Sunday, April 29, 2007

1 Man... 18 Hours... 3 Crappy Movies... Whoever Wins, I'm out $17

Since I'm a loser, and have no life, I managed to take in three movies in an 18 hour span. It began Friday night, when I felt that an evening of In and Out Burger and a movie about vikings would kick a little ass.

It's worth noting the Neopolitan Shake over at In and Out is top notch, and wound up being the highlight of all three cinema excursions.

Pathfinder: I heard horrible things about it, but at the end of the day, can one truly expect great things from a movie about Native Americans fighting off Viking invaders? Especially if it stars Karl "If They're So Smart How Come They're So Dead" Urban. It couldn't be that bad, right? At the very least, it should contain some good action scenes and provide me a mild escape from the world that surrounds me.
(this is Karl Urban in a much better movie. That says a lot)

The answer is sadly no on all counts. It's not even mildly entertaining. It's like a dumber, less competent (yet more honest) version of Apocalypto. It stars Karl "He's a Holy Half Dead Who's Seen The Underverse" Urban as the son of a great viking leader, who was left behind and raised by the native Americans. They call him Ghost, because he's white. They raise him as their own, but Ghost is still conflicted by his past demons. Meaning his viking heritage.

Luckily, some Norse invaders come along and begin slaughtering everybody. They speak in subtitles, and are led by Clancy Brown. They kill everyone, leaving Ghost to find the other villages and warn them. But not before kicking a little ass first. Which he does for about a minute. Then the movie gets stupid, as he finds the village and warns them, but they don't believe him or something, and then he has to become a pathfinder... I don't really know, I kinda tuned out halfway through. All I remember is that every possibly cool idea was used in another movie, and used to a less satisfying result. (The ice breaking scene from King Arthur, hiding in mud like Predator or Rambo, etc). Oh, I also seem to recall that a lot of the dialogue was ADR, and a lot of it seems to be trying to make up a story in voiceover, and with a lot of people's backs turned to the camera.

Oh, and how do you take Moon Bloodgood, the actress with an awesome name who was unbelievably hot on that show Daybreak, and turn her into someone unrecognizable? No sense at all of the woman's hotness! That's how you know you're dealing with a dumb movie. They should have just bought a tripod, and cut all the action scenes together while Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song plays. That would have made this a better movie. Maybe I should start bringing my iPod to the movies.

The Condemned: I was really looking forward to The Condemned. It looked like it could be in the vein of Surviving the Game, or any number of early 90s Van Damme or Seagal flicks. WWE Films made The Marine which, while not the finest of films, had some entertaining moments. And Stone Cold Steve Austin is a hell of a lot more charismatic than John Cena. This movie looks like dumb, goofy fun.

But it's not. It's not fun. Far from fun. It makes the stupidity of Pathfinder look like an exercise in Merchant Ivory restraint. The Condemned is mean and brutal and godawful. After giving it much deliberation, I can fully conclude that I hated this movie. It's not horrible on a sad level, like House of the Dead-bad. It's a whole new kind of loathsome, repugnant beast. What makes it all the more insulting is that it could have been really cool.

The movie's about some rich megalomaniacal douchebag who's excited because he's just discovered the power of the internet. That's seriously an apt description. You'd think it's about Stone Cold and Vinnie Jones and a bunch of other not so fearsome people put on an island and forced to fight it out, Battle Royale style, right? But it's not. It's like if someone remade the Running Man, but made it all about Richard Dawson's character but forgot to make it interesting. But then instead of showing you contestants fighting, it just kept coming back to this douche, and people who are just as annoying as he is.

Oh, and then they'll slap around a lot of big talk about morals and ethics and how we the audience are the ones demanding the gratuitous violence. They'll even outright state this, calling we the viewers the true condemned. Seriously. Ok, I understand that, maybe we are a nation of sick voyeurs who enjoy violence more than the rest of the world. But don't go wagging your finger at us then glorify (almost fetishize) Vinnie Jones as he coldly guns down a room full of internet techies (some of whom are hot chicks, glasses girl I'm looking in your direction). And not for nothing, given recent events with practically the entire country going nutty and gunning down folks from VA Tech to a mall in Kansas City, maybe they should have excised a little restraint themselves and held off on the movie for a bit. Sure, they have nothing to do with one another, but when you linger on the violence, it's creepy and distasteful.

Add on top of that the horrible scenes of backstory involving Stone Cold's character which include a group of people in a bar somehow gathered around an internet stream of the show and cheering along. Oh, and the fact that the director has absolutely no clue how to shoot an action scene, or a comedic scene, or any kind of scene, and then these non scenes add up to feel like a three hour movie, even though it's barely 90 minutes . And then, there's all the amazing opportunities to have a really cool movie that celebrates over the top violence with condemning the viewers for liking it. But no. this movie has nothing. This movie could have been something worth watching, but instead we get this festering boil of a movie that just grows uglier and more disgusting the longer it goes.

Next: Trying to get the taste of Condemned out of my mouth literally brought me to the theater next door, which was showing Next. Next is another one of those Philip K Dick movies that takes one solitary idea from a Philip K Dick novel or short story, and then expands that idea into something stupid with a lot of chases. (Paycheck, Imposter, etc.) The thing is, this time, if they didn't put the action movie cliches on, it could have been a really neat flick.

See, the premise is Nicolas Cage can see into the future. Only about two minutes into the future, and only if it affects him. So most of his life, he manages to come out ahead, having been able to see the immediate future. (Strangely enough, when I was in college, I was in a student film with a similar premise, and I played a guy who used this particular sense of the future to decide whether or not I'd be happier with an apple or a Snickers bar. Having viewed both options, I decided it to be a win-win situation.) Oh, but Nic Cage lives in Vegas and is an illusionist whose stage name is Frank Cadillac. Why is that his name? "Because it's two things I like. Frankenstein and Cadillacs."

That's seriously a line in the movie, and it's actually pretty funny when delivered by Cage. Mostly because that makes a lot of sense to Cage's character. Actually, his character lives really well with his ability, making money at casinos, avoiding trouble with the law by narrowly escaping before it's too late. Although he can only see for two minutes, and only about himself, he is able to see into the future long enough to see Jessica Biel sitting in a diner. Now, I often dream of this myself, but in this case, it has meaning, and Cage knows he must meet up with her. And then comes the best scene in the movie.

Cage knows that Biel is in this diner, but doesn't know why he can see that far ahead, or what she has to do with anything. He just knows it involves her. She enters the diner and sits by herself. Thus begins the many attempts of Nic Cage to find the best way to introduce himself without freaking her out or coming on too strong. Each attempt is shot down. The way the scene plays out is really good, kind of like a variation on Groundhog's Day, when Bill Murray keeps coming back the next day to fix the mistakes he made. Only quicker, because this is an action movie after all.

Yeah, the action plot involves a bomb, and Julianne Moore's relentless pursuit to become Tommy Lee Jones. I mean, to find Chris, because his abilities are so accurate, he must be able to help find the bomb. Never mind that it's a hairbrained scheme, and the FBI should be dedicating more time to finding the bomb over finding Nic Cage, but still. Moore gets to kick a little ass later on, but you still wonder what she's doing in this movie. So she's chasing him, Biel gets kidnapped, Cage agrees to finally help, and there's a pretty cool shoot out in a barge that involves Nic Cage using his powers. Then something AMAZINGLY COOL happens, but then when the movie should end, it doesn't. Oh no, it provides something horrid. Something so mind blowingly annoying I had to decree the film as "Shenanigans". It's something that pretty makes much of the last hour of the film pointless.

Oh, mild spoiler warning, I guess.

But the point is, I was digging Next. It was breezy, fun, a little silly, but not too dumb (not like the others I've seen recently), and Nic Cage played a neat character. If they made a romantic comedy about his character, and how he uses his powers to always know what to say or do next, THAT would be a movie worth watching. But after they pull that ending on me... well, I stand by my declaration of Shenanigans.

There you have three crappy movie reviews for three crappy movies. Go see Hot Fuzz.

Box Office Report: 4-29-07

Dude here again, on a lovely end to a lazy weekend. Nothing exciting at all happened. I like to think it's a quiet before the storm, but I'm not exactly sure what the storm could be. All I know is, this has been a pretty crappy month (or year, depending on your point of view) and I'm happy that April is over after tomorrow.

This weekend, we have four MORE new releases. And it was a very slow weekend. I can't seem to recall a weekend with this many low numbers, including a very low number 1 film, in it's third week of release Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $9.1, 3047 screens, week 3, $52.186 total

2. The Invisible (BV) - $7.6, 2019 screens, week 1, $7.6 total

3. Next (Par)- $7.2, 2725 screens, week 1, $7.2 total

4. Fracture (NL) - $7.075, 2443 screens, week 2, $21.3 total

5. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $5.2, 3056 screens, week 5, $108.086 total

6. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $4.8, 2461 screens, week 5, $88.356 total

7. Hot Fuzz (Rogue) - $4.78, 1272 screens, week 2, $12.4 total

8. Vacancy (ScrGem) - $4.2, 2551 screens, week 1, $13.868 total

9. The Condemned (LG) - $4.0, 2310 screens, week 1, $4.0 total

10. Are We Done Yet? (Sony) - $3.4, 2701 screens, week 4, $43.8 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means the LeBouf jokes will never cease. But it also means nobody really cares about any movie right now that doesn't involve a character who shoots webs from his hand. Perhaps the aforementioned storm is Spiderman 3, which will no doubt come next week and make as much money as all the top ten of this week combined, and that will be by the end of Friday night. Low numbers, is the point I'm hoping you take away from this.

In new releases, The Invisible and Next duked it out for second place, but as we all know second place is the first loser. Invisible tried to steal viewers from Disturbia, but it needed a hot LeBouf injection to pull in the big bucks. Next managed to also pull in similar numbers, but the producers should be required to give back some of that money to the audiences after the atrocious ending. Seriously. It angered me. But not as much as The Condemned, taking in $4 million, of which $6 are mine which I would really like back. This does not bode well for the future of WWE films, unless they start making, you know, better movies.

(Hey, I like the Marine as much as the next guy, and I'm being serious, but they really could spend like, a week more to ask themselves "Wait, are we making a good movie? Does this make any sense? How about we make it, I don't know.. good?". Mr. MacMahon, I eagerly await your call.

Oh, and the Jamie Kennedy breakdancing movie (which contains choreography from Boogaloo Shrimp, he of Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo fame) opened just under the top ten, pulling in around $2.8 million. It's kind of sad, but I've heard no good things about it.

The holdovers continue to mop up the rest, and the only point I want to note is that Hot Fuzz dropped 18% from last week, which rules. Hot Fuzz may not be pulling in huge numbers, but it's already infinitely more profitable than Grindhouse.

And in the "Because It's There" series: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters took in $261,000 on 363 screens, bringing it's grand total to $5,261,000 in 3 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, we get to see if if the romantic chemistry of Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore will warm over my heart in the city of Vegas. And some movie about a spider or something, too.

Until next weekend....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Way to go, Hugh Grant

Way to take the law into your own hands, and not fall prey to the Keanu Reeves "hitting the driver with your car and playing it off" routine all those celebrities try to do these days. I like Hugh Grant more and more everyday. Who would have thought this AND Music and Lyrics would be as supremely entertaining as they are.

LostSpeak: 4-26-07

First, I thought the ending was really cool with the two revelations. Second, I don't trust the Russian, and not just because he was the bad guy in Toy Soldiers. Third, I'm starting to cast some doubt over Jack, which frightens me a little. Fourth, stop messing with my head when it comes to Juliet. No shades of grey, dammit.

Let us discuss ridiculous theories of the week.

(In other, non-Lost related news, Fox saw it fit to cancel yet another Nathan Fillion/Tim Minear show. Drive was cancelled after four episodes. I did not watch the show, mainly for fear that my enjoyment of it would almost ensure cancellation. Alas, I discover that, much like with the universe, my actions are inconsequential and I don't matter. I'll try to catch the show. I saw parts, like the concept, love the cast. But the theme music is really lame, especially when you compare it to the Firefly theme.

Take my love, take my land....)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One step closer to living in the Sci-Fi world of my dreams.

On the one hand, I'm actually kind of happy about this news. But since I have of late become a grumpy, cynical, pessimistic misanthrope (Orat least I always was one and events have pushed me towards letting the beast out for air once in awhile... that sounds a little rude, but it made me laugh, so fuck off it stays), I can only think that due to the cultural changes due to the current President's administration, in addition to the general dumbing down of humanity, this is just going to become another place for us to put our crap.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters Colon My Half Dash Assed Review

How does one properly review a movie like this? There's no logical way to do it. I could try describing the plot to you, but it's ridonkulous. It has a talking package of fries, and he's the smartest one. There's an exercise machine that's set to destroy the world. The beginning has Abe Lincoln transporting deftly through time and space. It's pure lunacy. I also laughed my testes off. The film's opening is fairly close to brilliant. This flick is very funny.

I honestly don't think it matters if you know the show or not. I remember for a long time thinking that the only funny thing about the show was the opening credits. I remember the rest of the show not making me laugh because it was so damn weird, but it was only eleven minutes long, so it wasn't that big a sacrifice to make. I also seem to remember a lot of medicinal drug use at the time of viewing the show, but that neither contributed to nor detracted from enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the show. Aqua Teen was just something that came on before Sealab 2021. Point is, I know none of the in jokes or characters aside from the heroes, and I still had a great time.

Surprisingly, the movie kind of works. It's not too long, and it sticks to it's own absurdities. You don't really have much time to question what's going on because they throw something that's even more insane your way. It's just so damn weird.

See? I told you there's no proper way to review this movie.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Some fun things to start the week off right.

A mighty huzzah to you all! I just have a few things to share for your weekly enjoyment. One is this nice little PG-rated version of "300"

Then there's this fun little piece to get us all psyched for Spiderman 3, as well as a myriad of sequels and product placements that we're gonna have to face this summer.

And finally, I have a nice little link to an article from Time magazine (Freakin' Time magazine! You know, the publication that made YOU and ME their "Person of the Year"? Shenanigans!) I enjoy this because it's the first time that Time has addressed the "Fanboy" contigency, which is a lovely and defining piece that makes me feel justified loving the films I love, and saying what I say about them. I rule.

(And because I haven't mentioned it yet in this post, I made Simon Pegg laugh)

Box Office Report: 4-22-07

Dude here again, fresh off a weekend that contained a wedding on a boat, a bachelor party, and making Simon Pegg laugh. (Man that was awesome!), and now I have some numbers to report to you.

This weekend, we had four new releases. Seems to be alot of releases lately, and onne of them really do too well. Don't believe me? Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $13.46, 3015 screens, week 1, $40.65 total

2. Fracture (NL) - $11.175, 2443 screens, week 1, $11.175 total

3. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $7.8, 3459 screens, week 4, $101.08 total

4. Vacancy (ScrGem) - $7.6, 2551 screens, week 1, $7.6 total

5. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $7.088, 3003 screens, week 4, $82.1 total

6. Hot Fuzz (Rogue) - $5.8, 825 screens, week 1, $5.8 total

7. Are We Done Yet? (Sony) - $5.2, 2944 screens, week 3, $39.59 total

8. In The Land Of Women (WB) - $4.9, 2155 screens, week 1, $4.9 total

9. Perfect Stranger (Sony) - $4.1, 2661 screens, week 2, $18.068 total

10. Wild Hogs (BV)- $2.87, 2001 screens, week 8, $156.2 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means word of mouth stuck around, and Disturbia took another top spot for the weekend. Impressive. That Shia LeBouf sure puts the butts in the seats.

In new releases, it's interesting to note that each new release came in even numbered places. Fracture fared best for second place, taking in solid reviews, but not really burning up the charts. Vacancy failed to SCARE (get it?) up more than a fourth place bow, however it also received fairly decent reviews. Hot Fuzz came in sixth, which is a shame because of aforementioned bossomeness of the flick, but it's good being that it only opened on 825 screens. (It also had the highest per screen average of the top ten, almost $3000 more per theater than the number 1 for the week). And In The Land Of Women failed to capitalize on it's MySpace marketing to make more than a dent in eighth place.

In other news this week, Blades of Glory crossed the $100 million marker, and... well that's really only the bit of interest. I forgot to mention that 300 made it to $200 million last week. But it's not like it matters. And hey, how can Wild hogs still be in the top ten? What kind of a world do I live in where a man dressed as a bat gets all of my press?

This town needs an enema.

And in the "Because It's There" series: The TV Set (directed by Jake Kasdan, brother of Jon Kasdan, who directed the number 8 movie this week) took in $32,000 on 17 screens, bringing it's grand total to $113,000 in 3 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, comes more not caring until a certain web slinging hero comes to town to break records that will be beaten by all the other movies that follow every week this summer. Fun fact: Are you aware that there are 16 sequels (or follow ups, depending on how you look at things) this summer? Marvelous.

Until next weekend....

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Coolest Moment Ever

This evening, I attended a screening of Hot Fuzz (which is still just as good as the first time), which was followed by a Q&A with Edgar Wright. Our seats were in the very front row, but it being the Arclight, front row kicks ass and it got us closer to the action.

But first Eli Roth was called up, and he introduced Jack Black. Black praised Hot Fuzz to end, then introduced... Quentin Tarantino. (The story goes Black and Tarantino just showed up to see the previous show, and stuck around because they dug the flick so much). Then Tarantino intorduced... SIMON PEGG!!!! AND NICK FROST!!!! AND EDGAR WRIGHT!!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!! And whoever asked a question was given a DVD of Bad Boys 2 presented by Eli Roth and later, Tarantino.

I did not ask a question (although I'm kicking myself for not asking "Can I get any of cunts a drink?". That would have been Tarantino/Bad Boys 2 worthy).

No, the coolest thing that happened was this: So QT introduces Simon Pegg, who comes out, then Nick Frost comes out. Simon gives Nick a smooch on the cheek. There are some laughs, and some awws, but not much. Me, being the wiseass I am, shout "Gaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!", straight out of Shaun. And then the greatest moment ever happened.

Simon Pegg heard me, and genuinely cracked up at my joke. I made Simon Pegg laugh.

It was unbelievably rad.

UPDATE: 4-22-07
Completely forgot to mention that before I even got in the theater, I managed to shake Edgar Wright's hand and introduce myself. A very fine moment.

Immediately proceeding this, Quentin Tarantino and Jack Black came out of the theater, talking excitedly about Jack and Coke (I hope it's the drink), and Quentin almost hit me. That was sort of neat, but not as much as the handshake and the making Simon Pegg laugh.

Goddamn I'm awesome.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The buzz regarding Hot Fuzz

It's going to be very hard describing Hot Fuzz without the use of hyperbole, so if I tend to go off the handle a little bit, I apologize. But I'm going out on a limb and proclaiming Hot Fuzz as the best movie of this year. I realize I have made this previous declaration mere months ago when I saw 300. But Hot Fuzz is something entirely different. Dare I say it's wonderful? I dare.

Obviously I am biased. I proudly state my undying love and devotion to Shaun of the Dead, my favorite movie of all time. (And space). Shaun of the Dead is also a nearly flawless film, in my opinion, with tight writing, real characters and pathos, and a damn fine sense of humor. Not to mention a love of gore which is never a bad thing when it's done right. With my esteem for Shaun so high, though, how could Hot Fuzz possibly follow it up?

The answer is by making an even tighter film. Shaun is my favorite, but as far as craft goes, Hot Fuzz is superior. The writing is even tighter with the gag set up and pay offs. (Some take an extremely long time to pay off, but do in such a clever way that makes it worth the wait.) The direction is even more confident this time around, and is polished to such a fine degree that Michael Bay should be a little worries of being replaced. And the performances are pitch perfect all around.

Hot Fuzz tells the story of Nick Angel (Simon Pegg), the best police detective in London. Unfortunately, his superiors find that Angel is making everybody else look bad by comparison, so they send him off to the quaint village of Sandford in northern England. The town is a bucolic paradise, where everyone knows each other, and nary a crime in sight aside from the obnoxious "Painted Man", the gold street performer. Angel is partnered with Danny (Nick Frost, playing the perfect sidekick), the police chief's slower son. Danny also has great affection for blockbuster cop action movies like Point Break and Bad Boys 2. (Curiously the second, no mention of the first). Angel, who's seen some action, dismisses it all as hollywood nonsense, and how police work involves far too much paper work. Being that the biggest threat to the safety of the village is a loose goose, it's fair to say no action will befall either of these policemen.

Naturally, bodies start appearing. Dead ones at that. (Even though they aren't reanimated this go round, they murders are still highly gruesome, showing their roots and some love to the gore fans from Shaun). Murders start happening, and Angel becomes obsessed with finding the killer. Could it be the mustache twirling grocery store owner played by Timothy Dalton? Could it be the kindly chief of Police Jim Broadbent? Or one of the countless British thespians populating this film? (What, was Judy Dench too good to return calls?) All that matters is that when the time comes down to it, guns blaze, asses gets kicked, and justice is served.

Half of the fun of this movie are the gags that are set up, but the other half comes from the plot. Most critics will claim Hot Fuzz as a parody of cop films, but it's much more than that. the best description I can come up with is what if Michael Bay made a really classy and nuanced adaptation of an Agatha Christie murder mystery. It tweaks cliches rather than points them out and giggles, like most spoof films do. This movie raises the cliches (from viewings of the films themselves), then pays a loving mockery to them later on, when the events in the film have turned the world into a Bruckheimer wet dream. The action sequences themselves are filled with more with and imagination since any movie since F/X 2:The Deadly Art of Illusion. It even includes quite possibly the funniest sight gag I've witnessed on celluloid. It's ruined in some the commercials, so if you can steer clear of them and have the surprise of it unspoiled, you will be most pleased. It's unbelievably brilliant and involves dropkicking.

Pegg and Frost have a great rapport with each other, expanding on the relationship presented between them in Shaun. this time, though, Pegg is allowed to become with Frost, and it's played to great effect. They also manage to pull off the glorious homo erotic undercurrents found in aforementioned action classics, and make it funny without making it stupid, unlike some recent films featuring middle aged bikers. I'm fully aware of the tendency to associate all things "British" with all things "Classy", but damn, Pegg, Frost and their director Edgar Wright make it seem that way.

See Hot Fuzz. See it repeatedly. I can't stress this enough. Tell your friends to see it, then tell their friends to see it, so now five people have seen it. It's a rewarding and supremely entertaining film. Much like Shaun, it requires multiple viewings to catch all the details and find jokes and clues you missed before. It's very much a labor of love, and it shows. Of course, with two fantastic films, what can these guys possibly come up with next?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Box Office Report: 4-15-07 (Tax Day... kinda)

Dude here again, taxes filed, and ready for yet another weekend to pass me by. A weekend filled with numbers and movies I don't really care that much for. (Except for one I thought was gonna be BOSSOME, but turns out is just plain bad). But in the end, it doesn't matter. Not when MONSTER TRUCK JAM championships are on the tube!

This weekend, six more movies opened up, and one finally achieved the oft coveted number one place, thus knocking funny Will Ferrell down a peg. Literally. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Disturbia (Par/DW) - $23.0, 2925 screens, week 1, $23.0 total

2. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $14.065, 3467 screens, week 3, $90.195 total

3. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $12.1, 3238 screens, week 3, $72.0 total

4. Perfect Stranger (Sony) - $11.5, 2661 screens, week 1, $11.5 total

5. Are We Done Yet? (Sony) - $9.2, 2877 screens, week 2, $33.0 total

6. Pathfinder (Fox) - $4.8, 1720 screens, week 1, $4.8 total

7. Wild Hogs (BV)- $4.6, 2429 screens, week 7, $152.2 total

8. The Reaping (WB) - $4.565, 2603 screens, week 2, $19.76 total

9. 300 (WB) - $4.3, 2140 screens, week 6, $200.8 total

10. Grindhouse (WeinCo/Dim) - $4.2, 2629 screens, week 2, $19.7 total

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means the teen thriller is never a dead genre, as long as there's some space between. Disturbia took in $23 million, well above what most people had predicted. (Not for nothing, but I heard there are some casinos in Vegas that actually bet on how much a movie will make. That's disturbing to me). Perfect Strangers, on the other hand, fought some pretty awful reviews and came in fourth. It will quickly die. And Pathfinder, which I've heard HORRIBLE things about (which makes me cry a little) barely even registered. And those were the lucky releases this weekend.

Below the top ten, "Redline", a movie nobody really heard about, that was made outside the studio system, and which had a publicity stunt go horribly wrong which destroyed a Ferrari Enzo, took in $4 million on 1607 screens. Not bad, given a grassroots and myspace fueled advertising campaign. Ditto on Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters (which I love writing out). It took in $3 million and ended up in 13th place. Not bad at all. In fact, it almost made more than the combined grosses of other cult TV shows turned movies Brain Candy and the MST3K Movie. (Both films are genius, it should be noted). And a movie called Slow Burn opened up this weekend. This is of interest because the film was apparently completed 2-3 years ago, depending on where you hear it from. It took in $800,000.

And it is with great sadness that I report the failure of Grindhouse. falling down to tenth place. There was talk of splitting the two movies up and rereleasing them separately, but I think that's a big mistake at this point. Half the charm is the double feature combo, the recurring characters and small jokes, not to mention the audience participation level. They honestly shouldn't have opened so big, and made it an arthouse event. Build up slowly like the Pulp Fiction days. Keep it below 1000 screens and make people seek it out, instead of over saturation. It also wouldn't have hurt to cut out 15-20 minutes tops, but that's neither here nor there. It's still a great time at the movies, and I urge anyone out there who hasn't seen it to go see it in a theater when you still can. The more obnoxious the theater, the better.

And in the "Because It's There" series: The Namesake (with Kal Penn) took in $1,310,000 on 331 screens, bringing it's grand total to $8,726,000 in 6 weeks.

There you have my break down. Next week, Hot Fuzz comes to town to show us all what a movie is supposed to be, and in the process, possibly come to redefine the term BOSSOME. You better go out and see it.

Until next weekend....

(I get to see them tonight!)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Last night:

I met John August. Not only that, I got a chance to see his movie: The Nines.

I gave the man my word I wouldn't talk about the film for awhile (hence no review), but I am allowed to say I really liked it. A lot. I want to see it again, though. I kind of need to see it again, which means it's one of those movies. Which is absolutely fine, being that I LOVE those movies.

I hope I'm being cryptic enough.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Will Ferrell movie generator

This is pretty funny, but it gets a little tiresome after awhile. But having seen Blades of Glory last night, I can say that for the first few go rounds, it's pretty damn accurate.

The Will Ferrell Movie Generator


If you're thinking... of watching this trailer...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quote of the day:

Give it a guess before you check it out. Oddly enough, the quote's a little fitting towards my life of late.

"My easy-going nature is gettin' sorely fuckin' tested."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Some embedded video for your Monday pleasure.

a classic, but a great one.

Here's a new video I found that's also genius. Go and check out the other episodes if you like this.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Holiday Message

Christ didn't die for YOUR sins.

Happy Easter.

It occurred to me a thought: What WOULD Jesus drink?

Box Office Report: 4-8-07

Dude here again, taking a break from womanizing and taking over corporate America (the key to it is one person at a time, which I guess works for both activities) to remind my friends of the site that I do indeed occasionally string words together into sentences. Sometimes coherent, sometimes not. Sometimes, it's just numbers, but when those numbers are assembled, I can provide for you the... what the hell is that noise? It sounds like there's a cricket in my room. It's freaking me out.

This weekend, four new challengers stepped up to the plate, some on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and one on Friday. (Holiday weekend and what not). None of them really made a dent. And that means less cutting and pasting of the template, which means I am happy. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $23.0, 3410 screens, week 2, $68.38 total

2. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $17.0, 3435 screens, week 2, $52.2 total

3. Are We Done Yet? (Sony) - $15.0, 2877 screens, week 1, $19.06 total (wed. open)

4. Grindhouse (WeinCo/Dim) - $11.59, 2624 screens, week 1, $11.59 total

5. The Reaping (WB) - $10.08, 2603 screens, week 1, $12.0 total (thurs. open)

6. 300 (WB) - $8.8, 2674 screens, week 5, $193.88 total

7. Wild Hogs (BV)- $6.8, 2825 screens, week 6, $145.45 total

8. Shooter (Par) - $5.8, 2353 screens, week 3, $36.656 total

9. TMNT (WB) - $4.9, 2811 screens, week 3, $46.7 total

10. Firehouse Dog (Fox) - $4.0, 2860 screens, week 1, $5.25 total (wed. open)

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that when Will Ferrell does wacky sports comedies, people will come. Again and again, apparently. Dropping only 30% from last week's haul, Blades of Glory is fast tracking it's way to becoming yet another $100 million maker. Bizarre grouping of films up there: 300, Wild Hogs, and Ghost Rider, with Norbit just peaking around the corner.

Of the newbies, Are We Done Yet? fared best, opening on Wednesday and taking in a pretty penny, despite some horrible reviews. And yet, the reviewers were kinder than they were with The Reaping, which provoked actual hatred out of some critics. I'm dead serious. It was creepy. The Rodriguez/Tarantino double feature Grindhouse opened to a slightly disappointing fourth place, but when a movie runs over three hours and doesn't contain a hobbit, pulling in $11 million dollars is nothing to ignore. I hope it continues to perform steadily over the next few weeks, because right now it's the best flick in theaters. (This will change in two weeks when Hot Fuzz is released, because that movie is BOSSOME!).

And what the hell is Firehouse Dog, and how does it bilk $5 million dollars out of people? Seriously?!?

And in the "Because It's There" series: Paul Verhoeven's latest Black Book took in $120,000 on 9 screens, bringing it's grand total to $145,000 in 1 week. (It opened on Wednesday)

There you have my break down. Next week, we have a movie where Karl Urban plays a Native American who's actually a forgotten viking child, and the natives battle the vikings. This will either be amazing or god-awful. Time and money (and countless internet critics) will be the judge of that.

Until next weekend....

Saturday, April 07, 2007

At Grindhouse last night...

I caught the trailer for Live Free Or Die Hard.

This is not the John Maclane I know and love. For shame, Len Wiseman.

(Consequently, if the film has a PG-13 rating, there is no way I will see it).

Grindhouse: The review

Your enjoyment of Grindhouse is dependent upon your enjoyment of the OTHER Rodriguez/Tarantino collaboration From Dusk Till Dawn. If you enjoyed the first half of Dawn, where the desperado criminals talk for a real long time and act cool and mean, but hated when the movie became a monster house of vampires, then you'll probably enjoy solely the Tarantino film "Death Proof". Conversely, if the vampires in the bar was the only thing you liked, and wished the entire movie was like that, you'll love "Planet Terror", but probably find Death Proof a little slow on the go. If you hated the entire film altogether, go see another movie. But if you truly enjoyed the entirety of From Dusk Till Dawn, you will burst with glee at Grindhouse.

There's no denying the entertainment value of the entire experiment. I had more fun in the theater than when those pesky snakes climbed aboard that darn plane. Grindhouse is first and foremost a theatrical experience. It's a film that encourages yelling at the screen, and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. You get into it. You LOVE it. The film succeeds in recreating the movie experience that the directors are meticulously replicating. For that alone, it deserves some respect.

(However, I need to point out the extent to which they recreate the experience kind of drove me a little batty, having worked as a projectionist for many years. The scratches, jumps, film breaks, bad splices, poor focus, and other elements added to make the experience exactly as it was made the projectionist inside me cringe. Oddly enough, this is a compliment.)

There's not much point into telling you what the film is about, as it's more about two directors who clearly love trash cinema of yesteryear and wanted to pass that joy onto their fans as much as it's about muscle cars and zombies. It's really about an attitude of cool that I'm finally willing to accept. It's nice to know that Tarantino and Rodriguez are as big a film geek as I am, and it shows in their work. There's no cool detachment from the work, but a genuine love. That's what separates it from the actual Grindhouse films of the 70s, and that's what makes this such a good time.

Here's a brief overview of what kicks ass about the film: It begins with Machete, a fake trailer for a movie I honestly can't wait to see. Then Planet Terror begins with Rose McGowan doing a stripper dance, so already the movie has me hooked. From there, it's 80 minutes of sheer mayhem, full of slime and gore and zombie carnage. And Jeff Fahey, who honestly could be giving the best performance of his life. (Which knocks Darkman 3: Die Darkman Die! from the top). Oh, and lots of lingering shots of Rose which is nice, but oddly disconcerting if you take into consideration the off screen hijinks between her and the director. Then a lot more zombie gore. Hot, zombie on zombie action. Well, not really, but I've become embroiled by the sensationalism of the whole experience.

Planet Terror nails down the mood and feel of these films, but there's no denying it's a Rodriguez film. Albeit, a Rodriguez film with free reign to do whatever he wants, that doesn't involve little kids as spies. He's not confined to the stylistic requirements of Sin City, and he's allowed to do whatever he wants. And the man succeeds. My favorite bit if his was the score to the film. It sounds straight from a John Carpenter film. In fact, Planet Terror is pretty much the greatest John Carpenter movie never made. That's meant to be complimentary.

After Planet Terror, we're treated to 3 more fake trailers for movies I want to see. Rob Zombie's "Werewolf Women of the S.S." is pretty much what you expect from something called Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the S.S. I must say, the werewolf women were quite fetching. (Lorielle New is quite a looker, with or without lots of hair). And Eli Roth's Thanksgiving is possibly the greatest thing he has ever done. It's sick and twisted, and everything that Roth should be.

But the greatest trailer, and my favorite part of the entire movie was Edgar Wright's trailer. It's about 90 seconds of pure genius. Yes I am biased. Yes I also saw Hot Fuzz and am on a "Wright Is God" kick. But you'll see what I mean.

Then it's onto Death Proof, which kicks off with the music used at the beginning of Land of the Giants, a film I quite enjoyed on Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Come to think of it, both these films would do well with silhouetted robots in the corner shouting wisecracks at the screen). Then the Tarantino dialogue begins. And it keeps on going as we follow three obnoxious girls. Then we meet Kurt Russell. And he has a badass muscle car. It's seriously badass. But then it keeps going back to the obnoxious girls talking and talking. Then something really cool happens. Then we're introduced to four new girls who keep talking and talking, except this time they're a little more interesting. And one of them is Rosario Dawson, who is my dream girl, although co-star Zoe Bell might be giving Rosario a fight for my affections. But they talk, and talk some more, then get a car to drive fast (but first they keep talking about what they're going to do with the car).

And then an unbelievable car chase happens. It's amazing. And all stunt work and movie magic, no CG. It's incredible.

Tarantino's film is full of the things he loves (women's feet, snappy dialogue, music from other movies, etc), and at first feels really self indulgent. But then you realize that he's not only paying homage to girls and cars films of yore, but he's faithfully recreating them. There was a lot of dead weight in those films, taking a VERY long time to get anywhere, and usually the payoff wasn't even worth it. While I didn't care for the first group of talking girls, the chase completely made up for it.

There are also a lot of fun little things to pick up on, such as the one reel take in the diner. (Look in the background). And in the bar scene, clearly hanging is Jack Burton's T-shirt from Big Trouble in Little China. I geeked out hardcore at that moment. And Jack Burton himself, Kurt Russell, is clearly having a lot of fun. It's nice to see Kurt as a badass again, even if his Snake can't come out of retirement.

The only other badass that can match wits with Kurt, however, is Zoe Bell. Zoe is a stuntwoman from New Zealand, who doubled for Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill movies, and who plays herself in Death Proof.. She's spunky, cute, with an accent to die for, and to put it frankly, balls of steel. She's a wild and crazy woman, and I like her. She's reason enough to get to the second half of the movie.

Death Proof isn't bad, it's just tough to get into after the sugar high pop of Planet Terror. In fact, upon second viewing, I found Death Proof gets better. While both films could have benefitted from some cutting (and not just the missing reel scenes, which are played to brilliant comic perfection), it doesn't matter. Much like chocolate and peanut butter, these are two great tastes that taste great together. It's three hours of violence and mayhem and tough guys and hot dames and fast cars and explosions. It's a perfect night at the movies for me, and if you're like me (and as cool as I am, which is possible, but not really probable), then you'll have a blast with Grindhouse.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I feel kinda bad now. While I appreciate all the words of encouragement and hope from the multitudes of folk who were kind enough to offer me congratulations, as well as encouragement about my writing prowess and capability, I would like to draw everyone's attention to the date posted over the "Huge Fuckin' News" headline.


No... I'm sorry.

Here's another McRib, though.

Box Office Report: 4-2-07

Dude here again, coming at ya on a double whammy of a day: Opening Day for the New York Mets AND April Fool's Day. (Triple whammy if you're my roommate, because Wrestlemania is also this evening). My original plan was to make a completely fake list of the top ten movies at the box office, but reality set in as a) I realized this probably won;t be seen until April 2nd or beyond; and b) It really was too much work. And I'm a lazy man.

This weekend, we have Will Ferrell and Jon Heder combining forces on the ice, a new Disney CG movie that Pixar has nothing to do with, and Pedro Martinez seems to be on the DL for the first half of the season. Let's go to the numbers, shall we? (All in millions, remember, and these are the studio estimates, the actuals will be available on Monday. Just to prove me wrong).

1. Blades of Glory (Par/DW) - $33.0, 3372 screens, week 1, $33.0 total

2. Meet The Robinsons (BV) - $25.056, 3413 screens, week 1, $25.056 total

3. 300 (WB) - $11.155, 3004 screens, week 4, $179.66 total

4. TMNT (WB) - $9.16, 3120 screens, week 2, $38.4 total

5. Wild Hogs (BV)- $8.389, 3200 screens, week 5, $135.355 total

6. Shooter (Par) - $8.0, 2806 screens, week 2, $27.2 total

7. Premonition (Sony) - $5.1, 2474 screens, week 3, $39.3 total

8. The Last Mimzy (NL) - $4.0, 3017 screens, week 2, $16.19 total

15. Carlos Beltran (CF) - .275 AVG, 41 HRs, 116 RBI, 127 Runs

7. Jose Reyes (SS) - .300 AVG, 19 HRs, 81 RBI, 122 Runs

Ok, those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that when Will Ferrell does wacky sports comedies, people will come. It helps if the movie is funny, and I have no basis of reference for that, as I have yet to see the movie. But it has Will Arnett and Amy Pohler as the rival skaters, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Meet The Robinsons, however, seems to have made quite a bit, but it has a lot to struggle with, especially when compared to the Pixar output that is far superior. Critics feel the film's best parts involve Delgado's opposite-field, two-run double high off the left-field wall put the Mets ahead in the third, and the Mets made it 5-0 in the fourth on Lo Duca's two-out single and an RBI single by Beltran. Lo Duca added an RBI single in the ninth off Brad Thompson.

After David Eckstein hit an RBI double in the sixth, Beltran threw out Eckstein at the plate on Preston Wilson's sharp single to center. Yadier Molina ended the inning by breaking his bat on an infield popup with the bases loaded. Tom Glavine got his 291st win and Carlos Delgado put the Mets ahead with an early two-run double off Chris Carpenter, leading New York to a 6-1 victory Sunday night in the major league season opener.

And in the "Because It's There" series: The Lookout took in $2,007,000 on 955 screens, bringing it's grand total to $2,007,000 in 1 week.

There you have my break down. Next week, the Mets will continue to play the Cards, followed by a series with the Braves

Until next weekend....

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Akiva Goldsmith... Kevin Williamson... And now... ME!!!!!!

Your's truly, the Dude. (ME!) has finally sold a script!!!!!!

And not just any script.... the mother of ALL scripts!!!!!!!

That's right....