Tag Archives: Sandra Bullock

FULL FRONTAL NUDITY IS INTEGRAL

20 Oct

Gemma-Arterton-GQ-UK-October-2

 1. Gravity/Warners                                        Wknd/$  31.0            Total/$ 170.6

 2. Captain Phillips/Sony                               Wknd/$  17.3            Total/$  53.3

 3. Carrie/SG                                                     Wknd/$  17.0            Total/$  17.0

 4. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2     Wknd/$  10.1            Total/$  93.1

 5. Escape Plan/LG                                          Wknd/$    9.8            Total/$   9.8

 6. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$    2.1             Total/$  57.3

 7. Enough Said/FoxS                                     Wknd/$    1.8             Total/$  10.8

 8. 5th Estate/Touchstone                              Wknd/$    1.7             Total/$    1.7

 9. Runner Runner/Fox                                  Wknd/$    1.6             Total/$  17.5

10. Insidious 2/FD                                           Wknd/$    1.5            Total/$  80.9

 

BREAK OUT YOUR CHOKERS AND YOUR FLANNEL

Gravity Holds at number one while Captain Phillips holds at number two, suggesting all the young people in the world had something better to do this weekend or we’ve all been transported back to 1995 for Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks to be ruling the box office like this. Their combined ages is more than the combined ages of the cast of Twilight.

 

ONE OF THOSE THINGS ISN’T EVEN AROUND ANY MORE

Opening at number three is Carrie and its leading lady, Chloe Moretz, wasn’t born until 1997. Yes, I said that to make you feel old.  So basically she wasn’t even conceived when Forrest Gump and While You Were Sleeping were hits.  Now, I thought about seeing this, which may seem odd given my “I don’t do the scary” rule, even when it’s stupid.  But given how this seems to be a note-for-note remake of the first film and not a more faithful adaptation of the book like they insisted, what’s really there to scare you? There’s only one scene that’s truly terrifying and I won’t spoil it for those who’ve never seen it. The real question is will a female director feel the need to recreate Brian DePalma’s slow-motion, full-frontal nudity tour of the girls’ locker room, which OPENED the original film or is the R rating purely for violence? Yes, Carrie’s traumatizing treatment by the other girls in the shower when she gets her first period is actually an important part of the story because it’s not only about the torment she endures at school, but fallout from her home life as she’s utterly ignorant about her body thanks to her mother.  What’s not important to the character, however, is a slow motion pan over a young actress’ breasts and pubic hair to get us there. The 70’s truly were a different time.

 

HE’S THE NEW MICK JAGGER WHEN IT COMES TO FILMS

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is down to number four and you know who wishes it were ‘90’s? Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Escape Plan opens at number five. Two of the three biggest action heroes of the 80’s together and this is the best it can do!?! But honestly, I’m not blaming them. Yes, even though both their previous solo action leads have failed (Stallone in Bullet To The Head and Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand) the real reason behind this failure is 50 Cent. Yes, 50 Cent. No film with him in it ever succeeds.  Did you know he made a movie with DeNiro just last year? One with Nicholas Cage and John Cusack just this year? Two films in the past few years with Bruce Willis (completing the 80’s action hero hat trick)?  Of course not. Because they’ve all been too awful to be released even with someone as big as Robert DeNiro and Bruce Willis in them.  The man is a plague on film and here he is taking down Rocky and The Terminator without breaking a sweat.

 

YOU DON’T BUY THE COW WHEN THE MILK IS ON CNN EVERY DAY

Prisoners is down to number six followed by The Fifth Estate opening at number seven and if this film confuses you because you thought it was already released, that’s because it was a documentary called We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks about the real Julian Assauange which I’m sure the producers of this did not appreciate.  But they should have paid more attention to its inability to generate  interest.  Why do you think people will pay to see an impression of someone they didn’t want to see in the first place? Not to mention the overall media attention on Assaunage may have exhausted people.  Yes, it’s an important story that’s actually still going on, but like anything in our 24/7/365 news cycle it gets worn out very quickly. I mean the soldier behind the leaks, Bradley Manning, was only sentenced a few weeks ago on top of the news that he now wanted to be viewed as a woman (Chelsea Manning)!  And still people did not care.

 

OH, DON’T MIND ME. JUST GO ON ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

Runner Runner is down to number eight and the other clue you had that this would be a failure was the presence of Gemma Arterton who was the “hot new thing” two years ago appearing in every other movie and even when they didn’t fail spectacularly (Prince of Persia) were seen as disappointments (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans).  Even the unexpected success of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters ($225M from a $50M budget) hasn’t really helped her profile any. I mean, would you know her if you saw her on the street? Do you even know who she was in the films I’ve named? Exactly. However, the upside to being so forgettable is that no one will associate her with this film.

 

SO MUCH MONEY IT’S SCARY

Finally, Insidious Chapter 2 closes out the top ten after an impressive run resulting in $118M worldwide from a $5 budget.  Gravity has nothing on that ratio of dollars spent to dollars earned.

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DEFYING GRAVITY

6 Oct

tayediggs

 

1. Gravity/Warners                                         Wknd/$  55.6            Total/$  21.5

 2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2    Wknd/$  21.5            Total/$  60.6

 3. Runner Runner/Fox                                 Wknd/$    7.6            Total/$   7.6

 4. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$    5.7            Total/$  47.9

 5. Rush/Universal                                          Wknd/$    4.4            Total/$  18.1

 6. Don Jon/Relativity                                    Wknd/$    4.2            Total/$   16.1

 7. Baggage Claim/Fox                                    Wknd/$    4.1            Total/$   15.2

 8. Insidious 2/FD                                           Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  74.8

 9. Pulling Strings/LGF                                  Wknd/$    2.5            Total/$    2.5

10. Enough Said/Fox                                       Wknd/$    2.2           Total/$    5.4

 

WASTING NO TIME TO GET TO OSCAR

Gravity opens deservedly at number one and its 90-minute runtime should be a lesson to the studios in this time of year of bloated, overlong Oscar bait: less is more. It’s basically Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts struggling to survive in orbit in the wake of a space shuttle disaster (caused inadvertently by the Russians and given it destroys the space shuttle, the International Space Station and a Chinese space station, if they make it may just be to die in World War III).  Though it’s technically five hours, it’s essentially told in “real time” so we’re a party their decreasing air supply increasing the tension factor, not to mention the shrapnel that destroyed their mission continues to circle the earth, returning like an angry metal swarm intent on their destruction. I liked this movie so much I forgot I was even watching Sandra Bullock, whom I normally avoid like the plague.  She’s like a more talented, less-annoying Julia Roberts (seriously, if this had been Roberts I might not have seen it). This makes 2013 a great year for her between the success of The Heat and now this surefire Awards bait.  I almost feel bad for her given she can’t eat between now and the Oscars for all the gowns she’s going to have to fit into for the various award ceremonies she’ll have to attend.

 

SHUT UP AND SING.  AND DANCE. AND MAYBE SOME TV COMEDY.

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 is down to number two, followed by Runner, Runner opening at number four and someone needs to tell Justin Timberlake to just let this acting thing go. It is to him what music was to Eddie Murphy, one success (The Social Network for JT and “Party All The Time” with Eddie) leading to a lifetime of delusion and apparently outweighing all the many, many failures.  And when I say “lifetime of delusion” I mean Eddie made an album with Snoop Dogg just last year just as we have Runner Runner here now.  You’d think having a successful album and tour would help this movie out, but you’d be wrong, because no one is buying Justin Timberlake as being young enough to be in college, even grad school.  You’d think winning Oscars would help this movie out but you’d be wrong, because no one—and I mean no one—is buying Ben Affleck as some kind of ruthless mob boss.  You think they’re regretting some Batman casting over a Warner Brothers right now? Oh, I think so.

 

JUST NOTHING WITH A GREENSCREEN, KID

Prisoners is down to number four and its box office is begin to peter out as word of mouth gets around about how it only looks like a prestige film (big stars, very serious, overlong), but is really just a cable suspense thriller all dressed up.  I hope Jake Gyllenhaal made some quick deals for the hot second it looked like a hit before everyone realized the truth.

 

TO SEDUCE THE AVENGERS!

Rush is down to number five and also in this is Natalie Dormer whose own heat has been rising over the past few years and is about to hit a boil. She was Anne Boleyn on The Tudors a few years back, over the last year joined the cast of Game of Thrones and provided a nice twice on the Sherlock Holmes mythos as she was both Irene Adler and Moriarty on Elementary.  Not to mention she’s going to be in The Hunger Games. Hold on tight to your manager and or agent, girl. They are doing you right.  Trivia: here she appears as a nurse who hooks up with Chris Hemsworth who played Thor.  In Captain America she was a Lt. who grabs a kiss with Captain America.  All she needs now is an appearance in a Hulk and Iron Man movie to make out with Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. No, I’m not counting Hawkeye or The Black Widow.  Because I don’t want to, that’s why.

 

LET’S FORGET HE’S MOCKING THE WORKING CLASS TOO

Speaking of The Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson is the female love interest in Don Jon (down to number six) and not unexpectedly some Italian American groups have been complaining about yet another “guido” depiction in this film. I’m sympathetic because one thing that dampened my interest was a shot of Tony Danza and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt at dinner in white tank-top t-shirts, commonly known as “beaters” distastefully so because of the stereotypical image of an Italian guy beating his wife. It’d be one thing if Joseph Gordon-Leavitt was Italian American from Jersey and playfully mocking a life he knew, but he was raised Jewish in California so he’s just a cultural tourist.  Though this throws a new light on the other complaint of Johansson as stereotypical Jewish girl (not by any Jewish groups because apparently they had better things to do with their time). Unfortunately the problem with their complaint is that The Jersey Shore was real and he need only point to it as his defense—and clearly the source of his information.

 

THE RULES OF MANCRUSHERY

Baggage Claim is down to number seven and if Taye Diggs had been the love interest you know I’d probably have seen it twice by now, such is my mancrush. But alas, he’s a silly suitor with a toy dog, so it can wait until cable.  Him not getting the girl is right behind him dying on my list of things I don’t want to see. You shut up! I don’t have a problem! You’ve got a problem!

 

ALSO ONE OF HANNAH’S SISTERS

Insidious Chapter 2 is down to number eight and also in this is none other than Barbara Hershey, who was a “hot girl” from the early 70’s (when in fully hippie mode she went by Barbara Seagull) to the early 80’s.  Scorsese himself loved her.  Directing her first as the title character of Boxcar Bertha and later choosing her to play Mary Magdalene in The Last Temptation of Christ. But out of a near 50-year career she’s probably best known as the unnamed woman who shoots Robert Redford in The Natural. Even over Beaches. Yes, she was character not played by Bette Midler who was the “wind” Midler sings of in “Wind Beneath My Wings” a song that mercifully didn’t seem to make it into the 21st century.

 

MAS EXITO PARA SEGUIR

Remember that Mexican film that was an unexpected success because it was aimed squarely at an audience otherwise ignored? Well, it was just the beginning because here’s the next one. Opening at number nine is Pulling Strings, a romantic comedy about an American blonde in Mexico who needs the help of the mariachi singer she denied a visa too when she loses her boss’ suitcase after a drunken night out.  Again, it looks like a Lifetime movie that escaped to the big screen, but being as much in English as it is in Spanish, it reflects its underappreciated audience and they have rewarded it with success.

 

MY FAILINGS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

Enough Said, one of the last films of James Gandolfini, expands its distribution and enters the top ten at number ten and I’ve got no reason not to have seen this as Nicole Holofcener is one of my favorite writer/directors. I’ve been with her since Walking & Talking in 1996, her first collaboration with Catherine Keener who appears in all her films and this is no exception. So that’s two strikes against me as I’m a Catherine Keener fan too. Sigh.  I blame society for my failure.

 

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR PT 3

The fall season continues to rollout and this week it was Ironside, a revamp of the old Raymond Burr series and as bad as it looked in commericals, it’s actually even worse as the producers are soooo determined to show he’s a tough, sexy cop what they’ve made is a completely ridiculous asshole who should be in jail. I don’t think we go more than five minutes before his scolding captain tells him “Suspects have rights.”  You know, because he’s a tough cop who plays by his own rules, but he gets results! It’s a bad TV cop cliché factory complete with his team of pretty detectives, none of whom dress like detectives.  Of course one comes from an upper class family, another comes from a mob family etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.  It’s so bad they don’t even use the best part of the original: the theme music by Quincy Jones, best known now as the revenge music in Kill Bill…We Are Men is another awful, awful show but you know that when you saw Jerry O’Connell’s name. It’s about four divorced men in a singles complex. Yeah. It clearly thinks it’s 1977.  And I love you, Tony Shaloub, but any show that has you successfully picking up hot, 26-year-old Asian girls had better have robots and dragons because it’s clearly science fiction/fantasy…I couldn’t bear more than two seconds of Super Fun Night because a) what kind of stupid show has Rebel Wilson without her accent and b) it’s basically about her being fat and getting her clothes ripped off.  No thanks…I unexpected enjoyed MasterChef (which I recapped) and was looking forward to MasterChef Jr, but it’s heartbreaking to watch children get eliminated.  When the first thing one boy did was to go and hug his mother I stopped the show and took it off my DVR scheduling. Just can’t do it.  I’ll be crying every week.

 

NEXT TIME IT’LL BE JUST “WOLV”

28 Jul

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 1. The Wolverine/Fox                                Wknd/$  55.0            Total/$  55.0

 2. The Conjuring/WB                                Wknd/$  22.1            Total/$  83.9

 3. Despicable Me 2/Universal                   Wknd/$  16.0            Total/$ 306.4

 4. Turbo/Fox                                               Wknd/$  13.3            Total/$  55.8

 5. Grown Ups 2/Sony                                 Wknd/$  11.5             Total/$ 101.7

 6. Red 2/LG                                                 Wknd/$    9.4            Total/$  35.1

 7. Pacific Rim/Warners                              Wknd/$    7.5            Total/$  84.0

 9. R.I.P.D./Universal                                  Wknd/$    5.9            Total/$  24.4

 8. The Heat/Fox                                          Wknd/$    6.9            Total/$ 141.2

10. Fruitvale Station/Weinstein                 Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$    6.3

 

NOT EVEN REMOTELY THE BEST AT WHAT HE DOES, THOUGH WHAT HE DOES BEST ISN’T VERY NICE…AND THAT’S FAIL

Opening at number one, yet still a disappointment is The Wolverine, as if somehow shortening the name was going to make it better. Yes, it’s better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that’s like saying it’s better when your dog leaves solid poop on your carpet rather than runny poop. It’s still poop on your carpet and this is still a bad movie in the theater. Wolverine first became a runaway success in the 80’s with the success of a four issue comic book mini-series wherein he leaves the X-Men for awhile to go to Japan to help the woman he loves who just happens to be a Yakuza (Japanese mob) princess and gets caught up in a mob war.  It was so successful not only did he get his own solo book and become one of Marvel Comics’ biggest stars, but also they never stopped writing “Wolverine in Japan” stories trying to recapture it.  At the heart of the original story was that spiritually Wolverine was very “Japanese” (a character flat out says it on page 8) in that he had the soul of a samurai warrior and found a certain amount of peace there where he didn’t elsewhere.  He spoke fluent Japanese and was immersed in its culture and customs. Well, none of that is here. It begins with Wolverine mentally tortured by having had to kill Jean Grey in the last X-Men and that you’d even acknowledge that piece of crap is your first mistake. But it does add to the basic premise that he’s tired of living and burying people that he loves—except that it’s well documented that he can’t remember his past so how does he know? Well suddenly he can remember that he was in World War II and saved the life of a Japanese solider at Nagasaki. This soldier went on to create the equivalent to Sony and is now dying of cancer (rather than say the fact he’s in his freaking 90’s). He offers to make Wolverine mortal to repay him.  So you can imagine what happens next, right? Wolverine mulls it over, accepts, and lives a life of peace for a little while before realizing that to save the lives of the people he loves he has to take back his curse. Nope. He turns him down and that’s the end of that interesting premise. Seriously. After that it’s just dumb things that never stop happening climaxing in the appearance of giant robot, which is always, always stupid. Let me put it this way: when the most sympathetic character is a guy trying to murder his own daughter, your story has gone horrible wrong.  I personally knew it was over when the first five minutes felt compelled to show a CGI bear urinating.  No, I’m not kidding.  It immediately shows you the maturity level of the storytelling and all the rest is just academic.

 

THE JAMIE LEE CURTIS OF THE 21ST CENTURY IS A DUDE!

The Conjuring is down to number two and from a $20M budget has made $96M worldwide. Everybody’s getting cheese on their whoppers!  Also in this is Patrick Wilson who is starting to make a career out of these low-risk, high return horror films as he was also in last year’s Insidious, which has a sequel coming later this year.  Given he comes from Broadway he brings a nice gravity to whatever he does, serving to legitimize it despite the many obstacles of bad writing and poor direction. He proved that by being the highlight of The A-Team movie a few years ago as the obnoxious CIA Agent that sets the plot in motion.  It helped that he seemed to realize it was a comedy and played it just that way.

 

THE SCHADENFREUDE IS STRONG IN ME

Despicable Me 2 is down to number three followed by Turbo at number four and the irony of this one-two punch of success and failure from Dreamworks is staggering.  Well, not for you or me, but for Netflix, which is locked into a deal with Dreamworks to make a Turbo cartoon.  Oops.  Note that there’s no Despicable Me cartoon. Or even one about The Minions which is actually the only thing worth watching in a Despicable Me movie.  Someone’s lawyers are going to be burning the midnight oil (of billable hours) looking for a way out of this.  Heh-heh-heh.

 

YOU KNOW HIGH SCHOOL WAS ANNOYING FOR HIM WITH THAT NAME

Grown Ups 2 is down to number five followed by Red 2 at number six and part of the reason I was looking forward to this was that a) Brian Cox who was the best part of the first was returning and b) Anthony Hopkins was in it. For those of you who don’t know, Brian Cox first brought Hannibal Lecter to life onscreen in Manhunter, which was based on the novel Red Dragon. After the success of Silence of the Lambs where Hopkins won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter he went on to do it twice more in Hannibal and yes, Red Dragon. Both Hannibal Lecters in one movie. Awesome.  Or not. They don’t even exchange words in this film. Now I wasn’t looking for some horrible joke about eating liver with fava beans and Chianti, but what’s the point in having great actors together in a movie if you’re not going to put them together? It would be like if Robert DeNiro was in that dumb heist movie with Marlon Brando and they never met.  I haven’t been this disappointed since Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewen Bremer) were in Jack The Giant Killer and didn’t share a scene.

 

GOTTA BE IN IT TO WIN IT, DUDE

Pacific Rim is down to number seven and also in this is Idris Elba the man who should be pushing Denzel Washington into retirement (remember: Hollywood can only handle one minority lead at a time), but he keeps making less-than-wise screen choices like this one…and whatever the hell that movie was he did with Beyonce where he shaved.  Not that it isn’t enjoyable, but he’s not really the star of it, good or bad and to be a star you need starring roles.  Yeah, Luther is in its third season on the BBC and he’s the star of that, but being the star of a BBC series isn’t even like being a big fish in small pond. It’s like being a special fish in a specialty aquarium store, while guys like Denzel Washington are blue whales.

 

IT’S ONLY FEMINIST TO WANT MORE MONEY

The Heat is down to number eight and Sandra Bullock says she can’t imagine making a sequel to this…even though she made two awful Miss Congeniality movies.  Clearly the check Paramount sent to her home wasn’t big enough.  But you know what? I’m down with her thinly veiled suggestion that it’s going to take a buttload of money for a sequel.  It the mint has to work overtime to provide Disney with enough money pay Robert Downey Jr. to come back as Iron Man, she deserves her payday too.

 

SOMEWHERE COLIN FARRELL NODS WITH UNDERSTANDING

R.I.P.D. is down to number nine and yes, I’m still laughing at yet another Ryan Reynolds flop.  He couldn’t be having more career disappointment if he’d been on the cover of Vanity Fair as the next big thing. What’s funny is that when he was on the cover it was with Jake Gyllenhaal, another “It Boy” whose career hasn’t quite taken off either. Next to them is James Franco who has big mainstream hits he could clearly give a crap about and smaller hits he loves. Wait. Am I laughing again?

 

OH, BY THE WAY: SUPERMAN’S NOT EVEN HUMAN

Finally, entering the top ten is Fruitvale Station and there’s been buzz about this since it was on the film festival circuit and apparently it lives up to the hype.  It’s gonna take some effort for me to see because a) it’s summer and I like to keep it light and b) I’m really not looking forward to being reminded that the difference between life and death for can be whether or not someone is afraid of me.  Whoa. That’s kind of a bummer note to end on. Okay, let’s lighten it up. The star of this is Michael B. Jordan who clearly had to be forced by SAG to use his middle initial because like poor Vanessa L. Williams who had her SAG card first!  He’s been mentioned as being Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four reboot and that has geeks in a tizzy, not that they’re racist or anything.  They’re just concerned about accuracy…in the character of a flying man on fire. Note how they didn’t care when Jessica Alba was squeezing her Latina curves into a tight blue outfit. So I guess it’s just their genitals which are color blind.  Figures, only having one eye and all.  Yeah, I went there.