Sunday, December 25, 2016
A Star Wars kinda Christmas
...okay, the data's finally in. Sigh. Time for me to start another Excel spreadsheet. Can you believe that? Incidentally, if you're friends with someone who constantly asks that question... you might either a) be a redneck, as that one hick got famous for saying, or b) you might be in an abusive relationship. Especially if you start shouting back at them "YES, I DO BELIEVE IT. YOU PARKED IN FRONT OF THE HYDRANT AGAIN... AND YOU GOT A TICKET AGAIN. AND YOU'LL GET ANOTHER TICKET WHEN YOU DO IT AGAIN." At which point they'll say to their friends afterwards "So I had to give her a black eye. Can you believe that? Talking back to me like that."
Awright! Another one act play under my belt. As for the box office, well... might as well comment about each film now, because that's how I start my Excel spreadsheets for the year. I used to do the amount of money each film raked in... but seeing as how I never look at these files ever again anyway, why not just do their ranks, even though those sometimes switch places as the final economic vote is tabulated. Yes, because in Hollywood, sometimes the difference between third and fourth place means a lot to the filmmakers whose futures depend upon it. As for George Lucas' future, well... I'm pretty sure it's secure. I think they only expected Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to do half a billion anyway domestically, and they're about 60% of the way there, so no sleepless nights again... except for this!!! WUUUUHHHHHHHH
Meanwhile, in second place, it's Pixar's second fiercest competitor. I think the first is Blue Sky studios, the non-Trump geniuses behind the Ice Age franchise that used to be big. The second is called "Illumination," and apparently it's every Pixar-lite company's dream to have two big box office sensations in one year now. Their first was The Secret Life of Pets... and now they have "Smash"... I mean, Shag... I mean, Sing... I mean, Sing Street... I mean, Singur Acasa 3... huh? Maybe you can figure out what it is, I seem to be having trouble. Happens when you see the world through eggnog-colored glasses, I suppose.
At #3, well... what can be said? It's the battle of the sexes, fought anew, Hollywood style, in the biggest Coliseum the modern world has to offer. Each gender puts their best and youngest forward. For the girls, it's Jennifer Lawrence. For the guys, it's... Chris Pratt? Well, to be fair, that Bradley Cooper's getting a little overexposed. J. Law, not overexposed enough, apparently. A lot of guys are starting to find constellations in the pattern of dimples on her chest. Cepheus or Boötes, guys? Probably the latter. Maybe it's just Draco or Hydra; anyway, sure is fun to try and find the ends of those ones, am I right?
...oh right, and it's called Passengers. Sometimes I forget that these things have a title. But the main thing is that in space, no one can hear your heart break. "I wouldn't go out with you if you were the last man in space!" That's gotta hurt, and bigly... I mean, alot. Anyway, at #4, John Hamburg, who used to be in the Ben Stiller business, is now in the "Silicon Valley"-ish business with something called Why Him? It's kind of a sad state of affairs in the world somehow, and it's just from the plot description of this movie. Here it is: "A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Flanders... I mean, Fleming realizes that his daughter's Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question." Well, maybe there's some hope in there after all. Apparently, Silicon Valley billionaires are now a dime a dozen. Thanks for devaluing the world's currency, guys! Makes me long for the days of A View to a Kill somehow. Maybe we need to throw some of these billionaires out of the Zorin zeppelin, just to see how many are wearing parachutes. See how golden they are, that kind of thing.
At number five, it's the much maligned Ninja Assassin is finally out... I'm sorry, that's Assassin's Creed. Well, that's just another testament to how far we've come, technologically. I mean, isn't this in 3D and IMAX or something? So picky. What more do people want? Kinda hard to believe that Avatar was a hit, in a way. Anyway, James Cameron's scrambling to make his four Avatar sequels as cutting edge as possible. They now have to look good in Ultra HD Blu-ray, don't forget! Apparently, you can pack a lot more detail into 100 gigabytes now instead of just 47. As for Jeremy Irons, well... second Oscar? I'm just asking the question. Just throwing that out there. I think he's overdue. He's clearly working harder in his Third Act than even he thought he'd be. Well, some of us can't announce constant retirements like Anthony Hopkins and Liam Neeson, you know.
Meanwhile, Moana slips from second place to sixth. Ouch. And for the African American audience, there's Fences with Viola Davis and Denzel Washington. I probably shouldn't phrase it like that, but clearly it's not getting the traction that, say, The Help or The Butler got on their initial release. Forgive me, Lee Daniels' The Butler... oh crap, Denzel directed it. Forgive me!!! You know, maybe it's too early to ask this, but... best director Oscar? I'm just sayin'. It's either that or a Hail, Caesar! sweep, and that's probably not going to happen.
Anyway, the rest is leftovers. The Woody Allen inspired La La Land, the latest comedy trying to escape its cookie cutter office-based roots Office Christmas Party, and Will Smith's latest non-blockbuster. Gotta run! It's my day off and I'm booked solid.