Monday, February 6, 2012

The Week That Was and The Week That Will Be

I'm finally getting around to working on some changes around here in terms of layout. The big move is the Twitter feed to the right. I haven't had time to do Movie News Today lately and I'm thinking it won't be feasible in the future. So have a look at the news links I favorite as they appear in that bar and I'm hoping I'll be able to do a brief summary at the end of each week. We'll give that a go and see how it works! I'll also be posting more reviews on a regular basis in the future, something I've gotten away from recently. Thanks for sticking around!

I did a guest post for my friend, the Focused Filmographer, that went live (in two parts) over the weekend. Please check them out here and here

It's early (WAYYYY early) but Harrison Ford has been approached concerning the possibility of his joining the cast of Ridley Scott's hypothetical Blade Runner sequel. I don't even know how to feel about any of this to be quite honest. 

Jane Levy has taken the place of Lily Collins in the remake of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead. Levy is the star of ABC's new hit Suburgatory which I highly enjoy. It would be too easy to say she's an Emma Stone starter kit but that's exactly what she is so I'm going to say it: Levy is an Emma Stone starter kit. 

NPR has a fun article on the Movie Titles That Might Have Been. Check it out!

Cinema Blend picks their 10 favorite commercials from this year's Super Bowl. Gotta say, worst collection of Super Bowl ads in recent memory. 

Weekend Box Office Returns
Solid, solid weekend overall. Chronicle performed surprisingly well with both audiences and critics and you’d have to say that The Woman in Black falls into that category as well. My guess is word of mouth on Chronicle helps it grab a solid second week while most of the people who plan on seeing Woman did so this weekend. We’ll see! Big Miracle was a big loser, however, and its $40 million budget doesn’t look so great right now.

1. Chronicle - $22M
2. The Woman in Black - $21M
3. The Grey - $9.5M ($34.75M)
4. Big Miracle - $8.5M
5. Underworld: Awakening - $5.6M ($54.35M)
6. One for the Money - $5.25M ($19.66M)
7. Red Tails - $5M ($41.32M)
8. The Descendants - $4.6M ($65.52M)
9. Man on a Ledge - $4.5M ($14.7M)
10. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - $3.92M ($26.79M)

New to DVD
What I’ll Be Renting This Week
Project Nim (2011) - Bob Angelini, Nim Chimpsky
This documentary focuses on a New York couple in the 1970s that took in a young chimpanzee and raised him as a human child. I’m always up for a good documentary and this one has been on my radar for a while. Also, what ever happened to monkey-related research? I don’t mean genetic testing like we see in Rise of the Planet of the Apes; I mean good old fashioned monkeys learning to read, monkeys going to space, etc. It seems like that was a bigger part of my childhood than it is my adulthood.

What No One Should Ever be Forced to See EVER
Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) - Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
In a perfect world, these books and films wouldn’t exist. But since they do, would it be too much to ask for the studio behind these films to actually attempt to make them good? Even devoted fans of this series came away admitting that this one is a heap of rubbish and if that wasn’t enough, the trailer was one of the worst of 2011. Blerg.

What I’ll Be Buying This Week
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) - Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese, Kevin Kline
There are not just a whole lot of ‘80s comedies that hold up 20+ years later. Wanda is one of them. I saw this for the first time very recently and I laughed…a lot. In fact, it was one of the better “first viewings” I had last year. High quality comedy.

Also New
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas (2011) - Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris
Anonymous (2011) - Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis
Fireflies in the Garden (2008) - Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Julia Roberts
Downton Abbey: Season 2 (2011) - Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael

New to Blu
Lady and the Tramp (1955) - Barbara Luddy, Larry Roberts
It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) - Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman
Dangerous Liaisons (1988) - Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer
A Star is Born (1976) - Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Streisand
Love Story (1970) - Ali McGraw, Ryan O’Neal
Dream Girls (2006) - Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy
The Cat in the Hat (2003) - Mike Myers, Spencer Breslin, Dakota Fanning

Coming to a Theater Near You
I haven’t been doing the Weekend Movie Guide the last few weeks, an oversight for which I apologize. I will try to get back into over the next few weeks. Until then, I guess we’ll have to be content with using this space for such endeavors. My RT score predictions were fairly solid last week, though Big Miracle came out unexpectedly fresh and Chronicle did MUCH better than I would have expected. This week brings us a wide variety of new films that could end up bringing in a solid overall total.

Safe House - Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga
With each viewing of this film’s trailer, I become a little more convinced of its merits. Two months ago I thought it could be a decent-enough winter action film. A month ago I was starting to think it could possibly end up being “good.” Now I’m at least half-convinced that this is going to be awesome. This world needs Denzel shooting guns and acting the villain, not chasing runaway trains. Perhaps more important, Reynolds needs a hit and I expect being around Denzel will bring out the best in him. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 73%

The Vow - Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Sam Neill
My favorite part of the marketing campaign for Vow is the ardent way in which the studio wants to make sure that you know that this movie is just like The Notebook. McAdams is “from The Notebook”, Tatum is “from Dear John”, and it’s based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, “author of The Notebook.” As the world’s biggest Rachel McAdams fan who isn’t actually affiliated with her, I would really, really prefer if she wasn’t in this. I expect it won’t be the worst romance in the history of film, I just think it will be tired and limited, like all of these films are. It would be just peachy if McAdams could somehow swap places with Reese Witherspoon in This Means War. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 45%

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - The Rock, Josh Hutcherson, Michael Caine
It’s safe to say that I follow film pretty closely, as this space will attest. So when I say that it took me some time to figure out that this was a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth, understand that it comes from someone who (ostensibly) knows his stuff. This is a confusing film because of: A.) The Rock randomly replacing Brendan Fraser and B.) The Fact that Journey even warranted a sequel. I had honestly forgotten that it was a film until recently. Can’t imagine this will be well received. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 30%

We’ll also be treated to a wider expansion for Rampart (Woody Harrelson), the limited opening of Perfect Sense (Ewan McGregor, Eva Green), and the 3D release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor), previously known as “The Most Frustrating Movie I’ve Ever Seen” until Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close stole the title last week. 


  1. A Fish Called Wanda. The most hilarious thing about that movie was the way every attempt to kill the old lady got one of her dogs instead. A genius flick.


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