Tag Archives: Silence of the Lambs

BASED ON THE P.A.S.T.

17 Aug

mfu
1. Straight Outta Compton/Universal     Wknd/$ 56.1   Total/$ 56.0
2. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation     Wknd/$ 17.0   Total/$ 138.1
3. The Man from UNCLE/WB                  Wknd/$ 13.5    Total/$ 13.5
4. Fantastic Four/Fox                                 Wknd/$ 8.0     Total/$ 42.0
5. The Gift/STX                                            Wknd/$ 6.5     Total/$ 23.6
6. Ant-Man/Disney                                     Wknd/$ 5.5      Total/$ 157.6
7. Vacation/WB                                            Wknd/$ 5.3     Total/$ 46.9
8. Minions/Universal                                  Wknd/$ 5.2     Total/$ 313.0
9. Ricki & The Flash/TriStar                     Wknd/$ 4.6     Total/$ 14.7
10. Trainwreck/Universal                          Wknd/$ 3.8     Total/$ 97.1

FRESH OUTTA INTEREST
Straight Outta Compton opens at number one and I’m still staggered by the fact Ice Cube has a son old enough to play him in a movie about his life. Fuck. We’re both old. The only difference being I don’t keep my hair dyed jet black the way he does. You’re not a sports announcer, Cube. Let it go, brutha. I’ll probably watch it on cable in a year because N.W.A. and gangsta rap was never my thing and honestly could give a shit (and don’t let anyone fool you: it started on the east coast. It just blew up on the west coast). I couldn’t name another song beyond the one used for the title of this movie. It might as well be a New Kids on the Block movie as far as I’m concerned. I liked Biggie more and didn’t go to see his movie either.

MOVIE FROM N.O.S.T.A.L.G.I.A.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is down to number two followed perfectly by Man From U.N.C.L.E. as both are adaptations of Cold War spy shows from the 60’s. Now I knew a little about the MI, but nothing about Man From U.N.C.L.E. Seriously. It never showed up on reruns as when I was kid so I have no idea if and when they’re being loyal to the spirit of the show…and it feels great. Seriously. Being pissed off about Star Trek, Superman, etc., uses up a lot of energy that could be better spent doing… Okay, fine. I wouldn’t be doing anything else, but the point is it’s a little exhausting. Here I feel as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I’m just another mouth-breather in the theater looking for a good time. And I got one. It’s not an exceptional movie, but it is an entertaining one. Unlike Mission Impossible, which opted to go modern, Man From U.N.C.L.E. chooses to stay in the 60’s because director Guy Ritchie adores the look and style of the original Bond films and I ain’t mad at him (using period pop music, but staying away from any well-known hits is nice touch). The movie is as much style as substance and doesn’t pretend otherwise. There are a few too many Ritchie-isms (instant flashbacks to let you know how we got to where we are), but his style is a welcome break from the usual action film formula of quick cuts and explosions. Also, Ritchie is clearly more interested in the characters than the toys they play with and it shows with all the chemistry between Henry Cavill and Arnie Hammer. One that Hammer lacked in his last small-to-big-screen attempt, The Lone Ranger. And Cavill gets nothing but points for doing a straight up impression of original star Robert Vaughn the whole time.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH THAT I SUCCEED, BUT OTHERS MUST FAIL
The Fantastic Four is down to number four appropriately and every day there’s a new story about how Fox and/or director Trank screwed the pooch from the beginning…and the schadenfreude is delicious. Seriously. I love the fact that everyone who stupidly tried to take a concept as light-hearted as The Fantastic Four is getting burned by it (their name alone should have been a clue). Not helping matter is the fact that Matthew Teller is a bit of a dick and not able to hide it in interviews where he’s ostensibly promoting the film. He talks about how a car accident changed him (his scars are visible in the film) but clearly not enough. Apparently he and Trank nearly came to blows during production and I can’t help but smile as I write that. And it’s not just me. Trank got this film because of Chronicle, which was successful dark superhero film. But he didn’t write it. Max Landis did, but was apparently not invited to continue the collaboration on a $100M+ superhero movie because when this disaster landed, Landis released the first few pages of his Fantastic Four movie, which is a thousand times better. Basically letting the world know that Trank’s decision to leave him behind was a horrible mistake. Oh, the schadenfreude…it was already delicious, but not more so when seasoned by the hatred of others.

HERE TO BRING EVERYTHING DOWN
The Gift is down to number five and while this is getting stellar reviews for being a genuine suspense thriller without descending into bunny-boiling and black-and-white good and evil I still have no interest. See, while I don’t do the scary I still have a curiosity about them and read the movie spoilers. The end result seems fairly predictable to me and more-than-given-away by the trailer. This isn’t to say it’s bad as a result—after all there are no new ideas only levels of execution of the old ones—but not the mind twister one might think it is by the praise, much less what people are calling the “twist.”

THE OTHERS
Ant Man is down to number six, followed by Vacation at number seven and minions at number eight.

TAKE OFF THE ROSE COLORED GLASSES, PEOPLE
Ricki and the Flash is down to number eight and I was going to ask what the hell happened to Jonathan Demme but then I look over his history and realize it’s always been hit and miss. And for every Something Wild, Married to The Mob, Silence of the Lambs and Rachel Getting Married, there’s a Manchurian Candidate, Beloved, the hideous mediocre and overpraised Philadelphia and the inexplicable decision to cast Mark Wahlberg in a role once played by Cary Grant in The Truth About Charlie. This is less an unusual failure and more standard operating procedure. The only good thing to come out of this mess is me realizing that they finally put Married to the Mob out on blu-ray last fall. About goddamn time…and keep giving it shitty cover art. Sigh.

SOMEWHERE JUDY GREER WONDERS WHAT THE FUCK!?!
Finally, Trainwreck closes out the top ten at number ten having made almost $100M domestically (it’ll easily reach that goal by this time next week). And this from a $35M budget. Amy Schumer is officially a comedy star and she did it as the lead without first playing the sidekick (which this character usually is), which is doubly impressive. Yes, she’s still an attractive blonde white woman, but she’s not typically so, so it’s still an accomplishment. Needless to say, the clock on her Comedy Central show has probably already started ticking. Hell, Key & Peele have already announced they’re done and without the benefit of a hit movie, so expect hers to come soon. The downside is this secures Judd Apatow’s power in all things comedy related, especially female-oriented. I guess it’s better than nothing or Adam Sandler, but still…

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AIN’T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING

7 Apr

leebyunghun-20101008

 1. Evil Dead/Tristar                                    Wknd/$ 26.0           Total/$  26.0

 2. The Croods/Fox                                      Wknd/$ 21.1            Total/$ 125.8

 3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation/Paramount         Wknd/$ 21.1            Total/$  86.7

 4. Jurassic Park 3D/Universal                  Wknd/$ 18.2           Total/$  18.2

 5. Olympus Has Fallen/FD                        Wknd/$ 10.0           Total/$   71.1

 6. Tyler Perry’s Temptation/LGF             Wknd/$ 10.0           Total/$  38.4

 7. Oz The Great & Powerful/ Disney        Wknd/$   8.2           Total/$ 212.8

 8. The Host/ORF                                         Wknd/$   5.2            Total/$   19.7

 9. The Call/TriStar                                       Wknd/$   3.5           Total/$   45.5           

10. Admission/Focus                                    Wknd/$   2.1            Total/$   15.4

 

YES, THE TREE IS STILL IN THE MOVIE

Evil Dead opens at number one and as we all know I don’t do the scary, not even when it’s the deliberately “campy scary” of the Evil Dead series, which came to a wonderful climax in Army of Darkness aka Medieval Dead aka Evil Dead 3 (which I actually did see).  It doesn’t help matters that the creators behind this remake have gone all torture porn gory on it, so rather than scare you and make you laugh they’ve just gone bloody.  Yeah, you can keep it.  But this is a smart move by the little redheaded girl from Suburgatory (Jane Levy, and it’s a good show you’re not watching) to transition into films.  Like children’s films there’s a built-in audience for horror so chances of success are high and when it fails no one blames you.  It’s a win-win scenario and she won.  Unlike her appearance in Fun Size earlier this year, which was a loss, but Victoria Justice took the rap for that since she was the draw. Even tweens saw the ridiculousness of two girls so pretty somehow not being in the popular circle or being invited to hot parties.  It required more suspension of disbelief than a book of evil.

 

THE BRUCE LEE RULE: IT AIN’T KUNG FU IF EVERYBODY’S GOT THEIR SHIRTS ON

The Croods Hold onto number two, narrowly beating out G.I. Joe: Retaliation and by the way, that line was cut from the movie and only shows up in the commercials.  Not in the commercials but the highlight of the film for me is none other than The Rza, appearing as a ninja master in the most enjoyable part of the film which is the ninja war storyline.  It was almost 1987 all over again!  As the ninja GI Joe, Snake Eyes, is Ray Park, who shot to immediate fame as Darth Maul in the first Star Wars prequel and later turned up as Toad in the first X-Men movie.  But more interesting than him is pretty boy Byung-hun Lee as his lifelong ninja rival, Storm Shadow.  Lee has basically been “the girl” in both movies in that they both find some ridiculous reason for him to take his shirt off.  They like it so much he survived his apparent death in the first film to come back and disrobe here.  Even Channing Tatum doesn’t even have to do this.  Lee’s going to reunite with Bruce Will in Red 2 later this year, so we’ll see if they pull off the hat trick.

 

COULDN’T WAIT ONE MORE YEAR FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY?

Jurassic Park returns in 3D format at number four and given this is running every other weekend on cable I can’t see why anyone would bother. Then again I can’t stand 3D so it’s not for me anyway. I’ve no doubt it’s still fun to watch because it’s still fun to watch every other weekend on cable.  Oh, the kid who plays Timmy?  He’s all grown up, playing a soldier in G.I. Joe Retaliation.  Yes, you’re old.

 

IT’S ALL POLITICS

Olympus Has Fallen is down to number five and also in this are Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman as the Secret Service Director and the Speaker of the House, respectively speaking and in movie world, it’s demotions for both.  First of all, Glenn Close got to at least be Vice-President in the last time a Die Hard type of storyline was applied to the president in Air Force One.  And Bassett herself was White House Chief of Staff in Contact.  Though important, Secret Service Director (the first female director was actually appointed only a week ago, by the way) is still a massive step down.  Not to mention Morgan Freeman has been both The President and God and now he’s just Speaker of the House?  Please.  At least let him be the trigger happy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Robert Forester gets to play.  But if Martin Sheen has taught us anything, it’s that you can always come back.  He started off playing JFK, later showed up as Chief of Staff in The American President but returned to Commander in Chief on The West Wing, because if there’s anyone you can buy as the First Female President, much less the first Black Female President, it’s Angela Bassett.

 

SPOILER WARNING: IT SUCKS!

Down to number six is Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and it’s time so for spoilers to let you know how horrible Perry can get with the hardline Christian dogma that runs through all his films.   The female protagonist winds up with HIV. Yes, the price of infidelity is an incurable disease and that’s only probably only because someone told him that contracting it is no longer the death sentence it once was.  Clearly that whole “love and forgiveness” message from Jesus was lost on Mr. Perry. What makes this particularly offensive is that Black women make up 2/3 of all new HIV transmissions among women.  Clearly they are all cheating whores who aren’t there for their men and need to find themselves some Jesus.  Did I mention the first time she actually gets raped?  Or that she not only goes on to have a relationship but he beats her and gets her addicted to cocaine?  None of which would have happened if she’d just resisted temptation. Or should I say “Tyler Perry’s Temptation.” Hey, isn’t pride a sin too? Or in this case “Tyler Perry’s Sin.”

 

ETC

Oz The Great and Powerful is down to number seven, followed by The Host at number eight and The Call at number nine.

 

SINS AGAINST COMEDY

Finally closing out the top ten at number ten is Admission and I do think there’s something amazingly appropriate in comedy legend Lily Tomlin playing Tina Fey’s mom.  Not enough to make me see it, but it is nice. Oh, and Michael Sheen who played Wesley Snipes on 30 Rock is also here as Fey’s cheating boyfriend. My god, how much talent did this film freaking waste?

 

CEREAL KILLER

I can’t stress enough how much I love that new TV shows never stop coming.  When I was kid we had to wait once a year. You people are freaking spoiled. This week Hannibal—which I thought was coming next fall—debuted and this should be of great concern to The Following given it was a thinly veiled rip-off of the entire relationship between Hannibal Lecter and the man who caught him, Will Graham as best shown in Manhunter (we’re going to pretend Red Dragon just never happened, like most of Brett Ratner’s career).  Charming, college professor contacted by FBI agent while researching killings turns out to be the serial killer.  They even had James Purefoy give Kevin Bacon near fatal wounds during his apprehension, just as Lecter gave to Will Graham.  Needless to say, it’s infinitely better. Better writing, better cast, better direction, better everything.  Maybe a bit too stylized which is easy for a pilot, but more difficult to maintain on a weekly basis since it has to fit the murders. One significant change is that Will Graham isn’t an FBI Agent due to the fact he’s suffering from Asperger’s/is autistic and is just a consultant (but he still gets a gun like Kevin Bacon it seems).  Again, this seems a pile on of “hey, let’s make him more interesting with a trendy disorder.”  Add to this he suffer from nightmares that make him sweat through sheets and collects stray dogs and you wonder what eccentricy they actually left behind. I’m waiting on him being a virgin to come up.  Of course the first time we meet Hannibal he’s eating. Right after we’re told the killer in question is eating the liver of the girls no less.  And because you can’t have a show named after him without him doing what he does best, he kills one poor girl and eats her lungs.  It’s actually short of gore, but infinitely more disturbing than the bloodletting on The Following.  The problem with this show is that how long can Will see Lecter every week and not see he’s a serial killer? We know the endgame and will only wait so long and can only endure so many “close calls”—not to mention the inevitable deaths of people who stumble onto the truth—before we get there. Yeah, I know they stretched out Clark Kent becoming Superman to ten years on Smallville, but you don’t want to have that be your example. Then there’s elephant in the room: an appearance by Clarice Starling? I honestly think the nothing lets you know how good a show is than feeling it should have a definitive beginning, middle and end and not go on forever.