Well, uh… hmmph. Ummm, jeez. MacGruber, man. I mean. What the hell happened? Best SNL film since Wayne’s World and you debut at #6? Media sources everywhere are calling it an “unmitigated bomb.” Pretty rough considering it’s almost made back its entire budget already in three days. I admit, I didn’t help the cause by not buying a ticket, but come on. I can’t buy 600,000 tickets. Not…yet. Don’t fret, MacGruber, even Shrek Forever After’s $70 million take was widely considered a disappointment – the previous three opened at an average $100 mil each. This week’s newbies include princes, Jewish American Princesses, slaves and their hot masters, the undead, dudes who get shot in the head, and smooth criminals with sucky girlfriends.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Donnie Darko stars in this epic summer blockbuster based on the hit video game that I never played. I hear the game was a mixture of melted butter on perfectly toasted bread and tears made of the finest tasting yogurt cried by the holiest of angels. In other words, it totally sucked. Word is Jake Smellinballs packed on 50 pounds of muscle for this role. Skeptics say he was “enhanced” with CGI. In other news, Barry Bonds just found himself a new defense against steroid-HGH-PED claims. Getting back to the lecture at hand, Jake plays a prince who teams up with a princess played by the smoke doctor centralicious Gemma Arterton to protect a Ginsu knife capable of transporting matter through time, which subsequently gives its owners the power to rule the school (and every other school, building, person, animal on the planet). Film’s directed by the dude who helmed “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and produced by the gang who spit out the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy.
So far, advanced reviews of this sequel to the 2008 release have been harsh, brah. Even with the negativity surrounding the film, it took in $14.2 million on Thursday and is expected to pull in close to $60 million over the 4-day holiday weekend. Is this really how we want to remember the fallen – and no, I don’t mean that crappy villain in Transformers 2, I mean the honorable men and women who served in the armed forces who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy our freedom. So, yeah, let’s remember them with overpriced martinis, gossip, and detailed discussions about how to make our vaginas look 20 years younger. God, I hate this franchise. But… still… who would you rather?
Breathless (2010 re-issue)
Rialto re-releases Jean Luc Godard’s classic about a dude who would take Grand Theft Auto to heart and his American girlfriend who is forced to become his accomplice after he steals an automobile and 187s a pig. She eventually betrays him – like all good women do – but is nice enough to let him know she betrayed him so he can make a last ditch effort to escape. I’m sure it won’t end Tony Montana style or anything. By the way, the French title is, “A Bout de Souffle” which sounds like an colossal battle between breakfast delights.
George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead
Talk about getting your priorities straight – this horror release from Magnolia Pictures written and directed by zombie master George A. Romero – was released on DVD in the UK in March then went to video on demand in April and NOW is getting a theatrical release. Seems major studios are battling with the window between theatrical and DVD/VOD while smaller distributors simply do not give a fudge. More power to them. This release is a follow up to 2007’s Diary of the Dead (grossed more than $5 million in revenue), which was preceded by 2005’s Land of the Dead (grossed $46 mil). This entry into the franchise follows a facsimile of the Hatfields and the McCoys as they feud over what to do with the zombie apocalypse – Kill or contain until there’s a cure? Throw in a squad of National Guardsmen for good measure on an island that DOES NOT have mystical powers and you got yourself an increased heartbeat and hairs that refuse to sit.
Micmac paddy whack, give a dog a bone. Growing up, that was just an innocent little limeric. Now that I’m “grown up” all I can think about when I hear those last few words is that scene in South Park when Cartman gives the dog a “red rocket” by petting his belly. I’m sure director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and the fine folks at Sony Classics love that association. The film, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows a young man whose father is killed by a roadside bomb then is hit by a stray bullet in the head – ouchies! He survives but his bank account doesn’t, so he’s forced to live in a dump while he plots sweet sweet revenge with his new best friends who probably still smell better than half the commuters into NYC. Seriously, deodorant. Look it up.
Newmarket releases this Spanish historical drama starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz as an astronomer-philospher who’s seduced by one of her students and desired by her slave in circa 300 Alexandria of then Roman controlled Egypt. Sounds like the prequel to Sex and the City. The film had difficulty securing a distributor due to its controversial take on Christianity and the Catholic Church, but as director/writer Alejandro Amenaber pointed out, “What would Jesus do? He’d buy a ticket for himself and all his disciples.” JK, he didn’t say that but he did say the movie was very Christian and it denounced intolerance while encouraging peace and dialogue. Did I mention Weisz’s character is a pagan? Every time I hear that word, I think of that scene from 1987’s Dragnet starring Tom Hanks and Dan Akyroyd. Where the virgins at?