Assessing The Weekend: Quiet As A Mouse

christmas-mouseI suppose it was pretty appropriate that a movie about a mouse was released on the last quiet weekend of the year. It wasn’t the smallest weekend of the year, but after a booming November, December has really tailed off. Maybe it’s due to the quality of the movies or maybe the general bad weather across most of the country. Whichever it really is, I attribute it to the former.

Yes Man won the weekend with an $18 million haul. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was enough. It was well short of my $28 million prediction. Part of my misfire was due to producer David Heyman’s last four movies averaging between $17,000 and $26,000 per [...]

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5 Christmas Movies I’ll Be Watching

I’ve never really been hot on all the traditional Christmas movies. Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life are swell enough, but I don’t get an itch to see them again. Truth be told, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas until I watch some South Park Christmas episodes. But if I’m going to watch a Christmas movie, I’ll pick one of these.

lethal-weapon-posterInstead of Santa and Rudolph, I’ll take Murtaugh and Riggs. From Jingle Bell Rock leading from the opening credits to a mostly naked woman committing suicide to a drug bust in a Christmas tree lot to Riggs giving Murtaugh a Christmas present of the bullet he’d been saving to kill himself, [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

santa-claus-conquers-the-martiansI’ve been wanting to get this up as the Movie of the Week for a while, but I had to force myself to wait until Christmas. Not only is this a great holiday movie, it’s also always near the top of worst movie ever made lists.

Nearly everything about the movie is bad. Odd story, bad acting, worse costumes, absent production values, and uncomfortable scenes between Santa and the kids. The only thing that could draw any compliments would be the inclusion of some stock footage. It doesn’t make the movie any better, but it doesn’t make it worse, either.

The children of Mars are looking for something to relieve the boredom of Martian life, [...]

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Weekend Predictions: 12-19-08

tale-of-despereaux-bookWell it’s finally the big, huge pre-Christmas weekend. It’s also the weekend where they shoehorn in the movies that couldn’t hang with the big boys in November but are too big to dump in January.

Snatch up a copy of my spreadsheet before they’re all gone.

The biggest release this weekend is Yes Man, in 3,434 theaters. It looks to be Jim Carrey’s return to inane comedy. He hasn’t gotten to run around flapping his arms and making faces much since Bruce Almighty. You could argue that Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events were big successes for Carrey, but seeing as how there’s someone else’s name in [...]

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New Great Gatsby Sure To Have An Excess Of Excess

baz-luhrmann-directsIt could be that the last film adaptation was 34 years ago and is ripe for the picking. Or maybe The Curious Case of Benjamin Button started a run on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books. Whatever the reason, Baz Luhrmann has purchased the rights to The Great Gatsby. There hasn’t been any development on the project since Luhrmann’s waiting until after Australia’s award run (yeah right).

I personally consider Luhrmann to be the Tobe Hooper of romance- if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. Even though he doesn’t really do subtlety, Luhrmann has been able to embrace his cinematic flamboyance to great success. Who knows how it would have turned out, but I still wonder what [...]

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This Date In Movie History: December 17th

December 17th, what more can I say? Maybe it’s because it’s near the end of the year, but there’s all kinds of good stuff about December 17th.

First, the birthdays:

Milla Jovovich, the first lady of zombie movies, was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1975

Giovanni Ribisi, whose father’s name is Gay, was born in 1974

Writer/director/producer/editor/cinematographer Gregg Araki was born in 1959

Rhode Island-obsessed director Peter Farrelly was born in 1956

Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione was born in 1930

Prolific supporting-actor Ernie Hudson was born in 1945

Cherokee actor Wes Studi was born in 1947

Bill Pullman, who is somehow often confused with Bill Paxton, was born in 1953

There were a slew of older movies released on this date that [...]

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Mamma Shows Titanic Who’s Daddy

mamma-mia-posterDespite not performing together since 1982, ABBA has never really waned in popularity. Somehow they’re still able to sell millions of albums a year. Since a reunion is out of the question, the best way to get your ABBA on has been to see Mamma Mia!, either the musical or, as of June 30th, the movie. Apparently in the United Kingdom, people have chosen to see the movie. Over. And over. And over again.

Mamma Mia! has passed Titanic as the highest-grossing movie to be released in the U.K. It has eclipsed Titanic’s 69 million pound mark (for now) by 100,000 pounds. The total equates to about $106 million.

It’s probably due to the perfect [...]

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Assessing The Weekend: Bullseye

bullseyeI don’t like to toot my own horn. Really I don’t. But like Jerry Reed said, when you’re hot, you’re hot. For the second time, I’ve nearly nailed one of my predictions. The Day the Earth Stood Still ended the weekend at $30,480,153. My prediction was $30,308,659, a difference of $171,494. Not as close as I was on Max Payne, but not bad using a formula to make a prediction to the dollar.

TDTESS didn’t do as well as some of the recent sci-fi remakes, but it should do alright. $30 million against the $80 million budget isn’t a great number, but TDTESS has been pretty popular oversees and should turn a nice profit once [...]

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They’ve Run Out Of Comics To Adapt, The Crow To Be Remade

the-crow-statueThe Crow will be most remembered for the on-set death of Brandon Lee. That’s unfortunate because it is quite an engaging movie with a fantastic performance by Lee. Many thought it would be his breakout role. Instead, just like his father, he will be remembered for dying young and under controversial circumstances.

Lee’s death cast a pall over The Crow that only intensified the brooding, melancholy tone and Gothic imagery. It’s generally well regarded and has a league of devoted fans. It made nearly $100 million at the box office and spawned four sequels.

So what does that mean? Well, it’s time for a do-over, of course. Stephen Norrington (Blade, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Captain Kidd

captain-kiddOnce upon a time, pirate movies were all the rage. People used to love all the plundering and high seas hi-jinks. Pirate movies hit a huge lull until Pirates of the Caribbean, but there was a whole mess of them from the 20′s through the 50′s. One of the more interesting offerings is 1945′s Captain Kidd.

Charles Laughton plays the eponymous pirate who manages to trick the King into giving him a ship and a crew full of condemned pirates. Kidd is expected to complete his charge and the crew expects a pardon for faithful service, but Kidd has other plans. He hopes to have others blamed for his acts of piracy while he reclaims [...]

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