Sunday, August 23, 2015

The March of the Debuts

...oh, wait.  There's only three debuts.  Sinister 2, Hitman: Agent 47 and the non-number related American Ultra, but I suppose it could be argued that the "ultra" implies a #1.  And yet, with all this fresh meat laying about, it's the old hands at this game that come in at #1 with a bullet and a wife-beating.  Straight Outta Compton is at #1 AGAIN!  Sure, the take's about half it was last week, and those numbers are a concern, but you can't argue with #1.  David Fincher and Gore Verbinski know this, because a lot of their movies were #1 for two weeks as well.  Great bargaining chip for greenlighting your next project.  Anyway, the point being, and I'm probably not the first one to suggest this... Oscar for Best Picture?  Look, Hollywood.  You know that you're going to give Legendary Pictures an Oscar someday.  And this is the perfect, non-comic book related... okay, semi-comic-book-related small indie arthouse-type picture to bestow the golden crown to.  It's all relative, of course; if the budget's under $50 million, that counts as "small indie arthouse" today.  Just the film's production budget; advertising is probably about $100 million.  Maybe it'll turn out like Schindler's List: Straight Outta Compton will sweep the technical awards, get all the writing, producing, and directing awards, and get snubbed by the various actors guilds.  That's the price you will typically pay come Oscar time.
Anyway, on to the rest... and this cinephile confesses.  I'm not up on my horror franchises these days.  All these low-budge dealies that scare the green audiences that go to see them.  You may have seen them in the commercials.  Your Insidiouses, your Paranormal Activity-ies, what have you... I don't get it, I'm not into it, and... I still don't get it!  But the Box Office does, and I am a reporter-type person; sure, I'm no Jeff Gannon, but I can dream, can't I?  And so we get something called Sinister 2: Fear Boogaloo.  It's this kind of thing that makes me want to go to a film's IMDb "Connections" page.  Apparently, the first Sinister was three years ago.  So if you were a high school freshman, and you were excited by the first Sinister movie, you are now a jaded senior, probably trying to fend off all comers prodding you about how you used to like that movie, and now the sequel's out, so you must be excited about it, right?  RIIIIIGHT?  That is, if you don't want to hang with the cool kids.  As for me, I'm just trying to figure out who among the original cast has returned for the sequel.  Anyone besides Mr. Boogie?  Anyone at all?  Not even Isaac Mizrahi's kid?
Okay, that's boring now.  On to the next, and even though marijuana is now legal in two states, the establishment strikes back with Hitman: Agent 47... oh, wait.  Wrong number.  But the establishment is striking back, because I applied for a job with my local city bus agency, and they said that the Federalis over at the Department of Transportation are still clamping down.  Random drug testing; weed may be legal, but bus drivers may not partake; serious stuff, what have you.  And then we took a two hour video test, and what was in that test?  Angry customers.  Lazy customers.  Cheapskate customers, fifty-year-old obnoxious alpha-male wannabes eating fast food on the bus and wearing backwards baseball caps.  You know, the kind of daily stress you NEED TO SMOKE WEED FOR!!!!!  Catch-22 all over again.  And of course, the cops are getting in on the fun; now in addition to "Don't Drink and Drive" it's "Don't Weed and Drive"... something like that.  "Don't Drive While High."  Apparently, it's a thing now.  It was a thing then and it's a thing now, and always will be.
And finally, the third debut this week is called American Ultra.  The "ultra" in that title obviously not referring to the fact that it came in sixth place at the cinematic horse race this week.  Well, that's the fans of the bloody Twilight saga for ya.  Fickle, fickle, and fickle.  It's like the Twilight movies were in some kind of a special area... a zone, if you will.  And once you step outside the narrow confines of that zone... BOOM!  Nothing happens!  No big box office, no fanzines, no crazed teenagers reading your book, nothing.  Probably for the best, as there are some who say that the Twilight series is part of the new "rape culture" making inroads into the national dialogue.  A big part of it.  Sometimes you just gotta go with more violent fare like American Ultra as relief, even if Twilight fans don't.
Well, that covers the debuts, but I'm thinking back to July 12th for some reason, probably because I've got my Excel(TM) spreadsheet here.  Back then, we had Minions, something called The Gallows (that lasted two weeks), and the Ben Kingsley / Ryan Reynolds vehicle called Self/Less (that lasted one week.)  Minions is still hanging in there at #9, so one out of three ain't bad!  Must be fans of Mad Men trying desperately to get their next fix, because Fear the Walking Dead just isn't cutting it.  Poor bastards.

No comments: