Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Movies: Update

Ironman 2 = hit. Everyone saw this coming and even though it's overall ratings are not as good, the fact remains that strategically speaking as far as releases go, this was the most well placed one of the year. The first summer blockbuster will always be a hit no matter how much it blows. Last year "Wolverine" took up this same slot and was a huge disappointment for many X-Men fans. Despite this, they still generated enough money to make another X-Men prequel. This time, featuring the story of Xavier which I hope will be much cooler. X-Men is my favorite comic book franchise and "Wolverine" had too many characters and was hard follow. It's not a complaint that is heard often in the genre but it seems the same can be said for Ironman 2 except it's fairly easy to follow.

Robin Hood = miss. The re-assessment of the Robin Hood role in a totally different way for the character more commonly known to us in English literature was a slap in the face. Hollywood has always been in the "lets correct history mode" but how can you correct a piece of literature? They could have made the same story but called it, "The Archer" and it would be a huge hit like "The Gladiator" and no one would notice the lack in creativity of the title because, "How creative is Ridley Scott anyways?" But they didn't and the studio, Ridley, and Russell Crowe are getting blasted for it.

All in all, the movie is a very good allegory about a poor man fighting a rich man's war who comes home wanting to take a little more than your average revenge out. I have no problem with the movie except that it should have been called, "The Archer" and not "Robin Hood" because it has nothing to with the real Robin Hood except for the fact they were both archers. This is such a basic law of big budget film making: If you're going to adapt something from a well known piece of literature, history, comic books, or any other form of media--stick to the essentials. They're essential for a reason. With that said, I'll take Errol Flynn as the man in tights any day. I'll even take Kevin Costner in a Mullet--at least Snape was the bad guy in that one.

***On that note, I propose to remake Robin Hood in the future where he's a sniper and using his expert skills to knock off big business CEO's that have gone corrupt. He then falsifies some documents so that their money lands in his bank account which he then uses to purchase bibles and blankets for children in Honduras. He's being hunted by every government in the world and for that--he's awesome. Oh, and he makes 007 look like a pussy. Oh yeah, and Lady Marriane is played by Lady Ga-Ga.

As for my other predictions, I'm obviously pretty horrible about predicting what chicks like and don't like cause apparently "Letters for Juliet" is not getting very stellar reviews. That said, the majority of reviewers tend to be male and therefore geared towards a male audience. Who would have predicting after it's first opening week that "The Blind Side" would go on to be as big of a hit as it was. Still, like watching horses leave the gate, I'm waiting on "Letters for Juliet" to pick up some speed.

Lastly, Get Him to the Greek is picking up some advertising momentum with a huge blitz and is like I said, looking to be this year's "The Hangover." I stand by my prediction that it's going to fall short of "The Hangover" buzz but will still probably make a lot of money. So is it a hit? Yes and no, even the bro-tastic audience knows how to call bullshit from time to time.

Stay tuned for more summer movie updates.


  1. Eh, I think you're overestimating the media blitz for "Get Him to the Greek". It's been seen countless times before, just like last year's "Terminator Salvation". Ads can be everywhere and the movie will still bomb. The point is, no real comedic stars=no money. As for "Letters to Juliet", I still think commercially its a hit, having the woman market till "Sex and the City 2" arrives, so it will go down in the books as a sleeper hit for the Summer, even though critical approval is low.

    As for your "Robin Hood" idea, I'd like to see how that all plays out. Though I do think Ridley Scott should be reigned in a bit by the studios or something, cause he hasn't made anything worth seeing in a while, and the original script for "Robin Hood" was originally titled "Nottingham" and was a film portraying the Sherrif of Nottingham as the good guy in all this trying to solve the mystery of Robin Hood. Now that would have been worth seeing, but instead we get "Gladiator: The Sequel" and I don't really like "Gladiator" to begin with.

  2. Yeah, it's totally gladiator: the sequel and they should be ashamed for making it but they aren't and probably never will be. As for the "Get him to the greek" blitz, yeah it's typical for trying to fill those opening weekend seats but when we're talking about these sort of summer block busters the only thing that matters is the opening weekend. Word doesn't travel fast enough from a Friday night opening to prevent people from going to see it Saturday or Sunday. Generally those people are already committed to go see it and don't care what the Friday people have to say. So in essence, bad opening weekend reviews generally don't translate until the following weekends. Wolverine was a huge failure but it still grossed what it needed to gross in its opening weekend. It seems that if you have a 100 million dollar budget you can afford 20 million of that budget to go towards advertising and market tie-ins to make sure you at least recoup your losses. Even if you open with a dismal 40 million on opening weekend you can at least try a great dvd blitz like "kingdom of heaven" did or "troy." I think they're still trying to pay off troy even as we speak.... And yeah, I think you're right about "Letters..." being a sleeper hit. Just like Blind Side, it doesn't have to get great critical reviews, but really--what does these days? I think "Sex in the City 2" is going to bomb. It's been a great franchise for the opposite gender but I think this is the last huzzah.

  3. "Sex and the City 2" will get solid numbers opening weekend, but I don't see legs on it, so it probably will be the end of the gang. As for "Get Him to the Greek", it's just got such a "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" or "The Love Guru" vibe to me. It's trying to reach the "Knocked Up" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" crowd, but I don't feel it right now. Though, it isn't too big budget, so even if it fails to be one of the bigger films of the Summer, it'll still make back its costs. Speaking of comedy flops, seen the trailer for Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups"? That will be this year's "Land of the Lost" for big comedians striking out hard. One you haven't mentioned yet is "Prince of Persia", it'll be like "The Incredible Hulk". Make some good dough in its run, but probably wont make enough to recoup its cost and to warrant another Bruckheimer-ified sequel. As a whole, pretty lackluster Summer so far, and "Shrek Forever After" wont be changing anything. Nothing on the horizon has that special vibe, but I'm just saying it, don't underestimate "Inception". I called "Avatar"'s success at this point last year. Just throwing that out there (but now watch "Inception" bomb just to prove me wrong).

  4. Is it sad that it's getting so easy to call these things? And we're not even insiders yet! The whole process has become so transparent it's disheartening. I'll say though, I'm kinda looking forward to Toy Story 3. I like how once again Pixar does a remarkably adult take on a children's story about growing up. Pixar more than any company, more than even Disney, has found a way to solidly connect to both kids and adults in one swing. They honestly make the only truly "G" movies out there where everyone can see it and come away with something, not just children. It may be formulaic by this point, but like Shakespeare, if it's got a good point, it never gets old.

    I'm still waiting to get my buzz on for Inception though while nothing would really surprise me--it being a huge success or moderate failure--there's something that's still bugging me about it. I think it's reminding me a little too much of "The Island" you know that film with Ewen McGregor and I think Scarlet Johanson that was supposed to be this enormous blockbuster a few summers ago but failed miserably? It was a great story but the studio really frakked it up with more product placement than a walk through Times Square--oh wait, they walked through Times Square... Anyways, I have no doubt I'll like it and maybe audiences as a whole are being more receptive to Sci Fi than they were a few years ago, so yeah, you may be right. Only time will tell...

  5. "The Island" was a definite bomb, but I give Chris Nolan a little more cred than Michael Bay.

  6. Oh yeah, I forgot that was a Michael Bay film. God, I can't believe they let a director who can't read direct movies.