Tag Archives: Godzilla

TOUGH GUYS DON’T DIRECT MUSICALS

22 Jun

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1. Think Like A Man Too/SGem                         Wknd/$ 30.0       Total/$ 30.0
2. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                        Wknd/$ 29.0       Total/$ 111.5
3. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox                 Wknd/$ 25.3        Total/$ 95.2
4. Jersey Boys/Warners                                        Wknd/$ 13.5         Total/$ 13.5
5. Maleficent/Disney                                              Wknd/$ 13.0       Total/$ 186.0
6. Edge of Tomorrow/Warners                            Wknd/$ 10.3       Total/$ 74.5
7. The Fault In Our Stars/Fox                              Wknd/$ 8.6         Total/$ 98.7
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox                    Wknd/$ 6.2          Total/$ 216.8
9. Chef/ORF                                                             Wknd/$ 1.8          Total/$ 16.9
10. Godzilla/Warner                                               Wknd/$ 1.8          Total/$ 194.9

THE BEST MAN 2.5
Think Like a Man Too opens at number one and I’ll say it again: when the primary depictions of yourself onscreen are as sidekicks, servants (or slaves) or how you heroically endured oppression, you tend grab any depiction of yourself as happy and whole and enjoying life with both hands, which why this sequel opens big. You could make Latino-American and Asian-American versions of this and also make money and I can’t believe no one has. In fact, given it’s basically about a best man it could be counted as an unofficial sequel or spin-off of The Best Man which first dared to show happy, successful, educated African Americans. I gave this a pass because a) a little Kevin Hart (who is working his 15 minutes) goes a loooooonnnng way and b) I will put no money the misogynist pocket of Steve Harvey, whose book the original drew upon as source material is basically saying the problem with men and women is women. This from a man divorced three times. I’m just sayin’, maybe the problem is you and your attitude, playa.

NO 23 JUMP STREET. NOT. EVER.
22 Jump Street is down to number two and apparently there’s a hysterical end credit sequence where they show the next 20 sequels to this, basically letting you know there will actually be no sequels to this. What there will be coming down the pike is a return to good-looking person/not-so good-looking person team up comedies. You’ve already seen it for women with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat and between this and Neighbors and the utter failure of Adam Sandler’s last film, consider the days of solo “ugly but funny” days over. How it differs from the past is that the less attractive person isn’t just here for fat loser jokes. Progress?

HOW TO COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY’VE HATCHED
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is down to number three and how cruel an irony is it that Jonah Hill is technically in this as one of the voices? He had a great weekend last week. Everyone else, not so much. Jay Baruchel (the voice of Hiccup) was a guest on Craig Ferguson’s show (he’s the voice of Gobber) and they talked about being in the third installment of this. Needless is to say, not so fast, fellas.

GO AHEAD. MAKE MY MUSICAL.
Jersey Boys opens at number four which isn’t as disappointing as it seems given it only cost $40M to make. Clint Eastwood is famously frugal a director. He’s also famously sparse and laconic which are not two things one associates with Broadway shows. Existentialist westerns? Sure. But a story filled with passion and music? Not so much. Yes, it borders of pigeonholing the man, but given his open love of popular music (take it out of his films and see what happens) and the fact this combines it with both Italian Americans and the mob, how the hell did Martin Scorsese not do this!?! He would have brought the style and passion this story needed. And while that’s a big problem with this movie, the other is the problem that afflicts most stage-to-screen adaptations and that’s an inability to depict it properly without it being just a filmed version of the play. The best way to deal with it is to set it in the same type of “non-reality” the show existed in. Chicago clearly takes place in no Chicago that ever existed and if they’d tried to ground it reality too much it would have faltered. This tries to take place in the real world, which granted, makes sense given it’s a true story, but when you do that you have to pay more attention to details. You have to fill out the world in which they exist. Not having it leads to the common problem of most movie bios: a lack of context because they don’t fill out the world in which these people exist. The only other musician ever mentioned is Frank Sinatra (who was the ironically enough the only other musician ever mentioned in the Ray Charles bio pic). Pretty sure they weren’t competing with him. In fact, there was an entire East coast vs. West Coast stunt set up with them and The Beach Boys. You wouldn’t know they or any other musical act from that time period existed by this film (Elvis? Beatles? Who are they?), not to mention the incredible social changes going on around them. Again, that’s fine for a stage show, but with film you have to flesh these things out. There’s also such a thing, ironically enough, as being too faithful to the stage production. Yeah, the lead actor can play a character 15 to 50, but on film a 30+ actor playing 15 is simply not going to fly. Just get a younger actor! I won’t even get into the makeup disaster that is the climax of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Everyone a party to that should be embarrassed. The stage show probably did it better just painting their hair gray.

RIPLEY COULD HAVE SAVED THE DAY…AGAIN
Maleficent is down to number five, followed by Edge of Tomorrow at number six and obviously Emily Blunt is the female lead here and she’s in her 30’s while Cruise is in his 50’s, my usual pet peeve. The director, Doug Liman, overheard this criticism at a party and felt it was unjust because the film wasn’t about them as a couple. Well, dude, then you probably shouldn’t have had her seemingly falling for him towards the end, much less have her kiss him. And not that hindsight is 20/20, but how could casting Sigourney Weaver in her role as the badass alien fighter not have been a great idea? She would have brought in so many other people (i.e., women) who might not have otherwise seen a Tom Cruise vehicle. But 50-something Cruise isn’t kissing a 60-something Weaver onscreen so you can just forget that.

AS FATTY ARBUCKLE ROLLS OVER IN HIS GRAVE
The Fault in Our Stars is down to number seven, followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past at number eight and at almost $700M from a $200M budget, we can safely say that that this train is back on track…and that Fox will be coughing up an ungodly amount of money for Bryan Singer’s legal defense, because he is clearly the key.

SOMEWHERE MATTHEW BRODERICK LAUGHS
Chef actually rises to number nine and I couldn’t be happier, while Godzilla drops to number ten and I honestly couldn’t care less. It wasn’t bad, but as time passes, the more I think about how the director jerked us around not showing Godzilla for the longest time then having it happen at night, the more annoyed I become. He thought he was being clever, well given it’s barely going to break the 3x budget rule of profitability, he was a little too clever for his own good. Honestly, it’s only done a little better than the much-maligned version with Matthew Broderick. A good lesson in how perception is reality.

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YOU TAME A DRAGON WITH TATUM!

15 Jun

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1. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                       Wknd/$ 60.0     Total/$ 60.0
2. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox               Wknd/$ 50.0      Total/$ 50.0
3. Maleficent/Disney                                           Wknd/$ 19.0       Total/$ 163.5
4. Edge of Tomorrow/Warners                         Wknd/$ 16.1        Total/$ 56.6
5. The Fault In Our Stars/Fox                           Wknd/$ 15.7        Total/$ 81.7
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox                 Wknd/$ 9.5          Total/$ 205.9
7. Godzilla/Warner                                              Wknd/$ 3.2          Total/$ 191.3
8. A Million Ways To Die in the West              Wknd/$ 3.2          Total/$ 39.0
9. Neighbors/Universal                                       Wknd/$ 2.5         Total/$ 143.1
10. Chef/ORF                                                         Wknd/$ 2.3         Total/$ 14.1

“LIVER & POTATOES, PLEASE” SAID NO ONE EVER.
22 Jump Street opens at number one and I’m serious: Jonah Hill is on my list of actors I will look at only if I have to, right next to Seth Rogen. It had better be some big-ticket item like an Oscar-bait Scorsese film or it’s simply not going to happen. Give this is clearly not from Marty, it’s safe to say I gave it a pass, though clearly one of the few. I like Channing Tatum…enough. He’s like a big potato; only as tasty as what you add to it and teaming him with Jonah Hill is like adding liver.

HOW TO TAME MULTI-DIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS
How To Train Your Dragon 2 opens at number two, which was a great surprise to everyone given it’s a big animated film. Me, I’m not so surprised give how the first was just good and not much else. It was the definition of perfunctory, utterly lacking in any ambition beyond simply telling a simple story. This is more of the same, if not beautifully so. Seeing the giant alpha dragons almost made me wish I’d seen it in IMAX. Almost. It’s just that gorgeous, as are most of the flight scenes. What’s steadily earthbound is a script where there are earth-shattering emotional events that are simply glossed over as if they were nothing. As the commercials and trailers show, Hiccup’s mother is still alive and is a dragonrider herself. Seems she’s been with them all this time, letting her loving husband and infant son think she was dead…and neither of them care. Seriously. Not even a single, “Why didn’t you come back to see me?” Nothing. No. Thing. A complete and utter abandonment by a wife and parent results in zero resentment from the characters. They’re just a happy family again. Bear in mind she’s the caretaker of FLYING DRAGONS. She could have gone home at any time. She just didn’t. Her excuse was that she believed dragons were not evil but no one there did, so why try? You know the way her son did in the first film and basically changed their culture in a week? Because he actually tried. Once again, you shouldn’t go into the deep water if you can’t swim and they can’t even float. This is what it has in common with the number three film, Maleficent. It also tries to go into the deep water by having the king and Maleficent be in a previous relationship, but also backs away from it, but at least they muddy the water a little (he can’t kill her because he loves her and she loves his daughter), in what is purely a soulless, naked, corporate money grab. There’s not so much as a dust cloud here. But it is purty.

ALWAYS A PLACE FOR OLD MEN
Edge of Tomorrow is down to number four here and also in this is Brendan Gleeson and if you’re paying attention, if Tom Cruise likes you, you’ll be back in one of his other films. Robert Duvall was in Days of Thunder and returned in Jack Reacher. Brendan Gleeson, who also improves anything he’s in, was in Mission Impossible II and returns here as the general who sends Tom Cruise to the front for being a coward, but you should really check him out in The Guard with Don Cheadle. He was cheated out of an Oscar nod for it. Then again, people would have to see it first…

AMERICA’S NEW SWEETHEART
The Fault in Our Stars is down to number four and your new Jennifer Lawrence is…Shailene Woodley. She’s got the critical acclaim and now a one-two punch of box office success with a franchise (Divergent) and now a romantic drama. It would have been two franchises, but her role as Mary Jane in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was cut. Right now there’s someone at Sony combing through her contract to see if she’s obligated to come back for fear of losing his job.

PRETTY WOMAN SUCKED THEN AND SUCKS NOW
Speaking of Jennifer Lawrence, X-Men Days of Future Past is down to number six and it’s no accident her role was bumped up or that she and Hugh Jackman are the most prominent on the poster. This actually gives her two franchises in addition to the prestige stuff she keeps getting Oscar nominations for. It’s good there’s a new Jennifer Lawrence as she’s moving on to be the new Julia Roberts, that all-encompassing movie star who can’t fail. Except she can actually act.

NOTHING MORE LEFT TO BE SAID
Godzilla is down number seven, A Million Ways to Die in The West is down to number eight and Neighbors is down to number nine.

IRON CHEF?
Chef finally drops a notch to ten and is probably coming to the end of its noble little run. You done good, Jon (he’s also behind the TV adaptation of About A Boy, which will be coming back). Hope you made a little loot and learned a lesson.

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INDEPENDENT GROUNDHOG DAY

8 Jun

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1. The Fault In Our Stars/Fox                       Wknd/$ 48.2       Total/$ 48.2
2. Maleficent/Disney                                      Wknd/$ 33.5        Total/$ 127.4
3. Edge of Tomorrow/Warners                    Wknd/$ 29.1        Total/$ 29.1
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox            Wknd/$ 14.7        Total/$ 189.1
5. A Million Ways To Die in the West         Wknd/$ 7.2          Total/$ 30.1
6. Godzilla/Warner                                         Wknd/$ 6.0         Total/$ 185.0
7. Neighbors/Universal                                  Wknd/$ 5.2          Total/$ 128.6
8. Blended/Warner                                         Wknd/$ 4.1          Total/$ 36.5
9. Chef/ORF                                                     Wknd/$ 2.0          Total/$ 6.9
10. Million Dollar Arm/Disney                     Wknd/$ 1.8          Total/$ 31.3

IT’S FROM SHAKESPEARE? GET IT?
The Fault in Our Stars opens big at number one so if you were tired of movies being based on a Young Adult novel you might want to get over it, because this will just keep it going. Forget about the failures, because Hollywood sure has. It’s the only business where a 1-in10 success rate will still warrant ten more tries. To be fair, however when it succeeds it’s Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but the failures are legion: Bridge to Terabithia, Eragon, The SpiderWick Chronicles, Ender’s Game, I Am Number Four, The Mortal Instruments, The Host, The Seeker, The Vampire’s Assistant…seriously, I could do this all day. I have read none of them and seen only two and that didn’t change with this weekend despite actual positive buzz. You know how I don’t do the scary? I also don’t do the tearjerker. If I want to cry I’ll watch pet rescue videos online. Not that I do so and weep like a child and you can’t prove otherwise.

SLEEPY DOODY. OH, SHUT UP. THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS.
Maleficent is down to number two as the tween crowd left this behind to their younger sisters and brothers so they could see the number one flick. Another failure of this revisionist Sleeping Beauty is the changing of the curse. It’s a horrible compromise to make Maleficent palatable, because cursing a child to die is simply an unforgivable act and this isn’t Unforgiven 2. Instead she just curses her to sleep, but even that gets screwed up thanks to the other three fairies you know from the animated film being mangled from beginning to end. They’re just here for cheap comic relief and not much else. Not to mention since the third fairy was the one who changed the curse from death to sleep, she loses any purpose whatsoever. Then there’s the painful contrivance of the king sending the baby off to be raised in secret by the three fairies. This makes zero sense given the curse doesn’t kick in until her 16th birthday. If he sent her away on her 15th year, that I get. But the only purpose of this is for Maleficent to become her surrogate mother. Seriously, after the billion-dollar success of Alice In Wonderland with its equally horrible story, Disney knew it never again had to try in its live-action adaptations. Just stick big stars in the middle of a lot of CGI and sit back and count the money. And they’re right. You people simply don’t care. Neither do your damn kids.

BET YOU’D LIKE TO REPEAT ‘96 RIGHT ABOUT NOW (JERRY MAGUIRE, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE)
Edge of Tomorrow opens at number three and almost $30M for an opening weekend would be impressive for anyone else, but since it’s Tom Cruise and this is his Big Summer Movie, it’s a disappointment. The other big action sci-fi movies have opened at number one in the $90M range and even Maleficent did about $70, so for Tom Cruise’s Big Summer Movie to open only at number three and only $30M…well let’s just say Jack Reacher 2 and Mission Impossible 5 are a go. Maybe even that horrible Top Gun sequel they keep threatening us with. Even Jerry Maguire 2 seems possible right about now. It’s mistake because this cross of Groundhog Day and Independence Day is one of the best things he’s done in years. The idea is simple: aliens have invaded and Tom Cruise acquires their power to turn back time and keeps reliving the day until he figures out how to defeat them with the help of Emily Blunt who once had the same ability. There’s a strain of decidedly black humor as Tom Cruise has to die a thousand deaths to possibly make it to a single brave one (he begins the movie as a very much non-Tom Cruise coward) with an impatient Emily Blunt who is more than willing to cap him over and over again to restart the process. Not to mention the later scenes where Tom Cruise has a moments reminiscent of Bill Murray the diner where he tries to convince Andie McDowell of his situation. Just because it’s in the middle of an alien invasion and meant to be deadly serious doesn’t make it any less amusing. It’s telling that the film doesn’t start to drag until its final act where it becomes an idiot plot and people need to act like idiots in order to insure a very clichéd series of events, because if they don’t the movie is basically over as the smart, intelligent response will guarantee success. Even though this was based on a Japanese manga with the much cooler title of All You Need Is Kill, it’s very much like an Outer Limits episode and honestly could have been told in 45 minutes—but only if everyone is smart, which cannot be tolerated in big summer movie.

JUST BE HAPPY YOU WERE IN THE BEST ONE
X-Men: Days of Future Past and you have to wonder how Rebecca Romijn and Allan Cummings feel given they had prominent roles in the best X-Men movie, X2, and are nowhere to be seen here. Now, the plot doesn’t allow for the adult Mystique to appear, but the lack of Alan Cummings who shone as Nightcrawler and was part of the original comics story is a missed opportunity to bring him back. Ironically Quicksilver is to this film what he was to X2: the character whose appearance and powers (super speedster in goggles) could easily be a disaster winding up to totally steal the film in a single scene (seriously, it is the best scene in the film). Unlike basically every mutant we’ve seen so far, Quicksilver is very pleased with himself and his powers, which he’s using to a sadly logical conclusion, which is to steal anything and everything he can. Joss Whedon just had his already ton of pressure increased for Avengers 2 as his version of Quicksilver appears there as well (in fact, you’ve already seen him in the post credits scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier alongside his sister, Wanda). In the comics, Quicksilver is the son of Magneto. There’s an in-joke about this in the film, so pay attention.

ETC..
A Million Ways to Die in the West is down to number five, followed by Godzilla at number six and Neighbors at number seven.

BET YOU’D LIKE TO REPEAT ’98 RIGHT ABOUT NOW (WEDDING SINGER, WATERBOY)
Blended is down to number eight and along with Tom Cruise someone else missing the 90’s right about now is Adam Sandler. Once his schtick was guaranteed gold, especially with Drew Barrymore beside him but now he needs half the cast to be former SNL performers just to keep his head above water (Grown Ups) as this is tanking and at best will probably only make a little above budget which is nothing. What makes this flop even better is that he openly admits it was just a way of getting a paid vacation to Africa with his family. Given that the utter laziness of his humor is why I despise him so much, it’s very sweet that it’s finally bitten him in the ass.

ART MAKING MONEY? ARE YOU SURE?
Chef holds at number nine as every week they add a few more theaters to it. I’m happy with this.

BECAUSE EVERY SPORTS MOVIE MUST HAVE A HOT GIRL
Finally, Million Dollar Arm closes out the top ten at number ten and also in this is Lake Bell as basically, “the girl” for Jon Hamm. This was clearly just work for her (well, that and getting paid to make out with Jon Hamm), because she’s so much better than this, currently making the transition to writing and directing. Though how she never made it as the “the girl” in every movie with a body that rocking is beyond me (as Black Rob once said, “Body like ‘Whoa!'”). Clearly this was a route she could have easily gone, but refused…and we’re back to that thing about brains and self-awareness.

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SLEEPING ON THE SCREENPLAY

2 Jun

Carla Gallo as Lizzie on UNDECLARED on FOX.  ª©2001FOX BROADCASTING  CR:FOX

1. Maleficent/Disney                                         Wknd/$ 70.0      Total/$ 70.0
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox              Wknd/$ 32.6       Total/$ 162.1
3. A Million Ways To Die in the West           Wknd/$ 17.1        Total/$ 17.1
4.Godzilla/Warner                                            Wknd/$ 12.2       Total/$ 174.7
5. Blended/Warner                                           Wknd/$ 8.4         Total/$ 29.6
6. Neighbors/Universal                                   Wknd/$ 7.7          Total/$ 128.6
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony             Wknd/$ 3.8         Total/$ 192.7
8. Million Dollar Arm/Disney                        Wknd/$ 3.8         Total/$ 28.1
9. Chef/ORF                                                       Wknd/$ 2.0         Total/$ 6.9
10. The Other Woman/Fox                             Wknd/$ 1.4          Total/$ 81.1

YOU WON’T NEED A SPELL TO SLEEP FOR THIS ONE
Maleficent opens at number one and it takes a special talent (or lack thereof) to waste Angelina Jolie, a classic Disney character and $180M. Not to mention the interesting twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty that the king and Maleficent were once in love, hence her hatred of the child that could have easily have been hers. The movie even makes Maleficent the surrogate mother of the child, but never, ever deals with that aspect of it. In fact, their love is lost as she becomes “the good guy” and he just becomes “the bad guy.” Disney is very, very bad with gray, and so rushes back to their comfort zone of “black and white” “good and evil” whenever they can even though they insist Maleficent is both things. No. No, she’s not. If she and the king had been allowed to be both, then this would have been a much better film. The premise of the film is that there are neighboring kingdoms of fairy-folk and people and the people hated the fairy folk because they were living a much more awesome life and don’t have a king. Seriously. That’s the only reason. When the first king attacks and fails he promises his kingdom to the person who brings him the head of Maleficent. The man who has loved Maleficent from childhood sees this as a chance to rise in power but cannot bring himself to kill her, so only takes her wings as proof of her “death.” What the film overlooks is apparently he never attacked the fairylands again. A better film would have gone into the gray are of it possibly being a worthy sacrifice for her or his guilt over the betrayal that robs her of flight, but this isn’t a better film. This is a Disney film of sad absolutes and winds up being utterly disappointing and a waste of two hours of your life. Oh, it’s only 90 minutes, but it feels like two freaking hours because it’s that boring, which is the only thing worse than bad.

STRAIGHT TO THE BANK IS ALL THAT MATTERS
X-Men: Days of Future Past is down to number two, but it’s already at $500M worldwide so no one cares. Also returning for this is Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, and you know she never thought she’d have to honor that multi-film contract after X-Men: The Last Stand. But given her recent coming out (which was news to those of you who are utterly clueless) a success like this couldn’t have come at a better time.

AND LIKE THE SIMPSONS, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL
A Million Ways to Die in the West opens at number three and apparently those adolescent fans (in body as well as mind) who love Seth McFarlane don’t so much love the sight of him. A voice on Family Guy or Ted? Sure. In person? Not so much. I’ve never been a fan of Family Guy. It’s basically The Simpsons for really, really, really stupid people. Who love penis jokes. And while there are clearly more of them than we ever imagined, not enough to beat out geeks and actual children at the box office. Though it only cost $40M to make, it’s doubtful this is going to make 3x its budget with a new Big Summer Movie coming out every week. And that makes me happy, because I’m not a really, really, really stupid fan of penis jokes.

NOT ALL GIANT MONSTERS ARE THE SAME. THEY’RE NOT! STOP LAUGHING!
Godzilla is down to number four and the director of this was the director of another monster film, called simply, Monsters. And while this worked out for the most part it just goes to show you the utterly simplistic thinking process of Hollywood. “Oh, he directed a low-key, moody film about giant monsters that nobody saw. Let’s give him $160M to make our big summer blockbuster about a monster that everyone wants to see.” It’s why Godzilla isn’t seen for the first 30 minutes and when he does it’s in quick glimpses…at night. Yeah, I’m still annoyed by that.

USUALLY IT’S VIRGIN/WHORE, BUT WE’RE JUMPING STRAIGHT TO WHORE HERE
Blended is down to number five, followed at number six by Neighbors and apparently Seth Rogen is giving work (he’s listed as a producer) to his fellow Apatow alum, Carla Gallo who also appears in this. I hope he treats her better than Apatow has done. Let me put it his way: since playing the female lead in Undeclared, her roles in Apatow films has been as “Toe Sucking Girl” (40 Year Old Virgin) “Gag Me Girl” (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and “Period Blood Girl” (Superbad). She was also the girl in Get Him To The Greek who used a dildo on Jonah Hill. I think that says it all.

‘CAUSE WHO UNDERSTANDS CHICKS? AMIRITE?
The Amazing Spider-Man is down to number seven followed by Million Dollar Arm at number eight and Chef holding on at number nine. As I said before, it’s good but not perfect and nowhere is that clearer than in the roles of the women. Scarlett Johansson is the fantasy hostess who supports and sleeps with Jon Favreau and is never seen again, while Sofia Vergara is the fantasy ex-wife who is nothing but supportive even while Favreau neglects their son time and time again. But that’s par the course with Favreau. If you remember Swingers, women weren’t fully formed there either. Come on, dude. You should be better at this by now.

BUT I STILL BLAME THE REST OF YOU MORE
Finally, The Other Woman closes out the top ten at number ten and at $172M worldwide from a $40M budget, Cameron Diaz is carving out a little niche for herself of successful, yet painfully mediocre comedies. What Happens in Vegas, Bad Teacher and now this. I don’t expect Sex Tape will be much better, but like most of these I will still be there hoping for the best. So, basically, even though I didn’t see The Other Woman, I’m part of the problem.

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SUCK IT, BRETT RATNER!

27 May

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1. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox                    Wknd/$ 91.4        Total/$ 91.4
2. Godzilla/Warner                                                Wknd/$ 31.1         Total/$ 148.5
3. Blended/Warner                                                Wknd/$ 14.2         Total/$ 14.2
4. Neighbors/Universal                                         Wknd/$ 13.9        Total/$ 113.6
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony                  Wknd/$ 7.8          Total/$ 184.9
6. Million Dollar Arm/Disney                              Wknd/$ 7.0          Total/$ 20.5
7. The Other Woman/Fox                                     Wknd/$ 3.6          Total/$ 77.6
8. Rio 2/Fox                                                             Wknd/$ 2.5          Total/$ 121.5
9. Chef/ORF                                                             Wknd/$ 2.3          Total/$ 3.6
10. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                             Wknd/$ 2.1           Total/$ 85.2

Okay, let’s do this quickly. It’s a holiday…

SERIOUSLY, SUCK IT, BRETT RATNER
X-Men Days of Future Past opens at number one and this is based on the classic X-Men story of the same name where Kitty Pryde gets sent back through time from a horrible future to change things for the better and…wait a minute. It’s Wolverine here…and he’s got his metal claws back? How? And Professor X was a dead as he was at the end of X-Men: The Last Stand but he’s here? But you know what? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve got a very good X-Men movie to watch with a plethora of characters all nicely done with solid performances. Don’t bother yourself with trying to match each film to the last one (the filmmakers sure as hell didn’t), just enjoy the film laid out before you. And, yes this more than makes up for the mess that was X-Men: The Last Stand. Maybe the third Wolverine movie will make up for those two previous episodes of crap. Yeah, I don’t believe that either.

HOW NICE OF THE STUDIO TO ASSUME EVERYONE IS A RACIST
Godzilla is down to number two and basically Ken Wantanabe is to this what Raymond Burr was to the original: a token to make the people in another country watch it. Just as no Japanese person would have given a crap about Raymond Burr (he’s not even in the original version, only its American release), not too many Americans care about Ken Wantanabe, but in Japan he’s a star. Sadly, he’s no more vital to this than Raymond Burr was to the original. He just kind of stands around and looks grim. He doesn’t even get to be the hero scientist who helps save the day like Matthew Broderick in the previous Hollywood version. Hell, Bryan Cranston contributes more and he’s only in it for 15 minutes. Hopefully they’ll give him more to do in the already announced sequel.

A LEGACY OF ANNOYING
Blended opens to scathing reviews at number three and you don’t even have to see it to know they’re accurate. It’s Adam Sandler. He’s been stinking up the screen for 20 years now. Did you think he’d somehow get better with age? The irony is that Neighbors is at number four and we see the torch was basically passed from Sandler to Rogen in a film called Funny People. So basically, while I’m glad to see Sandler finally (hopefully) fading away, there’s still an ugly dude I find unfunny onscreen.

THE REAL CRIME IS HOW DULL HE IS
The Amazing Spider-Man is down to number four and did you realize Jamie Foxx is in this. Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx? You know why? Because his character is instantly and utterly forgettable. It’s basically a rehash of Jim Carey’s Riddler in Batman Forever and that’s not a good thing. Unfortunately, they’ve announced a spin off film of all Spidey’s villains, called the Sinister Six and he’s one of them.

THREE OTHER MOVIES I’LL NEVER SEE
Million Dollar Arm is down to number six, followed by The Other Woman at number seven and Rio at number eight.

COOKIN’ UP A STORM
Entering the top ten at number nine is Chef the latest from Jon Favreau since he left or was booted from the director’s chair of Iron Man, depending on which rumor you believe. It’s probably a combination of both. If this is his middle finger to them, then they’ve lost creatively if not financially (Iron Man 3 was the highest grossing Iron Man film). It’s not a new story, but there are no new stories. It’s all in how you tell the old ones. Writing, directing and starring, Favreau is a chef in a creative rut under owner Dustin Hoffman. He’s no longer happy doing what he loves and it’s taking its toll on him personally and professionally. He’s not only divorced but neglecting the son who adores him. Finally, a confrontation with an influential blogger pushes him over the edge and he leaves to restart with a food truck. What makes this more of an indie film than a mainstream film is the time it takes to get to Favreau’s breakdown and his eventual rise from the ashes. His should fall by minute 30, spend 31-60 fighting back and 61 – 90 is his triumphant return. Not so here in this near two hour film where the time is used to make all these events feel more organic. Not to say it’s perfect. His comeback is effortless, lacking any real struggle and filled with hipster cameos and Sofia Vergara is just too perfect a loving, supportive ex-wife and not much more. Her role could have used a few more layers. But it’s clearly a film about a man who loves food directed by a man who loves food and its preparation is so lovingly depicted I left starving. There is no greater praise for a movie about cooking. Normally, I’d rip on a film showing Favreau being married to and now banging Scarlett Johansson, but unlike the masturbatory fantasy of John Turturro who is a gigolo hired by Sofia Vergara and Sharon Stone for a threesome, you can believe this because Favreau shows his character being a great cook, first. His foreplay with Johansson is literally making a meal for her and you can understand why she or any other woman would bang him senseless. Hell, I’m ready to sleep with him after 2 hours of watching him cook.

SHUFFLE OFF THIS MORTAL COIL
Finally, Heaven is Real closes out the top ten at number ten.

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STILL THE KING!

19 May

don-johnson

1. Godzilla/Warner                                                 Wknd/$ 93.2     Total/$ 93.2
2. Neighbors/Universal                                         Wknd/$ 26.0     Total/$ 91.5
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony                  Wknd/$ 16.8      Total/$ 172.2
4. Million Dollar Arm/Disney                              Wknd/$ 10.5      Total/$ 10.5
5. The Other Woman/Fox                                     Wknd/$ 6.3        Total/$ 71.7
6. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                               Wknd/$ 4.4        Total/$ 82.2
7. Rio 2/Fox                                                              Wknd/$ 3.8       Total/$ 118.1
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier            Wknd/$ 3.8        Total/$ 250.7
9. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return                    Wknd/$ 2.0        Total/$ 6.6
10. Moms’ Night Out/TriS                                    Wknd/$ 1.9         Total/$ 7.3

GODZILLA VERSUS…THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF GODZILLA
Godzilla opens not all that unexpectedly at number one. I mean, partner a classic movie character (he is too!) with a currently hot respected actor (as opposed to say, Zac Efron) and you’ve got a movie that will bring in not just your regular genre fans some people who might have otherwise given this a pass. I can’t imagine how they felt when they realized he was only going to be in the movie for 15 minutes. Too bad! We already got your money, suckers! So honestly, most of the movie has to carried by that kid from Kick Ass. No, I’m not kidding. He plays Bryan Cranston’s son, who just happens to be a Naval officer who dismantles nuclear bombs (mom and dad worked at Japanese nuclear plant). Gee, think that might come in handy before the end of this film? Most people can’t help but use this as a tool to beat up the other Godzilla film from Hollywood, as if every Japanese film of a man in a rubber suit was some kind of work of art (why they stick to the suit and ignore CGI is something only the Japanese understand). It was just bad in a different way than most of them usually were. It’s also a guilty pleasure of mine. And honestly, this one repeats the same mistake of that one: waiting too long to show Godzilla then showing him mostly at night. At least this time there are two other monsters to fight (not Mothra, but his nasty cousin), but they still manage got give him less screen time than the Sony version. Yes, the human element does matter, but I really didn’t need so much time watching Kick Ass, his wife (the Olsen who’s not a twin) and their struggle to get back together (their home is in San Francisco which just so happens to be where all the monsters have decided to fight). It’s called Godzilla, not “A Family Reunites While Monsters Fight.” If fact, I needed it as about as much as we needed Matthew Broderick’s reporter girlfriend. And even she eventually played a role in doing something to stop the monsters in the end. Non Olsen Twin doesn’t even get to do that, though she’s nurse. At least have her save some people to warrant this screen time. But we do get Godzilla’s radioactive breath back. So there’s that.

PEOPLE WANT TO DISLIKE YOU. LET THEM.
Neighbors is down to number two and you know who needed this more than Seth Rogen? Zac Efron. Since graduating from the Disney Academy he’s been floundering in his attempts to be taken seriously to the point no one seems to realize that his previous film, That Awkward Moment, actually made a little money. The reality of previous failures, altered the perception of an actual success. But now not only has he gotten a hit, but he’s about to join the Marvel Comics money-making machine. Somewhere Vanessa Hudgens is pissed, having played a series of supposedly “image breaking” roles of bad girls. Next time, honey, do it for laughs. That’s the key. Here he plays a jerk pretty boy for laughs. Next time you play a funny hooker-stripper-runaway-slut.

WAIT? THE ACTOR’S NAME IS WHAT?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is down to number three and is it just me or does this Dane DeHaan kid who plays Harry Osborn look like a younger, even more demented Leonardo DiCaprio. See, models? You don’t have to bang someone as old as your dad any more.

SPOILER ALERT. BUT NOT REALLY.
Million Dollar Arm opens at number four and while I don’t know much about baseball, I know there’s no one named Kinesh or Ghupta playing for the Yankees so how inspiring a true story can this be? Who wants to see a movie where the unlikely underdogs don’t win it all in the end?

DADDY VICE
The Other Woman is down to number five and Don Johnson shows up in this as Cameron Diaz’s father who starts dating Kate Upton. While I do loves me some Don Johnson and am enjoying this second half of his career where he’s playing dads (Kristen Bell’s dad, Jason Sudeikis’ dad, Danny McBride’s dad) this isn’t so much funny as fucking creepy, yet men seem to like to doing it. The “joke” at the end of No Strings Attached was that Lake Bell wound up dating Ashton Kutcher’s dad. Wasn’t funny then either.

BUT CAPTAIN AMERICA WILL NEVER DIE (HE CONTRACTED FOR SIX FILMS)
Heaven Is Real is down to number six, followed by Rio 2 at number seven and Captain America: The Winter Soldier drops to number eight and I wonder if they’re going to cough up a little more ad money to have it go out with a bang on Memorial Day weekend? Because you can see this big drop coincided with the release of Godzilla. They share the same audience and that audience will be seeing X-Men next weekend so it’s all over but the shouting. But it was a damn good run. If you told me it would do this well—$700M from a $170M budget—I’d have called it a little overly optimistic, but as a man who bought two Captain America t-shirts last week (almost three), I’m happy to see my guy do well.

WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF FEELING GLEEFUL?
Know who’s not doing well? Lea Michele. She’s the voice of Dorothy in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which is down to number nine and heard anything from the album she released? Did you know she’s got a book coming out too? Exactly.

THE END
Finally, Mom’s Night Out closes out the top ten at number ten.

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