Friday Forecast: August 1, 2011 (Late)

I’m sorry that this version of the Friday Forecast comes a bit delayed. As a result, the box office information from this past weekend is included.

1) Cowboys and Aliens – Rotten Tomatoes Grade: 44%/Metacritic: 50

Embarrassingly, Jon Favreau’s ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ barely took the box office this past weekend, squeaking out a victory over ‘The Smurfs’ by a mere $800,000. While most agree that the film is entertaining, many found the dialogue and the plot to be lacking. This is the first Favreau film that has received a failing grade.

Weekend Box Office: $36.4 million

2) The Smurfs – Rotten tomatoes: 21%/Metacritic: 30

Our little blue friends from the past almost pulled a massive upset in the box office this past weekend. Director Raja Gosnell has never made a movie that received a passing grade, and ‘The Smurfs’ stays the course, but there is no denying that his awful movies make money.

Weekend Box Office: $35.6 million

3) Crazy, Stupid, Love – Rotten Tomatoes: 75%/Metacritic: 68

As is often the case, the highest reviewed movie that hit the box office this weekend failed to take crown, which continually reemphasizes the fact that our culture often settles for stupidity, and continues to fund the epidemic by purchasing tickets.

Weekend Box Office: $19.1 million

Trailer: Gosling Gets Political In Clooney’s ‘The Ides of March’

George Clooney is back in the director’s seat for the 4th time in ‘The Ides of March’, and for the first time in 3 years. Clooney has a good track record as a director, averaging a 75% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer in his first three films (Good Night, And Good Luck, Leatherheads, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). He is also writing the screenplay alongside of Grant Heslov, who he co-wrote ‘Good Night, And Good Luck’ with. Clooney earned an Oscar nomination for both his directing and writing in ‘Good Night.’

Clooney brings a dynamite cast to the screen in the political thriller ‘The Ides of March’ that hits movie screens on October 7th this Fall. Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei and Clooney himself make up the all-star lineup. Gosling looks to be the leading man, and it looks to be quite a year for the blooming star, who just showed the world his comedic side in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ and is projected to blow people’s minds with a much more intense side in ‘Drive’ this Fall.

I was a personally found Clooney’s ‘Good Night, And Good Luck’ to be fascinating, and can’t remember seeing a modern film that I can compare to it. Combine this with a cast that screams consistency and brilliance…needless to say I have high hopes for ‘The Ides of March.’

Here is the synopsis for the movie:

The Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency. — (C) Sony Pictures

Tomato Monster Review: Easy A

Rotten Tomatoes Grade: 85%
RT Top Critics Grade: 94%
Metacritic: 72
Tomato Monster Grade: C+
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The Tomato Monster

‘Easy A’ is Emma Stone’s coming out party.  While she has been noticed up until this point, this might be the first time that she should be taken seriously for her work as an actress.  Also, ‘Easy A’ can’t be thrown into the bucket as just another teen comedy.  One of the reasons for this is the fact that ‘Easy A’ carries it’s message as it’s banner, and not the raunch that has come to define the genre.  In fact, ‘Easy A’ in many ways, reveals the shallowness of raunchy teen culture.

‘Easy A’ is a modern day telling of the high school reading list classic ‘The Scarlet Letter.’  Just to show how twisted culture has become, ‘Stone’ attempts to earn her ‘Scarlet A’, and even wears seemingly as a badge of honor.

In the end, ‘Easy A’ lacked backbone.  While it seemed to attempt to stand for something, in the end it fell flat because it stood for nothing.  ‘Tolerance’ would be the theme of the movie summed up in one word.  Whether I were to agree with the message of the movie or not, the movie didn’t compel me to do so, because Stone’s character seemed unsatisfied as she attempted to relish in it.

The roles of Thomas Hayden Church, Lisa Kudrow, and Stanley Tucci’s roles were barely memorable, leaving you wishing for more.

A majority of the story is told via first person, through the narration of Stone, which was a risk that proved to be worth taking.  This unique form of storytelling made ‘Easy A’ standout in the crowd.

While I believe that Stone deserves credit for carrying the load, and appreciate that ‘Easy A’ took substantial risk within it’s genre, I wasn’t emotionally moved or inspired by the film.  Something was missing.
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Messages/Themes

    • Social Insecurity
    • The Sexual Double-Standard
    • The Devaluation of one’s Image for Acceptance
    • The Dangers and Powers of Gossip
    • Be yourself

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Directed by: Will Gluck’s directing in ‘Easy A’ was a breakthrough performance. Gluck previously directed ‘Fired Up!’, which was a teen comedy flop critically (22% on Rotten Tomatoes), and in the Box Office ($18.6/$20). His only other work as a director is the newly released ‘Friends With Benefits’, starring Justin Timberlake & Mila Kunis (68% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Written by: Bert V. Royal did an impressive job in his writing debut in ‘Easy A’. Much of the critical praise for the film was directed specifically at the screenplay.
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Budget: $8 million
Box Office: $74.9 million
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Trivia

    • Emma Stone dropped out of Sucker Punch to do this movie.
    • In the original script, the “F”-word was used 41 times, the “S” word was used 13 times and the “C” word was used 3 times. The uses of these words were later cut down in the final script so as to receive a lower rating of PG-13 (the movie’s target audience) as opposed to a rating of R.
    • All the webcam and narration scenes were shot in one day. Emma Stone had a 14-hour day of simply staring at a camera doing every single webcam and narration for the entire movie and every so often she would have to walk around outside to stretch her muscles from sitting so long.
    • Emma Stone’s audition was her opening webcam scene.
    • Bert V. Royal wrote the screenplay, except for the last ten pages, in five days.
(Trivia Via IMDB)

Potter Crosses $1 Billion On Pace With Avatar

20110731-101354.jpg‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2’ is carving its path through the record books at a record pace. The blockbuster of the summer, and more than likely the biggest movie of 2012, crossed the $1 billion barrier on Sunday. The Potter finale accomplished the treasured feat in 19 days, which ties ‘Avatar’s’ pace. The $1.008 billion worldwide gross ranks 8th all-time, passing ‘The Dark Knight’. BoxOfficeMojo projects that ‘Part 2’ could be on pace to take 3rd place away from ‘Lord of the Rings: Return of the King’ ($1.12 billion) as early as next weekend.

The question now, is whether or not Harry can keep pace with the Blue Aliens? Even though both films were 3D movies, and were shown in IMAX theaters, ‘Avatar’ did have the advantage of being re-released. While Potter’s torrential pace is seriously impressive, I don’t see it having the perseverance to claim the ultimate crown.

Picture and Stats via BoxOfficeMojo:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3232&p=.htm

First Trailer For Ratner’s ‘Tower Heist’

Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck star in Brett Ratner’s (Rush Hour, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand) new action-comedy.

Here is the synopsis of the movie via the movies official website:

“In the upcoming action-comedy film Tower Heist, Queens native Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) has managed one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City for more than a decade. Under his watchful eye, nothing goes undetected. In the swankiest unit atop Josh’s building, Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is under house arrest after being caught stealing $2 billion from his investors. The hardest hit among those he defrauded? The tower staffers whose pensions he was entrusted to manage.

With only days before Arthur gets away with the perfect crime, Josh’s crew turns to petty crook Slide (Eddie Murphy) to plan the nearly impossible—steal what they are sure is hidden in Arthur’s guarded condo. Though amateurs, these rookie thieves know the building better than anyone. And it turns out they’ve been casing the place for years, they just didn’t know it.”

Marvel Releases Final Scene of ‘Captain America’ & a Short Clip From ‘The Avengers’ Teaser

Marvel has released a short teaser clip for ‘The Avengers’ which includes the final scene of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and a short clip from ‘The Avengers’ teaser that followed the credits of Cap. Here’s to hoping that the full teaser trailer is released sometime in the near future.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ News: Bane Revealed and Tumbler’s Loose in Pittsburgh

Check out this photo of Tom Hardy from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, revealing Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Bane (Picture Via Batman-News):

Subaruwrxfan was able to capture of the filming of ‘The Dark Knight rises on the set. Check out this first video of Tom Hardy standing on top of a camouflage Tumbler (Video via Subaruwrxfan)

Subaruwrxfan also got some awesome close-up footage of three camouflage Tumbler’s driving through the streets of Pittsburgh.

Noteworthy News: Abrams in for Trek 2, First Synopsis for Raimi’s Oz, Dawson & Cassel Added to Boyle’s ‘Trance’

1) Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel have been confirmed to be a part of Danny Boyle’s next project ‘Trance.’  Over the past decade, Boyle has been on fire, receiving critical acclaim for his last two movies, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ (Won – Best Directing) and ‘127 Hours’ (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Writing).  ‘Trance’ is being both written and directed by Boyle, and tells a story about a thrilled story about a failed robbery featuring James McAvoy.

(Via The Playlist)

2) J.J. Abrams has finally committed to direct ‘Star Trek 2.’  While everyone has been waiting in anticipation for his response, including fans and producers, Paramount has had to readjust some of their scheduled releases due to Abrams indecision.  The original studio release date was July 29, 2012, but it seems much more likely now to land in the summer of 2013.

“Just been waiting for JJ to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script. Once he says go, we’ll have it in no time. Meanwhile, our outline is detailed enough (70+ pages!) to do some prep :),” Orci posted

(Via The Playlist)

3) The first synopsis for Sam Raimi’s ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ has been released.

“Oz The Great and Powerful” imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well. ‘

 

(Via Collider)

Trailer: Del Toro Attempting To Scare Us Crapless With ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’

This trailer caused me to morph into the mental state of a little school girl. I’m guessing that was the intent of producer Guillermo Del Toro. According to the famed producer, he is aspiring for this film “to completely scare younger generations crapless.” Check out this excerpt via The Playlist:

‘Dark’ had always been planned as a PG-13 movie aimed just as squarely at the teen crowd as at adults. But once the MPAA got through their review, they decided the goosebumps it gave them were enough to warrant an R-rating. “It changes a lot from a commercial point of view,” says del Toro. “I would have loved for it to be PG-13. We conceived it as a very classically made, spooky movie that would have the same effect it had on me as a kid. I wanted to completely scare younger generations crapless.”

But the producer always prefers to look on the bright side. “It’s really a badge of honor because they gave us an R for being scary. It’s not an R for being gory. The decision was do we change it to get the PG-13 or keep it an R? I’m a big believer that, if you get an R and the movie’s good, you keep the R. Why destroy the movie to make it more marketable? I think it’s a mistake.”

The MPAA didn’t stop del Toro from showing it to his own kids. “Oh yeah, they already saw it,” laughs del Toro. “I think 8 years old is extreme, [but] 13, 11, 12 for sure. Video games are much more brutal than people even remember. And cartoons are really aggressive and crazy in a beautiful way.”

Troy Nixey will make his debut as a director in ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’, but he can take comfort in the fact that Del Toro not only is producing the horror flick, but that the legend has also written the screenplay alongside of Matthew Robbins.

‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ hits theaters this Fall on August 26th.

First ‘Battleship’ Trailer (Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna)

When I grew up playing Milton Bradley’s ‘Battleship’, I never pictured that it would be a very good concept for a Hollywood film. I also never pictured that if it were actually to hit the cinemas, that it would involve battleships fighting aliens. What was I thinking? Of course that is how Hollywood would interpret this beloved childhood board game.

Maybe director Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom, Friday Night Lights) is cooking up a miracle, but with a $200 million estimated budget, it looks more like a recipe for the rebirth of ‘Waterworld.’ Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, and Rihanna have been brought in to pull off the gimmick.

I’m more than willing to admit that I’m wrong, but I think this battleship is going to sink next summer, and I think it will sink badly.

‘Battleship’ hits theaters on May 18, 2012.