Tag Archives: jason segel

THE SUPER HITS OF THE 70’S…IN SPACE!

4 Aug

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1. Guardians of the Galaxy/Disney                           Wknd/$ 94.0    Total/$ 94.0
2. Lucy/Universal                                                         Wknd/$ 18.3     Total/$ 79.6
3. Get on Up/Universal                                               Wknd/$ 14.0     Total/$ 14.0
4. Hercules/Paramount                                               Wknd/$ 10.7    Total/$ 52.3
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Fox                     Wknd/$ 8.7      Total/$ 189.3
6. Planes: Fire & Rescue/Disney                               Wknd/$ 6.4      Total/$ 47.6
7. The Purge: Anarchy/Universal                              Wknd/$ 5.6      Total/$ 63.0
8. Sex Tape/Sony                                                          Wknd/$ 3.6      Total/$ 33.9
9. And So It Goes/CE                                                   Wknd/$ 3.3      Total/$ 10.5
10. A Most Wanted Man/RA                                      Wknd/$ 2.7      Total/$ 2.7

Source: Boxofficemojo.com

K-TEL PRESENTS…
Guardians of the Galaxy opens strong at number one continuing the Marvel track record of movies that are both successful and actually good. As someone who knows far too damn much about comics, I thought this was a big risk and probably failure for them to take such obscure characters and make a movie based on them especially when there’s absolutely no springboard from the rest of their movie stable characters. In the comics, Rocket Raccoon first appeared in an issue of The Incredible Hulk, but that’s the most unsuccessful solo movie character so far (though Thor clearly wants that title with its not-bad, but not great either movies) so it was hardly coming from him. Nope. They just went for it and whoever said “go for humor first and foremost” deserves a freaking raise. Sorry, but that person gets it like no one else. This is basically a comedy that just happens to also be a science fiction adventure and if you wonder why Disney just went along with it, know that opens with the orphaning of a child. They probably just greenlit the damn film on reflex because of that. That child is then abducted by group of space pirates, growing up to become the outlaw who’d like to be called Starlord, only the rest of the universe kinda sees him as a joke and little more than a thief. Because he tries to cut the space pirates out of the deal of what he’s stolen, they place a bounty on his head. This is why Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the sentient tree come after him. Gamora the assassin comes after him because she’s supposed to be getting the object for her father Thanos (who was the guy you saw at the end of The Avengers who backed Loki). They all get arrested and thrown into prison where they meet the fifth member of their group, Drax the Destroyer, who’s after the main bad guy, Ronan the Accuser, for murdering his family. Ronan wants the object because if he gives it to Thanos, Thanos will destroy a planet for him. Needless to say, he eventually realizes that if he has the object he doesn’t really need Thanos. Our wacky group of thieves at best and murderers at worst band together to stop him. Laughs ensue. Seriously. After the downer opening required of every hero (check your heroic fiction, not to mention your comic books), it’s non-stop humor from Starlord dancing to “Come And Get Your Love” by Redbone under the film’s title the doing an almost satirical take on Indiana Jones taking the idol in Raiders of The Lost Ark, to the last scene which also includes dancing and the music of Jackson Five. Unlike most films that shoehorn music in to sell albums, music is how Starlord (aka Peter Quill) hangs onto his memories of his mother. She made him mix tapes of her favorite music growing up and he was taken by the space pirates with his Walkman, which is why it remains a prize possession he risks his life to regain when they break out of prison. And now that I think about it, Captain America: The Winter Solider also effectively used music as prelude and a coda. Quite a step up from the first Spider-Man movie using freaking Nickelback.

BY THE WAY, THIS MOVIE BLOWS
Lucy is down to number two and also in this is Morgan Freeman…and that’s it for American actors, much less any you might know, but that’s par the course for Besson’s movies, which are made in Europe and Asia. I mean, who’d you know in The Transporter or Taken? Freeman plays the leading authority in the expansion of human brain function so Lucy makes a bee line for him after securing the rest of the drugs…and the sheer stupidity of going after those packages instead of going directly to the scientist who created it will never leave this film. Not to mention if he’s that good, he’s probably known if not infamous. Most of all it leaves an opening for a sequel no one needs, because if I hadn’t mentioned it, this movie sucks.

IT’S A LEFT HANDED COMPLIMENT FROM A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD
Get on Up, the movie biography of James Brown, opens at number three and Chadwick Boseman is in danger of falling into a gilded cage if this does okay in the end (opened well enough with $14M from a $30M budget) and becoming “THE black guy” you go to when casting a bio-pic whether or not he’s right for the role. Let me put it this way: I don’t know who should be playing Nina Simone, but I know damn well that Zoe Saldana whose skin has been darkened and is wearing a prostetheic nose is not her. You’ll know it’s a problem when he does the Michael Jackson story. I had a busy weekend, but I’m not sure this would have been on my list anyway. 1) I’m not big on bio pics and this looks as by-the-numbers as it gets and 2) I’m wary of any bio-pic that’s rated PG, especially someone like James Brown. Hell, my bio pic couldn’t be rated PG because I have a nearly pathological need to drop the “F-bomb” whenever possible. It’s part of who I am.

ONE DAY YOU’RE ALL GONNA GET WHAT YOU DESERVE…OR NOT
Hercules is down to number four and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving hack director. Truly. Though Zack Synder and Michael Bay seem unstoppable, on the bright side Brett Ratner and McG seem to be falling away. Ratner’s last hit was the third Rush Hour movie back in ’07 and while X-Men 3 wasn’t a total disaster he is seen as wrecking the franchise and his movie was literally undone by X-Men: Days of Future Past. There may be justice in the universe after all.

MEH, MEH & MEH
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is down to number five, followed by Planes: Fire & Rescue at six and The Purge: Anarchy at number seven.

THE WORD FOR TODAY IS “BEGRUDGINGLY”
Sex Tape is down to number eight and while I’m not the biggest fan of either Cameron Diaz or Jason Segel, I will give credit where credit is due. I branded him an ugly schlub who didn’t deserve leading roles and both he and other ugly schlub Jonah Hill needed to stay with in the sidekick department. But now he’s slimmed down and gotten better looking with age. If he can stop trying to fucking write, he might actually make a decent comedic leading man…so long as the female lead isn’t too beautiful. Speaking of not being too beautiful, I have to give it up to Cameron Diaz for playing the game like the men. She’s playing a decade younger than her actual age while doing with a male lead who actually is that age. Just like all the men do…though they stretch it out to literally two decades.

IT’S JUST DECEMBER DECEMBER ROMANCES FOR YOU NOW, PAL
Speaking of men making movies with female leads decades younger, Michael Douglas is the male lead here and having to kiss Diane Keaton must have been quite a shock for him as he’s been the poster boy for inappropriate aged leading ladies for the last 20 years. It irony being, like many in Hollywood, he’s a hardcore liberal, but notice how that doesn’t apply to sexual politics, especially when it meant sharing the screen with someone with just as many wrinkles. And he can’t even blame the producer as he’s been one since One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s all him, baby.

ONE FOR THE ROAD
Finally, A Most Wanted Man holds onto the number ten spot and that’s nice for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s legacy.

 

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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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SOMEWHERE RUSS MEYER IS SMILING

29 Apr

1. Think Like a Man/SGem                             Wknd/$  18.0            Total/$  60.9

2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits/Sony            Wknd/$  11.4             Total/$   11.4

3. The Lucky One/Warners                            Wknd?$  11.3              Total/$  39.9

4. The Hunger Games/LionsGate                  Wknd/$  11.3             Total/$ 372.5

5. The 5 Year Engagement/Universal           Wknd/$  11.2             Total/$   11.2

6. Safe/Lion’s Gate                                            Wknd/$    7.7            Total/$     7.7

7. The Raven/Relativity                                    Wknd/$    7.3            Total/$     7.3

8. Chimpanzee/Disney                                      Wknd/$    5.5            Total/$   19.2

9. The Three Stooges/Fox                                 Wknd/$    5.4            Total/$   37.1

10. The Cabin In The Woods/LionsG              Wknd/$    4.5            Total/$   34.7

CASSANDRA WOULD HAVE KILLED IN SHOW BUSINESS

Think Like A Man holds at number one, which is shocking ‘cause usually when a Black film opens big at number one it drops like a rock the following week.  Whoever chose this release date is getting a raise, because they guessed right about the competition. “Look, people are gonna be tired of watching that girl kill people, claymation scares kids as much as it attracts them, Nicholas Sparks is the same-old-same-old and are you kidding me with a movie about the Three Stooges?  We could own this bitch!”  This is the person you take with you to Vegas.

UNFUNNY AND UGLY…LIKE YOUR MOM

The Pirates! Band of Misfits opens at number two and honestly this has taken so long to come out I thought it was actually a sequel to itself.  Seriously, haven’t they been advertising this for six months?  This comes from the people who bought you Wallace & Gromit, one of those English comedies that certain friends of yours swear by but then you watch it and wonder what the fuck is wrong with them (also on this list Faulty Towers and anything with Rowan Atkinson).  Part of the problem is they seem unconcerned that their stop-motion animation figures are ugly, but then again they are English so perhaps in their minds this is attractive.

THE HIGH REGARD OF OTHERS DOESN’T PAY THE CABLE BILL

The Lucky One is down to number three and one constant in all the Nicholas Sparks movies is that a surprisingly talented actor shows up as the parent of one of the characters, clearly slumming it.  This time it’s Blythe Danner.  In The Vow it was Jessica Lange and Sam Neil. In The Notebook it was my fave, Joan Allen and none other than Paul Newman was Kevin Costner’s dad in Message in A Bottle (in a reversal James Franco shows up as Richard Gere’s son in Nights in Rodanthe).  What’s funny is that each one was probably convinced by their agents due to the presence of those before them.  “Hey, who are you to turn down what Paul Newman did? You think you’re special!?!”

IF YOU’RE GONNA BE UGLY, YA GOTTA BE TOUGH

The Hunger Games is down to number four, followed by The Five Year Engagement at number five and I get that Jason Segel is more the “everyman” type of lead but you know what? I don’t go to the movies to see “the everyman” and instantly knew I wouldn’t be seeing this.  He, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill are polluting my movie screens far too much as leading men and I fully support the movie exec who told him to lose some fucking weight to play Emily Blunt’s love interest.  All three of them have had to deal with slimming down and while it may seem unfair it’s only a taste of what women deal with daily and there are still lots of fat guys onscreen with women much too hot for them so it’s hardly a step forward.  Not mention losing weight doesn’t make you better looking and they’re still getting paired with hot women so no tears for them.

YOU MIGHT AS WELL CALL IT THE SPRING ’12 STATHAM MOVIE

Safe opens at number seven and this is the best Jason Statham action movie in a long time, but opening poorly and Statham has no one but himself to blame by trying to get gritty and serious recently with the far-too-dour Killer Elite and The Mechanic.  He built his rep on fun action movies like The Transporter and Crank not movies where there’s no room for wisecracks when you snap a bad guy’s neck. Not to mention there’s just too many with little-to-no difference in them because Statham refuses to go outside his wheelhouse and do science fiction because he hates greenscreen (you know his agent’s losing his mind over that).  So it’s understandable that people decide they’ll skip one comfortable that they’re not missing anything, but in this case they’re wrong.  Not that this is a great movie. Oh, no.  But it’s great in its use of all the cheesy things we love about action movies.  The aforementioned wisecracking, seriously illogical plot points (Statham is being punished by the Russian mob who are willing to expend the time and energy to kill every one he’s nice to instead of just killing him), painfully expository dialogue from more talented actors like Chris Sarandon and Robert John Burke who actually seem embarrassed about having to say it and the unstoppable action lead who never misses a shot while bullets fly around him.  Bear in mind this comes from the guy who wrote Prince of Persia and Dirty Dancing 2 so you’re clearly in cheese country.  But all movies are clichés so it’s more a matter of how effectively you use them and this one does a pretty good job with a few interesting touches.  For example, the movie begins initially with a series of flashbacks between Statham and the small girl upon their first meeting in a subway. It’s a tad clumsy at first, but actually manages to build up some degree of momentum and suspense so when they finally meet it appropriately kicks into high gear.   And there’s unexpected and actually very clever twist at the end I won’t spoil for you.  If Boaz Yakin—who wrote the equally entertaining 80’s low-budget Punisher movie and once had the chance to ruin Batman —can continue along these lines he might finally become a decent action auteur.

AS A RULE, MOVIES ABOUT WRITERS ARE USUALLY POORLY WRITTEN

Opening at number seven is The Raven and the idea of Edgar Allen Poe who created the detective story having to solve a crime isn’t a bad one. It’s just when they decided to make the crimes come from his novels that they screwed up.  This has been done before with writers but the one thing they got right that this missed is that it’s usually an adventure that happens beforehand that inspires the work. This looked far too much like Se7en and I’m sure it’s no coincidence, which brings forth the other problem. The “hook” is watching people being killed by various horrible methods from Poe’s work, which means for most of the movie Poe has to fail!  Otherwise you don’t get to see the various gruesome deaths.  Again, who wants to see a movie where the hero spends most of the time not catching the villain while he covers the screen in blood?  Oh, yeah. You fucking morons who loved Se7en.  Poor John Cusack (the Ryan Gosling of Gen X). He’s seemingly been wandering in the wilderness for a few years now (High Fidelity was in 2000).  This will only  serve to continue it.

A CASTING RUSS MEYER WOULD HAVE APPROVED OF

Chimpanzee is down to number eight, followed by The Three Stooges at number nine and also in this is the “hot” model of the moment, Kate Upton and for the love of god, please stop saying she’s “curved.” She’s a skinny girl with big tits.  Aside from them her body is a straight line that needs poses and Photoshop to prevent her from looking like a 10-year-old boy with tits.  Now genuinely curved is Sofia Vergara who is also in this (marketing fail for not emphasizing them both and maybe some concerns about casting requirements) and her appearance on Saturday Night Live showed her comic skills on Modern Family are no fluke.  She’s got the chops and hopefully will move on to better work, far away from people like The Farrelly Brothers who directed this in what is almost a comeback for them both critically and financially.

DROPPIN’ SOME GEEK KNOWLEDGE ON YO’ ASS!

Finally, The Cabin in The Woods closes out the top ten at number ten and I stand corrected. A fellow geek has pointed out this isn’t an abandoned episode of Buffy, but in fact pretty much a remake of one of the episodes: “Restless” the season four finale. I couldn’t tell you. I loved Buffy, but once it went up against Smallville there was no choice as to where my loyalties lay.  The irony being, despite the comparisons to Dawson’s Creek, Smallville was actually little more than Buffy with the Superman mythos laid over it.  A superpowered teen (Buffy/Clark) and their buddies (Willow & Xander/Pete & Chloe) battle villains who are metaphors for teen anxieties (a literally predatory older woman/a girl whose eating disorder causes her to suck the life out of people) in their small town (Sunnydale/Smallville) and the cause is a common source (The Hellmouth/radiation from kryptonite over 16 years).  This has been your geek observation of the day.