Monday, March 12, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 3/12

Joss Whedon has asked viewers of his newest production, Cabin in the Woods, not to spoil the ending. I confess, this strategy has worked on me: I now want to see this movie. Curse you, Whedon! has some gorgeous posters from the Star Wars: Identities exhibit coming soon to Canada, making this the first time I've ever wanted to be in Canada. (I'm kidding, Canada; I really enjoy your 5 pin bowling.)

John Carter director Andrew Stanton sat down with /Film to discuss his epically overpriced film. 

Weekend Box Office Results
At this point I think we can officially call The Lorax a full blown, massive hit. Last week’s shocking take of over $70 million was a tremendous starting point but to have it come back and grab about huge chunk of change is in some ways even more impressive. We still love you, Dr. Suess. John Carter, on the other hand, is not a hit. $250 million just doesn’t get you what it used to anymore. I can’t really explain this but I’m sort of rooting for this film to find a monstrous audience overseas. Usually when a studio spends as foolishly as Disney did in this situation, I hope for utter failure because that’s what the company deserves. But having seen John Carter, I have developed a semi-soft spot for it and I can’t help but hope it doesn’t become the epic flop it looks to be. Silent House also opened to a less-than thrilling box office total and A Thousand Words has assured its place among Eddie Murphy’s very worst movies. And that, my friends, is quite an impressively awful list.

1. Dr. Suess’ The Lorax - $39.1M ($121.95M)
2. John Carter - $30.6M
3. Project X - $11.55M ($40.12M)
4. Silent House - $7M
5. Act of Valor - $7M ($56.1M)
6. A Thousand Words - $6.35M
7. Safe House - $5M ($115.8M)
8. The Vow - $4M ($117.61M)
9. This Means War - $3.75M ($46.88M)
10. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - $3.68M ($90.76M)

New to DVD
What I’ve Seen and You Should, Too
The Descendants - George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
The Adventures of Tintin - Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis
When I walked out of my advance screening of The Descendants, I thought I had seen the eventual Best Picture winner. Little did I know that a silent, black and white, French film would take the world by storm, brainwashing every film critic in its path. Still, this is an outstanding film that is powered by two outstanding performances. It is at times rough around the edges and difficult to fully embrace but it is a wholly worthwhile experience.
Tintin is essentially the exact opposite of The Descendants. It is extra light on story but heavy on fun and plays out like a far truer heir to the Indiana Jones series than anything George Lucas is likely to create. It’ll be interesting to see how well it transitions from the big screen to a home TV because the visual splendor was definitely a part of the charm for me. Regardless, I found Tintin to be an absolute blast and I look forward to seeing it again.

What I’ll Be Renting This Week
My Week with Marilyn - Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne
Melancholia - Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbrough, Kiefer Sutherland
Young Adult - Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson
We’ll call this a, “Movies Featuring a Female Performance That Was Probably Better than Meryl Streep’s” three pack. Every human who has ever seen My Week with Marilyn raved about Williams’ pitch-perfect portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. Dunst would have likely been in line for an Oscar nod if Melancholia wasn’t so darn confusing. And Theron’s portrait of a truly horrible human in Young Adult is said to have been spot-on to the point of making one want to punch the theater screen. I’m excited, to varying degrees, to see them all.

Also New
The Three Musketeers - Logan Lerman, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson
Happy Feet 2 - Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brad Pitt
Loosies - Peter Facinelli, Jaimie Alexander, Michael Madsen
The Killing: Season 1 - Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman
Neverland - Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel
Bag of Bones - Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George
Bobby’s World: Season 1-7 (1990) - Howie Mandel, JE Rose

New to Blu
American Pie (1999) - Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott
American Pie 2 (2001) - Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott
America Wedding (2003) - Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
Arthur and the Invisibles (2006) - Freddie Highmore, Mia Farrow, Madonna

Coming to a Theater Near You
You know when a terrible movie comes out and the studio backing said terrible movie finds (read: “pays”) an unscrupulous film critic to give out a mildly positive review that can be cut up into quotes for a commercial? Well, A Thousand Words couldn’t even get that. My 30% prediction from last week was WAYYYYYY off as this piece of junk, which sat on a shelf for four years, received the fabled 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. 39 reviews and not a single one had any kind words. I feel kind of dumb for my guess. My other predictions were alright. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen came out better than expected (64% actual versus 48% predicted) though I can’t imagine many average moviegoers ever caring to see it. Friends with Kids underperformed (60% vs. 83%) but could become a cult hit on DVD. And both John Carter (49% vs. 54%) and Silent House (47% vs. 50%) came in as expected.

21 Jump Street - Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Dave Franco
A mismatched pair of new cops (Hill, Tatum) are assigned to an undercover unit at a local high school and tasked with bringing down a drug ring. Very few movies have grown on me leading up my actual viewing the way 21 Jump Street has. The first time I saw the trailer I called it garbage and didn’t give it a second thought. A few viewings later, though, and I’d started to snicker a little. Now I’m in full-on anticipation mode and I’ve heard legitimately GREAT things from critics and bloggers who were able to catch a glimpse in advance. I don’t know what sort of global ramifications my desire to see a Channing Tatum movie on opening day will have but I suspect we should all be stocking up on bottled water and canned foods. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 82%

Casa de mi Padre - Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna
Armando Alvarez (Ferrell) gets himself mixed up with an infamous drug dealer while trying to save the family farm. I never watch subtitled films, mostly because I don’t have the attention span to read my way through a movie. But I’m pretty excited about this, Will Ferrell’s foray into independent, “foreign” cinema. Those two sentences make me sound like the most uncultured swine in America but I can’t help it. Where Ferrell goes, I go. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 44%

Jeff, Who Lives at Home - Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon (Limited)
A do-nothing man-child (Segel) and his somewhat estranged brother (Helms) rediscover themselves in the most unlikely of scenarios. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now and I am, predictably, frustrated by its limited release. The writing-directing team the Duplass brothers (Cyrus) have shown great potential in their previous films and I’m interested to see Segel in this sort of role. I guess I’ll probably have to wait until it comes out on DVD. *Sigh* Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 75%

Also opening in limited release: Detachment (Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks) chronicles the life of an apathetic substitute teacher…Natural Selection (Rachael Harris, Jon Gries) finds a woman attempting to reunite her wayward husband with his illegitimate son…and Seeking Justice (Nicolas Cage, January Jones) stars Nic Cage and that’s all I really need to say, right?

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