Does “Best Picture” Really Mean Anything?

oscar-pimpNow that the Academy Award nominations have been announced, there are five more movies that will go down in history as those identified by the most widely respected movie adjudication entity as the best made last year. The nominees for Best Picture are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk, The Reader, and Slumdog Millionaire. None of them will appear on the list of the most successful movies of the year- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button currently sits at number 20 for movies released in 2008, but well short of the top 5 as of the announcement of the nominations. It follows that none of them will be near the top in attendance [...]

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Weekend Predictions: 01-23-09

rise-of-the-lycansNot a great weekend for new movies, this. Only two new movies will appear in more than 81 theaters, and then less than 3,000. But if you like those movies that were nominated for Academy Awards, several are expanding to wider releases. Now’s the time for them to capitalize on all that award buzz.

Check out all my detailed calculations here.

The biggest new release is the much anticipated Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, in 2,942 theaters. The first Underworld was a pretty decent movie, but the second one started getting a little too concerned with the mythology, but heck, it did outgross the first one. Even though the third installment goes to new, nerdlier, [...]

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Weekend Report: Mall Cop Makes Good

The biggest movie this weekend was, as Paul Harvey said, “something called Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Somehow this movie exceeded everyone’s expectations, including Sony Pictures. It was the only new movie that is really accessible to all demographics and it took advantage of it.

Paul Blart made me look pretty stupid for predicting $13,028,182. The total for the three day weekend came to $31,832,636. Unfortunately my formula is unable to account for the tastes of American moviegoers. One weekend it’s an aging actor in what could be his career-defining role (Gran Torino), the next it’s a critically-bashed Die Hard-esque family comedy. Go figure. For those interested, blart is a portmanteau of the words blood and fart.

My Bloody Valentine 3-D came in third at [...]

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Truth In Advertising?

I inadvertently saw a commercial for Without a Paddle: Nature Calling, which was apparently released on DVD last week. It was news to me, but anything about this movie would be because I would never advertently try to gain any info on this movie. It must be a sequel to the Seth Green/Matthew Lillard/Dax Shepard barnburner Without a Paddle.

Ordinarily seeing a commercial for a sequel I would never see to a movie I never saw and have no plans to see would cause my brain to engage boob tube zombie mode where the images hit my eyeballs but fail to leave a lasting impression on my cerebral cortex. Unfortunately something caught my attention and now, for better or worse but most likely worse, [...]

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Weekend Predictions: 01-16-09

It’s January and the studios are still cleansing their bowels of the movies that can’t hang with the big boys. If you don’t believe me, I offer implicit proof in the form of Hotel for Dogs being the widest release this weekend.

I’d like enter this spreadsheet into evidence as exhibit A.

Hotel for Dogs is being unleashed in 3,271 theaters this weekend. It’s a movie about a couple of kids that turn a dilapidated hotel into a refuge for stray dogs. I wish someone would have put a muzzle on the guy that pitched this idea. Dog jokes used up. The movie stars a couple kids who’ve appeared in a couple kid movies and is directed by a guy who’s few movies weren’t [...]

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The Ruins Ruined A Perfectly Good Hour And A Half

I saw this movie about a group of college-aged Americans on vacation in a remote foreign locale who meet some Europeans who are also vacationing and some of these people are killed by an evil entity this is protected and/or fueled by the locals. Did I see A) Turistas, B) Hostel, C) Hostel Part II, D) The Ruins, or E) some other generic horror movie that follows the same formula. If you’ve been following since the title, you probably guessed The Ruins. And I’d say you’re probably right, but I can’t say for sure since these movies all kind of blend together into a haze of blood, stupidity, and vivisection.

the-ruins-templeWhat sets The Ruins apart [...]

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Weekend Report: Clint Calls Box Office A Punk, Makes His Day

clint-eastwoodYou’ve got to hand it to Clint Eastwood. Really, you do. How many 78-year old directors could cast themselves to play a curmudgeony racist and crack $10,000 per theater in wide release? That list has to be small. That list might only include Clint Eastwood.

I thought Gran Torino would slide in at second place for the weekend at about $15-17 million. Instead Torino whooped up on everything else, pulled in $29,484,388, and sits at number one. This was easily the biggest weekend for any movie that’s had Eastwood’s name attached. Space Cowboys, which he also directed and starred in, is a distant second at $18 million. The fact that some are saying this is [...]

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Is Aaron Eckhart As Two-Faced As His Character?

two-face-hospitalBack in September, Aaron Eckhart was unequivocal in his statement that Harvey Dent/Two-Face would not be returning for a sequel to The Dark Knight. He said the character was “dead as a doornail” and “ain’t coming back.”

Either Eckhart spoke too soon (even thought he did consult director Christopher Nolan) or he is as two-faced as his character because he’s changing his tune. He parallels the character’s status with that of it’s onscreen counterpart- not dead, but in a coma. Maybe he’ll pull through, maybe he won’t.

I’ve never had much interest in comics or superheroes, but I liked The Dark Knight well enough. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker was outstanding. The story was [...]

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Golden Globes Still An Irrelevant Dinner Party

Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association likes to invite a bunch of celebrities over so the world can watch a bunch of famous people get drunk and pal around. They have celebrities that generally have no reason to be at an awards show present awards to the other celebrities. It’s like a class reunion were only the people that were cool in high school show up and give each other awards for how cool they were.

Now, the Golden Globes aren’t really that much different from any awards show, outside of it being more of an awards dinner. Few of the nominations are based on merit, and fewer so the winners. That’s how a lot of awards programs go, but the HFPA has [...]

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Bride Wars Fallout Begins, Anne Hathaway Stripped Of Golden Globe

anne-hathaway-ghostSure the Golden Globe Award winners won’t be announced until the broadcast on Sunday. We shouldn’t really know the winners until then, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may have let one slip.

Yesterday a spiffy gold star popped up next to Anne Hathaway’s name on the Golden Globe nominees website, indicating she had won the award. It was a gaffe, but as long as they didn’t reveal all the winners, people will still watch.

Shortly after the generally abhorred Bride Wars began screening, the star next to Hathaway’s name disappeared. The HFPA won’t comment on the star, but the obvious connection is that Hathaway had won the award for Best Performance by an Actress [...]

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