Tag Archives: Disney’s Frozen

YOU’LL NEVER SEE WILE E. COYOTE THE SAME

14 Mar

ryan-reynolds-gq-magazine-photoshoot-by-peggy-sirota_2 1. Zootopia/Disney Wknd/$ 50.0 Total/$ 142.6
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane/Paramount Wknd/$ 25.2 Total/$ 25.2
3. Deadpool/Paramount Wknd/$ 10.8 Total/$ 328.1
4. London Has Fallen/Focus Wknd/$ 10.7 Total/$ 38.9
5. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot/Paramount Wknd/$ 4.6 Total/$ 14.6
6. The Perfect Match/Lions Gate Wknd/$ 4.2 Total/$ 4.2
7. The Young Messiah/Focus Wknd/$ 3.2 Total/$ 3.4
8. The Brothers Grimsby/Sony Wknd/$ 3.2 Total/$ 3.2
9. Gods of Egypt/Lions Gate Wknd/$ 2.5 Total/$ 27.3
10. Risen/Sony Wknd/$ 2.3 Total/$ 2.3

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN CARTOON ANIMALS TALK
Zootopia holds at number one and the rumors you have heard are true: Disney’s animated wing has finally caught up to Pixar. Of course it’s under the control of Pixar that it’s happened, but nonetheless it has. Aside from being technically gorgeous, Zootopia not only comes up with good characters, but works on a level aside from funny talking animals because Zootopia is all about race and gender discrimination. Seriously. It’s about a bunny (Judy Hops) wants to be a cop all her life despite everyone telling her she can’t be and that there are no bunny cops because only predators can be cops and bunnies are prey. That predators are “masculine” and “prey” are feminine is pretty obvious. Especially when Judy actually does become a cop it is a clear mandate of a “diversity program” and she’s promptly assigned to be a meter maid. But it doesn’t stop there as the actual plot of the film is how some predators are de-evolving to walk on all fours and want to hunt fellow prey citizens. We learn then that predators are actually a “minority” in Zootopia and are seen as aggressive and dangerous. Get it? This is crystalized in the form of the fox, Nick Wilde, who first outwits Judy but is later outwitted and blackmailed by her into helping with the case. Like Judy, he wanted to break outside of society’s conventions about what a “minority” could be and like her was violently rebuffed as a child. Do I even have to point out that foxes are seen as deceitful and untrustworthy? This leads to a scene I thought I’d never see in an animated Disney movie where Nick confronts Judy about what she erroneously said about predators and she blurts out, “But you’re not like the others.” As someone who has actually had this said to his face (thank you, Georgia upbringing) it was beyond stunning. I’m actually surprised the same idiots who slowly realized the Ice Queen in Frozen was a lesbian haven’t attacked the lessons of this movie. And while I wish I could praise it for being yet another animated film that wasn’t a fucking musical, we do have a song by animal superstar, Gazelle (voiced by Shakira). But luckily it’s at the very end. And yes, the sloth joke still works.

JUST…NO
10 Cloverfield Lane opens at number two and since I hated the first Cloverfield, this was never going to get a moment of my time.

THIS IS WHY YOU’LL SEE WONDER WOMAN’S BOOBS ONE DAY
Deadpool is down to number three and finally Ryan Reynolds is successful just being Ryan Reynolds as he’s done in almost every role in his career from Van Wilder to this. In fact, this is just superpowered Van Wilder. Deadpool is a character that gained success after I’d walked away from X-Men books, but in my meager knowledge of the character I know exactly why he’s such a fan favorite: he’s a 14-year-old boy’s dream. He’s vulgar, indestructible, with a dark origin and hangs out with Wolverine. Also he breaks the fourth wall in the comics as he does in the movie (there’s even a joke about how Reynolds’ career has lasted only because of his good looks) and while the chorus chants how this is exactly the kind of shake up superhero needs, I have to point out its just being loyal to the source material. That’s why it succeeded. Yes, being an R-rated comedy helped distinguish it from the pack, but that’s what the books were (or so I’m told). All the most successful superhero movies are loyal to their source material in spirit. The failures are from assholes who are ashamed of comics and think those ties need to be abandoned for something more “realistic.” How’s that realism treating The Fantastic Four? Exactly. Of course Hollywood took only the worst lesson from this and now the next Wolverine movie will be R-rated. And while it does make sense that a guy whose primary power is slicing people up will get an R-rating, that’s not why they’re doing it. And there’s simply no reason ever for Superman to be in a movie with an R-rating but apparently that’s going to be a thing that happens too when Superman v. Batman is released on DVD. Please note that Marvel, the studio that gets it so right it sold you Ant Man, has flat out declared it won’t be making R-rated superhero movies.

INTELLIGENCE HAS FALLEN AND CAN’T GET UP
London Has Fallen is down to number four and how this got made is astonishing to be as the first one sucked and didn’t do that well. Granted it did better than White House Down, but at least there was fun to be had in White House Down. Olympus Has Fallen took itself seriously if you can believe that shit. But numbers don’t lie and relative to its cost, it was the better performer and clearly had a life on home video that garnered a sequel. Granted, this is more fun than the previous version and unlike that one is a serviceable action movie and by that I mean I wouldn’t turn the channel if it were on cable and I do that to Olympus Has Fallen (there’s not one second of that film I want to see again). But as dumb as OHF was, this is even dumber. The British Prime Minister has died so all the actual heads of government gather in London for the funeral where terrorists attack, killing the heads of Japan, Italy and France. Apparently none of the other heads of state who clearly would have been in attendance—especially the European Union—mattered enough to kill. Speaking of the European Union, serious shade is thrown at Italy and France in this. First off, the head of Italy is a middle-aged man showing his new wife around Westminster Abbey as a present for her 29th birthday. No, I’m not kidding. So you know what this movie thinks of Italians. Second, the French PM dies because he makes a conscious decision to arrive late. I’m not kidding. If he leaves on time, he lives, period. Better still we see later that the US is scrambling to get its nearest forces in from Italy because the terrorists shut London down by disguising themselves as police so there’s no way any force in London will be able to distinguish good guys from bad and will be slaughtered. No, this doesn’t stand up under any logical examination (like simply officially ordering all police off the street so anyone who remains is clearly a terrorist), but go with it. France is the closest of all, but not once do we hear of them making a move to avenge their fallen leader. Guess they were too busy smoking cigarettes and hating America. And you say you want some racism and xenophobia with your stupid action? Well, you got it as the terrorists are Arab Muslims, the head of which is avenging the death of his daughter whose wedding was hit by a drone strike ordered by the G8. Oh, did you think that includes Russia? Well, not in this movie as there is no Russian PM to be seen. The plot point about civilian loss is important because at the end when they get the bad guy—hardly a spoiler now—and after Gerard Butler gives a little speech about how “they” will never beat “us” as he beats on one of the terrorists, WE ARE SHOWN CIVILIANS BEING KILLED IN A DRONE STRIKE. I’m not kidding. God bless this stupid fucking movie and God Bless America!

I’M HERE FOR YOU, BABY…ONCE I WAKE UP
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is down to number five and I will see this. I loves me some Tina Fey and will do my best to support her. Unfortunately Daylight Savings Time and some mild food poisoning screwed up my weekend and daddy needed sleep.

THERE MUST BE BETTER LOOKING BRUTHAS OUT THERE
The Perfect Match opens at number six, followed by Young Messiah at number seven and this makes sense because both are aimed at niche audience. The former is Black people and the latter is Jesus freaks. And that’s not a bad thing. Every film can’t be all things to all people and they shouldn’t always have to try. Work for your audience and fuck everyone else. The Perfect Match is yet another variation on the lothario who meets his match theme and Young Messiah is Adventures of Young Jesus. While I do maintain a soft spot in my heart for romantic comedies the formula has grown tiresome for me as I’ve gotten older. It needs to be changed up a little. And while I don’t know who the fuck Terrence Jenkins is I do know that he’s not good looking enough to pulling women like Cassie (yes, I know she was dating P. Diddy, but he’s rich and gave her a music career she didn’t deserve). I need my romantic leading men to be good looking, especially if they’re playing ladykillers. And Judeo-Christian mythology has never held my interest so Young Messiah was never happening. Yeah, I said it!

SERIOUSLY, THAT SHIT HURTS
The Brothers Grimsby open at number eight and Mark Strong inches just a tad closer to actually being the good guy lead in an action movie. That’s all I can say about this as I find Sacha Baron Cohen as funny as an ingrown hair on my nutsack.

UP NEXT: GODS OF JAPAN STARRING JENNIFER LAWRENCE AND BRADLEY COOPER
Gods of Egypt is down to number nine and when was this ever a good idea!?! Did someone stupidly see Thor and think you could plug in any mythological gods and make a dollar? Or were they just a decade late for the whole Mummy franchise? And then the casting… It’s the Gods of Egypt, not Switzerland. Who the fuck makes a movie about Egyptian gods and casts White people? Yes, Idris Elba was Heimdall in Thor. But he was one, not the star and the majority and most powerful gods were all White. Here only one of the Egyptian gods is Black and none are Arabic and is not the star (and if you need more proof this was probably based on Thor, know that they also have a single Asian in the mix). And the logic is as racist as the casting. You won’t invest $140M in a minority led cast, but you would in Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau? Are you fucking kidding me!?! They wouldn’t cough up that money for him for the goddamn Olympus is Fallen sequel. And if you didn’t that was sad enough, director Alex Proyas (who has made 1 ½ good movies between The Crow and Dark City) blamed the critics for the hate this film received. Not that it had a bunch of brown people worshiping white people or anything. It was the critics.

YOU KNOW, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE STILL HOLDS UP
Finally, it’s a good time to be a Jesus-loving movie goer because you have not just Young Messiah, but Rising, which tells the tale of the resurrection of Jesus from the point of view of Roman Soldier sent out to investigate. Of course he’s changed by the experience. If they had any real balls they’d show him catching up to Jesus now living in France with Mary Magdeline under a different name with their kids. I see the name of Joseph Fiennes in this and I wonder how much he misses the 90’s when he had that white-hot moment of fame. And his hairline.

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ROB LOWE’S ACTUAL SEX TAPE WAS FUNNIER

21 Jul

<> on November 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Fox          Wknd/$ 36.0     Total/$ 139.0
2. The Purge: Anarchy/Universal                  Wknd/$ 28.4     Total/$ 28.4
3. Planes: Fire & Rescue/Disney                    Wknd/$ 18.0     Total/$ 18.0
4. Sex Tape/Sony                                               Wknd/$ 15.0     Total/$ 15.0
5. Transformers 4/Paramount                        Wknd/$ 10.0     Total/$ 227.2
6. Tammy/Warner                                             Wknd/$ 7.6       Total/$ 71.3
7. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                    Wknd/$ 4.7       Total/$ 180.5
8. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox            Wknd/$ 3.8       Total/$ 160.7
9. Maleficent/Disney                                        Wknd/$ 3.3       Total/$ 228.4
10. Earth to Echo/Relativity                           Wknd/$ 3.3        Total/$ 32.0

WILL SMITH COULD HAVE SAVED US FROM THE MONKEYS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes holds on for a second week confirming this has been a very disappointing summer. I refuse to believe it’s just me being picky (though I clearly am). This summer kinda blows. I mean, no big Pixar or other animated movie (last year as Monsters University and Despicable Me 2); only one big superhero movie (last year was Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and The Wolverine) and not even a Will Smith movie? Are you kidding me!?! Yeah, Tom Cruise had his yearly release, but it oddly feels like everyone else took this summer off (last year he had company with Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington and Vin Diesel) so lesser lights like this thing can shine.

THE ILLUSION OF INTELLIGENT THOUGHT
The Purge: Anarchy opens at number two and this is a sequel to one of the surprise hits of last summer, mainly because it was the rare low budget suspense success that wasn’t a freaking found footage film. Though it pretended to border on satire, the very premise failed for me because if it were true the government would basically use this one day a year to kill all its enemies. Likewise, the police. There wouldn’t be criminals any longer because once a year they’d be wiped out and fear of being labeled a criminal would keep people in line. It’d basically be America as a fascist state. Well, supposedly this film explores that a bit basically showing how “the purge” is really about the rich killing the poor, but it’s too little too late for me. I’m clearly alone in this as this cost as little as its predecessor and made 3x budget the opening weekend, so expect The Purge 3 at a theater near you next summer.

IF FROZEN & WRECK IT RALPH WERE TWO STEP FORWARDS, HERE’S YOUR ONE STEP BACK
Planes: Fire & Rescue opens at number three and I cannot remember a more confusing ad campaign for a children’s movie. One was your usual generic silliness while the other treated this film as if it were about actual an actual fire & rescue unit. Um, okay. If you doubt this is crap just know that animated films usually take years to make, even computer generated ones. The first Planes came out August last year, so you know this was slapped together as quickly as a computer could render it. Once upon a time this would be the kind of thing Disney sent straight to video like its other sequels (Mulan 2 and 3 anyone?) but I guess recent successes have them feeling cocky. And my opinion of this remains the same as last year: if you want me to like your movie then why the hell is Dane Cook in it? Even as a voice I cannot bear the thought of him and it pains me that this is helping to keep his career alive.

REAL SEX TAPES ARE FUNNIER
Sex Tape opens at number four and rarely does “underwhelming” so describe a film. All the pieces of a decent comedy are there. You’ve got your basic set of “normal people” who get thrown into a crazy situation the moment they try to do something adventurous. In this case it’s a nice suburban couple who try to recapture the heat of their earlier days by making a sex tape, then forgetting that they have an auto-sync system on their computer that uploads it to the cloud then downloads it to anyone they’ve given an iPad to. Other elements are their children, one of whom is turning into a smartass while the younger daughter is having existentialist thoughts. You have bored neighbors who are dying to be part of they wacky scheme to get the iPads back; a seemingly family-friendly CEO who does coke and listen to gangsta rap and heavy metal the second his family goes away and the kid of the wacky neighbors who is a budding sociopath. Top it off with an R-rating and you have to be supremely sad not to make this into something worth watching. They are supremely sad. This thing just never gets into gear because they are seemingly afraid of their own raunchy premise. Nothing sums this up better than Cameron Diaz unwilling to be topless. Now Jason Segel has proven he’s willing to go all out when he showed his junk in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but Cameron Diaz is in a movie called “Sex Tape” showing a little “A” (very little to be honest about it) and no “T.” All the times they painfully block any shots of her breasts when she’s supposed to be naked you’re reminded how this movie likewise won’t go where it needs to go. They don’t even honestly deal with why they’re in a rut, which seems to be her frustration at not being able to work, which is mirrored by his resentment at being the breadwinner. Like Cameron Diaz’s breasts they dance around it but never give you anything. It makes perfect sense the funniest part of the movie is Jack Black running down a list of porn site in rapid succession, because that’s the type of fearless vulgarity that was needed all along.

I GUESS TODAY IT’S BEING “A HEMMSWORTH”
Transformers: Age of Extinction is down to number five and you gotta give Mark Walberg points for how wisely he manages his career. This and Ted may not be art, but they keep him on the A-list where he’s been since Clueless. The joke about him being a desirable celebrity (“We may get Marky Mark to plant a tree”) is as valid now as it was almost 20 years ago. Unlike the joke about being “a Baldwin” synonymous with male desirability. The only one still in the public eye is Alec who’s easily 30-4 pounds heavier, which makes him indistinguishable from Daniel. Wherefore art thou Billy? And Stephen was just riding the wave anyway.

EARN LIKE A MAN
Tammy is down to number six and it appears I wasn’t the only person who noticed that this was in fact a very successful movie despite what other people would have you believe. It’s up to $71M from a $20M budget and that’s all domestic loot, baby, which is the kind that really matters. Apparently the idea that a talented woman could churn out subpar crap just like a man (see above paragraph) and still make money off it was bothersome to some.

HOW DARE YOU NOT SHAMELESSLY MILK EVERY DIME FROM EVERYTHING!?!
22 Jump Street is down to number five, followed by How To Train Your Dragon 2 at number eight and Maleficent at number nine and given that the two princesses from Frozen are going to turn up on ABC/Disney’s Once Upon A Time show because that film was so major, you have to wonder why isn’t Maleficent suffering the same fate? It would seem an obviously ploy by the “Never Shy To A Money-Making Ploy” Disney. They could get that girl who looks like Megan Fox, ‘cause Megan Fox kinda looks like Angelina Jolie. Whatshername? The only one who still has to do TV…Oddette Yustman! Damn, girl. You’re the reason people take stage names.

NOT ECHOING SUCCESS THAT’S FOR SURE
Finally, Earth to Echo closes out the top ten at number ten and somewhere Steven Spielberg has a drink and laughs.

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BITCHES BE CRAZY THE MOVIE

27 Apr

jp
1. The Other Woman/Fox                                  Wknd/$ 25.7      Total/$ 24.7
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier        Wknd/$ 16.1       Total/$ 224.9
3. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                            Wknd/$ 13.7      Total/$ 51.9
4. Rio 2/Fox                                                          Wknd/$ 13.7      Total/$ 96.2
5. Brick Mansions/Relativity                            Wknd/$ 9.6        Total/$ 9.6
6. Transendence/Warners                                 Wknd/$ 4.1        Total/$ 18.5
7. The Quiet Ones/LGF                                      Wknd/$ 4.0        Total/$ 4.0
8. Bears/Disney                                                   Wknd/$ 3.6        Total/$ 11.2
9. Divergent/LGF                                                Wknd/$ 3.6        Total/$ 139.5
10. A Haunted House 2/ORF                            Wknd/$ 3.3        Total/$ 9.1

AMIRITE FELLAS? THE MOVIE
The Other Woman opens at number one and this is some sadness right here. A movie about three attractive women whose only focal point in life is getting back at some dude? Really? Even The First Wives Club was at least partially about trying to move on, with living well being the best revenge, not you, know actual freaking revenge. And these were actual wives with a lifetime of a investment including kids, whereas two of these three are just girlfriends, who had to be dumb as rocks for him to as unavailable as he was not to have noticed something was amiss. I swear this movie was made by a bunch of dudes who’d never met a woman in their lives and wanted an excuse to meet Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton. Sorry, Leslie Mann, but that’s just how it is. Your first clue was being offered the wife role and not either of the girlfriends. And honestly this is a Cameron Diaz joint. It’s another feather in her cap to have success with an utterly crappy movie wherein she is clearly the biggest star.

FATHER TIME, UNDEFEATED
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is down to number two and can we talk about how much it hurts to see Robert Redford so visibly old onscreen? Well, it does. Kinda makes you glad Sean Connery retired before he got to the point where he looked frail so you can still remember him as somewhat vibrant. And it’s not like Redford has action scenes. He’s just stands there and talks and still he looks a tad thin. Heavy sigh. And yes, there’s a scene where you see a bottle of Paul Newman’s Salad Dressing behind him, so they’re reunited one more time.

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK MY ASS
Heaven is For Real is down to number three, but is still making waves as success due to a $51M return on a $12M budget. I’d make joke about that’s typical for films about the supernatural, but I don’t want those Christians coming after me. They’re scary and ironically unforgiving.

IT ALL COMES BACK TO MY COMIC BOOK COLLECTION
Rio 2 is down to number four and returning as the voices to keep their names in the game without having to expend too much effort are Anne Hathaway and Jessie Eisenberg. It’s a win-win situation. They get a hit without necessarily being openly tied to it if it fails. But you know it’s killing Anne Hathaway that she’s in this and not Frozen. Killing. Her. And because I’m a geek I have to point out that she played Catwoman and he’ll be playing Lex Luthor.

SOME THINGS JUST DON’T TRANSLATE
Brick Mansions opens at number five and this is a remake of a French film called District B13, from the same producers who realized that Americans won’t even watch an action movie in another language. Even grunts have to be in English. It’s the final completed film from Paul Walker as he died before Fast & The Furious 7 could be finished. That kinda puts a damper on it for me (whereas the darker theme of The Crow was only unaffected by Brandon Lee’s death but maybe even enhanced by it), not that I’d have seen it anyway mainly because I find parkour—the French activity (it’s not a sport) of acrobatically jumping on, off and around buildings—pretty stupid and that’s actually the selling point of the original. All I can think about is the massive amount of undue stress they’re putting on their joints with all that jumping on concrete. Concrete is so unyielding it’s actually better for you to run on the street, because asphalt has more give.

IT’S NOT OFFICIAL UNTIL CHRISTOPHER LEE SHOWS UP
Transcendence is down to number six followed by The Quiet Ones opening at number seven and this is disappointing in more ways than one because this is the first film from the newly revived Hammer Films, who brought back as type of classic horror in the early 60’s (after a decade of science fiction monsters in the 50’s) by adding blood and cleavage. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why the same people who went to see Oculus or Paranormal Activity gave this a pass. It falls squarely under my “I don’t do the scary rule” but how those people that do pick and choose is totally beyond me. I’m sure the makers of this are scratching their heads as well.

BUY AN SUV AND SAVE THE BEARS!
Bears is up to number eight and I just find all nature documentaries depressing now knowing we’re basically killing the planet. Then I remember we aren’t really killing the planet so much as killing our ability to live on it and once we’re dead all the animals that survive us will live happily ever after. So ironically, if you love animals you shouldn’t do anything to you’re supposed to do to protect them because that stuff is killing us too!

WHO MISSES THE 00’S ALREADY? PART 1.
Divergent is down to number nine with A Haunted House closing out the top ten at number ten having made more than 3x its budget, so there’ll probably be a third one. Also in this is Jamie Pressly, best known to most of you as Joy, the mean ex-wife on My Name Is Earl, but my first awareness of her came from the sequel to Poison Ivy that nobody wanted. She spent most of her life training as a gymnast and nowhere is it I more evident than in one of my favorite guilty pleasures: DOA: Dead or Alive. Or as I call it “Camel Toe Kung Fu.”

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NEED FOR FURIOUS

16 Mar

aaronpaulwalker

 1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                 Wknd/$  21.2            Total/$  63.2

 2. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$  19.1            Total/$  78.3

 3. Need for Speed/Touchstone                   Wknd/$  17.8            Total/$  17.8

 4. Non-Stop/Universal                                 Wknd/$  10.6            Total/$  68.8

 5. Single Mom’s Club/LGF                          Wknd/$    8.3            Total/$    8.3

 6. The LEGO Movie/WB                              Wknd/$    7.7            Total/$ 236.9

 7. Son of God/Fox                                          Wknd/$    5.4            Total/$   50.9

 8. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox            Wknd/$    3.6            Total/$     3.6

 9. Frozen/Disney                                           Wknd/$    2.1            Total/$ 396.4

10. Veronica Mars/Warner                           Wknd/$    2.0            Total/$     2.0

 

MAYBE IT’S IRONIC VIEWING GIVEN THE CURRENT STATE OF GREECE?

Mr. Peabody & Sherman rises to number one because apparently the movies are still cheaper than babysitters, while 300: Rise of an Empire drops to number two because, well it blows. But you might want to prepare yourself for a third installment because this has done gangbusters overseas. Apparently half-naked men fighting for the glory of Greece has an international audience (I doubt Greece itself has enough money to have bought all those tickets). I expect it’ll be about that final battle on Platea that was beginning at the end of 300, which in fact was the final defeat of the Persian Empire in Greece.  This will allow for Sullivan Stapleton to actually return as the lead for the sequel…not that anyone would care or notice, he’s so boring (he’s more interesting as an American on Strike Force).  Apparently Scottish Greeks are much more charismatic than Australian Greeks.  You know, the more of them that we see the more apparent is it becomes that personality isn’t a given amongst actors from “down under.”  Mel Gibson, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are clearly the exceptions while blander than bland actors like Stapelton, Sam Worthington, Alex O’Laughlin, Matt Passmore and Ryan Kwanten and Jai Courtney are the rule.

 

I FEEL THE NEED, THE NEED FOR A BETTER SCRIPT

Need For Speed opens at number three and the most remarkable thing about this movie is how long it too to get made in that it’s a very popular video game franchise and it’s clearly trying to cash in the Fast & The Furious Franchise with its eclectic group of multi-cultural street racers. Someone trying to make a buck on either is long overdue, much less someone trying to do both at the same time.    Now would think with all the time it had to try to this it’d be better. You’d be wrong.  The great thing about the Need For Speed games is that it decided anyone who’d attempt a street race would be set upon by cops, so you’re not just racing your opponent , but also trying to outrun the law, which is awesome fun.  This should be easiest thing to depict on film given the chase scene is a Hollywood staple, right? Wrong. And it doesn’t help that one of the first scenes in the film is set at a drive-in where they’re watching the first great car chase scene in Bullitt. Way to set the bar, morons.  Enjoy it because you won’t see another car chase for awhile and none in the Need For Speed mode until the very end and when you do the fun of out running cops in an exotic sports car is lost in the collateral damage caused. In a video game you’re not hurting anyone. You simply outrun the police. Onscreen we’re watching cops in wrecks so violent there was undoubtedly a loss of life. How am I supposed to root for the guy in a race that probably killed a cop because that cop was trying to avoid hitting that busload of children?  That the film is too long which gives you time to think on these things doesn’t help.  Rather than simply jump in to the main story which is Aaron Paul’s racing to get revenge and justice on Dominic Cooper for wrecking and killing Paul’s friend (and the younger brother of Cooper’s girlfriend) in a race, we have to see that race…and the situation which led up to it…and a dull race before that…and this is still after an expository opening scene with Michael Keaton as someone kind of internet radio host. He could have easy have summed everything up for us allowing us to start with the better part of the film which is Paul getting out of jail then trying to get cross country in less than two days to be in a race to defeat Dominic Cooper. That the movie is all kinds of dumb goes without saying.  The “big secret race” is anything but and Michael Keaton (who is also its organizer) is broadcasting it online in detail for the world to see!  Pretty sure the first rule of Secret Race Club is not to tell the world about Secret Race Club. He’s also supposed to be a mystery, yet he shows his face in his broadcasts!  Now, I know it’s dark and cynical of me to say that the Fast & Furious franchise is ripe for a competitor with the loss of Paul Walker, but it’s true.  Fortunately for them this isn’t it.

 

I AM JACK’S ANGRY TASTE

Non Stop is down to number four, followed by Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club opening at number five and I’d say that this opening low was a sign that maybe Tyler Perry’s annoying run was finally showing signs of fatigue, but it probably only cost about $2 to make, so it will probably be profitable in the long run.  In an odd way this may not even count as most of his films are aimed squarely at a Black audience (like a sniper’s rifle in my opinion, hating him the way I do) while this is clearly trying to bring a wider (aka “White”) audience.  The lesson that might be sadly taken away from this I don’t even want to think about, because it’s the excuse that Hollywood uses every day to justify a lack of diversity. Why am I even thinking this much about a freaking Tyler Perry movie!?! Next!

 

YET ANOTHER THING THAT IS AWESOME

The LEGO Movie is down to number six. Hold on. Let me think of how great, original and funny this was to wipe all thoughts of Tyler Perry from my mind. Ahhhhhhh. Now it’s been out for over a month and a half now so it’s hardly a spoiler to talk about how Star Wars pops up onscreen with Han, Lando and C3Po showing up in the Millennium Falcon. It’s a great scene and Billy Dee Williams and Anthony actually do the voices of Lando and C3PO. You know Harrison Ford was too much of a grumpy old man to do Han.

 

PTTD: POST TRAUMATIC TWEE DISORDER

Son of God is down to number seven, followed by The Grand Budapest Hotel entering the top ten at number eight and one of the great things about living in a city like New York is that I can literally see films that aren’t open anywhere else in the country.  And I used to do just that. I would have been on The Grand Budapest Hotel like a dog on a bone back in my indie film watching days.  Now I just tell myself I’ll eventually get to it…which I don’t. Then I tell myself I’ll just watch it on Netflix…but I don’t do that either. Sigh. What’s wrong with me? I find time for crap like 300: Rise of an Empire and Need For Speed, but not this. I blame my times as a indie film reviewer. It killed my ability to tolerate the self-indulgence that’s so much at part of indie filmmaking. Sometimes you wish some guy in a suit would walk in and tell them “No. This is just too pretentious. Stop it!”

 

IT’S LIKE BUYING BIRTH CONTROL

Frozen is down to number nine and should be gone as the DVD is coming out, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere who have to buy and now watch it every. single. day.

 

MORONS ARE LOOSE

Veronica Mars opens at number ten and the very existence of this movie makes me so angry can barely see. In case you didn’t know, this was crowd sourced. In other words FANS FUCKING PAID FOR IT THEMSELVES SO WARNER BROTHERS COULD MAKE IT THEN CHARGE THEM ADMISSION!  Aside from setting the horrific precedent of consumers paying multi-billion dollar corporations, it has to be biggest example of the truism “a fool and his money are soon parted” ever. Jack trading the cow for magic beans shows more common sense. What’s worse is you know these same idiots are going to buy it when it comes out on DVD so they’re paying 3 times!  Sigh. But you know what? I should be grateful because as  geek myself this crap makes me now look normal. Hell, it makes all fans look normal. You people getting married in Klingon and Elvish? You’re no longer the bottom of the fan barrel.  A new low has been achieved.

THIS! IS! CRAP!

9 Mar

300

 1. 300: Rise of an Empire/Warner            Wknd/$  45.1            Total/$  45.1

 2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                Wknd/$  32.5            Total/$  32.5

 3. Non-Stop/Universal                                 Wknd/$  15.4            Total/$  52.1

 4. The LEGO Movie/WB                             Wknd/$   11.0            Total/$ 225.0

 5. Son of God/Fox                                         Wknd/$  10.0            Total/$  41.5

 6. The Monuments Men/Sony                    Wknd/$    3.1            Total/$   70.6

 7. 3 Days To Kill/Relativity                          Wknd/$    3.1            Total/$   25.6 6.

 8. Frozen/Disney                                           Wknd/$    3.0            Total/$ 393.1

 9. 12 Years A Slave/FoxSearchlight            Wknd/$    2.2            Total/$   53.1

10. Ride Along/Universal                               Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$  123.2

 

IF THIS WERE A ROCK STAR IT’D BE DAVID COVERDALE

300: Rise of an Empire opens at number one and before seeing this, 21st Century Movie Buddy and I had a few drinks.  Now, when I say “before” I mean I smuggled a 32 oz container of hard cider with a few shots of whiskey in it into the theater. That 32 ounces was not enough tells you all you need to know. 300 was not a good movie, but it was at least fun to watch and not boring. In addition to not being good, this is not fun to watch and is mostly boring; the trifecta of suck.  In a weird way this almost validates crap filmmakers like Michael Bay and Zack Synder much in the same way the $50M attempted makeover of Jessica Simpson into a dance pop princess validated Brittney Spears: it’s harder than it looks (it ended Tommy Mottola’s tenure at Sony). No, it’s not art but some kind of effective skill is clearly needed.  Needless to say director Noam Murro lacks these skills. Yes, he’s hobbled by Zack Synder still writing and producing, but his previous effort was a talking head movie with Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid called Smart People and that wasn’t much good either, so his skills are questionable in any arena.  In actual history while Leonidas and the 300 (not to mention twice the number of slaves and additional Greeks, so the number was closer to 5,000) were fighting on land, there was another war being waged at sea by Themistocles, which he won. While Athens itself actually burned, the people themselves had been evacuated, the culture survived and the Persians were finally stopped a year later in the battle that’s about to start at the end of 300. This was supposedly going to be that story…except it’s not.  It’s so desperate to tie itself to 300, it forgets to be its own film (they even open like the first with a narration telling you that the hero of the story is the person who partially caused the trouble and it is equally erroneous).  Basically every actor from 300 they could get to make an appearance is here. Xerxes, the queen, the guy who was sent back, the emissary who was thrown into the pit, even the hunchback.  Sadly, all played by the original actors whom you think would have moved on to better things and been able to say no. Even Lena Headey who has enjoyed a bump thanks to Game of Thrones is here (then again, she’s in the middle of a messy divorce and probably needed the cash).  Even the physiques of the male actors, for which the first film is most famous, is inferior. They couldn’t even get a trainer as good as the first. Now that’s just sad.

 

THIS TRICK NEVER WORKS

Mr. Peabody and Sherman opens at number two and while I hold a special place in my heart for these characters and was considering seeing it I ultimately gave it a pass because as part of the Jay Ward universe of Rocky & Bullwinkle and George of the Jungle the heart of the humor was the self-aware satire.  They mocked their cheap animation as world much as they were part of it.  This a $145M CGI feature. Not much to mock there.  Well, actually there’s a lot to mock about spending $145M on a near 50-year-old cartoon that wasn’t even title character (it was part of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show), but the trailer shows they aren’t even trying. This kind of misses the point to me, but I will watch when it shows up on cable next year.

 

BABY, SHE’S A STAR

Non Stop is down to number three and shouldn’t they be broadcasting that it also stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o?  Strike the iron while it’s hot, kids. In fact, between Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Lupita, there’s a boatload of all kinds of nominations and awards…and more people will see this than any of those films that earned them.  Same for Liam Neeson’s other film on this top ten, The Lego Movie, now down to number four. Real talk.

 

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL

Son of God is down to number five, followed by The Monuments Men at number six and Three Days to Kill at number seven and also in this is Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld who is learning as Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore have that nominations are nice, but they pay for jack shit.  Gotta do the popcorn movies too. Though hopefully better ones than this. Liam Neeson will always need someone to play his kids that are threatened so he can whoop some ass.

 

LEMONS FROM LEMONADE

Surprisingly Frozen got no Oscar bump from wining Best Animated Film. I’m sure the fact that the Academy utterly screwed up Idina Menzel’s performance didn’t help her.  Not only did they rush her, but also a verse was clearly cut.  The Roots did better with children’s instruments on The Tonight Show. Fortunately for her that was all overlooked thanks to John Travolta screwing up her name, which actually put her name on everyone’s lips the next day.

 

LIKE A WELL-MADE VEGETARIAN DISH; GOOD FOR YOU TO EAT, BUT YOU ‘D PREFER NOT TO MAKE A HABIT OF IT

12 Years a Slave did get a bounce for its Oscar wins back into the top ten at number nine. Now I said when it came out this was the type of film I’d probably see only if it got Oscars nominations and even then only on the day of.  That’s how I did Schindler’s List and this was the same. It’s good. It’s very good, but it’s difficult to watch for reasons you might expect. Accurate depictions of slave conditions will never be G-rated or for the weak of stomach and sadly, many of the things that transpire were taken directly from the book written by Solomon Northrup. I can’t really fault anyone for wanting to take a pass for that very reason, though like Schindler’s List when it’ s this good it’s something you need to do…and then you have a built-in excuse not to see any others.

 

MUCH LIKE THAT COFFEE, PEOPLE COMPLAIN, BUT THEY KEEP BUYING

Finally, Ride Along hangs on like a freaking barnacle. I blame the endless winter.  Cabin fever forces people to leave their homes, but the cold means they have to find another place to keep warm.  And it’s cheaper than Starbucks.

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ALL LIAM NEESON, ALL THE TIME

2 Mar

cv-liam-neeson-season

 

1. Non-Stop/Universal                               Wknd/$  30.0            Total/$  30.0

 2. Son of God/Fox                                      Wknd/$  26.5            Total/$  26.5

 3. The LEGO Movie/WB                           Wknd/$  21.0            Total/$  209.3

 4. The Monuments Men/Sony                 Wknd/$    5.0            Total/$   65.7

 5. 3 Days To Kill/Relativity                       Wknd/$    4.9            Total/$   20.7

 6. RoboCop/Sony                                        Wknd/$    4.5            Total/$   51.2

 7. Pompeii/TriStar                                      Wknd/$    4.3            Total/$   17.7

 8. Frozen/Disney                                         Wknd/$    3.6            Total/$ 388.7

 9. About Last Night/SG                              Wknd/$    7.4            Total/$   43.8

10. Ride Along/Universal                            Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$  123.2

 

NOW THIS IS HOW A LIAM NEESON MOVIE PERFORMS, COSTNER!

Really Jesus? Did you think you could stand up to the mature action whirlwind that is Liam Neeson?  Yes, once again Liam Neeson defies the odds and carries an action film to number one with no help from anyone (somewhere Sylvester Stallone shakes his head as he counts up how much money he had to divide amongst the 25 stars in The Expendables 3), while Son of God…if God Was A Surfer opens at number two.  I was there for Taken, but I’ve given the rest of Neeson’s “Old Guys Kick Ass Too” oeuvre a pass and this is no exception.  It didn’t help that it reminded me too much of Jodie Foster’s movie, Flightplan in that the very premise, while initially intriguing ultimately comes across as both dumb and unbelievable unless everyone had a brain tumor for breakfast. Coincidentally that’s the same reason I didn’t see Son of God.

 

ZEUS & CHRIST VS. TOYS

Liam Neeson’s power extends itself to The LEGO Movie down to number three. Seriously, it took Liam Neeson and Jesus to pry this movie from the top spot and Liam Neeson is actually in The LEGO Movie as “Good Cop/Bad Cop” which is a hysterical riff on every action movie you’ve ever seen.  Best gag: every time Bad Cop appears someone provides him a chair to kick, even when he’s on a spaceship.

 

LESS IS MORE, CRASH DAVIS

The Monuments Men rises to number four because maybe people are realizing it’s not as bad as some say. I think expectations were deservedly high on this, but once you let those go it’s not the worst way you can spend two hours. Yes, I’m looking at you, 3 Days to Kill down to number five, because a silly action film that’s clearly on the lighter side should not be two freaking hours long. Let me put it this way: Liam Neeson, whom you’re clearly trying to be here? His action comeback film, Taken, was only 93 minutes.  Boom! In yo’ face!

 

YOU COULDN’T FIND A ROLE FOR ADAM WEST?

Robocop is down to number six and this actually has two generations of Batman films in it.  Michael Keaton, who sucked as Bruce Wayne (I’ll maintain to my grave that Batman is not a skinny, ugly, balding guy with no chin) and Gary Oldman, who was perfectly cast as Commissioner Gordon. Think they talked about it? No, me neither.

 

CASSIA’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ON…

Pompeii is down to number seven and also in this is Carrie-Anne Moss and how much do you think she misses the days of The Matrix?  Try doubling that and you might come close.  Her moment of heat was not well spent so here she is in the latest of a series of “hot mom” roles.

 

BECAUSE IT HASN’T MADE ENOUGH MONEY

Frozen is holding at number eight, but expect a bounce once it wins the Oscar for Best Song tonight.

 

HOW CAN WE MISS YOU IF YOU WON’T GO AWAY

About Last Night and Ride Along close out the top ten at nine and ten respectively, meaning we’re finally taking a break from Kevin Hart… until his next 12 movies over the next three months. I’m kidding. Well, I hope I am anyway.

I KNOW LIAM NEESON AND YOU, COSTNER ARE NO LIAM NEESON

23 Feb

600full-michael-ealy

 1. The LEGO Movie/WB                             Wknd/$  31.5            Total/$  183.2

 2. 3 Days To Kill/Relativity                        Wknd/$  12.3            Total/$   12.3

 3. Pompeii/TriStar                                       Wknd/$  10.0            Total/$   10.0

 4. RoboCop/Sony                                          Wknd/$    9.4            Total/$   43.6

 5. The Monuments Men/Sony                    Wknd/$    8.1            Total/$   58.1

 6. About Last Night/SG                                Wknd/$    7.4            Total/$   38.2

 7. Ride Along/Universal                               Wknd/$   4.7             Total/$  123.2

 8. Frozen/Disney                                            Wknd/$   4.4            Total/$ 384.1

 9. Endless Love/Universal                           Wknd/$    4.3            Total/$   20.1

10. Winter’s Tale/Warner                             Wknd/$    2.1            Total/$    11.2

 

MORE LIKE TWO HOURS OF YOUR LIFE MURDERED

The LEGO Movie holds on to number one for a deserved third straight week followed by 3 Days To Kill, opening at number two and I was actually prepared to see this for some silly action fun…until I found out the director was none other than the horrific McG.  Out of the unholy Trinity of bad, blockbuster directors who blew up in the late 90’s early ‘00’s of Brett Ratner, Michael Bay and McG, McG is by far the worst and that’s saying something.  He tanked the Terminator franchise much in the way Ratner was the first stumble in the X-Men franchise (until the Wolverine films showed it could get much, much worse…). Like the other two, he tried to show he could do a film about people and like the other two he failed miserably with We Are Marshall. He’s just a painfully untalented man, but sad proof that crap does float in that he’s still allowed to try and direct films.  There was hope that he’d been reduced to his talent level: directing for TV after the flop that was This Is War, which put a damper on the rising stars of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy (and killed any attempt by Reese Witherspoon to return to her early-century glory days), but no, he’s back and bringing Kevin Costner’s comeback attempts to a screeching halt in this clear attempt to try and horn in on Liam Neeson’s crown as the “mature” action star. Seriously, why do actors work with this guy?  Lucky for both of them it only cost $28M so a $12m opening isn’t the worst thing in the world, but next week the real Liam Neeson is back and guess which film is going to suffer most for it?

 

A DIRECTOR BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SUCK JUST AS MUCH

Speaking of bad films from untalented directors, Pompeii opens poorly at number three and this is from none other than Paul W.S. Anderson. The “W.S” to let you know he’s not the Paul Anderson making actual films like Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. No, this is the guy keeping his own wife’s career in the Farm Leagues thanks to the Resident Evil franchise. What’s sad is that there’s an actual historical precedent for this story in that the remains of a rich woman and man were found in the arena at Pompeii suggesting maybe they’d snuck there for a rendezvous because no one else was around. Oh, you didn’t know? Anyone and everyone who could get out of Pompeii had gotten the hell out. Its eruption wasn’t some surprise that caught a city off guard, so let’s kill that myth once and for all.  Think this film reflects that given how Anderson has been bragging about his research? Me neither.  Needless to say he’s already working on the next Resident Evil film…

 

MAYBE EMINEM DOES SAVE DETROIT AFTER ALL

Robocop is down to number four and one major problem with this film is that he really doesn’t need to be Robocop to get the bad guy. In the original Alex Murphy was one of many cops set up to be injured in order to become the subject of the procedure.  Here, it’s just a coincidence that he’s almost killed when they’re looking for a subject.  Also when he tracks down his “killer” there’s nothing special about how he does it. He tracks one phone to another phone, finds him and kills him. That’s it.  No special cyborg abilities needed which makes you wonder why they couldn’t catch this guy to begin with. Yes, there are corrupt cops protecting the bad guy, but since Murphy and his partner aren’t telling people what they’re doing anyway, there’s no way they could have been stopped.  He doesn’t get blown up, he never becomes Robocop.  Not to mention why does Detroit in this future need a Robocop to begin with given it doesn’t have any of the urban decay we saw in the original…or now.?  Seriously, this Detroit is better than the current Detroit.  In a better film that would be the satirical point, but here it’s just another sign of ineptitude.

 

PRETTY…BORING

The Monuments Men is down to number five followed by About Last Night at number six and also in this are Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant and it’s okay if you missed them because as it turns out the screenwriter was actually told to bump the supporting characters over the leads, which actually wound up making them the leads and the former leads are now just straight men despite being much more attractive. This makes sense if, like me, you remember just how utterly boring Rob Lowe and Demi Moore were, despite being pretty and naked.  And if their names sound familiar it’s because they were briefly “Hot Young Things.”  Michael Ealy was Halle Berry’s co-star in the Oprah Produced (key words) TV adaptation of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” which meant everyone knew his name for 5 minutes.  Joy Bryant is a former model (which meant Ealy was probably standing on a box for most of his scenes with her).  She was hot briefly in the early part of this century thanks to her first big role being in Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, Antwone Fisher.  Well that and dating 50 Cent during the making of Get Rich or Die Trying.

 

BWC –BRUTHAS WITH CASH

Ride Along, Kevin Hart’s other film in the top ten is down to number seven and this has made $123M off a $25M budget so I’m guessing they’re backing up a truck of money to Kevin Hart’s house for a sequel. In the meantime it’s Ice Cube’s turn to now ignore Chris Tucker calling doing about another Friday movie. He’s got a new cash cow to do the heavy lifting.

 

AS A CANADIAN HE’S TOO NICE TO TURN CRAP DOWN

Frozen holds at number eight, followed by Endless Love at number nine and it hurts me that Bruce Greenwood is in this.  He deserves so much better.

 

ONE OF THESE HEARTTHROBS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

Finally Winter’s Tale closes out the top ten at number ten and the other guy who can’t buy a hit in this movie? None other than Russell Crowe. Remember when he was mentioned in the same breath as George Clooney on Sex & The City?  Betcha he does.  Clooney was in Gravity last year. Know that Crowe was in? Man of Steel. That says it all.  You know what Crowe was doing while Clooney was getting an Oscar for producing Argo?  Getting mocked for his singing in Les Miserables.

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