Monday, August 13, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 8/13

For me, the biggest news of the week was the confirmation that Joss Whedon will write and direct the sequel to The Avengers. It didn't make any sense, of course, for Marvel and Whedon to part ways after the ridiculous success of the first film but then again, Marvel has been known to be stingy with their profits so it was far from a done deal before now. In other news, it appears Whedon is also developing a live-action Marvel TV series. So there's that. 

DC Comics countered all the Whedon-related news by offering their prospective Justice League film to Ben Affleck as director. That's a weird rumor right there. CinemaBlend sums up what we know so far about the Justice League movie

Robert Zemeckis continues his resurgence with news that he will develop and possibly direct a movie about the Barefoot Bandit. If you don't know who the Barefoot Bandit is, it's worth Googling. Very interesting story. 

Will Ferrell and Steve Carell will re-team for Justin Theroux's comedy Swear to God. Anything good enough for those two is good enough for me. 

The long-rumored third film in the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure saga has officially been given the green light. So that's...exciting? 

In light of the collective "meh" critics and audiences issued in the direction of Total Recall, Player Affinity gives us 10 sci-fi movies that should be remade. Check it out!

Programming note: I will be moving this week into a newly purchased home (yay for real jobs, I guess). There's a good chance this will result in little to no content making its way to this space during the week. My apologies. 

Weekend Box Office Results
Well it took solid openings for three different films but The Dark Knight Rises has been bumped off the top spot after perching there for three weeks. The Bourne Legacy probably underperformed a bit thanks for less than stellar early reviews but I’m sure Universal isn’t worried considering how well the film will undoubtedly do overseas. The Campaign performed above expectations with both critics and audiences and took in a respectable second place finish. And Hope Springs did well with the geriatric crowd it was so readily targeted toward. Not to be forgotten, however, The Dark Knight Rises moved into 15th place on the all-time domestic box office list. If its trending patterns hold, it will probably find up somewhere between 9th and 12th all-time when it’s all said and done. Not too shabby, though perhaps not the worldwide sensation we might have expected earlier this year.

1. The Bourne Legacy - $40.26M
2. The Campaign - $27.44M
3. The Dark Knight Rises - $19.54M ($390.14M)
4. Hope Springs - $15.6M
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - $8.2M ($30.55M)
6. Total Recall - $8.1M ($44.18M)
7. Ice Age: Continental Drift - $6.75M ($144.06M)
8. Ted - $3.29M ($209.91M)
9. Step Up Revolution - $2.85M ($30.16M)
10. The Amazing Spider-Man - $2.2M ($255.54M)

What I’ve Seen and You Should Too
The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson
I won’t spend much time writing on this one since pretty much everyone, including many of your deceased relatives, has already seen The Hunger Games. I am interested, though, to see how it holds up with multiple viewings as it has gained a bit of steam within my own head since its release. In that time I’ve become more and more convinced that film version of The Hunger Games is much better than the book, which I’ve browsed through again since my viewing. Hoping I’m right because I’m not as sold on the book as I used to be.

What I’ve Seen and You Should Too – TV Edition
Community: Season 3 – Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover
Hey, you know what was the best sitcom on television last year? That’s right, friends, the answer is Community! Don’t believe me? Well, read this very scientific column and then go check it out for yourself. Seriously, the progression of Community from a somewhat middling comedy half way through its freshman year to one of the greatest seasons in recent sitcom history in season three has been fascinating to watch. If you’re a fan of Arrested Development and for some reason you haven’t been watching Community then you’re doing it wrong.

Also New
The Raid – Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory – Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly, Jason Baldwin
Kill List – Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson
Hick – Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne
Glee: Season 3 – Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch
Dexter: Season 4 – Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington
Happy Endings: Seasons 1 and 2 – Eliza Coupe, Zachary Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert

New to Blu Pick of the Week or Whenever I Feel Like It
Jaws (1975) – Roy Schneider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
The original summer blockbuster FINALLY makes its way onto blu-ray. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while now as Spielberg continues his ingenious and maddening method of releasing his bigger hits in this format with all the hurry of a turtle trying to cross a busy highway. Jaws is one of the greatest blockbusters of all time, has some of the best acting you’ll ever see in this sort of film, and represents the rare horror flick that has the ability to genuinely scare the crap out of people. This is an incredible film that I can’t wait to relive in full HD.

Also New to Blu
Fallen (1998) – Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland
Royal Tenenbaums: Criterion Collection Edition (2001) – Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Bill Murray
New Jack City (1991) – Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Chris Rock
Shaft (1971) – Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi

Coming to a Theater Near You
Well I feel sheepish. It is unlikely that I could have screwed up last week’s Rotten Tomatoes predictions any worse than I did. Critics didn’t care for The Bourne Legacy (Rotten, 54% actual versus Fresh, 80% prediction), they weren’t quite as bullish on Hope Springs as I expected (74% actual versus 84% predicted), and somehow The Campaign was a billion times better than it looked (Fresh, 67% actual versus Rotten, 25% predicted). These mistakes have kept me up at night (no they haven’t), I am deeply sorry for the misinformation I have fed you (no I’m not), and I will strive to put in the appropriate research to make sure that this never happens again (highly unlikely). This week represents the dumping ground for the summer, the weekend on which every studio drops off their movie that wasn’t quite up to challenging the big boys on the summer block but won’t fit in with the typical fare of the fall.

Expendables 2 – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Every other action star ever
The world’s greatest group of mercenaries reassembles for what should be an easy paycheck on a job that turns out to be far more dangerous than they originally thought. The Expendables was the PERFECT end of summer film: it was absolutely absurd, an incredible amount of fun, and 100 percent forgettable as soon as you left the theater. For me, it doesn’t have any of the reviewing value that other action films (or comedy-action mashups like the unmatchable MacGruber) but for two hours, it was bloody good fun. I expect this sequel will be up to par and perhaps surpass the original. Beefed up roles for Willis and Schwarzenegger and the addition of Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme give The Expendables 2 a little extra juice and I expect it will be nearly impossible to watch without smiling. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 53%

ParaNorman – Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck
A nerdy kid (KSM) with an ability to see ghosts must bring a hodge-podge team together in order to save his town from a curse. This will be the first of several kid-targeted films that focus on the supernatural in the back half of this year and in truth, I have no idea what to expect from it. I will say two things about ParaNorman: 1.) This is an inventive concept for which I give the studio credit for and 2.) I’m so excited for this film to open simply so I don’t have to see another trailer for it. Good grief, talk about overkill. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 61%

Sparkle – Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Carmen Ejogo
A trio of sisters becomes a Motown sensation in the 1960s. My question about Sparkle is simply this: would anyone care about this film if not for it being Whitney Houston’s final film? Dreamgirls, which holds many similarities to this movie, made a chunk of money when it opened in 2006 but then again, it was expected to make waves with award shows in ways that Sparkle is not. Personally I’m not interested but it will be intriguing to see how many people are. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 70%

The Odd Life of Timothy Green – Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
After failing to conceive, a couple (Garner, Edgerton) literally buries their hopes for their future child in the garden as a form of therapy. They are surprised, then, to find that a rainstorm has grown an elementary aged boy (Adams) from their box of hopes. Well, it’s an interesting idea. So interesting that I’m shocked it isn’t based upon a book. The problem is, it’s such a weird concept that I don’t know what to expect, I think other viewers don’t know what to expect, and therefore, I think the box office return is going to be bad, though it could find favor with critics. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 65%

Also New: Robert Pattinson tries to shy away from Twilight in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis…an ex-jewel thief (Frank Langella) and his futuristic robot companion attempt a heist in Robot & Frank…a hoax-exposer (Rebecca Hall) has her world turned upside down in The Awakening…and a son’s (Jesse Eisenberg) attempt to check his mother (Melissa Leo) into rehab results in some serious shenanigans in Why Stop Now

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