Tag Archives: fall tv season

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).

 

 

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FALL IN TO ALL NEW BAD TV

17 Sep

1. Resident Evil Retribution/SG                  Wknd/$   21.1            Total/$  21.1

 2. Finding Nemo 3D/Disney                       Wknd/$   17.5            Total/$  17.5

 3. The Possession/LGF                                 Wknd/$     5.8            Total/$  41.2

 4. Lawless/Weinstein                                    Wknd/$     4.2            Total/$  30.1

 5. ParaNorman/Focus                                   Wknd/$     3.4            Total/$  49.3

 6. The Expendables 2/LGF                           Wknd/$     3.0            Total/$  66.3

 7. The Words/CBS                                          Wknd/$     2.9            Total/$   9.2

 8. The Bourne Legacy/Universal                 Wknd/$     2.9            Total/$ 107.8

9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green                Wknd/$     2.5            Total/$  46.3

10. The Campaign/Warners                           Wknd/$     2.4            Total/$  82.9

 

I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE

Resident Evil: Retribution (aka, Resident Evil Far Too Many) opens at number one and is it better to rule in hell or serve in heaven, because with her own action franchise where she’s the hero and not “the girl” is definitely ruling for Milla Jovovich, but it’s a shitty, shitty franchise so she’s in hell.  And it’s a hell run by none other than her husband, director Paul W. S. Anderson. The “WS” due the unlikely occurrence that someone might confuse him with the other Paul Anderson. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, etc.  You think that’s the Paul Anderson Milla was looking to sleep with when she hooked up with this hack?  You think when she runs into Maya Rudolph—who actually is married to the Paul Thomas Anderson—at parties, Maya has to stifle a laugh?  Like his more talented namesake, this Anderson is a double threat, as he also writes his movies, but unlike the other Paul Anderson “threat” isn’t merely a figure of speech. He truly is a threat to screenplay writing, lowering the bar with every film. So how does this series continue?  Well, it had a production budget of $65M and has already made $71M worldwide.  Remember this the next time some pretentious pseudo intellect is going on at a party about how Hollywood is stupid and foreign films are better.  It’s foreign audiences keeping our dumbest film franchises going (they also refuse to see films starring black people other than Will Smith).  I saw the first two of these and that was two more than I needed to ever see, least of all #5…where zombies ride motorcycles. You wish I were joking.

 

FINDING NEW MONEY IN OLD PLACES

Finding Nemo 3D opens at number two and this has become Hollywood’s latest cash cow; taking successful movies and re-releasing them in 3D as a precursor to a 3D DVD release.  So it’s actually triple dipping and proof that the weak-minded and their money are soon parted.  Seriously, Find Nemo may actually be my favorite Pixar movie and even be their best, which is seriously saying something, but there was no way I was going to pay just to see this in 3D.  In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit I’m one of those people who gets a headache after watching something in 3D, but I do lots of crap that makes me feel bad afterwards (like the giant bowl of Fruit Loops I just had at 7:00 pm), but those things are always worth it (like the second bowl I’ll probably have at midnight).  I’ve yet to see a movie that I found was worth it, much less one that wasn’t even shot for 3D and is a naked money-grabbing ploy. 

 

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID

The Possession is down to number three, followed by Lawless at number four, ParaNorman at number five and The Expendables 2 at number six, and with a $100M budget this has made $238M worldwide, so number three is as inevitable as the aging process that made its existence possible to begin with.  What’s sad is that Jason Statham should be in the prime of his own solo action career but his refusal to work in anything with a lot of special effects has kept his career grounded at a solid “B.”  The only time he’s in A-list films is as a co-star and yes, this is A-list and he’s far from the most interesting member of the cast or biggest star.

 

PLEASE SIR OR MADAM WOULD YOU WATCH ME READ MY BOOK?

The Words is down to number seven and I have a weakness for movies and TV shows about writers since I once fantasized about being one, but this lost me the moment I learned what the real plot was. You think it’s about Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer to steals another man’s work.  But that’s actually the book that Dennis Quaid has written and is reading to the audience. Yes, it’s one of those “story within a story” movies and honestly learning that Cooper’s “not real” killed my interest because in your fantasy you want to be a young (relatively speaking) good-looking writer, not 50-something Dennis Quaid. Not to say that it can’t work. The French Lieutenant’s Woman is a movie about the making of The French Lieutenant’s Woman novel into a movie and the actors playing the leads have their own affair while the movie switches back and forth between the two stories.  Ironically, Jeremy Irons was in that one too but clearly lightning wasn’t striking twice.

 

THE BOURNE IDIOCY

The Bourne Legacy is down to number eight and this is one of those movies where the more you think about it the dumber it gets.  It’s also one of those movies where the writer moves to the director’s chair and shows he really can’t focus on two things at the same time and needed someone to challenge his script.  Without it you get scenes like a character being diagnosed as a potential suicide by the very assassins sent there to kill her and make it seem like a suicide. If someone is coming to kill you and make it look like suicide chances are slim they’re going to pretend to be doctors talk to you about suicide first.

 

THE ODD ACTING CAREER OF COMMON

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is down to number nine and also in this is Common and honestly, who the fuck keeps giving him acting jobs!?!  Even for a rapper he’s bad.

 

LET’S TALK BUCKS

Finally, The Campaign closes out the top ten at ten.  This has made $85M dollars, which would be a tad more impressive if we knew how much it cost.  You think something with no special effects or exotic settings would be cheap, but Will Ferrell and Zack Galifinakis are now the top of the comedy food chain and their presence alone could cost upwards to $20-30M.  Then you have to pay for everything else, so this could easily have cost $50-60M film, so rather than success with $85M you’re worried just about breaking even.

 

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (FOR REALS)

In case you missed it, I love TV and the new Fall season is my favorite time of the year even though we now have spring and summer seasons. Back in the before time the TV Fall Preview Issue was one of the biggest magazines of the year.  It actually started this year during The Olympics with NBC giving sneak previews of its shows “Go Now” and “Animal Hospital” making twice in his career that Matthew Perry has been shown up by a monkey. 

 

Go Now stars Perry as a sportsradio host forced by Harold of Harold & Kumar to go to therapy over the death of his [Perry] wife in a car accident.  It’s one of those shows that clearly thinks it’s being “sophisticated” to have such a dark center, but ultimately lacks the talent you’d need to pull this off,  so it just comes off as a cheap device. The supposed humor comes from the decades old device of “wacky people in therapy” but you know inevitably they will also have their moment of “faux” drama. This basically hinges on how much you like Perry and I don’t like him that much. 

 

Animal Hospital, better known as “That Monkey Doctor Show NBC Cut Off Part of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies To Air” has no airs of pretension.  It’s just as silly as hell and wallows in it from start to finish and because of that it works.  The only drawback is an Asian character that is weak-willed and simpering and apparently has a dominating wife, so you’re getting two stereotypes for the price of one. Other than that the ancient adage remains true: monkey funny.  Seriously, that monkey cracks my shit up.

 

Revolution is also up for previews online or on-demand and as a geek I’m a sucker for science fiction, but this is beyond stupid.  I mean it makes shows on the SyFy Channel look good.  Okay, so just by watching we’ve agreed to the premise that something has happed to knock out electricity all over the globe.  Fine.  But why exactly isn’t steam power being used to do anything?  Did it knock out all scientific knowledge too?  Mankind built many a civilization pre-electricity.  And we’re supposed to accept that with as many fucking guns as there are in America, in 15 years we’ll be back to battling with swords, arrows and flintlocks?  I won’t even get into everyone being dressed like they just came fresh out of H&M without a single nick or tear in their stylish clothing.  I like the actor Billy Burke and pretty much put myself through this to watch a nice action sequence where he essentially wipes out a platoon of men by himself.  God knows the lead is unbearable.  There’s stupid and then there’s a straight up dumbass.  In the first ten minutes she almost gets her younger brother killed by going exploring and when chastised for it by her father we learn her mother also died in the dangerous post apocalyptic wilderness, but clearly this didn’t make the needed impression on her because later even after she’s almost raped she still acts bratty when told to be careful. Let’s get this straight: mom killed, brother almost killed, father killed and she’s almost raped, but don’t you dare tell her to be careful. Oh, and her stupidity is why Billy Burke (who is her uncle) has to fight a platoon of men  This is our hero?

 

The New Normal continues Ryan Murphy delusion that he’s clever and boundary breaking, but by now I think everyone knows the emperor has no clothes. Yes, I know everyone loves Glee and it taught some valuable lessons on tolerance, but did we miss that to do it he used the most stereotypically flaming gay character ever to do it and none of it was exactly subtle.  It got to the point where it was like being yelled at to be a better person for an hour while showtunes played in the background.  And he may be a victim of his own success, because it’s not exactly odd for two gay men—much less affluent ones—in LA to have a child.  At least Glee was squarely in the America Midwest.  And again one of the male gay characters is just stereotypically gay and I won’t even get into NeNe Leakes continuing to mine America’s love of an outlandish ghetto princesses (I don’t which is worse; that she doesn’t know the role she’s playing or she does).  What I don’t understand is why 50-something Ellen Barkin is playing the grandmother to a 20-something girl?  Why isn’t she just her mother?  Sadly, I love Ellen Barkin so much I may just try to continue watching this for a few weeks.

 

I usually try to give everything a shot, but some things are simply too stupid, like Guys With Kids. Seriously?  We’re in the twenty-first-fucking-century and a man taking care of a baby is still considered unique enough to build a show around?  Seriously?  If two gay men with a child isn’t odd, what the fuck do you think this is?  Not to mention Anthony Anderson is in it and he’ll always be the “black Tom Arnold” to me and a sure sign of crap.  I will never watch this.