Archive for the ‘My Sister's Keeper’ Category

DVD Sales: Star Trek On Top Last Week; Some Old Chart Corrections, This Week’s Chart?

December 8, 2009

Alright, there’s quite a bit to go over this week in DVD Sales.  First off, I spoke with Bruce Nash of The-Numbers, who is an amazing analyst that works hard to put together the DVD Sales Chart each week.  I use his figures, and I never want anyone to forget about the hard work that he does.  I spoke to him because of a discrepancy in the DVD Sales Chart for the week that ended November 15th, when Up topped the charts.  He told me that there was an error in The Numbers’ calculations, and the chart was re-posted with different numbers that had originally been reported.  I’ve posted the revised Nov. 15th chart at the bottom of this post.  Also, the holidays caused a major delay with last week’s chart, for the week ending November 22nd, when Star Trek was the top seller.  Thus, we’re still a week behind, and while I’m trying to sort out all the confusion, I’m going to have to skip my DVD Sales Notes and just give you the two charts.  Obviously, this invalidates last week’s Blu-Ray Sales Chart as well, so I’ll maybe modify that, or maybe restart from scratch.  I’ll keep you posted on this week’s chart, but check out the two accurate ones below:

Top Selling DVDs For The Week Ending November 22, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Star Trek 3,583,259 -.-% 3,583,259 $53,002,492 $53,002,492 1
2 Up 906,565 -77.2% 4,876,357 $17,823,521 $83,880,860 2
3 My Sister’s Keeper 508,464 -.-% 508,464 $8,201,524 $8,201,524 1
4 BrĂ¼no 405,267 -.-% 405,267 $6,536,957 $6,536,957 1
5 Twilight 321,856 130.9% 9,535,382 $6,280,086 $172,465,485 35
6 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 254,770 -58.2% 3,475,441 $4,278,607 $56,292,444 3
7 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 246,170 -35.7% 8,215,830 $5,167,108 $184,599,291 5
8 The Ugly Truth 239,362 -71.6% 1,080,958 $4,236,707 $17,685,411 2
9 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 176,655 -53.5% 4,067,093 $2,783,906 $69,209,173 4
10 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 161,247 -36.0% 2,584,450 $2,417,093 $41,164,109 4
11 The Proposal 122,547 -22.6% 3,884,819 $1,999,832 $64,467,454 6
12 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas 122,189 -.-% 122,189 $2,320,369 $2,320,369 1
13 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 101,406 -.-% 642,972 $2,411,435 $22,079,926 10
14 Polar Express, The 84,207 -33.5% $757,021 204
15 The Taking of Pelham 123 82,415 -60.4% 1,236,653 $1,317,816 $19,081,539 3
16 Monsters vs. Aliens 78,832 -30.6% 4,085,172 $1,095,032 $70,312,134 8
17 Hannah Montana The Movie 66,290 1.2% 2,985,460 $927,397 $50,663,318 14
18 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 64,140 0.4% $899,429 418
19 Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season 63,065 -.-% 427,183 $1,197,604 $14,417,136 13
20 Original Television Christmas Classics, The 59,124 -.-% $1,270,575 271
21 Aliens in the Attic 56,257 -27.7% 449,820 $1,028,378 $7,519,390 3
22 Fight Club 49,807 -.-% $1,244,677 494
23 Orphan 44,694 -18.4% 528,382 $759,351 $9,460,898 4
24 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 39,416 -43.3% 4,063,277 $579,805 $68,470,302 10
25 Land of the Lost 36,191 -64.8% 946,881 $521,874 $14,903,326 6
26 The Wizard of Oz 30,139 -.-% $520,265 661
27 Gone with the Wind 28,666 -.-% $720,090 578
28 Mickey’s Magical Christmas 27,384 -54.3% $410,486 420
29 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 26,536 -.-% $265,095 320
30 Coraline 24,853 -.-% 2,158,758 $406,876 $39,262,749 18

Top Selling DVDs For The Week Ending November 15, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Up 3,969,792 -.-% 3,969,792 $66,057,339 $66,057,339 1
2 The Ugly Truth 841,596 -.-% 841,596 $13,448,704 $13,448,704 1
3 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 608,966 -76.7% 3,220,671 $9,834,801 $52,013,837 2
4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 382,688 -53.0% 7,969,660 $8,223,965 $179,432,183 4
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 380,306 -62.1% 3,890,438 $6,758,038 $66,425,267 3
6 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 252,082 -61.5% 2,423,203 $4,030,791 $38,747,016 3
7 The Taking of Pelham 123 208,017 -78.0% 1,154,238 $3,201,382 $17,763,723 2
8 The Proposal 158,395 -44.4% 3,762,272 $2,733,898 $62,467,621 5
9 Twilight 139,395 -7.4% 9,213,526 $2,727,960 $166,185,399 34
10 Polar Express, The 126,636 39.7% $1,138,458 203
11 Monsters vs. Aliens 113,536 -28.4% 4,006,340 $1,531,601 $69,217,102 7
12 Land of the Lost 102,818 -5.4% 910,690 $1,181,379 $14,381,451 5
13 Aliens in the Attic 77,808 -75.4% 393,563 $1,366,308 $6,491,012 2
14 Peanuts Holiday Collection 73,441 -.-% $1,688,409 479
15 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 69,471 -27.1% 4,023,861 $1,064,296 $67,890,497 9
16 Tale of Despereaux, The 67,486 -.-% 1,384,441 $1,011,615 $23,343,403 32
17 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 67,089 -.-% $841,296 626
18 Hannah Montana The Movie 65,502 -35.0% 2,919,170 $981,875 $49,735,921 13
19 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 63,914 -.-% $798,286 417
20 Mickey’s Magical Christmas 59,944 -26.2% $958,505 419
21 Orphan 54,783 -61.4% 483,688 $985,546 $8,701,547 3
22 I Love You, Beth Cooper 52,401 -59.1% 180,375 $1,002,431 $3,176,709 2
23 Edward Scissorhands 44,488 -54.8% $462,724 480
24 My One and Only 40,889 -.-% 40,889 $694,704 $694,704 1
25 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Season One 40,095 -75.1% 201,237 $1,202,449 $6,035,098 2
26 Dark Knight, The 38,090 -10.7% 12,998,694 $380,519 $224,403,516 49
27 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan 32,949 -61.2% 297,598 $623,066 $5,627,578 3
28 Watchmen 25,725 -.-% 2,291,602 $731,105 $48,465,819 17
29 My Life in Ruins 20,954 -.-% 279,539 $418,870 $5,587,985 6
30 Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season 19,864 -.-% 161,602 $580,029 $5,135,308 5


Transformers Breaks The 200 Million Mark

June 29, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen blew up the record books, despite, or perhaps because of, its only upside being “blowing stuff up.” The movie has been critically panned, but that’s okay, a lot of times I’ll like movies critics despised, and so will the rest of we normal viewers who saw the film. Only I have heard such negative things about this movie I can’t possibly believe word-of-mouth is very positive. Apparently it’s like watching a giraffe pee all over the Mona Lisa: visually impressive, but absolutely horrifying to behold (come on, you know that would be a sweet image).

Despite this, it managed to pull in 201 Million Dollars in its first five days. It came dangerously close to knocking The Dark Knight out of its first place spot for that record, which I think would have caused a batman fanboy uprising like we haven’t seen since the great Batman and Robin debacle of ’97. Transformers put it’s name on all kinds of record books, including one of the biggest Wednesday openings ever. In fact, of it’s 201 million, only 112 came during the weekend. The rest was from Wednesday and Thursday showings, probably paid for by 14 year old boys ever, who probably loved it in a Megan-Fox-has-nice-boobies kind of way. Older guys still see that as a plus, but they still seem to notice some of the more atrocious aspects of the movie, like Robot Heaven. Now All Dogs Go to Heaven was a fantastic childhood film, but I don’t think celestial paradise for car-robots is as impactful. Oh, it’s also really fucking stupid.

But the damge is done, and the money is in. It also pulled in a cool 180 million overseas, which puts this as the king of the summer, and has put up numbers hard to beat. Let’s hope Harry Potter can work some magic, I know the fans are anxious.

The other new opener this week, the weep-fest My Sister’s Keeper fizzled at 12 million in its first three days. This was a little surprising, I thought it might pull a Mama Mia and draw in females and people over 30 who thought Transformers to be a little too boistorous for their palate. Alas, it did not, finishing in fifth place. The Proposal, The Hangover, and Up, managed to hold onto their high place in the box office rankings.

Movie Review: My Sister’s Keeper. I’m The Only Male In The U.S. That Saw This Instead Of Transformers

June 28, 2009

While all you poor saps were sitting through the bombastic train wreck I understand Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to be (I’ll be seeing it shortly), I was sitting through the ‘Anti-Transformers’ movie of the weekend, much like Mama Mia was the Anti-Dark Knight last summer. The theater I was in was actually packed with people, so much that when an older gentlemen with a walker came in, the groups that took up each handicap spot avoided each other’s gaze, because whoever stood for him was going to have very limited choice in seating. In the end none of them stood. Assholes.

It was an ironic beginning for a movie entitled My Sister’s Keeper, a play on the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” To which the answer is, indubitably, ‘Yes,’ since the person asking is Cain, the first murderer. Apparently, those in the handicap section forgot that, and let the old man find his own damn seat.

Now, for starters, I give you a warning. Only go see this movie if you want to have your emotions manipulated like Play-Doh. If you’re not willing to sit through some sappy, melodramatic scenes, you’d best get your tears elsewhere. I understand there’s “Transformer’s Heaven” in that other movie, I’m sure that’s pretty touching. Everything in this movie is written to shape your emotions as the creators desired. So if you’re willing, it does a decent job at it.

That’s not saying this movie, about a family struggling through a fifteen-year-old’s battle with cancer, doesn’t have some genuine moments. There’s some real drama mixed in with the melodrama. My point is that the film works really, really, hard to get you to cry, with everyone involved. As if the battle with cancer wasn’t enough, they decided to have a very minor character have an entire scene devoted to her struggle coping with the death of her 12 year old daughter. Necessary? Absolutely not. But my theater was sniffling.

Which is to say one thing about the movie: it is very well acted. The character mentioned above is actually the Judge in the court case I will explain very shortly, and she’s played well by Joan Cusack. When this relatively unimportant character draws tears from the audience, it must be a fine actress playing the part. And the rest of the cast does a great job as well. There’s only one weak link, the son played by Evan Ellingson, but he’s still more than acceptable. He’s also given the most melodramatic role to play at the film’s climax, so the writing could be to blame.

The film is about (finally, a synopsis) the Fitzgerald family working through the cancer struggle of their fifteen year old daughter, Kate (Sofia Vassilieva). The mother, Sara (Cameron Diaz), is a fierce, relentless warrior-mom, doing everything she possibly can to let her daughter survive. The father Brian (Jason Patric) is a little mellower, and tries to ensure his daughter’s happiness. But when it becomes clear Kate is going to need a lot of tough medical work, the two decide the best route is to create little Anna, played by Abigail Breslin. Abigail is genetically engineered en vitro to be a perfect match for Kate, a bag of organs and blood that will be able to swap sisters when Kate really needs it. And she does, a lot. We find out Anna has undergone numerous procedures, some fairly serious, by the time she is 11, all in the name of helping her sister. But one day, little 11 year old Anna walks into the law office of Campbell Alexander (Alec Baldwin), who thinks she’s selling girl scout cookies. Turns out, she wants to sue her parents for the medical rights to her own body. They have recently learned Kate needs a new kidney, or she will go into complete renal failure and die. Turning to their spare-daughter once more, Anna seems to decide she can’t take it. The risks of having one kidney, and the cost it will lay on her later in life (she couldn’t be as active as the other girls, would have to be more careful, there are more risks in pregnancy, etc. etc.) is too high. “I’m important too!” She screams at her mother, who had slapped her when she was first served the legal papers.

If that sounds like an interesting premise, it is. The movie breaks the melodrama just enough to raise the interesting, ethical questions that the film is actually dealing with. And it is an intriguing one. “Can you bring a child into being in order to harvest her organs for another? What are the repercussions? What does it do to the child? To the family? Okay, now more crying.” After the initial questions are asked, it brings them back up only every now and then. Brian, in particular, seems to understand the dilemma, more than Sara, who thinks Anna is killing her sister. But the question is largely forgotten so we don’t have to be all philosophical while we weep.

As I said, the film is acted very well. Each character does exactly what their role calls for them. And even when it doesn’t call for much, they make that position worth watching. The two female children are fantastic. Sofia Vassilieva is spectacular and moving as the dying Kate, who is a child in years but an adult in tribulations. She conveys just the right emotions at just the right time, with one rather hilarious exception where those in charge decided, in one of the film’s many flashbacks, that Kate went through a rebellious, emo stage. That’s the only time Kate didn’t work. She was usually just a sweet natured girl, trying to live in the situation she was put in.

Then there’s Abigail Breslin, who is not only an adorable child actress, but also immensely talented. Abigail, I beg of you, don’t walk the path that so many have before you! She really is too sweet and too talented to fall the way of Lindsay Lohan. (For those who are unaware, Abigail is already an Academy Award nominated actress). She plays Anna perfectly, protective of and devoted to her sister, who is clearly her best friend. She and Vassilieva give moving performances, worthy to melt even the coldest of hearts.

Brian and Jesse Fitzgerald are backgrounds in this matriarchal family structure. Brian is a good father, who has “lost the love of his life” according to Kate, since Sara has dropped everything to help her daughter, including her husband. Brian doesn’t resent this, and understands the struggle. He cares immensely for his daughter’s happiness, and it shows. Jesse is a largely forgotten character. It’s implied he’s somewhat of a delinquent, a subplot that is much more fleshed out in the original novel. But even he gets some sweet moments in. And an incredibly cheesy one where he tears up a painting and let’s it blow off the top of a building.

Cameron Diaz’s first foray into cinematic motherhood is an interesting one. I don’t think it was her fault that Sara came off as such a bitch, but just the way the character was formed. She makes it quite clear her loyalties lie with her eldest daughter, and her eldest daughter alone. But even so, she is incredibly blind, and never realizes that the person who should be the most upset about Anna’s decision, isn’t, and in fact the two sisters seem closer than ever. Anna isn’t a selfish girl wanting her sister to die, but Sara just can’t lose, and shields herself from the glaring truth: Kate wants it to end. Sara has never listened to her when she’s spoken like that, always telling her to keep pushing, so Kate has to resort to getting her younger sister to fight the battle for her. And though Sara is stubborn, she is doing it for all the right reasons, and it would be hard to judge a person in her situation. And she has glimmering moments of kindness. She shaves her head bald to look like her daughter, she gets giddy when taking pictures of her daughter before a dance, and she has perhaps the most moving transformation of the movie.

I would also like to compliment Thomas Dekker, who plays Taylor, Kate’s boyfriend and inspiration for part of the film, who naturally has cancer as well. Though it comes to a tragic and predictable end, their romance is pretty genuine. It has the innocence of their youth but the weight of maturity, as they both understand the uncertainties of tomorrow. Yeah, it’s a little awkward because he looks ten years older, and it’s strange seeing the two bald patients spooning in the nude (blech), but it was a nice relationship to watch. He definitely has a little Edward Cullen in him, seeing as he was quiet and expressionless for the better part of his presence. But he also didn’t make me want to hit him, something Edward Cullen does every time he’s on screen.

Oh, and we can add this to the “Movie’s I’ve laughed in more than Year One list.” Sure, a lot of the laughter is of the “Oh thank God, some comic relief after watching the young chemo-patient throw up into a trashcan,” variety, but it’s laughter nonetheless.

The ending of the movie is sad, but predictable. Unless, of course, you’ve read the book, which ends completely differently. And for those who thought the movie was depressing, you better be glad they altered it. In the book, the end actually has Anna getting in a car crash and being left brain dead. Her lawyer, Campbell Alexander, has the rights to make her medicinal decisions (since they had won their lawsuit) and has them give Kate her kidney. The book ends with Anna dying, and Kate surviving the transplant, but still sick with cancer. Damn, now that’s a real bummer.

One of the more glaring complaints I have with this movie is that the first third is told largely in voice over vignettes from different members of the family. This was likely done to keep the style of the book, which alternates narrators between chapters, but it’s a tactic that ultimately does not work in film. There’s quite a large chunk of movie spent on sad montages and a dramatic voice over, a tactic I thought distracted from the film and convoluted the style. It worked quite well in Watchmen, but here it never really added much, but was used because they couldn’t think of another way to get their point across.

So did I cry in this movie? No. My eyes welled a few times, but a tear never fell. My theater, however, was full of sniffles that actually made it hard to hear the movie. Now I’ve said this movie is melodramatic, and it was, and it’s one of its greatest faults. There’s a difference between a story that is sad and packaging sadness in story form in order to illicit an emotion from your audience. With every little piece of the film trying to get you to cry, I wonder if Kleenex had some investment in this film. It gets exhausting, and I would have rather them tried to make a movie that happened to be sad than try to flood the world with the tears of the viewers.

But it has some truly genuine moments, and has that fantastic ethical premise, with strong outings from all involved. So if you want to be moved (superficially and legitimately), this is a good movie to go to.

Rating: 7/10