Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top Ten at the Box Office This Month

1. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". A character whose appeal is based in part on his mysterious origins has his origins revealed in a late-term cinematic abortion. I saw this out of a perverse need to punish myself for having good feelings about humanity recently, and I was not disappointed. The dialog is atrociously bad and the only thing the characters have over cardboard cut-outs is a wider range of movement. The action is so laughably absurd that you wonder if anyone involved in this film has ever seen a good action movie, or is even aware of the existence of concepts such as "quality" or "the laws of physical motion" The film only looks good when compared to some of the other comic-book films of recent years, which is like saying Idi Amin looks like a stand-up guy when compared to Stalin.

2. "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past." Matthew McConaughey plays a man attending his brother's wedding who is haunted by his romantic encounters from the past. To me the question becomes not "will he learn from his errors?" but "why are so many of this man's former girlfriends currently inhabiting the spirit world? Is he some kind of serial killer?"

3. "Obsession, Which is a 'Fatal Attraction' Remake, Only Even More Depressingly Mediocre"

4. "17 Again." Do I even need to tell you what the plot is? It stars Zac Efron and Matthew Perry as the younger and older versions of the same man. If you can make a sound, rational argument for why the money used to make this film would not have been better spent if it had just been dumped in a hole, then you deserve some kind of award.

5. "Monsters vs. Aliens." This is an investment opportunity, not a film. Dreamworks seems to come up with most of its animated features by seeing what would make the best toy lines and what has the most sequel potential. Any entertainment gained from the product is purely incidental, not to mention fleeting and cheap.

6. "The Soloist." Jamie Foxx is a serious actor. See? Look how serious he is. Standing next to Robert Downey Jr. and everything. Being all dramatic, pretending to have musical talent like in every other film he's in?

7. "Earth." Also known as "Cute Animals: The Movie, as Narrated by the Bald 'Star Trek' Guy."

8. "Hannah Montana: The Walking Entertainment Product Unit"

9. "Fighting." I think it's hilarious when major Hollywood movies show the "underground" street fighting, auto racing, whatever circuit and the "shady" characters who inhabit them. They always seem to play it as if the people involved in these things are "keeping it real" and not selling out by going pro, when in fact these are amateur tournaments. So what you're really watching a movie about is guys who fight as a hobby when they're not at their day-jobs. If you think about it, it's kind of like making a movie about a guy who makes birdhouses in his garage on his weekends, instead of a film about a professional carpenter. But I guess "Punching Enthusiast" doesn't sound as tough.

10. "State of Play." Despite the fact that the two lead male roles are cast with two of the biggest assholes currently available, this actually looks like a decent enough thriller. Unfortunately, "decent enough" doesn't get me to go see thrillers the way it used to.

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