Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

IT’S FINALLY OVER

22 Dec

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1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies       Wknd/$ 56.2     Total/$ 90.6
2. Night at the Museum: Secret…            Wknd/$ 17.3     Total/$ 17.3
3. Annie/Sony                                           Wknd/$ 16.3     Total/$ 16.3
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox              Wknd/$ 8.1       Total/$ 38.9
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1  Wknd/$ 7.8       Total/$ 289.2
6. Wild/FoxSearchlight                             Wknd/$ 4.2       Total/$ 7.2
7. Top Five/Paramount                             Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 12.5
8. Big Hero 6/Disney                                Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 190.4
9. Penguins of Madagascar/Fox              Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 64.2
10. P.K./UTV                                             Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 3.5

FREE AT LAST!
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies opens at number one and our long national nightmare is finally over. Seriously, the biggest complaint about these films even before they were made was that stretching the one novel into three films was a shameless money grab and nothing makes is clearer than this one. It’s like watching the final battle of Star Wars stretched out over three hours. You know Smaug, the dragon whose appearance single-handedly saved the second film? Dispatched in the first ten minutes. Now, you’re probably wondering why couldn’t that have been in the second film. What part of “shameless money grab” did you not get? The only thing I felt at the end of this film was a sense of relief that I’d never have to go through it again. Thankfully, the Tolkien family has refused to license the other books so we won’t have to…until they decide to remake them. You know they will.

NEXT UP: THE MUSEUM OF FURNITURE!
Speaking of shameless money grabs, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens at number two and the first film was only barely entertaining, so I didn’t come back for number two. Apparently I was alone in this because here comes number three and it looks awful. When a monkey peeing on people is one of your selling jokes you’re clearly out of ideas. They’re also running out of museums, because when you think America it’s New York and Washington (sorry, Chicago and don’t make me laugh, LA), which have been done and this is the London museum. What’s next? I’m pretty sure the Louvre doesn’t lend itself to wacky hijinks. I hate to say it, but the only good thing about Robin Williams’ death is that they can’t make any more of these. Oh, shut up. You were thinking it too.

PLUS I HATE EVERY SONG I’VE HEARD FROM IT
Speaking of remakes, this is the color-blind remake of Annie which is a good thing ostensibly speaking, but it’s still a musical so I still don’t care.

SUDDENLY EDWARD G. ROBINSON LOOKS GOOD
Exodus: Gods and Kings is down to number four and to give you an idea of how wrong-headed this movie is John Turturro is Seti. Yeah. That kid from Breaking Bad with the gravelly voice? Joshua. Yeah, it just keeps getting worse

HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY, BABY
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is down to number five, followed by Wild jumping up to number six and also in this is Laura Dern. Hey, girl! Where you been? Oh, that’s right. On HBO. She’s been getting better notices for this than the star, which I’m sure is going over well given this was her comeback vehicle, not Dern’s.

HOW DID AUNT TOM FEEL ABOUT THIS?
Top Five is down to number seven while most of the film is good and I give it special points for taking not one, but two shots at Tyler Perry it unfortunately itself relies on distasteful cliché of far too many films from Black filmmakers: homophobia. This is coupled with the other sad cliché of romantic comedies that any rival for the lead characters affections not only lose, but fail in their own right. Gabrielle Union as Chris Rock’s reality star fiancée can’t just lose him, she has to be every horrible thing you expect Kim Kardashian to be. Rosario Dawson’s boyfriend likewise can’t just lose her to Chris Rock, he has to turn out to lying her to her this entire time as he’s actually gay, or at best bisexual. And the “big joke” is how she should have known by what he asked for in bed. Seemed he liked a little ass play, as if that makes a man gay. The same men who think this are the same guys who are obsessed with sodomizing their girlfriends. I got news for you, dude: ain’t nothing in her ass that’s not in yours, so if she can learn to enjoy it so can you. Of course we have see him naked on all fours begging for something to be shoved up his ass, ‘cause now he’s the bitch. Get it? Sigh. It’s really so far beneath this film I have trouble believing the otherwise intelligent Rock not only wrote it, but also filmed it, saw the footage and still didn’t see a problem. Then again, he also sees himself as a romantic lead.

SOME THINGS ARE JUST UNIVERSAL
Big Hero 6 is down to number eight, followed by Penguins of Madagascar at number nine and opening at number ten is P.K. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. I’m guessing it’s either Christian or Indian. Yep, it’s the latter and seems to be some Forrest Gump type of tale about an idiot manchild who helps people learn what life is really about. See, this kind of shit exists all over the world. It’s not just us.

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OPPRESSED BUT LOOKING DAMN GOOD

20 Oct

6.194416
1. Fury/Sony Wknd/$ 23.5 Total/$ 23.5
2. Gone Girl/Fox Wknd/$ 17.8 Total/$ 107.1
3. The Book of Life/Fox Wknd/$ 17.0 Total/$ 17.0
4. Alexander & The Terrible…/Disney Wknd/$ 12. 0 Total/$ 36.9
5. The Best of Me/Relativity Wknd/$ 10.2 Total/$ 10.2
6. Dracula Untold/Universal Wknd/$ 9.9 Total/$ 40.7
7. The Judge/WB Wknd/$ 7.9 Total/$ 26.8
8. Annabelle/WB (NL) Wknd/$ 7.9 Total/$ 74.1
9. The Equalizer/Sony Wknd/$ 5.5 Total/$ 89.2
10. The Maze Runner/Fox Wknd/$ 4.5 Total/$ 90.8

HATERS GONNA HATE PT. 1
Fury holds the top spot and I was down to see this until I saw fucking Shia LeBeouf in the trailer. Seriously. I’m not the biggest war movie fan, but I do like Pitt and I like how for the epitome of a leading man he doesn’t like to play it safe (can you think of even one romantic comedy or science fiction action film he’s done?). And of course the classic premise of the outnumbered soldiers making a stand is classic for a reason (all that’s missing is a shirtless Pitt screaming “This. Is. Fury!”), but my interest took a complete nosedive the second LeBeouf’s name appeared onscreen. Much in the same way Inglorious Bastard goes unseen by me because torture porn director Eli Roth is part of the cast. Seriously, when I don’t like you, I really don’t like you. So when a half-dozen movies opened this weekend (the blessing and curse of living in NYC is everything opens here first), it quickly got pushed down the list in terms of importance and I don’t see it coming back up…unless you tell me I get to watch him die horribly.

HATERS GONNA HATE PT. 2
Gone Girl is down to number two and speaking of people I hate to see onscreen Tyler Perry is here in an acting role as Ben Affleck’s slick, successful, press-friendly lawyer. Except he’s not really acting. Director David Fincher explained Perry basically got the role years ago when they were scouting studios in Atlanta to make the incredibly underwhelming The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. They were looking into Perry’s studio space and he made them wait until he came off the roof where he was flying his model plane. In case you didn’t know how rich Tyler Perry was, that’s how rich. He can ignore an A-list director of major Hollywood film to fly his toy plane. This is part of why I could stomach him in this movie. He was playing someone I was free to dislike. If LeBeouf was playing the bad guy in Fury, I might have seen it.

BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT YOU TO THINK IT WAS A ZOMBIE OR BULLFIGHTING MOVIE
The Book of Life opens at number three and the irony of this film it that it’s about death (it was originally called El Matador then Day of the Dead). It involves “The Day of the Dead” the Mexican holiday that coincides with the Catholic All Soul’s and All Saint’s Day. Basically the belief that on Halloween the gates of heaven open at midnight and the spirits of dead children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours and on November 2nd, the spirits of adults can come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. The former makes me wonder why it took so long for it to be any part of a film aimed at kids. Hell, it should be the basis for the Casper cartoon outright. But good luck finding a plot synopsis for this. As near as I can figure from the trailer two matadors are in love with the same girl and two supernatural entities make a bet on which one will win her. When one thinks he’s going to lose he has the one matador bitten by a poisonous snake and killed. Once in the land of the dead the matador makes a deal with the same entity that killed him to see her again (I can only think his soul is forfeit or something) and he has to go on some quest and face epic challenges. Once again my prejudice toward an artist kept me from a film, but this time in error. I knew Guillemoro Del Toro was a producer on this, but I mistakenly thought he wrote it as well and his writing is for crap. Visually the man is an artist with almost no peer, but I wouldn’t let him write a grocery list. This is now on my list of things to see…above Fury.

LIFE AFTER THE X-MEN IS VERY HARD FOR SOME
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day is down to four, followed by The Best of Me opening at number five and there was no way in hell I was going to see an adaptation of one of Nicholas Sparks horrible someone-dies-in-the-third-act-because-real-love-is-always-tragic novels. Especially one so poorly cast we’re supposed to believe those two people become James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. Maybe if they’d cast actual teenagers to play teenagers to play teenagers instead of two people pushing 30 to play the younger version of two people who are barely 40 (she’s only 38). Serious casting fail here.

METHINKS DAD HAS SOMETHING TO ANSWER FOR
Dracula Untold is down to number six and the star of this is Luke Evans whom you’ve seen everywhere from The Hobbit to the horrible Clash of the Titans remake. How happy is he that he has The Hobbit to wash away all his other sins? Every time he makes something like this or The Immortals, a Hobbit movie comes out to prop him back up (though he did have Fast & The Furious Six last year). Kind of like how it was from the man from whom he was cloned, Orlando Bloom. Bloom always had either Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean to fall back on. Now that they’re done, when did you Bloom last? Why, in The Hobbit films of course…with Luke Evans (they were also in the horrible steampunk Three Musketeers together). But there may be hope here as this has made almost $100M overseas. He could actually be the new Dracula after all.

VANITY THY NAME IS MAN
The Judge is down to number seven and also in this is the wonderful Vera Farmiga who balances off her indie work with mainstream stuff like this as apparently the new “Anne Archer” meaning the first choice of actors “of a certain age” who don’t want to be openly creepy with an actress half their age, but don’t want anyone actually their age either. She was Clooney’s love interest in Up In The Air and she’s the proverbial “girl back home who’s still in love with the hero” and only the twist of her being sexually as well as financially independent allows her to be a bit more than the cliché.

THE PINNCALE AND END OF YOUR CAREER
Annabelle is down to number eight, followed by The Equalizer at number nine and also in this is Melissa Leo. Sound familiar? That’s because she won the Oscar almost guaranteed to send you into obscurity: Best Supporting Actress. Just ask Juliette Binoche or Mercedes Ruehl. How many years was Marissa Tomei missing?

THE END
Finally, The Maze Runner closes out the top ten at number.

JUST A REMINDER: SCHOOL DAZE SUCKED THEN AND IT STILL SUCKS NOW

Not breaking the top ten because it only opened in 11 theaters this weekend (Birdman only opened in 4) is Dear White People, a film that started off as a trailer before it got funding which reminds me that maybe I should finish that trailer I started 20 years ago in hopes of accomplishing the same goal. Nah. It’s probably too late. In any case Dear White People is an examination of modern race relations through the prism of humor and the people who can only see things in absolute terms: college kids. While the protagonist is the subtly named Samantha White (was “Black” as a surname too obvious?) a media major who sees racism in the film Gremlins and hosts a radio program called “Dear White People” (“Dear White People: Stop dancing.”) while secretly nursing a love of Taylor Swift and sleeping with a white teaching assistant in her class, the other storyline which rivals hers is that of Lionel Higgins, who is a shy, gay, undeclared sophomore who doesn’t feel he has a place anywhere with any group, black or white, straight or gay and winds up finding both a potential for romance and a place in journalism when starts a story on Samantha. Points of view are also spread around to Troy Fairbanks, ostensibly the leader of the black community on campus, but is also a pawn in his father’s rivalry with the college president (his father is dean of students and they attended that same college together) to the point where he dates the president’s daughter because of his father, having broken up with Samantha the previous year. Meanwhile Colandrea who prefers to go by Coco to distance herself from her from her background is aggressively assimilating to the point of blue contacts and deliberately conflicting with Samantha to drive up hits on her YouTube channel and possibly score the lead in a reality show coming to the campus. The film details the events leading up to a fight on campus as the result of whites throwing a racially themed party, which begins with Samantha ousting Troy as head of the black house. It’s a very funny film that makes serious observations about race with the time honored tradition of humor, but it is by no means perfect as it fully acknowledges that Samantha has a white father and that Troy has a white mother, but we never delve into how that has served to shape who they are beyond the Dean of Students accusing Samantha of “overcompensating” for it. Pretty sure that’s an important issue. Nor are supporting characters allowed any type of shading beyond being “angry black guy” and “clueless white guy.” Not to mention Lionel’s very presence brings up the very real issue of homophobia within the black community, which he actually acknowledges, but is brushed aside by one person saying “We’re not homophobic.” Though I have to admit their concern with his unruly afro over his sexuality rings all too real, not to mention every black person’s fashion sense is on point. Just because you’re fighting the man doesn’t mean you’re not going to look good doing it. And then there’s the matter of the missing seniors, which is just my personal bone to pick. Like so many movies set in high school or college, the most important and popular people on the campus never seem to be seniors and if anyone is running student society it’s them. But overall the film hits more than it misses and reminds me how long it’s been since a movie like this existed as the primary provocateur, Spike Lee is now too old and too rich to burn like he used to and honestly, was never this funny and is too much a misogynist fuck to have a female lead like this anyway.

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