Learning About Movies, Mad Men and the Emmys

Even though the movies blew, there was a lot to be learned this weekend at the box office, stuff we and every Hollywood studio should already have known, but apparently needed convincing:

gotta give action to get action

gotta give action to get action

Buddy Ackerman would be proud, because “male macho bullsh!t” wins out again. Sylvester Stallone took a cheesy idea, one that could easily have gone straight to DVD, and turned it into a back-to-back #1 movie of the weekend. That just shouldn’t happen, but when you’re opening the second weekend against the weakest crop of summer releases in years, you certainly stand a chance. Perfect marketing by everyone involved with the movie for arranging a perfect opening date. That’s how it’s done. Same for Vampires Suck, which in my own minor research over the weekend, found that people actually did want to see. Astounding.

–How it’s not done? Piranha 3-D. From about the end of July to mid-August, we were fed trailers and TV spots of blood, gore and sheer horror, getting a certain audience of people all riled up for the show. But for about the last week, things changed and we were told — mainly by the stars themselves — about how “fun” and “campy” the movie was, which turned on an entirely different audience (like me) far too late and made that initial horror audience — the one that owns the regular and Blu-ray versions of the entire Final Destination franchise — tune out. So of the two potential audiences, one knew about it too late, the other knew about it and decided it wasn’t for them.

who said that? was that my career? where are you, career?

who said that? was that my career? where are you, career?

Jennifer Aniston’s career should be pretty close to over. She was given a reprieve with Marley and Me, but it’s been a good, long while since she’s done anything that made a cultural dent. No, Bounty Hunter doesn’t count. Don’t think she doesn’t see the end in sight either, since she’s now up for stunt guest casting. She tells her good friend courtney Cox to shove it up her butt if The Switch made $30 million last weekend. The failure of The Switch also opens the door for Jason Bateman to get shut out from any other big projects until he makes the Arrested Development movie and then takes over as the next boss of Dunder Mifflin.

–No one wanted a Nanny McPhee sequel. I kinda thought was a given, but apparently not. People especially don’t want it in the summer.

Instant Mad Men classic last night (spoilers coming if you haven’t seen it yet, just scroll down and away from this … do it now, please). Top 10 of its four seasons, easy. Last week’s TV was a clinic on how to and not to do “awkward” with two very different results. Louie on FX did it wrong, trying to turn awkward into laughs, a nearly impossible thing to do with characters we barely know. You’ve got to be more invested in the characters before you care whether they can get themselves out of such a weird situation. Louie failed miserably and pushed me to the point of breaking up with the show. Then there is Mad Men, which doesn’t have a stranglehold on the whole awkward situation market, but it’s definitely selling more than everyone else. Mad Men started its run by shocking us into making us remember a time that now seems completely foreign. It was easy at first, almost comical, to see the wardrobes, watch businessmen drinking for most of the day and see the way women were treated in the workplace. Now it seems like those moments were only there to weed out the people who couldn’t take the sight of a pregnant woman smoking. It was a test of our boundaries. “If you were turned off by that, don’t bother sticking around for season 4. That’s when we’re going to start with our real heavy artillery.” Leftover WWII anti-Japanese sentiment, 10-year-olds that can’t deal with a divorce and start masturbating in public — it’s almost like the Mad Men writers have been watching the door of the party, looking at who’s left in the room, taking one last look around and whispering, “Are they gone?” before finally letting loose this year. It’s shocking, awkward and exciting all at the same time, and we should be shows like this are on the air.

i'm still having trouble coming to grips with the fact that this is the same lady from happy gilmore. they're like 2 different people.

i'm still having trouble coming to grips with the fact that this is the same lady from happy gilmore. they're like 2 different people.

Nothing Mad Men is doing this season counts for this year’s Emmys airing on Sunday, the season nominated for best drama is from last year. If the lesser-known creative arts Emmys are any indication, they show could be in store for another best drama win, and Modern Family could be a winner for best comedy after its freshman year. The shows won best casting in their categories, which is kinda like saying, “You guys did the best job at putting together the best people,” which to me is kinda like saying, “You’re the best.” I have no statistical proof to back this up — it just seems like it would be true. If I was betting on this, I’d be putting down money on Mad Men and Modern Family — they already were the favorites before the casting wins.

Still say there is no way they can get X-Men done for June. At least now there is a start date, a cast and apparently a script since Bryan Singer has an idea of what he wants to do and is able to spill some details. Not quite sure how they can do a First Class movie without Cyclops and Jean Grey since, you know, they were the first members of the first class in the comic, but who am I to quibble. And apparently they don’t mind jumping on anyone else’s plotline, since Wolverine gave its own off-the-comic version of how Professor X assembled the first mutants including Cyclops and Emma Frost. Maybe there will be a disclaimer at the start of the movie — “Forget everything we said in Wolverine. We didn’t mean it. Our bad. This is our mulligan, only believe this movie from here on in …

The Social Network is a movie about how Facebook started, based on the book of the same name that Facebook owners already said they hated. The movie has an incendiary director in David Fincher and a rebel-rousing writer in Aaron Sorkin. Guess which side Facebook came out on the movie? Why bother even feeding into the publicity of the movie? People sat around WAITING for the Facebook people to come out and blast this movie. It was probably even a condition of the initial movie pitch, “You’re going to make it so ridiculously fictional that Facebook will come out against it, right? … Oh sure, sure, you just wait!” So of course, Facebook plays along and blasts it, like a dog on a leash being led into the bushes to squat. For smart people at Harvard who are multi-billionaires, the Facebook people aren’t very smart. And because I just can’t get enough of this trailer …

In complete and utter seriousness, DO NOT read this story if you are depressed in any way today. If you are, it will only drag you down even further into that deep, dark place where you don’t what will be coming next. You couldn’t know what’s coming next. There. Now I can’t be held responsible for anyone that emails me to say, “I started crying, broke up with my boyfriend, packed up and moved out of the reaches of modern society because of that link.” You’ve been warned.

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