Sunday, July 10, 2016

America Needs Blockbusters

What a weekend of cinema classics that will last a lifetime.  Bah humbug... that's IT!  I was dreaming I was eating hamburger!  In fact, I had three entrées total, all centered around beef in one way or another.  I don't even want to speculate on what was missing when I awoke, though.  Anyway, The Secret Life of Pets is #1 this weekend.  For some reason, I am not a fan.  The premise seems like something that would have been big if Pixar existed in the 1960s.  Why, even The Onion reviewer doesn't seem to like it that much... or are they just afraid of being awesome?  Ah, skip it.  I'm too tired to taunt my fellow reviewers today.  Of all the promotions and cross-promotions for the movie, I scratched my head the hardest at one commercial that featured the Rolling Stone song about the devil.  Why, I believe it's called "Sympathy for the Devil," in fact!  Nothing that the censors can't eliminate, of course... not like AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap."  Why, that's the song equivalent of "The Anarchist's Cookbook," practically... am I in trouble for using that book's title?
But that's the movie landscape now.  We've got Pixar-ish at #1, Pixar at #3 (Dory), and the CGI-FX heavy The BFG at #8.  That makes me sad, America.  Why you gotta pick on Spielberg like that?  Well, if Indiana Jones 5 isn't #1 its opening weekend, well... he's just going to quit the biz completely after that. 
So, the Pixar contingent is in the house.  In live-action douchebag news, something with the long-ass title called Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates debuts at #4.  Personally, I think Zac Efron's getting the short end of the stick, having Adam Devine as his brother, but what do I know?  I'm so out of the loop.  As you can see from the movie's poster on the IMDb, they didn't want to risk a red penis drawn on one of their bodies.  Save that for the unrated version, I suppose.  They'll cover up the boxes, just like supermarkets cover up the steamier issues of "Cosmopolitan."  I was looking at the résumé of one Jake Szymanski, the credited director of Mike and Dave.  And from the looks of it, this is his make or break moment.  He's spent the last eight years in Short Video hell.  As in, a viewer would be in hell if they had to sit there and watch all these things he's worked on, one after the other.  Funny or die, indeed.  Hard to say what influenced Jake's choice of lighting and frame composition more.  Was it "Zac Efron's Pool Party"?  Or was it "It's the Ass 'n Balls Show!"?  To show he's not a blatant sexist, there's also "Kelly Brook's Cameltoe Shows."  Wonder if that's on YouTube yet?  ...and how!  As of this writing, however, it's only got under 200,000 views.  This video, "Camel Toe Prank" has 12 million, and features an actual camel.  See?  You never go wrong with cute animals.  As for directors, well, even Andrew Niccol got tired of doing short films, so perhaps Jake Szymanski's making the right move here.  Hopefully, he'll parlay all his Mike and Dave success into his next film... which will probably be a Mike and Dave sequel, either directly or indirectly.  It's a thriving genre in its own right, the Wedding Crashers genre.  It can't be helped.
The only other debut this week is something called Sultan... oh, these IMDb pages are getting too long.  Well, I don't know where in America this 3 hour movie about a fictional mixed martial artist is playing, but they must be doing something right to crack the Top 10 like this!

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