Monday, August 27, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 8/27

My apologies for the lack of content over the last two weeks. Moving is just one of the worst things ever created and moving after not moving for three years sucked the life force and creativity right out of me. But I made it and I'm ever so thankful for the new digs. This week I'll have a couple of reviews and a MONSTER Trailer Spotlight and I expect to announce a few exciting changes around here soon. So thanks for sticking around. I promise I will (or won't, whichever) make it worth your while.

If you were thinking this was the sort of site where you wouldn't get constant and obnoxious fanboy-esque updates on the status of the upcoming fourth Arrested Development season (and subsequent movie), then either you're new around here or you just haven't been paying attention. The aforementioned fourth season of America's greatest "sitcom" ever will debut in the spring of 2013 and will be 13 glorious episodes instead of only 10. I may die from the anticipation.

Anna Kendrick is reportedly in the lead for the female role in the upcoming Captain America sequel. I'm of the opinion that the more we get to see of Kendrick in non-Twilight related films, the better.

Fresh off the success of The Hunger Games, director Gary Ross plans to move on to a prequel to the Peter Pan story which I must say sounds far more interesting than the actual Peter Pan ever has been (not a fan).

It's been rumored for a while now but show runner Greg Daniels has confirmed that this will indeed be the final season of The Office. I'll be sad to see it go (and will undoubtedly devote some space to a full recap of the series that no one will read) but really, it's past time.

Cinema Blend gives us a list of 11 big name/likable actors and actresses who've had a miserable movie we'd all just assume overlook. Can't agree with all of them (nothing wrong with You've Got Mail and does Channing Tatum belong on this list?) but it's a run read. Check it out.

Weekend Box Office Report
There are few things sadder (in terms of First World Pains) than the weekend that marks the conclusion of the summer movie season. In theory, the season should last one more week with Lawless headed to screens this weekend. But when the number one film of a given week brings in under $15 million…that’s all she wrote. “Sorry kids, the August movie schedule has seriously underperformed, you’ve got to go back to school now.” I plan on catching up with Expendables 2 this week but I suspect the studio is a little disappointed with its haul to this point despite its 2 week stay at the top spot. Speaking of disappointing, I did catch up on Bourne Legacy this week and all of you were right: it’s “meh” at best. That’s a missed opportunity right there. Premium Rush found substantial critical appeal but didn’t register with audiences (probably because the marketing was painfully bad) and Hit and Run just stuck its toe into the top 10 despite being an undoubtedly miserable film. Meanwhile an anti-Obama documentary took in almost $10 million over the course of its 10 day run. So that’s awesome.

1. The Expendables 2 - $13.5M ($52.31M)
2. The Bourne Legacy - $9.3M ($85.5M)
3. ParaNorman - $8.54M ($28.27M)
4. The Campaign - $7.44M ($64.54M)
5. The Dark Knight Rises - $7.15M ($422.18M)
6. The Odd Life of Timothy Green - $7.12M ($27.08M)
7. Premium Rush - $6.3M
8. 2016 Obama’s America - $6.23M ($9.07M)
9. Hope Springs - $6M ($45M)
10. Hit and Run - $4.67M ($5.86M)

What I’ve Seen and Really Isn’t So Bad
Battleship – Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna
Actually the descriptor “isn’t so bad” might not be strong enough. All cards on the table, I kind of love Battleship. It is popcorn film foolishness of the highest order and features moments of spectacularly bad acting (mostly from Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker) and yet it is absurdly enjoyable. I never wrote a review back when I saw it due to time constraints but I expect to put one out this week, for which I will be chastised by my fellow bloggers. But I care not, this one is just plain fun.

What I’ll Be Catching Up On – TV Edition
The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
Once Upon a Time: Season 1 – Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle
Despite my self-professed nerdiness, I’ve never been on the zombie bandwagon. As such, The Walking Dead took some selling from trustworthy sources in order for me to buy in. I did just that in season one and loved it despite some serious flaws. I did not love the first half of season two and missed the back half entirely. How those remaining 6 or so episodes turn out will dictate my involvement with the show moving forward. Once Upon a Time is a show that looked like it could be interesting and one that several of my friends enjoy. But when it debuted around the same time as Grimm last season, I picked Grimm as my network TV fantasy procedural of choice and now will have to catch up on this one. I’ve heard good things.

What I’ve Seen and You Should Too…Maybe
Homeland: Season 1 – Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, Mandy Pankin
Sons of Anarchy: Season 4 – Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Segal
Boardwalk Empire: Season 2 – Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald
What we have here are three of the five best dramas that television has to offer, all of which are outstanding in their own ways and all of which are most assuredly worth catching up on…if you can handle the serious, graphic content.

Sons is probably my favorite hour long show on TV and season four stands as an excellent illustration of how to reenergize a show on the fly after season three wrapped up almost all of the conflicts that had been laid out over three years.

Homeland came out of nowhere last year to be one of the more intense shows on television and stands as the only reason to subscribe to Showtime.

And Boardwalk…well Boardwalk is a strange beast, a show that is exquisitely written, acted, and put together and that works magnificently as a cohesive 10 episode whole, and yet drags endlessly from week to week. It is my least favorite of these three shows and yet it might be the best of the bunch. I’m sure this analysis was completely useless. You’re welcome.

Also New
Think Like a Man – Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
The Pirates! Band of Misfits – Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Darling Companion – Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne West
The Lucky Ones – Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
In Plain Sight: Season 5 – Mary McCormack, Fred Weller

New to Blu Pick of the Week or Whenever I Feel Like It
Jurassic Park (1993) – Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Someday I’ll write a full piece on Jurassic Park and give it the full attention it truly deserves. But for now, let me just say that this is one of my 10 favorite films of all time and one that left an indelible mark upon me as a kid when I first saw it in a theater. It’s a movie that unquestionably reminds me of why I love movies and I’ve been looking forward to seeing it on this format for some time now. (NOTE: Jurassic Park was released on Blu-Ray last year as part of a trilogy pack but let’s be honest, the sequels in this franchise are horrid and I like to pretend they don’t exist.)

Also New to Blu
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet
Atonement (2007) – Keira Knightley, James McAvoy
Universal continues its 100th anniversary celebration with an extensive list of Blu-Ray releases including: Airport (1970), Harvey (1950), Vertigo (1958), The Birds (1963), Scarface (1983), Out of Africa (1985), and Double Indemnity (1944).

Coming to a Theater Near You
I’m glad I missed out on writing this column last week because I would have missed badly on both of the major releases. I thought Hit & Run (Rotten, 45%) would end up under the 20% threshold because, let’s be honest, that looked HORRID; somehow, though, it found favor with some respected critics. Meanwhile, Premium Rush had the feel of a movie shot and stuck on a shelf four years ago only to be released to bank off of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s newfound star status but is apparently good (Fresh, 75%). I don’t know what to do with that to be honest. Do I have to go see Premium Rush now? This week marks the end of the summer season and the transition into the lesser popcorn flicks and not-quite-award-caliber dramas. *Sigh*

Lawless – Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce
A gang of Depression-era bootleggers (Hardy, LaBeouf) have their livelihoods threatened by the arrival of a new lawman (Pearce) and a fight with a hardened criminal (Oldman). Lawless looks incredible and I’ve been looking forward to it for months. The cast alone (minus LaBeouf whom I think we can all agree needs to be stopped) was enough to get me to the theater and adding in the bootlegging/Prohibition element, a fascination of mine thanks in no small part to The Untouchables, has had me counting down the days to this release. That said, director John Hillcoat is not for everyone; his style is a very deliberate, patient, and even dry blend that doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a summer blockbuster. My gut tells me this will be the classic example of a film that you either love or hate and may not be what audiences expect it to be. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 73%

The Possession – Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick
A young girl (Calis) is possessed by an evil spirit residing in an antique box found at a garage sale. Creepiness abounds. Hey, you know how you can insure that I absolutely will not see your movie? Have a kid get possessed by Satan or one of his subsidiaries. I can’t even handle the trailer. No thanks. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 47%

For a Good Time, Call… - Ari Graynor, Lauren Miller, Justin Long
Per IMDB: “Former college frenemies Lauren and Katie move into fabulous Gramercy Park apartment, and in order to make ends meet, the unlikely pair start a phone sex line together.” Hey, you know how you can insure that I absolutely will not see your movie? Include the term “frenemies” in the basis of the plot. Also, am I missing something on Ari Graynor? I don’t get it. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 55%


  1. Yes, please someone stop LaBeouf.

  2. For me, this is his last chance at doing something worthwhile. He's been in some decent stuff but the last 6 years or so have been awful. If he can't rise above that with the sort of surrounding cast he'll have in Lawless, then he's done for.

  3. He just never could develop any credibility to me. Then again, I used to hate Leonardo DiCaprio, and that has changed.

  4. He was good as a kid in Even Stevens and Holes. Disturbia is a guilty pleasure of mine. And even in the first Transformers, he's not awful. But the majority of his catalog, combined with his propensity for running his mouth foolishly, makes him such a beating.

  5. BTW, I, too, used to hate DiCaprio and now I'll see anything he does, no matter what. Even J. Edgar which forced me to go on a cat murdering spree.


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