Friday, April 30, 2010
However, I still think that it should bring in a decent hunk of cash this weekend, probably a little over $40 million. It needs to bring in what it can before Iron Man 2 comes a quelches the competition. The only other release this weekend is Furry Vengeance, and as somebody I trust deeply once told me, "If you see this movie, God will come down and punch you in the neck." I deeply hope it gets less than $5 million so that everyone will know this selboring fact.
Reasons for the wait could be Nolan trying to figure out a direction to go in after his main villain was killed off (in real life that is), or that he just wanted to do something else at that time. Either way, things now seem like they're coming a lot quicker, with the film set for release on July 20th, 2012. Are you as excited that the film is finally on its way as I am? Do you wish it would come sooner? Please comment below!
Olivia is busy trying to find Peter, and Walter and Astrid have to take care of Ella. Walter, while under the influence of a potent drug, tells Ella a detective story featuring the same characters from the show, but in a slightly exagerated light.
Olivia is a hard-boiled 40's-era detective, Peter is as ambiguous as he's ever been, and Walter is just as evil as he percieves himself to be, which is pretty damn evil. They're all tangled in this musical noir style adventure that may be familiar, but isn't any less good.
I was at first a little disappointed by the minimal amount of music in the episode, but after watching it through a second time I was able to move past it and enjoy the episode for what it was. Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman, and Akiva Goldsman delivered their funniest script yet, while still retaining an emotionally touching quality to it.
The musical score was much better than usual, leading me to believe it was done primarily by Michael Giacchino, and not Chris Tilton who has taken over most of the score duties. The episode also does a great job at incorporating several aspects of the show into it, including Rachel, the vessel from The Arrival, the Observers, John Scott, Brandon, and Leonard Nimoy's William Bell, who inhabits an alternate reality in which he is computer generated. Overall this was a hugely enjoyable episode, and I hope that next season they try their hand at a similar episode.
The Final Touch: As Walter and Astrid go home, The Observer calls someone up, telling him that due to Walter's memory loss, he doesn't remember his warning. Hopefully we find out more about this moment in the future.
8.7 out of 10
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I'll have to wait and see what path this film takes, but J.J. Abrams has always been great at creating and executing interesting, and original stories. Production should begin in the early fall. In other Abrams related news, the musical noir episode of Fringe airs tonight, and if the previews are any indication, it's definitely going to be something else.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
At some point I'm going to make a list of unnecessary media franchises.
Kristen Chenowyth's return, while fun and entertaining as always, didn't really serve the story so much. Given Glee's unpredictable nature, whenever April Rhodes is onscreen I have a feeling that at the end of the episode she's going to kill herself. If this is the end for her, then I'm glad it ended with such lightly dark comic moment. Will Schuester has really been slutting it up lately with Emma, April, and Idina Menzel, and I'm starting to wonder if it's all disrupting his teaching ability for the glee club.
Perhaps Will needs somebody important in his life to get his shit back together. Then we get to Mercedes' vendetta which really brings forward one of the core themes of the show: equality, and being comfortable with who you are. I'm also enjoying how much more likable Quinn is becoming now that she's no longer a cheerio. But one of the things that I couldn't stop thinking about with this part of the show is how much Mercedes is like Precious. It may just be that their last names are both Jones.
Despite the deficiencies of the other two plot points, the Finn-Kurt storyline definitely brought the episode back up to the standard it usually exists at. We really get a better idea of Finn's relationship with the father he never really knew, and it was all really sweet. What made the story heartbreaking was Kurt's role in the whole thing. We see his plan backfire and his relationship with his father start to crumble and the look on his face at the end will just take you to pieces. This may not be the best episode of Glee, but it's the most emotionally heart-throbbing.
8 out of 10.
Next is the final trailer for Eclipse, the third installment in the Twilight saga. I'm really glad that after all this time (by that I mean, two years), the series is finally winding down, and in maybe a year and a half we won't have to deal with it anymore. I will be enraged if it turns out that the final film releases in the same time period as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 but I won't start worrying until I hear the news.
In regards to the trailer, I have a problem believing it's the "final" one. The trailer doesn't touch on the romantic triangle between Edward, Bella, and Jacob. I'm not complaining, because it's a brilliant marketing strategy, but I know that the film will touch heavily on that specific story element anyway. Either way, the action in the film isn't too good either, so I'm not at all excited for this outing. Here's the link for said trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CScK6D3KROM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I'm back to three films, because two films doesn't quite do it. After seeing what film is at #3, you might think otherwise, but I don't. I'm not usually one to go for documentary films that do more observing than narrating (Oceans), the trailer for this film was probably the cutest trailer for a film to ever release. As with any of the films at this spot of the list, I wouldn't say you have to rush out to the theatres to see this, but if you're rich and pretentious, you can probably afford to see it and have a great time. I am not rich, so don't expect a review for it anytime soon.
Ridley Scott is one of those hired gun directors who doesn't so much conceive the story as he does execute it, and we know he's great at that. It's where the script comes into play that his pieces lack originality, and Robin Hood is no exception. From what we've seen of the film, it seems like a typical, over-used fusion of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven. But seeing as Ridley Scott directed both of those perfectly, I'll forgive it. I don't expect this film to be this year's The Dark Knight, but still probably a decent actioner.
This has been, and will always be the most anticipated film of this month, despite how good or bad it will be. Recently they've started releasing reviews for the upcoming sequel to Iron Man, and while most don't go so far as saying it's bad, they definitely don't state it as surpassing the first, let alone meeting the quality of the first. I personally have no fear at hearing this news, and how it will affect box-office prospects for the film.
Last year Transformers 2 was completely bashed by critics, but it still went on to be the second highest grossing film of the year, and for me at the very least, one of the most entertaining. So even if critics react similarly to Iron Man 2, I have no fear. It may not be the Oscar possibility I had hoped for, but it will do.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The rest of the films took modest drops from last weekend, with Date Night bringing in $11 million, and Clash of the Titans taking away $9 million for the weekend. Expect box office results for next weekend to be more promising with the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Oceans came out yesterday, but it isn't really special enough to go and see in the theatres. Take my word for it, and don't see it. It'll probably bring in $5-7 million this weekend. If you really, really want to see a movie this weekend, I suggest revisiting Kick-Ass, or How to Train Your Dragon. Otherwise, just stay at home, and watch whatever you've got there. Wait until next weekend, when Nightmare on Elm Street comes out, or the weekend after when Iron Man 2 arrives.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The draw for this film is the visuals, and they are quite beautiful. At times I was wondering how they managed to achieve the shots they did without alerting the creatures to their presence. While the images are breathtaking, the narrative leaves something to be desired. As is the problem with many nature documentaries, Oceans struggles to find straight line to follow structurally. It hops back and forth to different locations, and when the ending comes you start to wonder if the film was too short.
Oceans relies too heavily on the visuals, and doesn't offer enough information, or narration to justify the relatively short 90-minute run time. While it's a nice film to pass time on a boring afternoon, it definitely isn't worth the price of admission, and is better left alone until the DVD release.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sue Sylvester unleashes Madonna upon McKinley High in order to pay homage to the woman who shaped her as she is today. Will is inspired by Sue's efforts, and uses Madonna to teach the guys in the glee club to respect the women better. We learn a little bit more about Sue, like the fact that she's actually 29 (and quite obviously didn't age well), and we get a kind of huge development involving Vocal Adrenaline's Jesse St. James.
Overall this was a better episode than Hell-O, and if Glee can keep it up through the rest of the season they may have an Emmy win in their future. Jane Lynch is hilarious as usual, and adds a tiny bit of emotion to her character. The whole Jesse/Rachel relationship continues to confuse me. I keep wondering if Jesse would really go so far as leaving Vocal Adrenaline in order for Vocal Adrenaline to win. Then I remembered that this is Glee, and logic isn't a necessity in their lives.
All of the songs in this episode are phenomenal, most especially Vogue, and Like a Prayer. I can see why Madonna loved this episode, aside from the fact that she's the main focus of it. Like a Virgin was a very interesting and well choreographed sequence, but it's sad that Finn lost his innocence (Finnocence?) in that way. It'll be pretty damn funny and interesting if Santana gets preggers from it. Can't wait for next week when Kristen Chenowyth returns.
9.3 out of 10
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
It also makes me wonder what other films could be endangered by this massive decision. The Hobbit has slowly been getting set up under MGM, and we've waited a ridiculously long time for that to come along. If we hear news that that is being postponed indefinitely, just take it to mean forever. Bury your hopes for an adaptation of The Hobbit, and perhaps another James Bond film, because if both of those are pushed to the back-burner it's most likely the end for both of them. The future is bleak.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
As for the other releases, Date Night dropped 31% from it's opening, managing to edge out Death at a Funeral which opening at $17 million. Clash of the Titans continued it's downward trend, taking in less than $16 million this weekend. All other releases brought in less than $6 million, making this weekend less successful than the same weekend last year.
While not as high as estimates put it, Dragon definitely benefited from positive reviews and word of mouth, and may grind out a profit in the coming weeks. The following week 3D continued its run of false promises with Clash of the Titans. The film had a lot of excitement going for it and it should have opened somewhere in the range of $90 million. The opening total of $61 million could be blamed on bad reviews, and word of mouth, competition in the 3D market, and a failure to deliver on the 3D affects.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Kick-Ass is about Dave Lizewski, an average kid with no superpowers, no tragic family death, and nothing that typically leads to one becoming a superhero. Put simply, he becomes a superhero because he wants to be the first. It automatically propells him into a world of brutal drug dealers, and even more violent vigilante superheroes. The first gripe some will have with the film is that Kick-Ass isn't the most interesting thing in this movie. I would have a problem with it if they didn't intend to have it that way, but they did.
Lizewski is meant to be a total wuss, and nobody would be surprised if it turned out he was gay. He doesn't have the same determination that Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) have, and he really isn't that good at crime fighting. The film really does belong to Hit Girl, the murderous, profane 11 year old superhero. She makes her grand entrance in an fun, energetic action sequence set to the theme of the Banana Splits. She is the embodiment of everything Dave wishes he could be, but just isn't. Many have said that because of her character they wouldn't bring their kids to Kick-Ass because of her, but I'd definitely bring my kids to see this film. That is assuming I become as horrible a father as I hope I will.
The action in this movie has that comedic flair to it, because despite the violence and moral undertones of the film, this is a comedy. While it takes a while for the film to find solid narrative ground, it bides time with hilarious non-stop jokes. Then the action starts and that propels us through the second half of the film. The acting in the film ranges from solid to straight up phenomenal. Nicholas Cage, whose acting style I usually hate, gives his best performance since Leaving Las Vegas 15 years ago. Aaron Johnson does a passable job as Lizewski, mostly because he is the character.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) is very close to leaving behind the harrowing title of McLovin. Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) does a great as the villain, but he gets stuck with this type of role all the time that he is in danger of being typecast. Chloe Moretz (500 Days of Summer) delivers a career making performance as Hit Girl, and I'm looking forward to seeing her in the American remake of Let the Right One in. The problems I spoke of earlier are terrible cinematography, cheesy visual effects, and an overused main theme, but given the fact that the film cost only $28 million, I'm not going to dwell too much on that. Kick-Ass is more than saved by the great acting, story, screenplay, and direction.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Still don't expect huge box office from Kick-Ass this weekend, but expect it to at least cover the budget, a measly $28 million. As for the other release this weekend, Death at a Funeral, I have no respect for anyone going into that movie. My expectations are for it to get $10 million or less opening weekend. If your going to see a rated R comedy this weekend, at least try to see a good one. Other than that there doesn't seem to be much out there until next week.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I'm really glad Whedon was chosen for the job because he has shown great prowess at directing all sorts of genres, and will be greatly adept at blending the comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy aspects of the characters to create a singular vision. I'm looking forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr., Edward Norton, and Chris Hemsworth coming together for this epic collaboration. Oh and...
Next is a sweet little film called Paper Man, starring Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal), Emma Stone (Superbad, Zombieland), and Lisa Kudrow. It's the story of a struggling novelist who isn't played by John Cusack, which automatically makes it different from every other film about a struggling novelist. Another cute twist is that his only friend is an imaginary superhero (Ryan Reynolds), and he starts a platonic relationship with a young girl (Emma Stone). It's a really strange story and if handled as jauntily and energetically as this trailer could go either great or mixed. The link for the trailer is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5LPfNfSBmo
Finally, from the writer/director of Step Brothers comes The Other Guys, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as cops who... alright. I'm not that sure about what exactly the plot for this film is, but from the look of the trailer it's pretty funny. The synopsis for the film paints the characters completely different from what the trailer shows us, but that doesn't really matter. I can't complain too much about this trailer, because it's a teaser, and it has Samuel L. Jackson in it. At the very least it will be 10-times better than Cop Out. Here's the link for the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1wy_E7h2Wg
Now how long do they expect us to wait for another Inception trailer?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As per usual I would not know, or care about who this guy is if he hadn't played the title role of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Soon I can call him out as the second actor to destroy his career by playing Spiderman, and this time in a film that won't even be any good. I can't find a reason to go see this movie, because it really seems like the same movie as the first, except again.
Friday, April 9, 2010
It feels like they tried too hard to keep people excited after last week's major episode, and forgot to make the episode exciting. Still this is a quality episode with a solid, if familiar plot. The bad guy in this episode is an old cortexiphan test subject, who has the ability to infect people with his cancer. I wouldn't have been as hooked on the episode if the first person he killed wasn't Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds)! The path of the villain for this episode is much like Nick Lane's in Bad Dreams. He has this great and terrible power that he doesn't have much control over, and he wishes death upon himself rather than killing more people.
This episode also deals with the consequences of the last. Olivia's stance on the whole Peter debacle is very interesting and complex. She's knows that Peter deserves to know the truth, but at the same time she doesn't want to ruin the "awkward family unit" that she, Peter, and Walter have going so well. By the end of the episode she is able to come to terms with the fact that "some Pandora's Boxes are better left unopened", only to find that Walter has decided that it is time to tell Peter the truth. I don't think we'll be getting to that immediately next episode, but we're getting close, and the less prepared we are for when it comes the better. My Grade for Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver. is 8.2 out of 10.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tina Fey exudes a great amount of charisma with the worst of dialogue at times, and Steve Carell can come across as a complete jerk and still be lovable. Expect their combined effort to haul in an apropriate $30 million over the weekend. Otherwise my only suggestion for this weekend is seeing How to Train Your Dragon before it leaves most of its 3-D theatres. Don't go in expecting a Pixar level masterpiece, but look forward to a better time than you're probably expecting.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Then there's Salt, which has somehow pulled off what I've long thought impossible: Making a film in which Angelina Jolie is not in the slightest way attractive (or at least as attractive as she usually is). Maybe it's because she is playing a role originally meant for Tom Cruise. All I know is that based on this trailer Salt is shaping up to be exactly the same as every other action movie the actress has ever done. The trailer does leave us unsure of if she is a russian spy or not. It also leaves not caring, and that's pretty much the vibe I'm getting from the trailer, which can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHUPQaK0XUc
Next is the trailer for The Expendables, the long awaited action film from Sylvester Stallone. With Stallone there is never a guarantee of quality, and quite often there isn't much. The only guarantee is masculine action, and there is plenty of it here. The film focuses on a group of hired guns hired to kill an evil dictator of a South American country, and they are obviously doublecrossed. If this film only exists to get the most bad-ass actors still alive (Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, and Arnold Schwartzenegger) into one solid movie, I'm okay with that. This film doesn't claim to be anything that it isn't, and for that I'll probably see it. But I'll let you be the judge of this trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6RU5y2fU6s
Finally, Step Up 3D. I'm going to go out on a limb and say this film won't be good. The first two films failed to give us anything motivating, or interesting, and neither will this one. The thing that makes prospects for this film so bad is that when the other two films were released they didn't have competition with Dancing with the Stars, or So You Think You Can Dance. The only selling point of this film is 3D, and at the rate ticket prices are excellerating I don't think people will be willing to spend that much money on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89TLbK6o-og
Please leave comments on what you think of these trailers. I could definitely use a fresh set of eyes on these films.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
And then there's The Last Song. I have long been saying that films like Nights in Rodante and Dear John are only attempts to capitalize on Nicholas Sparks' success with The Notebook, but The Last Song is absolute proof of it. The book only exists because Miley Cyrus wanted to star in a film like A Walk to Remember. She has that much sway in the natural course of events in the world, and it can only lead to hardship and misery. Sure the film brought in $7 million yesterday, but that doesn't mean you should continue seeing it. However if you really want to see an emotionally charged, tragic story just follow this link: http://www.hulu.com/watch/136811/fringe-peter
If you seriously want a definitely great film to see in theatres this weekend just go out and see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D, which I assume most of my readers haven't seen yet.
Friday, April 2, 2010
For so long the show runners have been talking about their priority on the emotion behind the secrets of Fringe instead of the secrets behind the secrets, and until now I haven't quite been convinced of this. There's not just one, but several moments during this episode that are far more powerful than any of the forced tragic mishaps of any Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John, The Last Song) novel, and it's all due to the amazing central performance delivered by John Noble. I definitely see an Emmy nomination for him coming from this.
More than that this was just a beautifully heartbreaking episode, and I hope all of the secrets of the series have the same pay-off as this. The episode also sets up the inevitable reveal to Peter of the truth of his origins. And yes this episode does offer us more mysteries, such as how Walter tuned Peter in to our own reality, and whatever deal he made with the observer. It's also quite obvious to anybody that there will be consequences of what Walter did that may or may not have something to do with what's been going on this season.
No matter how unfamiliar with the series you are this episode is a must see. I'd speak about some of the problems with the episode, but I fail to find any except that after seeing this episode you may be motivated to look back at the previous episodes of the series to find something more. Michael Giacchino's score excells as it always has, and the cinematography in particular is quite stunning. The greatest talking points of Peter is its script and the actors who bring it to life. At the close of the episode Anna Torv does her best with almost no dialogue and brings across exactly what Olivia is feeling. This is the once in a lifetime episode that requires little knowledge of the existing mythology to get it's point across, and I'm convinced that anybody who sees will be moved in some way. My grade for this episode is a rare 10 out of 10 and you can see it at this link: http://www.hulu.com/watch/136811/fringe-peter
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Whether Greengrass will except the job is questionable. Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012) turned the film down because he didn't like the script written by Cameron. When Roland Emmerich doesn't like your script you know it's time for a rewrite. Optimistically that's just what will happen and we'll get another amazing action adventure from Paul Greengrass. So in other news Fringe returns tonight and offers plenty of revelations on the mysteries of Peter's origins so expect my review tomorrow morning.