Tag Archives: Transformers: Age of Extinction

CHICKS RULE!

27 Jul

susan-sarandon 1. Lucy/Universal                                              Wknd/$ 44.0   Total/$ 44.0
2. Hercules/Paramount                                    Wknd/$ 29.0   Total/$ 29.0
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Fox          Wknd/$ 16.4    Total/$ 172.1
4. The Purge: Anarchy/Universal                   Wknd/$ 9.9      Total/$ 51.3
5. Planes: Fire & Rescue/Disney                     Wknd/$ 9.3      Total/$ 35.1
6. Sex Tape/Sony                                               Wknd/$ 6.0      Total/$ 26.9
7. Transformers 4/Paramount                        Wknd/$ 4.6      Total/$ 236.4
8. And So It Goes/CE                                        Wknd/$ 4.6      Total/$ 4.6
9. Tammy/Warner                                             Wknd/$ 3.4      Total/$ 78.1
10. A Most Wanted Man/RA                           Wknd/$ 2.7       Total/$ 2.7

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DOLLARS…
Lucy opens at number one and this is the latest from Luc Besson who is no stranger to badass female action movies. His first big hit was the original La Femme Nikita, which made such an impact that they’re still remaking it almost 25 years later. He was also behind his then wife’s (Mila Jovovich) entry into the action world with The Fifth Element. He’s also the name in action films in Europe as the producer behind everything from The Transporter to Taken to B13 (which was remade as Brick Mansions here with him still on as a producer) to Kiss The Dragon. In addition he wrote Bandidas with Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz as well as Colombiana. Now that you know the scope of his power and influence, you understand why his movies seem to be getting worse with time. There’s simply no one who can tell him “No.” That his wife is the producer doesn’t help. The idea of Lucy is great: a woman forced to be a drug mule develops superhuman powers when the bag inside her bursts and the new drug floods her system. The downside is they’re also killing her at the same time so she needs more of it to survive and keep growing. Unfortunately the film begins to fumble almost immediately with hamfisted intercutting of a gazelle being pursued by cheetahs with Lucy being caught by the drug dealers. You know, just in case you didn’t get it. While it mercifully never returns the film just finds other ways to fail. Starting with Lucy walking around with a gun in full view in a hospital with no one noticing. Bear in mind, she’s already twice as smart as a normal human now, to the point she can heal herself and read a scan of a man’s brain to determine if his tumor will kill him, but it never occurs to her to try and hide the gun. Also, when she returns to the ruthless drug dealer’s home to get information about the other mules, she kills all his henchmen, but not him. Why not? Because if she does, he won’t be able to chase her across the globe and shoot up Paris, that’s why. And why is she after them in the first place? If the drug is created in Taiwan, why not simply go to the source and get an endless supply? Smart question for a stupid, stupid movie. They even introduce her concern of her fading humanity…never to broach it again, even as she’s causing no end of damage and most likely civilian casualties speeding through Paris. The film doubles down on the ineptitude by having the cop with her also have no concern for his fellow officer or civilians she’s hurting. Bear in mind she insists he come with her so she can remember what it means to be human. Clearly she picked the wrong dude. Ironically, it’s a bit sad that a crummy action movie with a female lead can do just as well as a crummy action movie with a dude. But it does means Hollywood is all out of excuses not to make more. Hopefully not so crummy.

SOMEWHERE KEVIN SORBO IS LAUGHING
Opening at number two—which is quite frankly too good for it—is Hercules from the painfully untalented director, Brett Ratner. Seriously, you people have a lot to answer for having made him successful with those awful Rush Hour movies. Why do I know this sucks beyond the obvious reasons even though I didn’t see it? There are no labors. Seriously. All the commercials and previews you’ve seen with the Hydra, Neiman Lion and the Boar? All happen in the first five minutes as part of a story his nephew is telling to promote Hercules. He’s not the son of Zeus. He’s just some guy with a good PR man. Seriously. How on earth did this even get made!?! How did it leave the first meeting when the basic premise is, “He’s not the superhero of myth and he’s not going to do the very things which are the only reason we even know his name today.” How!?! And in case you were wondering why The Rock’s career never really took off you have your answer. He saw this script and thought it was a good idea. Just like all the other clearly-obvious-to-anyone-else awful movies he’s done. Yes, he’s still found a measure of success, but did not become the heir to Schwarzenegger that even the man himself thought would happen (did you miss Arnold’s cameo in The Rundown?). This is why. All the personal charm in the world cannot overcome these horrible, horrible choices. Which have just led to his ass being kicked by a 5-foot-blonde.

SHE’S A WONDER
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is down to number three and also in this is Keri Russell and to keep our theme of female action heroes going, she was the voice of Wonder Woman in the direct-to-video film a few years back. You should really check it out. It’s not perfect, but no worse than most theatrically released superhero movies. And definitely better than freaking Lucy.

LIKE GIVING DIAMONDS TO AN APE
The Purge: Anarchy is down to number four, followed by Planes: Fire & Rescue at number five and Sex Tape down to number six and also wasted in this is Rob Corddry. How do you waste Rob Corddry as a wacky neighbor with a sociopath kid? They found a way.

YEAH, BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
Transformers: Age of Extinction is down to number seven with And So It Goes opening at number eight and honestly if I’d known this opened this weekend I might have seen it, but I saw not one single commercial for it. No wonder Michael Douglas was so hot to get into a superhero movie if this is how he’s being treated these days. The man’s got Oscars on both sides of the camera and was once a license to print money. His leading lady is none other than Diane fucking Keaton. Rob Reiner who directed The Princess Bride is the director. Show some respect and promote this damn thing! No matter how much it probably sucks.

SEXY PEOPLE DOING THE SEXY
Tammy is down to number nine and also in this is Susan Sarandon who just admitted she hooked up with David Bowie when they were making The Hunger. That’s the kind of celebrity hook up that just makes you smile. Good for both of them!

AND A MARTINI, SHAKEN. NOT STIRRED.
A Most Wanted Man opens at number ten and this is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final film in a leading role (which suggests there may still be other films yet to be released). It’s based on a John le Carre novel, which means it’s about real spies in the real world, which means I have no interest in it. Give me babes, quips and invisible cars, thank you very much.

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ROB LOWE’S ACTUAL SEX TAPE WAS FUNNIER

21 Jul

<> on November 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Fox          Wknd/$ 36.0     Total/$ 139.0
2. The Purge: Anarchy/Universal                  Wknd/$ 28.4     Total/$ 28.4
3. Planes: Fire & Rescue/Disney                    Wknd/$ 18.0     Total/$ 18.0
4. Sex Tape/Sony                                               Wknd/$ 15.0     Total/$ 15.0
5. Transformers 4/Paramount                        Wknd/$ 10.0     Total/$ 227.2
6. Tammy/Warner                                             Wknd/$ 7.6       Total/$ 71.3
7. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                    Wknd/$ 4.7       Total/$ 180.5
8. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox            Wknd/$ 3.8       Total/$ 160.7
9. Maleficent/Disney                                        Wknd/$ 3.3       Total/$ 228.4
10. Earth to Echo/Relativity                           Wknd/$ 3.3        Total/$ 32.0

WILL SMITH COULD HAVE SAVED US FROM THE MONKEYS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes holds on for a second week confirming this has been a very disappointing summer. I refuse to believe it’s just me being picky (though I clearly am). This summer kinda blows. I mean, no big Pixar or other animated movie (last year as Monsters University and Despicable Me 2); only one big superhero movie (last year was Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and The Wolverine) and not even a Will Smith movie? Are you kidding me!?! Yeah, Tom Cruise had his yearly release, but it oddly feels like everyone else took this summer off (last year he had company with Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington and Vin Diesel) so lesser lights like this thing can shine.

THE ILLUSION OF INTELLIGENT THOUGHT
The Purge: Anarchy opens at number two and this is a sequel to one of the surprise hits of last summer, mainly because it was the rare low budget suspense success that wasn’t a freaking found footage film. Though it pretended to border on satire, the very premise failed for me because if it were true the government would basically use this one day a year to kill all its enemies. Likewise, the police. There wouldn’t be criminals any longer because once a year they’d be wiped out and fear of being labeled a criminal would keep people in line. It’d basically be America as a fascist state. Well, supposedly this film explores that a bit basically showing how “the purge” is really about the rich killing the poor, but it’s too little too late for me. I’m clearly alone in this as this cost as little as its predecessor and made 3x budget the opening weekend, so expect The Purge 3 at a theater near you next summer.

IF FROZEN & WRECK IT RALPH WERE TWO STEP FORWARDS, HERE’S YOUR ONE STEP BACK
Planes: Fire & Rescue opens at number three and I cannot remember a more confusing ad campaign for a children’s movie. One was your usual generic silliness while the other treated this film as if it were about actual an actual fire & rescue unit. Um, okay. If you doubt this is crap just know that animated films usually take years to make, even computer generated ones. The first Planes came out August last year, so you know this was slapped together as quickly as a computer could render it. Once upon a time this would be the kind of thing Disney sent straight to video like its other sequels (Mulan 2 and 3 anyone?) but I guess recent successes have them feeling cocky. And my opinion of this remains the same as last year: if you want me to like your movie then why the hell is Dane Cook in it? Even as a voice I cannot bear the thought of him and it pains me that this is helping to keep his career alive.

REAL SEX TAPES ARE FUNNIER
Sex Tape opens at number four and rarely does “underwhelming” so describe a film. All the pieces of a decent comedy are there. You’ve got your basic set of “normal people” who get thrown into a crazy situation the moment they try to do something adventurous. In this case it’s a nice suburban couple who try to recapture the heat of their earlier days by making a sex tape, then forgetting that they have an auto-sync system on their computer that uploads it to the cloud then downloads it to anyone they’ve given an iPad to. Other elements are their children, one of whom is turning into a smartass while the younger daughter is having existentialist thoughts. You have bored neighbors who are dying to be part of they wacky scheme to get the iPads back; a seemingly family-friendly CEO who does coke and listen to gangsta rap and heavy metal the second his family goes away and the kid of the wacky neighbors who is a budding sociopath. Top it off with an R-rating and you have to be supremely sad not to make this into something worth watching. They are supremely sad. This thing just never gets into gear because they are seemingly afraid of their own raunchy premise. Nothing sums this up better than Cameron Diaz unwilling to be topless. Now Jason Segel has proven he’s willing to go all out when he showed his junk in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but Cameron Diaz is in a movie called “Sex Tape” showing a little “A” (very little to be honest about it) and no “T.” All the times they painfully block any shots of her breasts when she’s supposed to be naked you’re reminded how this movie likewise won’t go where it needs to go. They don’t even honestly deal with why they’re in a rut, which seems to be her frustration at not being able to work, which is mirrored by his resentment at being the breadwinner. Like Cameron Diaz’s breasts they dance around it but never give you anything. It makes perfect sense the funniest part of the movie is Jack Black running down a list of porn site in rapid succession, because that’s the type of fearless vulgarity that was needed all along.

I GUESS TODAY IT’S BEING “A HEMMSWORTH”
Transformers: Age of Extinction is down to number five and you gotta give Mark Walberg points for how wisely he manages his career. This and Ted may not be art, but they keep him on the A-list where he’s been since Clueless. The joke about him being a desirable celebrity (“We may get Marky Mark to plant a tree”) is as valid now as it was almost 20 years ago. Unlike the joke about being “a Baldwin” synonymous with male desirability. The only one still in the public eye is Alec who’s easily 30-4 pounds heavier, which makes him indistinguishable from Daniel. Wherefore art thou Billy? And Stephen was just riding the wave anyway.

EARN LIKE A MAN
Tammy is down to number six and it appears I wasn’t the only person who noticed that this was in fact a very successful movie despite what other people would have you believe. It’s up to $71M from a $20M budget and that’s all domestic loot, baby, which is the kind that really matters. Apparently the idea that a talented woman could churn out subpar crap just like a man (see above paragraph) and still make money off it was bothersome to some.

HOW DARE YOU NOT SHAMELESSLY MILK EVERY DIME FROM EVERYTHING!?!
22 Jump Street is down to number five, followed by How To Train Your Dragon 2 at number eight and Maleficent at number nine and given that the two princesses from Frozen are going to turn up on ABC/Disney’s Once Upon A Time show because that film was so major, you have to wonder why isn’t Maleficent suffering the same fate? It would seem an obviously ploy by the “Never Shy To A Money-Making Ploy” Disney. They could get that girl who looks like Megan Fox, ‘cause Megan Fox kinda looks like Angelina Jolie. Whatshername? The only one who still has to do TV…Oddette Yustman! Damn, girl. You’re the reason people take stage names.

NOT ECHOING SUCCESS THAT’S FOR SURE
Finally, Earth to Echo closes out the top ten at number ten and somewhere Steven Spielberg has a drink and laughs.

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TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS FOR ME TO BE INVOLVED IN

13 Jul

eric-bana-001

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Fox               Wknd/$ 73.0       Total/$ 73.0
2. Transformers 4/Paramount                             Wknd/$ 16.5       Total/$ 209.0
3. Tammy/Warner                                                  Wknd/$ 12.9       Total/$ 57.4
4. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                         Wknd/$ 6.7         Total/$ 172.0
5. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox                  Wknd/$ 5.9         Total/$ 152.1
6. Earth to Echo/Relativity                                   Wknd/$ 5.5         Total/$ 24.6
7. Deliver Us From Evil/SGem                             Wknd/$ 4.7         Total/$ 25.0
8. Maleficent/Disney                                              Wknd/$ 4.2         Total/$ 222.0
9. Begin Again/Weinstein                                     Wknd/$ 2.9         Total/$ 5.3
10. Jersey Boys/Warner                                         Wknd/$ 2.5         Total/$ 41.7

I’M JUDGING YOU, MONKEY (GRANDMA’S BOY REFERENCE)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens at number one and honestly I care even less for this than I did for Transformers: Age of Extinction. I’m not going to get up on my high horse and proclaim the original series defacto better, because honestly I wouldn’t know. I never saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes because of one simple reason: all of this rests on a bunch of monkeys armed only with sticks and stones somehow not being gunned down immediately while rampaging through the streets. That suspension of disbelief I simply cannot give and I watch movies about men in capes who fight unarmed against men with machine guns. That’s how utterly stupid I find that premise. And this film being a sequel to that…nah. I’d rather stay home and read about men in capes who fight unarmed against men with machine guns. Granted, now there’s a logical reason why humans can’t wipe out the apes (a plague that began at the end of the first film has wiped out most of humanity) it all still depends on that first group of apes simply not being gunned down by a handful of cops. The best rationale for this I’ve read is that in any other place but leftist San Francisco it would have happened. That’s funny because it’s true. Only in SF would PETA have enough clout to utterly doom humanity.

SOMETIMES A BRUTHA JUST NEEDS TO GET PAID!
Transformers: Age of Extinction is down to number two and I can only think Stanley Tucci is here to pay for his theater and indie film work. Yeah, that’s what I’ll tell myself. Then again, that’s what I told myself about John Turturro and what did he do with his Transformers money? Make a skeevy vanity project about how Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara would pay him for a threesome. Please don’t do that, Stanley. Please?

ACTUALLY, THE DIRECTOR SLEPT WITH HER TO GET HIS JOB
Tammy is down to number three and before anyone tells you this is a disappointment, know that it’s going to triple its budget domestically alone. Forget what people say about international gross. Studios can only get between 14 and 40% of that take, so domestic is still what matters so they’re very happy with this. Even better Melissa McCarthy’s husband directed it, so they’re building their only little family empire. More power to them.

WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHERE YOU GO GRAY FIRST!
22 Jump Street is down to four followed by How To Train Your Dragon 2 at number five and yes, four out of the top five films are sequels. Now, I’m not going to blame this for the reason this summer has been so disappointing on sequels and sequels to a reboot. If we were looking at sequels to Iron Man and Captain America, I wouldn’t be happier. No, this summer has been disappointing because I’m getting older and pickier even inside my own wheelhouse. Yeah, it took awhile, but it’s finally here. I flat out refused to see three of the four due to personal reasons, whereas there’s a 12-year-old geek inside me screaming his lungs out at all the big screen science fiction that we’re passing on. Sorry, kid but the old me needs more sleep than you ever did. Oh, and we can’t ride rollercoaster’s anymore either.

ALL THAT’S MISSING IS A CANDY TIE-IN
Earth to Echo is down to number six and while this technically isn’t a sequel or a reboot but it might as well be also adding to this summer’s disappointment. It’s also a found footage movie, because it’s shot from various cameras in the film. Not that you needed another reason not to see it.

SAM WORTHINGTON HAS HAD MORE SUCCESS AND YOU KNOW THAT’S WRONG
Deliver Us From Evil is down to number seven and you gotta feel for Erica Bana. He has leading man written all over him, but the work keeps letting him down, from The Hulk to Troy to The Other Boleyn Girl to The Time Traveler’s Wife. The killer is that he was a good actor in a superhero movie before it was cool. His director here, Scott Derrickson, is going to helm the Doctor Strange movie and there’s talk his co-star Edgar Ramirez will have the role. I think Bana would actually be better. Besides, the universe owes him one.

SPOILERS ARE MUSIC TO MY EARS
Begin Again enters the top ten at number nine and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s a bit of fairy tale, but like I said, fuck that grim indie bullshit. It’s summer. Also here (but mercifully only moments) is Cee Lo as the kind star who helps the down on his luck Ruffalo for old time’s sake. Like I said, fairy tale. I also don’t get why Ruffalo needs to have an old Jaguar that he drives in the city!?! It would have made so much more sense if he actually sold it to pay for making Keira Knightley’s album. Oh, I promise a spoiler. You ready? You sure? Here we go…3…2…1…Ruffalo and Knightley never hook up. Yes, we finally have a movie where a broken middle-aged man isn’t magically healed between the thighs of a younger woman. More than that, he actually goes back to his wife played by the wonderful Catherine Keener. They definitely toy with them confusing being in love with making the music with being in love with each other, but just when you think it’s about to happen, it’s wonderfully and humorously derailed, never to return.

WE JUST WEREN’T READY FOR PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
Ironically enough, as one good movie about musicians enters the top ten, a mediocre one leaves, as Jersey Boys closes out the top ten at number ten. You now what would have saved this film? If they made it a flat out real musical and allowed Christopher Walken to sing and dance. No, I’m not kidding. I think more people would have paid to see that that than this as it is.

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NO, NOT A REMAKE OF THE DEBBIE REYNOLDS MOVIE

6 Jul

tammy-bachel_ger_58_a 1. Transformers 4/Paramount                    Wknd/$ 36.4      Total/$ 174.7
2. Tammy/Warner                                         Wknd/$ 21.2      Total/$ 32.9
3. Deliver Us From Evil/SGem                    Wknd/$ 9.5       Total/$ 15.0
4. 22 Jump Street/Sony                                Wknd/$ 9.4       Total/$ 158.9
5. How To Train Your Dragon 2/Fox         Wknd/$ 8.8       Total/$ 140.0
6. Earth to Echo/Relativity                          Wknd/$ 8.3       Total/$ 13.5
7. Maleficent/Disney                                     Wknd/$ 6.1        Total/$ 213.9
8. Jersey Boys/Warner                                 Wknd/$ 5.2        Total/$ 36.7
9. Think Like A Man Too/SGem                 Wknd/$ 4.9        Total/$ 57.2
10. Edge of Tomorrow/Warners                Wknd/$ 3.6         Total/$ 90.9

LIKE A TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT GUITAR PLAYER WITH NO SENSE OF MELODY
Transformers: Age of Extinction holds at number one and if you want to know why Michael Bay sucks but lack the film literacy than “It makes my head hurt” then watch the analysis of Tony Zhou wherein he breaks down the method to the madness. Simply put: Bay tries to pack as much into every scene as he possible can. Now on one level that makes sense when you’re dealing with giant robots fighting, but the problem is he’ll do it with two people talking and a scene with two people talking only needs to be about that conversation. Even when it’s just two robots talking it still needs only to be about that conversation, but with Bay it’s them the sky, the building and whatever the hell else he can cram into it with a camera that’s always in motion. But the analysis is only about the narrative of the film itself, not exploring why the screenplays are equally horrible. Nor does it delve into Bay’s need to have women appear in white or beautiful women in tight skirts, high heels and lots of cleavage in the background (cough “casting couch” cough). That’s fine if the character is visiting a modeling agency, not the Defense Department, but like all of his shots Bay likes to put things were they don’t belong.

A PROUD HOLLYWOOD STEREOTYPE, ER, TRADITION
Tammy opens at number two and like many a performer who has shone as sidekick or supporting character, Melissa McCarthy is not my idea of a lead because a little of her goes a long way. Not to mention the whole “dumb, fat slob” genre of comedy has always left me cold. I didn’t care for it with John Candy or Chris Farley or Jack Black and I don’t care for it here. It’s not helping that the advertising is leaving out that her character is in fact reacting to the failure of her marriage which suggests there’s a little more going on. Nonetheless, I wish her as much success as every fat bastard we’ve ever had to endure onscreen (it cost $20M and made $32M its first five days). I’m just not gonna help with it.

SCHIZOPHRENIA? NO WAY. IT’S SATAN!
Deliver Us From Evil opens at number three and this is yet another “inspired by a true story” movie complete with the actual police officer involved turning up in the ads for it, which only makes me think the requirements to join NYPD aren’t as strenuous as they might be. Then again, you don’t want to be the only police department to ask, “Do you believe in ghosts and demons” on the application. While this does fall technically under the “I Don’t Do Scary” rule it doesn’t look the slightest bit scary to me because it just seems so. stupid. Honestly, I’d respect it more if they hadn’t insisted it was based on real events, which means “serious psychological issues misinterpreted by religious nutjobs.”

THEME SONG: “TURN ON YOUR CELL PHONE LIGHT”
22 Jump Street is down to number four, followed by How To Train Your Dragon 2 at number five and Earth To Echo opening at number six and is Spielberg getting a check for this? It’s so clearly e.t.: The Extra Terrestrial for the camera phone generation it’s not even funny. You know how whenever Paul Rudd appears on a Conan O’Brien he keeps tricking Conan by showing footage from the painfully obvious e.t. rip-off Mac and Me? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if next time he uses this.

SADLY THIS DIDN’T STAY IN VEGAS
Maleficent is down to number seven followed by Jersey Boys at number eight and Think Like A Man Too at number nine and also in this ensemble cast are Wendy Williams, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Ronald DeVoe (from New Edition and BBD), Ndaamukong Suh, Cheryl Hines, Carl Weathers and Kelsey Grammer? There are Love Boat episodes with a less diverse collection of people. What the hell? You think it was anyone who just happened to be in Vegas when they filmed this? “Hey do a scene and we’ll give you a few grand in chips.”

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, BLAME COMPUTERS
Finally Edge of Tomorrow closes out the top ten at number ten and while people are looking for some reason to blame this disappointing return of a mostly positively reviewed movie on Cruise fatigue (no one really turned out for Oblivion last year either) I’m gonna put it down to the exo-skeleton armor they wear. Don’t ask me why, but even I, a science fiction and comic book loving geek who sees it all the time in print was oddly put off by it. It’s just unappealing visually. Equally unappealing were the CGI aliens. Honestly if there’s any fatigue at play here, it’s excessive CGI monster fatigue. They all look the same, like a swirling mass of pixels. Not so much threatening as boring.

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