Archive for the ‘Year One’ Category

DVD Sales: The Proposal Wins, Land Of The Lost Loses

October 28, 2009

Another week, another DVD Sales Chart!  Hot on the heels of the huge debuts of Wolverine and Monsters Vs. Aliens, we had yet another blockbuster debut this week, but this time it was females who drove this one to the top.  Click on inside to keep reading my DVD Sales Notes…

DVD Sales Notes:

-Sandra Bullock flexes her star power once again as The Proposal sells a huge 2.4 million DVDs in its first week for a $39.3 million total! For an already successful movie that grossed $163.9 million, this is a fantastic result, and it shows that romantic comedies, if they’re good enough and have the right stars, are still a hot commodity.

-Just as Land Of The Lost was ignored in theaters, its DVD debut is equally inauspicious with a $7.4 million sales week.  The Will Ferrell movie that never took off only made $49.4 million in theaters, though it carried a huge $100 million budget.

Trick ‘r Treat‘s release is confusing to me.  According to reviews, it’s good.  But it’s available almost nowhere, and it received no promotion, so I’m not sure what Warner Brothers is doing with it.  All I know is that it should probably be earning more than the $2 million its earned after two weeks…

-On the TV front, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 4 and Bones: The Complete Fourth Season are both doing pretty well on DVD, as each show passed the $10 million mark in sales this week.

-Once again, the Halloween effect is in full force this week.  (Except with the debut of Drag Me To Hell! Why won’t people watch this movie- it’s great!)  If you need proof, look no further that Hocus Pocus‘ #14 re-entry onto the chart!

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 18, 2009
# Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 The Proposal 2,413,215 -.-% 2,413,215 $39,261,077 $39,261,077 1
2 Land of the Lost 460,924 -.-% 460,924 $7,370,175 $7,370,175 1
3 Monsters vs. Aliens 380,564 -46.4% 3,326,567 $6,744,774 $58,075,082 3
4 Drag Me to Hell 341,229 -.-% 341,229 $5,797,481 $5,797,481 1
5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 177,854 -3.1% 3,697,164 $2,748,076 $62,869,550 5
6 Year One 148,654 -56.6% 491,556 $2,376,977 $7,859,980 2
7 Hannah Montana The Movie 107,388 13.7% 2,632,023 $1,624,780 $45,431,718 9
8 Katt Williams: Pimpadelic 97,494 -.-% 97,494 $1,656,423 $1,656,423 1
9 The Wizard of Oz 79,395 -34.9% $1,468,014 656
10 Edward Scissorhands 76,982 -14.0% $805,586 476
11 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 73,603 -27.7% 913,902 $1,397,721 $16,104,058 4
12 Corpse Bride, The 73,362 -28.8% $402,757 194
13 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 68,535 -14.8% $641,261 215
14 Hocus Pocus 64,433 -.-% $385,954 385
15 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4 62,985 -.-% 411,649 $1,573,995 $10,644,577 5
16 Bones: The Complete Fourth Season 62,502 -70.5% 274,623 $2,343,200 $10,189,556 2
17 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 62,261 -25.5% $404,074 315
18 Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season 60,572 -.-% 60,572 $1,937,698 $1,937,698 1
19 Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford’s Big Halloween 60,330 -22.8% 199,057 $512,202 $1,689,994 162
20 My Life in Ruins 58,882 -55.4% 190,871 $1,177,051 $3,815,511 2
21 Break-Up, The 57,435 -23.6% 3,120,825 $466,085 $51,548,518 157
22 Coraline 53,091 -4.4% 2,088,101 $825,103 $38,144,080 13
23 Race to Witch Mountain 50,678 -21.4% 1,586,609 $828,347 $28,766,644 11
24 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 47,782 -21.1% 624,910 $716,252 $10,903,483 7
25 Observe and Report 45,610 -37.5% 438,837 $911,744 $8,110,879 4
26 Trick ‘r Treat 43,438 -53.3% 136,356 $651,136 $2,043,976 2
27 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 42,473 -26.5% 730,153 $636,670 $10,601,492 5
28 The Sandlot 38,989 -42.2% $279,575 403
29 Management 35,681 -.-% 118,931 $713,263 $2,377,431 3
30 Crank 2: High Voltage 35,474 -24.5% 624,346 $667,110 $11,336,000 6


DVD Sales: Monsters Repeats On Top; Year One Has A Poor Week One; Halloween Titles Flourish

October 20, 2009
I won’t lie to you- it was a pretty slow week on the Home Market, and the chart looks fairly similar to last week, but there are a couple of surprises, and some of them are just so random, I don’t even know what to think!  Take a look inside for my DVD Sales Notes and the full DVD Sales Chart:

DVD Sales Notes

Monsters Vs. Aliens repeats its reign on top of the chart this week, adding an additional $12.6 million to its gross.  In two weeks, it’s sold just under 3 million copies, giving it a smokin’ $51.5 million total.

-Unfortunately for Year One, the crass caveman comedy starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, did as poorly in its first week on DVD as it did in theaters.  Year One sold 348,954 copies, for a sad total of just $5.6 million.

-The impressive TV-on-DVD performer of the week is Bones: The Complete Fourth Season, which earned about $8 million in its first week.  For a procedural show, this is pretty great!

The Cat In The HatMatilda?!  THE SANDLOT?!?!  Am I ten years old again?  Are we seeing an early Christmas shopping effect?  I mean, these titles are just too random to reappear on the chart, and other things like Race To Witch Mountain, Gran Torino, and Bring It On: Fight To The Finish saw solid increases, as well.  Maybe these all got  re-releases that I didn’t know about, but I’m calling early Christmas sales.  The Break Up has to be the most random thing on that chart, though.  I guess Vince Vaughn’s turn in Couples Retreat inspired people to go check out this 2006 title.

-Whether or not we’re seing any kind of Christmas effect, we’re definitely starting to see a major Halloween effect on the home market.  The Corpse Bride, almost 4 years after its original release found $538,507 this week, good for eighth place among all DVDs.  Trick ‘r Treat, the direct-to-DVD feature starring Anna Paquin, earned $1.4 million.  This must have been bad- Warner Bros. didn’t even try to promote it.  Other spooky movies that are benefiting from the Halloween effect include Edward Scissorhands (+24%), Spookley The Square Pumpkin (+29%), Clifford’s Big Halloween (+33%), and Coraline (+6%). 

Check out the full chart below:

Top DVD Sales for the Week Ending October 11, 2009
# Title Units this Week % Chg Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Wks
1 Monsters vs. Aliens 720,831 -67.8% 2,956,450 $12,586,574 $51,512,725 2
2 Year One 348,954 -.-% 348,954 $5,579,774 $5,579,774 1
3 Bones: The Complete Fourth Season 215,745 -.-% 215,745 $7,980,408 $7,980,408 1
4 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 186,911 -32.0% 3,522,587 $3,181,692 $60,177,257 4
5 My Life in Ruins 135,012 -.-% 135,012 $2,698,890 $2,698,890 1
6 The Wizard of Oz 123,839 -60.5% $2,510,093 655
7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 105,458 -46.8% 843,959 $2,002,647 $14,775,840 3
8 Corpse Bride, The 105,313 57.5% $538,507 193
9 Hannah Montana The Movie 95,870 -8.2% 2,526,024 $1,868,506 $43,834,009 8
10 Trick ‘r Treat 94,717 -.-% 94,717 $1,419,808 $1,419,808 1
11 Edward Scissorhands 91,185 24.0% $949,044 475
12 Dr. Seuss – Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites 85,851 47.1% $446,425 314
13 Spookley the Square Pumpkin 82,751 29.0% $743,931 214
14 Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford’s Big Halloween 80,445 32.8% 141,030 $682,978 $1,197,345 161
15 Break-Up, The 77,201 -.-% 3,065,432 $631,844 $51,099,146 156
16 Observe and Report 74,101 -25.7% 394,301 $1,481,279 $7,220,604 3
17 Thomas and Friends: Percy’s Ghostly Trick 70,641 7.5% 136,368 $704,997 $1,360,953 58
18 The Sandlot 69,272 -.-% $542,344 402
19 Matilda 66,461 -.-% $492,476 638
20 Race to Witch Mountain 65,451 20.5% 1,536,879 $1,279,914 $27,956,835 10
21 Bring It On: Fight to the Finish 61,487 19.1% 578,019 $967,805 $10,201,255 6
22 Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat 61,054 -.-% $478,053 291
23 Superman/Batman: Public Enemies 59,108 -70.1% 256,737 $1,004,245 $4,276,981 2
24 Barbie and the Three Musketeers 58,676 -29.4% 688,531 $879,553 $9,977,578 4
25 Coraline 56,369 5.9% 2,035,827 $910,528 $37,332,174 12
26 Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins 54,062 -14.6% 293,468 $1,088,376 $5,748,566 3
27 Gran Torino 52,404 -.-% 3,742,591 $605,004 $56,578,091 18
28 How I Met Your Mother: Season Four 52,216 -58.0% 176,516 $1,351,872 $4,458,129 2
29 Sons of Anarchy – Season One 49,305 -.-% 315,685 $1,601,919 $10,128,597 8
30 Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season 49,233 -37.1% 476,550 $1,771,896 $17,328,566 4
All numbers via The-Numbers

Transformers Demolishes Record For Wednesday Opening

June 25, 2009

Evidently the explosives used to make Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were also used to completely destroy the old record for Wednesday openings. It racked in almost 61 million in its opening day, 16 of it coming from midnight showings. The previous holder was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which opened to 44.2 million. This is a huge blockbuster opening, and could put us back on the summer movie money train, which has hit a small bump. There were still some successes, but Up made in its first weekend what Transformers has made in its opening day, in the middle of the week no less. /Film estimates earnings from 150-170 million by the time the weekend is over.

After leaving the shit-tacular Year One in a daze on Tuesday evening, I was slowly brought back to life by the army of teens and tweens lined up to see this movie, two hours early for its release. The only people over 18 had brought painted boxes and dressed up like transformers themselves. I’m not judging. It was an impressive sight, and made me look forward to the next midnight release I go to, whatever that will be. Though I hope that one will have a smaller concentration of children. Even Harry Potter will bring in the ‘generation one’ kids that are my age. This looked like a Jonas Brothers concert, though perhaps the male/female ration was about 50/50 rather than 1-gay-kid/99. Again, not judging. But I gather the Jonas Brothers more successful with the effeminate.

Anyway, expect some triple digit numbers for the first time since Star Trek if my memory serves me correctly. Which it doesn’t, a little research tells me. We haven’t seen a triple digit opening weekend yet.

Until now.

Year One: I Almost Laughed More In Schindler’s List

June 24, 2009

I’ll say this about Year One, I’d rather watch it than get cancer. That’s one of the few positive things I can say about this movie.

Let me preface what is about to be my most scathing review to date by saying this: I’m pretty forgiving, movie-wise. If a film has some glaring issues, but I’m still entertained, I’ll give it a good review. I’ll point out the flaws, sure, but explain why they’re forgivable when taking in the whole picture. I really try to find positives in movies, which is why I’m surprised whenever I really don’t like one. And I really didn’t like Year One. I’m going to break a lot of rules with this review, namely “don’t plot summarize.” But let me explain why. I’m going to do it so I can go through each plot point piece by piece and tell you exactly why I hated it. Also I hope to leave you certain that you don’t want to see this movie. Believe me, I know what it’s like to read negative reviews and think that you might still like it. I did it with this very film. Don’t do it. If you want to be entertained for nine bucks, get 900 pennies and throw them at small children. Guaranteed to be more fun than Year One.

The movie starts out introducing Zed (Jack Black), who is an idiot, fat ‘hunter’ in a small tribe of primitive people. His best, and only friend Oh (Michael Cera) is a ‘gatherer,’ a much more effeminate job, which consists of picking berries “that have the least amount of bird shit on them.” The fact that they took the term ‘hunter-gatherer’ and applied them to the two only jobs in this tribe is, in fact, one of the wittier high points of the movie. It degrades quickly from here, with the bar already set pretty low.

Zed and Oh are both attracted to two different girls in the tribe who want nothing to do with them, and want to be with the ‘stud’ hunters. Get it? It’s like high-school.  The whole movie plays with anachronism, putting modern social norms in a biblical setting, or having the two leads play themselves, but as cavemen.  Oh is in love with Eema (Juno Temple), who is Zed’s younger sister. This fact plays absolutely no part in the movie, as Zed never shows anything resembling familial ties to her, other than to set up a joke, if we can call it that, that reveals Zed had sex with his mother. He makes the joke, it’s not funny, and then he persists with it, and it never gets funny, until you’re left wondering if there were people behind the camera drowning themselves in absinthe to numb the pain. And suddenly you wish there were a bar in this damn theater, because you just spent nine dollars a ticket and ten dollars on snacks only to have your entire outlook on life embittered.

Such is the plague of this movie. Unfunny jokes that last too long. In fact, at 100 minutes, the movie itself runs to long. I’d have cut it off at about five.

Zed, in order to get some respect in the tribe, goes to the forbidden Tree of Knowledge and eats of the golden fruit. For this he is banished from the tribe, but leaves with Oh convinced that he is a genius, and destined for greatness. They then go through various biblical characters in a haphazard manner, all of which could have been hysterical, few of which were. First they come upon Cain and Abel… No, excuse me. First they come along a pile of dung. So of course, Jack Black’s going to eat it.

ASIDE: I’m sorry, we’re going to have to dissect the poo joke here, because it’s a humor phenomena worth studying. It is a very delicate joke, one that if you choose to perform, you’d best do it well. It better be absolutely hysterical, because otherwise you’re the idiot that just attempted a joke involving fecal matter that nobody laughed at. Now let’s go through the many rules of the poo joke.

1. It has to have a purpose.

I think that’s all we really need to explain why Year One‘s attempt at this comedy gem failed so miserably. It is not funny for somebody to just find shit and put it in their mouth. But that’s pretty much what happens. So the purpose is: that he eats shit for no purpose! Do you see what they did there? They thought it would be funny to have somebody consume doodie when he had no reason to do so. That does not work with shit jokes. All you did was disgust me, you didn’t make me laugh. In American Wedding, we had Stiffler eating dog poo, because he had lost he wedding ring in a dog’s bowles and the relatives thought he was carrying a chocolate truffle. In desperation, he shoved it in his mouth. It was a gross out move (all poo jokes are), but it was also pretty damn funny. It had a set-up, it had a reason, and it made me laugh. Austin Powers had Mike Myers drink poo when he thought it was coffee. Once again, there was a point. He didn’t know he had poured the wrong cup, but the audience did. You watched tensely wondering if they were actually going to show it, and you guffawed when they did. Bonus points when he took a second sip and said, “it’s a bit nutty.” And of course, Dumb and Dumber has one of the most successful poo jokes in history.

If you’re wondering, the second rule of the poo joke is “It has to be funny,” a rule that was also broken here.

So now they come upon Cain and Abel, who don’t get along. There was a line in the preview that really made me look forward to this scene, “This is my brother Cain, and I am called Abel.” “You are called Suck.” David Cross’s and Paul Rudd’s banter looked promising. Then I got to the movie, and the ‘suck’ joke was extended until it wasn’t funny anymore. And nothing else about that scene was either. I suppose we were supposed to laugh as the fratricidal Cain brutally beat Abel with a rock. Then he said, “what have I done?” But Abel stirs. So he picks up the rock and beats Abel again. “What have I done, again?” he wails. But Abel stirs once more, so Cain rolls his eyes and starts again, moaning, “What do I continue to do?” in a faux distraught voice. LOL! So funny. David Cross, perhaps the most ardent hater of ‘obvious humor,’ should go bathe the hypocrisy off himself, along with any semblance of humor he has left.

By convincing, and threatening, Zed and Oh to stay quiet, Cain invites the two to eat dinner with his family, which includes father Adam, retarded son Seth—

ANOTHER ASIDE: Retarded jokes. Once again, they need a purpose. I’m not just going to laugh at the mentally handicapped because they’re mentally handicapped. I know, there are people who say it’s wrong to ever make the joke, but if the joke is going to be made, you’re going to have to do more than make him sound autistic. END ASIDE.

—and daughter Lilith. Adam (director Harold Ramis) has nothing funny to say, at all. Oh and Seth share a bed for the night, all the while Seth shows off his flatulence to Oh, laughing hysterically after each one.

YET ANOTHER SIDE: Fart jokes. When is the last time I actually laughed at a fart joke in a movie? They are so terribly cliched, so generic, so easy, and so bland I think I pretty much always think less of a movie that has one. Remember Adam Sandler’s Click? That movie might have been better, had it not had an extended sequence where Adam Sandler farts into David Hasselhoff’s mouth. Year One is no better. In fact, it’s worse, because this time David Hasselhoff is nowhere to be found.

I can actually think of of the last time, and it was Jack Black in Tropic Thunder. But that whole scene was a parody of the fart joke, and of The Nutty Professor, which might be the only other time I’ve laughed at cinema flatulence.

Zed sleeps the night with Lilith, hoping to ‘lay with’ her, only to find out she’s a lesbian. Once again, it’s a pointless idea that ultimately serves no purpose, save a line from Zed which is one of the funnier lines of the movie, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. All my brain blood was in my boner.”

Zed, Oh, and Cain leave Adam, after Abel’s body is discovered. There’s a ‘Mark of Cain’ joke I wouldn’t have gotten were I not familiar with the play Children of Eden, but since I was it was actually kind of funny. Or maybe I took pleasure in watching the irritating Cain get struck by lighting. They arrive in a town, where they find their entire tribe has been kidnapped and are being sold as slaves of the Sodomites. Now we get to the ‘plot,’ if you can call it that, as the set up for the movie is about the two heroes saving their women from servitude.

Eventually the two end up meeting Abraham (Hank Azaria) on a mountain top, poised and ready to stab his son Isaac (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who might as well change his name to ‘Mclovin’). I was hoping, praying, that Hank Azaria might save this film. He’s one of my favorite character actors, and is one of the funniest men in Hollywood. He has his moments, but his screen time is too brief and jokes too few to really salvage anything. There’s a decent gag about his obsession with circumcision, but he’s soon gone and forgotten.

They end up in Sodom (I couldn’t believe this movie only made on ‘sodomy’ joke) and find their women enslaved by the king. The princess Inanna (Olivia Wilde) is disgusted with her society, and how the people are treated, so she’s starving herself in protest. What a martyr. She sees in Jack Black an opportunity to start a revolution, since he was too enamored with her to bow as she passed on the street.

Oh is forced to follow around the high priest, played by Oliver Platt, who is another one of my favorite character actors. And he does a pretty good job here; he’s subtle enough with his wispy, homosexual voice, and ignorance of anything spiritual, to bring out some chuckles. I got a good chuckle out of him saying, “It looks like a smiley face, which makes me happy,” while reading pig entrails for the future. But once more, it’s not enough. It’s pretty funny to watch him force Oh to rub oil all over his fat, hairy chest, and his lines make it even better. But when all is said and done, this last fleeting hope for some real comedy dies like the dreams of idiots who want to be astronauts.

Michael Cera and Jack Black play the same characters they always do, but for some reason they just weren’t funny here. Black especially, who was more annoying and less likeable than usual. Cera is the master of deadpan, he’s great at getting chuckles but never gut-wrenching laughter. And there are times where his quiet lines were passably quotable. He’s the only thing that perhaps almost comes close to possibly thinking about considering to save this movie.

This film, I knew, would either be great or be terrible, there was no middle ground. I still like the premise, and think it could have been done with satire and wit that could have made this truly memorable. The material was all there, but they went with fart jokes and poop eating instead. I came dreadfully close to walking out, which I have never done before. I was ready for it to be over about halfway through, and as it drags on (and drags it does), the jokes get scarcer and scarcer, and I just couldn’t wait for those credits to roll. Then hopefully I could get therapy and, in time, be happy again.

Here’s the real kicker though. For most of the movie, it wasn’t that I wasn’t laughing at their jokes, it’s that there weren’t jokes to laugh at. Or if they were, they were so incredibly unfunny that they weren’t even recognizable attempts at humor. Either way, this film is a laughless, joyless, witless, waste of time and money I cannot beg you enough to stay away from. I pretty much mentioned all of the remotely funny parts here, just so you now have no reason to see it. So you’re welcome, there’s no need to thank me.

I didn’t see Land of the Lost, which was also critically panned, and I’m sure many thought would be the bomb of the summer. Somehow I can’t imagine it being worse than Year One. In fact, I bet the latter makes the former look like Casablanca. Expect Year One to take every ‘Razzie’ award next year.

That a man directly involved in Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Caddyshack could come out with something so God-awfully terrible as this astounds me. I think we’d be breaking ten laws of the Geneva Convention if we showed this to our Gitmo prisoners.

Movies funnier than Year One:

-The Hangover
-Rosemary’s Baby
-The Exorcist
(Seriously. The line “There’s an alien pubic hair in my drink,” gave more laughs).
-Old Yeller
-The Birds
-Requiem for a Dream
-Sophie’s Choice
-The Miracle of Life
(yeah, that one you watched in your biology class)
-Hello Kitty Island Adventure

Rating: 3/10

Just so we can kind of see where that lies, I mention my hatred for Twilight often, but I’d still put that movie at about a 5.2.

I’m Angry, Here’s Why

June 19, 2009

Year One is released today, and right now it’s gotten pretty negative reviews. People are calling it juvenile, gross, and offensive. I can’t wait to see it.

Negative reviews are fine, especially for this kind of comedy. Dumb and Dumber might be my favorite comedy of all time, but it sits at a less than impressive 62% on Rottentomatoes. That’s not terrible, but believe me, I’ve laughed at comedies with lower rankings. I usually agree with critics, but there are moments (particular with the ‘dumb comedies’) that we occasionally split paths. What makes a dumb comedy funny requires it to be heavy on the funny, lighter on the dumb. In other words, you have to smart to make a dumb comedy work. Ironic, right?

So I can accept people giving Year One bad reviews based on that premise, that it’s just not a smart comedy. Fine, maybe I won’t laugh, maybe I’ll crack up because the 12 year old in me takes over, but I can usually see their point. But I read a review in the paper today that spent a paragraph and a half complaining about, and faulting the movie for, historical innaccuracies. I’m sorry, were they expecting this movie to follow their college history text book? I could not believe this imbecile, whining about the timeline of the movie. Not only the historical timeline, the biblical timeline. He complained about the fact that the characters meet Adam, Cain, and Abel, but then also Abraham, and travel to Sodom, which are separated by thousands of years in the holy text. It seems to me this critic was taking things a little too seriously, pointing out historical accuracies in a movie that has Jack Black in. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize he and Harold Ramis had a PhD in history, they should have known better.

What kind of shit-for-brains critic gets mad at the ludicrous historical set-up being created here? I guess I forgot Monty Python’s Holy Grail was based on actual scrolls found after the crusades. Seems to me that, considering how mad this critic was that the characters span a thousand biblical years, he was a little upset at the little pokes at Christianity this movie seems to make. Once I heard Cain telling Abel, “You are called Suck,’ I stopped reading Genesis to find out what happened in this movie. Apparently this guy held on a little too strong, hoping we’d have some sort of spiritual redemption and this movie would reaffirm his faith. Jack Black, the spiritual guide. There’s a thought for you.

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