Sunday, September 30, 2007

Holy Turducken!

Well, once again, just when you thought you heard of everything, something like turducken comes along and just totally blows your mind all over again, and the world seems new and you have to re-learn how to ride a bicycle. Or is that after you contract Mad Cow disease? Speaking of which, the latest epic featuring thousands of CGI monsters duking it out on hi-res battlefields is indeed Resident Evil 3, and it is indeed at #1. I don't know how, there's just no more predictability in these box office races anymore. Except for maybe the week that Indiana Jones 4 opens. I'd call Vegas on that one. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? Really? Oh well. If you build it, they will come... I guess. Sounds like a Temple of Doom sequel, just as the third one was a Raiders sequel, but moron that later. Back to the matter at hand. Time for a shout out to RE3 director Russell Mulcahy, no stranger to sequels himself. And not exactly a spring chicken, nor the hottest Cal-Arts grad with a two minute CGI short he's about to turn into the latest Pixar epic. Best known for the feature-length music video Highlander 1, he's got quite a few things in the pipeline! Including what looks to be his cinematic autobiography. So congratulations to you, Russell Mulcahy, our Australian Auteur of the week.
At #2, what is surely being advertised as the #1 romantic comedy in America, it's Good Luck Chuck. Not only does that rhyme, but it has double meaning too! Some split infinitive thing. Spoiler Alert! It's about a guy who turns out to be a magic marriage catalyst for women. And yet, it's not a high concept pic like Indecent Proposal, and they're not marketing it to women with a question like "Would you date this man if you knew that the next man you date would be your true love?" That's how I would've done it, but they must be doing something right! #2! Not 2 shabby!!!! Hah. Now I know everyone's beating up on Dane Cook, saying they're tired of the fratboy suburbia humour, but I won't add to all that. Just report it.


Now normally I say #6 to #10 are the dregs, but I think we're in the dregs already. #3 brings us The Brave One. And yet, why am I reminded of The Lonely Lady?

At #4 it's 9:11 to Rudy. I'm sorry, I mean 3:10 to Yuma. That's what I get for watching too much news. Rounding out the top 5, it's David Cronenberg's latest art house masterpiece, Eastern Promises. Teaming up once again with Aragorn; why, I haven't seen anything like it since Peter Weller teamed up to do Naked Lunch. And to think, he could be doing RoboCop 6 right about now!
As for the rest, Superbad still lags about halfway behind Bourne 3 in terms of total box office take. But both have staked out a claim on the IMDb Top 250; how cool is that? Watch out, Fight Club and The Matrix, and all you oldies from 1999 who will soon fall if this keeps up. But just as 2007 was up til now The Year of the Rogen, with the arrival of Michael Clayton this could very well be The Year of the Gilroy instead. But I think the year's big enough; perhaps there's room for both after all.
Mr. Woodcock hasn't gotten in the top 250 yet, nor made that much money, but... there's gotta be an upside. Anyway, speaking of Michael Clayton, there's another character worthy of their own title, and that's Sydney White. What it's a riff on, I'll let you find that out for yourself, as it's way too priceless to spoil. But what to be done with Amanda Bynes? Where does she fit in the galaxy of young starlets? Not old enough to be Julia Stiles, not Lohan enough to be Lindsay. Not knee deep in her second career like Anna Paquin. Or is she? ...nope, made a study of it, looks like she's working pretty steady despite losing The Amanda Show. I think I'll wait til my girlfriend wants to introduce me to the films of Amanda Bynes, personally.
Which brings us to D-War, or Dragon War, or whatever the hell it is. It's the #1 movie this week about dragons attaking downtown Hokkaido... something like that. Personally, I think the commercials they're running this week set a dangerous precedent. All it says is "Now Playing." No cast or crew names in the commercial at all! I don't think they even showed a Studio logo! Look, all I'm saying is if this becomes a catchy trend, the affected unions might have to take action. And speaking of action, I think it's past my bedtime. So many movies to TiVo, so little time. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sequels, Remakes & Dragons - Oh My!

Boy! Seems like westerns are taking over lately. The Brave One (1957), 3:10 to Yuma, and Mr. Woodcock... well, sounds like someone in the Old West who ran a furniture shop, kinda? You know, and every wood cutter from Portland, Maine to Neah Bay, WA comes down and tries to beat ol' Mr. Woodcock at underwater basket weaving. Something like that. It practically writes itself, people! I still can't help but think Billy Bob's phoning it in on this one. That and the new Bad News Bears. What would Epperson say? Or Brent Briscoe?
Meanwhile, Superbad's still kicking ass, even if it is only at #4. It's got the third biggest total behind Rush Hour 3 at #9 and Bourne 3 at #7. It's a third if you think of it as The 40 Year Old Virgin, part 3, and Knocked Up as 40 year old Virgin part Two. Or maybe the latest incarnation of Animal House or... Road Trip? One of the two.
So far the only original thing on this Box Office is D-War at #5, unless you think of it as the latest Godzilla rehash. If there was only some way to stack it next to Robot Jox at the video store...
At #6 it's Halloween, still about a month short of the holiday it's based upon. I don't think it'll make it all the way til then. Oh well, at least it'll clear the path for Saw IV. Now that's got the hearts and minds: figuratively AND literally!
Bourne 3 - see earlier quip... Balls of Fury's hanging pretty tough at #8. It earned every penny of that almost 30 million box office take. Still, better keep the Reno! 911 day job, guys.
Mr. Bean 2 is at #10, almost having made as much as Balls of Fury, for one! Guess it'll drop off completely by next week, though. Does this mean the Mr. Bean animated movie is coming to America next?

Welp, better get going. Blogging while you're on the phone is hard! (:

Friday, September 14, 2007

More Movie Loaf

Boy! Turning out to be a big news week. OJ's back in the news: he apparently committed a robbery in Las Vegas. His excuse this time? He thought he was in Ocean's Thirteen. But at least he's stopped killing people. He may still be doomed to walk the earth like a pariah for the rest of his life, right into the SAG Retirement Home; makes Lillo Brancato wonder, man! Why can't I have a dream team?
Anyway, this one guy Robert Draper has been flogging his new book about President Bush called "Dead Certain". Hmm! Who does this guy look like? The big revelation is that Dubya is going to stretch out the Iraq War so the next President can take it over. Yeah, well, Dubya couldn't take over the fight against bin Laden in 2000, could he? And you know why? Watch this again. It's the Clinton Universal Corollary; now if you found out that Clinton was going to stretch out something, let alone a war, until the next election, what would've happened to him?

Oh but enough of my prostheticizing. Prosletyzing? This thing doesn't have a Spell Check yet. Anyway, guess that's it for the news. Oh yeah, Britney Spears is already turning into Anna Nicole Smith, at least in all the wrong places, right? She is awful, I wholeheartedly agree, but overweight? By how many pounds? Aren't our Beauty Standards for Women in this country stringent enough already?

Anyway, now to the real news, #6 to #10 of this week's Top 10 at the box office. The dregs. Yecch. At #6 it's the unfortunately named "Balls of Fury". But, on the other hand, what the hell else are they gonna call it? "The Happy Funny Ping Pong Movie"? Well, maybe it's called that in China. Where it's already out on DVD. Oh yeah, that's some more news I read, that China's going to go lighter on criminals now, especially the white collar ones. From now on, they'll run 'em over with tanks when ABOSLUTELY no one's watching or getting it on camera. But I digress. I'm going to wait til Balls of Fury comes out on DVD, and I'll call up my local video store and ask for it, and the guy on the phone will ask "Is that an adult film?"

At #7 it's RusHour 3, as all the cool people are spelling it these days. It's made the 2nd most money just behind Bourne 3, about 100 million behind, but close enough. It's just a weak box office all around this week. And sorry, Brett, you're still gonna have to earn that respect you seek the hard way, like Spielberg did.

#8 brings us Mr. Bean 2, which takes us quickly right away to #9, The Nanny Diaries. Did I already mention it's the latest from the American Splendor team? Not quite enjoying the same critical heralding with this one, or even the same amount of buzz. Look out, S. Jo, you're hanging around Woody too much! He's going to make a move on you at some point...

And finally at #10 it's Stardust, or Michelle Pfeiffer Enjoying Her Naked Ass in the Mirror: The Motion Picture, or Into the Night 2 for all you guys. Which finally brings me to my saddest bit of non-movie news yet: Stuff Magazine is going out of print! Is that the proper term for a magazine that's folding, so to speak, not going to be published anymore? That's exactly how monumental, how infamous a bit of news this is! A sad day indeed for guys everywhere who couldn't afford the steep price of Maxim, FHM, or Details magazines, or any of those other, much snootier publications. A very sad day. Somewhere in hell Jerry Falwell must be smiling. Oh well, guess that Tower of Babel will just have to be built up elsewhere with better buttresses. God speed to you, Stuff Magazine. We'll always have the public library. Here's looking at you, kid.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Auteur Watch: Rob Zombie

Damn! They got to the numbers early today. Usually I have to wait til 2pm or so. Well, that's what I get for procrastinating, dontcha think? :) Anyway, as you all know, Labor Day weekend belonged to Halloween, directed by Rob Zombie, and I just wonder if he was thinking to himself about the American movie-going public: You frigging ingrates! (he censors himself better now...) I give you two gifts of originality, House of 1000 Corpses, and The Devil's Rejects, and what do you make #1 at the box office? A remake! A bloody remake! I just wonder if he was thinking that. Coming up next from Rob Zombie: A NEW Nightmare on Elm Street.
So that was at #2 this week. At #1 it's 3:10 to Yuma. Maybe I should do an Auteur Watch episode on James Mangold! He's back and bettah than evah, my friends; check out that tidbit about Girard Swan! He finally got the Mel Gibson Stink off... As for the rest of the cast, well, I guess we're overdue for another 2nd coming of Russell Crowe. This year will be a much better good year than last year was. Let's hope this time he gets an Oscar he can live with. As for the new Batman, how many damn movies can that bastard make in between sequels? Even more than the whole cast of the Matrix combined. And yet, he STILL won't return Mr. Bean's phone calls! (#8 this week...)

At #3 it's Superbad. I've got nothing left to say in praise of this one, so let me give another shout out to its director Greg Mottola. Don't forget, buddy: you're still just a hired gun. Okay, so you've gone from Soderbergh to Apatow. If I had online polls, I'd ask: is that a Step Up, Step Down, or a Lateral Move? If you're from Hollywood, you'd have to answer: Lateral Move, of course.

At #4 it's Balls of Fury. Yawn. So much for that Wednesday bump they were hoping for. Well, at least it's making more money than the Reno 911 movie did! Besides, how good can BOF be if Cedric "the OTHER entertainer" Yarbrough isn't in it?

At #5 it's The Bourne Ultimatum. More importantly, it's made 210 million, the most of any movie in the top 10 this week. And even more importantly, it's still in the IMDb top 250. I haven't seen it yet, but I hear they leave the door open for a fourth installment. Well, sooner that than Pirates 4, anyway. (Spoiler alert: my inside Hollywood source says that the tentative Pirates 4 script is as follows: the pirates find a time portal, and find themselves in modern day Manhattan, where they hold the employees of F.A.O. Schwarz hostage for several days. And of course, Johnny Depp spends about half the movie pulling the string on a talking Captain Jack Sparrow doll.) Where was I? Oh yeah, let me give a brief shout out to Tony Gilroy, yet another bastard I'm going to have to profile in my ongoing series Auteur Watch. Watch out, Michael Clayton!

Okay, I've got to bail out early for this week's b.o. report. Still trying to clean up from my big Labor Day party. And incidentally, if I hear another comedian point out the irony that we celebrate Labor Day by not working, I really will puke. Seriously, projectile vomit and everything, just like Bobcat talked about in that one Larry Sanders episode. Unlike your jobs, jokesters, WORK SUCKS!!!!!