Monday, July 2, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 7/2

As noted previously, I was out off the grid last week for work and that combined with a less than bustling news week has left me dreadfully behind on all the mediocre stuff you've all come to expect from this space. I'm certain that I missed some important stuff here or there. Apologies. Start taking up a contribution to pay me to do this full time and it won't happen again.

The big news, of course, was the death of screenwriter and director Nora Ephron. Ephron was responsible for three of my favorite romances, most notably When Harry Met Sally. I suspect that film will always hold the top spot on my personal list of chick flicks. For me, Ephron's greatest skill was her ability to blend old fashioned sentiments with the more progressive morays of modern times and she will be greatly missed. Vulture provides a great look back at her esteemed career.

Depending on the (inevitable?) success of The Bourne Legacy, it's entirely possible that Jeremy Renner and Matt Damon will team up in future Bourne movies. So...that sounds awesome, right?

The Starship Troopers reboot will be less violent and will follow the book more closely. Thank goodness.

Luc Besson has been flirting with retiring but it seems he'll put those plans aside long enough to direct a big screen adaptation of the graphic novel series, Valerian. The big question is, how big of a role will Liam Neeson play in this movie? 

I keep trying to see The Intouchables and it keeps not happening. So have a look at Mark Hobin's stellar review over at Fast Film Reviews. 

Movie Muse gives us the top 10 performances by Paul Rudd. And while I definitely disagree with the order, it's worth checking out. 

The Focused Filmographer got a chance to check out Batman's tumbler and ties the visit together with some musings on the film. Check it out. 

Weekend Box Office Results
This was a HUGE week for both R-rated films and the controversial concept of making films on a reasonable budget. With a cost of around $50 million, Ted performed quite well with both audiences and critics alike, giving creator Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame his first big screen hit. Meanwhile, Magic Mike went a long way in confirming the star status of Channing Tatum and also found favor with critics. Not bad for a film budgeted at $7 million. It will be interesting to see how these two films fare in coming weeks, as Mike has all the makings of an event film that sees a sharp downturn in its take from here on out while word-of-mouth may give Ted a longer lasting appeal.

Tyler Perry’s Awful Summer Movie of 2012 also debuted to a solid amount and critical hatred, which was, of course, exactly what everyone expected. And Brave performed reasonably well considering the number of new films entering the marketplace and the less-than-spectacular reviews.

1. Ted - $54.1M
2. Magic Mike - $39.15M
3. Brave - $34.01M ($131.68M)
4. Tyler Perry’s Who Cares - $26.35M
5. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted - $11.81M ($180.01M)
6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - $6M ($29.03M)
7. Prometheus - $4.92M ($118.26M)
8. Moonrise Kingdom - $4.87M ($18.4M)
9. Snow White and the Huntsman - $4.4M ($145.59M)
10. People Like Us - $4.3M

New to DVD
What I’ll Be Renting This Week
The Hunter (2011) – Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Morgana Davis
I cannot say that this film, about a mercenary sent to track down and kill the last remaining Tasmanian tiger, will be good but for some reason it has intrigued me for quite some time now. Maybe I just need more Willem Dafoe in my life. Regardless, I plan to check this one out.

New to Blu
Born on the 4th of July (1989) – Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Berry
Barbarella (1968) – Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law
Treasure Planet (2002) – Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emma Thompson, Martin Short
Home on the Range (2004) – Rosanne Barr, Judi Dench, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Diane Lane, Raoul Bova, Sandra Oh
The Horse Whisperer (1998) – Robert Redford, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Sam Neill
Phenomenon (1996) – John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitacker
Step Up (2006) – Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum

Coming to a Theater Near You
I didn’t get to publish this column last week because Blogger is stupid. For the record, I pegged Ted pretty closely (67% actual rating versus my 62% prediction) and I absolutely refuse to believe that any movie starring Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, AND Alex Pettyfer could possibly be even somewhat good. That would rip apart the very fabric of the universe.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
Part reboot, part origin story, Amazing Spider-Man finds a brash Peter Parker (Garfield) discovering the truth about his long-gone parents, becoming a superhero in the process. Like many others, I found the news of a Spiderman (I’m already tired of putting that dumb hyphen in) reboot hitting theaters only five years after the end to the previous envisioning to be head scratching at the least. Moreover, I remain unconvinced that Garfield is the right guy for the part. The trailers, however, have done their job by both piquing my interest and displaying a much different tone than the one at work in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire films. I’m not expecting greatness but I have more confidence in this film than I did at the beginning of the year. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 78%

Savages – Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively
Two semi-peaceful pot growers (Johnson, Kitsch) with a booming business go on the offensive when a would-be business partner kidnaps their girlfriend (Lively) in an attempt to force them into an agreement. It’s been a while since Oliver Stone has made a significant movie and it seems to me that the further he gets from such a film, the more desperate his efforts become. Savages has some potential but the cut of the trailer comes far too close to the feel of Smokin’ Aces for my tastes. And while I will support Kitsch to the bitter end, involving John Travolta in any film is like a poison pill for me. Don’t think I can do it. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 57%

Katy Perry: Part of Me – Katy Perry
A movie about the life and times of Katy Perry who has, you know, been a celebrity for four years. For me, Katy Perry’s music is like reruns of Yes, Dear. If a song of hers comes on the radio and there’s nothing better on the other stations, I’ll listen to it but I’ll feel like the radio failed me. She does have some charm and she was great when she hosted Saturday Night Live last season but an entire movie dedicated to her sounds awful. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 50%

Also New: The Queen of Versailles offers an engrossing documentarian look at the rise and fall of a real estate mogul…and the Duplass brothers come back with The Do-Deca-Pentathalon about a pair of brothers who put together a homemade Olympic-style tournament.

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