Tag Archives: kate beckinsale

ANOTHER BLOODY SEQUEL

10 Jan

kate-beckinsale-shape-magazine-2017-03-662x993
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story/Disney         Wknd/$ 22.0   Total/$ 477.3
2. Hidden Figures/Fox                                         Wknd/$ 21. 8   Total/$ 24.8
3. Sing/Universal                                                   Wknd/$ 19.6   Total/$ 213.4
4. Underworld: Blood Wars/SGem                    Wknd/$ 13.1    Total/$ 13.1
5. La La Land/LG                                                   Wknd/$ 10.0   Total/$ 51.7
6. Passengers/Sony                                                Wknd/$ 8.8     Total/$ 80.9
7. Why Him/Fox                                                     Wknd/$ 6.5     Total/$ 48.6
8. Moana/Disney                                                   Wknd/$ 6.4      Total/$ 225.4
9. Fences/Paramount                                            Wknd/$ 4.7      Total/$ 40.7
10. Assassin’s Creed/Fox                                      Wknd/$ 3.8      Total/$ 49.5

THE SAD TRUTH IS NOSTALGIA PAYS…AND PAYS WELL
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story holds at number one and I’m sorry, but I cannot drink the Kool Aid on this one. It ain’t all that. It’s taking for granted your affection for this universe and so not bothering to build actual characters for you to know or care about. And on top of that throwing in useless fan shout-outs that briefly stop the momentum of a film desperately lacking it. As you know this is the story of how the plans to The Death Star came to be in the hands of Princess Leia. It’s through the use of a kinda of “Magnificent Seven in Space” which was honestly done better in Battle Beyond The Stars. What you don’t know is that it also feels the need to answer unasked questions like “Who was Red Five before Luke Skywalker?” And don’t get me started on the computer-reanimated corpse of Peter Cushing in the form of a total CGI Grand Moff Tarkin. Hella creepy and distracting. I’ve got no problem with the initial concept of the film, but it suffers from one of the same flaws as the horrible prequels: the need to set up everything that follows rather than simply tell its own story. How disappointing is it? Think of the two most inconsequential characters from Star Wars and know they show up here in a “funny” cameo.

FAILURE OF THE BLACK MAN PT 1
Hidden Figures is up to number two and this completes the hat trick of critically acclaimed film with Black actors as leads that I’ve failed to see while somehow finding time to see shit like Christmas Office Party. The other two are Moonlight and Loving. But I still say I’m going to see them. I am. Stop laughing.

PLUS I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY SUCKY NEW SONGS
Sing is down to number three and on one hand this looks like a lot of fun. On the other it’s almost two fucking hours long and this is simply not a two-hour concept. The songs do not need to be played to completion to get the joke and I have the funny feeling that’s exactly the mistake they’ve made here. But I’m sure on cable it will be nothing but fun.

HOT CHICK + ACCENT + GUNS = MY MONEY
Underworld: Blood Wars opens at number four and yes, this I found time for. Sorry, but it’s been a 14-year commitment for me. Well, that and the neverending delight of Kate Beckinsale in skintight rubber. When we last left her the nocturnal family (vampire, half-vampire-half-werewolf and their daughter) had been reunited despite the lack of Scott Speedman. If you think CGI Tarkin was distracting at least he looked like Peter Cushing. The budget of Underworld simply couldn’t handle recreating Speedman and did some sad shit to a poor actor thinking maybe porn would have been less humiliating. Also, Kate Beckinsale’s character been in suspended animation for 15 years and in that time had not given birth to to the afforementioned daughter but humans had learned of both vampires and werewolves and were trying to wipe them all out. As it turned out werewolves were behind all that getting their revenge on almost being wiped out by vampires in the previous films. Well, all that’s gone. No, seriously. They don’t mention anything about the change in the status quo or how werewolves infiltrated the mainstream. All that remains is Kate Beckinsale’s half-vampire-quarter werewolf daughter and the fact the vampires are now on the ropes. But that’s not the problem. The problem is big, emotional moments in the film that tie characters back to the first Underworld and threaten to provide actual character development are rushed through. Imagine if Darth Vader had reveal himself to be Luke’s father and there wasn’t even a beat of drama then he followed it up with “And Leia is your sister.” And even that was followed up by something else as if they had to get it all in before the movie ended. This movie is only 91 minutes so easily could have spared the characters another eight or nine minutes so they could react to things and at least feign giving their characters depth. Being almost two hours long didn’t hurt the first film and why it still remains the best is due to the wide variety of individual characters who are in fact given those little “beats.” There’s the potential for that here as we are introduced at least five new characters who seem interesting, but again, none are really given the time to be fleshed out. We never even learn the bad guy’s plan, which is kind of important because he actually says he’s trying to end the war between vampires and werewolves. And he’s got a vampire lover trying to help him for the same reason. That’s kind of an important plot point given Kate Beckinsale repeatedly expresses how she’s tired of the killing. Finally, at $35M you don’t have the loot for elaborate CGI, so again look to the original and see how many of the werewolf effects were practical, not computer animated. Being the 4th best out of a five movie series is not exactly impressive (in order of best to worst they are Underworld, Underworld Rise of the Lycans, Underworld Evolution, Underworld Blood Wars and Underworld Awakening).

CAN’T GET FROM UNDER THAT “BURDEN” CAN YOU?
LaLa Land is down to number five and I have zero desire to see this, but it’s an Awards favorite now so I guess I have to. Sorry, but they lost me at “White Guy Who Will Be The Savior of Jazz” character and nothing I’ve read about it is really changing my mind.

SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL SOMETHING THAT’S BETTER IN SHORTER FORM
Passengers is down to number six and this is yet another Outer Limits/Twilight Zone episode that escaped into theaters. Chris Pratt is an engineer on a spaceship that puts passengers into suspended animation for its 120-year travel time. Unfortunately a meteor storm damages the ship and wakes him up and he cannot go back, so after a year of isolation he wakes up 20-something hottie, Jennifer Lawrence. I like Chris Pratt, but his acting skills aren’t really up to par showing a man who basically goes nuts from loneliness and dooms another person rather than be alone. Jennifer Lawrence can’t do anything with it either and she’s someone whose performance reflects the quality of her material. The biggest problem is the script won’t commit to its dark premise. They want Chris Pratt to stay a likable sane guy but a likable sane guy wouldn’t do what he does, so he has to either be an asshole or nuts and they won’t allow him either. And don’t get me started on the cop-out ending… The Twilight Zone wouldn’t have wussed out like that.

I MEAN…LOOK AT HIM!
Why Him is down to number seven and one of biggest problems in Hollywood is how long they try to hold onto a “younger” male actor. James Franco is not the young male lead any longer. He’s pushing 40 and this role is clearly supposed to be someone in their 20’s. Notice they didn’t cast his love interest older. Nope. She’s actually in her 20’s while he’s “playing” that role. And it looks like ass to boot.

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!
Moana is down to number eight and Disney needs to stop pushing the ballad for Oscar consideration. The best song is “You’re Welcome.” Not to mention, if nominated it means we’ll see Dwayne Johnson singing it at the Oscars (with help from writer Lin Manuel Miranda). Now who doesn’t want that!?!

FAILURE OF THE BLACK MAN PT 2
Fences is down to nine and my Guilt Trilogy has become a Guilt Quadrilogy because I haven’t seen this fucking thing either. Sigh. I’m failing at being Black in 2017…clearly holding over from 2016.

SAVED FROM MYSELF
Finally, Assassins Creed closes out the top ten at number ten and if I had the time I so would have saw this. I’m sad.

ALSO VISIT:

FORMER BOY WONDER PHOTOGRAPHY

GET YOUR ASS TO A BETTER MOVIE

5 Aug

1. The Dark Knight Rises/Warners            Wknd/$   36.4            Total/$ 354.6

 2. Total Recall/Sony                                      Wknd/$   26.0            Total/$  26.0

 3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3/Fox                   Wknd/$   14.7             Total/$   14.7

 4. Ice Age 4/Fox                                              Wknd/$     8.4            Total/$ 131.9

 5. The Watch/Fox                                           Wknd/$     6.4            Total/$   25.4

 6. Ted/Universal                                             Wknd/$     5.5            Total/$ 203.4

 7. Step Up Revolution/Summit                    Wknd/$     5.3            Total/$   23.1

 8. Amazing Spider-Man/Sony                      Wknd/$     4.3            Total/$ 250.6

 9. Brave/Disney                                                Wknd/$     2.9           Total/$ 223.3

10. Magic Mike/Warner                                    Wknd/$     1.4           Total/$ 110.9

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT PUSSY

The Dark Knight Rises holds at number one and I actually liked Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.  She had the right combination of playfulness and amorality that Catwoman is supposed to have.  I know people like to cite Michelle Pfeiffer, but Michelle Pfeiffer didn’t play Catwoman. She played a Tim Burton character named Catwoman, but there’s nothing about her than was ever a part of Catwoman in the comics.  She was just another freak in his parade of freaks. Danny DeVito didn’t play The Penguin either. He played Edward Flipperhands.  But all the Catwomen live in the shadow of Julie Newmar.  She defined the character.  Not to mention she was the absolute hottest.  She freaking danced with Fosse.  These others have nothing on her.

 

THERE IS NO PARTY

Total Recall opens at number two and this commits the gravest sin any movie can, even worse than being bad: it’s boring.  This is bad in any movie but it’s twice as bad in an action movie.  Utterly unforgivable when it’s a remake of a movie known for its over-the-top action.  Let’s go with the first mistake here: Len Wiseman as the director.  He’s a B-list actioner who strangely gets to direct A-list budget, which is how you get Live Free or Die Hard and this.   He’s better when only allowed limited resources and control, not greater.  Your second mistake was the very limited scope of the movie.  The first time we went to Mars.  Here, the world has been destroyed with the exception of England and Australia and you travel between them on an elevator through the center of the Earth. If only that was as much fun as it sounds. This is such an over-the-top concept it demanded an over-the-top movie.  What it got was the lackluster vision of a limited mind. When Luc Besson clearly borrowed from Blade Runner, he made it bigger and brighter.  Here you see elements of Blade Runner and The Fifth Element made smaller and dimmer.  And it doesn’t even follow its own premise.  If the world is limited and cramped, why do Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale still seem to have a nice apartment?  It makes no sense that they repeatedly refer to it as a dump.  The future still looks too nice to be so horrible.  Now Blade Runner made living in the city look like crap and it didn’t have to destroy 99% of the world to do it.  And the apartment Bruce Willis had was genuinely tiny.  But these are just details.  The real problem is the action scenes are dull.  There’s not an iota of kinetic energy when Colin Farrell suddenly realizes he got the skills of James Bond and takes out an entire police squad and it doesn’t get any better as the film progresses, not matter how much jumping, shooting and robot punching they do.  The performances are equally muted.  Everyone is sleepwalking through this for a paycheck and it shows. They all knew it was a mistake and wisely chose to save their energies for something else.  The only exception is Kate Beckinsale who was obligated by being the director’s wife to try, giving it her best shot to fill not just the shoes of Sharon Stone but of Michael Ironside as well as their roles of wife and hunter were basically combined.  Maybe she tries so hard because she realized if she actually succeeded in killing Colin Farrell the movie would be over.

 

UM, OKAY

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days opens at number three and this has become quite the little franchise while no one was watching…including myself.

 

APPARENTLY MOVIES ARE HARDER THAN 2-MINUTE SHORTS. WHO KNEW?

Ice Age: Continental Drift is down to number four, followed by The Watch at number five and you’d think this would be funnier given it was directed by a guy who is a member of Lonely Island and directs all their videos.  You’d be wrong.  You’re probably better off watching “Jizz In My Pants” again.

 

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE REF

Ted is down to number six, followed by Step Up Revolution at number seven and The Amazing Spider-Man at number eight and also in this is Dennis Leary as Emma Stone’s dad.  He’s also a voice in Ice Age so he’s technically got two films in the top ten and there was a brief moment when he thought he could be a comedic lead.  You’ll see them turn up on cable in the wee hours of the morning all the time.  And once you have you’ll realize he’s lucky to have this.

 

EVEN THE COOKING RAT DID BETTER

Brave is down to number nine and still has yet to double its budget worldwide. That’s pretty sad.  Especially when you realize that crap like Ice Age Pt 29 has made over $700M.

 

WAIT. ARE YOU SAYING THAT SEX SELLS TO WOMEN?  SERIOUSLY?

Magic Mike finally closes out the top ten at number ten and technically is the most profitable film of the summer, even more than The Avengers which crossed the billion dollar mark.  While The Avengers has made six times its budget, Magic Mike has made fifteen times its cost.  That’s some cheese on your whopper.

 

CHARIOTS OF FIRE 2012

When I was a kid, The Olympics was the worst thing ever. It was two weeks when all your favorite shows wouldn’t be on.  Now, I was actually excited, even watching fucking swimming prelims a few months ago.  I don’t know when this happened, but I’m actually glad because it’s two weeks of totally interesting, suspenseful TV. You find yourself watching shit you’d never watch and being captivated.  Trampoline as an Olympic sport is stupid…until you see it.  And there’s an unending sense of awe of seeing people who have spent literally decades training their bodies to be the best in world for events where it’s only required for a few seconds.  There’s also the cheap thrill of ogling said bodies because they’re like Greek statues come to life.  As someone who does swim, I naturally like the swimming, but even though I hate running, that’s fun to watch too.  Especially the women.  As a geek it made me think about the competition the Amazons had in the comics to see who got to become Wonder Woman.  When the show came on in the 70’s it was a bunch of less-than-athletic models and actresses, when it should like the Olympics, where it’s pure muscle and sinew.  But ironically about the same about serious cheekbones.  And there’s still another week to go!  And when it ends, football’s back.