Friday, August 25, 2006

Peda Ling into China's future

Which means it's time for the Box Office Roundup, pardner!At #10 it's Pulse. Memo to Wes Craven: better hold off on your next pic for a while. Releasing it now will make Cursed look like a hit. Sorry, but girl you know it's true! People are tired of scary movies right now. Why, even Scary Movie 4 isn't doing so well on video! And believe me, I know, because I read about it in every issue of Variety for Non-Hollywood Insiders. The horror stocks are down, down, down, and everyone's saying "Ah, I won't go to see Pulse. I'm waiting for Saw 3. Yessir, that's going to be my Woodstock."

You know that we are living in a material world, and the Duff sisters are Material Girls. Still not doing as well as Lohan's 2006 bomb, but what do they care? They're off to a super-great college, right? We can wait!
p.s. You know, I hate to pit sister against sister, but I think Haylie's stock is rising. Oh sure, what's her face is good and all that... what is it? Jerry Maguire, that's it! It's a TV classic, but was Hilary in as sweet a movie as Napoleon Dynamite, I ask you? I think not. (IMHO :) )

At #8 it's Pirates 2. Well, the last accolade is finally... its! That's probably not grammatically correct, but the main thing is it made it to the 400 million dollar mark. Too bad; it still hasn't made a profit. Now it's time to sit back and wait for the Oscars to roll in... OTOH maybe there'll be an Oscar freeze like with LORT2: Two Towers, where the Academy decides they're going to sit on their thumbs until the last chapter is released.

Little Miss Sunshine, aka Untitled Yellow VW Bus Comedy, is charming the pants off the moviegoing public, at least the more spendthrifty ones. There's not so many of them, as it's only at #7 on the top 10 currently. Apparently the JonBenet resurrection has something to do with it, but they know better than to capitalize on that. At #6, Barnyard (the original party animals... Am I the only one who remembers?) is defying all odds as it nears the 50 million dollar mark. Oedekerk will rule again! Check out the special edition DVD where he role reverses that scene from Enter the Fist, replacing the cow he fights in that one with the Barnyard cow. Off-off Broadway cinematic magique extraordinairé!

Now to the prestige of the Top 5. Accepted debuts at #10. Eat it, Oedekerk! Oh yeah, you know the connection; if not, look it up. I can't believe it! On my beloved Daily Show tonight Lewis Black returns from a rather long hiatus to do Back in Black and Stewart didn't even say to go see him in this turkey! For shame, sir. For shame. Not to out-do the Daily Show superclan, but with that author fella, Frederick Lane, I would've opened with "Great cover, by the way."
Now I remember! Step Up is the SECOND movie this year sponsored by MySpace. Look out, MySpace, You Tube's on your ass!
At #3 is WTC, and basically it's Oliver Stone's Match Point, in which he abandons all previous auteur motifs and braves the wilds of a foreign land. For Woody, it's London, and for Stone it's New York. C'mon, Oliver! Where's the conspiracy theories? Where's the cameo as a college professor with a secret stash of weed? You're just getting soft and irrelevant, old man! Give back your Oscars now! Or at least give them to John Sayles.
At #2 it's Ricky Bobby, and I don't remember seeing an ad lately. They're getting risky! How else is it supposed t'clear the 200 million dollar mark? Oh, I forgot, he only counts to one (hundred million? :) )
And well, what can you say about Snakes on a Plane? With all this talk about how it didn't make as much as anticipated, I think the mainstream media's just jealous, because they're old, outdated, and have grown complacent, much like Oliver Stone earlier in the list. Face it, folks, you just can't sell a movie like you used to! It's the Internet's turn to take over. Oh, sure, they could've made it a PG movie so all the kids could come along, too, but no. They didn't sell out. And the people love it all the more.
But I think the real story here is behind the hype and the scenes, and it has to do with another shift in the new membership of the DGA. Seems they've taken from all other crafts lately: photographers, editors, choreography, and now the new trend is stuntmen. With this and the triumphant return of Steve Boyum to the director's chair, depending on how you look at it, the Stunt Men have taken control of the director's driver's seat amongst the National Image-makers. For surely, as we march further into this new century, is Hollywood not a raging battleground between the stunt men and the CGI animators trying in vain to replace them? Will either side back down? Will the stunt men eventually retire to behind a Mac and do shading work for Pixar? Will Snakes on a Plane director David Ellis not squander his new Auteur credentials and carefully choose his next project? I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath. :)

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