Monday, January 16, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be

The Golden Globes were last night. For a full list of the winners, check our our post over at IEF. Only real problem I had with the night (beyond the issues with who was and who was not nominated) was Meryl Streep taking home Best Actress for The Iron Lady over Viola Davis for The Help. Sorry Meryl, I'm sure you were great in a movie pretty much everyone agrees is lackluster, but Davis turned in one of the best performances by a female lead in years, maybe a decade. Absolutely ridiculous that she didn't take home this award.

Marvel is rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise and is considering Josh Trank for director. I'd like to see how Trank's upcoming film Chronicle turns out first but regardless, smart move for Marvel to start over on this series. The first two Fantastic Four movies were just horrible.

AMC has announced their schedule for the spring season which includes a two hour season premiere for Mad Men and a full 16 episode run for The Walking Dead. This will be my first live season of Mad Men as I just caught up on the previous episodes. Looking forward to it.

American Treasure Woody Harrelson spoke with the LA Times about The Hunger Games and discussed his character, Haymitch, who serves as a mentor for the main characters. For me, Haymitch is the most interesting character in the books and I can't wait to see Harrelson in that role.

Darren Lemke, who wrote the scripts for Shrek Forever After and the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer, has been brought on to pen a movie based on the Goosebumps book series. Pretty much everyone in my generation read RL Stine's "horror for kiddos" series growing up so while I'm probably not headed to a theater to see any of these movies, I'm hopeful that they can find a nice stride.

Steven Spielberg did a short interview with Collider and discussed his plans for his upcoming projects including the Tintin sequels, Jurassic Park 4, and Robopocalypse. The guy just never rests.

Weekend Box Office Results
The heavy marketing campaign for Contraband paid off in spades as the Marky Mark project brought in far more than expected, even reaching profitability in its first week of release (on a meager $25 million budget). I would not have expected that though I did chip in to its full take (review to come). Beauty and the Beast underperformed, however, making one wonder what to expect from the year's numerous 3D re-releases. And Mission Impossible continues its impressive run and solidifies itself as the year's best example of of the value of word-of-mouth.

1. Contraband - $24.1M
2. Beauty and the Beast 3D - $18.49M
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - $11.5M ($186.74M)
4. Joyful Noise - $11.34M
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - $8.41M ($170M)
6. The Devil Inside - $7.9M ($46.24M)
7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - $6.8M ($87.98M)
8. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked - $5.8M ($118.78M)
9. War Horse - $5.6M ($65.77M)
10. The Iron Lady - $5.38M ($5.97M)

New to DVD
What I've Seen and You Should, Too
Unguarded (2011) - Chris Herren
This is an extension of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series which is an amazing collection of films. This one centers on Chris Herrern, a top flight high school point guard from New England whose college and NBA career was derailed by drugs and alcohol. Herren has a remarkable story and his complete honesty makes Unguarded a heart-wrenching viewing. Check it out.

What I've Seen and I Guess You Might Want to See, Too
The Ides of March (2011) - Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
March was a player at the Golden Globes this weekend and has an outside shot at scoring a little Oscar love. And that's fine because it is a good movie. It's just not the spectacular film that it could have been. There's nothing new here and nothing of serious substance. All of the performances are good, Gosling's in particular, but it isn't one of Clooney's best portrayals and even Gosling was better in Drive and Crazy Stupid Love. Worth seeing, not worth fawning over.

Also New
Courageous (2011) - Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Kevin Downes
Abduction (2011) - Taylor Lautner, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver
Dead Poets Society (1989) - Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke (Blu-Ray) (Haven't seen this movie in years and years so I'm interested to watch it again and see how it stands up.)
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) - Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Lithgow (Blu-Ray)
Good Morning Vietnam (1987) - Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker (Blu-Ray)
Traffic: The Criterion Collection (2000) - Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Benicio Del Toro (Incredible film. Seriously. Incredible.)
Dirty Girl (2011) - Juno Temple, Jeremy Dozier
Project X (1987) - Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt (Blu-Ray)
Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (2011) - Nick Swardson, Don Johnson, Christina Ricci
The Color Purple (1985) - Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey (Blu-Ray)
Bad Girls (1994) - Madeline Stowe, Andie McDowell, Drew Barrymore (Blu-Ray)
Drive Me Crazy (1999) - Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier (Blu-Ray)

Coming to a Theater Near You
I don't want to brag but I'm totally going to. Last week I tagged Contraband at 46% on Rotten Tomatoes and Joyful Noise at 35%. As of this writing, Contraband stands at 45% and Joyful is at 35%. BOOM. That's why you should tell your friends about my work.

Underworld: Awakening - Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rea
The Underworld series is like the big brother to the Resident Evil series: they're both awful but Underworld is slightly less awful (and yet I've seen all of the movies from each of these franchises). Expect some decent stunts and special effects mixed up in a worthless plot. Also, my favorite thing about this movie is this poster, which clearly tells you all you need to know about the flick itself; that being, Kate Beckinsale is in it. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 26%

Haywire - Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender
I have no idea what to expect from this. Steven Soderbergh is a whiz behind the camera but he's also a guy who has been known to bite off a little more than he can chew from time to time. This year he seems hell bent on making non-actors (like MMA star Carano) and bad actors (he's got Channing Tatum in multiple films this year) into stars. Not sure it can work, though he has brought on a great cast. I just have to believe that if Haywire were any good, it wouldn't be getting released in January but early reviews have been good. I just don't know. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 72%

Red Tails - Nate Parker, Terrence Howard, Ne-Yo, Bryan Cranston
I wish I had faith that this would be good. But unfortunately, knowing that it's coming from George Lucas makes me less than optimistic. That statement in turn makes me quite sad. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 52%

In addition to these features, we'll also be treated to three 2011 films that will receive wider releases: the super-disappointing-but-still-intriguing-to-me Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut Coriolanus, and Christian Bale's controversial Chinese film The Flowers of War.


  1. I'm not sure why Streep won for The Iron Lady when most people haven't had a chance to see it yet. Plus, Davis was incredible in The Help.

  2. Agreed. Plus, it's just boring when Streep is nominated and/or wins.


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