Tag Archives: Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

“SECRET” LIFE SOUNDS BETTER THAN “QUIET DESPERATION”

29 Dec

47_Ronin_Poster_Intenational_e_JPosters

 1. The Hobbit 2/Warner                               Wknd/$  29.9           Total/$ 190.3

 2. Frozen/Disney                                            Wknd/$  28.8          Total/$ 248.4

 3. Anchorman 2/Paramount                        Wknd/$  28.8          Total/$   83.7

 4. American Hustle/Sony                             Wknd/$  19.6           Total/$   60.0

 5. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par                    Wknd/$  18.5            Total/$   34.3

 6. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                         Wknd/$  14.0           Total/$   37.8

 7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty/Fox       Wknd/$  13.0           Total/$   25.6

 8. The Hunger Games 2/LGF                       Wknd/$  10.2           Total/$ 391.1

 9. 47 Ronin/Universal                                    Wknd/$   9.9           Total/$   20.6

10. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Xmas/LGF          Wknd/$    7.4          Total/$   43.7

 

FILLED WITH ELFIN HOTNESS

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug holds at number one and here as the character of Badass Chick Elf created by Peter Jackson is Evangeline Lilly and I maintain that’s the name of someone who sleeps with James Bond, not a real, live person. She acquits herself well enough with the English accent—that all characters must have in fantasy films and historical characters that are not American must have—like Liv Tyler before her. Which makes sense given that she’s here basically to fill that hole of a hot, badass chick elf.

 

DOING THE HEAVY LIFTING THE SCRIPT DOESN’T

Frozen actually rises to number two and I seem to be in the minority of people who don’t see this as a new Disney “classic.”  I’m thinking crap like Madagascar has lowered the bar so severely of what people expect from an animated film that anything even slightly above average gets an undue amount of praise.  In this case it’s that damn song that’s basically carrying this whole film, which I kinda understand. I hate songs in animated films, but even I like it. It’s that good.

 

WILL FERRELL IS BETTER FOR YOU THAN A GIANT ROBOT

Anchorman 2 is down to number three and finally in a big A-list film is Meagan Good, who was basically Megan Fox before Megan Fox, as in an actress whose name and look is more commonly found in porn, in that both are very exaggerated.  Between this and actually being the lead in a serious “let’s-cash-in-on-the-success-of-Scandal-with-a-hot-black-chick” drama in prime time (yes, it was cancelled almost immediately, but that she even got the role is the victory), it seems after 15 years in front of the camera, Meagan Good is becoming an overnight success.  I mean, unless you’re black, which means you’ve been watching her for 15 years, since Eve’s Bayou and are quite frankly shocked to see her in a role where she’s not in short-shorts and a push-up bra. Maybe we’ll all be shocked to see Megan Fox make the same type of ascension in ten years. Hey, it could happen!

 

THE DOUCHE OF WALL STREET

American Hustle holds at number four and no matter how many people tell me this is a mess, a mess with this cast is still going to be interesting at the very least, unlike say The Wolf of Wall Street which opens at number five.  It has a pretty interesting supporting cast, but unfortunately a center of doucheness composed of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. Yes, I know that their actual personalities shouldn’t affect your opinion of them onscreen, but guess what? They’re playing douchebags here too, so I’m not sure how much acting went into it.  But it’s Scorsese Oscar-bait so I guess I have to see it.

 

NICE PEOPLE DON’T GET MUCH DONE

Saving Mr. Banks (the unofficial sequel to Saving Private Ryan?) is down to number six and remember how I said this was a fairy tale to portray Walt Disney as a great man at her expense?  Well, she was no saint either.  Seems she adopted a little boy…but not his twin brother! Why?  Astrology. You only wish I were joking. But it gets worse. She never told him he had a brother…until he ran into him in a bar one day.  A bar because they both developed alcohol problems.  Gee, I wonder why?  Yeah, you’d have to lie to tell a story that put either of these two people in a favorable light.

 

THE BEN STILLER MOVIE

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens at number seven and this isn’t so much a remake as it is a reinterpretation of the short story, as the difference in tone and intent is as different as night and day.  The Danny Kaye version was a lighthearted musical comedy while this is an introspective comedy drama about a man who feels his life has so passed him by he can only cope by constantly losing himself into his daydreams.  Now if you’re someone of a comparable age and situation you might find yourself crying at regular points throughout, especially when his daydream actually enables him to find the courage to take a literal leap when reality fails him. All set to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” being sung by Kristen Wiig (I’m not crying! You’re crying!). I’ve long complained about not being able to take any more of Ben Stiller’s “Theater of Pain” style of comedy, which is basically watching him suffer an infinite number of indignities. It got so bad someone once joked that it was amazing he wasn’t in Passion of the Christ (get it? a suffering Jew?).  This film is ironically both the best use of that idea and the source of its worse missteps.  The humor that comes from him struggling to live life rather than just dream about it as he unburdens himself with the responsibility of taking care of his family is  very natural. The bit where he’s beaten down by airport security over a flute—all seen through an x-ray machine—is like a leftover bit from his show on Fox in the 90’s.  It’s a very flawed film, but sadly it spoke to me and I loved it as a result. This unfortunately means I lose the high ground I once had over my baby sister who loves the horrid Casual Sex movie for similar reasons. Nah. This is still better than that turd of a film.

 

47 REASONS WHY NO ONE SAW THIS

The Hunger Games: Catching Fires is down to number eight while 47 Ronin opens at number nine and Universal has already written this off for their 2013 taxes.  Ouch.  It was plagued with production troubles and while I don’t mind taking the famous story of the 47 Ronin (it’s considered a defining moment in Japanese culture and is celebrated annually) and setting it in within the world of Japanese mythology where magic and monsters are real you kinda wonder what was the point?  Especially when there are a) so few and b) only one of them that really matters.  And you have ample time to wonder because the film is paced so poorly. The first 30 minutes should have been part of the opening narration, as the story doesn’t begin until the 47 samurai become 47 ronin at the death of their lord (a samurai’s duty is to protect his lord and to become ronin is a disgrace because it means he as failed).  That would take this down from a bloated two hours to a tidier, yet still weak 90 minutes. Sorry, but a samurai film where the only blood seen is when they cut their thumbs to mark a document is ridiculous.  And we haven’t even gotten into the Keanu Reeves factor. Now, I like Keanu and am impressed that he’s finally playing Asian after all these years (his father was Philipino-Chinese) but he still sounds like a surfer with a head cold and even though the film is filled with Japanese actors speaking accented English, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The best part is the female villain who is working for a much better movie than she gets.

 

DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS

Finally, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas closes out the top ten at number ten and good riddance.

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YOU STAY CLASSY, AMERICA

22 Dec

infinity-gauntlet-2of3

 1. The Hobbit 2/Warner                             Wknd/$   31.7            Total/$ 127.7

 2. Anchorman 2/Paramount                     Wknd/$  26.8            Total/$   40.0

 3. Frozen/Disney                                          Wknd/$  19.2            Total/$ 191.6

 4. American Hustle/Sony                           Wknd/$  19.1             Total/$   20.2

 5. Saving Mr. Banks/Disney                      Wknd/$   9.3              Total/$    9.3

 7. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Xmas/LGF       Wknd/$    8.5             Total/$   28.3

 6. The Hunger Games 2/LGF                    Wknd/$    8.8             Total/$ 371.7

 8. Walking With Dinosaurs/Fox               Wknd/$    7.3             Total/$     7.3

 9. Dhoom 3/Yash                                         Wknd/$    3.3              Total/$     3.3

10. Thor: The Dark World/BV                    Wknd/$    1.3              Total/$ 200.8

 

CUZ THEY’RE ENGLISHMEN/IDENTICAL ENGLISHMEN

The Hobbit: The Desolations of Smaug holds at number one and also in this is Luke Evans, aka That Guy You Keep Mistaking For Orlando Bloom. What makes even funnier is that Orlando Bloom also returns here as Legolas, archery elf supreme. And to top off the funny an arrow is very much a part of the character that Luke Evans plays.   He was also in the horrible Three Musketeers remake…with Orlando Bloom.  But did we ever see them together onscreen? Hmmmm…

 

ADS NAUSEAM

Anchorman 2 opens at number two and thank Zeus this damn thing finally came out because this advertising campaign has been going on all year at a relentless pace. I swear I saw Will Ferrell pop up in The Hobbit!  Seriously!  I didn’t see this because I didn’t see the first one, though I know everyone and his mother loves it.  Will Ferrell is another one of those funnymen where a little goes a long way and there’s a lot of him here. Too much for me.

 

XOXO

Frozen is down to number three and as the other main voice is Kristen Bell, aka Veronica Mars and this ironically proves that people love her so long as they don’t have to see, as her biggest successes since those days having been the voice of “Gossip Girl” (proving the writers were pulling it out of their asses by making it be Dan all along) and this.  Yeah, she’s on House of Lies, but how many of you have actually seen that?  Exactly. I actually watch it, but I fast forward through half of it, usually when she’s onscreen.

 

OUR LOVE/HATE AFFAIR WITH 70’S FASHION

Blatant Oscar-bait American Hustle finally enters the top ten at number four and it took the ad campaign long enough to actually tell people this has a plot.  It’s about Abscam, which was a famous scandal in its day, but didn’t have the weight of an Iran-Contra, which quickly wiped out of the American consciousness. Until now they’ve basically been selling “Come see all these heavyweight actors in 70’s period garb!”  What’s sad is how appealing that actually was and I include myself in this. I promise, Christian Bale, I will see this one, having blown off Out of the Furnace. Or was it Into the Furnace? I think that says it all.

 

WELL, DISNEY DOES LIKE TO MAKE FAIRY TALES

Saving Mr. Banks enters the top ten at number five and this is Tom Hanks’ second Oscar bait film this year and the second one undone by reality.  While Captain Phillips was undone by the actual crew coming out to say they hated him, this is undone by the fact that P.L Travers the author of Mary Poppins, hated Disney and it was mutual. He never actually met her so she wasn’t some repressed woman thawed out by Walt Disney’s charms.  She was a bisexual woman with a girlfriend and an adult son and she so hated this movie she put in her will that not only could Disney not do any sequels, but no American could ever adapt it again, period. I mean this movie is such a piece of Disney propaganda that they don’t even have Walt Disney smoking which is the one thing he did a actually do.

 

TYRANNOSAURUS SUX

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is down to number six, followed by Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas at number seven and Walking With Dinosaurs opening horribly at number eight. Do you know how badly you have to suck to make a dinosaur film that kids don’t want to see? To paraphrase Jurassic Park, “Fox found a way.”  The original was a very successful BBC series. This has been dumbed down into a comedic family film.  Apparently you can go broke trying to underestimate the taste of the American public.

 

WHAT PART OF “MELTING POT” DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?

Dhoom: 3 opens at number nine and honestly that these films aimed at a specific part of the American audience can still make a little money is what makes America great. There should be something for everyone at the movie theaters. No, I have no idea what this is about, but my point remains valid.

 

WELCOME TO GEEK CLASS

Finally, Thor: The Dark World closes out the top ten at number ten and if you don’t understand the post credit teaser, here you go: that weirdo played by Benicio Del Toro was The Collector, one of the cosmic Elders of the Universe in Marvel comics. Every elder has an Infinity Gem, each with different powers. Now when all are combined they give the possessor infinite power and that guy you saw in the post credit sequence in The Avengers was Thanos, who does get them all and sets out to destroy the universe to please Death itself because he’s in love with her. It took all superheroes on Earth to stop him. Sif and Volstagg were giving him one of the gems for safekeeping because there was already one on Asgard.  This is clearly leading into The Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming from Marvel. What are the Guardians of the Galaxy? Sigh. Sit down, Timmy, and I’ll explain…

SHE ELF AND TOO MANY DWARVES

15 Dec

idina menzel pic

 1. The Hobbit 2/Warner                           Wknd/$  73.7            Total/$   73.7

 2. Frozen/Disney                                        Wknd/$  22.2            Total/$ 164.4

 3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Xmas/LGF      Wknd/$  16.0            Total/$   16.0

 4. The Hunger Games 2/LGF                   Wknd/$  13.2            Total/$ 357.0

 5. Thor: The Dark World/BV                    Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$ 198.1

 6. Out of the Furnace/Relativity              Wknd/$    2.3            Total/$     9.5

 7. Delivery Man/BV                                    Wknd/$    1.9             Total/$   28.0

 8. Philomena/Weinstein                            Wknd/$    1.8            Total/$     8.3

 9. The Book Thief/Fox                                Wknd/$    1.7            Total/$   14.9

10. Homefront/ORF                                     Wknd/$    1.6            Total/$   18.4

 

HOBBIT 2: ELFIN BUGALOO

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens at number one and this is the second part of the Hobbit trilogy which wasn’t really a trilogy, but director Peter Jackson decided to make it into one because he felt the story needed “fleshing out” which somehow translated into making the first one a musical comedy about dwarves. Okay, maybe it was just one scene, but it seemed to go on forever and it’s sad that’s what I remember most about it. Seriously. I’ve forgotten most of the first film which is why this desperately needed a 30 second recap to remind us where we left off in because it feels like we walked into the middle of a movie. That said, it’s much better than the first thanks to the lack of dwarf musical numbers and honestly the presence of a butt-kicking female elf who didn’t exist in The Hobbit novel and the dragon himself.  Ironically, their standing out may be a result of Jackson actually neglecting the main character.  The movie may be called The Hobbit but the first act doesn’t even seem to be about Bilbo at all, but again the freaking dwarves. The middle is partially his and his battle with the seductive powers of the ring (reminding us again what a wuss Frodo was), while the final third he gives up once again to the dwarves, elves and now some humans. It’s telling the film finds a second wind only when Bilbo alone faces off against Smaug the dragon.  I look forward to the end of this trilogy when geeks take it upon themselves to edit out everything Peter Jackson added to “flesh out” the books and we see just how long it really should have been.

 

OF COURSE SHE’S SOARING; SHE JUST DROPPED 180 POUNDS

Frozen is down to number two and as the voice of the Snow Queen is Idina Menzel, best known as winning a Tony for her portrayal of the Wicked Witch in  Wicked and up until a few days ago, as the wife of Taye Diggs, but now they’re getting divorced.  Bad move on his part as “Let It Go” will undoubtedly be nominated for an Oscar and probably win, which means she’s going to be performing in front a global audience and thanking everyone but him. He won’t even get to escort her down the red carpet.  There’s a reason why Sandra Oh, kept her divorce from Alexander Payne under wraps until after the Awards.  She got to go to the Awards, share in the success and parties and then go her own way. Diggs is going to be babysitting their son while she ascends to another level and probably wind up with George Clooney. Need to work on that timing, brutha.

 

I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas opens at number three and just…no. Seriously, no. There’s just no excuse for this.

 

HE WAS PLAYED BY WHO? SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is down to number four, followed by Thor: The Dark World in at number five and this actually has elves in it as well, dark ones. The title refers to their home and their leader is played by Christopher Eccleston, best known as the Dr. Who that revitalized the series, then left immediately.  But that’s only if you’ve never had sex. If you’re a normal person you know him as the Duke of Norfolk who is the primary enemy of Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth.  He’s become a very good go-to bad guy, because he’s both unattractive and English. That’s a one-two combination that can’t be beat. Nothing says “pure evil” like an ugly Englishman.  Except maybe an attractive Englishman.

 

FRANK STALLONE KNOWS YOUR PAIN

Out of the Furnace is down to number seven and also in this as Christian Bale’s shorter, less attractive, less successful brother is Ben Affleck’s brother shorter, less attractive, less successful brother Casey Affleck.  Ouch. This was either the easiest role ever or a source of neverending torment for him during filming.

 

IF THE TRUTH IS YOUR ENEMY THEN YOU’RE NOT THE GOOD GUY

Delivery Man is down to number seven, followed by Philomena at number eight and this has caused some minor controversy as being “anti-Catholic” because it’s based on the true story of a woman who was forced to give up her child by the Catholic Church in England.  It was minor because the real “Philomena” spoke up to support and verify it and calling something that depicts the truth “anti” anything makes you look like a dick.

 

FREE FOOD AND LODGING TOO!

The Book Thief is down to number nine with Homefront closing out the top ten at number ten and also in this as the evil drug lord is…James Franco?  Clearly Franco has the indie work he believes in and cares for and the studio jobs he takes on a whim or as a joke.  Guess which one this one is? You know, with the script by Sylvester Stallone, starring Jason Staham and Winona Ryder?  Yeah, I started laughing just writing that.  Basically he got paid to go hang out in New Orleans for a few months and I doubt he ever pretended it was otherwise. 

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