Tag Archives: Zac Efron

GOING WHERE WE’VE GONE BEFORE

25 Jul

katemc
1. Star Trek Beyond/Paramount             Wknd/$ 59.6    Total/$ 59.6
2. The Secret Life of Pets/Universal       Wknd/$ 29.4   Total/$ 260.7
3. Ghostbusters/Sony                                Wknd/$ 21.6    Total/$ 86.9
4. Lights Out/New Line                             Wknd/$ 21.6    Total/$ 21.6
5. Ice Age: Collision Course/Fox             Wknd/$ 21.0    Total/$ 21.0
6. Finding Dory/Disney                             Wknd/$ 7.2      Total/$ 460.2
7. The Legend of Tarzan/WB                   Wknd/$ 6.4      Total/$ 115.8
8. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates    Wknd/$ 4.4      Total/$ 40.4
9. Hillary’s America/QF                             Wknd/$ 3.7      Total/$ 3.7
10. The Infiltrator/BG                                Wknd/$ 3.3      Total/$ 12.2

AND NO GODDAMN LENS FLARES!
Opening at number one is Star Trek Beyond and honestly until the Rhianna song was used effectively in the trailer to give it gravitas I’d planning on giving this the same pass I gave Star Trek Insurrection, so kudos to whomever cut that thing. They deserve a serious fucking raise. Hell, I even bought the song so they got me all around. This is the first of the “nu Trek” to come even close to the original series and I don’t think it’s any coincidence it’s the first without cut-rate Spielberg, JJ Abrams. It’s akin to one of the more action oriented episodes, meaning there’s punching and shooting and things blowing up just fine, but once again there’s zero depth and no examination of anything relevant. The trailers suggest something about “the Frontier” pushing back against the Federation and I thought they’d take a look at some civilizations resenting the idea they’re being “discovered” or rejecting being part of some galactic organization. Nope. Once again the “nu Trek’s” bad guy is just some dick with a grudge, so basically they keep remaking Wrath of Khan. And they really, really, really need to stop with the callbacks to the original series. It just pulls me out of this film and reminds me how inferior it is to the source material. I know people usually love easter eggs, but not three goddamn films in. Enough already. The problem has always been the writing, never the casting so Chris Pine is finally allowed to play Kirk as a captain and not a frat boy failing upwards, but goddamn he’s aging fast. They’re going to be recasting this thing any day now. Zachary Quinto has always been good as Spock and how they address the death of Leonard Nimoy in the film makes an old geek a little misty. All the other cast members do as much with their roles as they can in what is a pretend ensemble piece (it’s always about Kirk & Spock and everybody knows it).

THIS YEAR’S FUNNY BLONDE
The Secret Life of Pets is down to number two, followed by Ghostbusters at number three and Kate McKinnon is awesome. Sadly there probably won’t be a sequel to this where they can give her direction and character beyond, “Be as weird as possible for no reason.” Basically she’s the Harold Ramis character in this film but replace small bits of wit (“Print is dead.” “I collect spores, molds and fungus.” “It would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing approximately 600 lbs.”) with excessive mugging. But her wink makes boys and girls alike melt. She’s a comedic superstar just waiting to happen.

SERIOUSLY, IT’S FUCKED UP
Lights Out opens at number three and as we all know I don’t do the scary and this looks scary to the point of being utterly. fucked. up. Being haunted by a creature that appears when the lights go out!?! Could you channel primal fucking fears any better? I will never fucking see this more than I’ll never see all the other horror movies released. If you’re just basically competent this should work. Hell, there was another, less creepy version of this 13 years ago called Darkness Falls that also made money. In fact, the only odd thing about it was the lack of a sequel. This, however will probably get one, having cost $5M and making FOUR TIMES that much the opening weekend. And I’m not going to point out the irony of a female led ghost movie outdoing the female led Ghostbusters movie. Nope. Not me.

DID I MENTION IT WAS SHITTY AND LAME?
Ice Age: Collision Course opens at number five and if I weren’t an atheist I’d pray that this poor opening would mean an end to this shitty, shitty, fucking lame animated franchise. I only saw the shitty, shitty fucking lame first installment, but I sincerely doubt it got any less shitty or fucking lame.

THIS YEAR’S SEXY BLONDE
Finding Dory is down to number six, followed by The Legend of Tarzan at number seven and while this is a blow to the leading man career of Alexander Skarsgard, it’s not doing anything to Margot Robbie other than keeping her in the public eye until she truly blows up which seems to be the case in the upcoming Suicide Squad. Fortunately for her, the male leads are getting the blame for the failure of these. Last time it was Will Smith in Focus. Makes sense as they undoubtedly got paid much more.

BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU FOR FUN AND PROFIT
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is down to number eight with Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party opening at number nine and there seems to be a growing sub-category of right-wing-conspiracy nut films. I’d love to see the money trail of who really paid for this. This is the second one from self-hating brown person Dinesh D’Souza (writer, director and star of course) who last went after Obama in—you guessed it—Obama’s America. I wonder if he’s aware of the irony that actually succeeding with these films in tarnishing or bringing down his targets would put him out of a job? I think he does and he’s voting Hilary in November so he can bank on a sequel and a second home in the mountains.

IT AIN’T SHOW ART, IT’S SHOW BUSINESS. NO BUSINESS, NO SHOW.
Finally, The Infiltrator closes out the top ten at number ten and Bryan Cranston needs to generate some green to go along with his accolades because prestige only goes so far. But I think he knows that already which is why he was in Godzilla two years ago, Kung Fu Panda this year and Power Rangers next year. He’s been in this business too long not to know its realities.

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BOO! VAGINAS!

18 Jul

Alexander-Skarsgard-The-Legend-Of-Tarzan-New
1. The Secret Life of Pets/Universal        Wknd/$ 50.6     Total/$ 203.1
2. Ghostbusters/Sony                                Wknd/$ 46.0     Total/$ 46.0
3. The Legend of Tarzan/WB                   Wknd/$ 11.1       Total/$ 103.1
4. Finding Dory/Disney                             Wknd/$ 11.0      Total/$ 445.5
5. Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates     Wknd/$ 7.5        Total/$ 31.3
6. The Purge: Election Year/Universal   Wknd/$ 6.1        Total/$ 71.0
7. Central Intelligence/WB                        Wknd/$ 5.3       Total/$ 117.5
8. The Infiltrator/BG                                  Wknd/$ 5.3       Total/$ 6.7
9. BFG/Disney                                             Wknd/$ 3.7        Total/$ 47.3
10. Independence Day 2/Fox                    Wknd/$ 3.5       Total/$ 98.5

IT’S TWO HOURS OF SLEEPING AND BALL LICKING
The Secret Life of Pets holds at number one and I had zero interest in seeing this movie when the jokes in the trailer seemed so…conventional, but I am clearly alone in this. Yeah, it’s summer and seemingly damn near anything that can keep your out-of-school kids occupied for two hours can make a dollar if you’re even the least bit competent, but it’s gotten some decent reviews as well. So, maybe on cable in 18 months. Maybe. I mean that damn movie about blue parrots is on cable now too, but I still won’t watch it.

UNLIKE THEIR REAL LIVES, THIS IS FILLED WITH WOMEN
Ghostbusters: It’s Chicks Now opens at number two and the lonely, neckbeards who kicked and screamed and stomped their feet over this remake are undoubtedly cheering for it missing the number one slow. I don’t know why. It’s still a solid opening with some decent reviews so it’s not a failure creatively or financially. Well, the latter still remains to be seen, but I think it’ll be okay. Not to mention, to be perfectly the original Ghostbusters wasn’t that goddamn great. It wasn’t and you’re either lying or only saw it as a child the first time. It’s a solid “B” which unfortunately came from three guys who’d made “A” comedies around the same time. Harold Ramis and Bill Murray both had Stripes and Dan Akroyd had Trading Places and even Sigourney Weaver would have Working Girl by the end of the decade. But I have to admit this is not better than the original. It lacks the focus in both storytelling and character and fails to make the most of its reservoir of comedic talent. Not to mention the very New York attitude of the original is sorely missing. I mean, you’ve got a problem when the funniest person is Chris Hemsworth, who is not successful because of his comedic chops. He not only gets to play the rock dumb receptionist but also the villain when his body is possessed but even that is undercut by an omission of a potentially great comedic sequence and just using it to accompany the credits (seriously, don’t leave until the lights come up). It’s a B- remake of a movie that was a B+ on its best day. Not to mention if Ghostbusters was so fucking sacred to you, then Ghostbusters 2 was more fucking sacrilegious to you than this could ever be as it just flat out remade the first and poorly. The best thing about it was the Bobby Brown song…which itself was a remake of his “Don’t Be Cruel.”

WHICH SIDE YOUR BREAD IS BUTTERED, GENIUS!?!
The Legend of Tarzan is down to number three and I meant to see this but then I read Alexander Skarsgard say in an interview that he doesn’t get to wear the loincloth even though he had in fact campaigned for it. And I get it. You don’t put on twenty pounds of muscle to play an ironic hero then get told you can’t wear the iconic clothing. That the director failed that basic bit of common sense to have Tarzan in his famous garb, not to mention the obvious commercial aspect of Alexander Skarsgard in a fucking loincloth let me know that maybe, just maybe his common sense failed in a lot of other areas as well. It looks something that’s probably most enjoyable at home while clothed in one’s own loincloth like garment.

WOMEN WHO TALK DIRTY
Finding Dory is down to number four followed by Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates at five and once again, Zac Efron gives the finger to playing to his looks and goes straight for the crude “R” rated dollar. Back with him is his Bad Grandpa costar, Aubrey Plaza, but also dipping a toe into the dirty pool this time is none other than Anna Kendrick who brings along her Pitch Perfect costar, Adam Devine. Everybody’s taking a trip to the dark side it seems. I’ve never seen a single one of Zac Efron’s movies and nothing about the way this looked threatened to change that, but I am hoping one day to give an Aubrey Plaza movie my money. I do like her and she’s even more fearless as Efron in her choice of comedic roles (check out The To Do List on cable).

LIKE IT COULD BE ANYMORE RIDICULOUS THAN REALITY
The Purge: Election Year is down to number six, but do not fear. At $70M from a $10M budget, this series isn’t going anywhere any time soon, even though the plot of this film has to do with getting rid of the titular occurrence. And even though it’s made serious loot, you know the producers wish they’d had an inkling of what the political situation would be so they could incorporate it into the film itself. The best they could do was to add “Make America Great Again” into the ad campaign.

TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT, BUT CAN CARRY THE OCCASIONAL FILM
Central Intelligence is down to number seven and Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart continue their streak of neither being able to carry a film themselves but to pair up with someone who can help them. It’s like two half-stars making a single star, rather than a film with two actual stars, like the similar Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

GROWN UPS TAKE THE SUMMER OFF TOO
The Infiltrator opens at number eight and this is what we call “counter programming” kids. Every summer someone tries to release a serious drama in the middle of summer convinced that adults would be dying for release from the neverending series of big budget action, science fiction and kids movies. They are almost always wrong. Look for this to probably get a brief re-release in the fall to generate some awards notice. I mean it is Bryan Cranston in a “based on a true story.” It would have to be a total dumpster fire not to. Ooh. Only 66% on Rotten Tomatoes? Ouch. Methinks I smell smelly smoke. And poor Benjamin Bratt. To be so pretty yet still have to play the roles that Latino actors have to play. This is yet another drug dealer for him. At least go back to playing cops, dude. Or get a sitcom. ABC has a black family comedy and an Asian family comedy. Be the dad in their Latino family comedy!

YOU SHOULD HAVE DIRECTED THE STAR WARS MOVIE AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT
The BFG is down to number nine and I can’t help but enjoy this failure because not only is it Steven Spielberg, not only is it his first film with Disney, but it’s in the middle of summer on top of it! Once upon a time that would have been a license to print money, but here it’s one. big. flop. And did I mention it’s also based on a well-known children’s book? That means it had a built-in audience and still couldn’t get it done. Their first mistake was to keep that acronym title instead of going with Big Friendly Giant, as for the last 20 years BFG means one thing in popular culture: Big Fucking Gun from the Doom video game. Not really conducive with a children’s film. I can’t wait to see who Spielberg will blame for this and he will blame everyone but himself.

FUCK THIS GUY
My other piece of extraordinary schadenfreude is the tanking of Independence Day Resurgence. Fuck Roland Emmerich and the horse he rode in on. This asshole took women and minorities out of Stonewall (which also flopped) and later claimed it was a white male movement, then for this he brought back everyone who’d come back—including a character who fucking died in the first one—but neglected to bring back the president’s daughter, played by Mae Whitman and instead replaced her with someone more traditionally pretty (i.e., thin and blonde). His excuse was that she wouldn’t come in and read for the role. I’m not kidding. He wanted her to come in and read for her own damn role, when the real reason it most likely he didn’t think she was pretty enough to be the love interest for Liam Hemsworth. You think he asked Bill Pullman or Jeff Goldblum to read for their roles? Of course not. Bear in mind, of all the returning cast members not a single one of them was the lead in a successful theatrical film in the last decade (even Liam Hemsworth has only been a supporting player in successful films, never the lead). You know who has been? Mae Whitman, who was the star of The Duff. Not a $100M blockbuster, but it made 4x its freaking budget and she was the sole and unquestioned star. Not to mention she’s been on Parenthood for the last couple of years. To sum up, he’s an asshole and this bombed domestically and critically. Yeah, it’s making money overseas, but it won’t be enough as Warcraft just proved which made even more, but still is a failure and won’t have sequels like Emmerich hoped for this. The weird thing is the third idea actually sounded interesting: the earth invades the alien world. But again, fuck this guy.

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STILL THE KING!

19 May

don-johnson

1. Godzilla/Warner                                                 Wknd/$ 93.2     Total/$ 93.2
2. Neighbors/Universal                                         Wknd/$ 26.0     Total/$ 91.5
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony                  Wknd/$ 16.8      Total/$ 172.2
4. Million Dollar Arm/Disney                              Wknd/$ 10.5      Total/$ 10.5
5. The Other Woman/Fox                                     Wknd/$ 6.3        Total/$ 71.7
6. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                               Wknd/$ 4.4        Total/$ 82.2
7. Rio 2/Fox                                                              Wknd/$ 3.8       Total/$ 118.1
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier            Wknd/$ 3.8        Total/$ 250.7
9. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return                    Wknd/$ 2.0        Total/$ 6.6
10. Moms’ Night Out/TriS                                    Wknd/$ 1.9         Total/$ 7.3

GODZILLA VERSUS…THE PREVIOUS VERSION OF GODZILLA
Godzilla opens not all that unexpectedly at number one. I mean, partner a classic movie character (he is too!) with a currently hot respected actor (as opposed to say, Zac Efron) and you’ve got a movie that will bring in not just your regular genre fans some people who might have otherwise given this a pass. I can’t imagine how they felt when they realized he was only going to be in the movie for 15 minutes. Too bad! We already got your money, suckers! So honestly, most of the movie has to carried by that kid from Kick Ass. No, I’m not kidding. He plays Bryan Cranston’s son, who just happens to be a Naval officer who dismantles nuclear bombs (mom and dad worked at Japanese nuclear plant). Gee, think that might come in handy before the end of this film? Most people can’t help but use this as a tool to beat up the other Godzilla film from Hollywood, as if every Japanese film of a man in a rubber suit was some kind of work of art (why they stick to the suit and ignore CGI is something only the Japanese understand). It was just bad in a different way than most of them usually were. It’s also a guilty pleasure of mine. And honestly, this one repeats the same mistake of that one: waiting too long to show Godzilla then showing him mostly at night. At least this time there are two other monsters to fight (not Mothra, but his nasty cousin), but they still manage got give him less screen time than the Sony version. Yes, the human element does matter, but I really didn’t need so much time watching Kick Ass, his wife (the Olsen who’s not a twin) and their struggle to get back together (their home is in San Francisco which just so happens to be where all the monsters have decided to fight). It’s called Godzilla, not “A Family Reunites While Monsters Fight.” If fact, I needed it as about as much as we needed Matthew Broderick’s reporter girlfriend. And even she eventually played a role in doing something to stop the monsters in the end. Non Olsen Twin doesn’t even get to do that, though she’s nurse. At least have her save some people to warrant this screen time. But we do get Godzilla’s radioactive breath back. So there’s that.

PEOPLE WANT TO DISLIKE YOU. LET THEM.
Neighbors is down to number two and you know who needed this more than Seth Rogen? Zac Efron. Since graduating from the Disney Academy he’s been floundering in his attempts to be taken seriously to the point no one seems to realize that his previous film, That Awkward Moment, actually made a little money. The reality of previous failures, altered the perception of an actual success. But now not only has he gotten a hit, but he’s about to join the Marvel Comics money-making machine. Somewhere Vanessa Hudgens is pissed, having played a series of supposedly “image breaking” roles of bad girls. Next time, honey, do it for laughs. That’s the key. Here he plays a jerk pretty boy for laughs. Next time you play a funny hooker-stripper-runaway-slut.

WAIT? THE ACTOR’S NAME IS WHAT?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is down to number three and is it just me or does this Dane DeHaan kid who plays Harry Osborn look like a younger, even more demented Leonardo DiCaprio. See, models? You don’t have to bang someone as old as your dad any more.

SPOILER ALERT. BUT NOT REALLY.
Million Dollar Arm opens at number four and while I don’t know much about baseball, I know there’s no one named Kinesh or Ghupta playing for the Yankees so how inspiring a true story can this be? Who wants to see a movie where the unlikely underdogs don’t win it all in the end?

DADDY VICE
The Other Woman is down to number five and Don Johnson shows up in this as Cameron Diaz’s father who starts dating Kate Upton. While I do loves me some Don Johnson and am enjoying this second half of his career where he’s playing dads (Kristen Bell’s dad, Jason Sudeikis’ dad, Danny McBride’s dad) this isn’t so much funny as fucking creepy, yet men seem to like to doing it. The “joke” at the end of No Strings Attached was that Lake Bell wound up dating Ashton Kutcher’s dad. Wasn’t funny then either.

BUT CAPTAIN AMERICA WILL NEVER DIE (HE CONTRACTED FOR SIX FILMS)
Heaven Is Real is down to number six, followed by Rio 2 at number seven and Captain America: The Winter Soldier drops to number eight and I wonder if they’re going to cough up a little more ad money to have it go out with a bang on Memorial Day weekend? Because you can see this big drop coincided with the release of Godzilla. They share the same audience and that audience will be seeing X-Men next weekend so it’s all over but the shouting. But it was a damn good run. If you told me it would do this well—$700M from a $170M budget—I’d have called it a little overly optimistic, but as a man who bought two Captain America t-shirts last week (almost three), I’m happy to see my guy do well.

WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF FEELING GLEEFUL?
Know who’s not doing well? Lea Michele. She’s the voice of Dorothy in Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, which is down to number nine and heard anything from the album she released? Did you know she’s got a book coming out too? Exactly.

THE END
Finally, Mom’s Night Out closes out the top ten at number ten.

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FOOD PORN IS THE BEST PORN BECAUSE YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET FOOD

12 May

sofia-vergara-in-jeans

1. Neighbors/Universal                                  Wknd/$ 51.1        Total/$ 51.1
2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony          Wknd/$ 37.2        Total/$ 148.0
3. The Other Woman/Fox                             Wknd/$ 9.3         Total/$ 61.7
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier    Wknd/$ 5.6          Total/$ 245.0
4. Heaven is for Real/TriStar                       Wknd/$ 7.0          Total/$ 75.2
6. Rio 2/Fox                                                     Wknd/$ 5.1          Total/$ 113.2
7. Moms’ Night Out/TriS                              Wknd/$ 4.2          Total/$ 4.2
8. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return            Wknd/$ 3.7         Total/$ 3.7
9. Divergent/LGF                                            Wknd/$ 1.7          Total/$ 145.0
10. Brick Mansions/Relativity                      Wknd/$ 1.5         Total/$ 18.3

YOU CAN’T KILL EVIL…ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S UGLY
Neighbors opens big at number one and it’s like some nightmare I’m having as this returns Seth Rogen to the forefront as a comic leading man after wonderfully stumbling with The Guilt Trip and The Green Hornet. My only hope is that this confirms he’s better being partnered with someone else…someone actually attractive and he cannot ever, ever, ever be the male lead who gets the hot girl. No offense, Rose Byrne but Zac Efron is prettier than you and we all know it. You’re actually somewhat attainable for someone like Seth Rogen.

LAMENTATIONS OF AN AGING GEEK
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is down to number two and while I maintain that what makes this movie enjoyable is the characters, let’s not pretend the storyline itself is nothing short of a cosmic mess, but this is what I like to call “Harrison Ford Syndrome.” This is when you so enjoy what’s happening onscreen you don’t stop to think about it. Like Indiana Jones on the sub in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or every single freaking moment of The Fugitive. Because if you do, you realize that it makes little to no sense. You know, like Spider-Man’s plan is basically to kill Electro. No, I’m not kidding. Even though he knows that Electro is a poor schlub that’s been turned into a monster and initially tries to help him, from that point on his big plan is to just blow him up, even though he defeats him with a water hose (which straight from Electro’s first appearance in the comics). There’s never any “I don’t want to hurt you.” Nope. It’s just “let’s blow him up real good!” This a failure of both character and plot, because if there’s one person less likely to kill than even Superman, it’s Peter Parker. But you saw what they did to Superman in Man of Steel. Guess it’s par the course now for you damn kids today.

MRS. SUCCESSFUL PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
The Other Woman is down to number three and are we even pretending that Leslie Mann’s career is based on anything less than being Judd Apatow’s wife? I like her, but let’s not kid ourselves. She’s who you go to in order to make a connection with him or because Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t return your phone calls because she looked at this script and saw for the mildly misogynist treacle it was…or was too expensive. It’s 50/50 with her.

DOUBLE EDGE SWORD
Heaven is Real is down to number four and given Rake was just cancelled is Greg Kinnear happy to have this feather in his cap or is it a mixed blessing given it’s not a “real” movie and would have succeeded with basically anyone in it? I wonder how much work he’s losing to Patrick Wilson who plays similar roles, but is a much better actor?

THEY TRULY LOVE AMERICA
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is down to number five and also in this is Emily VanCamp, best known to most of you and the most ineffective pursuer of Revenge ever. It’s been how many years and she still hasn’t taken that family down!?! Here she’s known as Agent 13, which was also the title Captain America’s girlfriend, Peggy Carter. In the comics it’s no coincidence because she’s, Sharon, the younger sister of Peggy Cater. That was when he reawakened in the early 60’s. As time passed Sharon had to eventually become Peggy’s grandniece, because a woman who was fighting WWII couldn’t have a 29-year-old sister. It hasn’t been made clear if they’re going that route with her here, even though 90-something Peggy Carter does appear. I was impressed that they went hardcore and gave her Alzheimer’s, not making their reunion too touchy feely.

JESUS DOESN’T LIKE FUN OR SO THEY’D HAVE YOU BELIEVE
Rio 2 is down to number six, followed by Mom’s Night Out opening at number seven and how is Leslie Mann not in this? Probably because she doesn’t have to, as this is yet another Christian themed film. How’s that make it any less generic than any Hollywood film with a similar plot? No one has sex or gets high or wants to have sex or get high. And if there’s a divorced woman she’s probably unhappy and a whore.

IT’S ONLY CRAP AND THAT’S ALL
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return opens at number eight and there simply aren’t enough WTF’s for this. This isn’t just an attempt to milk a dead cow, but to milk a dead horse. Even if it were alive you’d still be an idiot. This is based on an Oz sequel written by one Frank L. Baum’s grandkids. He qualifications other than being one of Frank L. Baum’s grandkids? Probably failing at everything else in life, as I’m pretty sure talent isn’t genetic or Mariel Hemmingway’s hiding her talents. He was milking the dead horse and now this film wants to join him and has all the results of what happens when you try to milk a dead horse. Can you imagine how bad a film has to be for the combination of OZ and animation to flop? Personally, I like to think “songs by Bryan Adams” is what did it in, because I still believe in justice.

FOR YOU BEAN COUNTERS
Divergent is down to number nine and this is only $3M away from being profitable by our 3x budget rule of them.

THE END
Finally Brick Mansions closes out the top ten at number ten.

MAKING MORE MUNCHIES THAN WEED
Not entering the Top Ten is Chef, the latest from Jon Favreau since he left or was booted from the director’s chair of Iron Man, depending on which rumor you believe. It’s probably a combination of both. He demanded more money for Iron Man 2, so when it under-performed and he was denied The Avengers he probably threatened to walk and they said “See ya!” If this is his middle finger to them, then they’ve lost creatively if not financially (Iron Man 3 was the highest grossing Iron Man film). It’s not a new story, but there are no new stories. It’s all in how you tell the old ones. Writing, directing and starring, Favreau is a chef in a creative rut under owner Dustin Hoffman. He’s no longer happy doing what he loves and it’s taking its toll on him personally and professionally. He’s not only divorced but neglecting the son who adores him. Finally, a confrontation with an influential blogger pushes him over the edge and he leaves to restart with a food truck. What makes this more of an indie film than a mainstream film is the time it takes to get to Favreau’s breakdown and his eventual rise from the ashes. His should fall by minute 30, spend 31-60 fighting back and 61 – 90 is his triumphant return. Not so here in this near two hour film where the time is used to make all these events feel more organic. Also, uncomfortable moments aren’t skipped over or blown out of proportion so mouth-breathers can get it. His blow up on critic Oliver Platt is as uncomfortable to watch as such an actual breakdown would be. Also, his neglect of his son’s needs isn’t sugar coated. He makes mistakes all the way up to the end only realizing it thanks to his son’s non-stop efforts to get his father’s love. It’s not perfect. His comeback is effortless, lacking any real struggle and filled with hipster cameos and Sofia Vergara is just too perfect a loving, supportive ex-wife and not much more. Her role could have used a few more layers. Is she really not just a little bit angry at how he treats their son in his clear depression? And characters that were very important to the beginning just kinda vanish, which some would say is more like real life, yes, but in real life people who are important to you, just don’t disappear because that actor or actress clearly didn’t have more time to shoot. But it’s clearly a film about a man who loves food directed by a man who loves food and its preparation is so lovingly depicted I left starving. There is no greater praise for a movie about cooking. Normally, I’d rip on a film showing Favreau being married to and now banging Scarlett Johansson, but unlike the masturbatory fantasy of John Turturro who is a gigolo hired by Sofia Vergara and Sharon Stone for a threesome, you can believe this because Favreau shows his character being a great cook, first. His foreplay with Johansson is literally making a meal for her and you can understand why she or any other woman would bang him senseless. Hell, I’m ready to fuck him after 2 hours of watching him cook.

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PRETTY BOYS LEAD CAREERS OF QUIET DESPERATION

3 Feb

zacvan

 1. Ride Along/Universal               Wknd/$  12.3            Total/$   93.0

 2. Frozen/Disney                           Wknd/$   9.3             Total/$ 360.0

 3. That Awkward Moment           Wknd/$   9.0             Total/$     9.0

 4. The Nut Job/ORF                      Wknd/$   7.6             Total/$   50.2

 5. Lone Survivor/Universal          Wknd/$    7.2            Total/$  104.9

 6. Jack Ryan/Par                            Wknd/$   5.4             Total/$   39.0

 7. Labor Day/Paramount              Wknd/$   5.3              Total/$     5.3

 8. American Hustle/Sony             Wknd/$   4.3              Total/$  133.6

 9. The Wolf of Wall Street/Par     Wknd/$   3.6             Total/$  104.1

10. I, Frankenstein/LGF                 Wknd/$   3.5              Total/$    14.5

 

It’s Super Bowl weekend and I’m sick so let’s rip though this…

 

STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED

Ride Along holds at number one and is actually about to hit $100M so it’s time to call it: Kevin Hart is a star.  Yeah, I d0n’t understand either.

 

“WHY ARE THEY ALL SHOUTING? MARVIN GAYE DIDN’T SHOUT.”  EVERYONE’S PARENTS

Frozen rises up again to number two and my confusion continues. Then I realize I’m an old man and this isn’t for me anyway. It’s like that utterly clueless conversation your parents had about rap.

 

EVEN WENT TO REHAB AND STILL, NO ONE CARED

That Awkward Moment opens at number three and given this only cost $8M to make it’s not that big a disappointment and may have actually bought Zach Efron a few extra minutes, as his 15 had pretty much expired.  You think he and Vanessa Hudgens call each other in the middle of the night and wonder what they’re doing wrong?  They do the family friendly mainstream stuff and they do the edgy indie stuff but the result turns out the same: no one cares. Hudgens is even taking off her shirt and still no one cares.

 

IN BELGIUM HE’S A SUPERSTAR!

The Nut Job is down to number four, followed by Lone Survivor at number five, and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit down to number six and while this is disappointing domestically, overseas it has made almost double its domestic take which suggests that Chris Pine is the new Jean Claude VanDamme.  Yeah, that’s gotta hurt.

 

SOMETIMES IT’S BETTER JUST TO STARVE

Labor Day opens at number seven and doesn’t this just scream, “based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks?” It looks awful. Seriously, awful.  Apparently everyone had bills to pay and there were no porn shoots open.

 

SORRY, DAVID HASSELHOFF. IT’S NOT FOR YOU.

American Hustle is down to number eight, followed by The Wolf of Wall Street at number nine and none other than Rob Reiner shows up here as Leonardo DiCaprio’s dad.  Yeah, Meathead in a Scorsese film.  I think Scorsese does this just to mess with the minds of actors and give them a false sense of hope when the reality is Reiner got this because everyone loves The Princess Bride.

 

DEAD AGAIN

Finally, I, Frankenstein closes out the top ten at number ten and also in this is Bill Nighy who elevates pretty much anything he appears in. This is no exception.

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