Tag Archives: steve harvey

TOUGH GUYS DON’T DIRECT MUSICALS

22 Jun

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1. Think Like A Man Too/SGem                         Wknd/$ 30.0       Total/$ 30.0
2. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                        Wknd/$ 29.0       Total/$ 111.5
3. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox                 Wknd/$ 25.3        Total/$ 95.2
4. Jersey Boys/Warners                                        Wknd/$ 13.5         Total/$ 13.5
5. Maleficent/Disney                                              Wknd/$ 13.0       Total/$ 186.0
6. Edge of Tomorrow/Warners                            Wknd/$ 10.3       Total/$ 74.5
7. The Fault In Our Stars/Fox                              Wknd/$ 8.6         Total/$ 98.7
8. X-Men: Days of Future Past/Fox                    Wknd/$ 6.2          Total/$ 216.8
9. Chef/ORF                                                             Wknd/$ 1.8          Total/$ 16.9
10. Godzilla/Warner                                               Wknd/$ 1.8          Total/$ 194.9

THE BEST MAN 2.5
Think Like a Man Too opens at number one and I’ll say it again: when the primary depictions of yourself onscreen are as sidekicks, servants (or slaves) or how you heroically endured oppression, you tend grab any depiction of yourself as happy and whole and enjoying life with both hands, which why this sequel opens big. You could make Latino-American and Asian-American versions of this and also make money and I can’t believe no one has. In fact, given it’s basically about a best man it could be counted as an unofficial sequel or spin-off of The Best Man which first dared to show happy, successful, educated African Americans. I gave this a pass because a) a little Kevin Hart (who is working his 15 minutes) goes a loooooonnnng way and b) I will put no money the misogynist pocket of Steve Harvey, whose book the original drew upon as source material is basically saying the problem with men and women is women. This from a man divorced three times. I’m just sayin’, maybe the problem is you and your attitude, playa.

NO 23 JUMP STREET. NOT. EVER.
22 Jump Street is down to number two and apparently there’s a hysterical end credit sequence where they show the next 20 sequels to this, basically letting you know there will actually be no sequels to this. What there will be coming down the pike is a return to good-looking person/not-so good-looking person team up comedies. You’ve already seen it for women with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat and between this and Neighbors and the utter failure of Adam Sandler’s last film, consider the days of solo “ugly but funny” days over. How it differs from the past is that the less attractive person isn’t just here for fat loser jokes. Progress?

HOW TO COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY’VE HATCHED
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is down to number three and how cruel an irony is it that Jonah Hill is technically in this as one of the voices? He had a great weekend last week. Everyone else, not so much. Jay Baruchel (the voice of Hiccup) was a guest on Craig Ferguson’s show (he’s the voice of Gobber) and they talked about being in the third installment of this. Needless is to say, not so fast, fellas.

GO AHEAD. MAKE MY MUSICAL.
Jersey Boys opens at number four which isn’t as disappointing as it seems given it only cost $40M to make. Clint Eastwood is famously frugal a director. He’s also famously sparse and laconic which are not two things one associates with Broadway shows. Existentialist westerns? Sure. But a story filled with passion and music? Not so much. Yes, it borders of pigeonholing the man, but given his open love of popular music (take it out of his films and see what happens) and the fact this combines it with both Italian Americans and the mob, how the hell did Martin Scorsese not do this!?! He would have brought the style and passion this story needed. And while that’s a big problem with this movie, the other is the problem that afflicts most stage-to-screen adaptations and that’s an inability to depict it properly without it being just a filmed version of the play. The best way to deal with it is to set it in the same type of “non-reality” the show existed in. Chicago clearly takes place in no Chicago that ever existed and if they’d tried to ground it reality too much it would have faltered. This tries to take place in the real world, which granted, makes sense given it’s a true story, but when you do that you have to pay more attention to details. You have to fill out the world in which they exist. Not having it leads to the common problem of most movie bios: a lack of context because they don’t fill out the world in which these people exist. The only other musician ever mentioned is Frank Sinatra (who was the ironically enough the only other musician ever mentioned in the Ray Charles bio pic). Pretty sure they weren’t competing with him. In fact, there was an entire East coast vs. West Coast stunt set up with them and The Beach Boys. You wouldn’t know they or any other musical act from that time period existed by this film (Elvis? Beatles? Who are they?), not to mention the incredible social changes going on around them. Again, that’s fine for a stage show, but with film you have to flesh these things out. There’s also such a thing, ironically enough, as being too faithful to the stage production. Yeah, the lead actor can play a character 15 to 50, but on film a 30+ actor playing 15 is simply not going to fly. Just get a younger actor! I won’t even get into the makeup disaster that is the climax of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Everyone a party to that should be embarrassed. The stage show probably did it better just painting their hair gray.

RIPLEY COULD HAVE SAVED THE DAY…AGAIN
Maleficent is down to number five, followed by Edge of Tomorrow at number six and obviously Emily Blunt is the female lead here and she’s in her 30’s while Cruise is in his 50’s, my usual pet peeve. The director, Doug Liman, overheard this criticism at a party and felt it was unjust because the film wasn’t about them as a couple. Well, dude, then you probably shouldn’t have had her seemingly falling for him towards the end, much less have her kiss him. And not that hindsight is 20/20, but how could casting Sigourney Weaver in her role as the badass alien fighter not have been a great idea? She would have brought in so many other people (i.e., women) who might not have otherwise seen a Tom Cruise vehicle. But 50-something Cruise isn’t kissing a 60-something Weaver onscreen so you can just forget that.

AS FATTY ARBUCKLE ROLLS OVER IN HIS GRAVE
The Fault in Our Stars is down to number seven, followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past at number eight and at almost $700M from a $200M budget, we can safely say that that this train is back on track…and that Fox will be coughing up an ungodly amount of money for Bryan Singer’s legal defense, because he is clearly the key.

SOMEWHERE MATTHEW BRODERICK LAUGHS
Chef actually rises to number nine and I couldn’t be happier, while Godzilla drops to number ten and I honestly couldn’t care less. It wasn’t bad, but as time passes, the more I think about how the director jerked us around not showing Godzilla for the longest time then having it happen at night, the more annoyed I become. He thought he was being clever, well given it’s barely going to break the 3x budget rule of profitability, he was a little too clever for his own good. Honestly, it’s only done a little better than the much-maligned version with Matthew Broderick. A good lesson in how perception is reality.

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THE APRIL VIEWING

22 Apr

1. Think Like a Man/SGem                        Wknd/$  33.0            Total/$  33.0

2. The Lucky One/Warners                        Wknd?$  22.8            Total/$  22.8

3. The Hunger Games/LionsGate             Wknd/$  14.5            Total/$ 356.9

4. Chimpanzee/Disney                                Wknd/$  10.2            Total/$   14.5

5. The Three Stooges/Fox                           Wknd/$    9.2            Total/$   29.4

6. The Cabin In The Woods/LionsG         Wknd/$    7.8            Total/$   27.0

7. American Reunion/Universal                Wknd/$    5.2            Total/$   48.3

8. Titanic 3D/Paramount                            Wknd/$    5.0            Total/$   52.8

9. 21 Jump Street/Sony                                Wknd/$   4.6             Total/$  127.1

10. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                        Wknd/$   4.1              Total/$   55.2

LIKE WHEN BOBBY KISSED THAT GIRL AND IT TURNED OUT SHE HAD MEASLES

Think Like a Man opens at number one and this is two steps forward, one step back; a double-edged sword, a left-handed compliment, a pyrrhic victory… Basically anything where a success is simultaneously a failure.  That a black film, based on a book by a black person directed by a black person opened at number one bringing in almost triple its budget is great.  Make no mistake about it.  However the film in question is based on a misogynist book by a moron and directed by the hack that brought the world the two Fantastic Four films.  This means talentless idiots have been rewarded for being talentless idiots and will be encouraged to continue profiting from their idiocy.  Oh, and Chris Brown is in it.  Yeah, exactly.  The only good thing is lots of great looking actors that I like now have a hit movie under their belts.  Now, hopefully they will move on to bigger and better things, none of them with the name “Tyler Perry” attached to them.

YET MORE PROOF THAT READING AND WRITING ARE OVERRATED SKILLS

Speaking of talentless people making a lot of money, the second goddamn Nicholas Sparks-based movie this year, The Lucky One, opens at number two and as much as I dislike the man, I will give him points for honesty.  He flat out says he started doing this just to make money.  No genuine inspiration in the slightest and by god it shows.  He’s got a formula more dependable than Coke and he cranks it out in equal sugary amounts it seems.

FROM CHIM-PAN-A TO CHIMPANZEE

The Hunger Games is down to number three, followed by Chimpanzee opening at number four and while I do like a little A&E, Nature Channel, PBS documentary I cannot stand the “humanizing” narration that goes on with the stuff that Disney puts out.  These animals are not people and you insult my intelligence by assigning human attributes to their behavior (even moreso by having Tim Allen do it).  If anything it shows some of the things we do are still pretty primal not that animals are acting like humans, even primates who share more commonalities with us than any other creature.

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SEQUEL: ENTER SHEMP!

The Three Stooges is down to number five and this has got to be the surprise of the year simply by not utterly failing. I would have thought no one would go to see this, but it’s already made its budget back in two weeks.  Clearly I’m not the only one who thought that line about boogers from the commercial was funny.  And yes, the guy playing Larry is none other than Jack from Will & Grace.  Glad to see everyone is working. Grace is on Smash, Will is currently on Broadway and Karen shows up on sitcoms left and right.  No word on Rosario.

I KNOW RECYLING IS IMPORTANT BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS

Cabin In The Woods is down to number six and having read the movie spoilers summary of this I’m soooo glad I didn’t see it because an entire movie being a meta-textual commentary on a genre would have pissed me off beyond belief.  In fact, this sounds like an abandoned Buffy idea that they expanded into a full-length film, much like the first Final Destination film came from guys who worked on The X-Files and so clearly was meant to be something that Mulder and Scully investigated.

CAIN AND CLEARLY UNABLE

American Reunion is down to number seven and when I summarized the careers launched by the first film I forgot to mention the writer/directors, the Weitz Brothers, whose careers show a frightening dissimilarity with the added cruel twist of the better looking brother being more talented.  Paul Weitz has laid such turds as Down to Earth (Chris Rock’s misguided attempt to remake Warren Beatty’s Heaven on Earth which itself was a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan). In Good Company (which helped lay to rest any thoughts of Topher Grace having a film career), American Dreamz, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Apprentice and most recently, Being Flynn.  He got lucky once with About A Boy, but that was clearly a fluke…or the result of more influence by Chris Weitz based on what he’s done.  He’s now more famous for being Brad Pitt’s clueless neighbor in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, but also worked with his brother on Down to Earth and About a Boy. But that’s where they part as he’s faired a bit better letting you know who’s the Hall and who’s the Oates.  The Golden Compass should have been a hit but New Line sold off the international rights, so when it succeeded there, they reaped none of the benefits and so couldn’t bankroll a sequel.  He also hopped on the Twilight gravy train by directed New Moon and scored a critical success as well as a Best Actor nomination for his leading man in A Better Life just last year.  He was also the star of the indie hit Chuck & Buck.  Mom probably liked him better too.

SOMETIMES THE GOOD GUYS DO WIN

Titanic 3D is down to number eight, followed by 21 Jump Street at number nine and Mirror Mirror closing out the top ten at number ten and while this has done better overseas, it’s still not a hit and the producers over at Snow White & The Huntsman are laughing their asses off.  And the cherry on top of this?  Brett Ratner is one of the producers and every time that fucker fails in any way is a victory for art and humanity.

STRIKE A POSE THERE’S NOTHING TO IT

I’m on a fashion trend with my Netflix choices because after watching Bill Cunningham’s New York, I watched The September Issue, a documentary about the making of the most important issue of the year for Vogue and ostensibly a documentary about Anna Wintour, the grand dame of the fashion being its editor-in-chief.  As you may know The Devil Wears Prada is based on her, the writer having been Wintour’s assistant briefly and as far as the movie depiction goes (I never read the book) it’s not that far from the mark, though at least onscreen Wintour never goes out of her way to be cruel or terrifying to subordinates.  But you can see the same kind of commitment in her that was in Meryl Streep to making the best possible magazine and her zero tolerance for fools or incompetence.  She even has a well-dressed male, aide-de-camp!  What wasn’t in The Devil Wears Prada was the other star of The September Issue: Gayle Coddington, the Creative Director who is more concerned with the aesthetics of beauty and art and is very vocal about disliking the use of celebrities instead of models (Coddington is a former model herself).  But the two Englishwomen form an excellent balance and seemingly dress for their respective roles, Wintour in perfectly fitting designer wear and the meticulous bowl cut she’s worn for 40 years, while Coddington is in a shapeless black sack of pure comfort with a wild, unkempt red bush on her head.  They clearly have a great deal of respect for one another’s abilities even as they parry back and forth over the identity of the magazine.  Coddington chafes as Wintour cuts her beautiful spreads down (while giving the lion’s share to Sienna Miller) and outright kills one only days before the issue is to close, requiring a down-to-the-wire reshoot.  But she was right in the end, as the reshoot is amazing and the pressure brings out the best in Coddington.  Wintour admits she doesn’t have Coddington’s eye and Coddington acknowledges Wintour was ahead of the curve in the use of celebrities, which sells the magazine and allows her any sort of venue at all. Honestly, I found it so interesting I could have watched another hour of this and there’s no higher praise for a documentary.