God, I kill me. Well, there's all kinda news this week, as per the usual, but I'm telling you, did I have a dream last night. Ah, dreams, that in-between realm where, if you're a habitual watcher of Hollywood-type movies like I am, the line between movie and audience member is quite porous, indeed. Now, I don't think I've had a dream quite like this before. It's kind of hard to keep track of these things, but I seem to have this recurring dream where I'm driving in an underground tunnel shaped like a rollercoaster. Part car wash, part rollercoaster, you know how it goes.
So, I'm dreaming that I'm watching a Nicolas Cage movie. It starts where I'm in a bus station, a rather large bus station near my own home town, and there had been a mass shooting about three days earlier. I was walking around, trying to avoid some bloody footprints, and there was a note left by the police on one of the walls, a half apology about not completely cleaning up the crime scene yet. Then, I start following the Nicolas Cage character around. He seems to be a David Lynch-type used car salesman (as opposed to the two Bobs Used Cars salesmen) and he picks up victims in his car... or he hitches a ride with victims, one of the two. Again, the liquid reality of dreams. But he always says to his victims, quasi-Terminator like, "I need your teeth, fingerprints..." You know, that kind of alarming list. Then, the punching starts. One of the victims got some kind of caustic blue acid thrown at him, and while he was screaming in pain, he said "I'm gonna kill you if I get the opportunity!" Very nerd like. Then Nicolas punched the guy in the face, and the victim's two eyes turned into one eye. A second punch restored his two eyes back to normal. Incidentally, if the Zucker brothers want to use that gag for Scary Movie 6... have at it! It's an honor just to be nominated.
...any readers left? Okay, back to the box office. Welp, the much ballyhooed sequel to 1996's Independence Day is out this week, in distant second place to the family-friendly Pixar sequel, Finding Dory and... oh, I think I know what the problem is. See, the original movie was released dead center on July 4, and I think everyone thought, "Oh! I thought that was out next week! And where the hell's my man Will Smith?!!" I guess he wanted too much money or something, or he wanted his kids to have prominent roles in it. A fresh regret for a change.
But it's not all sequels and buddy pictures at the box office this week, folks. It's really not... let's see, there's seven sequels, two not ashamed to have numerals in the title. Now, The Shallows isn't exactly a sequel, but it does seem to be part of this new horror 'genre' of sorts. I can't speak to it expertly like The Onion, of course, but take The Conjuring 2, for example. These new glossy horror movies with B-listers in them... I know, I know, Blake Lively will get off the ground one of these days. She's the new Ellen Barkin to me, only not desperate to show a little more flesh, apparently. I mean, she did the poster for Showgirls in Sea of Love, for God's sake! In a mere convenience store, if memory serves.
And the last debut this week is everyone's favourite stoner dude, Matthew McConaughey. His latest is called Free State of Jones, which I was confusing with a Christian production from the TV spots. Well, that's what happens when you fast forward past all these great commercials. Things get compressed. But when I slowed down and watched part of the ad... ugh... I saw one of the critical raves that said "Finally! An adult movie for adults." I forget the source, probably Army Archerd or Joel Siegel... are they still alive? I thought that that was a strange thing to say about a movie... until I finally looked at the crew list on our old mischievous friend, the IMDb. Love that billion dollar website. I admit, they have been good to me over the months. Anyway, I think it's like the time M. Night was pushing The Following, having the studio point out that it's his first R-rated pic... sorry, I mean, The Happening. What did I call it? I think it was about time-traveling alien shapeshifters who go back to Woodstock and... sorry, spoiler alert. Anyway, the same logic is at work here with Mississippi Jones and the Revolt Within... I mean, Free State of Jones. It's directed by Gary Ross, who's been dogged his whole career by being branded a Clinton-era pie-eyed optimist. Even with the first Hunger Games! Go figure. Even with his kinda icky, oversexed PG-13 rated Pleasantville! Go figure. Well, all that's changed now with Jones. It's like when Sam Raimi left TV in the '90s to become a bonafide A-lister director in the 2000s and beyond, only not as close to the Oscar as Gary Ross has been. I mean, look at that Billy Zane-lookin' smilin' bastid. It's your year, Gary Ross. Oscar sweep. I'm gonna come out right now and declare it. Best writer, director, picture, caterer, it's in the air now. Clean sweep time. I can feel it.
(a little later) ... let me just take this opportunity to point out something. Or rather, ask the question: what the hell happened to the Warcraft movie?!!!! Guess they didn't offer enough incentives for the gamers. That disappeared quick! Zyzzyx Road quick!