Monday, August 6, 2012

The Week That Was and The Week That Will Be - 8/6

Emma Stone has signed on to star in Cameron Crowe's next film, rumored to be titled Deep Tiki. Um, Cameron, have you been reading my diary? (Note: I stole the gist of this joke from comedian Gary Gulman, whose 2004 album Conversations with Inanimate Objects is the best comedy album of the last decade. iTunes that sucker.) 

The showrunners of How I Met Your Mother seem to believe that this coming season could be the show's last. As a day one fan of the show, I've got to say that this would please me greatly. It's been great and I actually think the last season was one of its strongest but the bit has run its course. Introduce us to the mom and let Ted ride off happily into the sunset. 

Ridley Scott has confirmed that a sequel to Prometheus is in the offing. Sounds great to me. 

The Hollywood Reporter's cover story this week is on Steve Carell and the column is excellent. Gotta love Carell. Good guy, honest, hardworking, and refreshingly un-cynical. 

It's not exactly the Chewbacca movie I've always dreamed of but Kyle Newman, director of Fanboys, will bring us a bio-pic on Peter Mayhew's life as the man behind the mask during the filming of Star Wars. I'm already nerding out on this one. 

For some reason, the Ghostbusters 3 disaster in the making keeps resurfacing despite the absence of Bill Murray. Knock it off, Aykroyd.

In the wake of the Total Recall remake, CinemaBlend gives us six '90s movies that should be rebooted. I agree with half of these. 

My friend Marshall at Marshall at the Movies delivers his first Oscar prediction column of the year. Stop by and check out his choices, always fun to keep track throughout the year. 

And with the fifth of the month now behind us, Ruth over at Flixchatter gives us this month's installment of Five For the Fifth. Check it out!

Weekend Box Office Results
While it doesn’t quite measure up to its predecessor or The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises continues to dominate the box office, bringing home the top spot for the third straight week and becoming the third-fastest film to reach the $350 million mark domestically. It has more than doubled that total overseas, having totaled out at $733 million total thus far. While it got my money this weekend, Total Recall didn’t do much to hinder the success of TDKR, a disappointing opening that could have been much worse considering Universal moved The Bourne Legacy off of the same date only a few weeks ago. Competing with both TDKR and Bourne could have been catastrophic to the film. As it is, Total Recall will bank heavily on a strong overseas pull. Meanwhile, The Watch continues its horrific run, dropping over half of its total from last week’s supremely poor open. There’s a decent chance this movie drops out of the top ten in just its third week of a release and having handed over $7.50 to see it myself this week, I can certainly see why. It’s easily the worst movie I’ve seen this year.

1. The Dark Knight Rises - $36.44M ($354.63M)
2. Total Recall - $26M
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - $14.7M
4. Ice Age: Continental Drift - $8.4M ($131.86M)
5. The Watch - $6.35M ($25.36M)
6. Ted - $5.47M ($203.41M)
7. Step Up Revolution - $5.3M ($23.09M)
8. The Amazing Spider-Man - $4.3M ($250.64M)
9. Brave - $2.89M ($223.32M0
10. Magic Mike - $1.38M ($110.89M)

New to DVD
What I’ve Seen and Your Kids Will LOVE
Dr. Seuss’ The LoraxEd Helms, Zach Efron, Danny Devito
Everyone, including the ghost of Dr. Seuss, was shocked at the insane amount of money The Lorax brought in at the box office. I think most involved would have been thrilled with a $35 million opening and a $100 million total haul domestically and instead the movie brought in roughly twice that. Critics weren’t overly kind to it (Rotten, 55% on Rotten Tomatoes) and many adult viewers who need to take a Xanax and chill out railed against it for its “politically charged agenda.” (Keep in mind: Fox News attacked The Muppets for the same reason.) But really, The Lorax is a harmless, relatively entertaining, visually impressive movie that you probably won’t love but your kids will adore.

What I’ve Seen and is Actually Pretty Good
Grimm: Season 1 – David Giuntoli, Silas Weir Mitchell, Russell Hornsby
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s nothing really great about Grimm. That said, each episode is a fun watch and I think it got better from week to week. This is a fairly standard procedural which I’m usually not a big fan of but the concept (a detective can see the perpetrators and victims of his cases for what they are, which is usually some sort of mythical creature) is relatively addictive. Season 2 will begin right after the Olympics come to a close and if you’re inclined towards sci-fi material, Grimm would make for a quality viewing.

What I’ve Seen and I’m Growing Tired Of
Parenthood: Season 3 – Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepherd
I love approximately one half of the characters and storylines contained within Parenthood. It’s a relatively realistic family drama, a genre that is almost extinct these days, and the leads of the ensemble are wholly engrossing. At the same time, however, the other half of this show drives me absolutely crazy to the point that every week over the last three seasons I’ve gotten closer and closer to bailing out. It’s almost like the writers have divided up the cast and only write about their given characters which is not the end of the world except that at least one writer is going through a horrible breakup and has no way to deal with his/her emotions than to pour them into a set of characters. Season 4 will probably be the last one for Parenthood and the jury is still out on whether or not I’ll stick with it throughout.

Also New
Marley – Bob Marley
Bel Ami – Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas
Blue Like Jazz – Marshall Allman, Claire Holt, Tania Raymonde
Strike Back: Season 1 – Richard Armitage, Philip Winchester, Rhashan Stone

New to Blu
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) – John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd
Clue (1985) – Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn
Adventures in Babysitting (1987) – Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan
High Fidelity (2000) – John Cusack, Jack Black, Iben Hjejle
Rio Grande (1950) – John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara
Spaceballs 25th Anniversary Edition (1987) – Bill Pullman, John Candy, Rick Moranis
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) – Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo
Full Metal Jacket 25th Anniversary Edition (1987) – Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio
Evan Almighty (2007) – Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, John Goodman
Blues Brothers 2000 (1988) – Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman
The Preacher’s Wife (1996) – Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance

Coming to a Theater Near You
Neither of last week’s mainstream releases found much favor with the critics, though made me look smarter than the other. Total Recall only pleased 31% of critics (versus my 47% prediction) but the newest installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series came in right on the money at my 50% prediction.

This week we get three new films of varying levels of interest.

The Bourne Legacy – Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
In the aftermath of The Bourne Ultimatum, a series of events is hastily set in motion to eradicate the secret agents trained by Treadstone. One agent (Renner), however, proves difficult to dispose of. I am very, very excited about this film. I love the original Bourne series, the rare franchise that got better as it went. And while rebooting/rebranding so soon after the conclusion of the last film is risky, I think the casting of Renner is perfect and I’m fully intrigued by the way in which director Tony Gilroy is tying Legacy to the other films in the series. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 80%

The Campaign – Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Jason Sudiekis
Long-time congressman Cam Brady (Ferrell) who usually runs unopposed is shocked to discover that he has competition in the form of soft-spoken, na├»ve Marty Huggins (Galifianakis). As an avowed and committed Ferrell fan, I will see The Campaign no matter what. As a would-be film critic, however, I can tell you that there is a three percent chance that this movie is any good whatsoever. Jay Roach’s prime as a director passed him by quite some time ago, Galifianakis (while very funny) is assuredly hit or miss, and there is a distinct Blades of Glory feel about this trailer. I’ll see it but I don’t expect much. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 25%

Hope Springs – Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell
An aging couple (Streep, TLJ) seek guidance from a well-known counselor (Carell) in order to reinvigorate their marriage. Carell’s involvement with a film is usually an automatic “in” for me but… I mean, let’s just be honest: there is a sum of money that exists that one could pay me to see Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones talk about sex for two hours but it’s far more than any of you have to give me. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 84%

Also New: A couple (Julie Delpy, Chris Rock) find their family dynamic upturned by the arrival of relatives in 2 Days in New York…and an Atlanta boy has his world outlook changed after spending the summer with his Brooklyn-based grandfather in Red Hook Summer.

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