Monday, November 30, 2009

Another cool stop motion video!

Hey, check this out. This was done by Andy Holton, who was one of the instrumental folks in turning the Fantastic Mr. Anderson from a crazy idea in my mind into a reality. Here, he's done an awesome stop motion for a skateboard. Check it out!

The kind of infectious that's good to spread! UPDATED!!

The awesome folk over at /Film have given love to my Fantastic Mr. Anderson interview!!!

(They just made the links section!)

If you're a fan of the short, feel free to post the link to the page on your Facebooks or Twitters and Diggs and stuff. I don't know how to work this wacky interwebz contraption, but this is a wave I can ride for at least a few days. With enough drawing out, I think this thing can be flavor of the week!

Well maybe not.

But still, it's fun to dream. Thanks for the good words and support!

Oh, and while you're at it, feel free to check out my Ninja Assassin review! It was a great screening, and though you weren't all there in person, you were there in spirit alongside me!

UPDATED: The "Movieline Buzz Break", and Drew "Moriarty" McWeeney over at his HitFix Morning Read have also been awesome and featured the interview as well! Many thanks! Check out their sites as well! Spread the love like peanut butter!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Box Office Report: Giving Thanks

Dude here again. Coming to you with at the tail end of an over-stuffed holiday weekend. I had a glorious holiday and celebratory weekend, that was full of food and laughs and good times and movies. Movies that included vampires and werewolves and footballs and old dogs. And a ninja. That was an assassin.

Which would make him a Ninja Assassin!

This weekend, a lot of things remained in the same place, while some newcomers tried to sit at the big kids' table. 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).

1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Sum)- $42.5, 4042 screens, week 2, $230.6 total

2. The Blind Side (WB) - $40.1, 3140 screens, week 2, $100.2 total

3. 2012 (Sony) - $18.0, 3444 screens, week 3, $138.7 total

4. Old Dogs (BV)- $16.8, 3425 screens, week 1, $24.0 total

5. A Christmas Carol (BV) - $16.0, 3013 screens, week 4, $105.3 total

6. Ninja Assassin (WB) $13.1, 2503 screens, week 1, $21.0 total

7. Planet 51 (Sony)- $10.2, 3035 screens, week 2, $28.4 total

8. Precious... (LGF) - $7.09, 663 screens, week 4, $32.4 total

9. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Fox)- $7.02, 2033 screens, week 3, $10.1 total

10. The Men Who Stare At Goats (Over) - $1.5, 1119 screens, week 4, $30.5 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that Twilight surpassed it's original take, and took in even more money! Although, it should be noted that hot on its' heels is The blind Side, which sort of came out of nowhere to become a smash hit, and even took in more on Thanksgiving day than Twilight! From Mall Cop to Taken to Hangover to District 9 to Blind Side, it's been a crazy year for movies that you never would think could make the amounts of money they did.

Old Dogs, a movie that boasts a final Bernie Mac appearance AND quite possibly the worst reviews of the year (the most venomous, at least) managed to pull in $24 million in five days. This brings me back to that angry place I was telling you about a few weeks ago.

Ninja Assassin opened up decently for a ninja movie, against the other movies, but seriously, people, couldn't we have scrounged some change up and given more to the cause of ninja movies? Because if one does well, that means we get more, and we need more ninja movies than vampire movies these days.

Fantastic Mr. Fox made it's way up the charts in wider release, and did alright. If you haven't already, check out this AWESOME INTERVIEW I did with Wes Anderson promoting the film!

Below the radar, The Weinstein Company finally saw fit to release The Road on 111 screens. The post-apocalyptic downer took in just over $2 million over the five day holiday period. Also opening, on evening fewer screens, and boasting the largest per screen average of the week is the new 2D Disney animated Princess and the Frog, which took in $1.1 million on 2 screens in 5 days. Good to know Disney still owns the market on the exclusive animated release.

There you have my amazing break down. Next week things slow down as we make it towards the end of the year, as more Oscar bait and limited releases come up, and fanboys' hearts palpitate for Avatar.

Until next weekend.......

Monday, November 23, 2009

I write stuff sometimes - UPDATED WITH MORE AWESOMENESS!!

I have a Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans review, as well as an anti-review of Twilight: New Moon. Check them out! Please!

Later this week, my amazing interview with Wes Anderson that will melt your face off!!!

Apparently the Star Trek guys are such nerds, they threw in R2D2. This made me like the movie even more.


The long awaited reunion of Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme has been bestowed upon us, with the release of this trailer for Universal Soldier: Regeneration!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Box Office Report Saga: New Moon

Dude here again. Did some movie come out this weekend that makes teen girls squeal with delight much to the chagrin of those around them? Did some movie come out and break some records, thus ensuring more of these films to come?

This is the way the world ends, not with a whimper, but with a bang.

This weekend, Twilight 2: Electric Boogaloo was unleashed. 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).

1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Sum)- $140.7, 4024 screens, week 1, $140.7 total

2. The Blind Side (WB) - $34.5, 3110 screens, week 1, $34.5 total

3. 2012 (Sony) - $26.5, 3408 screens, week 2, $108.2 total

4. Planet 51 (Sony)- $12.6, 3035 screens, week 1, $12.6 total

5. A Christmas Carol (BV) - $12.3, 3578 screens, week 3, $79.7 total

6. Precious... (LGF) - $11.0, 629 screens, week 3, $21.4 total

7. The Men Who Stare At Goats (Over) - $2.7, 2056 screens, week 3, $27.6 total

8. Couples Retreat (Uni) $1.9, 1712 screens, week 7, $105.0 total

9. The Fourth Kind (Uni)- $1.7, 1648 screens, week 3, $23.3 total

10. Law Abiding Citizen (Over)- $1.6, 1327 screens, week 6, $70.0 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that you Twihards aren't effin' around. $140 million in 3 days? Third highest opening weekend! Biggest midnight show and opening day of all time! (Beating that Batman movie with the Brokeback actor). Most swoons and shrieks per minute in a theater of all time! (To be fair, the first Twilight held that record until now). New Moon is unstoppable, although I'm willing to bet Summit REALLY wishes Stephanie Meyer didn't stop the saga at four books. Watch for the last book to be split into 2 parts, just like Harry Potter, in an attempt to milk even more cash from obedient fans.

Did anyone see that amount of money being made for The Blind Side? Did anyone SEE The Blind Side? It's really difficult to not make a pun about being blind-sided by this revelation.

Planet 51 opened up, but probably should've gone the 3-D route, as it would have made a bit more money and not have been lost in the shuffle of things.

2012 drops steadily, but that's to be expected. After all, we were warned. Christmas Story chugs along, but it has an uphill climb as the theaters are flooded with flicks concerning teen vampires. And Precious continues to expand and depress, a surefire Oscar-bation strategy!

Below the radar, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage and an iguana, took in $257,000 on 27 screens. Why is there no "DEMAND IT" campaign for this movie, huh? Also opening was the latest from Pedro Almodovar, Broken Embraces, which opened up on 2 screens to take in $108,000 for the highest per screen average out of every movie, including the vampire one. One record not taken in the face of the juggernaut.

There you have my amazing break down. Next week we finally get a movie about a Ninja Assassin!!! Silver linings, people. Silver linings.

Until next weekend.......

Monday, November 16, 2009

Box Office Report: We Were Warned

Dude here again. I want you all to think about what you've done.


This weekend, Roland Emmerich was granted reprieve and will be allowed to make more movies. 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).

1. 2012 (Sony) - $65.0, 3404 screens, week 1, $65.0 total

2. A Christmas Carol (BV) - $22.3, 3683 screens, week 2, $63.2 total

3. The Men Who Stare At Goats (Over) - $6.2, 2453 screens, week 2, $23.3 total

4. Precious... (LGF) - $6.0, 174 screens, week 2, $8.9 total

5. Michael Jackson's This Is It (Sony)- $5.1, 3037 screens, week 3, $68.2 total

6. The Fourth Kind (Uni)- $4.7, 2530 screens, week 2, $20.5 total

7. Couples Retreat (Uni) $4.2, 2509 screens, week 6, $102.1 total

8. Paranormal Activity (Par) - $4.2, 2712 screens, week 8, $103.8 total

9. Law Abiding Citizen (Over)- $3.9, 2071 screens, week 5, $67.3 total

10. The Box (WB)- $3.1, 2635 screens, week 2, $13.2 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that now we get more movies "From the director of 2012", instead of "From the director of 10,000 B.C." Thanks a lot. Jerks.

Oh Precious, taking in lots of money on few screens, building Oscar buzz and depressing the living hell out of people. If only you had been directed by the man who brought us Universal Soldier.

A Christmas Carol... I'm too tired to come up with a snarky remark, so ... performance capture this!

Did Paranormal Activity AND Couples Retreat cross the $100 million mark this weekend? Is there an "un-demand this" button? Perhaps an "App", to use the parlance of our times?

Below the radar, Pirate Radio takes in just about $2 million, and Boondock Saints 2 expands and takes in over $1 million. These numbers are saddening. However, Fantastic Mr. Fox opened up on 4 screens and took in $260,000, which inspires smiles by all. Hopefully this translates well when the film expands. If there are still screens left that aren't showing Boondock Saints 2. *Shudder*

There you have my amazing break down. Next week I think some movie about vampires comes out. Twilight Something? I don't know. I hope it has Blade in it.

Until next weekend.......

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Milestones, and other things for your weekend.

Earlier this week I achieved something that I hope can one day, in the annals of history, be can only be recognized as not just amazing, but also inspiring.

When I first moved out to California four and a half years ago, I signed up with a website called Sploofus, which is a weird internet time wasting quiz website. But they offer a trivia question of the day, that gets emailed to you, you click the link and have 30 seconds to answer a question that can be about anything from obscure chemical compounds and French Enlightenment artists to who played Raj on "What's Happening?"

(It's Ernest Thomas)

Since joining, I have dutifully answered every question asked of me each and every day, although sometimes when I'm on vacation, or when they have a problem on their end, I let them pile up and have a full out Trivia marathon! (Admit it, I'm the coolest person you know!) Sometimes there are internet connections that get lost, that cause me to not answer the question in the allotted time, but those are few and far between.

Anyway, this week I answered my 1000th trivia question correctly. It was a question about atomic numbers. That host of angelic choir voices you hear are the saints singing my praises.

This is how I saw myself in my mind when I answered it.

Ok, so maybe it wasn't that monumental, but I was really proud and had to share someplace that doesn't matter about a Live Feed versus a News Feed. Plus I didn't really have anything for Milestones besides the title, so I had to try to make something fit.

Something bizarre also happened this week. I was drinking at Johnny's, a bar in Eagle Rock (California, not Jersey, although there is a cool bowling alley in the California Eagle Rock as well) and I came across a man who, in the course of our conversation I learned, has the same tattoo as myself. In the same place. His is just expanded. Thank you, Steven for allowing this picture comparison.

(Mine is the one on the right).

In other news, I have a few reviews up: Pirate Radio, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Box. When said aloud and fast, it could pass for a nursery rhyme. Check them out if wanted to know about any of them, and spread them around the interweb like peanut butter.

(Hey, it's Phil. There are pirates here.)

The Top Secret Brady-Mike Project has been sidetracked a little, and I apologize, as I've been doing some other top secret work for the website that should begin poking it's head around the interwebs starting next week. Fear not, it shall be done, and you will know the brilliance. (But some of these things are taking longer than expected).

Speaking of brilliance, I finally managed to get a good copy of "Good Luck" online! You can see it here-

I changed a line that had always bothered me, but I think it's funny and worth checking out. Alternately, I may make a version with director's commentary, if I deem it funny enough.

And I shall leave you with a funny tale. A few weeks back, my friend Jim asks me if I can do him a favor. Jim works in the talking pictures business, and the latest movie his company is working on is a raunchy sex comedy. (Which I've seen and is far better than I thought it was going to be, and way the fuck beyond better than the final piece of shit "Pimpin Pee Wee" I worked on earlier this year).

Jim says they are doing some more shots, and could I help them out by picking up the fake semen.

"Ummm.... what?" was my reply.

"The stuff that we use to make fake semen, for the huge spooge-plosion at the end of the picture!" Jim bellowed*, cigar hanging out of his mouth and bowler hat at rakish angle.

"So, you want me to tool around town with a 55 gallon drum of jizz in my backseat?" I asked. My hat was at nowhere near as rakish an angle.

"No, no, no. It's like a pre-made mix, you pick up the mix, and they add water to it when they're ready to shoot it out of the canon", Jim boldly replied.

"Well that makes much more sense. I'll do it!"

Jim informed me that that I would pick up a one pound bag of the mix, which is just a chemical compound called Methyl Cellulose. It's already paid for, and the best part is it's a hop skip and a jump from apartment.

Let's take a moment and reflect that the movie industry is prepared for anything, so much so that they actually discovered the perfect recipe for creating fake on-screen ejaculate. And that it's ready in pre-mixed bags.

So I pull up to the supply house, and I tell them I'm picking up for the production, and the kind gentleman behind the counter hands me a clear plastic bag that has the mix. The bag, it should be noted, is marked thusly:

And there are two of these in the bag, one on each side, proclaiming the contents within.

When I got to Jim's office, I had to park a few blocks away, and walk down the street with this lovely bag. I got some weird looks, especially from the traffic nazi. That's Hollywood for ya!

Have a great weekend!

(*So, the conversation happened over Instant Messenger, but I continue to believe that Jim works in a 1930s cliche of Hollywood, despite working in the valley next to a hair salon).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Box Office Report: Performance Captured Edition

Dude here again. Halloween is now officially over, and the Chrismanzakuh holiday season has begun! I know this because the people on my street took down their Halloween decorations and put up Christmas decorations instead. Except for one guy who always leaves the Halloween stuff up until February. I'm sure he's making some sort of political/social statement by doing this.

Or he's even lazier than I am.

This weekend, four major releases duke it out, including our first Christmas movie of the season (which makes sense because it's early November! 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).

1. A Christmas Carol (BV) - $31.0, 3683 screens, week 1, $31.0 total

2. Michael Jackson's This Is It (Sony)- $14.0, 3481 screens, week 2, $57.8 total

3. The Men Who Stare At Goats (Over) - $13.3, 2443 screens, week 1, $13.3 total

4. The Fourth Kind (Uni)- $12.5, 2527 screens, week 1, $12.5 total

5. Paranormal Activity (Par) - $8.6, 2558 screens, week 7, $97.4 total

6. The Box (WB)- $7.8, 2635 screens, week 1, $7.8 total

7. Couples Retreat (Uni) $6.4, 2587 screens, week 5, $95.9 total

8. Law Abiding Citizen (Over)- $6.1, 2474 screens, week 4, $60.8 total

9. Where The Wild Things Are (WB) - $4.2, 2756 screens, week 4, $69.2 total

10. Astro Boy (Sum) - $2.5, 1918 screens, week 3, $15.0 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that Christmas reigns supreme, but again, not nearly as much as money counting people were probably hoping for, given the cost. Next week will be the true test of the film's strength, as it will probably play a lot of theaters until Christmas actually arrives, but this does probably put the kibosh on future Dickens' tales transformed with the magic of 3-D performance capture, which is a shame as I was looking forward to A Tale of Two Cities with Jim Carrey portraying everyone, including the two cities.

Surprising a lot of people is The Men Who Stare At Goats, a tale of goats and George Clooney, which once again proves my theory that Clooney can do no wrong, so long as he continues making interesting movies for adults. Some my say Fantastic Mr Fox, which opens next week, would prove the exception to the rule, but I say those people haven't paid attention to the amount of real estate jokes in the film.

The Fourth Kind opened up to HORRIBLE reviews, but managed to piggy-back on the Paranormal Activity phenomenon to pull in $12 million dollars. I don't know if this makes me happy or sad, but the movie does look ridiculous, which means I sort of can't wait to see it.

And poor Richard Kelly. The director of Donnie Darko and Southland Tales released his first studio effort, and while it made more than his previous films combined, it was still a disappointing first weekend for the film, losing out to the 7th week of Paranormal Activity, and the goats.

Below the radar, Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire made $1.8 million on 18 screens, which gives it a per screen average of roughly $100,000. Outstanding work for a film that's garnered a lot of buzz for awards, even if it depresses the living hell out of the audience. (Not to mention the grief that long title must give those who change marquees for a living).

There you have my amazing break down. Next week we get another Roland Emmerich world ending spectacle! (Sadly, this one involves no wooly mammoths, but it has John Cusack outrunning global destruction in a limo! And that aforementioned Mr. Fox opens up in limited release.

Until next weekend.......

Sunday, November 01, 2009

This is it: Box Office Report. (Get it?)

Dude here again. I did some math, and figured out that if you add up all the money that all the top ten films have made, from the time I started doing this four years ago, it would be enough to put the entire world out of debt three times over, feed the starving, house the homeless, reverse global warming, and send every child to college.

Well, that might be exaggerating things a bit.

This weekend, a new challenger to the throne manages to succeed and disappoint, while Paranormal Activity continues to flip the bird to much more expensive fare. 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).

1. Michael Jackson's This Is It (Sony)- $21.3, 3481 screens, week 1, $32.5 total (Wed Open)

2. Paranormal Activity (Par) - $16.5, 2404 screens, week 6, $84.7 total

3. Law Abiding Citizen (Over)- $7.3, 2764 screens, week 3, $51.3 total

4. Couples Retreat (Uni) $6.0, 3026 screens, week 4, $86.2 total

5. Saw VI (LGF)- $5.5, 3036 screens, week 2, $22.8 total

6. Where The Wild Things Are (WB) - $5.0, 3645 screens, week 3, $61.8 total

7. The Stepfather (ScrGms) - $3.4, 2346 screens, week 3, $24.7 total

8. Astro Boy (Sum) - $3.0, 3020 screens, week 2, $10.8 total

9. Amelia (FoxS) - $3.0, 1070 screens, week 2, $8.3 total

10. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (Uni)- $2.8, 2754 screens, week 2, $10.5 total

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean? Well, it means that Michael Jackson can still be a draw, but not as much as people were thinking. Opening on Wednesday to pretty much universal acclaim, the concert film event of the decade (I'm calling you out, Hannah Montana!) managed to take in $32 million in 5 days and simultaneously disappoint the money people who thought it would take in twice that. FUN FACT: This Is It makes a great double feature with What Is It?, Crispin Glover's directorial debut, but only for literal marquee value.

Oh, wow, that Michael Jackson movie was the only wide release. this is disappointing.

At this point Paranormal Activity is genuinely a phenomenon, and is almost at the threshold between popular acceptance and backlash. Now we play the guessing game of the possible directions the inevitable sequel can head in. Horrid and rushed retread? Complete series "reboot"? I vote for horribly meta film-within-the-film, where the director and the stars, and even the audiences (which are the only things I see in any of the TV ads) are suddenly plagued by demonic forces.

Take a long look at that total for Couples Retreat and Law Abiding Citizen and think about what you've done.

Below the radar, Boondock Saints II: Strictly For The Cult of Fans opened up on 68 screens and took in $462,000 on its way to achieving a secondary cult status on DVD, which would beg a third in the series because trilogies are all the rage these days. Also opening is Gentlemen Broncos, a film which only I seem to have liked, which opened up on 2 screens and took in $10,000.

There you have my amazing break down. Next week is the first week in November which means a Christmas movie is going to be released. And a mainstream film from Richard Kelly. And a movie about "real life" alien abductions that will sadly fall aside to the Paranormal Activity wave. And a movie with the word goat in the title.

Until next weekend.......