Thursday, May 29, 2008

Top at the Box Office This Week

1. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Stuff blows up, fisticuffs are exchanged, none of it makes any sense and it didn't really need to be made. This is the second film in as many summers that has tried to play Shia LaBeouf as an action star, which is about as convincing as Keanu Reeves playing a professor of astrophysics. The joke there being that Keanu Reeves talks like someone recovering from head injury and Shia LaBeouf has about as much testosterone as a Girl Scout bake sale.

2. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." I suppose the moral lesson of these films is that when life is difficult and things are looking their worst, it's best to escape into a magical world of fantasy where you are revered and respected for no reason other than that an arbitrary prophecy said you were special. I can see why it works so well as a religious parable.

3. "Iron Man." "Do not worry, America. Your corporate masters love you and are capable of learning moral lessons from their errors. They will protect and serve you. Go back to sleep, America. You have nothing to worry about."

4. "What Happens in Vegas..." This is the kind of movie that makes God cry.

5. "Speed Racer." Why pay for a ticket when I can just drive my car around really fast while looking right into a strobe light?

6. "Baby Mama." Whenever I see a plot summary that describes one of the main characters as "career-driven," I know I'm in for some goofy hijinks involving the differences between a stuffy office drone and a free-spirited rebel. You know, the kinds of conflicts that would occur if everyone was boiled down to the most basic of demographically confined stereotypes. Where someone who has a good job they care about learns to enjoy life from someone who, in reality, probably doesn't have health insurance.

7. "Made of Honor." It's not a movie, it's a bad dream I had after a night spent mixing Nyquil with my Heinekins.

8. "Forgetting Sara Marshall." When was the last time anyone saw a comedy that had a plot? Or have I just been remembering things that never happened again?

9. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Stupid Fucking White People While Smoking Weed. Weed Weed Weed." If these two aren't careful, they'll end up being the next Cheech & Chong. Which gives them maybe a decade of viable career status and about a half dozen shitty movies to make.

10. "The Visitor." A nuanced drama about love, life and friendship. What the fuck is this doing here?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So What Are You Going To Do This Weekend?

Here are some of the films opening tomorrow:

1. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Technically it already opened, but fuck you Hollywood, I ain't making another fucking list. The early reviews have ranged from "blah" to "decent," which is about what everyone expected, if they were to search their souls and be honest with themselves. There was no way this would match the original unless they decided to do some sort of series revamp with a new director and cast, which won't happen for another decade or so and might actually be something to look forward to. Until then we get a useless add-on to a series with one good entry and two decent-in-a-I-would-watch-them-on-cable-but-wouldn't-pay-to-see-them sequels. I'll probably see it, as the pickings for stupid entertainment seem surprisingly slim this summer.

2. "War, Inc." Just what the world needed: Two hours of ham-fisted political satire from liberals with million dollar bankrolls and no interesting opinions. Unless you are supporting anarchist revolt, your weak-kneed left-wing fun-poking ain't of any interest to me. Basically what I'm trying to say is, fuck you John Cusack. Remember back when a political satire could end with the human race exterminating itself? Now we get Dan Aykroyd doing a lame Dick Cheney impression.

3. "Postal." I'll give it to Uwe Boll. Dude found himself a niche and rooted himself in it like a bad scabies infection. I can't even really get up the gumption to hate him anymore. He's just a fact of life, like diarrhea, or syphilis. You can't hate the virus for making you sick, it's just what it does. Doesn't mean you have to like being sick though.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lost Loves, Gun Control and the Sweet Sound of Failure

Zero to Shit in One Weekend
"Speed Racer," which cost $300 million to produce and market, pulled in barely $20 million in the domestic box office this weekend. Almost makes you feel good to be an American for once, watching as we come together to say "no" to an unmitigated piece of crappy film making. Though just a quick note for Warner Bros.: The next time you feel the need to waste $300 million dollars with no prospect of earning a return on your investment, why not just give to poor people so they can buy food?

Celebrities Always Marry Each Other
Kate Hudson has denied rumors that she is engaged to Owen Wilson, because as we all know not even Jesus is capable of loving Owen Wilson.

How the Mighty Have Fallen
Dennis Farina was arrested recently for carrying a concealed handgun in the Los Angeles International Airport. I like to think that anyone who has recently spent a significant amount of time around Ashton Kutcher will start carrying a weapon capable of scattering another human being's head all over a wall, but I doubt the prosecutors will see it that way.

Top Ten at the Box Office:
1. "Iron Man." Why do women seem to love this movie? Nothing against women or the movie, but I'm just curious as to why every woman I have spoken to about it thinks it's great, despite being a loud, dumb action movie.

2. "What Happens in Vegas..." This movie is God giving you the middle finger.

3. "Speed Racer." A heaping serving of shitiness in a giant bowl of fucking stupid. As mentioned above, despite its place on this list it's actually bombing on a spectacular level.

4. "Made of Honor." A dime-store Hugh Grant in a rom-com plot that charts new territory in the land of retarded. I can see why it's doing so well.

5. "Baby Mama." A neo-"Odd Couple" story about a career-driven woman and some goofy nitwit she hires to be surrogate mother to her baby. Hijinks will no doubt ensue. Stars Tina Fey, the SNL alum voted "most humpable" by a majority of my male friends.

6. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." I hear that there might be jokes about penises in this one.

7. "Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay." It's like they took my college dorm-mates and made a goofy stoner comedy about them. Illegal drug use and high crimes against humanity have never been so funny.

8. "The Forbidden Kingdom." Do you remember when martial arts movies had martial arts in them? Do you remember when you could hear that a movie had Jackie Chan or Jet Li in it and think that it might be entertaining in some way?

9. "Nim's Island." Top scientists have concluded that I do not give a shit about this movie.

10. "Prom Night." So where are the horror movies for grown-ups? Any of those coming out any time soon?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sizzlin' Summer Sinema

What with a film about a heroic international arms dealer protecting the world topping off the box office, it seems the summer movie season is now officially upon us. Let's take a look at a few of the upcoming offerings:

May 30: "Sex in the City: The Fucking Movie" opens up, bringing the tale of four women who have more sex in a week than Jenna Jameson has had in a lifetime to the big screen. Change the gender and you have "The Scott Baio Story," so I don't really get the appeal.

June 6: "Kung Fu Panda" brings the trend of CGI talking animals to dizzying new heights of absurdity, with a marketing campaign that does to media what the Japanese did to Nanking. Also opening is a new Adam Sandler comedy about a Mossad agent who follows his dreams of becoming a hairdresser, but eventually returns to his true calling, e.g. murdering Arab people.

June 13th: The latest from M. Night Shyamalan, "The Happening," opens up. The twist in this one is that Shyamalan has directed one good movie and a has shown himself to be a creatively bankrupt hack in every other project. Also opening is "The Incredible Hulk," the "sequel" to the underrated box-office bomb, "Hulk." Apparently to make sure the film will be a success, the studio has set everything up to make sure it can never possibly be good in any way whatsoever.

June 20: "Get Smart" brings a mostly forgotten television comedy to the big screen for no real reason other than it hasn't been done yet. Also opening is the "The Love Guru," a new Mike Meyers comedy that from its description sounds terrible and from the previews looks to be a crime against humanity.

June 27: "Wall*E," the latest from Pixar, promises to revolutionize modern CGI filmmaking by bringing a new and exciting concept to the screen: No celebrity voice talent. Also opening is "Wanted," some stupid bullshit about a kid who follows in his dad's footsteps and becomes an assassin, because apparently learned talents are hereditary.

July 4: "Hancock," which promises to ignite the summer by bringing the idea of a "super hero" to the big screen.

July 11: "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," which promises to ignite the summer by bringing the idea of a "super hero" to the big screen. Also opening is "Meet Dave," which is about how Eddie Murphy is controlled by a crew of small aliens living in his head. A terse, thrilling documentary.

July 18: Batman returns in "The Dark Knight," which objective observes are referring to as "the greatest thing in the history of anything." Also opening is "Mamma Mia!," which stars Meryl Streep in a non-cancer victim role as a woman who lives on an island where people suddenly burst into ABBA songs, possibly due to an outbreak of mad cow disease.

July 25: "Shitty Will Ferrell Comedy, Part 8" opens, along with a belated, pointless and idiotic new "X-Files" movie. Just go see the new Batman movie again.

August 1: "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" goes on to prove that you can't kill a moneymaking franchise no matter how mind-numbingly shitty it gets. Also opening is "Swing Vote," which stars Kevin Costner as a man whose vote will decide a presidential election. The story takes place in a fantasy world where Kevin Costner actually matters. Also also opening is "The Midnight Meat Train." I don't know what this film is about, but after reading the title I think I can just picture the whole movie in my head, so no need to bother seeing it.