Tag Archives: Lone Ranger

YOUR CHILDHOOD TUB BATTLES MADE REAL

14 Jul

spacegians

1. Despicable Me 2/Universal               Wknd/$  44.8            Total/$ 229.2

 2. Grown Ups 2/Sony                            Wknd/$  42.5            Total/$  42.5

 3. Pacific Rim/Warners                         Wknd/$  38.3            Total/$  38.3

 4. The Heat/Fox                                      Wknd/$  14.0            Total/$ 112.4

 5. The Lone Ranger/Disney                  Wknd/$  11.1             Total/$  71.1

 6. Monsters University/Disney            Wknd/$  10.6            Total/$ 237.8

 7. World War Z/Paramount                  Wknd/$    9.4            Total/$ 177.1

 8. White House Down/Sony                  Wknd/$    6.2            Total/$  63.0

 9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain/LGF     Wknd/$    5.0            Total/$  26.4

10. Man of Steel/Warners                        Wknd/$    4.8            Total/$ 281.0

 

FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU; FOOL ME TWICE, I’M AN IDIOT WHO FELL FOR A COMMERCIAL

Despicable Me 2 holds sadly at number one and I say “sadly” because it means the inevitable #3 is on its way. It won’t be the hat trick on my wallet, however.  Short of a crossover with The Incredibles, I’m out.  The only good I can see coming out of this mess is that Kristin Wiig has another hit under her belt. You get yours, girl.

 

LEMONADE

Speaking of horrible box office success that might mean a third unfunny film, Grown Ups 2 opens at number two. So I guess that makes two good things to come out of Despicable Me 2 holding the stop spot. It kept this piece of crap from opening at number one.  Adam Sandler is stunning how he has managed to carve out a very successful career going for the lowest hanging fruit possible.  He’s even passed Tim Allen.  After awhile I can’t even blame him for it. I blame you people who keep rewarding his utter bankrupt excuse for comedic talent.  You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

 

ULTRA MAN WASN’T A ROBOT! THAT’S DIFFERENT!

Pacific Rim opens at a disappointing number three and America is funny in how we clearly love giant fighting robots and are no strangers to giant monsters, but put them in the same movie and we’re utterly disinterested.  We all did it in the tub when we were kids with our toys, but apparently put away such childish conflicts as adults for a mature separation of giant monster and giant robot.  Now this is an ingrained part of Japanese pop culture, but I feel we’re basically just too rational for it. Seriously. We cannot get over the fact that building a giant robot to fight a giant monster is just stupid.  If that giant monster is causing mass death and destruction with every step, how dumb is it to build a giant robot to fight it in the city streets?  You’ve just doubled your carnage!  Especially when the movie flat out tells us the first monster to attack was killed by conventional weaponry.  Why would you waste valuable time and resources building a giant robot rather than building more powerful, more effective weapons!?!  Clearly you can if you’ve got the technology to building giant robots with plasma cannons.  Why can’t that plasma just be mounted on a ship or tank?  BUT…if you can get over your very American questioning of the premise, Pacific Rim is a good time. Giant monsters come to Earth from another dimension through a rift located in the Pacific Ocean and we fight them off with giant robots. After initial success the monster attacks become more frequent with ever larger, more effective monsters so the governments of the world decide to give up on it and instead just build a big wall,  pulling the plug on the robot funding.  This leaves the commanding officer just 8 months to use his remaining robots to shut down the rift once and for all because anyone with a brain knows that wall thing is not going to work.  It’s little too long—especially given you go 30 minutes without any giant monster and robot fights in favor of people who amount to little more than character sketches and never really become characters themselves—but this is the definition of a summer flick. Big, outlandish, but made by somewhat talented people and not insulting your intelligence while asking you to suspend your disbelief. Case in point: the film’s primary character is a giant robot pilot that left the program after his brother was killed. When Idris Elba goes to bring him back, he declines and Elba points out the world is going to end so where is he going to go?  There’s a similar ultimatum put forth in World War Z to Brad Pitt. He also realizes his personal feelings mean nothing when the world is at stake.  But in the odious Transformers 2 the result is that Shia Lebouf chooses going to college over saving the world because apparently its destruction will leave the mixer in his dorm on Thursday night undisturbed.  And unlike Man of Steel, when a monster attacks the city, the first action is to evacuate or get people to bunkers and the streets and buildings are clearly shown to be empty.

 

ALL PERIOD PIECES ARE NOT THE SAME, HONEY

The Heat is down to number four followed by The Lone Ranger at number five and why is Helena Bonham Carter here?  Did she and Johnny Depp make an agreement on the set of Tim Burton’s films to be weird for the sake of being weird together as much as possible?  Bear in mind when she’s not doing that or working with him she makes movies like The King’s Speech.  Yeah, exactly.

 

PARTY OF ONE…MAYBE LESS

Monsters University is down to number six, followed by World War Z at number seven and also in this with exactly one line from a character with no name is Matthew Fox.  It’s so odd it actually pulls you out of the film for a second. But only for a second because it’s just Matthew Fox.

 

HEY, IT’S THAT GUY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

White House Down is down to number eight and also in this is Jason Clarke who is becoming a character actor (i.e, actors talented, but not attractive enough to be leads) of some weight. First there was critical acclaim for Zero Dark Thirty, then an at least one successful this summer in The Great Gatsby and now this mess for which no one will blame him.  It makes an odd sense he’s working for James Woods in this because Woods is getting old and someone has to take these roles.

 

WHAT’S SUMMER WITHOUT A BIG “S” ON YOUR CHEST?

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain is down only one notch to number nine, which is impressive and wrapping up the top ten at number ten is Man of Steel. Finally! Now that this damn thing is out of the top ten, I can start wearing my Superman t-shirts again. It’s been a long five weeks!

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CLARK KENT’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ON…

7 Jul

mrskent

 1. Despicable Me 2/Universal                    Wknd/$  82.5            Total/$ 142.1

 2. The Lone Ranger/Disney                        Wknd/$  29.4            Total/$  48.9

 3. The Heat/Fox                                            Wknd/$  25.0            Total/$  86.4

 4. Monsters University/Disney                   Wknd/$  19.6            Total/$ 216.1

 5. World War Z/Paramount                        Wknd/$  18.2            Total/$ 158.8

 6. White House Down/Sony                        Wknd/$  13.5            Total/$  50.5

 7. Man of Steel/Warners                               Wknd/$  11.4            Total/$ 271.2

 8. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain/LGF           Wknd/$  10.0            Total/$  17.5

 9. This Is The End/Sony                                Wknd/$   5.8             Total/$  85.6

10. Now You See Me/LGF                              Wknd/$   2.8             Total/$ 110.4

 

SHOULDN’T THIS STAR DAFFY DUCK?

Despicable Me 2 opens at number one and I didn’t care too much for the first one, finding it more style than substance and was going to give this one a pass as a result.  Then I saw that damn commercial with the minions as the Village People doing “YMCA.”  Everyone who came up with that gets a raise because if it got even me into the theater I don’t want to think about how many others followed suit.  Of course that wound up being one of the high points of the movie as this suffers from all the flaws of the first, thinking a few cute jokes and nice style makes up for a complete and utter lack of depth for the characters.  This is why Pixar continues to leave all its competitors in the dust as despite all the cute animation all their films are nothing but character driven. Strip away the fantastic and Monsters University is about two college freshmen.  Strip away the fantastic and Brave is about a mother and daughter.  Strip away the fantastic and Finding Nemo is about a father and son.  What is Despicable Me 2 without the fantastic?  It doesn’t exist.  This time around Gru is a devoted single father having given up super-villainy to start a jam and jelly business and occasionally fending off being set up by other moms in the neighborhood.  He’s approached by The Anti-Villain League to help them catch a new an unknown supervillain and after initially refusing, is prompted to take the job after his head scientist quits because he misses being a bad guy (and hates making jelly) leaving Gru at loose ends.  There’s so much here to play with and all of it goes unused.  That Gru is an eligible bachelor as a single dad is just used for cheap jokes about blowing off the woman trying to set him up and her bad choices.  That Anti-Villain League was nowhere to be seen when Gru was stealing the moon is never broached though it would be funny to point out that super-villains in fact do outmatch the heroes simply by virtue of numbers.  The girls have no personalities other than cute youngest, tomboy middle, and smart eldest. How do you know she’s smart? Because she wears glasses, duh. Not because of anything she actually does. Just when the film looks like it might go somewhere when she discovers boys, it’s only for the blandest type of sitcom humor.  The minions are wisely used to sell this movie because they are the only things worth watching.  Like the penguins in the otherwise mediocre Madagascar movies, they are a jolt of refreshing, anarchistic fun that keeps the film from dying on the table.

 

MOCK WITH US NOW THOSE THRILLING DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

Opening at number two is The Lone Ranger which had disaster written all over it the moment Johnny Depp’s name came up as Tonto and it doesn’t disappoint in being disappointing.  This is one of those movies that makes so many wrong choices you can’t believe no one noticed while they were filming it.  You can’t believe anyone saw this script and EVER thought it was a good idea. I’m assuming there was a script because if we found out there really wasn’t one it actually would explain a lot. The film’s biggest mistake is assuming that we want to laugh at the very idea of The Lone Ranger, that he’s too much of an anachronistic stiff to ever be taken seriously, therefore he must be mocked. He’s basically played as an idiot for most of the movie, starting off with the first scene where he’s basically Jimmy Stewart in the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as a tenderfoot lawyer returning to Texas from the east and he just happens to be on the same train where Butch Cavendish is being transported to be hanged. Next to Cavendish? Johnny Depp camping it up as Tonto. Their first meeting as a result of Cavendish’s escape is the first big action scene and is needless drawn out and utterly uninteresting. It’s downhill from there starting with an odd love triangle involving his soon-to-be departed brother and sister-in-law (we learn from Tonto that this time around “Kemo sabe” means wrong brother as the brother who dies is an ass-kicking Texas Ranger) that amounts to nothing. I mean you can’t have a love triangle if one of them is dead in the first act.  It’s so boring it’s boring me to even try and re-account it and I’m questioning wasting yet another second on a movie that already stole 2+ hours from my life. Basically nothing works. Not the script, not the directing, not the acting not even the too little, too late use of “The William Tell Overture.” Somewhere, Klinton Spilsbury whose career crashed and burned in the last attempt at a big screen Lone Ranger movie feels a sense of redemption.

 

BECAUSE PIXAR IS TOO CLASSY TO TELL YOU

The Heat is down to three followed by Monsters at number four and along for the ride this time doing voices are Helen Mirren, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Bonnie Hunt, John Krasinski, Bill Hader Bobby Moynihan, Charlie Day and of course Pixar mainstay, John Ratzenberger who returns as the Yeti.

 

WAR IS UGLY, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE

World War Z is down to number five and also in this as the cute Israeli soldier who becomes Brad Pitt’s badass sidekick is Daniella Kertesz who is actually Israeli, meaning at one point she actually was a soldier as service is mandatory. So anyone who tells you that no soldiers look like this doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

 

SECRET SERVICE SCREENINGS NEED WORK

White House Down drops to number six and also in this is James Woods as the traitorous Secret Service Agent about to retire.  Not to be confused with Dylan McDermott from Olympus Has Fallen as the traitorous already retired Secret Service Agent.  Both oddly love their country so much they betray it to start World War III.  Not sure how that works, but at least James Woods’ character has the virtue of a brain tumor to explain why his logic centers aren’t working.  Woods is doing it because of a Middle East Peace treaty he hates.  Dylan McDermott was doing it because no bankers went to jail during the financial crisis. No, I’m not kidding.

 

“CLARK KENT’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ON…”

Man of Steel is down to number seven and also in this is Diane Lane as Martha Kent and while she has a very nice moment with Clark as a young boy helping him to navigate his powers by virtue of her love, she spends the rest of the film in lousy old age makeup begging the question, why the hell did you hire Diane Lane to begin with if you were going to do that to her!?!  She’s 18 years older than Henry Caville.  That’s old enough to be his mother without needing to tip the scales with crummy make up.  Again, it’s not just that it was old age makeup, but that it was crummy old age makeup.  Annette O’Toole was perfectly fine (literally) as being Clark Kent’s severely hot mom on Smallville untouched by the makeup artist’s brush.

 

HOW MANY SIZE JOKES ABOUT HIM CAN I MAKE?

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain opens well (relatively speaking) at number eight and this is when you know you’re one of the “comics of the moment.”  You get a concert film.  The irony here is, if you’re really, really white hot, you actually get an HBO special. More people will actually see you on cable than will actually go to a movie.  So yes, while he has a show on BET and has hosted Saturday Night Live, Kevin Hart isn’t big enough for HBO.  The greater irony is that I won’t see this until it’s on cable, because while I do like Kevin Hart, I’m not making a trip to the movies to see him. Not to mention a little goes a long way with him.  Being short, funny and borderline annoying, he was born to be the wacky sidekick in a movie.

 

THE END

This Is The End is down to number nine, followed by Now You See Me closing out the top ten at number ten.