Archive for the ‘Bradley Cooper’ Category

Weekend Fix: Final Destination Wins Labor Day Weekend

September 7, 2009
 
Blah.  Labor Day weekend is traditionally the calendar spot where studios dump their worst movies.  They do this because the box office is always so poor on this weekend, but part of the reason why the box office is poor is because the new releases are always so bad.  In this way, Labor Day weekend has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in all likelihood, it will remain a low point at the box office for years to come.

 The number one film this weekend is again The Final Destination, and the horror film is performing better than anyone expected.  With $12.3 million over three days, and $15.4 million over four, the fourth installment of the Final Destination franchise has already cumed $50.6 million, and, thanks to the 3-D gimmick, it is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing picture of them all.  I guess this means we’ll be seeing Warner Brothers pump out The Final(er) Destination some time in 2011.

Inglorious Basterds continued its fantastic run this weekend, and the Quentin Tarantino picture is clearly benefiting from good word-of-mouth.  Enjoying a second weekend at number two, the Weinstein film mustered up $11.6 million over the regular weekend frame, and $15 million over the extended weekend.  The pulpy WWII comedy has found a stellar $95.2 million thus far.

In third place is the Fox “comedy” All About Steve, which found $11.2 million over the 3-day and $14 million  over the 4-day.  Even though this stars the always reliable Sandra Bullock, I swear I hadn’t heard a single thing about this film until The Hangover became a smash hit earlier this Summer.  It appears that with Bradley Cooper’s newfound stardom, Fox thought it could capitalize on the opportunity and actually earn a few bucks out of this stinker, which probably should have gone straight-to-DVD.  Well, their strategy paid off, and they should be pleased with this result.  In a perfect world, All About Steve would crash and burn from here, but romantic comedies have proven to be the most review-proof genre in all of the film industry, so a $30-40 million finish should result.  

The other big debut of the weekend was Lionsgate’s Gamer, a film starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall about a video gamer who discovers he can control another person.  Gamer got off to a rough start, earning a small $9.1 million over the 3 -day, with $11.2 million over the 4-day.  This movie was very peculiar to me, for it seemed like it was undermining its target audience by implying that video games had the capacity to do great evil.  Gamers dont like wn u try to pwn thm, Lionsg8!

Many holdovers did very well this weekend, including District 9, which crossed $100 million, Julie And Julia, which crossed $80 million, and The Time Traveler’s Wife, which passed $55 million, and G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra, which reached $141 million.  If only Joe hadn’t cost so much to produce… Still, it’s done pretty well for itself, considering many were scoffing at the action picture.

Despite the success of many movies, there was one holdover that did not do well at all, and that was Weinstein’s Halloween II, which dropped dead (HA!) this weekend.  With $5.7 million over three days, and $7 million over four, you could say that Halloween II fell either 65% or 57%.  No matter how you cut it, that’s not good.  The horror flick currently stands with $27.1 million.

The final new release of the movie was Extract, a small comedy starring Jason Bateman that wanted to pose itself as a new Office Space.  Out in only 1,611 theaters, Extract didn’t make much of an impact, with just $4.3 million, and $5.3 million over the long weekend.  Extract will not make it far past $10 million in theaters, but it should have a long life on USA or FX down the road.
Top 12 Actuals For September 4-7, 2009

Rank Movie Studio Theaters Weekend AVG. Total
1
The Final Destination Warner Bros. 3121 $15,445,000 $4,949 $50,576,000
2
Inglorious Basterds Weinstein Co. 3358 $15,030,523 $4,476 $95,226,130
3
All About Steve Fox 2251 $14,000,000 $6,219 $14,000,000
4
Gamer Lionsgate 2502 $11,200,000 $4,476 $11,200,000
5
District 9 Sony 3139 $9,000,000 $2,867 $103,000,000
6
Halloween 2 Weinstein Co. 3088 $7,073,884 $2,291 $27,129,775
7
Julie And Julia Sony 2528 $7,000,000 $2,769 $80,500,000
8
G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra Paramount 2846 $6,700,000 $2,354 $141,015,000
9
Extract Miramax 1611 $5,500,000 $3,414 $5,500,000
10
The Time Traveler’s Wife Warner Bros. 2803 $5,455,000 $1,946 $55,797,000
11
Shorts Warner Bros. 2631 $3,770,000 $1,433 $18,193,000
12
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Warner Bros. 1091 $2,490,000 $2,282 $297,594,000
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

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Updated Friday Estimates: Audiences Avoid The Movies Over Labor Day

September 5, 2009

Early Friday numbers are in for the Labor Day frame, and it looks like audiences were certainly aware of how bad this weekend’s offerings were.  All About Steve could win the weekend, but with just $3.6 million on Friday, the horrible romantic comedy is headed to about $10.8 million over the three day, and $13 million over the four day.  Look for Inglorious Bastards and The Final Destination to reach similar grosses.  The number one spot is very much up for grabs.  Gamer did even worse, as it found a sad $3.3 million, which points the thriller towards an $9.5 million weekend, with $12 million over the long weekend.  The final new opener, Extract, was pretty much ignored.  It could only find $1.4 million on Friday.

Friday Estimates for September 4, 2009
1. The Final Destination – $3.6 million
2. All About Steve – $3.6 million
3. Gamer – $3.3 million
4. Inglorious Bastards – $3 million
5. District 9 – $1.8 million
6. Halloween II – $1.7 million
7. Extract – $1.4 million
8. Julie And Julia – $1.3 million
9. G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra – $1.3 million
10. The Time Traveler’s Wife – $1.2 million
11. Shorts – $575,000
12. (500) Days Of Summer – $515,000

In Brightest Day, In Darkest Night, No Evil Shall Escape Their Sight

July 10, 2009

So it’s flying around the inter-webs that WB has three people in mind to play Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern movie. Sirs Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, and Mr. Justin Timberlake himself are in the cross hairs to protect space sector 2814.

For those of you aren’t geeks, it’s never too late to start. The Green Lantern is a DC comic superhero, one who has stayed outside of the mainstream for a while. He was in the Justice League cartoons, and is a popular character to those that know him, though that number is few. And if people have heard of him, few know much besides his name and perhaps his symbol.

So I’ll give it my best to get you up to speed so you can start getting excited about this movie. Keep in mind I’m a Superman expert, so bear with me. There is this group, called the “Green Lantern Corps,” who are essentially policemen, protectors of the universe. There is typically only one Green Lantern for each ‘space sector,’ and space sector 2814 is the one that Earth happens to falls into. When a Green Lantern crashes on earth, injured and dying, he instructs his Power Ring to find a worthy successor, one who is brave, and true, and noble. The ring finds the candidate in an earthling named Hal Jordan, who finds himself thrown into a hero’s role and bestowed with the power of his ring, which is able to morph energy that reflects what the wearer is thinking. For instance, if Hal Jordan thinks of a giant hammer, a huge green hammer made of green light will project from his ring, and he can smack anybody he wants with it. The ring runs on willpower. The stronger a person’s mind, the stronger his ring. So think of it like Lord of the Rings
meets Star Trek, if that helps you at all.

Sounds cheesy? Of course it does, at first glance. Most comics do. But a Green Lantern story has enormous potential. So before I continue and have a geekgasm all over the subject, and just so you can get on board to see how awesome this movie could be, check this out. It’s an incredible fan made trailer for the movie (and it is fantastic) that I hope WB emulates in every way:

The guy in yellow was supposed to be Sinestro, who has a similar ring (with yellow light, naturally) and is Green Lantern’s primary villain. So see? That trailer actually looked pretty bad-ass didn’t it?

A good Green Lantern movie could really push WB and DC comics into a positive limelight. Putting a B-lister in a respected movie is a surefire way to excite audiences. Marvel did it with Iron Man, and DC seems to want to replicate that success. A relatively unknown character, perhaps familiar in name but nothing else, getting a truly exciting movie? Jackpot.

So who should play him? Bradley Cooper just looks like such a douche, I just don’t know if I can believe him (plus he has yet to play a character who isn’t a weasel), and Hal Jordan is supposed to be the epitome of human heroism. Ryan Reynolds would have worked very well, I think, but I fear he’s too tied in with the Marvel universe since he is starring in his own Deadpool spin-off. Could J.T. land the role? God I hope not. I don’t dislike him as an actor, but I just couldn’t see him pull this off without hamming it up (remember the tight suit this guy has to wear. He needs to look good in it, and not like an N Sync singer).

So who do you think should take the part? One of these three, or someone else entirely? Are you excited for this film?

Sidenote: Bruce Timm, who has dome some great things in the DC Animated Universe, is releasing Green Lantern: First Flight later this month. If anybody feels it’s time to embrace their geek side, this would be a good place to start. It looks like a good outing.

The Hangover Will Make You Laugh So Hard You’ll Be Reaching For The Aspirin The Next Morning

June 11, 2009


Remember that time you went to Vegas, got really wasted, stole a cop car, went to the hospital, lost a tooth, pissed off a gay Asian gangster, kidnapped Mike Tyson’s tiger, married a stripper, and woke up with a baby in your closet? Neither do these guys, but as Zach Galifianakis’s character would say, it’s “classic Vegas.”

This is the outrageous premise for The Hangover, the hilarious comedy that took #1 at the box office last week-end, beating most expectations for the film that was up against Land of the Lost and Disney Pixar’s Up. But with its strong reviews and positive word-of-mouth, it rallied strong to pull in 45 million. I saw it on Saturday night, and it’s certainly worth your money.

There is a plot to this movie, but is it all that important? Not really. It’s merely a medium to get these characters from situation to situation, it what almost becomes a sketch comedy starring the same characters. And it’s the characters themselves that are hysterical, regardless of their current predicament. It’s the rapid-fire banter that’s bound to permeate culture as quotable one-liners that make this film great.

The plot is simple. Doug (Justin Bartha) is getting married, but not before having one last night of freedom and debauchery in Las Vegas with his best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms). He invites his bride-to-be’s idiot brother Alan (Galifianakis), and it’s never quite clear if he actually has a mental condition, or if he’s just a blithering idiot. Either way he’s a riot. And a convicted pedophile, as he reveals early in the movie while waiting outside a school with Doug, “We shouldn’t be here. I’m not allowed within 200 feet of schools… Or Chuck E. Cheese’s.” Should I laugh at the prospect of this man who is clearly a convicted sex offender, likely an offense directed towards minors, being near a school? Probably not, but I did anyway. He reminds us of this ‘malady’ later on when he expresses his excitement to see the Jonas Brothers.

Anyway, these four go on a road trip to Vegas, where they splurge on a 4,000 dollar per night villa at Caesar’s palace, and toast each other on the roof of the hotel, as Alan voluntarily slices his hand open that they might become blood brothers. The next morning they wake up and Doug is missing, their room looks like Linsday Lohan decided she was thirsty, there’s a tiger in their bathroom, and a baby in their closet. Should I laugh when sex offender and certifiable dumb-ass Alan is the one to strap the baby to his chest? No. But I did anyway.

The rest of the movie involves them putting the night back together piece by piece, a sort of Memento for the drunk and stupid, in what turns out to be a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes, especially when Holmes is on cocaine. They conveniently find little clues and race back to the destinations, which include a hospital, a wedding church, and Mike Tyson’s menagerie. It’s a typical three act comedy that is just taught enough that you just barely care what happens to the characters. In other words, it’s a serious enough situation that you hope they find Doug. Because really, such a situation would be terrifying, which the characters (mainly Ed) voice a few times. So the plot works enough that it matters but not enough to detract from the comedy, which is a good thing. After all, we’re not going for a Citizen Kane narrative here.

What’s more important than the plot are the characters, and they are each great in their own respects. Stu is dating a cold, manipulative psycho bitch, but he’s a sweet, generally calm, very worrying person. Phil is a ‘cool’ teacher at a private school, and just as I worried when I saw Bradley Cooper in the preview, he’s a complete douche. He steals from his students, bemoans his horrible life with his wife and son, and worries only about having a ‘good time.’ Though to his credit, he is often the one to calm the group down when things go awry. And if I haven’t made it clear, Alan is by far the scene-stealer in this movie. He’s a dim-witted, well-meaning, clean-mouthed (“You’re language is offensive!”) person who tries a little too hard to fit in (the entire movie he mimics the ‘cooler’ Phil’s every move, except when he swears, when Alan will insert friendlier expletives). Yeah he’s some sort of sex-criminal, but I’m sure it was accident.

So these three go looking for Doug (who is little more than a human prop) and encounter the sweet-hearted hooker that Stu married (Heather Graham), an irate Mike Tyson, and a pissed off naked homosexual Asian gangster Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong), who happens to find everything the overweight Alan does hilarious, simply because he’s fat. I laughed hard and often while watching this movie, for many different reasons. It’s occasionally gross out, sometimes physical, usually situational, but the three leads and the strong supporting cast always make it funny.

There are some some misses as well though. There’s a strange piano/vocal performance put on by Stu as they drug the tiger, which runs too long and isn’t that funny, according to my full theater that was mostly silent. And Mr. Chow is a little ridiculous and fell a little flat for me, with the exception of him laughing at Alan’s ‘fatness.’ But almost every other joke made me laugh, some to the point of tears, and like a real hangover, I had a hard time remembering all the comical things I saw and heard once I’d left the theater.

Oh, and the movie is wildly offensive. Mr. Chow is a walking stereotype for both Asians and homosexuals, the only black character is a drug dealer, Alan is a pedophile who totes around a baby (and slams a car door into the poor kid’s head… I just laughed again while writing that), and the only women in this movie are: 1. A cold hearted controlling bitch. 2. A kind but somewhat dumb prostitute. 3. The bride, who forgives her husband for coming to the wedding late and in shambles, and asks no questions now that he’s here. But if you’re really going to hold those things against the movie I recommend lightening up a little. It’s all in good fun, and it’s never really serious. People who get offended by these movies tend to think it’s making a statement for every single member of a race/gender/sexual orientation, when really it’s just damn funny. The world will be at peace when we can laugh at each other’s differences without getting pissed off about it. It’s not when we see the differences and hold each other down, or when we think any jab at a distinction is a form of restraint. Just my opinion on the matter.

And if you’re expecting character development, don’t. At the end of the movie, nobody has really changed. Stu wises up a little and stands up for himself, that’s about it. Alan’s still weird and dumb and Phil is just as much a tool as he was in the beginning. They learn no lessons, as director director Todd Phillips intended. It’s very similar to his other wildly popular movie Old School where bad behavior goes unpunished and just makes for ass-kicking awesome stories. I never got caught up in the huge love of Old School. I actually started a list a while ago for an article, “Most Overrated Movies,” and Old School was the fourth movie I thought of. I think The Hangover is superior in every sense of the word, with the exception that it doesn’t have “Dust in the Wind” sung at a funeral, which is, let’s face it, comedy genius.

And if you didn’t stay for the credits, it’s worth the price of admission just to go back and watch them. It is by far the funniest credits sequence I’ve ever seen, even better than the Jackie Chan bloopers that all result in him crushing his scrotum. They find a camera they had used that night and decide to watch the slide-show ‘just this once,’ and the credits roll as the pictures flash. It’s full of cameos like Wayne Newton, and hilarious pictures that end in one of the most shocking and daring things I’ve seen in a mainstream comedy (for those that know what I’m talking about, it turns out that it was a prosthesis. It’s still funny though).

I can’t sing Zach Galifianakis’s praises enough. Alan has some of the funniest quotes of any comedy in recent memory, and I hope his career will move strongly from here. He’s been in a few other films, including the other Vegas comedy What Happened in Vegas, but he’s never been in form like this.

Quote of the movie:
Stu: She has my ring, the one my grandmother kept in the holocaust.
Alan: I didn’t know they gave out rings in the holocaust.

8.8/10

This Week in Blockbusters: Sort of…

June 4, 2009

We seem to be at the beginning of a blockbuster hiatus for a few weeks. There are some solid movies coming out, but not what I would call a summer blockbuster until June 24th when Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen is released. Until then, we’ll have some decent runners. There’s a family film or two that could make some funny, and perhaps one of the comedies will be a summer surprise. That will partly be determined this weekend with The Hangover. It could rack in some decent cash, if word of mouth is positive enough. It’s a gross-out, road trip comedy about a group of guys who lose the groom at his crazy bachelor party in Las Vegas. Early reviews are pretty strong, so it has the potential. It’s rated R, which certainly hurts it, and the previews haven’t just made me thrilled to see it. They wake up in their hotel room with a tiger and baby in the closet, realize they have no idea what happened, and discover the groom is nowhere to be seen. I guess it has a relatively promising plot, so we’ll have to see if it’s as funny as some reviews make it out to be. But for some reason, Bradley Cooper just comes off as an incessant douche every time I see him. I don’t know if it’s his character in Wedding Crasher or his actual pointy-nosed faced, hopefully it’s the former.

Also released this weekend is the abysmal looking Land of the Lost, which looks like a bad retread of last summers already bad movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. It’s actually a remake of a 1974 TV show (which was remade first in 1991), and we’ll likely put this in the category of “shouldn’t be done.” It’s stars Will Ferrel, which will certainly bring in some audience. But the story seems awful and the special effects worse, and I can’t decide how funny it’s really trying to be. It certainly doesn’t look gut-wrenchingly comical. Early reviews are the worst I’ve seen in a while, with a whopping 5% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t have high hopes for it, critically or financially, but we’ll see how it does.