I so wanna check in with the box office this week, as I usually do. Well, unfortunately, as implied by my banner headline for this post, Adam Sandler's latest, Pixels, does quite well at the box office, actually! Sure, not enough to cover distribution or marketing costs, but it came in at #2! That's... that's good news, right? I just hate to think that there's ever a bad day in the Sandler household. I mean, he's got kids, for Christ sake! Kids. Probably, I'm assumpting. They get to hang out with Rumer Willis and kvetch about how hard life is. Boy, the sheer numbers and attitudes of the O'Doyles in Hollywood! Damn downright depressing.
I'm still waiting for those mini-docs about the CGI behind Pixels. I want to hear one of these keyboard jockeys sit there and tell me that, oh, this is the hardest, most satisfying work I've ever done. And I worked on the last Hobbit movie, too! THAT was a pain in the ass. I still don't understand how "Massive" works. But Pixels? What a personal and professional joy. All those '80s video games, those icons bourne in the engineering department of Atari and Midway. In 3D, no less! That doubles the time in Renderman, that's for sure! Okay, so it's personally satisfying, but don't tell me this represents a quantum leap in computer graphics for Hollywood in particular, and the world in general. IT'S BLOCKS! IT'S A GIANT PAC-MAN MADE OUT OF A BUNCH OF BOXES! At least that giant Lego ball on Mythbusters existed in real life! Let's see if that's on the series of YouTubes yet. I must of... have made a link to it previous-like. Must of... have. And for those of you with no patience to watch the setup... here it is! Ooh, and here's another good count to three. Saw that again this weekend! Shame on my lack of a comprehensive review. Must've been busy that week.
Oh, but there's other debuts this week. Can't forget them. Up next, at #5, it's the latest from Jake Gyllenhaal, a boxing movie called Southpaw. That's one of the seven plots, right? There's astronaut, boxer... there's others, I'm sure. Ooh, cowboy, lawyer (AKA courtroom cowboy), policeman, psychotic killer, and mathematical genius... nah, that can't be it. Anyway, director Antoine Fuqua continues his slog through the humble 2010s, as opposed to his megastar 2000s. I mean, Training Day! ...something else! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? ...oh, right. King Arthur, among others. Apparently, Hollywood believed they could sell any kind of Lord of the Rings-type deal and make tons of money. Don't get me wrong; I'm actually kind of rooting for this guy. I mean, he's the real deal! He's not fuqua-ing around like Jody Hill or Kevin Smith. This guy can direct. Why, look what he's got in the pipeline! A remake of... The Magnificent Seven? Well, it's in the air, I guess. We've got Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, we've got Sandler's The Ridiculous Six, it's just in the air. Sure, the Robert Osborne types of the world will poo-pooh remaking the classics, but let's face it. Who wants to watch an old movie with a bunch of dead people in it? I mean, how does any reasonable person go to the water cooler and strike up a conversation about the veritable arms race between Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, mugging for the camera's attention in increasingly obnoxious ways? And is Robert Vaughn just doing a bad Adam West impression? Or is he really just that messed up as an on-screen presence and as a human being? And whoa! The rape comments. How creepy was that?
Anyway, our third and final debut this week is called Paper Towns. It's the latest adaptation from a guy named John Green and, according to his IMDb page, he and his brother have 2.5 million followers on the YouTubes. And I've got eleven followers. Clearly I have my fingers squarely on a dead pulse. Oh well. If I had known there would be such a market for all this "life in high school" crap, I would've taken better notes. I mean, look at all these useless scribbles from German class. USELESS!!! Oh, I mean... NUTZLOS!!!
But John Green's got the right idea. His Fault in Our Stars was a #1 movie. A huge hit! Now we've got the follow-up, Paper Towns. I mean, just look at that. Look at that sh... stuff. You've got the young guy with the dead eyes, the young girl with the bitch face, you've got the title written in that indie poster style... isn't there a Vine or a Chive dedicated to that yet? Anyway, things are bad enough as it is. I don't want to heap up on John Green any more than the studios and his agent are already. All weekend he has to listen to "It's okay, it's okay! Towns did quite well among the demographic we wanted! It could've done a little better, but... we still love you, man! You're the man! You're our guy! You're our top earner! At least, in 2014, you were... what? No! Nothing! We love you! How much do we have to repeat that?" I gotta go, my tea's overbrewing again.
Of course, the big non-cinema news, at least for me, is the dash-cam footage of Sandra Bland's arrest. Up until now, a lot of the news blurbs about her were saying "Yup, it's definitely suicide. She definitely committed suicide in a Texas jail." Well, I only saw portions of the video on Larry Wilmore's show, and after seeing that, I kinda felt like killing myself too!