Friday, December 9, 2011
The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be
Speaking of DKR, Christopher Nolan's prologue for next year's second biggest film (The Hobbit, duh) was screened for filmmakers and select media members. Check Empire's recap. The six minute prologue will be available to the "masses" as a trailer for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, but only in select cities. Or you can just wait until it gets leaked online like, 12 hours later.
In celebration of the ten year anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, Empire reunited the Hobbits and provides an outstanding interview with the group. We're only one year away from The Hobbit debuting at a theater near you; time to start getting psyched (if you haven't already).
NPR interviewed Gary Oldman to discuss his role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which I so desperately want to see.
Steven Soderbergh bailed on Man From U.N.C.L.E. a couple of weeks ago and Warner Brothers has tapped Guy Ritchie to replace him. Should be interesting to see what Ritchie with his newly reinvigorated career, thanks to Sherlock Holmes.
Ben Kingsley will join Hugo co-star Asa Butterfield as a principal cast member for Ender's Game. Getting more and more interested in this project...
And in "Why would you do that" news of the weekend, Lionsgate is developing an American Psycho remake. Because, you know, the original is over ten years old so we definitely need a new version.
I am so pleased with all of you, weekend moviegoers. Not only did you finally knock Twilight off of its perch atop the box office returns, you did so while also preventing New Year's Eve from taking home a huge sum. In doing so, you've probably saved us all from future versions of the film like Columbus Day, Boxing Day, and of course, Cinco de Mayo. This turned out to be a pretty lackluster week at the box office and maybe a small portion of that is due to Hollywood's insistence on giving worthwhile movies a limited release, a concept which drew my ire this weekend. But regardless, with so many big releases on the horizon, most of these films had better enjoy the short-lived spotlight.
1. New Year's Eve - $13.7M
2. The Sitter - $10M
3. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - $7.9M ($259.5M)
4. The Muppets - $7.07M ($65.84M)
5. Arthur Christmas - $6.6M ($33.49M)
6. Hugo - $6.13M ($33.49M)
7. The Descendants - $4.84M ($23.64M)
8. Happy Feet Two - $3.75M ($56.85M)
9. Jack and Jill - $3.2M ($68.64M)
10. Immortals - $2.44M ($79.85M)
New to DVD
For a number of semi-professional (read: "blog owners") critics like myself, this time of the year is a killer as we try to balance the need to stay current with the crap load of significant films hitting theaters and the need to fill out our top 10 lists with the films we missed hitting DVD. I find myself prioritizing the DVD releases each year and planning out what I can and cannot get to before year's end. Kind of turns this whole thing into a little more of a job than I'd like but hey, this is how I choose to spend my free time so...
What I'll Be Renting This Week
Kung Fu Panda 2 - Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman
You know what's kind of an awesome kid's movie? Kung Fu Panda. I didn't see KFP until a year or so ago but I enjoyed it a hundred times more than I had anticipated. Jack Black is seriously hit or miss but he's possibly at his best when shooting for the "kids and their parents" demographic (see: The Muppets). I didn't get a chance to see this one but I expect to rectify that soon.
What I've Seen and You Should Too (I Guess)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - James Franco, Andy Serkis, John Lithgow
Okay, so I didn't really love Apes like a lot of people did. I thought Franco was fine and the origin story was cool, but the supporting actors (I'm talking to you, Tom Felton) were atrocious and the plot played out like something out of a '50s B-movie. But. BUT. The visuals of the film are incredible and more importantly, the work of Andy Serkis, who provided virtually all of the movements for the apes, are exquisite. Apes is worth the cost of a rental based solely on Serkis.
What I Might Pick up at Best Buy When it's on Sale for $7.99
The Rocketeer (1991) - Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton
Sure, it was a huge commercial failure and sure, it failed to spark the a genre (and franchise) the way it was intended to. But man, The Rocketeer is a blast and it's been far too long since I've seen it. Hook me up, Best Buy.
Fright Night (2011) - Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) - Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien
Family Guy: Volume 9 (2010) - Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein
For those of you keeping track at home, I did pretty well with my Rotten Tomatoes score predictions. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was Certified Fresh at 86% (predicted 92%), Young Adult came in at 77% (predicted 88%), The Sitter was almost right on par (23% rotten versus the predicted 22%) and New Year's Eve dropped below even my dismal expectations and finished at 5% rotten (12% predicted). This week will bring us the first major releases of the Christmas season and you can bet on a ton of money being spent.
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows - Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace
Apparently there are people out there (and perhaps a number of them) who dislike the first Sherlock Holmes. This fact caught me off guard because I don't personally know anyone who didn't at least half-way enjoy themselves while watching this movie. I'm not saying Holmes should be held up as one of the greatest movies of all time but honestly, I'm not sure how you could sit through that film and not have a bit of fun. I've been looking forward to this sequel with genuine anticipation and can't wait to see the RDJ-Law dynamic explored further. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 76%.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
This will be released only on IMAX screens this week with a full release on tap for next weekend. I have the sneaking suspicion that MI4 is going to be strong to quite strong. Now, I'm a fan of two out of the first three installments (MI2 is awful) but this one has much more promise in my mind. I haven't seen a movie on an IMAX screen in years but I'm thinking about changing that this weekend. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 84%.
Carnage - Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz
This is the type of film that causes the most trouble in terms of predicting critical reception. Could be an Oscar contender, could be a total dud. What would scare me most about Carnage is that its runtime is a whopping 79 minutes. So... Rotten Tomatoes Prediction: 80%
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked (2011) - Jason Lee, Justin Long, Amy Poehler
The best thing I can say about the Alvin series is that I wasn't forced to watch the...*gulp*...Squeakquel. I saw the first one and it hurt me inside. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 23%