Jul 17, 2016

WIWTW #55

I was wrong. I really did think that Paul Feig's Ghostbusters was going to flop. Miserably to be exact. I know I'm not the only one either. I suppose it's proof that no matter how many keyboard warriors you have disliking trailers and saying a movie is going to fail, a movie can still succeed. It also helps when the original movie is a nostalgic power ballad to the 80's. 

Saying that Ghostbusters is a success is maybe a bit overgenerous. After all, it only made $46 million and on a budget of $144 million and it still has quite a ways to go when you factor in marketing and distribution costs. I read somewhere that $500 million worldwide is the threshold for breaking even and I have a hard time believing that this female-led reboot can manage that. It got beaten by The Secret Life of Pets which is in its second week and the nostalgia of Ghostbusters probably doesn't extend beyond the the west.

Still, I suppose this is a minor victory for those saying that sexists are responsible for all the hate that Ghostbusters was getting online (even the marketing department for the movie was using that as a crutch). Let them celebrate I say. I unfortunately don't think it's going to lead to any meaningful changes in Hollywood regarding female actors getting the reigns for major motion pictures, as much as people are hoping that it will. I'm still not cool with taking a pre-established franchise and replacing all the male characters with female ones. It just feel, unorganic if you know what I mean. What we all need is more Bridesmaids and less female-reboot Ocean's 11. That's my .02 cents anyway.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • How many theatrical, feature-length movies are there? About 500,000 apparently. I got a long way to go... @StoryAlity
  • Box office report: The Secret Life of Pets continued its parade to a $50.6 million second weekend. That's a drop of only 51.5% and that's in addition to stellar overseas numbers. Number two for this weekend went to newcomer Ghostbusters which earned $46 million. While that's not as low as haters wanted or as high as Sony would've wanted, there's no doubt that it's going to have to find some long legs to carry it to profitability. There's already talk of multiple sequels, but that strikes me as a desperate plea to get audiences to go see the movie. The Legend of Tarzan in third place dropped to $11.1 million and Finding Dory was right behind at $11 million. In terms of limited releases, Woody Allen's Cafe Society just achieved the highest per-screen average of the year: $71,000. That's from five theatres with a total of $335,000. It'll remain to be seen if that buzz can translate to higher earnings when it opens to more screens.
  • Just a bit of info regarding the upcoming Star Wars movies from the Star Wars Celebration. Biggest point here is that young Mr. Alden Ehrenreich who's been cast as young Han Solo is going to need a ton of luck and most importantly he's going to need to get off social media until his movie comes out. @Entertainment Weekly
  • A look at the IMDb Top 250 which at the end of the day, most people can agree is just a popularity contest. @PurpleCameraMedia
  • And because I never get tired of reading about the king of the B-movie, here's a retrospective on Roger Corman. @Paste Monthly
Video of the week: Watching the Star Trek Beyond trailer in "tri-screen format." Pretty cool honestly.

 _______________________________________________________________________

Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 5.50
_______________________________________________________________________

July 10th

 

Grumpy Old Men (1993)

Rating: 6/10

What is it: A comedy featuring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in their sixth film together

Grumpy Old Men is a Christmas movie, so I apologize for watching this out of season. It's not the most Christmas-y of Christmas movies, but it's probably a hard 7/10 on the Christmas scale. Anyhow, Lemmon and Matthau are obviously the big draws here and as usual they're golden together. There are way too many old man jokes regarding sex though and it makes Burgess Meredith who plays Lemmon's father here a pretty irritating character. Ann-Margret however is probably the most pleasant of the bunch, although she plays the kind of character who only exists in the movies. At the end of the day, you watch GOM to see Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau do their act and there's nothing wrong with that.

July 11th

 

Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon (2008): Worst Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 2.5/10

What is it: A (when it was) Sci-Fi Channel piece of junk

As silly as it sounds, I really want a good yeti movie. Something about a giant, smelly, 9-foot tall beast hunting down people sounds very appealing as a movie to me. I didn't expect much of Y:CotSD and who would? It's about a football team on a place that goes down and the survivors are forced to hang tough until help comes along. The acting is generally terrible and the special effects are a special kind of bad. So bad that I almost felt like I needed to have my eyes checked. The yeti featured here is a cheap-suited, rubber mask-wearing fake and I really don't know why it was decided that the yeti should leap around like the Hulk. Avoid unless you're looking for a laugh.

July 12th

 

Grumpier Old Men (1995)

Rating: 5/10

What is it: Sequel to Grumpy Old Men that adds Sophia Loren to the equation

There didn't really need to be a sequel to Grumpy Old Men, but that could be said about most sequels obviously. What we have is Max (Walter Matthau) and John (Jack Lemmon) trying to stop the opening of an Italian restaurant in what used to be their bait shop. Run by Maria (Sophia Loren) and her cranky old stereotypical Italian mother, Max and John concoct all sorts of childish schemes to stop the restaurant from opening. It's as dumb as it sounds and more. Everyone just seems to be going through the motions and who can blame them? Worst of all, Ann-Margret's Ariel is reduced to a bit part and hardly resembles the character from the first movie. At least this wasn't a Christmas movie.

July 13th

 

Philomena (2013): Best Movie of the Week Award

Rating: 7.5/10

What is it: A drama about an elderly woman searching for her  adopted son

Judi Dench plays the ignorant but likeable Philomena who wants to find her long-lost adopted son that she was forced to give up while she was working in a nunnery. Despite basically working as a slave, Philomena has no ill feelings towards the Church and clings to her faith. That's definitely not the case with Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) who tags along in order to feature Philomena in a human interest article. While I do think that Philomena tries a bit too hard to be funny at inopportune times, director Stephen Frears gives us some moving scenes while also balancing different things such as faith and forgiveness. While there's some artistic license taken with the actual true story, Philomena is a satisfying pleaser. 

July 14th

 

One Night Stand (1997)

Rating: 5/10

What is it: A romance/drama with Wesley Snipes starring

I'll admit, I've been clamoring to see Wesley Snipes in a non-action role and I'm happy to say that he actually does not disappoint. He shows some actual acting chops here and holds up just fine opposite the big name here which is Robert Downey Jr. who also does a good job. However, what really sinks One Night Stand is how completely muddled and long-winded it is. There are multiple sex scenes and they seem to go on for a lifetime and a half. While I appreciate Mike Figgis' attempt at crafting a certain mood, ONS is a chore to watch until its third act. Not only that but the story feels like it could easily be a sappy TV drama which doesn't help either obviously.

July 15th

 

Men with Brooms (2002)

Rating: 5/10

What is it: A Canadian comedy about the noble sport of curling

I'm always trying to watch more Canadian films, but it's movies like Men with Brooms that end up making me avoid them. While MwB has gone on to become a bit of a minor cult film, all I really see is American Pie-styled sex humour, gross-out/toilet jokes plus a hardy serving of "Canadian-ness" just to make you forget that this is very much a Hollywood-styled comedy. While I do think that Men with Brooms does a good job at explaining the game of curling, it doesn't really show it off all that well and I wish that weren't the case because the curling scenes are the best parts of the movie. Nice seeing Leslie Nielsen I suppose, but no one could've saved this picture. 

July 16th

 

Anna & Bella (1984)

Rating: 7.5/10

What is it: A Dutch animated short that won the gold statue at the 58th Academy Awards

Sadly, it's rumored that director Børge Ring's Oscar was lost in a house fire. But anyhow, his animated short film lives on and it's definitely one worth seeing. It presents a meandering story about two elderly women looking at old photographs and reminiscing about their younger days as we see flashbacks of these important moments. While you might think that Anna & Bella is a light watch, it's actually a pretty hard hitter. That alone makes it worth watching until its conclusion. The animation is of the more flowy and stylized variety, but it gets the job done and looks good while doing it.