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Opening This Week (19 Aug 2011)

17 Aug

Well, I have to say that I was a bit surprised that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was the box office winner again this week with a domestic total of $27.8 million. Apes became only the second film this summer season to take home top box office honors two weeks in a row (Thor was the other back in May). Finishing in 2nd was The Help with $26.0 million, and in third, Final Destination 5 with $18.0 million. The other major releases last week finished dismally. The action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less finished in fifth with $13.3 million, and Glee 3D finished in 11th wiht $6 million. With positive word of mouth and positive reviews, I think Rise could take the box office again this weekend since there isn’t a whole lot of competition again.

Conan the Barbarian

Rated: R

Starring: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Stephen Lang

Director: Marcus Nispel

Synopsis from IMDB: The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.


Chris’ Take: I guess you could do worse for summer fare. Jason Momoa was great in Game of Thrones, but that may have been because he didn’t really talk, he just kind of stared menacingly and towered over everyone around him. I kind of lost interest in the trailer as soon as he opened his mouth. Anyway, if you’re looking for mindless action, this will definitely be your best bet this weekend. The early reviews are mixed (57% on RT), so it is difficult to say where this will land, but my guess is in the 30% range.

Fright Night

Rated: R

Starring: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, David Tennant

Director: Craig Gillespie 

Synopsis from IMDB: A teenager suspects that his new neighbor is a vampire.


Chris’ Take: The original 1985 Fright Night is one of the best horror-comedies ever. While I want to be excited about the film, especially since I think Colin Farell is a great pick as Jerry, it is hard to imagine that this film will re-capture the perfect combination of genres that the first one did. I also noticed that all the trailers are keeping Peter Vincent (David Tennant) pretty close to their chest, and he was an integral part of the original. Anyway, I will probably try to see this one and am holding on to hope that it will be decent.

One Day

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Tom Mison, Jodie Whittaker

Director: Lone Scherfig

Synopsis from IMDB: After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.


Chris’ Take: One Day looks like a mix of Friends With Benefits and A Lot Like Love, except they’ve thrown in British accents to make it seem different. However, as much as I’m not one who usually is interested in chick flicks, I do like Focus Features and I did like what director Lone Scherfig did with An Education, so I am somewhat intrigued by this film. I’ll probably put it down on the Netflix queue, but I won’t watch it alone, I will have to put it under the pretext of “date night in”.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

Rated: PG

Starring: Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Alexa Vega

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Synopsis from IMDB: A retired spy is called back into action, and to bond with her new step-children, she invites them along for the adventure to stop the evil Timekeeper from taking over the world.


Chris’ Take: I can’t say I’ve seen any of the Spy Kids films, but I still have no desire to. The 4D Aromascope really sounds like a cheap gimmick. I read an article on it and it is just scratch and sniff. Yup, they give viewers a card of different scents and when you are prompted on the screen, you are supposed to scratch the appropriate one. I wonder if they will charge extra for that…..

Limited Releases

The Last Circus

Rated: R

Starring: Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre, Carolina Bang

Director: Alex de la Iglesia

Synopsis from RT: 1937, Spain is in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War. A “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by a militia. Still in his costume, he is handed a machete and led into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. Fast forward to 1973, the tail end of the Franco regime. Javier, the son of the clown, dreams of following in his father’s career footsteps.

Trailer (Caution: Red Band Trailer-disturbing content):

Chris’ Take: Wow, this trailer did nothing to help me get over the fear of clowns that I developed after watching It and Poltergeist, but for different reasons. This is a mix of comedy and disturbing drama and is receiving great reviews (90% on RT). The trailer alone is unsettling and unforgiving. Anyway, this is probably something that I will have to be in the right mood for, but I am definitely interested.

Griff the Invisible

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody, Marshall Napier, Heather Mitchell

Director: Leon Ford

Synopsis from IMDB: Griff, office worker by day, superhero by night, has his world turned upside down when he meets Melody, a beautiful young scientist who shares his passion for the impossible.


Chris’ Take: It looks like this is trying to be a deeper look at the Spider-Man and pretty much any other superhero love story. I don’t know how I feel about it. The reviews are positive (83% on RT) which makes me want to give it a chance, but I am growing tired of superhero and superhero knock off stories.


Rated: Unrated

Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Mekhi Phifer, Ashley Judd, Tim Blake Nelson

Director: Rob Minkoff

Synopsis from IMDB: A man caught in the middle of two simultaneous robberies at the same bank desperately tries to protect the teller with whom he’s secretly in love.


Chris’ Take: The trailer makes this film look very entertaining, I like pretty much everyone in the cast, especially Tim Blake Nelson and Pruitt Taylor Vince, but the reviews are kind of vexing (25% on RT). So, I might add this to Netflix, but apparently there is a good chance that it won’t be good, although the reviews aren’t the final say.


Trailer Time: John Carter, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and The Thing

14 Jul

There is a lot we’ve yet to post this week and will be coming to you soon (New to Blu Ray, 2 Take Two’s, and a WFR), we promise.  However, I thought that this took precedent as a lot of new trailers have been released on the internet, one making quite a buzz.  Here’s a look:

John Carter

I’m not too familiar with the series of novels from which this film is derived, but there have been a lot of people petitioning for this film in one way or another for about 8o years.  There seem to be a lot of elements from other films and stories including: The Book of Eli, Prince of Persia, and Avatar.  The director/writer, Andrew Stanton has had a pretty succesful run of animated films for Disney/Pixar so it will be interesting to see if he can translate that success to live action.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows 

I’ve been waiting for Guy Ritchie’s follow up to 2009’s Sherlock Holmes since I first saw it in theaters and we finally get a first look here.  In fact, I look forward to anything Guy Ritchie directs.  Though Daniel Day Lewis won’t be appearing as Professor Moriarty as originally rumored, Jared Harris seems suitable as an alternative, and the cast still remains stellar.  One face that is featured prominently in the trailer is Noomi Rapace, who seems to be making her breakout in America with Sherlock Holmes and Prometheus after her turn as Lisbeth Salander in the Sweedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its 2 sequels (Rooney Mara will play the same role in David Fincher’s American version later this year).

The Thing

The prequel to arguably the greatest horror movie ever made (though I’d argue against it, but not strongly), 2011’s The Thing chronicles the expidition of the Norwegian team that’s heavily referenced in John Carpenter’s 1981 film of the same name.  It appears from the trailer that they stayed true to Carpenter’s version and made sure the details of this film matched the references from his film.  One subtle not I noticed from the trailer, they even made sure to keep the old school flamethrowers that Carpenter featured. Even though it’s sure to be heavier on the blood and gore to appease the new generation, this film looks like it could be a worthy successor to the original.


If you haven’t heard by now, the first teaser for the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises will preview prior to screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  So far only bootlegged versions of the teaser are on the net and the quality of them are poor, so I won’t include it here.  Nothing about the plot of the film is revealed the teaser but it does include brief glimpses of Bane, Selina Kyle, and Commisioner Gordan in the hospital. 

Opening this Week (08 July, 2011)

7 Jul

The holiday weekend proved to be a monster success for Transformers: Dark of the Moon with the film earning over $100 million domestically ($116M) and $416M globally through the 4th of July.  Last week’s other wide releases didn’t fare so well.  Larry Crowne bombed at the box office, finishing fourth behind Cars 2 (31.6M) and Bad Teacher (17.3M), both in their second week.  Monte Carlo (8.59M) was sixth at the box office behind Super 8 (9.3M).  Even with an expected significant drop off from this week’s total, I don’t expect Transformers to fall from the number one spot.

The Zookeeper

Rated: PG

Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb

Director: Frank Coraci

Synopsis from IMDB: A group of zoo animals decide to break their code of silence in order to help their lovable zookeeper (Kevin James) find love — without opting to leave his current job for something more illustrious. woman.


Chris’ Take: I expect come award season in February, this film will be nominated for more Razzie’s than any other, that is unless Twilight: Breaking Dawn pt. 1 can top it.  The jokes and videos circulating the internet about this film are probably all funnier than the actual film itself, and I wonder if the billable stars in this film are aware of the mockery,  James especially, with all the marketing he’s done for the film.  However, the sad reality of it all is that this film will probably be the highest grossing new release of the week.

Horrible Bosses

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis

Director: Seth Gordon

Synopsis from IMDB: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.


Chris’ Take: I have high hopes that Horrible Bosses will overcome the Jennifer Aniston curse and be a success.  With the three stars and a highly touted supporting cast I expect this film to be pretty funny, it helps that the trailers have done well not to give away too much either.  The early reviews for this film are strong (87% on Rotten Tomatoes) so hopefully that adequately reflects the quality of the film.

Limited Releases

Project Nim

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen and Reagan Leonard

Director: James Marsh

Synopsis from IMDB: Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.


Chris’ Take: This documentary is directed by the same guy who directed Man on Wire, one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of all time. The early reviews for this have been very positive (96% on RT). I like James Marsh’s approach of taking little snippets of history and fleshing them out so that they become something more significant in the broader scope of humanity. I’ll put this one on my Netflix when the chance comes.

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Rated: R

Starring: Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Director: Michael Rapaport

Synopsis from IMDB: Having forged a 20-year run as one of the most innovative and influential hip hop bands of all time, the Queens NY collective known as ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ have kept a generation hungry for more of their groundbreaking music since their much publicized breakup in 1998. Michael Rapaport documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows the band to this day. He explores what’s next for, what many claim, are the pioneers of alternative rap.


Chris’ Take: Seems more up Pac’s alley than mine, but recently documentaries have really intrigued me. Maybe I’ve become more aware of them in the last year since we started the blog, or maybe it was how I recently fell in love with Exit Through the Gift Shop, but whatever it is, I certainly am looking forward to more of these in the future. This looks similar to the Beastie Boys doc that came out this year. Maybe they should coin a term for this style, the rap-umentary.

The Ward

Rated: R

Starring: Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer and Danielle Panabaker

Director: John Carpenter

Synopsis from IMDB: A thriller centered on an institutionalized young woman who becomes terrorized by a ghost.


Chris’ Take: The Ward hasn’t been receiving positive reviews so far (40% on RT), but it is a new John Carpenter film, so I will probably give it a look. Hopefully, it won’t turn out to be like Wes Craven’s film My Soul to Take, which showed how a veteran horror director seems to be losing his touch. However, My Soul had a whopping (8%), so this is at least 5 times better than that.


Rated: R

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng and Brian Cox

Director: Jonathan English

Synopsis from IMDB: In 13th-century England, a small group of Knights Templar fight to defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John.


Chris’ Take: After watching the trailer, I don’t fully have a grasp on what’s going on besides a bunch of shouting. Paul Giamatti, even though I love the guy, when he shouts, he doesn’t inspire me, it sounds more like whining. I can’t really buy Giamatti as a leader, he is more of a sad sack everyman, but he could prove me wrong. The RT ratings are pretty low though, 37%, so there isn’t much hope for this film being good. I’ll probably pass on this one.

**Trailer Time**: “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” & Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse”

30 Jun

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

The Mission: Impossible franchise and I have a love-hate relationship. The first film was one of my favorite action films of the 90’s and I loved how it wasn’t so much about Tom Cruise being a badass, as it was him getting a team together and working with them to pull off some really stealthy missions. Except for the end, there weren’t a lot explosions and gunfire, the suspense was created in them not being caught. Mission: Impossible II was an atrocity. Instead of stealth, we had lots of them getting caught and fighting their way out, plus some ridiculous motorcycle kung-fu.

It was a John Woo film, I don't know what else I would've been expecting.

The film could’ve been done without a “team” because Tom Cruise just did whatever he wanted and kind of asked his friends along to watch. The third film got the franchise back in my good graces because it mixed the two styles up and also added some great characters as well. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was by far the best villain that the series had.

Here we are at the fourth film. Tom Cruise is getting old, so Jeremy Renner is teaming up with him in what is rumored to be a “passing of the torch”. When I watched this trailer, it seemed more like the second film. There were lots of random explosions, people sliding across floors with guns, and now Simon Pegg’s character has a gun too. So, it already looks like Pegg won’t be helping the team too much from behind the computer, and is getting in on the action.

Even though he's proved he's pretty good at it before.

While I will still definitely see this film, because the trailer could be deceiving and it has an awesome stunt at the end, I am just a little skeptical. However, I still hold out hope that it at least returns to the tone of the third one. I like the fact that they are going back to the “disavowed” list like the first film, because it was best when they had to improvise with the resources that they had, and didn’t have some big company to fall back on.

War Horse

Steven Spielberg is trying to bank on the Christmas season, with not one, but two wide release films, both including a young male protagonist and an animal. The first is The Adventures of Tintin, but now he just released the trailer for his epic War Horse and it looks beautiful, even if it does look a little sappy and I’ve never been a fan of horse films.

Especially you, Hidalgo.

 The book, upon which it is based, is a poignant look at war and friendship during World War I, as a horse is separated from his young master and moves through various phases of the war, encountering several different people on different sides.

I think that Spielberg is a great pick to direct this film, and I absolutely love the visual style that is employed. I just hope he can capture the emotions that the book portrays, but Spielberg rarely fails at that.

In case you missed it, here is the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin:

Opening This Week (01 Jul, 2011)

27 Jun

As expected, Car 2 sped past all the other competition in the box office this past weekend, with a final weekend total of $68 million. Bad Teacher had a decent start for an R-Rated comedy, enough to take the #2 spot with $31 million. Green Lantern‘s light dimmed significantly, dropping to #3 with $18 million, an almost 66% drop in revenue from last weekend. If two summers ago is any indication of the box office this weekend, we will have a new #1 this weekend:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Opens June 29th)

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro

Director: Michael Bay

Synopsis from IMDB: The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.


Chris’ Take: I really hope that there is more Navy involvement in this movie. That provided most of my entertainment in the last film. I love learning about new weapons systems that I didn’t know we had. Apparently, Shia LaBeouf and Michael Bay have apologized about how crappy the last Transformers movie was, and vowed to make this one better, even going as far as filming it in 3D. I heard a lot about the 3D technology used in this film, so I will probably try to see it in that format. There are 4 reviews in so far on RottenTomatoes, and 3 of them are good reviews, but they are pretty luke warm. We’ll see what happens, but like a car wreck that I can’t look away from, I will probably stick around to watch this one.

Larry Crowne

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, Bryan Cranston

Director: Tom Hanks

Synopsis from IMDB: After losing his job, a middle-aged man reinvents himself by going back to college.


Chris’ Take: That Thing You Do was one of my favorite films when I was younger, and that was Tom Hanks’ last directorial effort. While this film looks fairly formulaic, pretty much anything Hanks is involved with turns out to be at least “decent”. So, I am not normally one for chick flicks, but I think this could be one that I could be convinced to see. There aren’t any early reviews yet, but if you’re looking for a nice alternative to the bombastic Michael Bay Transformers film, this is probably a safe bet.

Monte Carlo

Rated: PG

Starring: Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy

Director: Thomas Bezucha

Synopsis from IMDB: Three young women vacationing in Paris find themselves whisked away to Monte Carlo after one of the girls is mistaken for a British heiress.


Chris’ Take: I guess they needed a movie that appealed to tween girls in order to cash in on a group that might feel ostracized during the weekend release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. There was not a single clever moment in the whole trailer, and based on the talent found in this group, I doubt there will be through the whole movie. No early reviews yet, so nothing really to compare it to. Anyway, if you’re looking to drop off your tween daughter for some harmless fun while you get some adult time, this would be a great movie for them . Just make sure you make them pay their own way.

Limited Releases


Rated: R

Starring: John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Jacob Wysocki

Director: Azazel Jacobs

Synopsis from IMDB: Centers on a large 15-year-old boy in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life.


Chris’ Take: John C. Reilly is co-starring in another indie film with a guy’s name as a title, and focuses on a troubled large person (Cyrus and Terri). While Cyrus seemed more for laughs, this seems like a film that has a more poignant dramatic focus. I think it will also be nice seeing Creed out of The Office. With 75% on RT, this probably will be a decent and thoughtful viewing.

The Perfect Host

Rated: R

Starring: David Hyde Pierce, Nathaniel Parker, Helen Reddy

Director: Nick Tomnay

Synopsis from IMDB: A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary.


Chris’ Take: I was just musing the other day, while watching Wet Hot American Summer, about what happened to David Hyde Pierce. He is a humorous, yet quirky fellow, even if he would probably be pegged as a nerdy chemistry type for the rest of his career. When I watched this trailer, I didn’t really know what to make of it. It seemed like an odd mix of The Collector, Weekend at Bernie’s and House Party. I am a bit confused, but a bit intrigued. The reviews are mixed (50% on RT), which seem to mirror my confused state about this film.

Finally, if you’ve read this far, you really probably have nothing better to do today do you? To reward you, in honor of Michael Bay’s “genius”, I give you one of my favorite South Park clips:

**Trailer Time**: Moneyball, Killer Elite, Puss in Boots, Cowboys & Aliens, Footloose (2011)

23 Jun

Jefe, would you say we have a plethora of trailers today?


Oh yes, El Guapo, we have a plethora.

 We got some catching up to do, but this is what we got:


Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill star in this sports dramedy about Billy Beane, an Oakland Athletics manager who uses computer generated analysis to draft players and generate a winning team. While this film seems like it will have a predictable outcome, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill seem likeable, and it has been a couple years since we have seen Hill in a good role. While it may end up being formulaic, I think it will be worth a look for seeing Pitt return to his comedic/sardonic chops.


Cowboys & Aliens New Trailer

This one made Pac’s Most Anticipated Summer Movies, but it didn’t quite make mine. This trailer is a little better than the last one, since we get to see Daniel Craig kick some more western ass, maybe he is just angry that he is in the movie and looking to beat the crap out of anything in sight. In all seriousness, Jon Favreau proved that he knows how to direct good summer popcorn movies with the Iron Man films, so I am sure that this one will be at least “fun’. Check out the new trailer and let me know what you think.


Puss in Boots

Here we are with the newest Hollywood cash grab: spinoffs of dying franchises. The latest is Puss in Boots, featuring the increasingly annoying character of the same name from the Shrek films. Puss in Boots was a funny novelty in Shrek 2, but much like Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, he wore out his welcome pretty darn quick. The trailer did nothing to really change my opinion about how I think it will turn out, I don’t think I even chuckled once during that whole trailer. The one positive thing I do have to say is that the animation does look pretty stunning.


Footloose (2011)

I’ll have to ask my fiance, but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anyone asking for a remake of this film about dancing to fight “the man” in a small town. While the original featured catchy rock ‘n roll tunes, this one seems to be built around hip hop to update it into a horrific collage of Step Up meets Footloose, with all the stock characters and over-acting that come with it….and Dennis Quaid. If you loved Step Up and have been waiting for an update of Footloose, then for better or worse, you got it!


Killer Elite

This film should have a subtitle of: Jason Statham causes a whole lot of mayhem…again. I love testosterone induced-bang-bang-boom films as much as the next guy, but I hope this one has a little bit more thought to it than the trailer seemed to imply. It seems like DeNiro is a bit more nimble in this film, which is a nice change from his lumbering old guy roles of late. While the film seems like a Jason Statham vehicle, I am kind of pulling for Clive Owen’s much more laid back approach to killing people.

Even if his moustache is a little creepy.


Trailer Time: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2, Third Muppets Teaser

17 Jun

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2

This is the final trailer for the final film in the Harry Potter series. I am glad that we finally get to see some more scenes than what they have been showing us for the last year and a half. My excitement for this film had been dwindling a bit and this picked it back up just a tad:

Being Green (3rd Muppets Teaser)

Here is the third clever marketing tactic by Jason Segel and The Muppets, set to tie in with the release of Green Lantern. While these might get old after a little while, these parody trailers are still enjoyable. Plus, this is the first one that involves the Swedish Chef, one of my personal favorite characters.