Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday free-for-all

What a great week I've had! My head stopped hurting, my fingers stopped throbbing, I remembered what my wife looked like, and I downright enjoyed myself at times. Now that's a vacation. No worries, though, I'll be back to getting my soul crushed starting next week. No soul for me = More blogs for you. So maybe we both lose.

For once, "EW" doesn't act like their name sounds

After basically calling one of their reviewers a dirty liar (Owen Glieberman, you've done been called out), I can't wholeheartedly get behind anything "Entertainment Weekly," or "EW" (pronounced eeeeeuuuuuu), does. This isn't hard both because their news information is as fresh as a Carlos Mencia stand-up routine and because they whore out so, so, so hard for certain movies and not others (seriously, Twilight should be sending them at least 10% of the gross). But, in the interest of everyone else having taken the week off like I did, there ain't much news to be nosy about, so I'm going to send you to this link: 2009 Movie Preview, which has some pretty sweet new images of 12 movies opening this year. Most notable are a few cool Terminator Salvation shots and, most importantly, a new image from Where the Wild Things Are to once again torture me. People shouldn't have to wait 3 years for anything that doesn't involve a parole board, I can't believe I haven't seen that movie yet. There's also an image from The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, which features John Travolta looking like an extra in gay porn, a clip for the next 3D Jonas Brothers movie (when they find a fourth dimension, trust that the Jonai will suck in that too), a shot of Meryl Streep as Julia Child (your move Viagra), a Land of the Lost tease, and a shirtless Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (honey, if you're reading this, it's image 19 and you can skip right to it). 2008 was a pretty blah year, here's hoping that these images (Julia Child and YMCA Travolta aside) are a step in the right direction.

Weekend Battle Plan: Say no to dogs in '09

2008 was unquestionably the year of the dog. From Obama's post-election comment about his impending new pooch to the taking Chihuahua flick raking in the dough, pups were sitting pretty in 2008. This was capped off with the inexplicable success of Marley and Me, a mushy-stupid dog movie that's going to end up making like $200 million (no lie). So, my first piece of advice for the new year: NO DOG MOVIES. Look at it like this, in two weeks a movie called Hotel for Dogs comes out. If you support Marley and Me, you should also have to go see Hotel for Dogs. That's just a rule. If you have eyes and taste, go see Valkyrie or some Oscar bait this weekend (sorry Mr. Cruise, but those are two very different things). People love The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (like, LOVE IT), even if I thought it was good-but-not-great (I smell some arguments come Oscar time). Don't forget about Milk, Frost/Nixon, and Slumdog Millionaire, all good choices for your weekend time and money. The important thing is that we all get on the no dog movie bandwagon. I'm already in for a wave of stupid puppy pictures because Aniston went and took her top off in GQ so a bunch of dudes agreed to go see Marley and Me with their wives. Stupid Aniston side boob.

That's my recommendation: Say no to dogs and yes to Oscar bait.

On DVD: Man on Wire! By now you've probably noticed how many top 10 lists this documentary has showed up on. Find out why! A gripping tale of a tightrope walker, this is actually somewhere between a caper movie and an art film. One of your New Year's resolutions SHOULD have been to improve yourself this year, so start by renting a documentary. It doesn't hurt. Honest.

Fearless, Flawless, Box Office Prediction

Daddy ain't stupid. Having sat out the bloodbath scrum that occurred last week, I get to start 2009 with NO NEW RELEASES and a good idea of where America stands on things already in theaters. Why start the new year with tragedy and disappointment just because that's how I used to ring it in when I was in high school? The damn dog movie will win the week again (and my own mother and sister are contributing to the total...I'm saddened), but the real race is below that. For example, with a strong second weekend (which could very well happen), Cruise's comeback project will have a shot at $100 million, which would be very, very, very impressive for the troubled project. I don't know when I began somewhat pulling for Cruise, but I guess I have. I'll never leave you behind Maverick.

Here's how I see it:

1.) Marley and Me - $28 million

This will push the movie over $100 million in about 10 days. Yay for championing schmaltz! Puppies are cute, so's Aniston...but let's think about what we're doing here people.

2.) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - $21 million

Let's just take a moment and realize how impressive this would be if the film hits this number. A 3-hour movie in which the main star is covered in aged makeup the entire time directed by the guy who last did Zodiac will have done over $80 million in 10 days. Wow. It's gonna kill at Oscar time.

3.) Bedtime Stories - $18 million

Not bad but not great, this will rush past $100 million by next weekend and all involved will have a nice time. Anything that keeps Sandler too busy for Chuck and Larry 2, I'm all for.

4.) Valkyrie - $17 million

Again, wow. The movie only cost $75 million to make (and likely another $25 million to market, given their relentless campaign) and it will likely top out over $100 million domestically and bring in some nice jingle overseas. Props to all involved, this should not have been possible.

5.) Yes Man - $10 million

Watch as Jim Carrey tries to cling with every fiber of his being to stardom, willing this movie past $100 million by buying thousands of tickets. You'll get there little Jimmy, you'll get there.
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