So by now you probably know that Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.'s musical drama, The Soloist, had a pretty bad opening weekend, earning a paltry $9.7 million. Paramount must have known that buzz was low for their film, so they subsequently signed up Jamie Foxx to be a guest mentor on the biggest show on TV, American Idol. How else do you explain Foxx's straight-outta-left-field presence as the mentor for Idol's Rat Pack Week?! I mean, I'm just saying...
In two short days, Fox's X-Men Origins: Wolverine claws its way into theaters to (hopefully) start off the Summer movie season with bang. It's no secret that Fox and Marvel are hoping to capitalize on the pantheon of characters within the X-Men universe, and if Wolverine proves to be successful, there's no doubt that a 2011 release for X-Men Origins: Gambit is in the cards. Now, I can't claim to have the read the X-Men comic books, but I definitely grew up with the cartoon, and since its List Wednesday, I thought I'd count down my top five X-Men characters that deserve their own "Origins" film. Read my list, and then weigh in with your thoughts in the comments!
This wise-cracking, fiery-card-slinging Cajun was easily the coolest character in the world of X-Men. With sarcastic dialogue and explosive action, a Gambit film has the potential to be all kinds of entertaining. The only reason he's this far down on the list, is because with his introduction in Wolverine, it's basically a foregone conclusion that the next Origins movie is his.
Coolest. Power. Ever. Giant. Russian. Covers. Body. In. Steel. Crushes. Anything. On the inside, though, I'm sure he's really quite gentle, shy, and kind.
A Rogue movie could be an incredible thing. The only problem is, the X-Men franchise already showed us a lame version of how Rogue developed as a mutant. Anna Paquin's Rogue has been weak, whiny, unconfident, and just plain boring! I remember the Rogue of the television program was brassy, buxom, self-assured, and she could even fly! I suggest a complete reboot. Forget about teenage Rogue, and bring on the cool, grown up, powerful, raspy-voiced Rogue I know and love!
The presence of Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United was a major bright spot of the film. Furthermore, the blue teleporter's interactions with his shape-shifting, villainous mother, Mystique, contained the most fascinating, potent dialogue in the entire movie. A look into Nightcrawler's childhood could be a great thing to see. How did he discover his teleporting ability? How did he deal with growing up blue? What caused him and his mother to split? I'd be at the theater in a second.
Jubilee was never one of the major characters, but she was integral to the 1992 TV series, and I found her in the deleted scenes of X2, so I know producers have at least considered her. Jubilee was a rebellious, immature, rollerblading runaway teenager, who was hiding out in the mall when she was brought to Professor X's academy for mutants. She could generate and manipulate multi-colored energy bursts and guide them to do pretty much whatever her mind desired. I'm thinking a Jubilee film could be an amazingly snarky, action-packed affair, like an injection of Mean Girls into the X-Men universe. A high school perspective on the mutant world, complete with all the bitchiness, romance, and drama that high school brings, could make for a super cool, super exciting entry into the X-Men franchise. Think Sky High with edge.
Which X-Men character do you all think deserves their own movie? What order do you predict Fox will roll out these films? And are my hopes for a Jubilee film out of wack? Let me know in the comments! (And really do speak your mind- commenting has been almost non-existent lately! I miss hearing what you all think!)
As always, here are my notes on the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers:
-Maybe because it was the week right after Easter, repenting buyers felt convicted that they needed more of the spirit in their lives, and they mistakenly purchased Lionsgate's disastrous 300 ripoff The Spirit, thinking it could help them. Whatever the reason, The Spirit benefited from a complete lack of competition, and somehow scored a number one debut. Granted, its $6.3 million first week is the weakest total Ive seen in a long time, and it will plummet next weekend. Still, with enough time in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, I'm sure The Spirit's DVD sales will surpass its abysmal $19 million total box office.
-Twilight continues its shockingly amazing run on the home market, with another $5.5 million this week, for a $133 million total. Having already sold a stunning 7.4 million copies of Twilight on DVD, Summit Entertainment has to be feeling pretty good about the upcoming sequel, New Moon, which debuts this Winter.
-Warner Brothers has to be disappointed with the lackluster performance of Yes Man on DVD. Just $13 million after two weeks of release is extremely bad for a Jim Carrey comedy that earned $90 million during its theatrical run.
-Just as the Easter frame was kind to family films last week, the post-Easter frame was equally harsh to these same titles. Marley And Me, Bolt, The Tale Of Despereaux, Bedtime Stories, and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa all saw sizable drops of 62-88%.
-Speaking of Bolt, I thought I should point out that after four weeks, the animated pooch film has $53 million in the kitty (or would doghouse be more appropriate, here?), and it's been a solid performer on DVD for Disney.
-I'm somewhat ambivalent about the home market performance of two Oscar-winning films. First off, The Reader's $4.5 million opening week is nothing to cry about, but its nothing special either. Second, Slumdog Millionaire's $20 million after three weeks feels quite low to me, especially after its rosy $141 million box office. I think it probably came out on DVD too soon after its theatrical run. After three straight months of deafening buzz during awards season, every person that was going to be persuaded to see Slumdog already did, so the quick release date after it won its obligatory Oscar may have backfired for Fox Searchlight.
See the full chart after the jump:
Rank Title Units this Week % Change Total Units Sales this Week Total Sales Weeks in Release 1 Spirit, The 334,298 -.-% 334,298 $6,268,088 $6,268,088 1 2 Twilight 296,188 -28.6% 7,382,885 $5,538,716 $133,501,184 4 3 Day the Earth Stood Still, The 292,678 -66.9% 1,176,061 $5,179,493 $19,829,870 2 4 Bedtime Stories 280,209 -80.8% 1,963,618 $4,788,940 $33,568,422 2 5 Marley and Me 269,378 -62.9% 2,520,919 $4,628,857 $45,442,103 3 6 Yes Man 247,648 -53.4% 779,579 $4,321,680 $13,523,714 2 7 Reader, The 234,376 -.-% 234,376 $4,542,207 $4,542,207 1 8 Bolt 194,328 -73.3% 3,034,363 $3,515,899 $53,966,384 4 9 Tale of Despereaux, The 157,622 -72.7% 734,892 $2,677,998 $12,485,815 2 10 Slumdog Millionaire 154,580 -43.4% 1,270,027 $2,493,375 $20,834,683 3 11 Doubt 134,488 -47.9% 392,775 $2,419,439 $6,991,119 2 12 Seven Pounds 130,075 -41.7% 859,188 $2,154,042 $14,587,218 3 13 Quantum of Solace 123,256 -27.5% 1,876,092 $2,131,959 $33,515,945 4 14 Not Easily Broken 93,838 -56.9% 311,466 $1,594,308 $5,851,111 2 15 Beverly Hills Chihuahua 86,483 -64.0% 2,855,178 $1,382,863 $49,136,150 7 16 Stuart Little 75,855 -9.7% - $578,774 - 470 17 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 60,742 -88.7% 5,744,631 $763,412 $87,950,809 11 18 Role Models 60,541 -42.2% 1,648,990 $1,028,592 $28,016,340 6 19 High School Musical 3: Senior Year 56,864 -74.8% 2,971,273 $1,064,653 $53,175,812 9 20 Pinocchio 54,357 -69.2% - $923,525 - 495 21 Australia 52,217 -39.7% 1,354,212 $887,167 $22,829,054 7 22 Mamma Mia! 51,786 -.-% 5,957,687 $665,921 $125,254,362 18 23 Fireproof 49,236 -.-% 1,520,956 $766,112 $26,191,317 12 24 40-Year-Old Virgin, The 46,534 -.-% - $474,456 - 175 25 Tigger and Pooh and a Musical Too 44,495 -71.6% 201,135 $844,960 $3,819,554 2 26 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword 35,335 -63.1% 131,132 $494,337 $1,834,537 2 27 Milk 34,748 -33.6% 494,538 $607,743 $8,827,310 6 28 Punisher: War Zone, The 34,419 -32.6% 398,065 $668,235 $7,525,557 5 29 Transporter 3 33,396 -35.8% 1,011,642 $573,793 $18,041,585 6 30 Cadillac Records 29,675 -26.0% 310,751 $504,178 $5,927,887 6
Wow, this is late, and I know it seems like that is becoming a trend, but I had 18 pages of writing due today for finals, and that's kind of been consuming me the past couple of days. Anyway, this post just feels obligatory because its so far after the fact, but here are the weekend actuals, in which Beyoncé crushed everything else in her path, as Obsessed found a fantastic $28.6 million. Honestly, when is this woman not successful? Everything she touches is gold! A lot of that success can probably be attributed to the recession. Audiences are down and depressed, so what better to make them feel better than a girl-on-girl catfight?!
Meanwhile, Fighting's debut once again verifies that Terrence Howard is, in fact, box office poison. There were no overwhelmingly huge grosses at the box office this weekend, but there was certainly some solid depth, with the top 6 films all earning $8 million or more in what's usually a terrible weekend in April! Things are going to get crazy next weekend with the debut of Wolverine! I can't wait!
|#||Movie Title||3-Day Gross||% Change||AVG.||Total|
|2||17 Again ||$11,518,495||-51%||$3,539||$118,042,070|
|4||The Soloist ||$9,716,458||New||$4,775||$9,716,458|
|6||Monsters Vs. Aliens ||$8,520,826||-36%||$2,537||$174,813,830|
|7||State Of Play ||$6,848,885||-51% ||$2,440||$25,081,890|
|8||Hannah Montana The Movie||$6,437,141||-52% ||$1,992||$65,655,057|
|9||Fast And Furious ||$6,204,940||-47% ||$1,740||$145,367,040|
|10||Crank: High Voltage||$2,618,379||-62%||$1,178||$11,735,952|
|11||I Love You, Man ||$1,952,921||-41% ||$1,249||$67,809,860|
Steve Mason just posted Friday Estimates over at Big Hollywood, and I gotta say, this weekend is so Beyonce! Indeed, even I, who certainly had the highest weekend prediction among analysts of $20 million, undercut Obsessed, which earned a crazy good $11 million on Friday. The Era Of Easy Entertainment is real, people! It should be headed to a $26 million weekend, and an easy first place.
Everything else sort of failed to break out, and there will be lots of films in the $8-11 million range this weekend. Here are Mason's estimates:
Exclusive Steve Mason Early Friday Estimates
1. Obsessed - $11M, $4,375 PTA, $11M cume
2. Fighting - $3.72M, $1,610 PTA, $3.72M cume
3. 17 Again - $3.61M, $1,109 PTA, $31.91M cume
4. The Soloist - $3.43M, $1,695 PTA, $3.43M cume
5. Earth - $2.61M, $1,447 PTA, $9.39M cume
6. State of Play - $2.58M, $1,029 PTA, $22.12M cume
7. Hannah Montana: The Movie - $2.21M, $685 PTA, $61.41M cume
8. Fast & Furious - $1.86M, $524 PTA, $5.79M cume
9. Monsters vs. Aliens - $1.8M, $536 PTA, $168.09M cume
10. Crank: High Voltage - $1M, $450 PTA, $10.11M cume
In case you haven't noticed, The Box Office Junkie looks a little bit different than it did a few days ago. I switched the template from two columns to three columns, and I hope you like the change! It just makes distribution of widgets and advertisements so much more manageable. Anyway, all the formatting and html tinkering has left me with very little time to get this weeks Weekend Preview together, so excuse me if it doesn't measure up. At least it will be better than last week, when I just skipped this column altogether! Let's just tackle the newcomers.
Obsessed - $20 million
Confession: I'm kind of obsessed (no pun intended!) with Beyoncé. I have this awkward habit of saying, "That's so Beyoncé" whenever something awesome happens. It all started when my friends and I decided to start saying, "That's so Raven," to see if we could make a new, trendy phrase catch on. It didn't, and after a few months I found myself constantly saying, "That's so Beyoncé." Oh well. Regardless, the former Destiny's Child lead singer is pretty much a stud at everything she does, and it looks like she's made a very wise career move with Obsessed, a woman-gone-mad drama also starring Ali Larter. This thriller has a lot going for it: The female leads should draw in women. The fact that the female leads wrestle on the floor should draw in men. Having black leads (Beyoncé's husband is played by Idris Elba) will draw in ethnic audiences. The jury's out on reviews, since it wasn't screened for critics, but the Screen Gems feature has had a very strong marketing campaign, and frankly, I think it looks pretty great. Kicking and screaming onto 2,514 theaters, I'm giving Obsessed a solid $20 million weekend.
Earth - $12 million
I'm kind of over the whole "going green" thing. It's just a little bit too liberal-Hollywood, self-important, politcally correct for me to buy the whole fad. Still, never willing to miss a moneymaking opportunity, Disney is tapping into the trend, releasing Earth, which is essentially a film crafted from some of the clips that weren't used for Planet Earth. It had a great Wednesday debut of $4 million out of 1,804 theaters, but that was with the Earth Day boost. For the regular weekend, I'll give Earth $12 million, which is about three times higher than what I would've predicted last week. Ugh. I guess all the "going green" stuff isn't going away any time soon.
The Soloist - $11 million
Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx teamed up for this inspirational drama about a struggling, but extraordinarily talented, homeless musician. Director Joe Wright (Pride And Prejudice and Atonement) is receiving some mixed reviews for this, though the lead actors are receiving much praise. This musical project sort of reminds me of 2007's August Rush, which audiences lapped up like liquid lollipops, and with a lauch into 2,024 theaters, I'm seeing a modest $11 million weekend, with some decent legs after that.
Fighting - $8.5 million
I'm not a girl. I have never watched Step Up. I don't know to what extent teenage girls are willing to flock to the theater just to see Channing Tatum shirtless and physical. Thus, I reserve the right to be very wrong about this prediction. I also reserve the right to gloat if I'm correct. This looks almost exactly the same as last month's teen fighting film, Never Back Down, which debuted to $8.6 million. This has a better lead actor, but it also has Terrence Howard, who is box office poison, so I'll give it a similar $8.5 million over the weekend frame.
What do you all think? What will win the box office race this weekend? Also, did you know that the last week in April is historically one of the toughest frames for a film to debut in, since it falls right before the massive first week in May? Speak your mind in the comments!
Here's the latest DVD Sales Chart from The-Numbers for the week ending April 12th. I've added my notes below:
-I was wrong about Bedtime Stories bombing last week on DVD. It looks like it just hit stores a day early, and it registered on the chart as having a poor debut. The reality of the situation is actually much rosier, though, and Bedtime Stories has accrued a solid $28 million over eight days. Not bad for the disappointing Disney/Adam Sandler collaboration that struggled to pass $100 million.
-The Day The Earth Stood Still? More like The Day The DVDs Stood Still. It's not that the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake bombed with its $14 million debut, but when you factor in the fanboy effect, this is really not a great start on the home market for the Fox film, which also underwhelmed this fall, barely making it to $79 million despite huge buzz.
-Wow. The week of Easter is a great time to be a family film on DVD. Look at the giant boosts that the holiday offered all family-oriented films. A 16% increase for Bolt! A 117% increase for Beverly Hills Chihuahua! A 218% increase for High School Musical 3! A 300% increase for Kung Fu Panda! Pretty impressive stuff. The family effect also helped out The Tale Of Despereaux moderately, as it found a humble $9.8 in its first week on DVD, which is onl $300,000 less than it earned in its opening weekend.
|Rank||Title||Units this Week||% Change||Total Units||Sales this Week||Total Sales||Weeks in Release|
|2|| Day the Earth |
Stood Still, The
|4||Marley and Me||726,305||-52.4%||2,251,541||$12,581,128||$40,813,246||2|
|5|| Tale of |
|6|| Madagascar: Escape |
|11|| Beverly Hills |
|12|| High School Musical |
3: Senior Year
|14||Not Easily Broken||217,628||-.-%||217,628||$4,256,804||$4,256,804||1|
|15||Kung Fu Panda||207,978||300.5%||8,332,557||$1,904,392||$126,522,601||22|
|17||Quantum of Solace||169,949||-54.1%||1,752,836||$2,962,636||$31,383,986||3|
|18|| Tigger and Pooh |
and a Musical Too
|22||Shrek the Third||98,869||-.-%||11,578,058||$874,269||$173,439,755||74|
|23||Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword||95,797||-.-%||95,797||$1,340,200||$1,340,200||1|
|29|| Punisher: War |
A lot of people don't know who Ali Larter is. Most people just know her as that really hot girl they've seen in a bunch of movies, even though they don't know her name. Truth of the matter is, I've been of fan of Ali's for quite some time, and I've always appreciated the way that she has never acted too good for any role. In fact, Ms. Larter has historically been willing to star in just about every role she's been offered in order to climb the ladder of success. Now, I'm not implying that the vixen is co-starring with Jenna Jameson in the next great porno, but judging by the ads for this weekend's Obsessed, which feature Ali and Beyonce rolling around on the floor in a catfight, the hardworking Larter has once again proved to me that she is an unpretentious actress who's realistic about her best selling points (read: her looks). Forget artistry! There's something relatable and attractive to me about actors who just treat their jobs as their jobs, and not as platforms for political and personal artistic expression *gag*. Thus, since it's List Wednesday, let's take a look at five Ali Larter productions that prove she's been paying her dues for a good, long while.
Thought this is certainly the most consistent gig she's ever had, and I'm sure she's happy to have the consistent work, the fact that Ali Larter has had to stick with the atrocity that the television show, Heroes, has become is rather remarkable. Gosh, I don't know if you watch it, but it is just a trainwreck!
4. Final Destination (2)
An ultimate guilty pleasure of mine... I straight up love these movies because they don't pretend to be anything more than what they are, which are simply excuses for watching people get caught in hilariously cool death traps. In a way, the Final Destination franchise is a lot like Ms. Larter, who starred in the first two films; both the films and the actress are unpretentious, fun to watch, and they get the job done.
3. Straight-to-DVD titles like Homo Erectus and Three Way
I think the titles speak for themselves. The even better part about her roles in these films is that debuted in 2004 and 2007, well after she'd had some success on the big screen. Most actresses would be a bit too big for their britches to go back to the home market, but not Ali!
2. Drive Me Crazy
Larter played the goth girl in this 1999 Melissa Joan Hart (remember her?) comedy, and she was still a babe. Ten years later, and I remember her character, Darcy (see? I really do remember!), way better than whoever hart played!
1. Varsity Blues
Like I said, Ali Larter knows the main reason she has a career, and it's not because of her acting. In 1999, she starred in the football flick, Varsity Blues, and donned the famous whipped cream bikini that so many adolescent boys have emblazened into their mind.
There you go! I hope this list has cleared up any ambiguity about who Ali Larter is, and perhaps now you'll think of her as more than just the hot convict from Legally Blonde. Anyway, Im interested to hear: Did you know who Ali Larter was? I asked a bunch of my friends today, and no one (even Reed) could put a face with a name until I explained it to them!
So the final trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released last week. How should I describe it?
I'm a little upset. Not because the trailer was bad. On the contrary, I'm upset because it looks so bloody great. It's one of the best previews I've ever seen. I was pretty upset when they moved it from November to July. I felt that Warner Brothers was grossly insulting the people that pay their salary. They moved the movie to when they thought it would make more money, and knew that the fans would be irate but then see it in droves. A part of me wanted to be that person screaming "Boycott the opening weekend!" and actually follow through with it. I'm now, however, incredibly excited about it, so I'll instead scream "Boycott opening weekend!" And we should. WB really slapped us across the face. But while you're boycotting...
I'll be in the theaters. I'm sorry, I just can't wait.
It's been too long since I've been swamped in Potter-mania. I spent years of my life checking for updates on the books and movies daily, scrolling message boards and discussing theories and ideas and fanfiction. God it was, dare I say, a magical time. Now I'm in college. The Harry Potter series graduated the same summer I graduated high-school. I haven't thought all that much about it since. I enjoy the movies, but never like I foamed at the mouth over the books.
However, now the movies are all I have, and this one looks fantastic. The Harry Potter movies have always been interesting to me. I tend to enjoy them more the more distanced I am from the novels. They have left out some very crucial stuff, and will continue to do so in this film (though, it seems they might have added something back, based on the trailer). They've done a fair job of capturing the tone; the first two were more light-hearted children oriented, and then they've become more intense and dark, much like the novels. They butchered the fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort in Order of the Phoenix, which was perhaps the biggest letdown in the series (they also made Umbridge way too important). Hopefully, Half-Blood Prince will be a spectacular movie worthy of the novel, which is, as hard as it is to judge, tied for second place.
This movie has a lot of potential, I hope it doesn't let me down like some of the others have (some slightly, some more so). I'm waiting for, when I'm older, a re-make of these that aren't afraid to make long, epic movies like Lord of the Rings. Until that day, these will certainly suffice.
I love movies, that's why I do this. I also happen to love musicals. Like my love for Superman and comic books, this was not a love I had when I was younger, but one I learned to appreciate as I reached maturity. But of the few musicals I've had the opportunity to see on Broadway, there has been none like Les Miserables. The music, the story, the characters, the sets, are all so perfect and put together in such a beautiful way that I couldn't help but love it. By now, I've read the book, and have listened to all the songs so many timesI could practically perform a one man show for you from memorization, not that that's something anybody wants to see.
However, of all the great music in the production, I can actually say one is my all-time favorite song, of any genre. That song is I Dreamed a Dream. It's beautiful melody, emotion, and the neverending, heartbreaking hope it implies has meant more to me than any other song could.
Which brings me to the point of the article. Since its release, I have received phone calls, e-mails, texts, and a telegraph Morse Code about a brand new internet sensation. Her name is Susan Boyle, and she recently tried out on Britain's Got Talent singing I Dreamed a Dream. Since all of my friends know how much I love this song, they make sure I see it. Susan Boyle is one of the most searched headlines on Google right now, her Youtube video has over forty million views in no more than ten days, and Susan is, well... She's ugly as sin.
That's a stretch. She isn't ugly as sin, but she isn't exactly Heidi Klum. She's forty-seven with a gray... afro thingy, a little haggard, has squinty eyes and bushy eyebrows, and--what the hell, you just saw her picture. Anyway, she walks onto the stage, and reveals what she wants to be: a professional singer. Here's a loose dialogue between the judges, Susan and the audience.
Simon: How old are you?
Audience whistles and laughs in irony of this ugly lady in front of them. LoL!
Susan: And that's just one side of me!
Audience laughs really hard! ROFL! She made of herself! Judges hold back vomit.
Simon: And what's the dream?
Susan: I want to be a professional singer.
Audience laughs nervously. Zoom on some bitch who looks like she's never heard a more preposterous idea, and who will soon look like, well, a bitch.
Simon: And who would you like to be as successful as?
Susan: Elaine Paige
Audience: ROFLMAO! Elaine Paige is a pretty blonde, you funny little ogre you.
Simon: And what will you be singing tonight?
Susan: I'll be singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.
Audience cheers because they can at least recognize good music.
It takes the first line for people to start applauding wildly. Susan has a goddess's voice, it is truly beautiful, and she sings the song magnificently. And the audience is shocked. I mean absolutely dumbfounded. They applaud wildly. Oh my God! She's ugly but she's really good! OMG!!
I'm sorry, what just happened? Oh that's right, every idiot out there thought there was correlation between a person's appearance and the beautiful quality of their voice. It's like they needed scientists to go run experiments to see if, in fact, every belief they had about singing talents had always been wrong.
What?! I thought only people like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera can sing, cause they're soooo pretty that they're voice reflects that!
God these people need to be kicked.
So the audience is shocked, and the judges are shocked. Says one, "That was one of the biggest surprises I've had on this show!...Everyone was laughing at you. They're not laughing now!.. I'm shocked." Says another, "I know everybody was against you, and I think we were all being very cynical." Cynical, sure, that's one word. I'll throw in judgmental and stupid. Why, why could they not fathom that this woman could sing? Look, if this woman had come out and said, "I want to be a swimsuit model," that's an entirely different story. beauty is not her strong suit, and there's nothing wrong with that. But to think, to be so damned arrogant to be surprised that someone who isn't attractive has the capacity to make beautiful music is sickening to me.
Then they get all cheerful, and all supportive. "Good for you, little ugly woman, you can sing, we were wrong!" They say, and make it look like they're being helpful by voting her through. You dipshits were part of the problem. She's probably been laughed at and had her talents ignored all her life because of half-brained thinking like this.
And the biggest surprise? They're more surprised at an ugly woman who can sing than the four year old who sings like a professional or the man who sells telephones and nails a difficult operatic piece; but noooo, it's the ugly singer that really floors them.
End rant. Movie stuff will resume shortly.
-While Susan's rendition is amazing, my absolute favorite ever was sung by Hayley Westenra. Youtube her if you liked this song.
Top Five Movies Where People Appear To Be Different Ages Than They Actually Are But Use This To Gain Some Sort Of Insight Into Their Life
Last week it was Miley Cyrus, this week another Disney protege is attacking theaters across the country in the most original movie since... Every other movie ever made in this genre. 17 Again (itself a remake of the 1989 movie 18 Again. Why they felt it necessary to knock off a year is beyond me. Perhaps the pornographic connotations surrounding 18?...) tells the story of a man approaching middle-age with the apprehension and nostalgia everybody faces. Due to what looks like a magic whirlpool and a magician janitor, he is thrown into his seventeen year old body and allowed to be young again. Sound familiar? It should. No doubt there will be humorous antics as this man-child protects his daughter from the evil boys trying to date her and eventually realizes that 'being young is hard,' and that he should, 'be closer with his children.' I swear to you I have read no spoilers, but I guarantee you that's what happens. Oh, there will also likely be some 'adult situation' he was supposed to handle, and he will now have to do it as a kid, to humorous results.
I write about this sarcastically, as if I don't like the concept, but this isn't entirely true. I actually tend to enjoy these movies, despite their lack of originality. 17 Again has surprisingly good reviews (at least compared to what I was predicting), and doesn't look all bad. Yes, it's ripe with cliche (the wise, magic janitor; the plot itself), but it actually has some potential to be a funny, light-hearted, feel-good movie. In honor of this movie hitting theaters, I will count down the top "Movies Where People Appear To Be Different Ages Than They Actually Are."
5. Vice Versa
This film gets high marks for being original, for movies at least. Though the question remains: which film? There were 3 films made in 1918, 1937, and the most popular in 1948. As far as I can tell, the '48 version was the first mainstream example. The plot? What the hell do you expect? A guy is given a magic stone, wishes he could have the carefree life his son, and voila. He does. They both take advantage of their new situation until they realize how hard life is for the other, and they have to relocate the lost stone to fix the situation. Evidently it's based off a novel of the same name written in 1882, giving you some sense of how old this idea really is.
It was remade a FORTH TIME in 1988 (this era was fraught with the genre, along with box-cuts) in a movie starring Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold. It didn't do that well at the box office and has never been all that respected critically.
4. Freaky Friday
Another one of those movies where you can ask: which version? It started as a children's book in the seventies. The 'classic' film was released in 1976, there was a male version Like Father Like Son released in (guess when?) 1987, a made for TV feature in '95, and the most recent 2003 version starring Lindsay Lohan. (tidbit: Vice Versa, Like Father Like Son, and 18 Again were all released within one year. Overkill much). The plot? A mother and daughter switch lives. The result? The mother has to deal with the difficulties of being an angst filled teenager, and the daughter has to find a way to use her youthful talents to help her mother's career. All along, they learn to love each other more. In a surprise ending, they switch back and are better for the experience.
3. 13 Going on 30
I reluctantly include this on the list, and only do so for the respect it has received for the public at large. Personally, I don't get it. Maybe it's a girl thing. It's essentially a remake of the winner on this list (an actual classic). I felt it didn't really add anything to the genre, but was made just for the sake of it. I will say this: the movie's charm comes almost exclusively from Jennifer Garner, who seems to enjoy the roll she is in. It garnered (get it? Garner... never mind.) pretty positive reviews and is considered a funny, albeit a retreading movie.
It's not a movie you'd technically think of fitting in this genre. There's no 'supernatural switch,' nobody suddenly waking up and screaming when they look into the mirror. Yet it completely fits into the absurdly long heading of this article. I would have included another Robin Williams Movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, but that was too much a stretch, since it's only a costume that makes the person look older (it would certainly, however, make it onto the best "Going In Drag" movies, a list of only 2 movies, and the other isn't White Chicks).
Jack however fits nicely into this list, once you accept the notion. There's no magic in this story, no body switching or voodoo. Jack is a boy who has a rare aging disorder; he ages at four times the speed of a normal person. Thus at age 10, he appears to be 40. We see him interact with his classmates, and attempt to overcome their prejudice as he is different from everyone else. It's a humorous, often touching movie (I defy someone not to feel sad when Jack asks his teacher, played by J-Lo, to the dance because he knows how strange it would be for the younger girls). Ultimately, it's not about learning the difficulties of life or old age, but understanding to cherish life itself.
Note: I realize with this basis The Curious Case of Benjamin Button fits my criteria. Since I've made the list, I'll say it's too recent to tell. But it was a good movie.
If you saw the title of this post and didn't immediately recognize that this movie would be number one, it means one of two things: you haven't seen it recently, or you haven't seen it at all. Either way, you need to go watch this movie. It really did transcend a lot of it's genres stereotypes and delivered a quality, humorous, all around great movie that helped launch Tom Hanks' career. The plot is as generic as the others: a young boy, tired of being excluded because of his youth, makes a wish to a carnival machine to be big. His wish is granted.
It's the rest of this movie that makes it amazing. The supporting characters are great, and it shows the beauty of youthful thinking in an adult-minded world. In the classic scene pictured at the left, Josh plays foot piano with the CEO of a company, opening his inner youth and allowing Josh to get into the big leagues with his 'fresh ideas.' The movie is bold in many ways: the mother thinks Josh has been kidnapped, and is an emotional wreck the entire movie, and it's highly implied that Josh loses his virginity while in his adult state. A risky movie, considering he's only twelve.
What is perhaps the highlight of this movie is the relationship between Josh and his best friend. As he becomes more accustomed to adult life, he loses all of that boyish charm he first exhibited so strongly and begins to alienate the boy that had helped him the entire time. He finally realizes the beauty and rareness of youth, and works to turn back the process.
Funny Moment #46, at a nice dinner party Josh eats baby corn like corn on the cob and spits out caviar into a napkin.
These stories are old, repetitive, and formulaic, but somehow mange to still be fun and popular. I think they're so appealing because they typically allow us to imagine looking at our lives from a different perspective. We can imagine how our own mother would act around us, not recognizing our thirty year old body. We can see how they might have feelings they can't fully express to us. Ultimately, they all call for us to cherish the present (and, of course, realizing the difficulties of being a parent/teenager).
Here's the latest DVD Sales Chart (along with my notes) from The-Numbers:
Best performer: Marley And Me
Pretty good, considering its still in theaters : Slumdog Millionaire
Disappointing: Seven Pounds
Epic failure: Bedtime Stories
Most impressive overall: Twilight
|Rank||Title||Units this Week||% Change||Total Units||Sales this Week||Total Sales||Weeks in Release|
|1||Marley and Me||1,525,236||-.-%||1,525,236||$28,232,118||$28,232,118||1|
|6||Quantum of Solace||369,870||-69.5%||1,582,887||$6,526,393||$28,421,350||2|
|8||Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa||196,298||16.6%||5,146,693||$1,866,657||$82,205,603||9|
|9||Beverly Hills Chihuahua||110,580||-7.3%||2,528,544||$1,768,174||$43,913,272||5|
|13||High School Musical 3: Senior Year||70,923||-9.2%||2,688,883||$1,311,246||$48,058,005||7|
|16||Barbie Presents: Thumbelina||54,603||-47.4%||438,201||$654,690||$6,320,432||3|
|17||Kung Fu Panda||51,930||7.4%||8,124,579||$485,951||$124,618,208||21|
|20||Punisher: War Zone, The||44,537||-40.7%||312,592||$868,721||$5,853,769||3|
|23||Hannah Montana: Keeping it Real||39,961||-.-%||39,961||$559,054||$559,054||1|
|25||South Park - The Complete Twelfth Season||38,283||-17.9%||229,359||$1,186,390||$7,107,835||4|
|26||The Venture Bros.: Season Three||36,758||-51.2%||112,127||$698,034||$2,129,292||2|
|28||Body of Lies||31,355||-20.8%||913,342||$632,430||$17,457,403||7|
|29||Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided||30,200||-56.7%||99,922||$392,298||$1,297,987||2|