Tag Archives: Mark Wahlberg

WE GOT COAL IN THE THEATERS THIS YEAR

29 Dec

mark-wahlberg-ck

1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies          Wknd/$ 41.4   Total/$ 168.5
2. Unbroken/Universal                                 Wknd/$ 31.7   Total/$ 47.3
3. Into the Woods/Disney                            Wknd/$ 31.0   Total/$ 46.1
4. Night at the Museum: Secret…               Wknd/$ 20.6   Total/$ 55.3
5. Annie/Sony                                              Wknd/$ 16.6   Total/$ 45.8
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1    Wknd/$ 10.8   Total/$ 306.7
7. The Gambler/Paramount                         Wknd/$ 9.3     Total/$ 14.3
8. The Imitation Game/Weinstein                Wknd/$ 7.9     Total/$ 14.6
9. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox                 Wknd/$ 6.8     Total/$ 52.5
10. Wild/FoxSearchlight                              Wknd/$ 5.4     Total/$ 16.4

I’LL TAKE “QUESTIONS NO ONE EVER ASKED” FOR A $100, ALEX
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies holds at number one and it’s bad enough that they stretched this out to three movies but they include a scene to set up the first Lord of the Rings movie, because it was killing you not knowing how Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen met. It’s so painfully contrived I’m surprised that Liv Tyler’s character doesn’t get mentioned as well.

WHILE I COMPLAIN HOW THE CABLE GOING OUT AGAIN IS KILLING ME
Unbroken opens at number two and this is the true story of a man who not only survived inhuman hardships (WWII, being shot down, Japanese prison camp), but also excelled in his personal life (Olympian). It’s supposed to be inspirational, but honestly it just kind of reminds you of what a loser you are. Yeah, you!

TO BE FAIR I DIDN’T SEE THE NON-SINGING LITTLE RIDING HOOD EITHER
Into the Wood opens at number three and I thought and considered seeing this given the obvious fantasy element (after all I did see that lame Jack & The Beanstalk movie last year), but I simply could not get over the musical part. Sorry, but if Gene Kelly isn’t dancing, I’m not down. I hate it even in animated movies. Somewhere down the line, for people to stop and start singing just began to rub me the wrong way. Bear in mind if I could sing my way though life I most certainly would. “Stop, wait a minute Mr. Postman/Did my package come from eBay/I was hoping to get it today…” I just don’t want to watch other people do it. Especially in that “musical theater” style.

THE SKILLS THAT PAY THE BILLS
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is down to number four and honestly I can’t blame Ben Stiller for doing either these or those horrible Meet the Parents movies when films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty just die on the vine. You tried, the public said no so you give them the crap they deserve and make sure your kids go to a nice college. I ain’t mad atcha.

ALSO KENNY ROGERS ISN’T IN IT
Speaking of musicals I will never see, Annie is down to number five, followed by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 at six and The Gambler opening up at number seven and this briefly interested me, but I have a problem with movies whose plotlines are based solely on the protagonist stops making mistakes. If he stops being stupid, you have no movie. Needless to say, a movie about a man with a gambling addiction simply isn’t going to work for me. Yeah, I know it’s a compulsion he can’t help and I’m being uncharitable, but it’s not like he’s struggling with cancer or even a drug addiction where the body physically suffers. He’s just getting off on the rush. Not to mention any movie where Mark Wahlberg is playing a good-looking professor is straining my suspension of disbelief, starting with that good-looking part. Call him sexy, call him charismatic, but do not pretend he’s good looking, ‘cause he ain’t. He ain’t by his own admission, which, ironically, is one of the reasons I do like him. But in other movies.

ALTERNATE TITLE: UNGRATEFUL
The Imitation Game enters the top ten at number eight and this is based on the true story of the man who helped break he Nazi spy code and was later destroyed by a seriously ungrateful British government for being gay. Yep, nothing like that uplifting Oscar bait. Remember the Oscar requirements: mentally or physically disabled, addicted to something, gay or die. It helps in you can combine them and do it with an accent. This has at least three of those for star Benedict Cumberbatch.

TRIVA: IN THE 50’S THE EGYTIAN ARMY WAS USED IN THE FILM
Down to number nine, Exodus: Gods & Kings is getting hated all over the globe it seems. The Egyptian government just banned it for sucking. Okay, that’s not entirely true because then Transformers wouldn’t play there. It was banned for taking too many liberties with The Bible, aka “Enough with the lily white historical stories. No one in this damn thing looks like us and it takes place here!” On one hand I’d delighted to Ridley Scott fail, but on the other this will just push him back to trying to make more Alien movies for money.

CUTE BLONDE GOES FOR A WALK. PEOPLE PAY TO SEE IT.
Finally, Wild holds at number ten.

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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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RATHER DIE THAN RIDE

21 Jan

the_four_jack_ryans

 1. Ride Along/Universal                             Wknd/$  41.6            Total/$   41.6

 2. Lone Survivor/Universal                       Wknd/$  22.1            Total/$   72.9

 3. The Nut Job/ORF                                    Wknd/$  19.4            Total/$   19.4

 4. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit/Par           Wknd/$  15.6            Total/$   15.6

 5. Frozen/Disney                                          Wknd/$  11.9            Total/$ 332.5

 6. American Hustle/Sony                            Wknd/$   9.9            Total/$  115.7

 7. Devil’s Due/Fox                                         Wknd/$   8.4           Total/$     8.4

 8. August: Osage County/Weinstein         Wknd/$   7.4            Total/$    18.0

 9. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                   Wknd/$   7.1             Total/$   89.8

10. Her/WB                                                      Wknd/$   4.0           Total/$    15.0

 

IT’S A MOVIE, NOT A SOCIAL STATEMENT

Ride Along opens at number one as Kevin Hart’s star continues to ascend.  He’s just one solo film away from the comedic flavor of the month which will include a book according to Chris Rock’s book which came out he was the flavor of the month and he was told this by Jerry Seinfeld who knew for obvious reasons and I’m sure someone told him. While I enjoy Hart he’s one of those comedians where a little goes a loooooong way and second lead behind Ice Cube is still too much of him for me. Maybe third or fourth behind some kind of cute talking pet will work. Or better yet the voice of the villain’s sidekick in an animated movie. That I’d see. This, not so much. And if anyone says it’s an accomplishment for this to open at number one on Martin Luther King’s birthday, I’m gonna punch them in the fucking dick.

 

THE SPOILER’S IN THE TITLE

Lone Survivor drops to number two and this is a minor all-star cast behind Mark Wahlberg, starting with Hollywood’s Miss-It Boy of the last few years Taylor Kitsch (big movies, big bombs), Emile Hirsch (the guy you call when you can’t get Elijah Wood), Ben Foster (the guy you call when want a darker, less attractive Ryan Gosling) and Eric Bana (the guy you keep wondering why he didn’t become a star). No one is really a star, but when you see them you know them and this helps you to care about characters you otherwise wouldn’t. Especially when a film is called “Lone Survivor” and you know the name above will probably play that role.

 

FUNNY ANIMATED ANIMAL MOVIE #2488

The Nut Job opens at number three which is an accomplishment given how little promotion this thing got compared to the films of Disney and Dreamworks. I have no idea what this is even about and I think I saw one commercial.  Shows you just how much parents need these animated films to babysit their kids.  They don’t have to know or care a thing about it. They just need 90 minutes of peace.

 

SCREENWRITERS ALSO MISSES THE COLD WAR

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opens at number four and this is the second time Chris Pine has stepped into the shoes of a franchise (Star Trek being the first) and the second time, sadly, he pales in comparison to a predecessor and this is coming from someone who was not a fan of Harrison Ford’s painfully self-righteous Jack Ryan.  I’m comparing him to Alec Baldwin, who was the first and remains the best Jack Ryan. All I can say is that he’s better than the milquetoast Ben Affleck reboot (does anyone even remember he did it?).  I think it’s telling that the best one was a Cold War story and clearly someone else felt the same as Russia returns as a America’s “big bad” for this one.  Set in a post-9/11 America the new Cold War is conducted in the money markets and director and co-star Kenneth Brannagh is the latest Hollywood stock villain, the Russian Oligarch, who is set onto America because didn’t help Russia stop a Turkish oil pipeline. And that’s your first problem right here. Ryan isn’t even fighting the real bad guy.  He’s just a guy following orders.  At the very least Brannagh should have been a rogue Russian businessman setting off to do this without his government’s approval. The other problem is for an action thriller it’s not that thrilling and there’s very little action.  A good 20 minutes is wasted giving us the origin of Jack Ryan. You, know that 2-minute speech from Hunt From Red October?  Yeah, they heard the cries of absolutely no one and decided to show it complete with meeting his future wife.  Now, one of the best scenes from Hunt For Red October consisted of Alec Baldwin giving a briefing and you saw why Jack Ryan was good at his job.  No jumping, shooting or fighting and was still fun to watch.  Here he’s an analyst on Wall Street tracking terrorist funding and it’s as thrilling to watch as it sounds.  We’re not really shown why he’s good, but simply people keep telling us that he is and he spouts some technobabble that apparently no one else in the CIA can understand so he has to go into the field. Previously it was because he was expendable and no one believed him.  Here he’s clearly believed and supported which robs it of some drama as he’s not the underdog. He’s not even alone to fight for his life in Russia, where a dozen CIA show up to help in gunfights.  In sad way it compares to Pine’s role as Kirk where basically he just falls into command rather than earning it. Even the scene as we watch him putting information together doesn’t come off as all that special so much as common sense. In that respect it reminds you of TV shows were everyone is made a little dumb to the hero cop can seem smart.

 

A ROSEMARY’S BABY FOR THE CELL PHONE GENERATION

Frozen falls to number five followed by American Hustle at number six and Devils Due, which opens at number seven. It’s yet another “found footage” about a woman who gets impregnated with the Anti-Christ while on her honeymoon.  Aside from my general disregard for these movies, the trailer strongly suggests that basically they were drugged by Satan’s minions and it’s captured by the camera, which means that if they’d just bothered to check their vacation footage all of this could have been avoided. I mean it’s still horrifying to be drugged by Satan’s minions then presumably raped by Satan himself, but then it could be dealt with early and not eight months later when a priest bleeds from his eyes.  And why does Satan need minions to drug a woman anyway? Seducing people is his job description. Probably the most horrific part of The Devil’s Advocate was that Al Pacino uses his satanic power to seduce Charlize Theron (thank god it’s offscreen, but just imagining the his tiny, creepy, old body climbing on top of her still gives me chills). In a truly more terrifying movie making use of the found footage, Satan would have assumed the husband’s form but they don’t know this happened until they see a honeymoon sex tape where a) it’s the husband, but clearly he didn’t shoot it, or b) either Satan’s true form is captured by the camera, or c) nothing is captured but you see her responding to something.  Though that’s still not as creepy as Al Pacino on top of Charlize Theron.

 

HA IS ONLY TWO LETTERS. SEE?

August: Osage County is down to number eight followed by The Wolf of Wall Street at number nine and I finally subjected myself to yet another overlong Scorsese paean to a sociopathic anti-hero who rises and falls yet rises again.  While on one hand, Scorsese is still obviously a great director and the story told is done well and interesting, it’s done for far too long and many of the techniques become tiresome. I realize the mantra of film is “show, don’t tell” but some things could just be told. I don’t need to see them all, least of all pretty much every single female in the cast doing full frontal nudity (the 13-year-old in me feels utterly betrayed at those words). Yeah, I get that the world of Wall Street is hyper masculine in a weird sort of overcompensation given they really don’t do anything we associate with actual manhood, like being a construction worker or athlete or a soldier, but does that mean you have to show every single instance of this especially when it’s sexual?  I got it when you graphically showed me hooker #1. I really didn’t need to be graphically shown hookers #2-500.  This movie seems to be for people who wanted another, longer GoodFellas but without all the violence.  Emphasis on the longer. There’s a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio, finally beginning to circle the drain on his lifestyle, has to get home on while on an overdose of Quaaludes, which while funny goes on for-freaking-ever and you wonder if that scene were just completely deleted how does the film change and what do we lose. It doesn’t and we don’t and the film is filled with many such scenes that don’t move it forward or tell us anything we don’t already know about the characters. Part of it is obviously Scorsese’s unfamiliarity with comedy It’s a common mistake for someone to overdo it. It makes an odd sort of sense because it took his usual partner in crime, DeNiro, years to learn restraint in comedy. Now he won’t freaking stop making them.

 

I’M BIG ON PERSONAL GROOMING

Finally, Her rises to the top ten and I have different reasons for dragging my feet on seeing different movies. For example: I love the Coen Brothers, but haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis yet because honestly I freaking hate folk music. Hate. It. I don’t care how good the movie is because it will subject me to that.  I know it’s crazy, but it’s me. Similarly my crazy reason for not having seen this is Joaquin Phoenix’s horrible porn ‘stache.  I cannot bring myself to look at that thing forty feet wide for two straight hours. I know I have to now, given it’s been nominated for some Oscars, but it may be the morning of the ceremony before I finally get around to it.

 

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

So Friday was the quarterly edition of our karaoke get-together and because somewhere down the line I was saddled with not just the organization but declaring a theme I decided this time it would be duets, which seemed like a good idea at the time and allowed me to make a poster based on the movie “2 Guns”, also mandated a lot of slower stuff which gets old fast so I opened it up to include rap duets. Again, this seemed like a good idea at the time until your realize just how frequently the word “nigga” is used and either your white friends feel awkward saying it or a little too comfortable saying it.  My own issues had nothing to do with tempo nor lyrics but the fact that a fucking cold hit me literally the night before. That my voice gets blown out by the end of karaoke is a given, but now it was seemingly over before it started. The final nail in the coffin: ½ price drinks ended with the summer. How the fuck are you supposed to sing without being a little looped!?! Well, I never found out given I’d ordered my two drinks before realizing the happy hour was no more and for some reason I thought if I just got beers from then on I’d be budgeting wisely.  I had…a few (I had no idea how much I’d consumed until I tried to get out bed in the middle of the night and failed miserably in my attempt to stand).  Of course karaoke is always fun, no matter how you limit your song choices or how weak your voice is so it turned out okay, but I can’t believe I forgot “Promiscuous Girl” which was perfect for the lower register. I always invite upwards of thirty people, but it always winds up being the same 7-8, though this time we actually hit 9. That we’ll actually get 10 people into the 10-person room remains on my bucket list. One of the guests is The 25-Year Old. She has a name but that’s what I call her to my therapist so it’s good enough. She may not even be 25 any longer, but still that’s what I call her.  She was a horrible mistake I half-heartedly tried to make for a while and I was nothing but amused to later learn where she once tended bar in Brooklyn, she had quite the fan club of bruthas. In any case she’s a geek girl so we still hang out occasionally and so she invited me to a show she had to attend for work on Saturday night. I only accepted because I was drinking and not thinking, because god knows leaving the house on Saturday night is not something I do, much less something she described as “like David Sedaris.”  When she texted me the details later I was amused to learn that the person’s name was Sam Harris, as I remembered the Sam Harris who was the first winner of Star Search with an over-the-top rendition of “Over The Rainbow” and whose career never took off after producing an abysmal single called “Sugar Don’t Bite.” It was in fact that Sam Harris.  Apparently he had a career doing theater after “Sugar Don’t Bite” and 3o years later he’d written a book about his life and had created an act around it, which was playing at Under 54, a dinner/lounge space under the Studio 54 Theater.  The 25 Year Old was surprised I knew so much about Sam Harris, but then again I was alive when it happened. She was not.  The show was entertaining, though his mannerisms and even the timing of his jokes were the exact same as Will’s from Will & Grace so the whole show had an air of familiarity about it.  He read selections from his book “Ham” interspersed with musical numbers. He reaccounted his first ventures into theater, his growing ambitions, his realization that he was “different” being gay and his resulting suicide attempt which was derailed by needing to help his little brother who’d stepped on a knitting needle. He was fortunate enough to finally encounter a teacher whom he could talk to and when he confessed he was gay, he [the teacher] reassured him there was nothing wrong with him. The climax was the adoption of his son with his husband and reconciliation with his father who apologized for not being there for Sam when he was a boy. I’m not crying! You’re crying! (one reason The 25 Year Old and I get along is that we’re not quite as moved when he cries onstage knowing that he does it every night, twice a night at the same passage)  But oddly enough there was nothing about the great recording career that never was, much less “Sugar Don’t Bite.” Now I always thought “Papa Don’t Preach” ripped off its main hook and The 25-Year-Old sent me a link to an interview where in addition to Sam Harris saying a lot of stupid shit about how he’d kill himself if he had to sing “Like A Virgin” for 30 years (we all know he’d kill for a hit like that) but he also mentioned the writers of  “Sugar Don’t Bite” felt it was similar as well, sued and got paid.  While the minimum cover of $25 for a less than impressive dinner was annoying, it was a nice night out and I think frees me from any future obligations to be social at least until spring.

WHO ASKED FOR ANOTHER LETHAL WEAPON MOVIE!?!

4 Aug

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1. 2 Guns/Universal                                    Wknd/$  27.4       Total/$  27.4

 2. The Wolverine/Fox                                Wknd/$  21.7        Total/$  95.0

 3. The SmuRfs 2/Sony                               Wknd?$  18.2        Total/$  27.8

 4. The Conjuring/WB                                 Wknd/$  13.7         Total/$ 108.6

 5. Despicable Me 2/Universal                   Wknd/$  10.4        Total/$ 326.7

 6. Grown Ups 2/Sony                                  Wknd/$    8.1        Total/$ 116.4

 7. Turbo/Fox                                                 Wknd/$    6.4         Total/$  69.5

 8. Red 2/LG                                                   Wknd/$    5.7         Total/$  45.2

 9. The Heat/Fox                                            Wknd/$    4.7         Total/$ 149.6

10. Pacific Rim/Warners                              Wknd/$    4.6         Total/$  93.0

 

SOMEWHERE DANNY GLOVER AND MEL GIBSON ARE CONFUSED BECAUSE THEY DON’T REMEMBER MAKING THIS

2 Guns opens at number one and apparently some people seriously miss the Lethal Weapon series, because that’s all this is. You’ve got the older, less flamboyant black guy and the borderline nuts younger white guy. You’ve also got your “R” rating and gratuitous nudity by the female lead who basically just around to do just that. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are DEA and Naval Intelligence, respectively, only neither knows the other is undercover and each thinks the other is just a criminal.  They’re both using one another to take down a Mexican drug lord and decide the best way to do so is to rob the bank where he keeps his money. Unfortunately for them it winds up being where the CIA stores its ill-gotten goods and while the CIA frames Denzel for murder to get it back, Marky Mark finds out his operation was merely a front to rip off a drug dealer and now his commanding officer and buddies are out to kill him. This means he and Denzel have to team up for some post-racial justice using guns!  Honestly, I enjoyed this more than any Lethal Weapon movies because I hated the Lethal Weapon movies. Even for action movies they were exceptionally stupid.  This is dumb too, but not that dumb and both leads are endlessly more appealing and that’s honestly what carries this film. I know this is based on a comic book, but I could have used a little more modern treatment of women. Paula Patton is playing Denzel Washington’s boss in the DEA so she should have been allowed to kick a little ass instead of her character basically showing once again how writers are made up of guys who didn’t date much in high school. Or college. Or ever.

 

FIRST YOU GET THE MONEY, THEN YOU GET THE POWER THEN YOU GET THE BLAME

The Wolverine is down to number two and this is a movie that makes you angrier the more you think about it because the more flaws and mistakes you begin to see. Though honestly, for an action film it’s greatest flaw is the lack of any memorable action scenes. A fight on the roof of a Japanese bullet train is as stupid as it is IMPOSSIBLE!  They might as well have all started flying it’s so detached from reality.  Credit mediocre director James Mangold for that. Clearly no one learned anything from the underperforming Knight & Day last year or the 3:10 To Yuma remake or the TV movie level of drama from Walk The Line.  And clearly Hugh Jackman forgot how much Kate & Leopold sucked to have worked with him again. Jackman clearly has to start taking blame for these bad Wolverine movies as he isn’t just an actor but a producer as well so the bad choices are partially his fault.

 

AMERICA VS. THE WORLD

The Smurfs 2 opens at number three and before you get all happy and think this is the end of the line, know that the only reason this sequel even exists is because overseas it nearly QUADRUPLED its box office.  Once again the argument is made for isolationism because they might just save this franchise again. And do I have to point out that the French created The Smurfs to begin with?  Somehow that just makes sense.

 

OUR WEEKLY INSTALLMENT OF “LOVE HER!”

The Conjuring is down to number four and another reputable actor lending this film credibility is Vera Farmiga, whom I’ve personally loved since she was on the short-lived American remake of the Touching Evil series.  I know she kills it on the Bates Motel series on TV, but I can’t watch that show knowing that every pretty girl basically has an expiration date on her forehead.  But she’s developing a slow and steady stream of box office and critical successes, including Higher Ground where she starred and directed. You go, Glen Coco!

 

EVIL NEVER DIES

Despicable Me 2 is down to number five, followed by Grown Ups 2 at number six and as much as I enjoy the summer, sequels do get tiresome. Especially when they blow like these two.

 

NO, THIS NEVER GETS OLD

Turbo is down to number seven meaning there’s still time to laugh at Ryan Reynolds but he’s not alone in this turd. No, there’s Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez, Snoop Dogg, Bill Hader and Ken Jeong. The only difference being most of them have other successful films (Maya Rudolph is in Grown Ups 2 on this very list) if not careers to fall back on. Reynolds can’t say the same. Heh.

 

SO, SO PRETTY

Red 2 is down to number eight and with god as my witness, Byung-hun Lee isn’t in this movie thirty seconds before he’s stripped down naked. He truly is “the girl” in all the movies that he makes.  If you look him up on Google, they’ll ask you “Do you mean Byung-hun Lee Abs?”  Why, yes. Yes, I do.  Clearly he’s taking the younger sex appeal mantle up from Karl Urban in the first film to make sure someone under 40 is in the theater. And to make Bruce Willis look young by fighting him, as if either man wouldn’t have kicked his ass in two seconds.

 

TOO PRETTY TO BE IN ANY OTHER APATOW MOVIES

Finally, Pacific Rim closes out the top ten at number ten and don’t fret Charley Hunnam.  You still have Sons of Anarchy. Though you’ll always be the English man-whore Lloyd from Undeclared to me.  I think the reason he hasn’t be in any other Judd Apatow movies is obvious.  Still the action world needs new leading men and it’s a shame this didn’t help to launch him in that direction.