Let’s clean out the bookmarks today, so some of this might be a tad old, but it’s stuff I’ve been meaning to get to:
There it is! It’s in there! Someone finally did it! Someone from Warner Bros. finally came out and blamed the Colorado movie theater shooting tragedy for less-than-expected box office results for Dark Knight Rises! It was only a matter of time. So, three weeks? That’s the amount of time it took us to get over it? This Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., guy should be fired yesterday, but people aren’t even going to notice. The collective ADD of this country is astounding. Anyway, the Bourne franchise looks like it will be just fine, thanks. $40.3 million is no $69 million, like how The Bourne Ultimatum opened in 2007, but there had to be some expected drop-off without Matt Damon. That opening sounds just about right. Nothing to do back flips over, but enough for everyone involved at the studio to keep their jobs. Same goes for The Campaign. Ho hum $27.4 million, which barely makes Will Ferrell’s top 10 opening weekend list, but for some reason, this movie never seemed like it had a chance. Maybe I’m dreaming about that, but I was much happier watching Step Brothers on FX last night than taking a chance on The Campaign. That’s probably not going to be the lead quote on the movie poster. “Probably not as good as a 24th viewing of Step Brothers!” –Mike Sadowski
How old was too old to enjoy the Spice Girls in 1997? I was 21, graduating college and starting a job. That was probably too old, right? My wife said she was a senior in high school and dug them and hated them at the same time, and that probably sounds a little more like the age for enjoying the Spice Girls. I guess. But I can honestly remember very early on seeing the video for Wannabe and thinking “Oh sh!t. This is about to blow up and I’m going to be thoroughly annoyed.” We were finally coming off the Macarena, so we wanted a break from crappy music. Instead, we got The Spice Girls. That all being said, Sporty was always my favorite and she looked like death at the closing ceremonies last night. The funniest thing about the video today is NBC’s description of it: The Spice Girls perform their hit songs Wannabe and Spice Up Your Life while singing on top of taxi cabs driving around Olympic Stadium. Did you ever think you’d read that sentence and have it be true?
The Ben Affleck-Justice League thing is baffling. Last week he was the first person to be offered the director’s chair for what would be something of a cataclysmic movie, quite possibly bringing forth the end of the world. Seriously. People will lose their poop over this movie if it was ever going to happen. But why Affleck when he ALREADY TURNED DOWN SUPERMAN. It reeks of desperation. Warner Bros. looks like the rich, overprivledged but dorky kid in high school who keeps asking out the head cheerleader, only to get turned down every time, and each time with greater enthusiasm. “How come she keeps saying no? My mommy says I’m the most handsome boy in town! Maybe if I ask her to prom, it will be different …” Who knows, maybe Affleck is in a different spot right now and is looking to do something like this, and Warner Bros. knows it. But if he turns them down again, they’re going to look pretty dumb. He hasn’t turned them down yet, which is probably a good thing for Warners, because it at least looks like he’s considering it.
Loving the Days of Future Past turn for the X-Men sequel. It’s probably my favorite X-Men storyline, along with the Phoenix, so I’m on board 100 percent. Even though I didn’t much care for the first (fourth?) movie. I’m sure they’re not going to stick completely to the comic, but it’s a good place to start and opens up a world of possibilities.
There’s no doubt Marvel is the industry leader when it comes to studios making comic book movies. We can all agree on that, right? Right. But would that be the case if it was the only studio putting out comic book movies? We need the competition to keep everyone honest, don’t we? Fox has screwed up its share of Marvel characters, none worse than Fantastic Four and Daredevil. But if Marvel were to get a bunch of its characters back from Fox, aren’t we setting up Marvel to get lazy and just throw out movies because they can? Let’s be real clear — they have showed only minimal signs of that up to this point, and it seems like they have a desire to make sure it doesn’t happen. Which is great. But if they got back Daredevil, Silver Surfer or even Fantastic Four from Fox, then figured out some shady, backroom way to steal X-Men back, then temporarily blinded everyone at Sony with some kind of Disney-manufactured mind-control device to steal back Spider-Man, Marvel would become the biggest movie studio in Hollywood. I think I’d rather keep the level of competition there is now. On the other hand, Fox may have no plans at all to do anything with Silver Surfer, and if we want to see a Silver Surfer movie (I do! I do! I do!), then maybe it has to get back to Marvel somehow.
I see it, I see it. I see the still pics, I see the tweets, I see it all that production is underway on the new episodes of Arrested Development. I see it, OK? I’m just still not convinced I’ll ever see these episodes though. Like, there’s going to be some kind of earthquake on the last day of shooting and they’ll lose all the footage. Or maybe I’m just trying keep myself from getting too excited about the possibility that new Arrested Development episodes really, really, really might happen. Know what my favorite part of this picture is? Ders from Workaholics is in the shot. Doesn’t that say something about my overall readiness for more original Arrested Development episodes? That I’m more interested in a small role for a little-known comic than I am for the return of one of the funniest TV shows ever made? It probably says something.
Don’t worry, you’re not seeing things. That is Chris Hemsworth, even though he looks about five years younger than he does now. Know why? BECAUSE THIS MOVIE WAS FILMED FOUR YEARS AGO!!! It’s been done forever, just sitting on the shelf for God knows what reason. I figure we’ll find out right about the time half the audience gets up and walks out on opening night when someone invokes the sacred name of C. Thomas Howell. I completely get why they would want to remake Red Dawn. But doesn’t this trailer kinda ruin the spirit of the original? The reason it worked is because the kids were remarkably average, but they came together to take down a bunch of commies. USA! USA! USA! So Patrick Swayze was a hunter. Big woop. It still takes a big leap of faith to believe him then as the leader of a band of about seven high school kids who can wipe out the Soviet army. But we did believe it because Swayze was in his Swayze zone of 1983-90 (Outsiders, Red Dawn, Youngblood, Dirty Dancing, Road House, Ghost) that we all enjoyed. How far do we really have to connect the dots to get from a Marine to the rebel leader guy? Doesn’t that just make this a blow-it-up army movie? And doesn’t it work better if the kids are all in high school? I know the definition of “kid” gets stretched these days, but c’mon! When you’re a Marine, you’re not a kid anymore. This trailer does absolutely nothing for me. And I think if I saw it on the street, I’d punch it in the head. TRAILER GRADE: D
In case it hasn’t been clear lo these many years, I hated Knocked Up. It’s probably the most infuriating movie for me to think about post-viewing because it has two of the most ridiculous plots I’ve ever seen. 1. That a bunch of 25-year-old guys who were self-declared porn freaks had never heard of Mr. Skin. 2. That a man in 2007 had to sneak around and lie to go to a fantasy baseball draft, which, I’m told, only happens once a year. Then it has all my usual Judd Apatow bugaboos. 45 minutes too long, contrived love story that ultimately leaves you unsatisfied, comedy that isn’t really funny, etc., etc. So why do I find myself being drawn to This is 40 from the trailer? It’s the “sort of sequel” to Knocked Up, a movie I didn’t like. It has Leslie Mann’s character from Knocked Up, who I hated more than I hated the movie itself. That’s hard to do. It’s still Apatow, which immediately makes me yawn. And yet, I laughed a couple times during the trailer, which immediately upgrades its prospects from, “Not even on a Sunday afternoon on Comedy Central” to “If I can’t make a Redbox decision.” Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s actually a big leap. The trailer gets to the heart of why we go to movies in the first place. We want to see other people worse off than we are, and we want to see them solve those problems so we feel like there’s hope for us. Looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen here, and as long as you know that going in and are willing to accept it and just enjoy the ride, this looks like a decent way to spend 2 hours and 45 minutes. Just kidding. It’s probably only 2 hours and easily cuttable to 90 minutes. TRAILER GRADE: B