Tag Archives: julia roberts

CAPTAIN UNREASONABLE: CIVIL BORE

9 May

vs

1. Captain America: Civil War/BV Wknd/$ 181.8 Total/$ 181.8
2. The Jungle Book/Disney Wknd/$ 21.9 Total/$ 285.0
3. Mother’s Day/ORF Wknd/$ 9.0 Total/$ 20.7
4. The Huntsman: Winter’s War/Uni Wknd/$ 3.6 Total/$ 40.4
5. Keanu/WB Wknd/$ 3.1 Total/$ 15.1
6. Barbershop: The Next Cut/WB Wknd/$ 2.7 Total/$ 48.4
7. Zootopia/Disney Wknd/$ 2.7 Total/$ 327.6
8. The Boss/Universal Wknd/$ 1.8 Total/$ 59.1
9. Ratchet & Clank/Focus Wknd/$ 1.5 Total/$ 1.5
10. Batman v Superman/WB Wknd/$ 1.0 Total/$ 327.3

ALL THAT’S MISSING IS A “MARTHA” MOMENT
Captain America: Civil War opens at number one and I hate to say but this disappointed the shit out of me. Or rather, it was disappointing like I feared it would be. Civil War was a very bad comic book event from a few years ago that shameless exploited the cheapest money making convention of superhero comics: hero vs. hero. This started with the first kid who liked Superman arguing with his best friend who liked Batman, but didn’t become a part of comics until Marvel in the 60’s, which was all about heroes mistakenly fighting each other before teaming up. DC soon followed suit and eventually it became a self-referential joke in comics that every team-up was preceded by a fight. Then Marvel decided something that was once only part of a story should become the story itself and created Civil War, a story that basically required every hero to go utterly against 50 years of characterization so they could fight one another. But while comics’ fans complained bitterly they still bought the damn thing (like geeks always fucking do) so it paid off. So handsomely in fact that Marvel keeps doing it, much in the way Batman Vs. Superman paid off in the comics in the 80’s and they’ve been doing that ever since. And like Batman Vs. Superman it of course had to be incorporated into its cinematic universe. Now, initially the hope was that Civil War would be “in name only” like Age of Ultron, which was another horrible Marvel Comics event that became a completely different (yet mediocre) movie. This keeps the central point of conflict that superheroes need to register with the governments of the world or retire, but has the same basic flaw: one of our heroes has to act like a complete idiot to guarantee a fight. And in this case it’s actually the titular hero. Captain America must consistently choose the most antagonistic path possible to guarantee the one thing they’re selling: hero vs. hero fighting. The idea that The Avengers operate under some kind of global supervision isn’t unreasonable, yet our hero—and mine in particular—must act like the most unreasonable idiot in the world to make sure we get basically even single Marvel hero ever in a movie trying to punch the lights out of ever other Marvel hero in a movie, including its most profitable, Spider-Man. Spider-Man is to this movie what Wonder Woman was to Batman v Superman: a refreshing breath of air. Even Ant-Man comes off better. I’m having a bad superhero year. My three favorite superheroes are Superman, Captain America and Dick Grayson and so far this year I’ve seen movies where two of them have been made utterly disappointing to me. I’m oddly happy Dick Grayson may never see the light of day in a movie because at least then they can’t ruin him. The only difference between this and Batman v Superman is that I never expected that to be any good. I expected better from the Russo Brothers after The Winter Soldier and they let me down. While there are many enjoyable moments, they can’t overcome the basic flaw of the story, which is that heroes don’t fight each other and they never present a genuine reason why they would. At least not until the last five minutes and that reason is so awful you wish they didn’t because it honestly makes any team ups in the future impossible if you have any respect for character. But they clearly don’t so I guess I’ll see you at the next Avengers movie.

HAPPY’S REVENGE
Speaking of Marvel movies, the man who helped launch them was Jon Favreau, who, no matter what he says, departed under contentious circumstances, one of which was thinking he was going to direct the Avengers movie and that he had Tomorrowland. Neither happened, but the disappointing Cowboys & Aliens did. But then he had the awesome Chef (which was very clearly a commentary on that time), which was nothing short of an artistic comeback. That has resulted in the incredible success of Jungle Book, which on paper looks like a guaranteed failure. Artistically and financially it’s been anything but and not only is it great for Favreau, but he did it for Disney which owns Marvel, so the thought of him returning to the fold isn’t as unlikely as it was just a few months ago. The movie? Hell, I have no interest in the original animated version and even less in this, no matter what anyone says. But I’m happy for him.

NO YOU DON’T GET A PASS ‘CAUSE EVERYONE LOVES THEIR MOM.
Mother’s Day is down to number three even on Mother’s Day, which tells you how awful this latest entry in Gary Marshall’s series of “bad movies based on holidays” really is. And it’s almost two fucking hours on top of it! I realize Julia Roberts basically has to do this given she owes him her entire career and Kate Hudson is looking for an easy comeback to being a box office commodity and Jennifer Anniston is just lucky to have a career after “friends” to begin with. (same for fucking Jason Sudekis after SNL). But this is awful and they all need to understand it’s better to rule in the hell of a really good cable TV show than serve in the heaven of big studio releases. I’m talking to you most of all, Jennifer Anniston. The seemingly permanent erect nipples you sported in the 90’s won’t carry you forever. Or will they? The young men who were your fans in then are probably making the casting decisions now and hoping in vain for that one movie where you’ll finally drop your top.

‘CAUSE HONESTLY, HER’S IS BIGGER
The Huntsman: Winter’s War is down to number four and is yet another blow to the idea of Chris Hemsworth as a leading man even though he’s doing exactly what he should be doing and supporting strong female actors. What it is however is another reason to respect Kristen Stewart, as she’s the only thing missing from the marginal success of the first. Has it occurred to you fuckers that she’s the reason why this prequel didn’t work? Not to mention outside of Twilight she’s had at least one financial success with Snow White & The Huntsman and critical success with Still Alice and Clouds of Sil Maria. Robert Patterson has neither so how about you all get up off her dick!?!

BETRAYER OF MY PEOPLE
Keanu is down to number five and I was briefly interested in this when I found out that Keanu Reeves was doing the voice of the kitty. He initially refused—or at least his management did—but when his sister saw the trailer and told him about it, he called them to be a part of it. But I never really watched Key & Peele either, so not seeing it is par the course for me. Sorry, fellas. Yeah, it only cost $15M, but it’s only made that made much, which means it hasn’t even paid for marketing yet. Maybe it’ll be a home viewing success, because that’s the only place I plan on seeing it.

I WANT THE NEXT ONE TO BE BARBER SHOP: GOOD HAIR
Barbershop: The Next Cut is down to number six and between this, NWA and Ride Along, Ice Cube has reemerged as box office force to be reckoned with mainly because he’s not pretending to be catering to White people at all. He’s making Black movies for Black people and not giving a fuck and it’s working for him. I didn’t see the first barbershop because while I understand its place in the community, I’ve been shaving my own head since the 90’s so it’s not really a part of my existence any longer. Plus, I can’t take anything seriously that takes Common seriously as an actor. He. Just. Sucks. Why are we pretending he doesn’t?

DO NOT AS WE DO, LADIES. BUT AS WE SAY.
Zootopia is down to number six follow by The Boss at number eight and honestly I feel the best jokes were in the trailer so why bother? But I’m happy for Melissa McCarthy. Fuck the haters, baby.

THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE SUCCESSES
Ratchet & Clank is down to number nine and it’s yet another movie based on a video game. Apparently this will never die no matter how many of these movies fail. All it takes is one success to make people forget the other nine failures.

ZACK SNYDER SUCKS. THERE’S JUST NO OTHER WAY I CAN PUT IT.
Finally, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice closes out the top ten at number ten and honestly, $326M domestic from a $250M budget isn’t that great even though it has made $865M worldwide. Twice your budget is break even and no matter that they tell you about international gross, the studio gets 40% or less that than so domestic is what matters most and this has made less than Deadpool. Let me say it again, a PG-13 movie with the three most famous superheroes of all time has has made less than an R-rated movie about a character 99% of the general populace has never heard off. Why? Gee, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because Superman is a miserable narcissist who, while being a party to thousands of deaths, doesn’t speak to people yet still wonders why some hate him. Maybe it’s because Batman’s a raving psychotic who quotes Dick fucking Cheney in his justification as to why he has to cut Superman’s head off. Maybe it’s a story that makes no fucking sense and seems to take place completely in the dark even in the day. Maybe it’s because the director’s idea of fun is to have Jimmy Olsen shot in the head in the first five minutes (no, I’m not kidding). Maybe it’s because the only bright spot of the movie, Wonder Woman, is only in it for ten minutes. Maybe it’s because no matter what sells in the comics NORMAL PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO SEE HEROES FIGHT EACH OTHER! Actually it’s a perfect fucking storm of failure and why every day you hear about a director leaving (the director of The Flash bailed, but it’s not like he was some great talent either) and learn that Ben Affleck is taking more control over the Justice League movie.

GONNA PUT SOMETHING IN MY BUTT
HBO was supposed to give me a free weekend a few weeks ago, but because Time Warner is a bag of dicks (and tiny ones at that), they didn’t pass it on to us. Fortunately, HBO seriously wants my money, which is why it was offering one free month of HBO Now. Now the catch is, unlike HBO Go, you can only watch Now on a device, so I had to watch Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures on my iPad. The first legit use I’ve had for it. The title comes from Senator Jesse Helms’ speech about defunding the NEA over their exhibit of Mapplethorpe’s work, which he found obscene and pornographic. Well, it kinda is, but the difference is Mapplethorpe wasn’t trying to titillate or arouse, which is the goal of porn. Also he was looking to push buttons, to make you acknowledge a world that existed. Watching the doc made me realize my first interest in photography wasn’t a few years ago, but back in high school when I first saw his pictures of Lisa Lyon and actually bought the book. It also reminded me of a photographer I met back in college who’d was not a fan of Mapplethorpe’s work. He was Black and Mapplethorpe had a well-known fetish for Black men to the point he slept with them exclusively. They’d met in a gay bar and Mapplethorpe actually dropped the “Do you know who I am?” line and my friend replied that he knew in a way that showed he was not thrilled at being fetishized and Mapplethorpe moved on. But it wouldn’t have worked. As the documentary showed like most fetishizers he only cared for his stereotypical fantasy of Black men as somewhat thuggish (makes one wonder if he ever crossed paths with Madonna who indulging a similar fetish at the same time in NYC) and not a reality of intelligent, college-educated like my friend or even his most photographed model, Ken Moody, who was not his lover. The documentary oddly contains no interview with Patti Smith who was his lover and best friend for a very formative period in his life (his most famous work may actually be her album cover). The creators insist it wasn’t needed because her book, Just Kids, more than covers that period, but that’s just bullshit. No way you don’t have her input on a comprehensive doc the way this is. Clearly she disagreed with them on something crucial. In her absence the primary source is Mapplethorpe’s kid brother, Edward, who initially idolized him and later became his assistant and photographer in his own right. Mapplethorpe is yet another photographer who wasn’t formally trained (his father was ironically a hobbyist photographer) and also yet another artist who wanted fame and fortune from day one and made no bones about it (yet another comparison with Madonna). His first patron was his rich lover whom he fully admits he would not have been with without the money. He promoted his shows like a professional ad campaign and towards the end when he was dying of AIDs his concerns were increasing his fame and whether or not he’d die with more money than Andy Warhol. Even his foundation was more about accumulating both after his death. He certainly didn’t leave his work for his family. Edward Mapplethorpe also became a photographer and Robert made him change his name so as not to “cash in” on Robert’s growing fame. And even though Edward took care of Robert in his last days, there was never any moment where Robert expressed gratitude or love and Edward is still openly pained about it. It’s the kind of honesty that makes this documentary so good. Shame about Patti, though.

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A DINOSAUR AND HIS PET BOY

30 Nov

michael_b_jordan_main 1. The Hunger Games Mockingjay 2      Wknd/$ 51.6     Total/$ 198.3
2. The Good Dinosaur/Disney                Wknd/$ 39.2     Total/$ 55.6
3. Creed/WB                                               Wknd/$ 30.1     Total/$ 42.6
4. Spectre/Sony                                          Wknd/$ 12.8     Total/$ 176.1
5. The Peanuts Movie/Fox                       Wknd/$ 9.2       Total/$ 116.8
6. The Night Before/Sony                         Wknd/$ 8.2      Total/$ 24.1
7. The Secret in Their Eyes/STX            Wknd/$ 4.5        Total/$ 14.0
8. Spotlight/ORF                                       Wknd/$ 4.5        Total/$ 12.3
9. Brooklyn/FoxSearchlight                    Wknd/$ 3.8        Total/$ 7.3
10. The Martian/Fox                                 Wknd/$ 3.3        Total/$ 218.6

TO WHICH HARRISON FORD RESPONDS, “IT’LL NEVER END.”
The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II: The Cash Grab Everyone Learned From Harry Potter About Splitting Books holds at number one and you think Jennifer Lawrence just joined the club that Daniel Radcliff and Kristen Stewart started called “Not That I’m Ungrateful, But Thank God It’s Over?” And somewhere Rooney Mara is part of a much, much, much larger club called “It Never Even Got Started.”

IT’S ACTUALLY A JURASSIC WORLD…BUT MUCH, MUCH BETTER
The Good Dinosaur opens at number two and two original Pixar movies in a row!?! In the same year!?! And both of them good!?! Hell, Christmas may have just been taken care of. This is the story of a boy and his dinosaur. Wait. Scratch that. It’s a dinosaur and his boy who is basically a dog. And in case you didn’t get it from the sniffing, the howling and the life on all fours, his name is “Spot.” Set on a world where the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs misses so prehistoric man actually shares the planet with dinosaurs, but in a decided non-Jurassic Park way. Mankind is not only not the top of the food chain, but are so low they aren’t even considered a primary food source by the T-Rexes that later show up. They’re considered “critters” little more than squirrels and annoying in the way they eat the crop the Apatosaurus clan is trying to grow and store for the winter. Because he’s the smallest and can’t farm like his brother and sister, Arlo has the responsibility of a) feeding the scary prehistoric turkeys (why they’re keeping them if they’re vegetarians is unexplained) and b) trapping and killing the “critter” who’s been eating their stored crops. When Arlo instead frees the small boy, his father insists they track him and finish him which leads to the required Disney “Death of a Parent” in a storm that causes the river to flood. It’s hardly a spoiler as I don’t think you’re allowed to make a film associated with Disney without it. It’s probably half the reason they bought Marvel to begin with. From Spider-Man to Captain America to Iron Man to Thor to…shit all of them have at least one dead parent if not both (and in Spider-Man’s case two dead parents and the death of a father figure). Blaming the little human they were tracking instead of his father’s own stubborn nature, Arlo chases him and gets caught in a storm similar to the one that killed his father and both are washed away miles from Arlo’s home. This is when Arlo finds out Spot—as he names him—has bonded with him because Arlo spared his life and they begin a Journey of Natty Gann type of return to his home, where Arlo of course learns to overcome the fears that have plagued him his entire life. It’s not A+ perfect Pixar like a Finding Nemo or The Incredibles or Up, but it’s a solid A and thankfully not a freaking sequel.

AKA ROCKY 7. YEAH, 7
Creed opens at number three and making a seventh film in the Rocky saga sounds like a horrible money-grubbing idea…until you hand it over to an acclaimed indie film director and cut Sylvester Stallone completely out of the creative process. While I thought the last film, Rocky Balboa, was actually a nice little movie with probably the best Stallone performance since the first film (only surpassed by this one), the rest all suffered from Stallone’s total control but limited talents, much in the same way the inspired idea of The Expendables has died so quickly. Stallone’s reach (aka, his ego) continually exceeds his grasp. Ryan Coogler, however, who made the much-acclaimed Fruitvale Station a few years back, is only interested in making a good movie, not feeding his ego and reteamed with his leading man, Michael B. Jordan, that’s exactly what he does. Nothing is new here, but there are no new stories, only how you retell the old ones and the old ones are all retold here very well. Seriously, the main plot is one of a son living in the shadow of his father, topped off with him being a bastard was born after his father died. It doesn’t get more cliché than that…at least until the older mentor develops cancer. Like I said, very few clichés are left unturned. But again, it’s about the execution. The film is over two hours, but it never seems to drag and even the old Rocky theme is dragged out and updated to maximum effect.

STRIKE TWO
Spectre is down to number four and if you need any greater clue to how incompetent this film is, know they wasted Christoph Waltz, which I thought was impossible. First they waste Monica Bellucci in what is little more than a glorified cameo—seriously, Teri Hatcher had a more important role in Tomorrow Never Dies and she gets killed—and then Christoph Waltz as the villain is pissed away which is a horrible mistake as most action films tend to only be as good as their villains.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH THAT I LOSE WEIGHT, BUT THAT OTHERS GET FATTER
The Peanuts Movie is down to number five, followed by The Night Before at number six and yes, Thanksgiving does officially open the doors for the Christmas Season, but this still feels too soon. That said, Seth Rogen’s participation basically means an automatic pass for me and there’s precious little to change that opinion. Yeah, I like Lizzy Caplan, but not that much. In fact, the best thing about this for me was seeing the three leads on Lip Sync Battle, where we got to see how flabby Anthony Mackie is currently. Yes, schadenfruede is how I roll. Now and always.

AIN’T NO PRETTY WOMAN TO ME
Speaking of movies I give an automatic pass to, The Secret in Their Eyes is down to number seven and this stars Julia Roberts and I’ve been an anti-fan since Pretty Woman. I’ve never understood her popularity much less her success or any indication of talent. She’s a movie star like Tom Cruise is movie star. Neither is an actor. It’s a shame because there are two good actors in this: Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. They’re actually capable of being other people in films. Roberts, not so much.

MOVIES I SWEAR I’LL SEE, BUT PROBABLY NEVER WILL
Spotlight holds at number eight and this is another for the “Oscar Bait” list, which is getting longer every day. So far it’s Steve Jobs, Bridge of Spies, Trumbo and Room. And hell, since we’re making a list, let’s just throw the number nine entry, Brooklyn, on it. Based on the novel about an Irish immigrant girl in 1950’s Brooklyn it looks freaking gorgeous and has garnered great reviews but I’ve got cartoon and sequels to see. I’ll get to it one day (maybe never).

NEED THAT FUNNY MONEY
The Martian holds at number ten and also in this is Kristen Wiig, who needed a hit more than you know. Seriously. It’s been awhile since Bridesmaids and while it’s great she’s been putting herself out there with dramatic indie work (always remember: brave = naked when it comes to female actors) lending her name to get smaller films made, that means about as much as good intentions. She needs to be in something that makes money. Hopefully, next time she’ll be the actual star.

END OF THE LINE
Okay, there are no more new TV shows (until the mid-winter replacement season), but there are at least two more to mention…

Agent X: Seemed like a decent enough concept. The Vice President actually has a freaking job beyond going to funerals and that job is deploy a one man task force (charming and wisecracking of course) to handle threats totally off the books and beyond political affiliations and this has been in place since the founding of the country. Also, the VP is none other than Sharon Stone, rocking pantsuits and knee-high boots in modest skirts. Seemed pleasant enough for light Sunday night viewing. I rag on shit like Quantico, but I get why people like it for the same reason I like Blood & Oil, which airs right before it. Dumb fun. Unfortunately, Agent X lost me when it decided that it was going to have a serialized subplot about a conspiracy within the government. Just…no. I wanted light “one-and-done” episodes along the line of Burn Notice with maybe a reoccurring villain (which the plot set up). This conspiracy was not only a buzzkill, but doubled down it by making Sharon Stone’s late hubby on the show an adulterer and maybe the car crash that killed him wasn’t an accident. Yawn.

Into the Badlands: Now this is what I’m talking about. Set in a dystopic future where a feudal system has evolved and there are no guns so martial arts and swordfights (which is technically a martial art but a lot of people don’t get this) are how people settle their business. So basically, every Sunday I get mucho buttkicking in the best way possible. Of course our hero, Sunny, is the best fighter of them all, but is working for an evil baron who only becomes moreso once he learns a tumor is killing him. Our Sunny’s only hope is a teenaged boy from a mythical city beyond The Badlands. It seems Sunny may have been born there as well, but cannot remember. The boy can lead him to the city, but to do so they must go…INTO THE BADLANDS. Oh, did I mention the boy has some kind of power that manifests itself whenever he bleeds and another evil baron known as “The Widow” is after him for it? Unlike Agent X that addition only makes the show more interesting. It’s probably science but if it’s magic I’m down with that too. The fight scenes are so well done, you’d never know the lead actor isn’t even a martial artist. Can’t say that about every show (I’m looking at you, Arrow). And do I even have to say it? An Asian dude as the lead. Yeah, he’s doing martial arts, but sadly it still means something. Especially when they a) actually give him a love interest and b) she’s not Asian.

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A DELUSIONAL MICHAEL BAY…WHICH IS REDUNDANT

12 Jan

herc

1. Lone Survivor/Universal                        Wknd/$  38.5            Total/$   38.9

 2. Frozen/Disney                                         Wknd/$  15.1             Total/$ 317.7

 3. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                 Wknd/$   9.0            Total/$   78.6

 4. The Legend of Hercules/LGF               Wknd/$   8.6            Total/$     8.6

 5. American Hustle/Sony                          Wknd/$   6.6            Total/$  101.6

 6. The Hobbit 2/Warner                            Wknd/$   8.0           Total/$ 242.2

 7. August: Osage County/Weinstein       Wknd/$   7.3            Total/$     7.9

 8. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                      Wknd/$   6.6            Total/$   68.9

 9. Paranormal Activity 4/Par                    Wknd/$   6.3            Total/$   28.5

10. Anchorman 2/Paramount                    Wknd/$   6.1            Total/$ 118.5

 

THERE’S MORE TO DIRECTING THAN A SNAP ZOOM

Lone Survivor opens at number one and I was all set to see this until I saw the words “directed by Peter Berg” and that was all she wrote. It’s bad enough he sits in the “all style no substance” category, but not only is his style not that stylish but he thinks he’s a director of merit and weight, telling god’s own truth and it drips off every freaking frame. I can only imagine how filled pretension this true story of courage, heroism and sacrifice is going to be. He’s Michael Bay if Michael Bay thought he was a filmmaker.  Dude, you made Battleship. A movie so bad it made Transformers look like Lord of the Rings.

 

WHO?

Frozen is down to number two and we’ve talked about the women behind the voices but not the men who are played by…well, nobody. Seriously, who are these dudes? Never mind…

 

NICE GUYS DON’T WIN OSCARS

The Wolf of Wall Street rises to number three and I’d have something to say it finally if my alarm had gone off and I could have gone to the early show like I ‘d planned. I’ve got this weird thing about seeing movies with as few people as possible. My brief tenure as a critic has ruined me for sitting with…you people.  Also, I’m clearly not hot to see yet another 3-hour Scorsese exploration of an anti-hero, which is a fancy word of saying the main character is a jerk. Think about it. Raging Bull, GoodFellas, The Aviator, The Departed, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, etc.  He has zero interest in nice guys. The Last Temptation of Christ being the obvious exception that proves the rule.

 

SOMEWHERE THE ROCK IS LAUGHING INTO HIS PROTEIN SHAKE

Speaking of anti-heroes, we have the polar opposite in Hercules, whose legend gets yet another retelling in The Legend of Hercules opening at number four.  This time around he’s the hated son of a king who knows that Zeus impregnated his wife and is more than a little angry about it and taking it out on Hercules.  Somehow this results in Hercules becoming a gladiator, which doesn’t seem fair given he’s demi-god son of Zeus. I’ve got nothing against altering a legend but any movie about Hercules where he’s fighting men instead of monsters pretty much misses the point of Hercules. Even the schlocky Italian Hercules movies of the late 50’s, early 60’s knew that.  These guys clearly thought that the style of 300 (“Hey, it’s Ancient Greece, right? Do it like that.”) was the way to go, while the general public clearly disagreed. Next up: The Rock himself as Hercules this summer. I’d better see me some monsters.

 

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

American Hustle holds at number five followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at number six, while August: Osage County rises to number seven, starring Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and a host of good actors…along with Julia Roberts. Oh, get over it. She sucks and you know it. I don’t know why they’re advertising this as some great team up between her and Meryl Streep. Streep is proof that Roberts is a movie star, not an actress.  If anything, making a movie with Streep should have been something Roberts avoided at all costs.  It’s like Janet Jackson wanting to record with Aretha Franklin.

 

CHARLES SCHULTZ MOONLIGHTED AS AN ASSASSIN

Speaking of Meryl Streep, she made a little news this week dissing Walt Disney in favor of PL Travers, while introducing Emma Thompson who portrays the latter in Saving Mr. Banks, down to number seven this week. If she read my weekly rants like she’s supposed to she’d know they were both jerks and deserved one another.  Just because someone is talented and can entertain children doesn’t meant they’re a nice person. If anything it strongly indicates a dislike of other adults.  I’m sure if you dig deep enough you’ll find even Dr. Seuss probably killed a man in a bar over a bet…then finished his drink…and kicked a kitten.

 

BYE-BYE-BYE

Paranormal Activity is down to number nine and my joke about it dropping off the face to the earth in one week was not a dare, but clearly you people took it as one.

 

PRAYING FOR DEATH

Finally and thankfully, Anchorman 2 closes out the top ten this week at number ten. Now maybe all those damn commercials will finally stop.

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ZEUS HATES US ALL

1 Apr

1. The Hunger Games/LiongsGate            Wknd/$  61.1            Total/$ 251.0

2. Wrath of the Titans/Warners                Wknd/$  34.2            Total/$   34.2

3. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                        Wknd/$  19.0             Total/$   19.0

4. 21 Jump Street/Sony                               Wknd/$  15.0             Total/$   93.1

5. The Lorax/Universal                                Wknd/$   8.0             Total/$ 189.6

6. John Carter/Disney                                  Wknd/$   2.0             Total/$   66.2

7. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen/CBS      Wknd/$   1.3              Total/$     3.2

8. Act of Valor/Relativity                              Wknd/$   1.0             Total/$   67.8

9. A Thousand Words/Paramount              Wknd/$     .9             Total/$   16.5

10.Journey 2: Mysterious Island/WB         Wknd/$     .8              Total/$  98.5

JOHNNY CAN READ BUT HE CAN’T COMPREHEND WORTH SHIT

The Hunger Games holds on to number one and if you think the success of these books along with Harry Potter and Twilight mean that people still read, think again. There’s a surprising number of morons who were upset that a characters depicted in the book as Black were actually played by a Black actors.  Now, if they could actually read (much less comprehend what they’re reading) this would not have been a problem, but like I said, people aren’t really reading if “Young Adult” novels are dominating the bestseller lists. I’m pretty sure real, grown up novels should require something above an 8th grade reading level.

SADLY, TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

Wrath of the Titans opens at number two and the very existence of this film is proof the wrath of an angry god upon those who made the first film so successful and caused a sequel.  The first was so bad it made people actually question the validity of 3D in spite of the money it made. You know how bad you have to be for that to happen?  In Hollywood?  Well, believe it or not this is even worse.  Seriously. It. Is. Bad.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted to walk out of a theater but that actually crossed my mind during Wrath of the Titans.  It commits the ultimate sin of not simply of being bad, but being boring!  You can be awful. We can have fun with awful.  But to literally put people to sleep (my stalwart companion, Geek Girl, took a nap) is unforgivable.  The first film took the classic Greek myth of Perseus and ruined it by adding on some nonsense about the downfall of the gods.  Not only do they recycle the same plot (they have to; Perseus really didn’t have more adventures) they make it even more about the end of the gods as if that were some kind of virtue.  What’s sad is that a somewhat interesting idea is lost, in that when the gods lose their power all the monsters they had imprisoned came free.  So basically this should have been 90 minutes (though it feels like hours) of Perseus killing monsters that have gotten loose.  But no, they go off into this inane and utterly uninteresting conceit on fathers and sons, like anyone in the world is in the theater to see that.  Not to mention by the first film’s own admission Zeus wasn’t much of a father.  Perseus was raised by a fisherman who was in fact killed by the gods (along with the rest of the family Perseus was raised with) so he’s got none of the attachment to Zeus that this film insists he has.  Then there’s the film’s central conceit that the gods lose their power when people pray to them, but what makes you pray faster than a bunch of monsters out running around?  There are no atheists in foxholes, the saying goes and I feel the same can be said about a village beset by a giant fire-breathing, two-heated dog.  I’m pretty sure Zeus, Apollo even fucking Dionysius (you wanna face a giant fire-breathing, tw-headed dog sober?) is getting dialed up when that happens.  Also the “big bad” in all this is the titan Cronus, the first king of the gods and father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon.  Cronus was a god, not a monster and if they’re losing their power, where the hell is he getting his?  Especially given he has to drain Zeus to get free. And honestly, I wouldn’t be paying attention so much to plot if the action were any good.  The original Clash of the Titans in the 80’s was no great shakes, but it continues to be superior because at the very least it resulted in no crummy sequels.

WHO’S THE LEAST TALENTED DIRECTOR OF ALL?

Mirror, Mirror opens at number three and when are people going to stop giving Tarsem Singh money to make movies?  As you recall, he, Michael Bay and Zack Synder all went to film school together and while he’s most talented of the three, that’s not saying much given he shares their complete and utter disregard for a story in favor of visuals. By my count he only has one hit and that was The Cell with Jennifer Lopez  12 years ago so I’m trying to figure out why he’s now making movies with Julia Roberts now.  Granted, the failure of Immortals was only a few months ago, but his only other film was The Fall which was another display of exceptional visuals and “Script?  What script?” that no one saw.  I’m thinking Julia Roberts is doing what other superstars like Bruce Willis do in that they don’t work with strong directors on their more mainstream, “just a paycheck” projects so they don’t have anyone who can bother them while they’re making easy money.  Julia Roberts can’t fire Steven Soderbergh, but if she has a disagreement with Tarsem Singh, guess who’s going to win?  But even if someone other than Tarsem Singh had directed this I wouldn’t be seeing it because I don’t go to see Julia Roberts movies either.  She sucks. Always has, always will.  I will, however be seeing the other Snow White film, Snow White & The Hunstman, even though it doesn’t make sense that someone as beautiful as Charlize Theron would be threatened by pug-faced Kristen Stewart.  The one good thing I can say about this one is it does make sense that Lily Collins would threaten Julia Roberts.  There honestly is no comparison.

MAPLE HAS TOO MUCH PERSONALITY. MAYBE OAK.

21 Jump Street is down to number four and this is actually Channing Tatum’s second hit this year as The Vow made $169M worldwide off a budget of $30M, which means this big block of wood is about to hit superstar status.  So much for your Masters in Drama from Yale, sucker!

ALL OVER BUT THE COUNTIN’

The Lorax is down to number five, followed by John Carter at number six and thanks to overseas returns this has made its production budget back, so perhaps Disney was premature declaring it an abject failure. Granted, it’s still going to lose money, but it’s not the massive bomb it appeared to be.  Though my schadenfreude over the crap marketing and title change remains intact.

IT’S LIKE THEY DON’T WANT ME TO SEE THESE MOVIES

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen goes wide and enters the top ten at number seven and will someone please let the casting directors of Hollywood know that Ewan McGregor is no longer 30?  Trainspotting was 16 fucking years ago!  He’s fucking 40 now so why are all his leading ladies either in their 20’s?  Scarlett Johansson (The Island), Eva Green (Perfect Sense) and now here, Emily Blunt.  God forbid the other woman in this film, Kirsten Scott Thomas who is actually in her 40’s touch him.  That aside, my primarily lack of interest in this film stems from its director, Lasse Hallstrom, who makes nothing but schmaltzy treacle under the banner of a quality indie film director thanks to the masterpiece that was My Life as A Dog 20 years ago.  Clearly that was the exception to the rule as the man is so untalented he took a story about chocolate in France with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche (in red pumps!) as lovers and left it sexless and tasteless. The idea (from a novel of the same name) that fly fishing would build bridges between nations is a nice once, but it would take a delicate touch not to make schmaltz and they unfortunately hired the king of trite sentimentality to do it.

MO’ MONEY, NO MONEY

Act of Valor, A Thousand Words and Journey 2: Mysterious Island finish out the top ten at eight, nine and ten respectively and they all made a million dollars or less showing you how weak this weekend was in terms of box office returns.  Yeah, you can blame March Madness, but exactly who among that audience would really be at these movies anyway?