Tag Archives: Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones

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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A DELUSIONAL MICHAEL BAY…WHICH IS REDUNDANT

12 Jan

herc

1. Lone Survivor/Universal                        Wknd/$  38.5            Total/$   38.9

 2. Frozen/Disney                                         Wknd/$  15.1             Total/$ 317.7

 3. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                 Wknd/$   9.0            Total/$   78.6

 4. The Legend of Hercules/LGF               Wknd/$   8.6            Total/$     8.6

 5. American Hustle/Sony                          Wknd/$   6.6            Total/$  101.6

 6. The Hobbit 2/Warner                            Wknd/$   8.0           Total/$ 242.2

 7. August: Osage County/Weinstein       Wknd/$   7.3            Total/$     7.9

 8. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                      Wknd/$   6.6            Total/$   68.9

 9. Paranormal Activity 4/Par                    Wknd/$   6.3            Total/$   28.5

10. Anchorman 2/Paramount                    Wknd/$   6.1            Total/$ 118.5

 

THERE’S MORE TO DIRECTING THAN A SNAP ZOOM

Lone Survivor opens at number one and I was all set to see this until I saw the words “directed by Peter Berg” and that was all she wrote. It’s bad enough he sits in the “all style no substance” category, but not only is his style not that stylish but he thinks he’s a director of merit and weight, telling god’s own truth and it drips off every freaking frame. I can only imagine how filled pretension this true story of courage, heroism and sacrifice is going to be. He’s Michael Bay if Michael Bay thought he was a filmmaker.  Dude, you made Battleship. A movie so bad it made Transformers look like Lord of the Rings.

 

WHO?

Frozen is down to number two and we’ve talked about the women behind the voices but not the men who are played by…well, nobody. Seriously, who are these dudes? Never mind…

 

NICE GUYS DON’T WIN OSCARS

The Wolf of Wall Street rises to number three and I’d have something to say it finally if my alarm had gone off and I could have gone to the early show like I ‘d planned. I’ve got this weird thing about seeing movies with as few people as possible. My brief tenure as a critic has ruined me for sitting with…you people.  Also, I’m clearly not hot to see yet another 3-hour Scorsese exploration of an anti-hero, which is a fancy word of saying the main character is a jerk. Think about it. Raging Bull, GoodFellas, The Aviator, The Departed, Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy, etc.  He has zero interest in nice guys. The Last Temptation of Christ being the obvious exception that proves the rule.

 

SOMEWHERE THE ROCK IS LAUGHING INTO HIS PROTEIN SHAKE

Speaking of anti-heroes, we have the polar opposite in Hercules, whose legend gets yet another retelling in The Legend of Hercules opening at number four.  This time around he’s the hated son of a king who knows that Zeus impregnated his wife and is more than a little angry about it and taking it out on Hercules.  Somehow this results in Hercules becoming a gladiator, which doesn’t seem fair given he’s demi-god son of Zeus. I’ve got nothing against altering a legend but any movie about Hercules where he’s fighting men instead of monsters pretty much misses the point of Hercules. Even the schlocky Italian Hercules movies of the late 50’s, early 60’s knew that.  These guys clearly thought that the style of 300 (“Hey, it’s Ancient Greece, right? Do it like that.”) was the way to go, while the general public clearly disagreed. Next up: The Rock himself as Hercules this summer. I’d better see me some monsters.

 

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

American Hustle holds at number five followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at number six, while August: Osage County rises to number seven, starring Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and a host of good actors…along with Julia Roberts. Oh, get over it. She sucks and you know it. I don’t know why they’re advertising this as some great team up between her and Meryl Streep. Streep is proof that Roberts is a movie star, not an actress.  If anything, making a movie with Streep should have been something Roberts avoided at all costs.  It’s like Janet Jackson wanting to record with Aretha Franklin.

 

CHARLES SCHULTZ MOONLIGHTED AS AN ASSASSIN

Speaking of Meryl Streep, she made a little news this week dissing Walt Disney in favor of PL Travers, while introducing Emma Thompson who portrays the latter in Saving Mr. Banks, down to number seven this week. If she read my weekly rants like she’s supposed to she’d know they were both jerks and deserved one another.  Just because someone is talented and can entertain children doesn’t meant they’re a nice person. If anything it strongly indicates a dislike of other adults.  I’m sure if you dig deep enough you’ll find even Dr. Seuss probably killed a man in a bar over a bet…then finished his drink…and kicked a kitten.

 

BYE-BYE-BYE

Paranormal Activity is down to number nine and my joke about it dropping off the face to the earth in one week was not a dare, but clearly you people took it as one.

 

PRAYING FOR DEATH

Finally and thankfully, Anchorman 2 closes out the top ten this week at number ten. Now maybe all those damn commercials will finally stop.

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SNOWGASM. YEAH, YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

5 Jan

Kristen-Wiig-Marie-Claire-Magazine

 1. Frozen/Disney                                            Wknd/$  18.2           Total/$ 297.8

 2. Paranormal Activity 4/Par                       Wknd/$  16.3           Total/$   18.2

 3. The Hobbit 2/Warner                               Wknd/$  16.3           Total/$ 229.6

 4. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                    Wknd/$  13.4           Total/$   63.3

 5. American Hustle/Sony                             Wknd/$  13.2           Total/$   88.7

 6. Anchorman 2/Paramount                        Wknd/$  11.1            Total/$ 109.2

 7. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                         Wknd/$    9.1           Total/$   59.3

 8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty/Fox       Wknd/$    8.2          Total/$   45.7

 9. The Hunger Games 2/LGF                       Wknd/$    7.4           Total/$ 407.5

10. The Grudge Match/Warner                     Wknd/$    5.4           Total/$   24.9

 

SANTA’S NOT REAL AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE ONE DAY

Apparently a young girl with magical powers just hit puberty (I’m not the only one who noticed that and they’re calling that scene her “first snowgasm”) because a cold snap has enveloped the nation and Frozen returns to the top spot. I had a brief conversation with an 8-year-old girl who was going to see it just this afternoon, so I’m thinking she helped push it over the top.  She also knew all about it before even having seen it and knew she’d like it, in case you’re wondering why this is doing so well.  She was giggling already at the thought of Olaf the snowman, who was in fact my favorite part of the movie. And no, I’m not some ogre who gave his unvarnished opinion to a child. When she’s 9, however, all bets are off!

 

THE ONLY SCARY THING IS HOW MUCH MONEY IT MAKES

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opens at number two and while this may seem a step down for the franchise, which usually opens at number one, it turned a profit immediately, which is actually par the course for this franchise. $18M from a $5M? $34M worldwide? It could drop off the map next week and not only would no one care, but Paranormal Activity 5 is probably already in production to come out at Halloween.

 

BROS BEFORE…ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is down to number three, followed by The Wolf of Wall Street at number four and the connection here is, the separation of Orlando Bloom from Miranda Kerr was barely announced before Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to have gone after her. Like I said, he’s not just playing a douche onscreen, he’s living it.

 

SERIOUSLY. I WANT AN ICE CREAM SUNDAE NOW.

American Hustle drops one notch to number five everyone of the above line cast either has an Oscar or has been nominated for one. Yes, even Jeremy Renner.  This is why so many are giving the plot a pass.  A messy ice cream sundae is still worth eating and I’m gonna eat this one, damnit!

 

DON’T MESS WITH MY FAMILY, MOUSE BOY!

Anchorman 2 is down to number six, followed by Saving Mr. Banks at number seven and apparently there’s a better movie inside this one starring Colin Farrell and a personal fave, Rachel Griffiths as the real life man and woman Mary Poppins was based upon who happened to be P.L. Travers’ father and aunt. Or maybe it was her great aunt. In either case you can understand why she remained pissed about it until she died, they were messing with her family.  This is why none of the other books have ever been adapted into films.

 

AND THE CALL WENT OUT:  ATTRACTIVE, FUNNY OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW GLAM ROCK

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is down to number eight and also in this is Kristin Wiig, who is also in Anchorman 2 in a supporting role giving her two films in the top ten.  She’s actually within a decade of Stiller’s age so I suppose it’s a small victory in the inappropriate age casting that has always been part of Hollywood.  I think only that she needed to be old enough to have a teen son prevented someone out of the Twilight cast from playing the role of his love interest.  Wiig’s character is part of the catalyst that finally gets Walter to stop daydreaming and start living, though ironically it’s a pivotal moment where he imagines her singing “Space Oddity” (which then of course segues into Bowie) that pushes him forward in his actual life. I guess that also required an actress over 35. You had to be convincing as someone who knew who David Bowie is and as Avril Lavigne taught us, that’s no longer guaranteed with these damn kids today. No, I’m not gonna let that go.

 

NO, IT’S NOT ROCKY 7 OR RAGING BULL 2

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is down to number nine and it’s exact polar opposite in terms of the age of its stars is Grudge Match, with a sixty-something Stallone, a seventy-something DeNiro, an exactly 60-year-old Kim Basinger (who looks amazing) and god knows how old Alan Arkin is.  I had no interest in this, but if you gave me a movie about Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin sniping at each other you might have had my money.  That seemed interesting. Stallone and DeNiro in a comedy-drama about a rivalry between old boxers (30 is old for a boxer, much less 70), not so much.

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