Tag Archives: Escape Plan

WHEN UGLY THINGS HAPPEN TO PRETTY PEOPLE

27 Oct

Picture 1500

 1. Bad Grandpa/Paramount                        Wknd/$  32.0            Total/$  32.0

 2. Gravity/Warners                                       Wknd/$  20.3            Total/$ 199.8

 3. Captain Phillips/Sony                               Wknd/$  11.8            Total/$  70.1

 4. The Counselor/Fox                                    Wknd/$    8.0            Total/$   8.0

 5. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2     Wknd/$    6.1            Total/$100.6

 6. Carrie/SG                                                     Wknd/$    5.9            Total/$  26.0

 7. Escape Plan/LG                                           Wknd/$    4.3           Total/$   17.4

 8. 12 Years A Slave                                           Wknd/$     2.2          Total/$    3.4

 9. Enough Said/FoxS                                       Wknd/$    1.6           Total/$  13.0

10. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$    1.1            Total/$  59.1

 

NOW I CAN’T GET WARRANT’S “CHERRY PIE” OUT OF MY HEAD

Bad Grandpa opens at number one or more correctly, Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa opens at number one. Yes, in some form or another they are still with us. But this really seems to be a combination between two MTV Shows,  Punk’d and Jackass and given I care little for a show that gets a kick out of messing with people in their day-to-day lives (Punk’d) and others that seem solely about how stupidly can young men hurt themselves (Jackass), I gave this a pass.  HOWEVER…I bust a gut laughing the way “grandpa” (Johnny Knoxville) “makes it rain” over the little boy after they enter him in a little girl’s beauty pageant and then have him do a striptease. That’s close to brilliant because it strips away to show what all beauty pageants are about (did you know they are the biggest source of scholarship money for women?) and how obscene it is that they do them for little girls. Like I said, I hate the whole idea of messing with people in lives for a joke, but this is one group that totally deserves it.

 

GEEK = SMART – SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Gravity finally submits to just that and sinks to number two and while I like Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, him getting his panties in a bunch over the scientific errors in this film was simply ridiculous.  As soon as you saw “George Clooney” and “Sandra Bullock” he should have known which way the wind was blowing. Clearly he forgot about the “fiction” in “science fiction.”  Bear in mind this is a man who openly prefers Star Trek to Star Wars because Star Trek has more of a seeming regard for science, when Star Wars openly embraced magic to a certain point (The Force). Sadly I cannot take credit for the best response to this: “This things didn’t bother me because I have kissed a girl.” Amen.

 

SO BAD IT’S…WELL, BAD

Captain Phillips is down to number three and rather than see this critically acclaimed piece of Oscar bait I instead found myself at the critically reviled, destined for many Rasberry Awards, The Counselor. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be that great. The words “directed by Ridley Scott” made that impossible and the bad reviews actually serve to make it more attractive to me. However I did expect some sleazy fun due to Javier Bardeem’s hair and Cameron Diaz’s expensive slutwear, but the only fun here is in how bad it is. I’m not familiar with Cormack McCarthy’s novels, but from No Country for Old Men and this I can only think he’s big on uber-depressing stories with anvil-dropping foreshadowing (two characters randomly describe two different types of horrific deaths and sure enough by the end two characters have died just that way) whose moral is “Don’t have anything to with drug-dealers.” He’s also not a screenwriter by any stretch of the imagination, because what works in prose fails miserably onscreen, though I’m not sure this would work on the printed page either.  It’s only appealing to actors who saw pages of you being able to flap their jaws uninterrupted for pages sounding deep.  Dame Judi Dench couldn’t make this crap fly so imagine lines like “I don’t believe truth has a temperature” coming from Cameron Diaz of all people.  For a bunch of people pontificating about the nature of mankind and the universe a lot they aren’t that smart.  I mean if you’re that thoughtful, shouldn’t it have occurred to you that trying to take advantage of inflated cocaine prices due to a drug was an incredibly stupid thing to do!?!  Only Brad Pitt seems to make it work because he’s always enjoyed playing sleazy more than playing it straight and brings a light hearted sense to the leaden existential discussions.  Needless to say, the deal goes bad, because when you have a limited imagination they have to bad. A more interesting movie would have followed the peril that follows when you get what you want and think you can just walk away. Not even the fact that the deal doesn’t so much go bad as it is sabotaged makes it more interesting, because there’s never even a reason why other than the sabouteur is a sociopath.  And did I mention Cameron Diaz has sex with a car? Finally, Showgirls has a rival to dumbest sex scene ever.

 

IT’S CALLED CAREER TRAJECTORY AND YOU DON’T HAVE IT

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 is down to number five, followed by Carrie at number six and does anyone remember that John Travolta was in the original? I hope that little anecdote isn’t giving these cast members false hope because Travolta had already been on Broadway in Grease by that point. The guy playing his role was in Chronicle and The Host. Yeah. Not the same.

 

MAYBE A TEENAGER AS WELL TO BRING DOWN THAT AGE CURVE

Escape Plan is down to number seven and if there’s one big problem with this movie it’s that 60-something Stallone still thinks he should be playing the lead.  The way you sell this movie is that a younger actor plays the lead and Stallone and Schwarzenegger are the two old guys he meets in the prison to help him break out.  Have they learned nothing from Sean Connery’s example of always working with younger actors (Mark Harmon, Kevin Costner, Nicholas Cage, Wesley Snipes, Lawrence Fisburne, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta Jones, Michele Pfeiffer) to help carry his films? Every moviegoer between the ages of 16-30 was in Bad Grandpa this weekend because there was no one in this film for them to see. Hell, I’m over 30 and I still didn’t want to see anyone in it.

 

OSCAR POOL REQUIRED VIEWING

12 Years A Slave is finally enters the top ten at number eight as if to wash away the fact that both Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt were in The Counselor as well. “Pay no attention that thing with sex with cars! Only look at this Oscar bait!”  I know I need to see it, but like Holocaust movies, slave dramas are put off for me until it finally gets Oscar nominations and then I have no choice.  Seriously, I saw Schindler’s List and In The Name of The Father the day before the Oscars.  This year it looks like a Saturday afternoon of Captain Phillips and 12 Years A Slave in February.

 

WELL, SHE DID GET VIGGO MORTENSEN

Enough Said is down to number nine followed by Prisoners closing out the top ten at ten and while this kinda kicked off the Fall Serious Movie Season people soon realized the emperor had no clothes and ultimately this only made $59M domestically off a $46M budget, barely taking in another $60M overseas.  Again, not a failure, but no great shakes either.  Did I mention Maria Bello was also in this?  Well, she is as Hugh Jackman’s wife.  How sad is it that being Hugh Jackman’s wife was the disappointment, but playing Kevin James’ wife in Grown Ups is probably going to buy her a house?  It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood.

 

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR CONTINUES

Oh, it’s not over yet. New shows are still debuting. The Witches of East End is the answer to the question, “Wouldn’t Charmed be better if all four witches had been on it together?” I’m sure someone asked it. Apparently based on a book somewhere it’s a silly, silly show…and I watched three episodes in one sitting. I wish I were kidding. What’s worse is that it was just one person who got me to do it: Madchen Amick. I’ve had a mad crush on her since Twin Peaks and since she’s determined to stay beautiful until she dies it’s not going anywhere.  She’s not alone in this big 90’s nostalgia-casting as playing her sister is none other than Julia Ormand (whose accent drops so much they just should make her character English) and Virginia Madsen has a semi-reoccurring character. Even Mrs. Channing Tatum who is ostensibly the show’s actual lead looks like she was made from the DNA of Yasmeen Bleeth from Baywatch.  And because it’s on Lifetime, it’s also got your standard supporting cast of tall, good looking but bland chiseled jawed meat puppet men. Don’t think I’m not ashamed. I don’t watch Walking Dead or True Blood or Game of Thrones, but I can’t seem to miss this cerebral junk food. And there’s not even nudity (but a little cursing because it’s on Lifetime).

 

 

FULL FRONTAL NUDITY IS INTEGRAL

20 Oct

Gemma-Arterton-GQ-UK-October-2

 1. Gravity/Warners                                        Wknd/$  31.0            Total/$ 170.6

 2. Captain Phillips/Sony                               Wknd/$  17.3            Total/$  53.3

 3. Carrie/SG                                                     Wknd/$  17.0            Total/$  17.0

 4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2     Wknd/$  10.1            Total/$  93.1

 5. Escape Plan/LG                                          Wknd/$    9.8            Total/$   9.8

 6. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$    2.1             Total/$  57.3

 7. Enough Said/FoxS                                     Wknd/$    1.8             Total/$  10.8

 8. 5th Estate/Touchstone                              Wknd/$    1.7             Total/$    1.7

 9. Runner Runner/Fox                                  Wknd/$    1.6             Total/$  17.5

10. Insidious 2/FD                                           Wknd/$    1.5            Total/$  80.9

 

BREAK OUT YOUR CHOKERS AND YOUR FLANNEL

Gravity Holds at number one while Captain Phillips holds at number two, suggesting all the young people in the world had something better to do this weekend or we’ve all been transported back to 1995 for Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks to be ruling the box office like this. Their combined ages is more than the combined ages of the cast of Twilight.

 

ONE OF THOSE THINGS ISN’T EVEN AROUND ANY MORE

Opening at number three is Carrie and its leading lady, Chloe Moretz, wasn’t born until 1997. Yes, I said that to make you feel old.  So basically she wasn’t even conceived when Forrest Gump and While You Were Sleeping were hits.  Now, I thought about seeing this, which may seem odd given my “I don’t do the scary” rule, even when it’s stupid.  But given how this seems to be a note-for-note remake of the first film and not a more faithful adaptation of the book like they insisted, what’s really there to scare you? There’s only one scene that’s truly terrifying and I won’t spoil it for those who’ve never seen it. The real question is will a female director feel the need to recreate Brian DePalma’s slow-motion, full-frontal nudity tour of the girls’ locker room, which OPENED the original film or is the R rating purely for violence? Yes, Carrie’s traumatizing treatment by the other girls in the shower when she gets her first period is actually an important part of the story because it’s not only about the torment she endures at school, but fallout from her home life as she’s utterly ignorant about her body thanks to her mother.  What’s not important to the character, however, is a slow motion pan over a young actress’ breasts and pubic hair to get us there. The 70’s truly were a different time.

 

HE’S THE NEW MICK JAGGER WHEN IT COMES TO FILMS

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is down to number four and you know who wishes it were ‘90’s? Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Escape Plan opens at number five. Two of the three biggest action heroes of the 80’s together and this is the best it can do!?! But honestly, I’m not blaming them. Yes, even though both their previous solo action leads have failed (Stallone in Bullet To The Head and Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand) the real reason behind this failure is 50 Cent. Yes, 50 Cent. No film with him in it ever succeeds.  Did you know he made a movie with DeNiro just last year? One with Nicholas Cage and John Cusack just this year? Two films in the past few years with Bruce Willis (completing the 80’s action hero hat trick)?  Of course not. Because they’ve all been too awful to be released even with someone as big as Robert DeNiro and Bruce Willis in them.  The man is a plague on film and here he is taking down Rocky and The Terminator without breaking a sweat.

 

YOU DON’T BUY THE COW WHEN THE MILK IS ON CNN EVERY DAY

Prisoners is down to number six followed by The Fifth Estate opening at number seven and if this film confuses you because you thought it was already released, that’s because it was a documentary called We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks about the real Julian Assauange which I’m sure the producers of this did not appreciate.  But they should have paid more attention to its inability to generate  interest.  Why do you think people will pay to see an impression of someone they didn’t want to see in the first place? Not to mention the overall media attention on Assaunage may have exhausted people.  Yes, it’s an important story that’s actually still going on, but like anything in our 24/7/365 news cycle it gets worn out very quickly. I mean the soldier behind the leaks, Bradley Manning, was only sentenced a few weeks ago on top of the news that he now wanted to be viewed as a woman (Chelsea Manning)!  And still people did not care.

 

OH, DON’T MIND ME. JUST GO ON ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

Runner Runner is down to number eight and the other clue you had that this would be a failure was the presence of Gemma Arterton who was the “hot new thing” two years ago appearing in every other movie and even when they didn’t fail spectacularly (Prince of Persia) were seen as disappointments (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans).  Even the unexpected success of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters ($225M from a $50M budget) hasn’t really helped her profile any. I mean, would you know her if you saw her on the street? Do you even know who she was in the films I’ve named? Exactly. However, the upside to being so forgettable is that no one will associate her with this film.

 

SO MUCH MONEY IT’S SCARY

Finally, Insidious Chapter 2 closes out the top ten after an impressive run resulting in $118M worldwide from a $5 budget.  Gravity has nothing on that ratio of dollars spent to dollars earned.