Archive for the ‘The Hangover’ Category

DVD Sales: The Chart Was Already Hungover Before New Year’s Eve

January 19, 2010

Good news, everyone!  The-Numbers is getting all caught up with their DVD Sales Charts after the holiday delays, and this week, they posted two charts, which wrapped up 2009.  Next week, they should post two more charts, and then be right back on schedule!  You should really check out the site- it’s fantastic.  But let’s get on with the numbers.  Over the past two weeks, a few new movies debuted on the home market, but none of the newcomers could even come close to The Hangover‘s level of success.  The surprise blockbuster (and surprise Best Picture winner at the Golden Globes) continued its dominant run with two straight weeks atop the DVD Sales Chart.  Click inside to see two weeks of DVD Sales along with my observations:

DVD Sales Notes:

The Hangover finished out a relatively weak year of DVD sales with a bang!  With 5.9 million units sold, the R-rated smash comedy has grossed a tremendous $113 million in just two weeks.  It’s a little depressing when you consider that most of those egregiously inappropriate DVDs were opened on Christmas Day… have we truly lost any of the meaning of Christmas?

-Three movies with similar grosses debuted in the last two weeks.  Inglourious Basterds, the sole movie keeping the Weinstein Company alive at this point, had a pretty solid start on the home market.  The fictional World War II account, which earned $120 million in theaters, has moved 2.3 million copies in two weeks, good for $42.5 million in revenue.  Meanwhile, District 9, which earned a similar $115 million in theaters, got off to a softer start.  The alien comedy sold 1.1 million units in its opening week, earning $18.4 million along the way.  Finally, G-Force, the animated guinea pig comedy that found $119 million in theaters, got off to the softest start of the three.  Audiences apparently weren’t too impressed with what they saw in theaters, as G-Force sold only 1.7 million copies for $33.8 million after two weeks.

-Indie sleeper hit (500) Days Of Summer took its sweet time grossing $32.4 million in the late Summer and early Fall.  Will that be the case on the home market as well?  The film, which never earned more than $3.7 million on a weekend during its theatrical run, earned $5.2 million in its first week on DVD.  Not bad for a film budgeted at just $7.5 million.

-Let’s not even talk about All About Steve.  Maybe Sandra Bullock’s success in The Blind Side fooled $3.8 million worth of people to actually pick up this crappy movie on DVD.

-The TV-on-DVD performer of the week goes to Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Darkside, which earned $8 million in its first week.  Other TV big-shots are Lost – The Complete Fifth Season, with it’s $28.5 million gross, and Planet Earth, which has become a $187 million blockbuster in its two and a half years on the home market.

Up and Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen continue their impressive runs, and the films have sold 8.5 million and 9.3 million copies, respectively.  Check out the charts below:

Top DVD Sales For The Week Ending December 27, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Hangover 2,047,577 -47.5% 5,944,241 $42,875,648 $113,683,099 2
2 District 9 1,080,097 -.-% 1,080,097 $18,379,039 $18,379,039 1
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 1,015,598 -29.4% 6,653,089 $16,568,567 $89,246,036 3
4 Inglourious Basterds 819,645 -45.8% 2,331,940 $15,335,640 $42,562,394 2
5 Up 742,861 25.1% 8,477,982 $12,571,808 $145,252,868 7
6 G-Force 647,444 -36.8% 1,671,487 $13,079,081 $33,827,523 2
7 Family Guy: Something, Something, Something, Darkside 630,858 -.-% 630,858 $8,062,365 $8,062,365 1
8 Star Trek 459,067 44.6% 6,069,513 $7,471,499 $89,535,355 6
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 402,758 27.0% 2,976,654 $6,442,114 $39,038,274 4
10 Julie And Julia 399,277 -13.0% 1,841,435 $6,799,687 $31,359,638 3
11 Public Enemies 326,384 -14.0% 1,590,359 $6,084,287 $28,868,532 3
12 (500) Days of Summer 316,351 -.-% 316,351 $5,150,194 $5,150,194 1
13 Santa Buddies 267,004 22.6% 2,177,890 $4,661,436 $38,436,294 5
14 All About Steve 258,609 -.-% 258,609 $3,876,549 $3,876,549 1
15 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 232,195 -0.9% 9,267,823 $5,802,553 $209,054,675 10
16 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 208,443 38.2% $3,435,287 429
17 Terminator Salvation 205,372 -16.1% 1,812,477 $3,361,303 $23,125,217 4
18 The Proposal 195,339 8.7% 4,735,360 $3,404,251 $77,819,029 11
19 Angels And Demons 174,454 4.1% 1,733,804 $3,163,793 $28,808,435 5
20 Four Christmases 173,430 11.0% 1,511,648 $2,970,856 $23,821,144 5
21 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 170,768 50.6% 3,263,274 $2,559,812 $51,580,997 9
22 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 158,687 9.5% 4,825,751 $2,605,053 $81,447,405 9
23 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 147,426 2.3% 4,197,601 $2,578,363 $67,920,913 8
24 Twilight 145,982 16.0% 10,239,767 $2,636,975 $186,221,644 40
25 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 144,968 -.-% $1,439,431 632
26 The Ugly Truth 138,416 95.2% 1,793,982 $2,074,856 $28,373,641 7
27 A Christmas Story 132,683 -.-% $1,260,316 483
28 American Pie Presents: The Book of Love 128,178 -.-% 128,178 $2,177,744 $2,177,744 1
29 Lost – The Complete Fifth Season 122,036 -22.3% 730,531 $5,206,776 $28,582,126 3
30 True Blood: The Complete First Season 114,255 -.-% 1,790,340 $3,247,127 $61,528,999 32
Top DVD Sales For The Week Ending December 20, 2009
Rank Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Hangover 3,896,664 -.-% 3,896,664 $70,807,451 $70,807,451 1
2 Inglourious Basterds 1,512,295 -.-% 1,512,295 $27,226,754 $27,226,754 1
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 1,437,869 -65.8% 5,637,491 $23,095,052 $72,677,469 2
4 G-Force 1,024,043 -.-% 1,024,043 $20,748,442 $20,748,442 1
5 Up 593,852 12.7% 7,735,121 $11,420,546 $132,681,060 6
6 Julie And Julia 459,027 -53.3% 1,442,158 $7,817,230 $24,559,951 2
7 Public Enemies 379,535 -57.1% 1,263,975 $7,337,854 $22,784,245 2
8 Star Trek 317,578 -37.1% 5,610,446 $5,248,453 $82,063,856 5
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 317,188 -49.4% 2,573,896 $5,276,327 $32,596,160 3
10 Terminator Salvation 244,710 -30.8% 1,607,105 $4,031,940 $19,763,914 3
11 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 234,189 -14.3% 9,035,628 $5,852,383 $203,252,122 9
12 Santa Buddies 217,824 -23.8% 1,910,886 $4,358,920 $33,774,858 4
13 The Proposal 179,636 22.6% 4,540,021 $3,324,326 $74,414,778 10
14 Angels And Demons 167,557 -20.8% 1,559,350 $3,435,874 $25,644,642 4
15 Lost – The Complete Fifth Season 157,036 -65.2% 608,495 $6,787,708 $23,375,350 2
16 Four Christmases 156,256 -20.5% 1,338,218 $2,721,980 $20,850,288 4
17 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 150,801 1.1% $2,577,280 428
18 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 144,956 -31.2% 4,667,064 $2,343,620 $78,842,351 8
19 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra 144,177 -18.3% 4,050,175 $2,503,533 $65,342,550 7
20 Planet Earth – The Complete BBC Series 143,787 -.-% 3,475,176 $3,880,811 $187,320,938 139
21 The Original Television Christmas Classics 129,369 -19.8% $2,530,458 275
22 Twilight 125,866 -4.3% 10,093,785 $2,531,920 $183,584,669 39
23 Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie 120,017 -.-% 120,017 $2,399,140 $2,399,140 1
24 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure 113,393 -13.1% 3,092,506 $1,893,663 $49,021,185 8
25 Monsters vs. Aliens 96,637 -40.0% 4,769,589 $1,394,994 $78,758,267 12
26 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (TV Special) 91,182 -.-% 1,991,486 $1,184,454 $31,619,579 161
27 My Sister’s Keeper 88,454 -46.9% 1,044,135 $1,717,777 $17,147,544 5
28 Funny People 74,037 -39.5% 494,994 $1,534,624 $9,632,755 4
29 The Ugly Truth 70,919 -78.8% 1,655,566 $1,063,076 $26,298,785 6
30 Edward Scissorhands 70,140 -.-% $723,550 485

Poll: Which 2009 Release Had The Most Surprisngly Awesome Box Office Run?

January 14, 2010

Let’s try something new: a poll!  Thursdays are the day of the week when I usually do a box office analysis article, and this week I’m answering a request from Rohan (sidenote: I’m reading The Two Towers right now, and I have a whole new appreciation for the word “Rohan”) to go take a look at the biggest box office surprises of 2009.  I’ve narrowed the choices down to seven, and believe it or not, Avatar is not included!  I wanted to showcase those films that exceeded expectations in a big way, so movies that everyone knew would be blockbusters aren’t really on the list.  Check below to read my seven cases as to why each movie deserves your vote, and then go ahead and vote in the poll!  If your ideal choice isn’t listed, then let me know what you think in the comments.  Can’t wait to see the results!

The Blind Side ($220 million so far)

Why it deserves your vote: Because the little $29 million feature opened very well against that  behemoth known as New Moon, earning $34 million in its opening weekend. After that, the feel-good movie showed some incredible legs over the holidays, earning a stunning $220 million, over 6.5 times as much as its opening weekend!  The crazy thing is, it’s still not done, either!

Star Trek ($257.7 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Sure, this flick had a big $150 million budget, but the Star Trek franchise was dead in the water when J.J. Abrams rebooted it.  The critical darling introduced this intergalactic adventure to a brand new generation, and earned a whole lot of money on the way!

Paranormal Activity ($107.9 million)
Why it deserves your vote: This independent horror movie was made for $15,000.  Yes, just $15,000.  After sitting on the shelf for years, Paramount decided to release the film in a few theaters.  Then they started an online marketing campaign.  Then the campaign went viral.  Then Paramount added it to a few more theaters.  Then it made a shocking amount of money. Then everyone started talking about it.  Then Paramount put it into wide release.  Then it killed Saw VI.  Then it broke $100 million.  Then it was declared an all-out phenomenon. 

Taken ($145 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because it was a simple, $25 million action film starring Liam Neeson, who was hardly an A-list box office draw.  I’m sure Fox expected it to do some solid enough business, and then make a little bit extra on DVD, but they got way more than they bargained for. The film opened to a solid $24 million, and it connected with audiences in a huge way.  The thriller surprised everyone over the course of the next two months, dropping by tiny amounts on its way to $145 million.

The Hangover ($277.3 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Warner Brothers launched one of the biggest comedies of all time out of nothing.  No A-list stars, no huge budget, no family-friendly premise, no super-anticipatory buzz.  The R-rated comedy opened to a fantastic $44 million over the first weekend in June, and then chugged along all Summer on its way to $277 million.

Inglorious Basterds ($120.5 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because it made a rather unsavory WWII story accessible to audiences, and actually gave The Weinstein Company a hit!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop ($146.3 million)
Why it deserves your vote: Because, against all odds, the wretchedly reviewed comedy somehow caught on with audiences, launching the Era Of Easy Entertainment in the process.  Who’d of thunk that this $26 million January release would become a box office star?

Go ahead and place your vote in the poll below:

Which 2009 Release Had The Most Surprisingly Great Box Office Run?(polls)

And The Winner Is… Transformers: Dawn of Fallen Dinosaur

July 6, 2009


After a nice, long, relaxing vacation, void of movie news but loaded with Michael Jackson mourning, I’m back to work.

The Fourth of July weekend is usually highly anticipated for big box office releases, but that’s usually when the fourth doesn’t actually fall on that Saturday. Some think this caused a dent in the releases, but they still seemed to just fine.

But we don’t have a clear winner between the top two at the box office. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen both topped out at 42.5 million. Seems the family friendly cartoon did what popular family friendly cartoons do: make loads of money. When anyone who comes to these movies are guaranteed to tack on one to four little tykes, the profit margin is spectacular. And fans have cashed in their dollar votes: they like Michael Bay even when critics don’t. Nobody blows shit up like he does.

Coming in third was the Johnny Depp film Public Enemies with 26.2 million. I saw this film on opening night, and admired it more than enjoyed it. It is very historically accurate, but was rather stagnant. Not exactly a blockbuster, July 4th behemoth. It’s an adult movie, that is perhaps a nice distraction from the typical summer release.

The Proposal landed in fourth with 12.8 million. and The Hangover continued its impressive run, putting 10.4 million into its ever growing piggy bank, and landing it in fifth.

For good measure, Up might be losing steam, coming in sixth with 6.6 million.

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.

This Week In Blockbusters: The Hangover, Year One

June 16, 2009

After the lackluster release of last week’s new movies, let’s hope this weekend fairs better at the theaters. The Hangover is making good money, and Up won’t completely fade out of the picture anytime soon, and soon Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen will rack in millions of dollars as people line up to see Megan Fox run. Until then we have two movies that might make decent money, hopefully more than the combined 30 million of last week’s “This Week In Blockbusters.” Both are PG-13 comedies with big names in the leading role, so I don’t think it’s out of the question to see some decent cash flow by Sunday.


The first is The Proposal, a romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Margaret Tate (Bullock) has taken the corporate ladder by force, and is now the editor in chief of a large publishing company. She pushes her assistant Andrew (Reynolds) very hard, but when she is threatened to be deported to Canada, she must use him for a different person. In order to remain in the country, she forces him to marry her, promising him a promotion to the position of editor. Once people start investigating, they have to legitimize the claim and spend a weekend with Andrew’s family in Alaska. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I bet they fall in love. Expect them to be apart and sad with fifteen minutes left in the movie, only to have one of them romantically show up and express their love to the other.

It’s going to be absurdly predictable, but what romantic comedy isn’t? And do we want them not to be? I didn’t like watching The Break Up end with the two leads still broken up, so I won’t fault them too strongly for predictability. The two stars are pretty solid as well. Sandra Bullock does comedy pretty well, and Ryan Reynolds is actually a pretty funny actor. It looks like the perfect date movie, that will be funny enough for the guy in the relationship to not want to slice his tongue and pour salt on it. Ouch.

Excitement buzz: 7.2/10

The second film coming out is the Jack Black and Michael Cera comedy Year One, a prehistorical farce of a comedy that could really buzz or really bomb. The first preview I saw for this movie left me underwhelmed and thinking it was a pretty dumb idea. When I saw the second trailer for it, I had the “not this again” reaction. That is, until one brief exchange changed my whole view entirely. David Cross plays Cain and Paul Rudd plays Abel, the two brothers from Genesis. They don’t get along:

Abel: This is my brother, Cain. And I am called Abel.
Cain: You are called Suck.

That’s it, that’s all I had to see. I burst out laughing, at something that wasn’t too complex, but it’s a new, funny approach to look that the relationship that ends in fratricide, and the two actors made it hysterical. Now, I can’t wait for this movie. Jack Black plays the obnoxious but lovable buffoon, like he does in every movie, Michael Cera plays the awkward but genuinely kind dweeb, like he does in every movie, the only difference is this time they’re in loin cloths and it’s set in a very fictionalized pass. Comedy gold? I hope so. This summer’s previous foray into temporal comedy, Land of the Lost, didn’t go all that well, so let’s hope Michael Cera’s geeky charm will win us over. Also look out for Olivia Wilde, the beautiful actress who you might recognize from T.V.’s The O.C. and more recently as ’13’ in House.

(That’s her. She’s purdy.)———->

Excitement Buzz: 7.7/10

In the smaller-bad-ass-film-with-limited-release-that-I-won’t-get-to-see-but-am-excited-about category, the zombie horror film Dead Snow will have a limited release this Friday. Not only are they zombies, they’re Nazi zombies, the worst kind, which have been showing up in videogames since the debut of the ‘Wolfenstein’ series. The preview shows the heros wielding hammers, knives, and the necessary for zombie fighting chainsaw (when did this start?) to bring down this undead Fourth Reich. Since I live in the midwest, we don’t get these super-cool releases, meaning I won’t get to see this or Moon for months, if not longer. But it looks like a funny, gory, obvious-in-a-good-way film, that reminds me of March’s Lesbian Vampire Killers, a film that also wasn’t released here. Is there anything more satisfying than watching a Nazi zombie get his arm chain-sawed off? I declare to you that there is not.

As if we don’t dehumanize Nazi’s already. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds is pretty much going to be this movie, except just Nazis, no zombies. So until that comes out, I hope to get a chance to see this bloodfest of the swastika-wearing undead.

Excitement Buzz: 8/10

The Hangover That Just Won’t End

June 16, 2009


Many people are calling The Hangover the surprise hit of the summer, and last weekend showed why, staying number and bringing in 33 million in its second weekend, only twelve million less than its first. In ten days it’s already brought in 105 million dollars, surpassing comparable films such as Wedding Crashers and Knocked Up.

Up held onto the second place spot, making 31 million more dollars to tack onto its already impressive revenue stream. It’s losing viewers, only very slowly.

Then we take a slight dip to The Taking of Pelham 123, which finished in third on its opening weekend to 23.4 million dollars. Denzel Washington and John Travolta didn’t quite have that magnetic pull, and the film has mixed reviews, sitting at 51% at Rotten Tomatoes.

What else came out last weekend? Oh right, the Eddie Murphy family film Imagine That. I saw a site that predicted it would pull in 65 million for it’s opening. They were close, missing only by about 60 million. Coming in sixth place, the film made only 5.5 million dollars, only one tenth of its 55 million dollar budget. It hasn’t received just terrible reviews either, almost half of the people who saw it liked it at least a little (better than a lot of Eddie Murphy’s recent films). But apparently Up is still the family film to go to, and it seems people would rather see it twice than Imagine That once. How can one of the funniest men in our generation keep coming out with movies like this and Meet Dave?

On a different but related note, overall movie-going business was down 24 percent from the same weekend last year, and we hit the lowest attendance mark that we’ve seen since before 1999. The film industry has been relatively recession-proof, so I don’t necessarily blame that. I think it’s more the quality of films for this period. This summer is also the one that will be most strongly affected by the writer’s strike last winter, so that might explain the rather bland dry-spell the industry might be hitting.

Anyway, that’s a look at the number crunching for this past weekend. We’ll see what this weekend does, with two new comedies and a nazi-zombie slasher film coming out, which is impossible to ruin.

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.