Tag Archives: Terrence Howard


1 Dec

hemsworths 1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1   Wknd/$ 56.9   Total/$ 225.7
2. Penguins of Madagascar/Fox                Wknd/$ 25.8   Total/$ 36.0
3. Big Hero 6/Disney                                   Wknd/$ 18.8   Total/$ 167.2
4. Interstellar/Paramount                          Wknd/$ 15.8    Total/$ 147.1
5. Horrible Bosses 2/WB                             Wknd/$ 15.7    Total/$ 23.0
6. Dumb and Dumber To/Universal         Wknd/$ 8.3     Total/$ 72.2
7.The Theory of Everything/Focus            Wknd/$ 5.1      Total/$ 9.6
8. Gone Girl/Fox                                           Wknd/$ 2.5      Total/$ 160.8
9. Birdman/FoxS                                           Wknd/$ 1.9      Total/$ 17.2
10. St. Vincent/Weinstein                            Wknd/$ 1.8      Total/$ 36.6

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Pt 1 holds the stop spot and also in this is the other Hemsworth, Liam. So that’s two brothers with major franchises (there’s a third brother, but he ain’t pretty so I hope he has modest goals). The difference being this one is coming to an end and there’s no separate franchise for him for this character. He’s gonna have to go out and get a job. He was in the first Expendables movie, but was killed off almost immediately, but given how that crashed an burned by actually trying to go younger he may have dodged a bullet there, not to mention enjoying the sweet taste of schadenfreude. It’s never too early in you career to take a swig.

Penguins of Madagascar opens at number two and I hated Madagascar. It was typical, uninspired DreamWorks product, which means all cute surface with celebrity voices and ultimately neither heart nor soul. The best parts of it were the Penguins, who were manic and inspired in a way no other part of the film was. While I refused to put myself through the sequel just to see them again I did wind up getting trapped on a bus where Madagascar 3 was playing…and I have to admit I found it delightfully silly and irreverent in away the previous film (and probably its sequel had lacked). Wondering why, I checked the credits and found a noticeable difference. Co-writer and co-director Tom McGrath was no longer writing and instead the duties had gone to none other than indie darling, Noah Baumbach. Also added as a director was Conrad Vernon. I think that makes it clear who was the problem because Eric Darnell, who has been co-director on every film is still here, neither he nor McGrath is credited as writer, which is the other clear problem. No, it doesn’t get nearly as weird as Madagascar 3 (I’m gonna say it once: cross-dressing tiny dogs with Cockney accents), and now they are burdened with teaching a lesson about love and family which normally fell to the other characters, but it is still as frantic and as irreverent in the way that made the Penguins the best part of every movie. Let me put it his way: Warner Herzog shows up as a voice here. You can’t get more irreverent than freaking Warner Herzog voicing a kids animated film. That they even reached out to him says it all. No, it’s not Pixar but not everything can be steak. Sometimes you just want a good burger and this is a good burger.

Big Hero 6 is down to number three and much in the way the Asian returns saved Pacific Rim, I’m dying to see how this does in China and Japan given its primary characters and overall subject matter. We may like robots here, but they love them over there. Not to mention Kung Fu Panda did well in China to the point they were complaining why the idea hadn’t come to them first. And the only place Kung Fu Panda 2 did better than the US was China. Not that it’s doing badly here. It’s actually doing better than Wreck-It Ralph did two years ago and has already made budget in the US.

Speaking of international returns, Interstellar is up to almost $400M overseas. Now, this used to be impressive until I learned that studios never receive more than 40% of overseas profits and sometimes as low as 14% so what still matters most is its domestic take…where it has yet to make its $165M budget (not counting prints and advertising) and every week there’s a new article slamming it. The latest is when to take your bathroom breaks. Here’s my advice: don’t go at all and watch it at home where you can stop it anytime you like. But now that it’s been out a month I think we can talk about the third act where it gets really, really stupid, as opposed to the first two acts which were just stupid. Now, Nolan’s been open about how 2001: A Space Odyssey was the biggest influence on this and nowhere is it more obvious (aside from being overlong) than when a character freaks out and starts killing people. In 2001 it was the computer, HAL, who reacted to being given conflicting orders with homicide (or so it was explained in 2010, which I won’t apologize for enjoying). Here it’s secret guest star, Matt Damon as one of the earlier scientists, who reacts to being sent to a dead world by basically trying to kill everyone who rescues him. His plan to kill everyone then take the ship back home makes no sense but I’m going to let it go because he’s clearly been driven insane by his ordeal. Besides, the real point of it is to prove that “love” is what makes the universe work. All the B.S. about hard science being used is just that, because the planet where Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend has landed, the one Matthew McConughey chooses not go to is the inhabitable one. If they’d followed her heart rather than logic, then they could have avoided Good Will Hunting Humans. Man, I dislike this movie more every time I have to think about it.

Speaking of wasting my time, Horrible Bosses 2 opens at number five and this is actually too good for it. Committing the age-old sequel sin of missing just what made the first film work (beyond it being shamelessly derivative of The Hangover characters by the same writers) which the Horrible Bosses of the title. Here the previously tormented characters are the bosses so the basic concept has been thrown out the window and all you have left is the riffing between Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day, which was fine as a part of the film, but here as the meat it gets really annoying really fast. It’s telling that the best parts about the film are the only two horrible bosses back for the sequel, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Anniston (obviously Colin Farrell couldn’t make it because Kevin Spacey killed him in the first one). Maybe if they’d been allowed to actually be under the thumb of Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine (who clearly relish being horrible as much as the previous bosses did) for awhile there might have been something, but as Kevin Spacey points out, by stupidly getting screwed over by Waltz, they are actually the horrible bosses now. And honestly why are they bosses? With Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell gone, two of the three characters should now have good jobs. I guarantee you I just thought about this more than anyone involved in this film did.

Dumb and Dumber To is down to number six, followed by The Theory of Everything rising to number seven and Gone Girl Down to number eight.

Holding at number nine is Birdman and I’m now embarrassed not to have seen it when I’m clearly making time to see crap like Horrible Bosses 2…and Interstellar.

Finally, St. Vincent is down to number ten and also in this is Terrence Howard and one of the producers of this is Don Cheadle. This may seem like nothing, but I’m smelling a little guilt from Cheadle over taking over the role of War Machine in Iron Man 2 which has not only lead to Iron Man 3, but he’s also going to be in Avengers: Age of Ultron and since Iron Man will be in the third Captain America film he might show up there too. All this could have and should have been Terrence Howard who is still the better Rhodey to me. Howard has said he’s not angry with Cheadle because Cheadle also got him into Crash. Hell, I’d say that means Cheadle owes him twice as much. I think Don agrees.





29 Sep


1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2      Wknd/$  35.0      Total/$  35.0

 2. Prisoners/Warners                                    Wknd/$  11.3       Total/$  39.0

 3. Rush/Universal                                           Wknd/$  10.0     Total/$  10.6

 4. Baggage Claim/Fox                                    Wknd/$   9.3       Total/$    9.3

 5. Don Jon/Relativity                                     Wknd/$   9.0       Total/$    9.0

 6. Insidious 2/FD                                            Wknd/$    6.7       Total/$  69.5

 7. The Family/Relativity                                Wknd/$    3.7       Total/$  31.7

 8. Instructions Not Included/LGF               Wknd/$    3.4      Total/$  38.6

 5. Battle of the Year/SG                                  Wknd/$    5.0      Total/$    5.0

 9. We’re The Millers/Warners                       Wknd/$    2.9      Total/$ 142.4

10. Lee Daniel’s The Butler/Weinstein         Wknd/$    4.3      Total/$ 106.5



Cloudy With Meatballs 2 opens big at number one and since I never saw the first I feel I would miss out on some of the subtleties of the sequel so I gave it pass.



Prisoners is down to number two and it’s a toss up to who is happier about its success: Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard or Jake Gyllenhaal, because they all needed it. Seriously needed it.  Hugh Jackman because he doesn’t have a success outside of singing a beloved musical or having claws (and honestly it should be “having claws in an ensemble cast” because both Wolverine solo movies have been less-than-impressive). Terrence Howard, who is honestly the reason the Marvel Comics Movie Machine exists as it started with Iron Man and Iron Man only happened because his signing up to play Rhodey off his Oscar heat is what caused everyone else to sign on.  For his trouble he was told to take less money or take a hike. He took a hike and you know he has to question it every day. But he’s in The Butler, which is a huge hit. But I’m thinking Jake is the most grateful because his only hit outside of Brokeback Mountain was The Source Code after a double dose of leading man failure in Prince of Persia and Love & Other Drugs.  So Jake is the happiest because Hugh Jackman has something else at least and Terrence Howard is just one film away from a hat trick this year (Best Man Holiday).



Rush opens at number two and speaking of subtly, if it and complexity are colors in filmmaking then Ron Howard has never had more than a 8 piece box of Crayolas. Not 12, not 16 and definitely not the childhood prize of 64 (remember how happy you were to get that bad boy?).  He comes from mainstream television and the sad simplicity of that is driven home with every film he makes. More and more it’s clear that A Beautiful Mind was the exception and not the rule. Rush has the advantage of being a true story that people know little about (a professional competition between the freewheeling posh Englishman, James Hunt and the tightly wound Austrian Niki Lauda in Formula 1 Racing) and could care less, so you have actual tension at your disposal. It’s also set in the freewheeling (no pun intended) 70’s but to Howard who actually lived through those times it means little more than window dressing.  Long hair, bad fashion (at least on the men; women’s 70’s fashions were awesome) and some classic rock.  In a good period piece the period should be another character. Here it’s so poorly realized one woman wears the same hairstyle for six years no matter what the setting. I shit you not. When they meet, when they marry and even when she’s in the hospital by his bedside when he’s near death. It. Does. Not. Change.  Now, I do realize that still living people or their surviving relatives from whom you need rights aren’t really excited to let you portray them “warts & all” (though Niki Lauder apparently had no problem being depicted in a fairly unsympathetic fashion and I’ve no doubt being Austrian had something to do with that) but that’s no excuse for storytelling so simplistic you sometimes think the actors are reading the descriptions for their characters rather than actually speaking to one another. I feel half the dialogue between Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl is them describing one another to one another.  How do we know Chris Hemsworth’s marriage to Olivia Wilde is going to end? When they describe each other’s flaws to each other. Oh, and Hemsworth drinks about seventeen drinks in rapid succession and smokes a joint. You know, so you understand when she mentions his drinking and drug use.  Supposedly there’s some infidelity, but you’d never know because despite the numerous women we see him with, none are when he’s supposed to be married to her.  Now, you might be forgive a film about racecar drivers being short on character so long as the racing scenes are exciting but it’s fairly routine there as well. The best scene actually occurs when Hemsworth is in fact “visualizing” racing on the track at Monte Carlo, not say actually racing the dangerous rainy track in Japan at the climax of the film, which should be fraught with suspense after watching Lauda’s accident in a similarly rainy race earlier. Speed Racer had more dramatic tension and you knew he was going to win.



Baggage Claim opens at number four, followed by Don Jon at number five and honestly I’m down for them both, but didn’t find the time for either and I think I reflect most of America in this.  Fortunately for both films neither had a budget over $9M so they’re already on the road to success despite opening low. This is good news for Paula Patton who’s been struggling for years to be the new Halle Berry and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who both wrote and directed his film, making him the latest triple threat.



Insidious 2 is adown to number six, followed by The Family at number seven and also in this is Diana Argon and I do like her casting as the daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer. And I hope she’s learning from this, as even though Pfieffer is in her 50’s, her leading man is in his 70’s.  These are the realities of show business, baby girl.  It’s not a hit at$32M worldwide from a $30M budget, but it’s not a flop either and you can have worst things on your resume than a movie with Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfieffer that was produced in part by Martin Scorsese. And to be honest, writer/director Luc Besson is not too shabby either when you’re talking international success.  Just ask Liam Neeson Jason Statham both Taken and Transporter franchises come from his company.



Instructions Not Included is followed by We’re The Millers which now that I think about is the second comedy in the top ten about a “criminal family” which happens to have a young, pretty blonde daughter played by an actress usually cast in a slightly bitchy role. Seriously. You could swap the actresses out and I doubt either movie would change.



Closing out the top ten at number ten is Lee Daniel’s The Butler.  A word to the wise dude: Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese don’t make their names part of the official title. Only people like Tyler Perry do. It signifies more ego than talent.



The new fall season continues to roll out and I realize I forgot a few last week so I’ll throw them in with this week’s crop…Brooklyn 99 is funnier than it has any right to be. I wasn’t expecting much beyond Andy Samberg mugging for 20 minutes a week and it’s so much more than that. He’s smarter than most former SNL members and signed up not so much to be the star but the center of a very funny ensemble cast with Andre Braugher pretty much spoofing his entire cop career as the stoic captain who just happens to be gay. And more than that , they get the lighting of New York better than any supposedly seriously cop show set here…Welcome To The Family is funny only as long as it’s about the dads and stays away from the kids. Unfortunately, the only reason situation of this comedy is about them being connected by their kids…Mom is ironically challenging Dads for the most unpleasant half hour you can spend watching TV, but due to its lack of nasty racism comes in second. But it’s a close second…Trophy Wife suffers from the same malady as Welcome To The Family: the situation of the comedy is the least amusing thing about it, in this case poor Malin Ackerman who can’t seem to catch a break on the big or small screen (she’s like a less-annoying Kate Hudson who does nudity).  Everything and everyone is funny in this show but her. You could take her out and just make this about a guy dealing with his two “wacky” ex-wives and their kids and it would be the same, though slightly better show. And you wouldn’t be faced with the ridiculous prospect of her marrying Bradley Whitford. Were there no attractive older actors available? Every time they kiss it’s so much “Ewwwww”…The Blacklist is the new The Following, as it’s basically yet another series seeming inspired by Hannibal Lecter. In this case it’s not so much brilliant serial killer but the relationship of the sophisticated criminal leading the attractive, young, female FBI agent.  It’s also The Following in that it’s painfully stupid. When super-criminal James Spader turns himself in and will only speak with one FBI Agent, they send a helicopter and an army of FBI agents just to pick her up. Later, when he escapes and is the key to a chemical bomb and a kidnapped admiral’s daughter only one agent is chasing him.  Did they use of that helicopter’s fuel budget?  Similarly, when he warns them about the admiral’s daughter kidnapping he tells them THERE WILL BE A DISTRACTION. Guess what they ignore? Dumb, dumb, dumb. The big action scene on the bridge is somewhat reminiscent of the bridge scene in Mission Impossible 3 which isn’t that strange when you realize that this episode was directed by Joe Carnahan who was originally supposed to direct MI3 before ultimately walking away…I shouldn’t laugh like I do at Back In The Game, because it will only encourage them to keep doing it, but James Caan as the crusty ex-baseball player whose former collegiate athlete daughter moves back in with him and winds up coaching the her son’s team of losers works better than it should…the promos for The Michael J. Fox Show were HORRIBLE so expectations were low for a show seemingly based on “Look, we’re not afraid to laugh at Parkinson’s!” but fortunately it’s so much more than that, while they do lean on that crutch a bit. Hopefully less so as the series goes on….finally, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D premiered and it was pretty much as underwhelming as I expected.  As a geek I’ve read about SHIELD all my life as a constant in the world of Marvel Comics, but that’s why it works; as kind of a sauce for the food of the heroes (there also another version where they’re like a James Bond organization led by Nick Fury that fights evil, but clearly they’re not going that way, though the opening action scene acknowledges it). SHIELD adventures without the superheroes are like sauce with no pasta or a show about the roadies for the Rolling Stones where the Rolling Stones never appear. You don’t even hear the songs.  Given the literal hundreds of Marvel Comics superheroes you think they could spare a C-list one for this show if for no other reason than an nice set up for their own film. Needless to say, I’m going to keep watching it anyway. What part of “geek” did you not understand?


22 Sep


 1. Prisoners/Warners                                  Wknd/$  21.4            Total/$  21.4

 2. Insidious 2/FD                                         Wknd/$  14.5            Total/$  60.9

 3. The Family/Relativity                             Wknd/$    7.0            Total/$  25.6

 4. Instructions Not Included/LGF            Wknd/$    5.7            Total/$  34.3

 5. Battle of the Year/SG                               Wknd/$    5.0            Total/$    5.0

 6. We’re The Millers/Warners                   Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$ 138.2

 7. Lee Daniel’s The Butler/Weinstein       Wknd/$    4.3            Total/$106.5

 8. Riddick/Universal                                    Wknd/$    3.7            Total/$  37.2

 9. The Wizard of Oz 3D/Warners              Wknd/$    3.0            Total/$    3.0

 10. Planes/Disney                                          Wknd/$    2.9            Total/$  86.5



Prisoners opens at number one and whomever said this is a “B” movie pretending to be an “A” movie earned their salary because there is simply no better description. In a “film” the tragic event would simply be the catalyst to the destruction of the people around them. Its “raison d’être” would be observing the reaction, not the event itself. Whether or not the audience feels good about it isn’t the point. In fact, if you feel good watching this happen there’s a problem.  But that’s in a film; this is a movie and in a movie how you feel matters and so the story is tailored for that to its detriment. I wouldn’t have minded it being a “movie” over a “film” so much if it hadn’t held onto its film pretentions WITH A TWO-AND-A-HALF-HOUR RUNNING TIME!  Seriously. And that needless half-hour is the last half-hour when during its conclusion it descends into something you’d watch on cable.  Only on cable it would have taken all of five minutes. Our set up is simple: it’s Thanksgiving and the families of Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard are getting together like they seemingly always do when their 6 and 7 year old daughters go missing and the only suspect is a mentally deficient man in his 20’s who was driving the camper they were seen playing on earlier.  Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective assigned to the case and while he feels the man couldn’t possibly have taken them, Hugh Jackman isn’t so sure, not helped by the fact the man says something incriminating to Jackman…and this is when things begin to go wrong, because it occurs when Jackman attacks him in front of a crowd of reporters. They have been delightfully filming this yet absolutely no one else hears it much less gets it on tape.  That’s the type of convenient development that only happens in movie to facilitate the plot and let the audience know that Hugh Jackman is still somehow “right” and can still be our hero, even though he’s somewhat misguided (to make sure, we also see the deficient man being cruel to a dog). In a “film” the audience wouldn’t have heard it either (nor would he have been mean to a dog), so we would have to judge Jackman and his later actions objectively.  And this just continues on more and more until reaching a breakneck pace at the end where everyone has to be stupid and incompetent to make the plot work and the last minute plot-twist turns out to be an impossible revelation if they’d been smart in the first half-hour.  It’s a shame because a lot of good work is done here in terms of atmosphere (you do believe you’re watching this happen in a working class town) and acting (Jackman putting that Wolverine rage to good use for once). If only the script had been up to their level.



Insidious Part 2 is down to number two and has made $65M dollars off a $5M budget.  Needless to say, when the director said he was done with horror the producers had considerable means to cause his recant just a week later.



The Family is down to number three and if you’re wondering why Robert DeNiro is in this know that Martin Scorsese is an executive producer and yes, there is a Goodfellas joke in the film.



Instructions Not Included actually rises to number four because crap floating is a scientific fact, not a cultural opinion.  This is followed by Battle of the Year at number five, which stars our own piece of floating crap, Chris Brown. Now, I’m old so I’ll admit that the whole dance battle thing escapes me, but is it really such an industry that they can dust off old sports scripts and just replace “football” with dance, because that’s what this is. Apparently America hasn’t won the world championships in 15 years so some kind of great coach is lured back to slap the latest team into shape where I’m sure they triumph.  Replace dance with football, basketball, soccer, etc and ask yourself how many times you’ve seen this movie. I opted not to see it again because I simply cannot take a “dance battle” seriously, much less one where I’d have to look at Chris Brown for 90 minutes. And the long-haired surfer-looking dude from Lost is supposed to know dancing well enough to coach it!?!  I wouldn’t trust him coaching a team of surfers in growing their hair long.



We’re The Millers is down to number six, followed by Lee Daniel’s The Butler at number seven and Riddick down to number eight and as much as I like this franchise that being able to see in the dark is somehow badass is ridiculous.  It’s the future with spaceships, galactic empires, flying motorcycles and all kinds of alien monsters, but something you can do with nightvision goggles now is supposed to make people stop and go, “Whoa! He’s dangerous!”  I think not.



The Wizard of Oz 3D/Imax opens at number nine and while on one hand this is a shameless money grab I do like the fact that a generation of kids is seeing movies on the big screen.  And honestly better parents spend their money on this than any crappy prequels.



Planes is down to number ten and unfortunately, overseas came through and it made 3x its budget so a sequel is inevitable.  Our suffering apparently will continue



It’s the new fall season which is like Christmas for those of us who are socially inept and near illiterate! No books, no people, no leaving the house!  Just endless new TV shows. It’s awesome!  Kicking it off this week were Sleepy Hollow and Dads, both on Fox and let’s just say they’re batting .500.  Sleepy Hollow is a silly good time where Ichabod Crane is a Brit who switched sides during the Revolutionary War because a British accent is obviously sexier for our hero than some crappy New England one and fighting for America is just that great.  Not to mention he was so important he worked for George Washington himself and assigned to take down a seemingly unkillable mercenary working for the British…whom he beheaded.  Guess who that was!?! Little did he know that this was actually Death himself, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Revolutionary War was actually a battle for the fate of the world…unlike say, that French Revolution. That didn’t matter to anyone outside of France. ‘Merica’s revolution was for everybody!  Because Ichabod was mortally wounded beheading the mercenary, their blood intermingled allowing his good witch wife to basically put him in suspended animation (she was burned at the stake for her trouble) so he could rise with The Horseman to continue the battle for the world…in Sleepy Hollow.  Duh-duh-duhhhhhh!  By his side is Kerry Washington—no?  Are you sure, because she looks just like her. I mean it’s not like the execs at Fox said, “Hey, that Scandal show is doing well, get us our own Kerry Washington!” Who are we kidding? That’s exactly what they did! Not Kerry Washington is a sheriff’s deputy who was about to leave to join the FBI (so you know how smart she is), but now has to stay to help fight evil, because as it just so happens the same demon that called the Horseman to Sleepy Hollow is the same demon trapping Ichabod’s wife’s soul and the same demon who did something to Not Kerry Washington and her sister 20 years earlier. He’s also be been busy with other things because the actual sheriff had kept an account of them all, which he left for Not Kerry Washington in case something happened to him. Which of course it does in the first 15 minutes. Yeah, that’s a lot for one episode (I didn’t even mention the police captain named “Irving”), but it’s a pilot and I hope it will slow down to tell better stories once the series gets going.  Now Dads on the other hand needs to disappear so we can still continue to like all the actors in it (Boone, how could you?). It’s not funny and horrifically racist.  So racist they don’t even bother to differentiate between China and Japan. They’re just too busy making jokes about how small Asian penises are and dressing their Non-Japanese cast member up as a Japanese schoolgirl. Brenda Song, sweetie, I realize work is hard to find when you’re a minority, but you’re better off in a martial arts movie or some Cinemax soft-core porn than doing this.  You were on Scandal, so you know that a breakthrough is just around the corner and soon you too can maybe star in your own show or at least be some white guy’s badass fully-dressed non-sexual sidekick (ask Lucy Liu). It’s better than this.