Tag Archives: James Gandolfini

CHICKS DIG BAD BOYS…WHEN THEY’RE ALREADY HOT

14 Sep

idris elba shirtless 2

1. No Good Deed/SGems                                  Wknd/$ 24.5     Total/$ 24.5
2. Dolphin Tale 2/WB                                       Wknd/$ 16.6     Total/$ 16.6
3. Guardians of the Galaxy/Disney                Wknd/$ 8.0       Total/$ 305.9
4. Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles/Par           Wknd/$ 4.8       Total/$ 181.0
5. Let’s Be Cops/Fox                                         Wknd/$ 4.3        Total/$ 73.0
6. The Drop/FoxSearchlight                           Wknd/$ 4.2        Total/$ 4.2
7. If I Stay/WB                                                    Wknd/$ 4.1        Total/$ 44.9
8. The November Man/Relativity                  Wknd/$ 2.8        Total/$ 22.5
9. The Giver/Weinstein                                    Wknd/$ 2.6        Total/$ 41.3
10. The Hundred-Foot Journey/Disney       Wknd/$ 2.5        Total/$ 49.4

YOUR MOM LIKES HIM TOO
No Good Deed opens at number one starring your wife’s/girlfriend’s fantasy boyfriend, Idris Elba. Oh, he is. Don’t kid yourself. I don’t care what she’s telling you, he is. And apparently when he’s good, he’s good; but when he’s bad he’s better as this almost doubles its budget the opening weekend. And don’t be surprised to find it in her Netflix cue or on her DVD shelf in about 6-12 months. For Elba, whose fame has been bubbling under A-list for a few years now, this is a wise move, being willing to be play the bad guy, albeit not in a stereotypical manner. Range and courage will take you far. Of course being hot helps. A less attractive actor might not have had the same level of success. Your girlfriend/wife is shallow.

REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO SAD
Dolphin Tale 2 opens at number two because apparently somebody somewhere saw the first Dolphin Tale. Only now am I realizing both these films feature the re-teaming of Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, who were both white hot after Kiss The Girls to the point where they a) both were given suspense thriller movies (she got Double Jeopardy and he got Along Came A Spider, another Alex Cross adaptation) and b) reteamed to hopefully repeat the success (High Crimes, which didn’t). It’s sad they’re doing this type of family film treacle because they actually had wonderful chemistry. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s only here as a favor to her, because he’s got plenty of hits in a starring role, while she’s now playing the mom to the star. Hell, she’s the mom to the protagonist here too. I still love you, Ashley Judd! Even if rumors have it that male actors have turned down parts once they’ve learned you were cast…

I AM PAID
Guardians of the Galaxy is down to number three and also in this is Vin Diesel as the voice of the biggest breakout character of the movie, the sentient tree, Groot. Everyone loves Groot. The only thing they love more than Groot is Dancing Baby Groot. It’s the easiest and hardest job. After all it’s only three words “I Am Groot” but the intonation has to be different each and every time. It’s also the more perilous gig, because it’s just a voice (neither he nor Bradley Cooper were ever on set). He can’t bargain for more money, because honestly, anyone can do this. But for now this makes him the rare actor with not one, not two, but three franchises to his name: Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast & The Furious and Riddick. And while I loved this movie, I love Chronicles of Riddick just as much if not more.

HEY, AT LEAST IT’S NOT STEVIE-O OR BAM
Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles is down to number four and speaking of an easy paycheck by just being a voice, Johnny Knoxville is actually one of the turtles, giving him two franchises as well. He’s got the Jackass series, which includes Bad Grandpa and now this. If I told you ten years ago Johnny Knoxville would still be around and making money, you’d have called me crazy, but now you see it’s the universe that’s crazy.

IT’D BE TASTELESS TO SAY HE WENT OUT WITH A BANG, RIGHT?
Let’s Be Cops is down to number five followed by The Drop opening at number six and this James Gandolphini’s final film and it’s both fitting and sad that it’s a gangster flick. Fitting because it was Tony Soprano that made him a star and sad because he’d begun transcending it, especially with the wonderful Enough Said. It’s gotten good reviews and it’s on my radar to see, but we know my likelihood when I don’t catch something on opening weekend. And the new fall TV season is coming too? Hoo, boy.

IT’S WHY I SAW THAT MOVIE WITH DENZEL WASHINGTON
If I Stay is down to number seven, followed by The November Man at number eight and part of the lack of interest in this is the lack of a strong antagonist. It’s yet another one of these generic, Australian pretty boys of whom they seem to have a neverending supply. Imagine how much more interesting this would have been with Pierce Brosnan against a younger actor you actually knew? Even Stallone knew that it was good to have then rising star, Antonio Banderas facing off against in him in Assassins (not that it was a great success either). You would have had my money yesterday if you gave me the possibility of seeing Pierce Brosnan kicking the ass of Ryan Reynolds.

MARKETING FAIL
The Giver is down to number nine and also in this…Taylor Swift!?! Clearly there’s something in her contract prohibiting them from pushing this point because when your film is disappointing, you might want to mention it’s got one of the biggest pop stars on the planet in it.

THE END
Finally, The Hundred Foot Journey closes out the top ten at number ten, a modest success with $61M worldwide from a $22M budget. Emphasis on “modest.”

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DEFYING GRAVITY

6 Oct

tayediggs

 

1. Gravity/Warners                                         Wknd/$  55.6            Total/$  21.5

 2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2    Wknd/$  21.5            Total/$  60.6

 3. Runner Runner/Fox                                 Wknd/$    7.6            Total/$   7.6

 4. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$    5.7            Total/$  47.9

 5. Rush/Universal                                          Wknd/$    4.4            Total/$  18.1

 6. Don Jon/Relativity                                    Wknd/$    4.2            Total/$   16.1

 7. Baggage Claim/Fox                                    Wknd/$    4.1            Total/$   15.2

 8. Insidious 2/FD                                           Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  74.8

 9. Pulling Strings/LGF                                  Wknd/$    2.5            Total/$    2.5

10. Enough Said/Fox                                       Wknd/$    2.2           Total/$    5.4

 

WASTING NO TIME TO GET TO OSCAR

Gravity opens deservedly at number one and its 90-minute runtime should be a lesson to the studios in this time of year of bloated, overlong Oscar bait: less is more. It’s basically Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts struggling to survive in orbit in the wake of a space shuttle disaster (caused inadvertently by the Russians and given it destroys the space shuttle, the International Space Station and a Chinese space station, if they make it may just be to die in World War III).  Though it’s technically five hours, it’s essentially told in “real time” so we’re a party their decreasing air supply increasing the tension factor, not to mention the shrapnel that destroyed their mission continues to circle the earth, returning like an angry metal swarm intent on their destruction. I liked this movie so much I forgot I was even watching Sandra Bullock, whom I normally avoid like the plague.  She’s like a more talented, less-annoying Julia Roberts (seriously, if this had been Roberts I might not have seen it). This makes 2013 a great year for her between the success of The Heat and now this surefire Awards bait.  I almost feel bad for her given she can’t eat between now and the Oscars for all the gowns she’s going to have to fit into for the various award ceremonies she’ll have to attend.

 

SHUT UP AND SING.  AND DANCE. AND MAYBE SOME TV COMEDY.

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is down to number two, followed by Runner, Runner opening at number four and someone needs to tell Justin Timberlake to just let this acting thing go. It is to him what music was to Eddie Murphy, one success (The Social Network for JT and “Party All The Time” with Eddie) leading to a lifetime of delusion and apparently outweighing all the many, many failures.  And when I say “lifetime of delusion” I mean Eddie made an album with Snoop Dogg just last year just as we have Runner Runner here now.  You’d think having a successful album and tour would help this movie out, but you’d be wrong, because no one is buying Justin Timberlake as being young enough to be in college, even grad school.  You’d think winning Oscars would help this movie out but you’d be wrong, because no one—and I mean no one—is buying Ben Affleck as some kind of ruthless mob boss.  You think they’re regretting some Batman casting over a Warner Brothers right now? Oh, I think so.

 

JUST NOTHING WITH A GREENSCREEN, KID

Prisoners is down to number four and its box office is begin to peter out as word of mouth gets around about how it only looks like a prestige film (big stars, very serious, overlong), but is really just a cable suspense thriller all dressed up.  I hope Jake Gyllenhaal made some quick deals for the hot second it looked like a hit before everyone realized the truth.

 

TO SEDUCE THE AVENGERS!

Rush is down to number five and also in this is Natalie Dormer whose own heat has been rising over the past few years and is about to hit a boil. She was Anne Boleyn on The Tudors a few years back, over the last year joined the cast of Game of Thrones and provided a nice twice on the Sherlock Holmes mythos as she was both Irene Adler and Moriarty on Elementary.  Not to mention she’s going to be in The Hunger Games. Hold on tight to your manager and or agent, girl. They are doing you right.  Trivia: here she appears as a nurse who hooks up with Chris Hemsworth who played Thor.  In Captain America she was a Lt. who grabs a kiss with Captain America.  All she needs now is an appearance in a Hulk and Iron Man movie to make out with Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. No, I’m not counting Hawkeye or The Black Widow.  Because I don’t want to, that’s why.

 

LET’S FORGET HE’S MOCKING THE WORKING CLASS TOO

Speaking of The Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson is the female love interest in Don Jon (down to number six) and not unexpectedly some Italian American groups have been complaining about yet another “guido” depiction in this film. I’m sympathetic because one thing that dampened my interest was a shot of Tony Danza and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt at dinner in white tank-top t-shirts, commonly known as “beaters” distastefully so because of the stereotypical image of an Italian guy beating his wife. It’d be one thing if Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was Italian American from Jersey and playfully mocking a life he knew, but he was raised Jewish in California so he’s just a cultural tourist.  Though this throws a new light on the other complaint of Johansson as stereotypical Jewish girl (not by any Jewish groups because apparently they had better things to do with their time). Unfortunately the problem with their complaint is that The Jersey Shore was real and he need only point to it as his defense—and clearly the source of his information.

 

THE RULES OF MANCRUSHERY

Baggage Claim is down to number seven and if Taye Diggs had been the love interest you know I’d probably have seen it twice by now, such is my mancrush. But alas, he’s a silly suitor with a toy dog, so it can wait until cable.  Him not getting the girl is right behind him dying on my list of things I don’t want to see. You shut up! I don’t have a problem! You’ve got a problem!

 

ALSO ONE OF HANNAH’S SISTERS

Insidious Chapter 2 is down to number eight and also in this is none other than Barbara Hershey, who was a “hot girl” from the early 70’s (when in fully hippie mode she went by Barbara Seagull) to the early 80’s.  Scorsese himself loved her.  Directing her first as the title character of Boxcar Bertha and later choosing her to play Mary Magdalene in The Last Temptation of Christ. But out of a near 50-year career she’s probably best known as the unnamed woman who shoots Robert Redford in The Natural. Even over Beaches. Yes, she was character not played by Bette Midler who was the “wind” Midler sings of in “Wind Beneath My Wings” a song that mercifully didn’t seem to make it into the 21st century.

 

MAS EXITO PARA SEGUIR

Remember that Mexican film that was an unexpected success because it was aimed squarely at an audience otherwise ignored? Well, it was just the beginning because here’s the next one. Opening at number nine is Pulling Strings, a romantic comedy about an American blonde in Mexico who needs the help of the mariachi singer she denied a visa too when she loses her boss’ suitcase after a drunken night out.  Again, it looks like a Lifetime movie that escaped to the big screen, but being as much in English as it is in Spanish, it reflects its underappreciated audience and they have rewarded it with success.

 

MY FAILINGS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

Enough Said, one of the last films of James Gandolfini, expands its distribution and enters the top ten at number ten and I’ve got no reason not to have seen this as Nicole Holofcener is one of my favorite writer/directors. I’ve been with her since Walking & Talking in 1996, her first collaboration with Catherine Keener who appears in all her films and this is no exception. So that’s two strikes against me as I’m a Catherine Keener fan too. Sigh.  I blame society for my failure.

 

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR PT 3

The fall season continues to rollout and this week it was Ironside, a revamp of the old Raymond Burr series and as bad as it looked in commericals, it’s actually even worse as the producers are soooo determined to show he’s a tough, sexy cop what they’ve made is a completely ridiculous asshole who should be in jail. I don’t think we go more than five minutes before his scolding captain tells him “Suspects have rights.”  You know, because he’s a tough cop who plays by his own rules, but he gets results! It’s a bad TV cop cliché factory complete with his team of pretty detectives, none of whom dress like detectives.  Of course one comes from an upper class family, another comes from a mob family etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.  It’s so bad they don’t even use the best part of the original: the theme music by Quincy Jones, best known now as the revenge music in Kill Bill…We Are Men is another awful, awful show but you know that when you saw Jerry O’Connell’s name. It’s about four divorced men in a singles complex. Yeah. It clearly thinks it’s 1977.  And I love you, Tony Shaloub, but any show that has you successfully picking up hot, 26-year-old Asian girls had better have robots and dragons because it’s clearly science fiction/fantasy…I couldn’t bear more than two seconds of Super Fun Night because a) what kind of stupid show has Rebel Wilson without her accent and b) it’s basically about her being fat and getting her clothes ripped off.  No thanks…I unexpected enjoyed MasterChef (which I recapped) and was looking forward to MasterChef Jr, but it’s heartbreaking to watch children get eliminated.  When the first thing one boy did was to go and hug his mother I stopped the show and took it off my DVR scheduling. Just can’t do it.  I’ll be crying every week.