Tag Archives: Nick Nolte

THE SPRING CIVILIAN

6 Apr

gods

 

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier            Wknd/$ 96.0            Total/$ 96.2

2. Noah/Paramount                                               Wknd/$ 17.0            Total/$ 72.3

3. Divergent/LGF                                                   Wknd/$ 13.0            Total/$ 114.3

4. God’s Not Dead/Free                                        Wknd/$   7.7             Total/$ 32.5

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox                     Wknd/$   6.3            Total/$ 33.4

6. Muppets Most Wanted/Disney                      Wknd/$   6.3            Total/$ 42.1

7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                         Wknd/$   5.3            Total/$ 102.2

8. Sabotage/ORF                                                   Wknd/$   1.9             Total/$   8.8

9. Need for Speed/Touchstone                           Wknd/$   1.8            Total/$ 40.8

10. Non-Stop/Universal                                       Wknd/$   1.8            Total/$ 88.1

 

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Buckle up for this one, kids, because Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened at number one and Cap is a character near and dear to my heart, so I’ve got a few things to say about it. First of all, take all the great things you’ve heard and bring it down a notch. It’s not bad but it is definitely not amazing and is only just a tad smarter than your average dumb action movie. And even while its attempt for relevancy by having the debate over a surveillance state at the center of the film isn’t totally bungled, the rationalization for evil acts the for greater were argued better at the end of Good Guys Wear Black with Chuck Norris. I think that says it all when you’re not as smart as a Chuck Norris flick. The Winter Solider is one of most famous and successful storylines of the Captain America comic, but the only thing this really has in common with it is the use of the titular character, The Winter Solider (whose identity is probably known by now, but just in case I’m not going to spoil it). In the comic, The Winter Soldier is an infamous assassin used by The Red Skull as he tries to take over America from within by sowing discord and putting forth a puppet candidate for president to take advantage of it. This movie is about Captain America discovering the omnipresent SHIELD isn’t what he thought it was and the Winter Soldier plays a part in this, starting with him trying to kill Nick Fury. One of the issues he faces is a secret plan to basically monitor the world and possibly kill people just for being a potential threat. Needless to say, he’s got a problem with this, but the debates about this are laughable in their lack of any real communication or exchange of viewpoints (Samuel L. Jackson sounds so bored you half expect to see a book in his hands). It’s just “This is bad” followed by “Well, you did bad stuff too.” No one is capable of seeing the advantages of something they don’t like but still convincingly argue their points. You really shouldn’t go into the deep water if you can’t swim, guys. You’d think the first thing Nick Fury would say to Cap would be “What if someone had taken Hitler out at the beginning?” But he can’t because that would required acknowledging the horrible things Hitler did, meaning The Holocaust and like the first one this refuses to do just that, no matter how often they reference Nazi Germany. On the upside, they maintain the Marvel standard of having a solid sense of humor, much of it at the expense of Captain America (the first line from The Black Widow when she shows up to pick up Cap is “Can you tell me the way to The Smithsonian? I’m looking for a fossil.”) Also the action scenes are good, especially the hand-to-and fighting, though it comes off a little unfair, because Captain America in the movies has super-speed and strength, which he doesn’t in the comics. Until he takes on the Winter Soldier who has a robot arm, it’s not really a fair fight as he beats up guys who stand no chance against him. Overall it’s still one of the better Marvel movies and does a much better job of conveying that Captain America is just one of those people who instantly inspires confidence and leadership than the first. But remember its competition consists of the “not bad” Thor movies, the “not awful” Incredible Hulk, a surprisingly lackluster Avengers, two good Iron Man movies and one godawful one.

 

MY KID COULD BEAT YOUR KID

Noah is down to number two and speaking of superheroes this contains a triumvirate of onscreen superhero dads in Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins and Nick Nolte who were the fathers of Superman, Thor and The Incredible Hulk, respectively. Do you think they talked about what constituted an easy paycheck? Anthony Hopkins wins because he still picks up one every few years, while the other two died onscreen so it was a one time deal.

 

WAKE UP MAGGIE, I THINK I’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU…

Divergent is down to number three and also in this is Maggie Q which reminds me that I still need to watch the final two seasons of Nikita. Or do I? Maybe it says something that I never went back? Then again I’ve got all of The Good Wife on my DVR and I know I like that. Am I really too lazy to watch TV? But back to Maggie Q. I don’t know anything about her character here or whether or not she’ll be in the sequels, but she needed to be in a hit. She comes from Hong Kong action movie like Michelle Yeoh, but like Michele Yeoh found out quickly the only roles really available in Hollywood are “hot good Asian female” or “hot bad Asian female” (which she played in Live Free or Die Hard). Michelle Yeoh just went home where she could still be a star and even produce her own stuff. Maybe Maggie will do a little better…but I doubt it.

 

IT’S NOT LIKE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW IT ENDS

God is Dead actually rises to number four, which is impressive. I guess not doing a “period” religious movie is what these people want more that simply seeing Jesus die for them…again.

 

THEY’RE ALSO USUALLY UGLY

The Grand Budapest Hotel rises to number four and you know why? Because it was all your pretentious, pseudo-intellectual friends going so they could feel superior all the people who went to see Captain America because they’d never deign to see “a comic book movie.” Basically they’re all that asshole in Annie Hall in the movie line.

 

TELL ME HOW THAT MAKES YOU FEEL…OR I WILL CRUSH YOU!

Muppets Most Wanted is down to number six followed by Mr. Peabody & Sherman at number seven and because it’s all geek references this week, Ty Burrell who is in both was in The Incredible Hulk as Dr. Samson who in the comics gets infused with The Hulk’s blood and becomes the world’s most powerful…psychiatrist. You think I’m kidding. I am not.

 

YOU KNOW IT’S WHAT I THINK THAT REALLY MATTERS, RIGHT?

Sabotage is down to number eight and given this is the worst opening of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie since he became a star you’d think he’d be banging on the doors at Disney and Fox and Sony trying to get into a comic book movie as he’s basically been an onscreen comic book character in everything he’s ever done (Conan was a pulp novel before he was a comic book character so he doesn’t count). Also in this is Joe Manganiello who looks like a comic book character, ridiculous with muscles and towering over Arnold. He was actually up for the odious Man of Steel and while I think it’s better for him, he’s closer to how I think Superman should be.

 

IRON DADDY!

Need for Speed is still hanging around at number nine and also in this is Dominic Cooper who was Iron Man’s dad in the first Captain America movie. His role was also played by John Slattery in Iron Man 2 and you think they’re hoping for some flashbacks so they too can get on the “easy paycheck” bandwagon like Anthony Hopkins? Me too.

 

BAT DADDY!

Finally, Non-Stop closes out the top ten again at number ten. You think there’s no geek film connection here? Think again. Also in this is Linus Roache who played Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins. Yeah. Who’s your geek daddy now!?!

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DEATH BY GINGER

13 Jan

ryan-reynolds-bradley-cooper

1. Zero Dark Thirty/Sony                             Wknd/$ 24.0            Total/$  29.5

 2. A Haunted House/                                    Wknd/$ 18.8            Total/$  18.8

 3. Gangster Squad/Warners                        Wknd/$  16.7            Total/$  16.7

 4. Django Unchained/Weinstein                Wknd/$  11.1             Total/$ 125.4

 5. Les Miserables/Universal                        Wknd/$  10.1             Total/$ 119.2

 6. The Hobbit/WB                                         Wknd/$    9.1             Total/$ 278.1

 7. Lincoln/Touchstone                                  Wknd/$    6.3            Total/$  152.6

 8. Parental Guidance/Fox                            Wknd/$    6.1             Total/$   60.7

 9. Texas Chainsaw 3D/LGF                         Wknd/$   5.2              Total/$   23.0

10.Silver Linings Playbook/Wein                Wknd/$    5.0             Total/$   41.3

 

REDHEADS ARE DANGEROUS

Zero Dark Thirty jumps to the number one slot thanks to multiple Oscar nominations (and the addition of over 2000 more screens) and much like Argo, you know a film is good when it tells you a story you already know (0r at least think you do) and it’s still suspenseful and interesting.  Jessica Chastain is a CIA agent who was apparently recruited out of high school (I think we just found the pitch for Justin Bieber’s first movie) and basically spends the whole of her twenties as part of the team tracking down Osama Bin Laden.  I don’t know about you, but I spent my 20’s slowly becoming less and less of a jackass and not much else. And I’m still pretty much a jackass, so it’s not like I was even good at it, much less having my actions change the world like she does.  But it makes sense to me because if I wanted to destroy a man I’d sic a redhead on him, especially a young one.  Those creatures don’t forgive or forget and won’t rest until they’ve put you in a grave. I’m lucky I escape…every time it happens.  When we first meet her she’s a rookie wearing her best suit to an interrogation that she can barely watch, but as time passes soon she’s not just participating in the interrogations, but telling off her bosses to the point where they goes along with her and ultimately describing herself to the head of the CIA as “that mutherfucker” that found Bin Laden, but all the while still seeming like this smart, geeky girl who has no business being there, much less in that line of work (given her pale skin, you’d think the desert sun would burn her to a crisp).  All the Oscar nominations here are clearly well deserved.

 

THE ONLY THING SCARIER THAN ONE LAME FRANCHISE IS TWO

A Haunted House opens at number two and the Scary Movie franchise was actually started off by the Wayans family for Miramax and later taken over by the Zucker team who brought us Airplane and The Naked Gun. Clearly there was a a falling out of some sort as this is the Wayans Family starting a rival franchise as the Scary Movie 5 is coming up which doesn’t look quite as funny as this one, even thought that’s not saying much at all and this one.  Clearly they’re stronger together than they are apart.  I might watch this on cable one day, but would never go out of my way to see it, which again is saying something given I paid to see all four previous Scary Movie films.

 

APPARENTLY NO ONE LIKES THIS PERIOD STORY, PERIOD

Gangster Squad opens at number three leaving Ryan Gosling still searching for that mainstream movie hit to match his commiserate level of fame.  This movie with Nick Nolte about the infamous “Hat Squad” of the LAPD which used dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of Los Angeles is not to be confused with Mulholland Falls, another Nick Nolte movie about the infamous “Hat Squad” of the LAPD which used dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of Los Angeles.  And neither is to be confused with LA Confidential, which also had the LAPD using dubious methods to keep organized crime from the east out of LA as part of its storyline. The difference between this and Mulholland Falls is that the writers strangely thought this interesting piece of history wasn’t interesting enough and spun off into some ridiculous story about atomic bomb testing and cover-ups.  Even the awesome LA Confidential didn’t make it the main story.  However, Mulholland Falls did manage to get Jennifer Connelly naked before the title credits even stopped rolling so there’s that.  Nick Nolte was the leading man in that one, but almost 20 years later now he’s old guy boss and Josh Brolin is the guy leading the hat squad (though that aspect seems to have been dropped here as well) and Ryan Gosling is one of his young, hot cops (between Chazz Palmenteri, Chris Penn and Michael Madsen, Nick Nolte’s team could also have been called “The Fat Squad”). I hate to say it, but the reason I passed on this story as opposed to the other two has more to do with Sean Penn in silly makeup and overacting as Mickey Cohen (his character’s death is the catalyst for much of what happens in LA Confidential, but is nowhere to be seen in Mulholland Falls).  He looks like he wandered in off the  set of Dick Tracy.  Is Haiti fixed?  Doesn’t he have something better to do than be the unpleasant hole in films I might otherwise have seen?

 

KEEPING B-MOVIE ACTORS WORKING

Django Unchained is down to number four and because this is a Quentin Tarantino it’s filled with all sorts of odd pop culture friendly casting, as evidenced by none other than Tom Wopat showing up as a US Marshal.  Yeah, Luke Duke in a Tarantino film.  Also here are Dennis Christopher from Breaking Away, Lee Horsley from Matt Houston and the great The Sword & The Sorcerer; Russ Tamblyn who once starred in a film called Son of A Gunfighter and plays that character here and daughter Amber is along for the ride as, yes, Daughter of Son of a Gunfighter.  And to top it all off, Don freaking Johnson.  Half the cast is a game of “Hey, it’s that guy!”

 

THE OTHERS

Les Miserables is down to number five followed by The Hobbit at number six and Lincoln at number seven.

 

WHEN BILLY MET MONEY

Parental Guidance is down to number eight and it looks like the joke is on me as this has made $65M off a $25M budget ($83M worldwide) and it looks like Billy Crystal has found the payday for his twilight years. And for him it’s not the move of a desperate actor looking to stay relevant (I’m looking at you Eddie Murphy), it’s just the easy payday he’s earned after 40 years.

 

SOMEWHERE ROGER CORMAN BEAMS WITH PRIDE

Texas Chainsaw 3D is down to number nine, but that’s okay.  It’s made $30M and probably cost about $5, so everyone is happy.  And it’ll be out on DVD in about a week.

 

IT’S LIKE THE BROCOLI OF MOVIES

Finally, The Silver Linings Playbook also returns to the top ten as a result of Oscar nominations and still they were not enough to get me into see it. Seriously.  I know it’ll be good, but I just can’t seem to get myself into the theater.  I chose Zero Dark Thirty at over two-and-a-half hours over this.  I’m going to have to make it a date or something so I feel obligated to go.  I’m blaming Bradley Cooper, whom I don’t mind, but still find terribly interesting and remain shocked he’s a now a box office draw and an Oscar nominated actor.  Somewhere Ryan Reynolds is confused, because he’s the same kinds of dull.  Yeah, but he’s a boring American, Canada-boy. Trivia: the role of Green Lantern came down to Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds.  Reynolds got the role and a wife from it, while Cooper went on to be in successful, critically acclaimed films.  Don’t kid yourself if you think Reynolds wouldn’t switch places with him. Hell, Blake Lively would switch places with him.  They’ve made film together so that press tour is going to fun…for one of them. The other will be staring daggers the entire time.