Four Summers, Four Right Picks

Sorry I was gone for so long, though I’m sure no one shed a tear. That leaves plenty to catch up on:

congrats. this is probably the highlight of your career.

congrats. this is probably the highlight of your career.

I just had a great vacation, one of my best, most relaxing ever. Yet one of the happiest, most satisfying moments of the vacation came Sunday when I found out the official PopRox box office bomb of the summer pick has been correct for a fourth year in a row. Following up my correct picks of Evan Almighty (2007), Love Guru (2008) and Land of the Lost (2009), back in April I anointed Jonah Hex as my pick for this year. It had everything bomb-worthy going for it. Bad vibes during shooting last year, reshootingat the end of the summer, stars withshady box office track records, a very little known comic book hero — it had disaster written all over it. It was such a slam dunk I almost felt bad picking it. Now comes the gloating part: I’m smart. OK, I’m done. If you’re a Jonah Hex fan disappointed with how bad the movie was, you can take solace in one thing — it could spell the end of Megan Fox’s career. Or at least her long-anticipated springboard to Skinemax, which is probably where she should have been in the first place. Within three years, she’s looking at the lead role opposite Michael Madsen in some second-rate direct-to-DVD disaster. And she’ll be lucky to have it.

The contrast was startling this weekend — Toy Story 3 had the 10th biggest opening weekend ever and the biggest June opening ever, even though it was only the third biggest opening of the year. Pixar is just unstoppable.

Some dads spend their Fathers Day doing nothing. Others cut the grass. Some more request their grown kids to watch a late-80s western miniseries (not saying who). Apparently some wannabe celebrities spend it right here. Well, right here in a general sense since we don’t know exactly where Jon Gosselin spent his Fathers Day weekend, only that he was in the Poconos with the kids. So if there are any spies out there who know where Gosselin was, be a snitch and rat him out to me if you feel like it.

anyone follows us, i'

anyone follows us, i'll kill myself, then her!

Definitely disappointed at the blah reviews coming out for Knight and Day since its sneak preview last weekend. I’ve made it pretty clear its trailer was my favorite of the summer, and my brother and I were quoting it all week on vacation (With me, without me, with me, without me … I’m the guy … I don’t think Rodney’s the guy for you). When you’re quoting the trailer, that means it’s good. But what seems like an action movie with heart and wit turns out to be just another silly summer blockbuster.

Not all trailers can be home runs, and it looks like Seth Rogen’s run of amazing luck may finally be running out. He’s been on a ridiculously good streak since 40-Year-Old Virgin. Even in the stuff that didn’t make any money — Zack and Miri, Observe and Report — he managed to somehow keep his street cred, his bank-ability and his mainstream appeal. Not quite sure how that happened, or if it’s ever happened before. If it has, it’s a pretty exclusive club of guys like Tom Cruise, George Clooney, guys of that ilk. But the Green Hornet trailer just looks terrible. Rogen looks out of place trying to beat people up, the Kato character is unintelligible and Cameron Diaz — one of the most bankable actresses on the planet — is a throwaway. None of it looks even remotely interesting even though I was pretty intrigued by the idea when I heard about it a couple years ago. It’s been moved out of the summer season, then out of the Christmas season, and now it’s a January release where the dregs of the movie world are stashed. Not a good sign.

Hey, at least it’s not as bad as the first teaser trailer for the Smurfs movie next summer. When you hear Ton Loc’s Wild Thing in any trailer, the best advice I can give you is run — don’t walk, run — the other way in horror and fear and never look back.

This is hardly even news because at this point, just about every main Marvel character has been introduced in some way — or is being planned to be introduced — in a movie. At this point, you’re talking about niche or cult characters if you haven’t seen your favorite Marvel comic book hero introduced. That was part of the problem with Jonah Hex — most people had no clue it was a comic book character. Here’s a pretty good list of the most popular Marvel characters (scroll past DC) -- each one of the top 21 has either been in or is going to be in a movie within the next two years. A bunch more after that have already been in movies too. Once you get by that top 20, you’re talking about heroes/villains that are pretty invisible to the mainstream and probably don’t deserve their own movie. So stealing from the 40s and giving them 10-minute short films at the opening of the bigger movies is probably just about right.

and you are ...

and you are ...

For me, Dr. Strange is on the fringe of that 10-minute film or a potential blockbuster. It certainly doesn’t excite me, and I’m not blocking out summer 2013 for it or anything. Which kind of makes me wonder why Disney made this deal in the first place. It’s almost like they weren’t even buying Marvel for the short term since all the good characters are gone, either property of another studio (X-Men and Fantastic Four at Fox, Spider-Man at Sony) or already have been done. It seems like Disney made the deal for like 2050, when all the good comic properties they still own would be ripe for remakes and reboots. But the way Hollywood is trending these days, those remakes could be around by 2020 at this point.

Still moving a little slowly post-vacation, but there will be more tomorrow, including reviews of some of the new TV shows of the last couple weeks. That includes tonight’s entry, the new Jason Lee show Memphis Beat. Can’t tell if I’m looking forward to it or not yet.

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