November 2-4 Box Office Predictions

Everyone, prepare yourselves for lower-than-usual box office earnings this weekend. This is because of Hurricane Sandy attacking the East Coast of the U.S. My prayers do go out to you folks; but (Read this in John Travolta’s singing voice from Grease) Oh Sandy, why-y-y-y [did you have to make all those movie theatres lose power]? Without further ado, here are the new releases for Friday, November 2:

THE NEW RELEASES

Flight

Plot: An airline pilot saves a plane from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.

This drama is helmed by director Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump), with his first live-action endeavour since 2000’s Cast Away. Also, Flight stars the great Denzel Washington. Their names alone have the capability to draw in quite a crowd. Flight also has that whole true story appeal going for it. It seems like a great drama with a few nice action sequences.

Flight Prediction: $15, 000, 000

The Man with the Iron Fists

Plot: On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.

This certainly seems action-packed with a blend of a little dark humour. At least, that’s what I took from the tagline: ‘They put the F U in Kung Fu.’ The cast is attractive: Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, RZA, Jamie Chung. Kung-fu films can make for quite the enjoyable outing at the movies. Though, I doubt it’ll make the most money domestically, as opposed to foreign cinemas.

M.I.F. Prediction: $6, 500, 000

Wreck-It Ralph

Plot: A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

Wreck-It Ralph has been one of the most anticipated animated feature of 2012, and now it’s only two days away. The Disney, video game, and nostalgic attraction of it all makes this seem really great. It also has great voice talents of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch. There has been a vast advertising campaign, and it looks like a visual treat. Disney fans, gamers and movie-goers alike will be filing in to see this. Some video game characters that will be seen include Sonic the Hedgehog, Bowser, PacMan (just to name a few). Who wouldn’t want to see that?! This is going to be #1 at the Box Office this weekend, no one in the right state of mind should doubt that.

W-I.R. Prediction: $44, 000, 000

TOP 10 BOX OFFICE PREDICTIONS

TITLE/PREDICTION/STUDIO/ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE

1. Wreck-It Ralph/ $44, 000, 000/ Buena Vista/ 78%
2. Flight/ $15, 000, 000/ Paramount/ 86%
3. Argo/ $8, 700, 000/ Warner Bros./ 95%
4. Cloud Atlas/ $7, 300, 000/ Warner Bros./ 63%
5. Hotel Transylvania/ $6, 900, 000/ Sony/ 43%
6. The Man with the Iron Fists/ $6, 500, 000/ Universal
7. Paranormal Activity 4/ $5, 800, 000/ Paramount/ 25%
8. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D/ $5, 000, 000/ ORF/ 6%
9. Taken 2/ $4, 750, 000/ Fox/ 21%
10. Here Comes the Boom/ $3, 000, 000/ Sony/ 42%

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Box Office Results: October 26 – 28

There were disappointing openings all over the place for this weekend, but it’s not as embarrassing as how large of a margin I was off by in my predictions. Seriously, when I tell you guys the total I was off by, I think I’ll want to go die in a hole.

Top 10 Box Office, The Results (Estimates)

1. Argo$12, 355, 000

2Hotel Transylvania$9, 500, 000

3. Cloud Atlas$9, 400, 000

4. Paranormal Activity 4$8, 675, 000

5. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$8, 000, 000

6. Taken 2$8, 000, 000

7 Here Comes the Boom$5, 500, 000

8Sinister$5, 070, 000

9. Alex Cross$5, 050, 000

10. Fun Size$4, 060, 000

Other film I predicted

Chasing Mavericks$2, 200, 000

My Box Office Predictions (Title/Prediction/Off by(+/-))

1. Argo$15, 200, 000(+) $2, 845, 000

2. Hotel Transylvania$11, 350, 000(+) $1, 850, 000

3. Cloud Atlas$23, 000, 000(+) $13, 600, 000

4. Paranormal Activity 4/ $17, 500, 000(+) $8, 825, 000

5. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D$19, 500, 000(+) $11, 500, 000

6. Taken 2$12, 000, 000(+) $4, 000, 000

8. Sinister$6, 500, 000(+) $1, 430, 000

9. Alex Cross/ $9, 200, 000(+) $4, 150, 000

10. Fun Size$14, 750, 000(+) $10, 690, 000

Other prediction

12. Chasing Mavericks/ $12, 800, 000(+) $10, 600, 000

So, for this weekend, I was off by an embarrassing  grand total of $69, 490, 000. If my calculations are accurate (I at least think they are).

My reviews of films in theatres/ My score

Argo [90]

Chasing Mavericks [70]

House at the End of the Street [55]

Looper [88]

Perks of Being a Wallflower, The [100]

Pitch Perfect [80]

Seven Psychopaths [80]

Ted [88]

Trouble with the Curve [80]

 

Trouble with the Curve (2012) Review

Trouble with the Curve

Release Date: September 21, 2012

Director: Robert Lorenz

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman

Runtime: 111 min

Tagline: Whatever Life Throws at You

Gus (Clint Eastwood) is a good old fashioned baseball scout who doesn’t rely on computers to give him all the needed statistics. In a technology dominated society, this could cause problems. Gus isn’t in his glory years, and he is now having difficulty seeing properly. He goes on one last recruiting trip, and much to his dislike, his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), tags along.

Trouble with the Curve is filled with clichés and it has a great amount of predictable moments and outcomes, but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable. Clint Eastwood is type-cast and plays that dynamic-seemingly-unpleasant-stubborn-old-fart. Amy Adams is that all-work-and-no-play(makes Mickey a dull gal) character. The characters are pretty solid, and there are great actors coming out the ying yang – Eastwood (who came out of acting retirement to do this), Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick, and Matthew Lillard.

Some may be turned off by the baseball vibe of it all, but anti-baseball lovers, don’t threat, because it’s not all about baseball – there’s enough humour, relationship building and self-sacrifice to make it enjoyable for those who don’t like the game. Though, it does help if you enjoy it at least a little bit.

It really does offer a great story and narrative, and most of the characters have quite a few layers. The film is enjoyable, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s like a roller coaster of feel-good moments and emotional moments. There aren’t any bad scenes, but some just aren’t extremely memorable. Trouble is an experience that is very memorable and extremely enjoyable for baseball fans, but it might just offer entertainment and not make a lasting impression to non-baseball fans.

The only bad characters, really, are the baseball player that Gus is scouting, and Matthew Lillard’s. Lillard has gone from the sort-of annoying stoner Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo films to an adulterous prick in The Descendants to a young baseball scout who thinks he knows everything there is to know about the sport, in this.

Eastwood’s character seems unpleasant, stubborn and reserved; but that’s probably because of his vision going, an upcoming threat of possible retirement, and that utter need for independence that a lot of elders possess.

The father-daughter relationship seems pretty timid, but it makes for some nice scenes throughout the feature.

There are some cool visuals, like when Gus is looking at something and his vision goes awry. At first, in all honesty, I thought I only percepted the screen as blurry!

Trouble stars Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Robert Patrick and Matthew Lillard, to name a few.

There’s a lot of nice humour here and there, some great scenery and visuals, and there’s great chemistry created between the actors (even though Lillard is that one odd guy out). There are some draining moments and predictable moments, but it still is quite enjoyable, and really doesn’t overstay its welcome. Baseball lovers run out and see it, and non-lovers of the game, I give you permission to wait until it comes out on home media.

80/100

Celebrity Birthdays: October 22 – 28

Christopher Lloyd (October 22). Happy 74th birthday to the great Christopher Lloyd, who is best known for his role as Dr. Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy. I still have to see that series… He is also well known for his role as the main antagonist, Judge Doom, in the 1989 animation/live action feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Sam Raimi (October 23). Happy 53rd birthday to Sam Raimi, who has directed great trilogies like The Evil Dead and Spider-Man. I still have to see Evil Dead, but it seems really awesome.

Ang Lee (October 23). Happy 58th birthday to Ang Lee, director of such great films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain. I haven’t seen anything by Lee, but I just want to tell you guys to check out his upcoming film Life of Pi, that comes to theatres November 21.

Craig Robinson (October 25). Happy 41st birthday to Craig Robinson, who has brought his great comedy styling to such films as Pineapple Express, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Hot Tub Time Machine, and TV’s The Office.

Seth MacFarlane (October 26). Happy 39th birthday to Seth MacFarlane, creator of animation comedy shows such as the great Family Guy, the okay American Dad! and the horrible (except for its theme song) The Cleveland Show. He made his live action feature film debut this year with Ted, which is now the top world-wide grossing R-rated comedy of all time. He’s also going to be hosting the Oscar’s honouring films of the 2012 year.

Other Birthdays: Oct. 23, Ryan Reynolds (36); Dwight Yoakam (56). Oct. 24, Tila Tequila (31). Oct. 26, Dylan McDermott (51); Bob Hoskins (70), Jon Heder (35). Oct. 28, Joaquin Phoenix (38); Julia Roberts (45); Joan Plowright (83).

My favourite Christopher Lloyd films: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The PagemasterDennis the Menace

Favourite Craig Robinson films: Hot Tub Time Machine Pineapple ExpressZack and Miri Make a Porno

Favourite Dwight Yoakam film: Panic Room.

Chasing Mavericks (2012)

Chasing Mavericks 

Release Date: October 26, 2012

Directors: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson

Stars: Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue

Runtime: 120 min

Tagline: Legends Start Somewhere

Chasing Mavericks brings the audience knowledge of the life story of Jay Moriarity. The year is 1994, and the location is Santa Cruz, California. 15-year old Jay Moriarity has always loved surfing, and has idolized local legend Frosty Hesson since childhood. When Jay hitches a ride on the roof of Frosty’s van, he finds out that the myth of the Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, is very real. He gets it in his aspiring stubborn head that he must ride this wave, and Frosty offers to teach him to survive it.

A lot of the content in C.M., is material that you’ve probably seen about ten times before, and the story feels simply between average and a bit above average. It’s just that unfortunately average true underdog story, who just wants to beat the odds and come out a winner, with just a little determination and heart. Despite its average story , it still does offer an enjoyable experience and a story that someone could easily like a lot, or even love.

The true story is pretty nice, and it’s all about following one’s dreams and just aspire to become something, or some such bogus bullsh*t. If you do know Jay’s story and everything before you see it, it isn’t necesssary to check this one out. Unless you’re really curious, but if you know beforehand, it may not be as enjoyable. It also might be a rewarding experience for you if you went in knowing as little about his story as possible, and go in without many expectations at all. It’s just some really nice scenery and a fairly average tale.

Jay knows what it is like to be independent, as he has grown up (for the most part) without his father, and his mother works a lot. He finds a fatherly figure within Frosty, and it really is nice to watch their relationship grow over the course of the feature. Jay also learns great lessons of how to observe, and lessons of fear from Frosty. The chemistry created between the two is great. Also, the chemistry created between Jay and Kim is too, great. At times, the relationship between Jay and his best friend Blond, feels, oddly enough, awkward.

The beginning with Jay younger and Kim younger and Frosty younger, almost makes it feel like a whole different plot. That goes on for about fifteen minutes, but then it jumps ahead seven years to 1994, where the majority of the film is set. I didn’t like how that was done.

The acting is good, and the main performers bring good chops to the table. I haven’t seen a lot of Jonny Weston or Leven Rambin. Well, I’ve seen Rambin in her small role in The Hunger Games, but that’s about it. There is also some incredible scenery and fine cinematography offered.

As far as surfing films go, this one was great. I’ve never been a huge fan of surfing, but I did enjoy this more than Soul Surfer. In that one, they really just chewed (really feasted) the scenery. Speaking of S.S., the success of that probably inspired Fox to make a surfing flick, for young Moriarity, for the 2012 Fall season.

The great thing about Jay and Frosty’s relationship is that it doesn’t feel like a teacher-student relationship, but a true friendship.
The climactic surf sequence is fairly quickly paced, but others just drag on; and at times the relationships that build on the land are greater than those draining surf sequences.

SMALL SPOILER ALERT.

This isn’t a large spoiler because it doesn’t spoil a key element of the film, so read with much risk.

Somehow, the fact that the Mavericks is real is leaked, and citizens around the area come, right during the final surf sequence when Jay wants to ride the huge wave that’s coming. Some watch, and some amateur surfers want to try out the waves. Even some boats go out. For me, I hate how the filmmakers execute this. It really takes a number on my attention, because Jay is supposed to be the focal point, but at times I’m really distracted by all those boats in the water. It’s mostly bothersome to me because the filmmakers really don’t have to follow the story to the letter. They should have just left out the boats, then I’d be content.

END OF SMALL SPOILER ALERT.

This is the real Jay Moriarity.

There isn’t a lot of humour offered, but the few jokes are pretty funny. There’s some poignancy here and there, but most of it can be pretty inspiring.

Gerard Butler (he also is Executive Producer), Jonny Weston, Elisabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, Leven Rambin, Devin Crittenden and Taylor Handley star.

Sometimes, Chasing Mavericks feels just a bit too average. There’s some nice humour, cinematography, and great scenery. Sometimes some scenes drag on, but the better scenes certainly outweigh those poor ones. It’s worth checking out if you want to check out a nice inspirational story, but that’s about the only big thing that makes C.M. stand out so vibrantly.

70/100

Winter’s Bone (2010) Review

Winter’s Bone

Release Date: September 17, 2010

Director: Debra Granik

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt

Runtime: 100 min

This independent feature explores the life of a 17-year old girl in the poor rural area of Ozark Mountain.

Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) takes care of her depressed and withdrawn mother, and her younger brother and sister, while her drug-dealing father is nowhere to be found. Much to her dismay, the local Sheriff tells her that her father put up their house as collateral for his bail, and unless she can find him and convince him to show up at the trial in one week’s time, they’ll lose the house.

This follows Ree’s adventure as she looks for her father, and must keep her family intact at the same time.

It’s pretty great that Ree remains so optimistic about finding her father, even when everyone tells her that he’s probably dead. She enlists the support of her friends and her Uncle, Teardrop (John Hawkes). You can tell that it’s sort of a mountainous community with a name like Teardrop.

Ree’s strong nature is admirable for such a young age. She has help from a few neighbors, but a lot of the community is not helpful at all and a little violent. It is interesting to see Ree teach her younger siblings life skills (like chopping wood, shooting, cooking) in this modern, rural, poverty-stricken community. The viewer would certainly hope that she finds her father soon, because it would suck for her family to be kicked out of their home and be forced to be homeless.

I’m not a big fan of the atmosphere, it’s just a little too slow for my liking. I wanted to see it because apparently it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s best performance to date (which I agree with) I had heard good things about it, and I was intrigued by the poster. The poster sort of reminded me of Deliverance, so I thought I was in store for a good old adventure film (because of the boat and the forest), but I was really wrong. What I received is a good substantial family drama, which is mostly enjoyable.

I don’t understand some of the violence, or really the family dynamics of it all. Some of the people of the community are really nice, but some are extremely brutal and anyone with common sense wouldn’t have the nerve to mess with them. Ree is just a little too stubborn to listen to any sort of warnings.

This is also about as fast-paced as Fat Bastard running to a salad bar. The last bit of the film is great, but the build-up isn’t extremely memorable for me.

Winter’s Bone is great because it shows us that Lawrence is capable of being an amazing actress. The fact that Ree never gives up hope and always wants to care for her family is really quite great. It’s flawed because of its pace and I really personally didn’t fall in love with the atmosphere. Winter’s Bone is also very impressively made, and it is one of the finest independent films of 2010.

75/100

Quick Review – Omen IV: The Awakening (TV 1991)

Omen IV: The Awakening (TV Movie)

Release Date: 1991

Director: Jorge Montesi, Dominique Othenin-Girard

Stars: Faye Grant, Michael Woods, Michael Lerner

Runtime: 97 min

Tagline: The horror continues.

Seriously? The horror continues? What “horror” may that be?

Delia has just been adopted by two attorneys, Gene & Karen York. When Karen realizes her baby was born under suspicious circumstances, she hires a private investigator to find Delia’s real parents. A series of bizarre accidents occur, and Karen begins to suspect everyone of conspiring against her as she unravels the truth about her baby, and how she just may be continuing Damien Thorn’s prophecy.

Okay so, this one was better than the third Omen instalment. That statement doesn’t mean this is good at all, as it was a little more easy to endure than the third.

The acting is still pretty bad, and the plot here is all right. Imagine just a rehash of the first instalment, with a lot less production quality, and a lot less effectiveness. It’s nearly the exact same thing, but it takes a few more pleasant twists. The real annoying thing is that the darned dog is back. Why are dogs so demonic these days?

I wasn’t fond of any of the characters. For attorney’s, the parents were often pretty oblivious. Well, at least the father was. The happenings that occur can get a little violent, but it isn’t all bad. There are a few good kills, but there isn’t anything completely memorable.

Delia is just about the most annoying evil child I have ever had the misfortune to witness on screen. The stuff she does is idiotic, and she isn’t creepy at all. She just wears an odd grimace that speaks, “I just want to be done with this film.” Well, Delia, we want the film to be over, too. She tries to be creepy, but she isn’t, what really happens is just a hideous look on her face the whole time.

The plot isn’t horrible, but not original at all. It’s at least better than the third, but anything is better than that crap.

The acting is horrible, the pacing and story is alright, the characters aren’t anything to cheer for, and the production value is just bad. The ending is also one of the worst, and oddest (it tries to give you an ending you’d never expect, but it’s really just lame), I’ve seen, and there’s yet another installment that doesn’t believe very much in climaxes. You don’t really want to catch this one, either. The first two Omen‘s are really the only two worth seeing.

30/100