Monday, April 21, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "The Forbidden Kingdom." "Hey, I know what would make this martial arts-fantasy film better! Let's shove an awkward white teenager in there! Who wants to see a whole movie full of Asians anyway?"

2. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." I haven't seen it. I probably won't, despite the stream of accolades. The plot is the height of rom-com inanity and I think Judd Apatow has passed the point of being decent and fallen off the deep end of overrated. That he's only producing rather than writing or directing means the film is banking on his name rather than his talent.

3. "Prom Night." Did we all read about the same film? Because the one I read about and decided to avoid as if it were a HIV-infected pit bull looked like a total piece-of-shit movie no one with an active frontal lobe could ever possibly enjoy.

4. "88 Minutes." Al Pacino continues to cash out the bales of artistic goodwill he has earned by starring in something that feels like fatal accident at the cliche foundry.

5. "Nim's Island." Enjoy that sunny fantasy world, kiddos. Dark days are coming fast. You will look back at this film with fondness while you write self-absorbed poetry and cut yourselves just so you can watch the wound heal and feel as if something has been accomplished.

6. "21." Holy bloody hell, is this still here? Is this really the best thing everyone could think to watch?

7. "Street Kings." Years of pre-production purgatory, three directors attached and a major scripting overhaul led to this cinematic abortion in which Keanu Reeves speaks dialog that's ludicrous even by his non-existent standards. Hugh Laurie has a role, so I'll cut it a little slack. Not enough to see it, however.

8. "Horton Hears a Who The Fuck Actually Likes This Movie?"

9. "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." If you haven't heard of this, you aren't alone and are probably better off. This is that anti-science doc that has caused such a ruckus on the internet because of its claims that the theory of evolution led to the Holocaust. I suppose this is true, in much the same way as the laws of aerodynamics led to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The film is an unmitigated crock of shit (in part for its assumption that anyone wants to listen to Ben Stein talk for more than half a second at a time before punching him right in the fucking mouth), and audiences have responded with a colossal "meh." Despite the film's place on this list and the fact that it is now one of the highest grossing political documentaries of all time, it still only earned just over $3 million this weekend, about $500,000 short of its production budget. That isn't counting the many millions spent on marketing the film and the many more millions that will be spent on its legal defense (they kinda forgot to get the rights to a John Lennon song they used in the movie, and nobody is more lawsuit happy in the music industry than the lawyers connected to former Beatles. A song by the Killers and a number of the video clips shown in the film were also used without permission). Since few films do better in their second week than they did in their first, this is looking to be a turd in the water.

10. "Leatherheads." Earned less than the above movie despite only being in its third weekend and starring George Clooney.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Coming Soon

Here's a look at some of the films opening up over the next few weeks:

April 25 brings us "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." I think I speak for everyone in the entire world when I say: Where the fuck did this come from? I'm all for mocking the plight of the forgotten and the tortured while simultaneously making goofy digs at those in power, but why have it star the two silly bastards from a movie that didn't really need a sequel? At least it has the decency to look funny.

On May 2 we get the unbridled coolness of "Iron Man," the story of a drunken billionaire who saves the world. Also opening is "Made of Honor," in which Patrick Dempsey plays an insufferable prick who ends up with the woman of his dreams. Basically a gender-switch "27 Dresses." The director is best known for "Leonard Part 6" and "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold." Keep that in mind when this rakes in tens of millions of dollars.

The summer movie season really kicks off with "Speed Racer" on May 9. The Wachowski Brothers will undoubtedly employ their ability to make something that looks interesting without making a bit of fucking sense. Also opening is a film starring human genital wart Ashton Kutcher, who looks like a total douchbag even in the poster.

Finally, May 16 brings us "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." Trendy fantasy action mixed with a Christian parable and with Lewis's anti-Islam portrayals watered down. I'm really looking forward to when the post-"Lord of the Rings" film cycle comes to an end and we can move on to some other grating, overblown trend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Murder, Mayhem and Celluloid

They Train You About This Before You Start Work
Lawanda Jackson, a hospital employee at the UCLA Medical Center who was caught accessing the records of over 60 celebrities, insists that she had no intention of selling off the information and was only "just being nosy." By "being nosy" she of course means "violating a federal law." At that point it actually kind of stops being "nosy" and starts being "a criminal offense that you know perfectly well will get you fired."

The Great Depression Produced Great Movies
A couple of film projects have fallen apart due to financing issues reportedly related to the current recession, include a new Oliver Stone project and a Tim Robbins-directed feature. Go, Recession, Go! Let's see if we can keep Michael Moore from making another film!

Current Top Ten at the Box Office
1. "21." Still fucking at it with this, eh? I'll once again go out on a limb here and say that no movie ever made about gambling has been better than mediocre.

2. "Nim's Island." I read the description of this and went, "Huh?" Springtime family fun about some people and some things and fuck it I'll never see it.

3. "Leatherheads." The only really positive thing I can think to say about this film is that there could be worse movies on this list.

4. "Horton Hears a Who!" I rest my case. Dr. Seuss is probably spinning so fast in his grave at this point that he could be used as an electric turbine.

5. "The Ruins." Sounded awesome, but the previews provoked nothing more than a thundering "'k" within me. Withholding judgment for the time being.

6. "Superhero Movie." I swear by all merciful mother of fuck I hate these fucking spoof movies and by extension anyone who is involved in them or willingly pays to see them. You will all rot in a vast seething hell of your own creation.

7. "Meet the Browns." Is it too much to ask of Tyler Perry that he try to make a movie that's good?

8. "Drillbit Taylor." Did I miss something here? I mean, this movie sucks, right? I have not seen any indication that it's funny, have heard nothing but poor reviews about it from friends and critics alike and yet there it sits, squatting on this list like a dead cat in my chili.

9. "Shutter." So...much...pain.

10. "10,000 B.C." Yikes. You know, I used to get depressed that movies like this always seem to become popular. I harked back to a better time when people could see quality films on a regular basis and good movies earned money from positive word-of-mouth while bad films were buried and forgotten. Then you know what I realized? There was no such time. It has always been shit. We have always supported the basest, most anti-intellectual, marketing-focused drivel imaginable and we only imagine it was ever better because film history has been written by appreciators who praise the quality works while ignoring the shit. But in truth it has always been a pretty steady diet of shit. Now I don't get depressed anymore when I see movies such as this making a fortune. I just polish my rifle, adjust my scope and wait for the hand of God to guide me.