Tag Archives: The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies

SAD, IRONIC OR BOTH?

20 Jan

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1. American Sniper/Warner                              Wknd/$ 89.5   Total/$ 92.9
2. The Wedding Ringer/SGems                       Wknd/$ 20.6   Total/$ 20.6
3. Paddington/Weinstein                                  Wknd/$ 19.0   Total/$ 19.0
4. Taken 3/Fox                                                     Wknd/$ 8.8    Total/$ 63.4
5. Selma/Paramount                                           Wknd/$ 8.8    Total/$ 26.4
6. The Imitation Game/Weinstein                   Wknd/$ 6.8    Total/$ 50.4
7. Into the Woods/Disney                                  Wknd/$ 6.8    Total/$ 114.5
8. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies             Wknd/$ 4.9     Total/$ 244.6
9. Unbroken/Universal                                      Wknd/$ 4.2     Total/$ 108.5
10. Blackhat/Universal                                      Wknd/$ 3.8      Total/$ 3.8

WHY CAN’T IT BE BOTH?
I don’t know if it’s sad or ironic or that on MLK Day weekend the number one film is about a sniper. A holiday for a champion of non-violence and opposer of the Vietnam War who was killed by a sniper’s bullet and America goes to see the movie about the most lethal sniper in US history. Goes to prove the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity as the veracity of the sniper’s claims are being questioned, especially when claimed he and a buddy killed over two dozen Americans during the flood of New Orleans and once punched out Jesse Ventura in a bar. There’s absolutely no proof of the first and Ventura just won almost $2M in a defamation suit against the late sniper’s estate (in more irony the sniper himself was killed by another vet at a shooting range). It’s nominated for a few Oscars so I guess I’ll have to see it, but given it’s Clint Eastwood directing I’m in no great rush. You know how far too many directors are all style and no substance? No one will ever accuse Eastwood of that. “Laconic” is the term most often used to describe his “style.” I prefer “dry as fucking toast.” Just as too much of a spice can kill a dish none at all can leave it equally unappetizing. I mean if you’re going to go that way why not simply make a documentary?

GET IT? HE’S LITTLE
The Wedding Ringer opens at number two and Kevin Hart isn’t just striking the iron while it’s hot, he beating down into pennies with this onslaught on the theaters of America. But can you blame him? Being the hot comedian of the moment has a shelf life of the average fruit fly. Remember Dane Cook’s moment? Granted Kevin Hart is actually funny, something that Cook was unburdened with, but these movies look as generic as anything he put out. And you know any moment now he’s probably going to make the mistake they all make and attempt to be the lead in a romantic comedy, not realizing no one wants to see him kiss anyone. I gave this a pass, as I will all his films, because like Jack Black and others before him, he’s a sidekick, not a lead. A little goes a long way. Yes, that’s a deliberate play on words.

OR THE CLASSIC “GO, DOG! GO!”
Paddington opens at number three and I never read the books so we’re done here. When they make a movie about Richard Scary’s work I’ll be front and center.

ALSO MOMMY DRINKS BECAUSE YOU CRY
Taken 3 is down to number four and what kind of life can his daughter have after this? Her best friend and her mother were both murdered because of a trip she took to Europe. If she just went to Cabo like everyone else none of this ever happens. Then again, Liam Neeson shut down a European sex slavery ring as a result saving untold numbers of girls so I guess there’s a greater good to look at.

THE ACADEMY DIDN’T SEE SO WHY SHOULD YOU, RIGHT?
Selma is down to number five and this actually lives up to the hype. Very few films do, but this is like Lincoln in how it shows a particular moment behind an historical event and gets “warts and all” with it being honest about the fact the goal was to beaten up in front of the cameras to show the honesty of racism. Also it means bringing up MLK’s infidelities and how J. Edgar Hoover tried to destroy him with them. While some have found fault with a less-than-favorable portrayal of LBJ, it’s par the course for historical drama. To cite Lincoln again, that film completely falsified his viewpoint on Black people. He didn’t believe in slavery, but he didn’t believe in an integrated society either. He was going ship every Black person back to Africa. I question both decisions in films that are seemingly afraid of showing that great men are still just flawed human beings. But honestly how the hell do you not go see a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. on his holiday weekend!?! He’s the reason you’ve got three days and you can’t spare two hours!?! Bet you saw freaking Lincoln on President’s Day weekend, ya sorry muthafuckas.

MODERATION WAS NEVER HIS STRONG SUIT
The Imitation Game is down to number six, followed by Into The Woods at number seven and also in this is Johnny Depp. And this isn’t as surprising as you might think when you remember that he was in the underrated Sweeny Todd. Also, Depp was in a band before his big TV break. Oh, and then there’s Cry Baby from John Waters so Depp is no stranger to the musical, which makes sense given they’re over-the-top which is where he likes it.

HONESTLY, HITCHCOCK COULDN’T MAKE TYPING ON A COMPUTER SUSPENSEFUL
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is down to number eight, followed by Unbroken at number nine and finally Blackhat opens at number ten which may be too good for it. Initially I was surprised to see a Michael Mann film opening in January, which is the dumping ground for the studios because he’s a major league director, but then again he cast Chris Hemsworth as a hacker which is your first clue things are not quite right. That actually surpasses previous ridiculous hacker castings such as Hugh Jackman, Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock. And what do three out of those four have in common? They get topless (Bullock’s the prude). In fact, Hemsworth surpasses the shirtless screentime of Jackman, Jolie and both Thor movies. The film stumbles right out of the gate as Mann, undaunted by previous failures to make the inner working of a computer seem interesting gives it his shot as we watch path of electronic impulses that make their way though a system and cause the failure of a nuclear power plant in China. It’s even more boring than I make it sound. Do you know what the difference between this and Selma? There is actual levity in Selma. Even when dealing with life and death issues and the future of a nation, humans still find humor to make it through. Not so with Michael Mann. I don’t think there’s been a deliberate attempt at a laugh since Pacino messing with Hank Azaria in Heat 20 years ago. This is no exception. This painful somberness forces you to take the film completely and utterly seriously, which I suspect is Man’s, but winds up as its undoing when ridiculous things happen, starting with the FBI, which put Hemsworth in prison for hacking not knowing his college roommate is the same guy who handles China’s cyberterroism problem who comes over to work on the case with them. They know everything about him, except that piece of information, which should have been glaring. Then there’s the SWAT team that doesn’t notice the claymore clearly on the walls of the tunnels they’re chasing the bad guys through. Finally, there’s the matter of the characters who might as well have countdown clocks over their heads like that horrible Nickleback video. You know they’re going to die and die they do, which is a problem when they’re all more interesting than the main character. While I like that Mann is unlike other directors and not wasting his time bitching the loss of film and just jumping right into digital, he loves to shoot at night which is not a friend to it. Either get more lights or let it go because pixelated and grainy are not a good film style. The final nail in the coffin has to be when Mann pays homage to himself by having Hemsworth all but quote a William Petersen line from the great Manhunter. It’s not good to remind us you were once better than this.

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NEW YEAR, SAME CRAP

4 Jan

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1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies         Wknd/$ 21.9    Total/$ 220.8
2. Into the Woods/Disney                             Wknd/$ 19.1    Total/$ 91.2
3. Unbroken/Universal                                  Wknd/$ 18.4   Total/$ 87.8
4. The Woman in Black 2/Relativity           Wknd/$ 15.1    Total/$ 15.1
5. Night at the Museum: Secret…                 Wknd/$ 14.5   Total/$ 89.7
6. Annie/Sony                                                  Wknd/$ 11.4    Total/$ 72.6
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1     Wknd/$ 7.7      Total/$ 323.9
7. The Imitation Game/Weinstein               Wknd/$ 8.1     Total/$ 30.8
9. The Gambler/Paramount                          Wknd/$ 6.3     Total/$ 27.6
10. Big Hero 6/Disney                                    Wknd/$ 4.8     Total/$ 211.3

LITTLE BIG MAN
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies holds at number one and I wonder about the future of the actors who play dwarves, because honestly that’s how I see them, even though I know the actual actor, Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin, the leader and king, is 6’2”. You think he shows up for auditions and people are like, “Oh. We thought you’d be…shorter. Sorry.” Notice how the only people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy who really got boosts in their careers played regular sized people. Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom even Ian McKellan. None of The Hobbits found a lot of leading man work, much less Brian Blessed as the dwarf (he’ll always be Voltran the Hawkman who stole the Flash Gordon movie). Martin Freeman’s lucky he already had an established career before he took on the role of Bilbo or he’d be lucky to have a TV show on basic cable talking to a man in a dog suit. Sorry, Elijah.

THE POINT IS THERE IS NO POINT TO BE MADE
Into the Woods rises to number two and in this are Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep, reuniting after both being nominated for Oscars for The Devil Wears Prada. Meanwhile, their other co-star, Anne Hathaway, who wasn’t nominated actually won an Oscar for a musical. I don’t really have a point. I just thought that was interesting and a tad ironic. And this is doing relatively well. Are we really seeing a comeback of the musical? God, I hope not.

IT CAN BE A SOAPY BATH TOO. I’M NOT INFLEXIABLE
Unbroken is down to number three and this was directed by none other than Angelina Jolie and it remains odd that anyone anywhere would give her money to direct a film that she’s not even in (this is her second). Usually, it’s a Stallone kinda thing where he can direct all he wants so long as he’s also in front of the camera shooting people. Or Eddie Murphy, so long as he’s being funny in front of the cameras. You’d think to give Jolie a film there’d be an insistence she at least play the girl back home waiting on him to return…who takes long, soapy showers. Well, that’s what I’d have demanded anyway.

IT’S COLD & DARK IN THE THEATERS RIGHT NOW
The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death opens at number four and here’s your first clue it’s January, one of the traditional dumping ground of films. August is the other time period. This is where you drop films that you feel can’t handle any real competition. And it didn’t. It’s literally the only wide release this week…and still couldn’t break the top three. But if it cost as little as the first, then it may not matter. That was only $15M with Daniel Radcliff as the star. This has no one so may have been even less, which meaning it’s already made budget.

BETTER OR WORSE THAN BEING LIZ HURLEY?
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is down to number five, followed by Annie at number six and The Imitation Game picking up steam to rise to number seven and also in this is Keira Knightley who may have mixed feelings about this being a success. Obviously it’s good to be in a well-reviewed successful movie, but once again it’s a period piece for her. She’s become the new Helena Bonham Carter…which means she’d better get used to it.

THERE ARE NO SMALL JOBS, ONLY SMALL ACTORS
The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 1 is down to number eight, followed by The Gambler at number nine and also in this is Jessica Lange who’s having a bit of a resurgence in her career thanks to being the only reoccurring cast member on American Horror story, playing different yet similar characters. So maybe that FX show may work for Elijah Wood after all. Oh, wait. It was already cancelled. Whoops.

THEY’VE A YEN FOR SUCCESS. GET IT?
Finally, Big Hero 6 returns to the top ten at number ten and this is finally going to see a general Asian release which it kinda needs given that it has yet to make 3x its budget, our usual rule of thumb for a successful film. Though recent information has suggested that really needs to happen domestically because the bulk of international grosses stay international and the Hollywood take can be as little as 14%. But given this is Disney, they’re probably going to make their real money off the merchandising so it matters little. Thanks for nothing, Cars.

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IT’S FINALLY OVER

22 Dec

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1. The Hobbit: Battle of the 5 Armies       Wknd/$ 56.2     Total/$ 90.6
2. Night at the Museum: Secret…            Wknd/$ 17.3     Total/$ 17.3
3. Annie/Sony                                           Wknd/$ 16.3     Total/$ 16.3
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings/Fox              Wknd/$ 8.1       Total/$ 38.9
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1  Wknd/$ 7.8       Total/$ 289.2
6. Wild/FoxSearchlight                             Wknd/$ 4.2       Total/$ 7.2
7. Top Five/Paramount                             Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 12.5
8. Big Hero 6/Disney                                Wknd/$ 3.6       Total/$ 190.4
9. Penguins of Madagascar/Fox              Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 64.2
10. P.K./UTV                                             Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 3.5

FREE AT LAST!
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies opens at number one and our long national nightmare is finally over. Seriously, the biggest complaint about these films even before they were made was that stretching the one novel into three films was a shameless money grab and nothing makes is clearer than this one. It’s like watching the final battle of Star Wars stretched out over three hours. You know Smaug, the dragon whose appearance single-handedly saved the second film? Dispatched in the first ten minutes. Now, you’re probably wondering why couldn’t that have been in the second film. What part of “shameless money grab” did you not get? The only thing I felt at the end of this film was a sense of relief that I’d never have to go through it again. Thankfully, the Tolkien family has refused to license the other books so we won’t have to…until they decide to remake them. You know they will.

NEXT UP: THE MUSEUM OF FURNITURE!
Speaking of shameless money grabs, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens at number two and the first film was only barely entertaining, so I didn’t come back for number two. Apparently I was alone in this because here comes number three and it looks awful. When a monkey peeing on people is one of your selling jokes you’re clearly out of ideas. They’re also running out of museums, because when you think America it’s New York and Washington (sorry, Chicago and don’t make me laugh, LA), which have been done and this is the London museum. What’s next? I’m pretty sure the Louvre doesn’t lend itself to wacky hijinks. I hate to say it, but the only good thing about Robin Williams’ death is that they can’t make any more of these. Oh, shut up. You were thinking it too.

PLUS I HATE EVERY SONG I’VE HEARD FROM IT
Speaking of remakes, this is the color-blind remake of Annie which is a good thing ostensibly speaking, but it’s still a musical so I still don’t care.

SUDDENLY EDWARD G. ROBINSON LOOKS GOOD
Exodus: Gods and Kings is down to number four and to give you an idea of how wrong-headed this movie is John Turturro is Seti. Yeah. That kid from Breaking Bad with the gravelly voice? Joshua. Yeah, it just keeps getting worse

HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY, BABY
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is down to number five, followed by Wild jumping up to number six and also in this is Laura Dern. Hey, girl! Where you been? Oh, that’s right. On HBO. She’s been getting better notices for this than the star, which I’m sure is going over well given this was her comeback vehicle, not Dern’s.

HOW DID AUNT TOM FEEL ABOUT THIS?
Top Five is down to number seven while most of the film is good and I give it special points for taking not one, but two shots at Tyler Perry it unfortunately itself relies on distasteful cliché of far too many films from Black filmmakers: homophobia. This is coupled with the other sad cliché of romantic comedies that any rival for the lead characters affections not only lose, but fail in their own right. Gabrielle Union as Chris Rock’s reality star fiancée can’t just lose him, she has to be every horrible thing you expect Kim Kardashian to be. Rosario Dawson’s boyfriend likewise can’t just lose her to Chris Rock, he has to turn out to lying her to her this entire time as he’s actually gay, or at best bisexual. And the “big joke” is how she should have known by what he asked for in bed. Seemed he liked a little ass play, as if that makes a man gay. The same men who think this are the same guys who are obsessed with sodomizing their girlfriends. I got news for you, dude: ain’t nothing in her ass that’s not in yours, so if she can learn to enjoy it so can you. Of course we have see him naked on all fours begging for something to be shoved up his ass, ‘cause now he’s the bitch. Get it? Sigh. It’s really so far beneath this film I have trouble believing the otherwise intelligent Rock not only wrote it, but also filmed it, saw the footage and still didn’t see a problem. Then again, he also sees himself as a romantic lead.

SOME THINGS ARE JUST UNIVERSAL
Big Hero 6 is down to number eight, followed by Penguins of Madagascar at number nine and opening at number ten is P.K. Yeah, I don’t know what that is either. I’m guessing it’s either Christian or Indian. Yep, it’s the latter and seems to be some Forrest Gump type of tale about an idiot manchild who helps people learn what life is really about. See, this kind of shit exists all over the world. It’s not just us.

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