modicum of talent and personality.  They’ve kept Alice Eve working in a series of high profile disappointments.  I mean she made a movie with Harrison Ford that was barely released before going straight-to-video, while the failure She’s Out of My League was widely released.  You know who she is but not until someone like me points it out to you and a lot has to do with her boobs being real as opposed to thousands of fakes.  It’s like a Rolex: you can buy a fake one for $10 off the street, but a real one is what everyone really wants.

 

THE END

Safe is down to number eight, followed Chimpanzee at number nine and The Three Stooges wrapping it up at number ten.

 

ACTUALLY MANY, MANY TREES GROW IN BROOKLYN

This weekend in I took a break from the steel and concrete of the city in the light and the dark and instead went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with a friend to photograph living things.  Of course the day I went it was overcast and gray, but ironically that only made the colors stand out more given they didn’t have the sky to compete with.  Even more ironic, my favorite shots had nothing to do with flowers but oddly plants.  And some dude on his laptop in the Japanese.  Probably working on that same novel he’s been tinkering with for 20 years, while pleading with his wife to let him quit his job so he can be the writer he was meant to be.  Hang on to the dream, brother.