Monday, April 30, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 4/30

Will Smith and Denzel Washington have joined Adam McKay's remake of Uptown Saturday Night. This marks the first time these two leading men have starred together and it sounds awesome. 

Pixar has announced that the studio's 2015 release will have a Latin theme and center around the Day of the Dead. Sounds a bit darker than standard Pixar fare but I doubt that will stop many of us (read: "me") from digging it. 

There's a rumor floating around that Star Wars Land will open in Disneyland Paris in 2015 and suddenly I have a desire to go to France. 

My pal Terrence over at The Focused Filmographer has an awesome series on The Avengers happening on his site. Be sure to check it out!

It's been up for a couple of weeks but I missed it until now so check out Movie Muse's list of the Top 10 Movie Prisons. 

Weekend Box Office Results
Sooooo…apparently all of you are saving your money for The Avengers. None of this week’s new movies pulled in an especially healthy return and somehow Think Like a Man grabbed first place again despite, you know, being terrible. The Raven and Safe did about as expected but Pirates: Band of Misfits and 5-Year Engagement significantly underperformed. Pirates was always going to pull the majority of its overall haul overseas but 5YE really surprised me. It has been the beneficiary of an aggressive marketing campaign and coming off the ridiculous success of Bridesmaids, I honestly thought this would be a shoe-in to grab the lead this week. Maybe Jason Segel isn’t as bankable as Hollywood thinks he is. It did, however, get my money and I quite enjoyed it (review to come). In other news, The Avengers made $178 million overseas and has yet to debut in China or (obviously) the US. At one point this weekend, advance tickets for Avengers accounting for 60% of the overall domestic box office take. We could be looking at the highest grossing opening weekend ever (a record currently held by the final Harry Potter).

1. Think Like a Man - $18M ($60.86M)
2. The Pirates! Band of Misfits - $11.4M
3. The Lucky One - $11.32M ($39.97M)
4. The Hunger Games - $11.25M ($372.45M)
5. The Five-Year Engagement - $11.15M
6. Safe - $7.72M
7. The Raven - $7.25M
8. Chimpanzee - $5.46M ($19.15M)
9. The Three Stooges - $5.4M ($37.14M)
10. The Cabin in the Woods - $4.5M ($34.66M)

New to DVD
What I’ll Be Renting This Week
Haywire - Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender
I wasn’t too interested in Haywire when it made its theatrical debut in January but it’s the perfect film for a DVD rental. Guns, neck chops, and some semblance of a plot are all I really need from an action movie like this and I expect it will deliver. Plus, you never know what you’re going to get with director Steven Soderbergh. He may not always turn out a great product but he’s always capable of doing something different and I respect that.

What I Hope None of You Will See
New Year’s Eve - Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel
I took a bit of sick pleasure in this movie, one of the most blatant examples of money grabbing in recent memory, not only received an 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes but also failed to make much of an impact at the box office. Look, there are plenty of movies that come down the pipes that I’m not interested in or that I think will be terrible but that I recognize a market for (see: Twilight). But honestly, dear readers, there is absolutely no reason for anyone who is not in this movie or related to someone who is in this movie to see this movie.

Also New
Joyful Noise - Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton
W.E. - Abbie Cornish, James D’Arcy
George Harrison: Living in a Material World - George Harrison
Covert Affairs: Season 2 - Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham
Suits: Season 1 - Patrick J. Abrams, Gabriel Macht

New to Blu Pick of the Week or Whenever I Feel Like It
Definitely, Maybe (2008) - Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher
Upon my first viewing of this movie, I came away very impressed. For what it is (a sappy-but-lighthearted romantic comedy), I thought it was very good. Since then, though, I’ve talked myself into being a bit ashamed of my (relative) affection for this movie and assumed it probably wasn’t very good (due in part to the series of crappy movies Ryan Reynolds has been party to over the last four years). But you know what, I watched Definitely, Maybe again for the first time in a long time just last week and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty stinking good (again, for what it is). I’m standing by this statement to my dying day.

Also New to Blu
Men in Black II (2002) - Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones (One of the worst sequels ever)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972) - Robert Redford, Will Geer (A movie I definitely have to see one of these days)
Clueless (1995) - Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy (My wife’s favorite movie *Sigh*)
Meet Joe Black (1998) - Brad Pitt, Claire Forlani, Anthony Hopkins (Remembered only because the first trailer for The Phantom Menace was attached during its theatrical debut)
About a Boy (2002) - Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult (Also a, “Solid for what it is” sort of movie)

Coming to a Theater Near You
Much like its box office grab, The 5-Year Engagement underperformed with critics a bit (63% fresh rating versus my 75% prediction) while Safe actually did a bit better (52% vs. 30%). But I nailed my predictions on both The Raven (21% actual vs. 23% prediction) and Pirates (86% exactly). This week is rough sledding if you’re not into superhero movies. Similar to the competition The Hunger Games faced a few weeks ago, competing studios are steering clear of this blockbuster, a smart strategy in my book.

The Avengers - Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Tom Hiddleston
When a power-hungry god (Hiddleston) threatens to take over the world, humanity’s fate rests in the hand of a group of heroes known as The Avengers. This is, without question, the mother of all superhero films and represents one of the biggest undertakings in the history of film. Really and truly, bringing together several film franchises and setting them up to fold into one giant film the way Marvel has is a tremendous accomplishment and if it works (SPOILER ALERT: it will), we should expect to see more attempts at this in the near future. For my part, I am very much looking forward to this one and can’t wait to sit down for my midnight showing. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 92%

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkerson
Four British retirees head to an Indian hotel advertised as a luxurious living space but soon find that it’s not at all what they expected. Obviously I’m not the target audience for this film but I have heard only good things to this point. And hey, you have to respect all of those actors. What a cast. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 73%

Also new: First Position follows a group of dancers trying to make it in New York…LOL stars Miley Cyrus and has that inane title so that’s all I really need to say about it…and A Little Bit of Heaven centers around a woman (Kate Hudson) receiving life-altering news.


  1. Truly appreciate the mention here of AVENGERS WEEK on TFF! Thank you so much, man! How was your viewing weekend in theaters?

  2. I, in turn, appreciate the Twitter love! I saw 5 Year Engagement and liked it. Hoping to catch Pirates or The Raven sometime this week before The Avengers at midnight on Thursday!

  3. Me too. Less than 24 hours now!


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