Archive for the ‘Harrison Ford’ Category

New And News: The Rock Will Go To Extraordinary Measures To Bring Legions Of Fans To Theaters. Plus, My Golden Globes Recap!

January 18, 2010

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for New And News!  This week, we’ve got three new releases, and true-to-January form, none of them look very good!  Tooth Fairy looks likea film that knows its bad, but doesn’t care because it can make a lot of money.  Legion looks like a film that’s bad because all horror movies look bad.  Extraordinary Measures looks like a film that’s bad, but it’s okay because it was sincerely trying to be good.  After a quick summary of those films, I’m going to do something a little bit different with the News section of this column.  Instead of linking to articles across the web, I’m going to do a quick recap of the Golden Globes, the last half of which I actually managed to sit through last night, despite my extreme distaste for awards shows!

New:

Tooth Fairy (Fox) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews
 A cocky man that is skeptical of unbelievable fantasy characters like the tooth fairy is punished by actually having to become a tooth fairy.  He mustn’t tell anyone who he is, and he cannot expose himself.  He must make the world believe in the tooth- Wait, wait, wait!  Haven’t I heard this plot before?  Oh yea, it’s the exact same thing as Toothless, starring Kirstie Alley.  This time around, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as the tutu-wearing fairy, and his star power should carry this fish-out-of-water story effectively.  Just like last week’s The Spy Next Door, this film reminds me very much of 2003’s The Pacifier, as each film stars an action star attempting to appeal to a family audience.  Tooth Fairy has been advertised well, and it’s family-friendly nature should equal some pretty good business.

Legion (Sony) – 2,400 theaters – Reviews

This movie claims to tell the story of God sending his angels down into a diner to begin the Apocalypse and end mankind, but judging from the commercials, you’d think the whole movie was about a creepy grandma that turns into demon and crawls up the wall.  With Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, and Kate Walsh, the films has some stars, but no real box office draws.  Just like The Book Of Eli, Legion hasn’t emphasized its overtly religious themes too much, instead framing itself as a conventional January horror release.  I’m not expecting huge things from it, but I’m not expecting an outright flop either.  Like most most January horror films, Legion should see some alright box office results before debuting on DVD a few months later and then debuting on the $5.99 DVD rack at Wal-Mart a few months later.

Extraordinary Measures (CBS Films) – 2,450 theaters – Reviews

It seems appropriate that this film was produced by CBS Films because it looks like a made-for-TV movie.  “Inspired by a true story,” Extraordinary Measures follows the story of a loving couple (Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell) who find that two of their children have a rare and fatal disease.  Determined to save his children, the father teams up an unappreciated scientist (Harrison Ford) to research and develop a drug that will cure his kids.  The two men take on the whole medical world, fighting an unsympathetic system in order to provide a solution to the awful crisis.  Cheesy but goodhearted, this film seems pretty hard to dislike, and I actually am a big fan of both Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell.  I’m not sure why, but I just love them!  Even though it won’t, I’m hoping Extraordinary Measures does well!

News:

The Golden Globes weren’t nearly as unbearable as the Oscars, and the show actually ran pretty quickly.  Maybe it was because the awards cover both film and TV, but I thought the show was fairly efficient.  Don’t get me wrong- they were still ridiculously douchey and self-important, but I actually didn’t tune away, and that says something.  You can see a full list of winners here, but first, here are some general impressions:

-Ricky Gervais was an awful host.

-Only 90 people vote for these awards?! Why the heck do they matter do much?

-Mo’nique is pretty tough to dislike.  The Precious star has a fire in her eyes and passion in her words, which is a welcome change on a night when you could probably narrate most speeches with the TV on mute.

-Beards are back!  Jon Hamm, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Christoph Waltz, and William Hurt were all sporting facial hair.  Take that, No-Shave-November-disliking-grandparents!

-James Cameron may make some incredibly successful movies, but man, is he unlikable!  The director came across as cocky (“I used the restroom, so I’m going to take my time, so if the music comes on, we’re going to have a problem…”), which was obnoxious enough, but when he used his own Na’vi language from Avatar while talking about himself, it was too much.  James, if you want to be cocky and endearing, please take lessons from Robert Downey Jr..

-Jason Reitman, writer and director of Up In The Air, looks like a cross between Andrew WK and Dave Grohl.

-Hopefully, Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler exhibit more chemistry in The Bounty Hunter than they did while presenting an award.  I know that the teleprompter-induced banter is always awkward, but not saying anything is even more awkward!

-Originally, the only reason I tuned in was to see if Neil Patrick Harris or Lost would win.  I was disappointed to learn that I had missed NPH’s category altogether, even more disappointed to learn that he lost, and hugely disappointed to learn that Lost wasn’t even nominated!

-Sandra Bullock won Best Actress for her work in The Blind Side.  This is a problem.  Sandra must not win the Oscar.  The Best Actress Oscar transforms women into box office poison, and Bullock was just named the biggest box office draw of 2009.  I’ll talk about it more in the Thursday column.

The Top Ten Box Office Stars (Allegedly)

January 6, 2009

Each year, the Quigley Publishing Company conducts a poll to answer the question: Who are the top ten box office draws? Via Quigley’s website:

“The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. Long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are done by people whose livelihood depends on choosing the films that will bring audiences to their theatres.”

Normally, I’m not a huge fan of these generic “End of the Year Top Ten” lists, but the above explanation shows that this is not just a list founded on emotion and trendiness- it’s founded on economic viability, as concluded by the collective group of theater owners. Plus, the poll does hold a certain degree of authority, since it’s been published in the International Motion Picture Almanac for the past 77 years. So without further ado, here’s the list of stars, along with the 2008 films in which they starred:

1. Will Smith (Hancock, Seven Pounds)
2. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)
3. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
4. Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones; New York, I Love You; Eagle Eye)
5. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
6. Adam Sandler (Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Bedtime Stories)
7. Reese Witherspoon (Four Christmases)
8. George Clooney (Leatherheads, Burn After Reading)
9. Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda – voice, Changeling, Wanted)
10. Daniel Craig (Quantum Of Solace, Defiance)

I think that the list is pretty accurate overall, though I would question how much drawing power Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig actually have. I’m more inclined to give the edge in drawing power to Indiana Jones and James Bond over the actors who play them. Yes, they each had a blockbuster that came out this year that made a ton of money, but their stars definitely didn’t make big hits out of 2006’s Firewall ($48 million), or 2007’s The Golden Compass ($70 million vs. its $205 million budget) and The Invasion ($15 million). Sometimes you can be in many successful films, but not be a huge draw in your own right- just ask Elizabeth Banks. In fact, if you look only at raw box office numbers, you know who the biggest star of this entire decade is? Stan Lee.

What about you? Who is your personal box office draw? Mine is definitely Ryan Gosling- I’ve been a total convert ever since I saw him in Lars And The Real Girl.