Monday, September 10, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 9/10

This wasn't my best week for staying atop movie news. Sorry about that. It was a weird week in real life this time around and that took some attention. Also, there were important things happening elsewhere, like the beginning of the NFL season which, of course, resulted in countless hours of fantasy football research. When you're a nerd, you're a nerd all the way. As such, I'm sure I missed important things this week but it did seem like most of the important stuff concerned screenings of some big movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. All those blurbs coming out of Toronto actually made me want to go to Canada for the first time in my life. (I'm kidding, Canada, your country is great, Nickelback aside.) Anyway, my bad on any missing, important news blurbs.

The big news of the week, sadly, is of the passing of Michael Clarke Duncan at the age of 54. MCD had almost 100 credits to his name, most notably his incredible, Oscar-nominated performance in The Green Mile. Rest in peace, big guy.

Tobey Maguire has been cut from Ang Lee's Life of Pi, a near lock for contention in the Best Picture race this season. Apparently, Maguire was too recognizable among a group of unknowns and Lee decided to go a different direction. 

There is rumor of a director's cut of The Dark Knight Rises coming to Blu-Ray and I've been salivating over it for days. 

Jeffrey Wright has taken on the role of Beetee in Catching Fire, the upcoming sequel to The Hunger Games. Great casting choice for one of the few remaining substantial roles. 

Andrew Stanton talked to the LA Times about his recent flop, John Carter, and the cost of doing business in Hollywood. I still say John Carter wasn't bad at all. 

Ruth at Flix Chatter has delivered this month's Five for the Fifth. Head on over and give your answers! 

In accordance with the beginning of the NFL season, Fogs over at Fogs Movie Reviews gives us his top 10 sports movies of all time. Great list!

Weekend Box Office Report
If your film tops the weekend box office but collects under $10 million, do you still get to call it the number one film in America? I say you should have to at least call it, “The Number One Movie in America By Default.” Despite poor reviews, The Possession stays atop the box office this weekend thanks in part to a complete lack of competition. Lawless continued to underperform, leaving one to question whether John Hillcoat was the best director for this sort of project in the first place. Our two new films found almost as little favor with audiences as they did with critics (more on that shortly) as The Words barely managed a $5 million pull and The Cold Light of Day couldn’t even break its way into the top 10, finishing up under $2 million (yikes). I gave my money to both Lawless and Premium Rush, wasn’t impressed by either, and will not have to find a way to crank out 600 words on both. Sigh.

1. The Possession - $9.5M ($33.34M)
2. Lawless - $6M ($23.52M)
3. The Words - $5M
4. Expendables 2 - $4.75M ($75.41M)
5. The Bourne Legacy - $4M ($103.7M)
6. ParaNorman - $3.83M ($45.09M)
7. The Odd Life of Timothy Green - $3.65M ($43M)
8. The Campaign - $3.53M ($79.47M)
9. The Dark Knight Rises - $3.28M ($437.84M)
10. 2016 Obama’s America - $3.28M ($26.08M)

New to DVD
The Thing I'm Going to See
Castle: Season 4 – Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Molly C. Quinn
As a general rule I am against the traditional procedural. The method just doesn’t work for me. However, there have been exceptions over the years and having just completed the first three seasons of Castle in shotgun fashion, I’m willing to put this show in that category. The week-to-week storylines are as lackluster as I imagined they would be (just pull any plot from any crime-related drama and Castle has done it) but the lead characters are outstanding. Gotta love ol’ Nathan Fillion and this is a role custom made for him.

The Thing That You Should See
30 Rock: Season 6 – Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan
Big Bang Theory: Season 4 – Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco
This week I offer the TV fans out there something for everyone. If you’re a fan of the more progressive, witty sitcom then may I suggest 30 Rock, the closest thing we currently have to Arrested Development. The sixth season was especially satisfying because the back half of season five was a mess and I took great joy in seeing the show return to its prominence. If you’re a fan of the more traditional sitcom, Big Bang Theory is the perfect transition to the wittier programs the networks currently have to offer. BBT is surprisingly smart, has a solid storyline, and is exceedingly rewatchable.

The Thing You Shouldn’t See
Snow White and the Huntsman – Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
You know, I didn’t hate this movie when I saw it earlier this summer. But I’ve changed my tune. This movie sucks and moreover, it lacks any semblance of significance. I’ve seen very few movies that simply sit around and do nothing the way Snow White does. Add in Kristen Stewart being oh so Kristen Stewart-y and Chris Hemsworth seeming bored throughout and you’ve got a colossal waste of time.

Also New
What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks
Girl in Progress – Eva Mendes, Cierra Ramirez, Patricia Arquette
Lola Versus – Greta Gerwig, Zoe Lister Jones, Hamish Linklater
The Vampire Diaries: Season 3 – Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder
Spartacus: Vengeance: Season 2 – Liam McIntyre, Katrina Law, Lucy Lawless
Private Practice: Season 5 – Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly
Blue Bloods: Season 2 – Donnie Walberg, Bridget Moynahan, Tom Selleck
Terra Nova: Series – Jason Mara, Shelley Conn, Stephen Lang
Up All Night: Season 1 – Will Arnett, Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph

New to Blu
Jeepers Creepers (2001) – Justin Long, Gina Philips, Jonathan Breck
The Firm (1993) – Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
The Score (2001) – Edward Norton, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando
Titanic (1997) – Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane

Coming to a Theater Near You
I hope none of you wasted your weekend at a movie this weekend, dear friends. Both of the new films of the day found a way to finish below a 20 percent rating with The Words scoring an abysmal 16 percent and The Cold Light of Day somehow outperforming it with a whipping 10 percent. You have to try hard to be that bad.

September usually brings with it the not quite blockbuster-y enough blockbusters and the not quite Oscar-y enough Oscar wannabes. We’ve already seen The Words (which at some point aspired for award contention) flop miserably and later this month we’ll get Looper, which I CANNOT WAIT FOR but which is probably too confusing to be a summer blockbuster. This weekend, though, we’ll get a treat in the form of a legitimate, strong, Best Picture contender as well as one of the films that is sure to make everyone’s “worst of 2012” list.

The Master – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
A troubled veteran (Phoenix) has issues assimilating into post-WWII society until he gets involved with a charismatic religious leader (PSH). Based in part of the formation of Scientology, Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film since 2007’s There Will Be Blood has received a tremendous amount of attention and I must say, the studio (and Anderson himself) has built the buzz over this one extremely well. More than anything else, I’m most excited about seeing Phoenix in a role that has Oscar written all over it. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 91%

Resident Evil: Retribution – Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez
Alice (Jovovich) returns to kill zombie-things and stuff. Gah, these movies are awful. AWFUL. The previous installments, of which there are four, average a 25 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and that number seems exceedingly high. Somehow I have seen all of these movies, usually after they’ve reached HBO, but this is where I draw the line. No more, Milla Jovovich. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 22%

Also New: Finding Nemo returns in 3D…An alumnus (Josh Radnor) and a current student (Elisabeth Olsen) fall for each other at a professor’s retirement party in Liberal Arts…A high powered broker (Richard Gere) finds himself in trouble after some shady business dealings in Arbitage…A group of old friends (including Channing Tatum) get together on the eve of their high school reunion in 10 Years…and Nicolas Cage does Nicolas Cage things in Stolen.

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