Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be

I'm always looking for ways to keep TSBO from becoming stale or boring. This space is always, if nothing else, an organized work in progress. Lately, I've become less and less interested in (and therefore committed to) writing the DVD Roundup and Weekend Movie Guide. I've never been entirely happy with those columns to be quite frank; they were started as a way to fill the site with content and bring hits (success on both fronts) but I have always had the intention of reworking them to fit my style, something that I still haven't gotten right. All that to say, I'm going to knock off DVD Roundup altogether for the time being and the Weekend Movie Guide is going to be stripped down a bit. In place of those columns, I'm going to start something called "The Week That Was and The Week That Will Be" wherein I'll go over any exciting news from the weekend, take a more in depth look at the Box Office totals, and make a pick or two regarding upcoming DVD releases and weekend movies. This will also give me a space to throw out any personal notes that need to be made such as this very paragraph. We'll give this a go for a month and see how it works and reconsider at the beginning of the new year. You'll also notice a few formatting changes that I will discuss in the future once I figure out if I like them or not. Now on with the show.

Christian Bale has confirmed that The Dark Knight Rises will be the last Batman film for himself and director Christopher Nolan.

The good news: Star Trek 2 has officially been slated for May, 2013 and it's about stinking time. The bad news: JJ Abrams has confirmed that it will be in 3D.

The Red Dawn remake has finally been picked up and given a release date, three years after its production was finished.

Empire Online has a sweet feature on the 33 Best Best Friends in cinema. Great list!

Weekend Box Office Results
Breaking Dawn experienced a drop-off rate of almost 70% this week, which was pretty much to be expected. Everyone who wanted to see it was in line for a midnight showing and I'd bet good money that most of its take this week was made up of repeat viewers. Still, I cannot tell you how much it pains me to see Breaking Dawn beat out The Muppets which will almost certainly go down as my favorite movie of the year (review coming tomorrow). I'm also more than a little disappointed in the relatively weak reception that Hugo received. The glut of family-oriented movies didn't help I'm sure. However, $10+ million was spent on Jack and Jill this weekend. That's $10+ million that should have been devoted to either The Muppets or Hugo. Curse you, America.

1. Breaking Dawn - $42 million ($221.3 million total)
2. The Muppets - $42M
3. Happy Feet Two - $13.4M ($43.77M)
4. Arthur Christmas - $17M
5. Hugo - $15.38M
6. Jack and Jill - $10.3M ($57.42M)
7. Immortals - $8.8M ($68.63M)
8. Puss in Boots - $7.45M ($135.36M)
9. Tower Heist - $7.32M ($65.38M)
10. The Descendants - $7.2M ($10.74M)

New to DVD
Each week, I plan on highlighting a couple of new DVDs/Blu-Rays and focusing my attention (either positive or negative) on them, rather than doing a full run down of each and every new release. The next couple of weeks would be big for your local Blockbuster if Blockbuster still existed as we'll see the debut of a number of late summer/early fall hits that the studios hope you'll want to put under your Christmas tree.

What I'll Be Renting This Week
You know the old bit where an angel pops up on one shoulder and a devil appears on the other? That's what I'll be going through this week. I know I should rent...
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) - Werner Herzog
This documentary film takes the cameras inside the Chauvet caves in the south of France, home to the world's oldest known human drawings. Herzog is a master with the camera and Forgotten Dreams has received outstanding reviews from pretty much everyone who has seen it. I would have liked to have had the opportunity to see it on the big screen, though, as I'm sure it would be much more powerful. Still, I fully intend to check this out. On the other hand we have...
30 Minutes or Less (2011) - Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride
A slacker pizza delivery guy is kidnapped and strapped to a bomb, then forced to rob a bank in order to save his life. Shenanigans abound. I know this is mediocre at best (and maybe that's shooting too high) but I have trouble resisting this sort of comedy. Also, Aziz Ansari is one of the five funniest men alive and that's a scientific fact.

What I've Seen So You Won't Have To
Our Idiot Brother (2011) - Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott
There are those who liked this underplayed stoner comedy about a naive hippie whose family can't embrace his carefree lifestyle. I am not one of them. You will not be either. Rudd is fine and his interactions with Scott are humorous. But every other character in the cast is more or less a miserable, whiny person and by the end of the film, my will to accept their changes had been drained out of me, as had my ability to laugh. (For the record, Friends With Benefits falls into this category as well.)

What I Haven't Seen and Neither Should You
The Smurfs (2011) - Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays
I really don't feel like I should even have to say this but seeing as how this film made enough money to warrant a sequel, I guess I do: if you are not, A.) a child under the age of nine; B.) an '80s pothead; or C.) an adult accompanied by someone in either of the previous two categories, you have no excuse for seeing this film. (Also for the record, One Day works here, too.)

Also New
Another Earth (2011) - Brit Marling, William Mapother
One Day (2011) - Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess
Friends with Benefits (2011) - Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis
The Art of Getting By (2011) - Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) - Alan Tudyk, Tyler Labine
Seven Days in Utopia (2011) - Lucas Black, Robert Duvall
30 Rock: Season 5 (2010) - Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin
Smallville: Season 10 (2010) - Tom Welling

Coming to a Theater Near You
Usually, I'll spend a minute highlighting the films that will open in the coming weekend and discuss what type of response (critics and audiences) we can expect. This week, however, is a tough one to start off with. The week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the real December holiday season is usually weak and this is no exception. If I make it to the theater this weekend, it will undoubtedly be for a repeat viewing of something instead of any of these choices:

Shame (2011) - Michael Fassbender, Carey Milligan (Limited)
Sleeping Beauty (2011) - Emily Browning, Rachel Blake, Ewen Leslie
Outrage (2010) - Takeshi Kitano, Kippei Shiina (Limited)

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