Monday, May 30, 2011

What to Look Forward to in June

Also what NOT to look forward to in June.

Here's are some of the better upcoming movies, games, TV shows, and music coming out next month. All dates are for the United States. I'm sorry we don't live on Pangaea anymore.

June 3rd
X-Men: First Class -- aka Mad (X) Men. I'm still somewhat torn on this. It has looked much better with the newer previews. However, it is missing the strongest suit of the other X-men movies: a good cast. And thats dealing with both actors and characters.

June 7th
White Collar (USA Network)
Covert Affairs (USA Network) -- aka USA's two weaker spy and odd-ball cop shows.

Breaking Bad  (Season 3 DVD)
Burn Notice (Season 4 DVD) -- aka the two best shows on TV right now. Well, not right now. That's why the DVD sets are coming out.

Frank Turner -England Keep My Bones -- aka the best songwriter today. Theres alot of good albums coming this month, but this folk-punk singer gets my top pick. He just barely beat out the new Limp Bizkit.

Infamous 2 (PS3) -- aka the follow-up to one of Sony's best games for the PS3. I think any good film buff would appreciate the twist ending to the original. Especially when you replay it, and you see it was all right in front of you the whole time. I just hope the PSN doesn't go down again.

June 10th
Super 8 -- aka ET meets the Goonies. This looks very good, despite there still being few details about it. J.J. Abrams has yet to let me down, but Steven Spielberg as of late is a different story. I just hope this isn't too big of a love letter to his 80s works.

Trollhunter -- aka Blair Witch/Cloverfield but with giant trolls.Here's one from Norway, the most popular non-US country on this blog (Thanks Rumiko!).  It looks great. I just hope it comes to a theater near me.

June 14th
Duke Nukem Forever (PC, PS3, 360) -- aka I'll believe it when I see it. Talk about development hell. This has been delayed and restarted and what not since 1997! So sad, because Duke Nukem 3D may be the best video game ever.

June 17th
Green Lantern -- aka Ryan Reynolds and the Great Green Acid Trip. I'm feeling better about this, but I can not see this getting wide-stream appeal at all. Ryan Reynolds is in a non-Ryan Reynolds role and there's hardly any other star power. However, there are no shortage of CGI fish people.

Mr Popper's Penguins -- aka Hasn't Jim Carrey ruined enough children's classics already? I'm pessimistically optimistic about this. It looks ok and it is a great story, but JC hasn't had an un-cringeworthy film in seven years.

June 19th
Falling Skies (TNT) -- aka Walking Dead but with aliens. This is getting alot of hate ever since it was announced, but I would love to see a solid alien invasion drama. Not like we've had any good alien invasion movies in the past ten years.

June 21st
F.3.A.R. (PC, PS3, 360) -- aka C.R.4.P. Any title that does that is instantly bad, but it is even worse when it does it to an acronym. It's a stupid title anyway: First Encounter Assault Recon? Aren't assaults and recons polar opposites?

June 24th
Cars 2 -- aka the sequel to Pixar's worst movie. Dare I say only bad movie? Everyone used to love Pixar because of how original they were. Before this, we had Toy Story 2.5 and next we have a Monsters Inc. prequel. What happened?

June 26th
True Blood (HBO) -- aka Twlight with sex. Seriously, how can anyone hate Twlight and turn around and like this. Same crap, with an even worse author. Atleast these vampires actually die in the sun.

June 28th
Lord of the Rings: Complete Extended Edition (Blu-Ray) -- aka one 13 hour movie.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hangover 2 = About As Fun As A Real Hangover

Pictured: People watching Hangover 2. At least the Asian likes it
Well here comes an easy one:  Hangover 1 >>>> Hangover 2.

The Hangover Part II reminds me alot of Family Guy since it returned to the air. It's dark for no reason, purposely tries to shock you, has jokes too drawn out, and it hangs so much it what it previously was because it is just a shell of its former self. At least there aren't complete non-sequitur out of nowhere and shoe-horned political views. You know, like that time when James Franco and Mr. T tried to legalize marijuana. "I pity the fool who doesn't smoke!" Hahaha. See, he combined a current popular figure with an 80s reference. So clever. 

Much like the second run of Family Guy, there are still plenty of funny parts. But the first one has you laughing from start to finish, where this has several ten or so minute intervals where absolutely nothing happens. If this was Hangover 1, Hangover 2 would have never happened. But of course, there are enough recycled gags that this actually could be Hangover 1. Minus the good parts anyway.

The original blasted Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms to stardom, mostly because they had such great chemistry and perfect comedic timing. Galifianakis especially, because he was so weird, yet just so natural. While he is still the best character, he feels so much more forced. And as for the rest of the "Wolfpack", you just never find yourself caring about them this time around.
The original had so many great little scenes. My absolute favorite was when Zack is freaking out about the tiger in the bathroom. Bradley goes in there and just starts laughing. Or when they are driving the cop car, and Ed is freaking out but Zack is just having a good old time. There are very little subtle interactions between the characters, and they always just go for the big joke.

Another major thing this one lacks is the help from supporting characters. Yeah, everyone loved the big three, but you can not say that Rob Riggle and Cleo King as cops, or Matt Walsh as the doctor, or even Heather Graham didn't steal the scenes they were in. Granted this does have more Ken Jeong, but far from better Ken Jeong. The great Jeffrey Tambor has one line in the sequel. I think he only has three in the first one, but he has the best one in the entire film. Bryan Callen (the wedding chapel guy in the original) and Tyson are the only worthwhile returning characters.

Oh, and Paul Giamatti is in this ^__^  With a 100% serious role  o_0

That is the biggest problem with this movie. While the main jokes are still there, you don't care about any of the supporting characters whatsoever. Even the main characters don't care about the other characters. And the main characters themselves are more scaled back and forced. In the first one, the actors seemed to legitimately be having a great time, but here it seems like they were being forced work. The first one was a buddy comedy. This is a "Lets make fun of Thailand" comedy.

One final thought. While I know what a sequel is, you if never saw the first Hangover, you would not understand this whatsoever. Thats how much this relies on the original.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Opening This Weekend: Hung Over Pandas

This guy knows how to party!

The Hangover Part II -- aka Bridemaids for men. The comments here give me the impression most of you weren't a big fan of the first one. The Hangover was amazing. I've seen it maybe ten times now and I still laugh like crazy at it. Well the reviews are saying the sequel is exactly the Hangover Part I. I don't think that is a bad thing, but most people aren't enjoying it too much. Whatever, I'm still seeing it tonight. Impression then.

Kung-Fu Panda Part II -- Despite my love for kung-fu and pandas, I never saw the first one. It might be good, but I'm doubting it. The ads for the sequel are really well done however. Besides spoofing Paranormal Activity and Jackass, they are making an effort to show this does have the funny Seth Rogan and Danny McBride to go along with the unfunny one hit wonder Jack Black. Still, attendance so far is down very low so far, and it is already being called a bomb. Ouch.

The Tree of Life -- Sadly, this is not about the nine realms in Norse mythology. It's a period piece drama about growing up. Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (could have sworn he retired) star. This recently won the best in show Palme d'Or award at Cannes, which means it has nothing to do with loving Hitler.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday Vincent Price (And His 13 Best Roles)

May 27, 1911 - October 25, 1993

Friday will be the 100th anniversary -- or the Vincentennial if you will -- of the birth of one of Hollywood's most iconic actors, Vincent Price. Born in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, Price is a veteran actor of the stage, of TV, and course the big screen as his career spanned seven decades and 110 films. While he was in plenty of different types of movies, he will always be known as the master of horror -- especially with horror films involving a haunted house. His sinister and gothic voice set the mood perfectly. Even if some of you youngsters have never seen his films, you have for sure heard his voice, as that overshadowed his own character, and eventually became a marketing force.

There's not too much I can say that hasn't been already said about this legend. What I will give you are the Top Thirteen (because a sinister star needs a sinister number) Roles of Vincent Price.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New to VHS 5/24

I haven't done one of these in awhile, mainly because nothing good has been released in the last few weeks. However, there are a few gems this week.

Childrens Hospital -- This is in the running for best comedy on TV. Now you can own the first two seasons of this brilliant hospital drama parody. At first, I hated all live action shows on Cartoon Network simply on principle. But after watching some of them, I hated them because they were terrible. Seriously, how can anyone enjoy Tim and Eric? I guess that is why they made drugs.
This show is great however, and it took me a few episodes to really appreciate it. Rob Corddry is hilarious, but badly miscast in the past. And Malin Akerman may be the most beautiful girl in Hollywood today. Also, this show has the Fonz. Buy this.

Gnomeo and Juliet -- Don't buy this. I'm only bringing up cookie cutter CGI movie #30724 because my local drive-in theater loves it so much. For those of you who don't know, since drive-ins are near extinct nowadays, they all show double features. This opened up with Thor and now it is with Pirates, even though it is already out on video. On the other screen, they are showing Kung-Fu Panda teamed up with Fast Five. They are doing it wrong!

I Am Number Four -- Apparently this "Twilight for aliens" movie isn't terrible. But I'm not about to watch it. Also, Sharlto Copley from District 9 was in this as an alien, but quit after the director refused to give the aliens Spock ears, or something really stupid like that.

Solaris: The Criterion Collection -- The original version. This is just like 2001, except longer, slower, and Russian-er. Sounds thrilling.

The Great Dictator: The Criterion Collection -- Another classic. This was Charlie Chaplin's first non-silent film. It was also the first film to make fun of Hitler, all the way back in 1940.

The Big Bang -- Antonio Banderas, Sam Elliott, Snoop Dogg, and Mr. Dawson's Creek. How this skipped theaters is a complete mystery to me.   

Operation Condor -- aka Armor of God 2, not to be confused with Operation Condor 2 aka Armor of God 1. Confusion aside, this re-release is Jackie Chan's Best Movie. Also out today are Chan's Twin Dragons and the other Condor film.

Transformers - The Complete Series -- I'm not a big fan of the robots in disguise, but 98 episodes on 15 dvds for $60 seems like a great deal.

and course

The Royal Wedding -- I am so happy we killed Osama bin Laden when we did. Not to end his "reign of terror", but to end the media's coverage of terror of the Prince somebody and Kate whatsherface.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Objections to This Phoenix Wright Movie

There is going to be a Phoenix Wright movie. That news by itself it great, but it gets even better. It is going to be directed by Takashi Miike!

Miike is indeed a very diverse director. Has made over 55 films in his very short career -- he churned out 8 in 2002 alone -- ranging from serious dramas to high school coming of age stories to samurai period pieces to children's movies. He even made a musical with karaoke style lyrics. His newest 3D drama, Hara-Kiri, is up for the Cannes's Film Fest's best film.  He has done a little bit of everything.

But lets all be honest, we all know him only for his super gory horror films and his all around screwed-up cult classics. When I think of Miike, the only things that come to my mind are Ichi the Killer chopping a guy's face off and throwing it against the wall, the Audition girl sawing off people's ankles with piano wire, and yakuza members smashing chihuahuas in Gozu. Sure he has family friendly movies  like Zebraman. But he also has "family friendly" movies like Visitor Q. Seriously, if you ever wanna clear a room out, just throw that in the old VHS player.

He has done movies based on mangas before, but this would be his first ever based off a video game. Although he did have a cameo in the Wii game No More Heroes. For those who don't know, Phoenix Wright for the Nintendo DS is about an attorney in Japan, and their legal system which has no jury and 99% conviction rate (and that is why there is hardly any crime in Japan). The game has almost no gameplay, and because of that it gained a huge internet following of people with short attention spans. It is also Marilyn Manson's favorite game. Really.

Still, it is a fun game, and a movie will work out really good. Just remember, Miike will probably be restrained on this, so there will sadly be no cross examination while on meat-hooks scene.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Box Office Round Up: Pirates Plunder Puns

Blow Johnny Depp has nothing on real Johnny Depp

In a surprise to nobody -- maybe former director Gore Verbinski was a bit shocked -- Pirates took home number one for the weekend in demanding fashion. It made $90 million, or 1,049,535,000 pieces of eight. I guessed $96, but since none of you took a shot, it looks like I won. This is double what PotC 1 made, but nowhere near the Pirate-mania that once was (although Pirate-mania is still running wild in the rest of the world, as it made $256 overseas just this weekend). Remember, PotC 2 once had the highest opening weekend ever. It still beats out Fast Five for the biggest opening of 2011.

Bridesmaids stayed at #2 with $21 million, only down $5 million from last week. #3, 4, and 5 were Thor, Fast Five, and Rio which have now made $145m, $186m, and $131m US life to date respectively. Then at #6 is Priest, which now has hit $60m worldwide and has thus broke even.

Finally, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris finished #12 in limited release. And that is very limited release. Six screens! And yet it still made $580,000, which comes out to $96,500 per screen -- five times what Pirates made on 4100 screens. Beware the wrath of Woody.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Keira and Johnny's Dirty Little Secret

I might as well ride the Pirates hype boat like everyone else, and point out a scene from the original PotC movie which I believe went over most people's heads.

There is a part where Keira Knightley's and Johnny Depp's characters are stranded on an island. Thankfully for Keira, she has her favorite pirate by her side: Captain Morgan. They get drunk. Flash ahead to the morning, and Jack wakes up to Elizabeth burning all the rum. But something for sure happened inbetween there.

Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann had sex.

Let's look at the evidence. One, he have a young drunk girl spending the night with Johnny Depp. Nothing more needs to be said there. Two, after they get rescued, Jack goes for one of his sarcastic remarks, and is immediately cut off by an angry Ms. Swann before he can finished his sentence. Finally, at the very end of the movie while Jack is running away, he turns to her and says "It never would have worked out between us anyway."

Read between the lines. This is the closest you will ever see to sex in a Disney movie. Well, until PotC 3 when Keira goes after Orlando Bloom.  Man, she broke the hearts of every teenage girl in America. Twice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Opeming This Weekend: Pirates...and thats about it

Which idiot picked this weekend to release my movie?

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Dadadunun  dadadunun dadadunun dadadum. Dadadunun dadadunun dadadunun dadadum. Dadadunun DADADUNUN dadadunun dadadum. Say what you will about this series, it has the best music this side of John Williams.

So it's gametime. How much does this make opening weekend? I'll say about $96 million. PotC 1 made $46m, 2 skyrocketed up to $135m, and 3 brought in a whopping $140m.

Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen's 42nd film! Rotten Tomatoes likes it, something they can't say about most of his works this millennium. His last good movie? Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in which current Pirates star Penelope Cruz won an Oscar for. Anyway, this movie is about Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and a few other boring actors going to Paris. Maybe they won't come back.

Louder Than A Bomb - A critically acclaimed documentary about...poetry? Meh, give me a documentary about Woody Allen's life. Then we have a movie.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pirates vs Pirates vs Pirates

4 Pirates 4 Caribbean (Or is it Caribbean?) is set to open this weekend. It has been plagued by directorial problems, studio conflicts, actors not returning, and Johnny Depp just being mad. So sadly, it probably won't turn out as good as the old trilogy. However, those are some big pirate boots to fill, as the first three are all amazing movies. Pitting them against each other is a much tougher task than some series as they all have great strong points. So after thinking about it for a couple long minutes, I've decided to go with: 3 > 2 > 1.

PotC 3 At World's End would be my hands down top pick. The entire final battle is epic in every way imaginable. The first fight is very well done too, and I lol hard every time that midget fires the gun even though I know it is so stupid. Also we got a full movie of both Geoffrey Rush and Bill Nighy, with even a little Chow Yun-Fat (if very little). And without a doubt, it has the best post-credits scene ever. No amount of Samuel L. Jackson talking loud could capture the emotion in those few seconds at the end. I can't believe how many people walked out before then, despite both previous PotC movies having post-credit scenes.

Even though PotC 3 has the best scenes of the trilogy, it also has some of the worse. Every scene involving multiple Johnny Depps was completely worthless and they were shoehorned in just to please the little girls. There are some annoying plot-holes, namely why Depp wasn't still inside a giant octopus. And can someone please tell me why that Voodoo girl grew really big and turned into a bunch of crabs? What did that accomplish?

PotC 2 comes next, and I have to say Keira Knightley carries this one better than any of the other actors. The strongest parts of this film were when she was dressing up as a guy and sneaking around with the other pirates. But Davy Jones and the Kraken really help move this one too. Mr Jones has such a cool, unique, and insanely detailed ship and crew, leading to some of the best ever usage of CGI. Graphic artist people really need to take note of his boat. And the Kraken gave us possibly the best sea monsters scenes ever in film (why aren't there more sea monsters in film?) Also, when that Kraken was released, it didn't come with a unfunny and forced meme.

PotC 1 is the weakest in the action and special effects categories, but that's only because the filmmakers were expecting such a huge hit. It does make up for this with some great character relations all throughout. The opening scene with young Will and Elizabeth is about as perfect of a prologue as you will ever see. And the scene when you first meet Captain Jack Sparrow -- camera zooms in on him on the mast with the sunset in the background as the music picks up, then the camera zooms out to show a sinking dingy -- will go down as of the the all time greatest. Remember in my Leon review I stressed how important character introductions are, and PotC has no shortage of great ones. Sadly, the last act kinda drags, putting the first as the worst, but that is still a very strong bronze medal.

PotC 4 looks a bit better with every preview, and I am feeling pretty optimistic. Some people are upset with the lost of Keira and Orlando Bloom. I am impressed they are sticking to their guns. I mean MAJOR POTC3 SPOILERS he is dead and she has a kid now. Granted, Johnny Depp died twice during the series but whatever END SPOILERS.

However, there's one thing that has me worried, and that so many people overlooked. The main characters of PotC 1-3 are William Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Everything that happened in the series somehow revolved around them. Jack Sparrow was just along for the ride. He was almost even the comic relief character. All three are great actors, and there is still plenty of story left with Jack and Barbossa, but I just hope it doesn't take a turn for the worse with Jack solely in the spotlight.

Rotten Tomatoes has PotC 4 currently at 36%. That may sound bad, but it isn't much lower than the last two (54% and 45% for 2 and 4). Besides, Bridemaids is still at 89%. RT is never the go to site.

So have fun at the Midnight premiers and this weekend. Tell me how it is, but don't spoil it. It may be a bit before I can get to the theater myself.   

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anatomy of a Stupid Action Movie

Last post, I briefly mentioned how great Stupid Action Movies are. They were staples of late-80s/90s cinema, and have sadly disappeared behind realistic, overly serious, grimdark, shaky-cam action movies. Remember, there is a huge different between Stupid Action Movies and stupid, Action Movies.

The Holy Trinity of Stupid Action Movies consists of The Rock, True Lies, and Air Force One. Despite what I said yesterday, I have to say Air Force One is the quintessential SAM, but all three of those tend to rotate in and out the top spot. Then after the Holy Trinity, you have the father of SAMs, Die Hard. And then you have the grandfather of the entire genre, James Bond.

To be a tried and true Stupid Action Movie, you need several things.
First, you need one person up against impossible odds. I left this step out yesterday since The Rock doesn't really follow this, but judging by some of your comments, most of you guys don't feel Nic Cage is a person. In Air Force One, President Ford becomes Han Solo once his family is kidnapped, and he takes on AK wielding bad guys inside a pressure-concealed area with his bare hands.

Next, you need a stupid terrorist organization. They still have to be very menacing, but they can't make any sense whatsoever. Again in Air Force One, the terrorist kidnap the American president so he can tell the Russian president to let their guy out of a Russian jail. Why didn't they just kidnap the Russian president? Wouldn't that save some time and effort.

Third, explosions and more explosions. That jet that flew in front of that missile heading towards Air Force One instead of shooting it down, he wasn't sacrificing himself for his country, he was sacrificing himself for his cinema.

Here's an optional step, there should be a betrayal somewhere. This used to be a key feature of SAMs, but every movie made the last 20 years has had double, triple, even hextuple crossers. I mean everything from low-brow comedies to Pixar films have atleast one backstabber.

Last, and most importantly, the hero needs a catchy kill-phrase. The single best definitely belongs to Ford's "Get Off My Plane", but the all time legend without a doubt is Arnold Schwarzenegger. After throwing a pipe through a guy in Commando, "Let off some steam". Stabbing a guy into a wall in Predator "Stick around". Shooting Sharon Stone in Total Recall, "Consider that a divorce". About to launch a missile with some creep hanging on it in True Lies, "You're fired". After ruining a franchise in Batman and Robin, "You know what killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age". When he revealed his secret child in Real Life, "I Shrive for a better woman". And of course in every single one of his movies when he fires a gun, "ARRGGGGRGRGRGGRWRBWRBWRRR!".

So go out and grab some great Stupid Action Movies. And if you can't, atleast watch this video after the jump of all of Arnold's greatest lines as Mr. Freeze. Have an Ice Day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Top Ten Roles of Nicolas Cage

Nic Cage gets a bad rap. It seems too many kids today think he is a joke of an actor. That is as far away from the truth as you can possibly be. Yes, he has had some stinker roles, but that is bound to happen when you are in so many movies. There are a few reasons why he does so many films:

1) He is a major nerd. I mean he changed his name from Coppola (as in Francis Ford Coppola's nephew) to a comic book character's. So he wants to do movies like The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Season of the Witch, which most A-listers would avoid like the plague.
2) He got screwed over by taxes, agents, and wives. He has no money now, and besides selling off his life-long comic collection, he is doing as many movies as possible.
3) He won an Academy Award at a very young age and has plenty more critical acclaim. He is just having fun at this point.

People need to look past all the jokes made about Cage, and look at some of his better roles. If you do so then you'll see, and I'll even make a bold statement, Nic Cage is one of the best actors of our generation.   He has had a long, and steadily solid career. He is still able to put out Four Star films, something so many actors can not say 20+ years later. Roger Ebert says it best: "He is unafraid to crawl out on a limb, saw it off and remain suspended in air." Actually, I have no idea what the hell he is saying. So here's my Top Ten Roles of Nicolas Cage.

Hayao Miyazaki and Minecraft

I know Minecraft is very popular in the Blogosphere. I know Hayao Miyazaki is popular in every aspect expect in the eyes of Disney. So here are the two of them combined, forming something that will blow your mind.

I am happy when I make a small square house in Minecraft. Once, I made a hallway connecting two buildings, and I was ecstatic. Then I look online and see stuff like this. I don't even want to know how long this took them.

For those who do not know, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the greatest creative minds in film period. His works include NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo. If you have kids, nieces, nephews, brothers, or sisters, you have to get them started with some of his movies while they are young. It will affect them in a very good way. Sadly, Disney has the US rights and tends to do almost nothing except release them for a week just so they can get an Academy Award nomination. Also sadly, my favorite -- Princess Mononoke -- doesn't appear to be in this video. But it is all made up for because of that music.

This is easily the second most impressive thing I've ever seen in Minecraft. Number one is after the jump.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Box Office Round Up: Thor Hanging On

I Googled Chris Hemsworth happy, and this was the closet I got to a smile

Thor may not be as Floppy after all. It finished in first again for the second straight week. It made $34.5 million, more than half of what it made last weekend, which isn't a bad drop-off at all. I finally saw two or three TV commercials for it, so maybe that helped it out a bit. However, not too great of a weekly gross, earning only $19 million during which was probably Finals Week for most schools. That's my best explanation anyway.

Number two was Bridesmaids at $24 million, which is getting some very good word of mouth. The previews were painful to watch, but I didn't think The Hangover had that great of commercials either and I spent the entire movie rolling on the floor laughing. Which reminds me, I can't believe so many of my followers hate the Hangover.

Since we are there anyway, The Hangover made $45 its opening weekend and dropped very slowly, on its way to the third highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. I can see Bridesmaids having legs too. However, both movies have almost the same budget: $35 for Hangover and $33 for Bridesmaids. The Hangover had a much bigger and more accomplished cast, and I'm assuming it had a bigger location fee. Just renting that suite was a couple million right there. I'm sure Tyson has a high asking price. And a car or two gets destroyed. Maybe that stuff happens in Bridemaids too...but probably not. Why are they almost the same price?

As for everything else, Fast Five made $19.5, Priest made $14.5 (more than I ever expected), and Rio will not die holding on to #5, five weeks after it was released. And nowhere to be seen is A Serbian Film. It was either such a limited that it is not being tracked, or everyone who saw it walked out and demanded their money back. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Opening This Weekend: Bride of Hangover

Natalie Portman is sitting this bachelorette party out 

Bridesmaids -- It's like the Hangover. Except for girls. Also, not as funny. I would completely rule this out, because it looks like it is just about girls being raunchy and "unlady" like with no real story or humor. However, it amazingly has a 91% at Rotten Tomatoes. Also Kristen Wiig is hilarious, so maybe there actually is a good movie here. I'm sure there are much worse films to have a girl drag you to.

Priest -- Based on the hit Korean comic book. Whoever said that doesn't exactly understand the meaning of the word hit. Besides, if they really wanted to do a Korean vampire movie based on a comic, they should have gone with the infinitely superior Rebirth. Anyway, this looks better than most of the other annual vampire action movies we have gotten the last few years. I also didn't think Legion (director Stewart's first movie) looked too bad either. I have never seen so much nothing happen in movie before.

Hesher -- This has been getting some good hype. It's been out for awhile but it is finally hitting somewhat-wide release. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a junkie.It also stars Natalie Portman in her fourth film of the year. She was getting them all in before she hit full motherhood.

Everything Must Go -- I'm not a big Will Ferrell fan (he's only good in small doses) but his comedies can always guarantee a few laughs. His indy films such as this and Stranger Than Fiction can only guarantee you boredom and self-hatred.

Go For It! -- Because it's been a few weeks since the last urban dancing movie came out.

I believe that's everything for the weekend. I think your best bet is to just see Thor ag...wait, there's one more movie coming out. And it's a doozy...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Movies You Should See (But Probably Haven't): Leon the Professional

First off, 100 followers! This blog is so popular, it broke Blogger! So sorry about that, but thanks for your support.

Now on to today's movie you should see, but possibly haven't. Leon the Professional isn't too obscure of a flick, and I'm sure every big movie fan has seen it. But it boggles my mind this hasn't reached the mainstream appeal this deserves.

This is the story about Leon. He is a Professional. He's a mob hitman who does his job and retreats to the solidarity of his rundown apartment. He can't speak English very well, his only friend is a plant (does Hot Fuzz make a bit more sense now), and all he does when he's not killing is watch old movies and drink milk.

He lives next door to a little girl named Matilda -- played by a 12-year-old Natalie Portman in her first ever role -- who often picks up milk for Leon. Her family has been stealing drugs, and are soon brutally murdered by the dealers. After narrowly avoiding the massacre, Mathilda seeks help from Leon to train her how to kill, so she can avenge her family. So all action from there, right.

Actually, this film is able to combined genres seamlessly, so expect a lot of drama and character development from this point on. Sure, there is a shootout for the ages at the end, but without knowing who these characters are, there just would not be any emotion at all.

The characters here are some of the greatest to ever grace the screen, and something which really helps build them are the dramatic intros each person has. When you first see Leon (played by the great French action star Jean Reno, who has really been able to break the typecast and has become a very versatile actor since this) you actually don't see him. He cleans up a mafia stronghold so quickly, you can only catch glimpse of him. You can see the glint of his sunglasses or the woosh of his jacket as he flies by, but the opening scene is all about what you can't see. It just shows how good he is at his job.

Then there is Mathilda, sitting at the top of her apartment staircase. You can hear her father yelling in the background, and the camera slowly pans around here revealing several bruises and the cigarette she is holding. She begins as a very troubled and hopeless youth, but she visibly grows stronger as the film progresses. Writer/director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, the Fifth Element) actually wanted a slightly older actress, but Portman channeled her black swan and blew him away at auditions.

Then there is her family's murderer Stan, played by none other than Gary Oldman. In my Top Ten Actors Who Should Play Osama Bin Laden list, I mention Oldman is the greatest on-screen villain of all time, and this role is his tour de force. He plays the worst kind of drug dealer: the one who is also a cop. Like Leon, you don't actually see him at first. He spends his entire first scene with his back to the camera. But when you do see him, he is laughing, snorting coke, and having a great time killing. Leon doesn't like killing people, it's only his job. But Stan enjoys it. Some critics said Oldman overacted too much, but this must have been their first Oldman movie. It's not even in his overacting top ten.    

Finally, there's Danny Aiello who plays a mafia bookie. You may remember him from... what's that movie called... oh yeah, every mafia movie ever, as the bookie.

This movie may be sandwiched between two amazing action scenes, but it is all about meeting and growing with the characters in between then. You will grow to cheer for Leon, to hate Stan, and to understand the relationship Mathilda and Leon share. Yeah, the movie got into a little trouble because it almost kinda somewhat implied that Mathilda and Leon perhaps maybe possibly have sex. Although, if you pay attention, she sees Leon more as a father than anything else.

There are two great moments at the end which I'll do by best to practically spoil for you. The final shootout ends with a bang, in my opinion the greatest moment ever in an action movie. You'll see. And you know this had a good director when the ending makes you cry manly tears...over a plant.

Go see this if you haven't. If you have, see it again. It's in my top ten favorite movies.            

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pirates of the Cariwhaten?

My computer died on my TWICE today, and I'm all ready to chuck it through the window. Yeah, I hope it's reading this too. Anyway, short post today.

So Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides is coming out soon. A couple of things. First, I'm really surprised they didn't take the route of Fast and the Furious and Final Destination, and name the fourth installment "The Pirates of the Caribbean", with no subtitle. Second, while this began as a trainwreck, it is looking better with each new trailer. And third, I've been noticing this ever since Dead Man's Chest, the previews refer to these movies simply as "Pirates".

Now there are two possible reasons for this. Remember, Disney is smart. Long and complicated titles tend to go over people's head. The attention span of today's youth is very small, (I'm probably already in TL:DR territory here). So they figured Pirates was easier to remember.

The other possibility is, Caribbean is a complicated word. How people pronounce it is split nearly 50/50 on the dot. Is it Care-a-bee-in, or is it Car-rib-bee-in? I'm sure there is a few people out there who would even say it Car-a-bean. If that trailer comes on and says it the wrong way, it just alienated half its fanbase. Remember, Disney is smart.

TL:DR - How do YOU pronounce Caribbean?

BTW, that crazy picture is of the Great Blue Hole. Its in Belize and it is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the Care-a-bee-in.

Dark Tower Cancelled?

Sorry I wasn't here yesterday. I didn't get a chance to report news so unsurprising that even Ray Charles saw it coming.

Universal/Comcast have put a temporarily hold on the Dark Tower movies and TV shows due to budget concerns. I'm sure there are some people upset - probably 30 at most - but this is not bad news whatsoever.

For those who don't know, the Dark Tower is Stephen King's seven novel, 3900 page, 22 years in the making magnum opus. And it was going to be made into a trilogy (with two oddly separate TV series), directed by Ron Howard. Remember the last novel Opie made into a film, The Da Vinci Code? It is widely hailed as one of the best comedies in years.

I don't believe anything is unfilmable. Some things are just much harder to film that others. Hollywood was not approaching this right. They had ambitious long term plans, but had no means of attack. They just assumed they could get the big names, and everything else would fall into place. This movie existed solely as a thought in a couple of executives' heads.

Harry Potter was made one film at a time. Lord of the Rings was shot as one big movie, with plans to edit it into three. Lucas always had plans for Star Wars. The Dark Tower, it's just all over the place.

The best plan would be to make this into a (single) TV series. TV shows are bigger and better than ever. A lot of shows are even better quality than movies. Thanks to the DVD boxset and Tivo and iTunes and what not, people can actually follow deep shows even if they miss the original broadcast. HBO's Game of Thrones (another thousand page epic)  is the biggest show right now, drawing in over 4 million viewers a week and tons of critical acclaim. HBO could do the Dark Tower right. Or maybe Showtime or Starz could pick it up as a nice rival. And it isn't just the big pay stations that know what they are doing anymore. FX and AMC have some amazing, award winning shows. Now just imagine how big of a one-two punch AMC would have on their hands if they showed The Walking Dead and Stephen King together.

As big as Mr. King is, he isn't exactly guaranteed money. The Shawshank Redemption, the highest rated movie in IMDB history, finished 9th its opening weekend and struggled to make back its budget. Besides, his movies are all over the place. He's provided material for some of the best movies ever (Shawshank, Stand By Me, Misery), some of the worse movies ever (Sleepwalkers, Graveyard Shift, Firestarter), movies he completely hates (Stanley Kubrick's The Shining), and movies that inexplicably fall into all three categories (King's directorial debut Maximum Overdrive). To top it off, The Dark Tower is not exactly accessible to the masses. This movie could easily go wrong, and possibly bankrupt a studio.

I wouldn't mind watching a Dark Tower movie. I rather be watching a Dark Tower TV series. I would just be confused if I watched both of them at the same time. But one thing I know for sure, none of us will be watching anything Dark Tower related for a long time.

And hey what do you know. Tee Fury has a pretty cool Dark Tower related T-Shirt on sale today (and today only. Get it before 12 o'clock US Eastern time)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thor ... A Flop?

The day was indeed a good one for Loki the Trickster

Thor finished the weekend number one at the box office, earning $66 million on 4000 screens. I'm sure many people will look at that number and say how can that be bad. And yes, there is no need to panic just yet. However, this is not at all a good sign for this great movie, nor is it for the future of comic movies in general.

First off, 5 Fast 5 Furious was number two at $32 million. In its opening weekend, it made $83 million, and it made another $30 mil during the week already putting it at $140 million. At this rate, Thor will struggle to make that by its third weekend. Also, Something Broom and Jumping the Borrowed each made $13 million for some unknown reason. It is a sad world.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thor mini-Review: Best Fantasy Movie Ever

Thor is astonishing. Plain and simple.

The first thing people are doing are comparing it to Iron Man and the other cape movies. That's quite the hard task, because Thor is not a super hero movie, it is a fantasy movie. And that is not a bad thing whatsoever.

Asgard is unbelievable. I have never seen a fantasy setting anywhere close on film. Not Avatar, not Lord of the Rings, not Star Wars, not even concept art. The place is other-worldly, and you'll spend the first few minutes trying to pick your jaw off the floor. As I was watching this, I was terrified that once the movie shifts to Earth, it just wouldn't be the same.

That's mostly true, but not always in a bad way. The Earth scenes are very funny. Basically, the movie becomes Viking in a small town (I was trying to think of a similar movie, and the only one coming to mind was Pauly Shore's Encino Man. I'm not sure how comparing those two makes me feel). I can't say if the humor will hold up over repeated viewings. The story does begin to drag long into the Earth part, but Chris Hemsworth does keep it enjoyable throughout.

With that in mind, Hemsworth will be a huge actor someday. The bad news, he'll mainly be in romantic comedies. He is built to play any action role he wanted, but he has the range, the charm, and the Aussieness to fit better in the cheaper and easier to make rom-coms. He is a former soap opera star anyway. The Avengers will take up most of his action film time, and other than that I can only picture him in movies I don't want to see. He's taking the Gerald Butler route.

As great as he is as Thor, Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki just about outshines him. In the comics, the God of Mischief is basically Marvel's answer to the Joker. In film, though, he plays a soft-spoken, conflicted, tragic-villain. People who aren't familiar may even think he is a good guy in the film, meaning I just spoiled it for all of them. Loki, in both Thor and in true mythology, was all about confusing his enemies, so it only makes sense that he confuses the audience, too.        

My only true compliant may be a consequence of my hype. During the SHIELD raid, you are introduced to spoiler, easily one of my favorite comic characters. That entire scene is just done poorly. The middle of the scene is definitely played up, but the initial introduction to him is thrown together very fast. If a die-hard fan like me has trouble catching it, it is going to fly completely over the head of the average viewer. And then, the character goes away without doing anything.

Still, the movie is a must see. I am still blown away by how impressive Asgard is. That's visual effects at its finest. So go out and see Thor, because it truly is better than Iron Man and the other cape movies.

Also, this is the best Stan Lee cameo.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Opening This Weekend: Thooooooooooor!

Thor - If you aren't excited for this movie, you really need to check your pulse. The latest film based on a Marvel hero is about a god from... Wait a minute, did they copy off the Social Network poster?

 Possibly. All I know is Chris Hemsworth and Jessie Eisenberg both have huge noses.

Something Borrowed - The plot was for sure borrowed.
Jumping the Broom - Isn't there already a Tyler Perry movie in theaters?

If you see either of these movies instead of Thor, I'm going to have to kindly ask you to leave my blog.

Hobo With a Shotgun - I have no idea what the plot of this is. It's the second fake trailer from Grindhouse to be made into a full length film, after Machete. If they will only make Werewolf Woman of the SS.  This has been out in certain cities for awhile, and has long been leaked onto the internet. But for whatever reason, I still haven't seen it.

Passion Play - Megan Fox, Mickey Rourke, and Bill Murray star in what is being considered one of the worst movies of all time. This is actually coming to DVD just weeks after it hits theaters.

The Beaver - This movie has taken on epic portions. It's about a guy who brings a beaver puppet everywhere to help him out in his family life. The script has existed for years, and it has been voted twice as the best movie not yet made. But people deemed it unfilmable. Well they finally found the perfect director in... Jodie Foster?  If that isn't enough to get you interested, did I mention Mel Gibson plays the beaver guy? Art really does imitate life. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Movies You Should See (But Probably Haven't): Cemetery Man

Take the unsettling weirdness of David Lynch, the black humor of the Coen Brothers, the surrealist nature of Dario Argento, some slapstick and grossness of Sam Rami, and add in a touch of Groundhog Day, and you have Cemetery Man.

This 1994 Italian horror movie (original name Dellamorte Dellamore, literally Of Death, Of Love) is amazing, beautiful, and just plain weird.

This is semi-based on the paranormal comic book Dylan Dog, with the screenplay by the same writer. The main character Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett) is an alter-ego of Dylan Dog, and not actually him. Although, there are a ton a similarities, nonetheless the appearance of the main characters (the original drawings of Dylan Dog are actually modeled after Everett). A new, allegedly horrible, Dylan Dog movie was just released in the states, so this may interest you if you saw that. Of course, nobody saw it, as it opened at #16 at the box office.

Anyway, Dellamorte is a depressing hopeless romantic who works at a cemetery alongside his fat and mentally handicapped sidekick Gnaghi. Recently, the dead have been coming back to life, seven days after they are buried. Dellamorte can't tell anyone, because he'll be out of the only job he is good at. So he kills the zombies routinely every night.

He eventually falls in love with a grieving widow. They have a great relationship, but then she dies, and it is over. Or is it? As others have found out, this cemetery gives people a second chance at love.

This film's greatest strength is how beautiful it is. So much attention goes into every shot, and there are plenty of unique and foreboding camera angles. This is easily some of the best cinematography I've ever seen, and I've seen Children of Men.

The story changes speed on a whim. One minute, he is killing Boy Scout zombies, and the next he is pondering existence.

One thing I always appreciate in a movie is when you can view it different ways and get something different out of it. Not counting the ending, you can watch this as a pure zombie movie, or you can interpret it as an allegory of life and death. Both are here, and much more. It is an unbelievably deep film, without being over pretentious. And no matter how you view it, the ending will confuse you regardless. It is as ambiguous as you get.

Everett (best known for the Shreks and My Best Friend's Wedding. What?) is great as the lead. He can dispatch zombies without even thinking, which is good because whenever he starts thinking he gets into quite the melancholy mood. My favorite quote from him: "I'd give my life to be dead right now". He pulls off the isolated and tormented soul to perfection, as his character is very quickly driven to madness.

The supporting cast are all ripped straight from a Coen Brothers film. Everyone is weird in their own little way, and completely displaced from the world around them. One of the better representations of Death eventually shows up, and he asks Dellamorte why kill the dead when it is so much easier to kill the living. This should give you an idea how the last act plays out.

This is a brilliant and beautiful movie. I'm sure the talks of existentialism will turn some people off, but if you feel like you can handle it, you must give this unique film a watch or two. And if you have any interest in  filming or photography, then you have to watch this so you can really appreciate how much effort went into the actual filming. Regardless of how you view it, have fun trying to explain the ending.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stars Wars is Coming to Blu-Ray

Possibly the greatest quote of all time was when George Lucas said Stars Wars can not be converted to Blu-Ray, because "they are too old". Just think of that for a bit while I watch Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind in high-def.

Well the good news (besides me already having 50 followers. Thanks guys.) is the complete Star Wars collection is finally coming to Blu-Ray in a massive 9-disc set on September 12. The bad news, this will contain only the "special editions" of the original trilogy. This news seems to shock some people, but I've come to expect disappointment by now.

When Terrorist aren't getting killed, this blog is going to focus on comparing sequels and such. But I will stay away from Star Wars simply because everything possible has already been said. The originals >>> the prequels. That is a fact at this point.  

Anyway, let's look at the bright side. Six of the discs each have a movie and commentary. The late director of ESB, Irvin Kershner, was able to provide (presumably) new commentary, and Carrie Fisher is the only actor to add her input. Two of the discs feature tons of deleted scenes for each trilogy, some of them brand new and some have been locked in the archives for 30 years. The last disc, and possibly the best looking one, has several documentaries. There's one for each of the original movies, each untouched from 77-83. There's a brand new Talk with the Masters, featuring Lucas, Kershner, writer Kasdan, and John Williams. One is based just on Star Wars Universe tech, one just on fandom, one just one spoofs, and one just on...Dewbacks.

Just some helpful links:

Here is Wikipedia explaining the differences between each film revision.

Here is the first part of Mr. Plinkett's incredibly well done, incredibly funny, incredibly raunchy, and incredibly long  (Episode 1, the shortest one, is 70 minutes) reviews of the prequel trilogy.  Well worth the time.

And Here is the first part of Star Wars Begins by Jambe Davdar. It is an incredibly impressive fan commentary of the original trilogy that takes the entirety of the movie, and splices in archive scenes, raw footage, interviews, and other stuff. It's very informative and also well worth your time.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New to VHS: May 3rd 2011

It's Tuesday, so that means all the new VHS releases are hitting the stores today. So run down to your local Suncoast or Circuit City to pick these up. Kevin James is excited. Why aren't you.

The Green Hornet - I still haven't seen this but that will change soon as I hit Redbox on the way home. I thought it looked pretty good, and a serious Kato opposite of a goofy Hornet is more true to the series's roots. The general opinion is this film is pretty good, not great, and the 45% at Rotten Tomatoes just about confirms that. What do you think?

The Dilemma - I actually like Kevin James, but do I hate Vince Vaughan. The movie is rounded out by an interesting cast -- Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah --  to say the least. I never would have guessed this is directed by Ron Howard. I would also never guess this is any good. It's a bromance (worst term ever) between two people who love Chicago, and they are filmed just doing normal everyday things that the actors do in real life. Sounds thrilling. The NHL has a great track record of getting behind horrible films (see The Tooth Fairy and the Love Guru).

From Dusk Till Dawn - Vampires, Mexicans, strippers, and Cheech Martin in three different roles. It's one of my personal favorites, now on Blu-Ray. It looks like a bare-bones release, but at $10 on Amazon it's a great time to check it out if you haven't before. Besides, it stars two of my top ten actors who should play Osama. Hmmm? "Also Available in VHS Tape 109 used & new from $0.01". Now that's a deal.

Kung-Fu Dunk - An interesting looking Chinese movie in the same vein as the great Shaolin Soccer. It stars Jay Chou aka Kato. Surely this being released alongside the Green Hornet is mere coincidence.

Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula - At first I brushed this aside, but then I saw it stars Tiffany Shepis, the reigning Queen of B-Movies. She alone is worth it. I do have to give the creators originally points for this title.

But Who Will Play Obama?

Yesterday's Top Ten list of people who should play Osama got a huge response. Thank you, but commenter pixel has a good point (He also has a pretty good looking blog. Check it out.), who will play Obama?

Now, Will Smith is the obvious answer. Obama even said so himself because, and I'm not making this up, "he already has the ears". A few more pieces will fall into place because Smith's wife and two daughters (that is a girl in Karate Kid, right?) round out the First Family almost perfectly.

However, I'm a fan of making movies on a budget. Will Smith brings along quite the hefty price tag. Besides, this movie is going to be all about Osama, so Obama can't over shadow him that much.

So a cheaper, and arguably better, alternate to Will Smith playing Obama is...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden is DEAD!

Osama bin Laden is dead!!! Sure, it may be a year or two or ten too late, but we finally got him. We can all sleep well now knowing that terrorist is finished and peace will reign forever.

Maybe now that he is gone, Hollywood will feel safe to exploit him in films. So if that's the case, here's the top ten actors who should play Osama.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Box Office Round Up: Fastest Fast Yet

Just a quickie today, and probably all this week. Yay Finals.

Fast Five was number one at the box office. No surprise there, but its gross is shocking. $83.6 million! That's $12M more than the previous best for the franchise, and a sure sign that 6 Fast 6 Furious is right around the corner. I would imagine speeding related deaths was also on the rise this weekend.

Unimaginative CGI throw-together #173452, also known as Rio, held on to second with a mere $14.4 million. That is about a SEVENTY-MILLION dollar drop out between first and second, which just has to be a record.

Rio is last week's news however (EDIT: make that two weeks ago), and it wasn't a good week for the rest of the new releases.

Prom was fifth with $5 million, 63% of its budget, while Hoodwinked 2 was sixth with $4 million, or 13% of its budget. And bringing up the pack is Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. While only on 875 screens (Fast Five was on 3600), Dylan Dog made a sad $885,000 -- good enough for 16th on the weekend. It definitely had a few dead nights.