Film Review of “Bad Times at the Old Royale”

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Yep, it’s been a minute.  Why?  Because I heard Venom sucked.  Because seeing Night School is for people who barely have a GED.  Because I could care less about Crazy, Rich Asians than I care about than the homeless problem in Sudan.  The best film in September-Thanksgiving is like the NL East division winner, you get a playoff spot by being the best of the worst shitbox teams.  What else besides Halloween, Creed 2, Wreck it Ralph 2 and maybe Bohemian Rhapsody look good?  Johnny English?  Another garbage sequel that no one asked for.  So when the preview BTATOR came out, I thought that this has a shot of being decent.  Early positive reviews confirmed my thoughts so I figured, time to pony up 11 bucks to a matinee.  You may be thinking, “why not wait till movie pass picks it up?”  Because I don’t feel like waiting till the next election to see this film.  

A priest, singer, bellhop, vacuum salesman, runaway and her weird sister, and cult leader all stay at hotel that is split in half by state lines.  Cute idea but wish it played more into the plot. If you’re going to see this, you’ll going to say in 10 minutes, this is similar to Pulp Fiction.  Remember, nothing will top Pulp Fiction.  Don’t argue with me as that’s an infallible argument.  The stories are told in a circular fashion and from multiple angles.  Of course, this hotel has its own secrets and no one is who they seem who they are.  

Jeff Bridges plays Father Flynn, which is a cute nod to one of his early roles as Flynn from Tron.  Time and probably cigarettes have added to that gravelly voice of his; another 3 bottles of gin and he’s right into Sam Elliot vocal territory.  Hello avalanche of voiceover roles!  I did a double take with Dakota Johnson as she looks damn near exactly like Sophie Marceau.  Last I saw of her, she was in one of the worst Bond films of all time.  “The World is Not Enough” is in “A View to a Kill” territory.  Only saving graces of that piece of shit are Sophie and Denise Richards.  Goddamn, it’s a shame her looks became as bad as her acting.  Anyway, Dakota looks fantastic and kills it as a badass with a checkered past.  Jon “Footlong Dong” Hamm plays a vacuum salesman that turns out to be an FBI agent.  Mix in Lewis Pullman expertly playing a nebbishy bellhop and Cynthia Erivo playing a “Supremes-esque” background singer and you have a pretty solid cast of characters.

The problem with my review is so much is going on that I don’t want to spoil anything. I enjoyed a few curveballs and wait till Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) shows up. It’s a sadistic cult leader character that we haven’t seen yet.  And we’re used to Hemsworth shooting lighting and throwing hammers so it’s nice to see some range out of him.  My biggest complaint is this film begins drag at the 2 hour mark, ending at 2:21.  I think if they would’ve trimmed 15-20 minutes off of this, it would’ve felt much more concise.  Cut a little here and there and this would be a fantastic tale.  But this is a pretty damn good tale nonetheless.  Could you wait till Netflix, sure.  But if you’re looking to see something in the theater, I highly recommend this.  Otherwise, this is going to be a long season of banal shit.  

I give it a 7 out of 10.

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Week NAWWWNE NFL picks

Well kids, last week is what I call the law of averages just pulling your pants down and showing you who is still boss.  3-7 last week, udda disasta, ok?  Mark Ingram fumbling twice deep in Bears territory prevented me from covering.  Travis Benjamin on the Chargers catches a kickoff at the 15 or so and then this dickhead runs backwards and to the left.  Want to guess what happens next?  A goddamn safety, lost by .5 a point.  The Browns scored more than I thought they would so that under was busted but at least the Vikings covered.  Seattle won a last minute TD but didn’t cover.  I grabbed the Jets under because it was a monsoon and Atlanta on the road is awful.  You guessed it, scoring bonanza in the middle of what seemed like a hurricane.  It doesn’t help when ATL fumbles deep in their own zone twice as the Jets did once.  

Detroit had 1st and goal 3 different times and only came away with 3 points.  They kick another FG and I cover.  I did take Dallas who easily handled the Redskins and Cincy hit the over with the Colts.  As my old man, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  I didn’t pull the trigger on KC nor the over as I got gun shy and both would’ve won.  See what a bad weekend does to you?  And with the beating I took last week, it felt like I held a grenade for too long between my buttcheeks.  

If you took the Jets for the season under 3.5, I feel extremely bad for you because that money line was ridiculously high.  But I don’t feel bad for me as I bet the Jets +3 the other night and for once, the secondary football team of NY doesn’t disappoint me.  Starting off the week 1-0 so let’s get to the picks:

I’m all in on Drew Brees and his Pangea sized facial birthmark this week.  Coach Sean Payton chewed out Ingram on the sidelines for doing his impression of “early years Tiki Barber” and you can bet your ass it’s not happening again this week.  The Bucs defense is trash, giving up 5.8 yards per play.  And I don’t think Winston’s shoulder is up to snuff yet.  The Saints are 8th in passing yds and 8th in passing yards on defense.  The only way the Bucs have the shot is running the ball against a bad Saints run defense.  No Brent Grimes for the Bucs this week and what do the Saints do well?  Air it out.  Quick stats for you: Saints are 4-1 ATS, 4-2 home against TB.  TB 0-4-1 as well as 1-3-1 on the road.  I see Brees and the boys winning by at least a touchdown.

I’m demanding that the Saints get my lost money buck and cover -7

I got stabbed by the Ravens like I was in an SUV with Ray Lewis when I took the Dolphins last Thursday.  Matt Moore is like that girl who stands far away in a dark corner in the bar and after a few cocktails, you swear she looks like Heather Graham.  But when you commit on the approach and get closer, you see it’s really Billy Graham.  Yep, a Billy Graham reference in the picks column.  And I’m not even going to google and let you know if he’s alive or not.  Baltimore goes into Tennessee with the 30th ranked run defense against the 8th ranked run attack.  Flacco (has he regressed big time or what? He looks like someone playing Madden for the first time) is coming off a concussion and will play.  Flacco has a 6:8 TD ratio, yuck.  He’s my hands down winner for best on the field impression of Colin Kaepernick.   Titans are off the bye which gave Mariota and Murray’s hamstrings time to heal.  Titans are 6-1 ATS at home, 5-2 ATS home against Bal.  Bal is 2-4 ATS and 3-8 ATS on the road.  

Take the Titans -3.5

My daughter has recently had awful diarrhea.  I’m talking mustard yellow with a smell that even makes the Bronx smell like a tropical rainforest.  Why am I sharing this with you?  Because I want you to appreciate how I had to live through her taking off her poopy diaper in her bed.  And it got all over the place.  All. Over. The. Place.  And that’s what this week feels like watching some of these games; diarrhea all over the place.  Mia/Oak, AZ/SF, Indy/Hou.  So what’s one to do when you have a bunch of these games?  Take the one game that despite its stench, know exactly where it’s going.  And that’s Oakland and Miami.  Both teams are an offensive mess.  Oakland was supposed to be the king of the AFC west and quite frankly, discounting the KC game, they look like the Jackson Pollack painting my daughter left behind.  And we all saw Miami play like the mob kidnapped their family.  Oakland has gone under their last 6/8 and 6/9 when playing in Miami.  Mia has gone under in their last 6/8 as well.  This one has 21-17 written all over it.

Take the under 44

Denver has made a QB change…to Brock Osweiller.  HAHAHAHAHA (Wiping tears from my eyes)  Yeah, that will fix things.  I know Denver has a solid D and Philly is prime for a letdown game.  If this game was in Denver, I’d be a bit leery.  Denver 1-4 ATS and 0-5 on the road.  Philly 5-0 ATS and 5-1 ATS at home.  But to quote Ferris Bueller: “A) You can never go too far.  B) If I’m gonna get busted, it’s not going to be by a guy like THAT.”  Bet on Brock Osweiller, that’s rich.  My abs STILL hurt from laughing that hard.  

Take the Eagles -7.5

Green Bay is off the bye and the Lions come into town for Hundley part 2.  You’re going to think I’m going to make a case for Detroit on the rebound?  Nope, I’m done trusting Detroit for awhile.  GB on the bye IMMEASURABLY helps Hundley as they probably simplified the playbook for him and they game planned for him for the last 2 weeks.  And GB is getting points?  At home?  Detroit is 1-4 ATS and 2-4 ATS on the road.  Det 1-4 playing GB and 1-5 ATS in GB.  GB a resounding 24-1 SU at home vs Detroit.  And I’m getting points?  

Yeah, GB +2.5

And now it’s time for the lock of the week.  Usually, when I give picks I have stats supporting my argument.  But this week, I’m going against the history.  The Rams have lost 7 straight against the Giants, 0-5 ATS.  Rams are 2-4 on the road this year but this is more of an anti-Giants pick.  In fact, it’s a dead nuts against pick on the Giants.  No Jackrabbit Jenkins as he’s suspended indefinitely.  Sources say McAdoo has lost the locker room.  Maybe he should’ve made a map where it is.  Ba-dum, ching! (Puts gun to head and pulls the trigger) Both teams are off the bye which means fresh legs but not anyone noteworthy on the Giants offense except for Ingram and Sheppard.  And whoops, Rams are the 2nd best defense against the TE so Ingram will get taken care of.  Rams are the 2nd highest scoring team in the NFL and I see a heavy dose of Todd Gurley.  I’d rather sit on a casting couch with Kevin Spacey than put money on my NY Giants this season.  

Rams in an easy one, -4.5

 

Film Reviews: Baby Driver and The House

Last year was the worst slate of summer films I can ever remember.  How is this summer shaping up?  Not much better.  Transformers 5?  Nope.  Pirates of the Caribbean 5?  No chance.  A rare miss from Tom Cruise with the Mummy.  Baywatch?  No female nudity, no $15 bucks from me.  Alien Covenant?  Netflix.  Wonder Woman?  DC has burned me too many times so Netflix again.  Didn’t bother with Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as the I was one of the few in the minority who didn’t like the first.  With the exception of WW, Alien Covenant, and GOTG2; the summer blockbusters have all underperformed.  I haven’t seen anything this FF8 in the theater so a couple of came out this weekend that appealed to me.

the house

I’m a sucker for gambling stories and comedies.  When I saw Jason Mantzoukas was playing his Raffi from, “The League” character, I couldn’t resist.  The idea of 2 parents not having enough money for college to open up a neighborhood casino is the theme of the film.  Mantzoukas plays the friend who’s trying to get his wife back by inviting them to open said casino.  Poehler and Ferrell are both 2 generic, suburban parents who eventually transform into hardened “criminals” as the plot progresses.  The neighbors come by to gamble, participate in boxing matches, and partake into a Vegas style pool scene.  Nick Kroll plays the role of a councilman, hell bent on shutting down this casino while he’s busy, pilfering from the town’s budget.  Loved Kroll in this as well as, “The League.”  Although every time I see him in something, he looks like a praying mantis.  Oh well, he’s making movies and I’m writing reviews so he wins this battle.

The reviews for this have been AWFUL. I don’t get it, this film is funny throughout without having the typical sappy moments that comedies can have.  Plenty of LOL moments without making cookie cutter jokes.  Ferrell moves through this film with ease and Poehler is pretty solid as well; although she does have a couple, “I’m trying too hard moments.”  But Matzoukas is the star of the show and I think this is the vehicle for him to  get to the next level.  He was underutilized in the League and he can easily move ahead of most of the comic actors on the scene now.

Is this film a must see in the theater?  Definitely not but I’m glad I did.

6.5 out of 10

baby

 

And now, let’s discuss the film that EVERY critic mentioned in their top films of the summer as well as the year.  Edgar Wright wrote Ant Man and directed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz so his resume may not be as well known the masses but this makes one hell of a entrance theme to the real of public knowledge.  “Baby Driver” is the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort); who is a getaway driver for Kevin Spacey while he pays off his debt to him.  The twist is that Baby who has tinnitus and is constantly listening to music to drown out the ringing in his ears.  His song selection ranges from classic rock, to Jazz, and even to soul.  Interesting choices made by Wright when you would figure that most driving music would be categorized as adrenaline/high energy.  He also has the peculiar habit of recording conversations and mixes them with beats on cassette tapes.  Baby watches over his deaf friend and previous guardian, Joseph, while socking money away to eventually leave.  While eating at a diner, he meets a waitress, Debora, (Lily James) another music enthusiast also looking to get away from everything and everyone.  As previously stated, Baby is a wheelman for local bad guy, Spacey.  Spacey hires Buddy, (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Elza Gonzalez) to rob a bank and Bats (Jamie Foxx) to steal money orders.

The chemistry with all of the actors is fantastic.  Foxx plays a meticulous psychotic quite well.  Hamm and Gonzalez are the modern day Bonnie and Clyde.  Spacey excels as a heinous evil dickhead.  There is a “Heat”-esque element to the film with plenty of nice surprises, twists, and callbacks.  I’d even say it has a nice “Reservoir Dogs” feel but not as dialogue laden as Quentin Tarrantino has been known for.  Of course, things go awry and that’s when this kicks into overdrive.

This film is a great ride and without question, the best so far of the summer.  Then again, that’s not saying much with the crop that’s been released thus far.  I do have higher hopes for the new Spiderman film coming out this week.  And the new Planet of the Apes film also looks promising.  But just like a great meal at an expensive restaurant, the portion sizes are small.

I give it an 8/10

Film review: Fate of the Furious (Fast and the Furious 8)

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I always say, give credit where credit is due.  So give it up to Vin Diesel.  He single-handedly resurrected a nearly dead franchise and made it into one of the top franchises of all time.  He has milked the shit out of this and almost made us forget “The Last Witch Hunter” or “The Pacifier”…almost.  

A quick timeline: 

2001: Fast and the Furious.  Budget 38 million, domestic 144 million.  Interesting take on street racers and an undercover cop’s attempt to stop highway robberies.

2003: 2 Fast 2 Furious: Budget 76 mil, domestic 127 mil.  This is where Tyrese Gibson busted out those kneepads and took care of a few people to begin his Cinderella Story career.  Vin Diesel not present in this film, therefore the main characters’ dialogue not grumbled for 2 hours, critics rejoice.  

2006: Tokyo Drift: Budget 85 mil, domestic 62.  By far, the worst installment of the series. It starred the kid from Home Improvement and I don’t even care enough to google his name. Vin Diesel makes a late cameo.  Not many lines to growl out when you appear right before credits.  

2009: Fast and Furious: Budget 85, domestic 155.  I didn’t give a shit to see the last 2 in the theaters and I kept the streak alive for this one.  Michelle Rodriguez dies in this one, immediately digs up as much blackmail material as she can on Vin Diesel to ensure a return to the series.

2011: Fast 5: Budget 125, domestic 209.  The crew ends up in Brazil, robbing the guy who screwed them in part 4.  Also didn’t see this one in the theater but was pleasantly surprised when I watched on Netflix.  Plot lines starting to get a liiiiiitle hard to conceive but still more palatable than Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dancing around Hollywood.  The Rock first appears as a, “take no prisoners” government agent tracking down the crew.  Casting agent who made that decision hailed as a genius and innovator.  Backslaps and high fives run amuck.  

2013: Fast and Furious 6: Budget 160, domestic 238.  Broke the streak and saw this in the theater because of the good will that part 5 brought.  Michelle Rodriguez finally compiles enough blackmail material or sets up a vicious kiddie porn sting and Vin Diesel falls right into it (completely not true) as her character, Leti, is brought back into the foray.  Jason Statham brings English cockney dialogue to the table as the bad guy.  Spoiler note: cars take down a military plane. Slackjawed fans of the show, “Ridiculousness” fantasize about emulating this in backyards across flyover states in this great nation.

2015: Furious 7.  Budget 190, domestic 351.  Also saw this in the theater.  Note: My doppleganger (said by several drunken women at bars), Paul Walker, died while filming.  They used his brother and CGI to finish up his scenes.  Nothing puts asses in the seats like an actor dying in the line of fire (pun intended).  See: Brandon Lee in the Crow.  See not: John Candy in Wagons East.  Plot lines continue to soar past ridiculousness and straight into when 2 cars drive consecutively through 3 skyscrapers.  Audiences wonder aloud,  “a 5th grader come up with these stunts, right?”  Dialogue is as monosyllabic as humanly possible.  

2017: Fate of the Furious.  Budget 250 million, domestic opening weekend 136 and worldwide 674.  Biggest worldwide opening ever.  

Notably absent: Paul Walker (death) and Jordana Brewster (recruited into MENSA and becoming a top 5 Pinterest contributor…just kidding) Vin Diesel turns against his crew as newcomer villain Charlize Theron makes him do things he doesn’t want to do; like take an acting class or properly enunciate.  All kidding aside, Toretto goes rogue after a job after Cypher (Theron) shows his something that shakes him to the core.  Out goes loyalty and Toretto’s favorite word, “family.”  This film takes the cake when it comes to absurdity. First of all, the crew races through Times Square at least 50 miles an hour.  Not even cop cars on a high speed chase through that area reach that speed.  There’s a chase scene with zombie cars (hacked by Cypher) blocking for Toretto and creating havoc down Manhattan streets.  Cars are literally falling from the sky from parking garages.  And the scene we’ve all scene in the previews; a nuclear sub chasing down cars on a sheet of ice.  There’s “suspending disbelief” for the sake of the art and then there’s the, “Enough is fucking enough.”  And that’s where I am.  I yearn again for the days of simple street racers trying to rob truckers of their goods with an attempt of a twist.  

And the dialogue, wow.  It’s like some poor intern was tasked with going through the annals of action film dialogue and had to pick out every cliche ever uttered.  Then, the cliches were placed into a “Mad-Libs” format into the dialogue.  Jesus Christ, I could barely find 25 lines which were original thoughts.  If you really want to partake in a drinking game, do a shot every time some utters something from an action film in the last 30 years.  If there was an acting coach for this film, I dub that the EASIEST job ever.  “You!  Just be give me an eye roll when a snarky comment is made.  And you! Give me a semi-surpised look when a nuclear sub shoots onto a frozen lake!”  I get it, none of these characters are in danger of being recruited to sit in on ways to combat global warming.  But goddamn, these lines are so recycled, you would’ve smelled compost heaps throughout the film while sitting in the theater.

I’m done paying to see this franchise, again.  They screwed it up again after part 5 levitated it from the ashes and just made it dumber than any Michael Bay sequel.  Action is great and I’ll never stop seeing action films.  But when it’s dragged down by awful dialogue and beyond unreasonable stunts to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench, this is where I unbuckle my seatbelt and jump out of a moving car on the Autobahn.

5/10.

 

Movie reviews: Jack Reacher: Never Look Back and Don’t Breathe

I know, you haven’t seen a film review from me in MONTHS.  That’s because there’s been mostly JACK SHIT (pun intended for today’s review) leading back to Captain America 3 in May.  I thought about it yesterday; I haven’t seen anything in the theater for 3 months.  That’s an INSANELY long absence for a film buff like me but I’m refusing to pay 15 bucks for mediocrity.   “Jack Reacher: Never Look Back” came out yesterday and I really enjoyed the first one so I said fuck it, let’s do a double dip and also see Sully.  Well, NJ transit reared their ugly head yet again and got me to a voiceover audition 25 minutes late which also fucked up my film schedule.  So I called an audible and also checked out, “Don’t Breathe.”

reacher

JR2 is a follow up to the hugely popular book series, Jack Reacher.  They didn’t start with Reacher’s first book for the first film nor do they for this film.  Don’t worry, if you didn’t see the first film or read the books, you won’t be lost at all.  The biggest discrepancy between the books and films is that in the books, Jack Reacher is 6’4″, blonde hair, blue eyes, and 250 lbs of muscle.  And then playing Reacher in the films is Tom Cruise who is very much the opposite of 6’4.”  I swear at one point in a hotel room scene with Cobie Smulders, I thought he was standing on a platform to be at her eye level.

Cruise plays Reacher, a former MP who pretty much just roams the country where he keeps in touch with Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) and when he comes to visit her, find out she’s been locked up for treason.  Reacher believes in his friend so he breaks her out so she can prove her innocence and then gets involved into a web of selling US weaponry mixed in with mercenaries.  Action scenes ensure, Tom Cruise runs like he’s mimicking the T-1000 from Terminator 2, and of course, more than your fair share of cutesy poo action film cliches.

I read the book a few years ago but I don’t recall anything except that in the book, Reacher and Turner have “relations.”  Maybe Cruise wanted to keep this PG-13, maybe he didn’t want to fake his way through heterosexual love scenes, who knows.  Does it affect the plot? Of course not.

I had no desire to see the first film in the theater when I saw the trailers because it looked like every blasé action film.  I was pleasantly surprised when I did catch the first JR.  The second trailer was presented just like the first, nothing to get you excited to drop $15 for.  Was I as pleasantly surprised with this one?  Not really.  This film is fine, Cruise does a solid job in 75% of his films.  There are some good action scenes but nothing you haven’t seen before.  Cruise doesn’t push the envelope like he does with the Mission Impossible films.  Then again, if you read the Reacher books, he’s not a glitzy action hero.  You can totally wait for Netflix for this one but if you’re dying to get out of the house and see something, you can see this without feeling ripped off.  If it’s either this or “Madea blackmails Hollywood into funding another film”, always go with couch jumping Cruise.

I’ll give it a 6.5 out of 10.

dont

Again, NJ transit torpedoed my schedule yet again this week so I didn’t get a chance to see Sully.  Instead, I chose a film that did well at the box office but more importantly, got a lot of solid reviews.  That was the suspense film, “Don’t Breathe.”  A trio of Detroit dirtbags (I know, I’m redundant when I say that) enjoy breaking into people’s homes and pilfering valuables.  Out of the gates, I had a problem with these establishing scenes because they’re the sloppiest criminals.  The lead actress lays in the bed of the house they break into.  Sure, leave a few hair strands as evidence so you can get picked up by the cops in 3 days, that’s logical thinking.  Didn’t any of these kids see “the Town” where they shower and buzz their hair?  Or “The Departed” where Marky Mark shows up to kill Matt Damon in scrubs from head to toe?  It’s obvious no one will ever recruit people from Detroit to be in MENSA.  The guys also walk around with reckless abandon and in reality, this film should’ve been 13 minutes long.

Barring those gaping holes in the believability factor, this film does get better.  The gang gets word that a blind, Gulf War veteran is sitting on 300k in cash he got from a payout when his daughter was accidentally killed.  They break in to rob the place and of course, things don’t go as planned.  I guess the rule of thumb is never underestimate a blind guy who’s been trained by the military…except Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, the story of a blind superhero.  True story, Mike? (Insert Mike and the Mad Dog reference?  Check.)  A few twists and turns, a few buttonhole puckering scenes, and the obligatory smash cuts with loud sound effects to make you jump take place,  and you’re out of the theater in 95 minutes.

This film was fine as well.  Can you watch it on netflix and feel just as satiated, no question.  But it was at least more original than the dogshit reboots we’ve seen.  It’s enjoyable and again, between this or Madea (Or as I call her, Black Tootsie), this is a no brainer.

I give it a 7 out of 10.

Summer 2016 films? No thank you-America

I remember like it was yesterday.  I was 12 year old back in the summer of 1989 and seeing the onslaught of summer previews made me giddy.  When you’re 12 and your social options are highly limited, (playing outside, sports, video games), the cinema is usually hangout number 1.  Being I was (still am) a HUGE film nerd/snob/afficionado, I had no problem spending a ton of time in the multiplexes.  And when we had to write one of our final essays for our 6th grade English class, I chose to write about what summer films I was most excited to see:  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Nightmare on Elm Street 5 (I was 12, cut me some slack on some of these), Uncle Buck, Karate Kid 3, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, License to Kill (James Bond), as well as everyone’s crown jewel that summer…BATMAN.  Jesus christ, I counted the days down for that one like kids counted down until Christmas.  It came out on June 23rd (happy birthday to my then 6 year old sister, Jill) and boy, did America go all-in with this film.  24-7 showings in NYC, breaking box office records.  And look what else came out that summer that I learned to appreciate a little bit later in life: Field of Dreams (ok, it came out in late April.  Also, tied with Major League as my favorite baseball movie) Lethal Weapon 2 (Diplomatic Immnity!  Has just been revoked!), Do the Right Thing, Parenthood (still holds up), Road House, Dead Poet’s Society, and the Abyss.  I mean, wow.  I dare say probably the best summer slate I’ve ever or will ever see.

Fast forward to present day.  Every April, I still enjoy looking for that summer release schedule to see what the biggest films of the year are going to be.  And every year, I have about 3-5  I truly am excited for.  This year, Captain America 3 was my biggest anticipation and it didn’t let down.  X-Men: Apocalypse was a CLOSE second but unfortunately, this was a letdown and Singer’s first swing and a miss in this franchise.  The new Star Trek looks ok and Matt Damon is back as Jason Bourne so I was pretty sure I’d be giving my 15 bucks to see Bourne yet again.  But after that, the list went bleak.  Bleaker than Yankees playoff hopes.  Yeah, didn’t think I’d be writing that sentence in awhile but here I am.  I’m a movie reviewer for a radio station in NY but I haven’t been fully doing my job as I refuse to pay money to see crap in the theater.  I’m mainly reviewing new to DVD films, that’s how bad it is.

Here’s a list of the most likely money makers along with their budgets (domestic grosses)

Secret Life of Pets: week 1 take over 100 million, budget 75 million.  Verdict: Winner  Most cartoon films do pretty well in the summer time.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Legend of Tarzan YTD 81 million, budget 180 million.  Verdict: BOMB  How many times do we have to tell Hollywood that no one cares about Tarzan since 1960?

Finding Dory: YTD over 400 million. Budget N/A Verdict: HUGE winner.  Pixar RARELY misses (The Good Dinosaur is the lone exception)

Independence Day: Resurgence YTD 91 million, budget 165 million Verdict: BOMB (Should’ve paid Will Smith what he wanted, probably could’ve saved this)

Warcraft YTD 46 million, budget 160 million. Verdict: COLOSSAL BOMB.  Even the gamers turned their backs on this one.

Xmen: Apocalypse YTD 158 million, budget 178 million.  Verdict: It will break even, especially with DVD and overseas but this was not supposed to be a break even or slightly profitable, it had higher expectations.  Are poor reviews to blame (yes and it wasn’t that good) or over saturation of superhero films?

BFG YTD 38 million, budget 140.  Verdict: Colossal Bomb.  Spielberg doesn’t eat shit but in this case and Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Crystal Skull, he sure did.  No one gave a shit about the 3rd most popular Roald Dahl story.

Ninja Turtles 2:YTD 80 million, budget 135 million.  Verdict: BOMBS AWAY.  Again, world box office receipts may get it to even but how do you fuck up a Ninja Turtles movie?  Answer: Keep Michael Bay in charge.

Alice Through the Looking Glass: YTD 76 million, budget 170 million.  Verdict: Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.  No one gives a shit about the Looking Glass story anyway, why make this a live action film?

 

Next week is probably one of the most negatively discussed film that has yet to be released, the Ghostbusters film.  I hate reboots because 9 times out of 10, there’s no need to reboot a solid film.  And there’s no need to reboot a film just to force-feed us political correctness.  I loved Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars.  Why?  It was organic and not contrived about this.  I love Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft for the same reasons.  The new Ghostbusters has the dubious honor of being the most negatively reviewed trailer on youtube.  Even Target put the action figures in the clearance bin (target clearance) before the movie comes out!? Yeesh, not a good sign.

And what else do we have to look forward to?

The new Ice Age film comes out soon and not one has grossed under 160 million yet.  Will America burn out on this franchise?  Maybe but I doubt it

The new Star Trek film.  Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious) takes over JJ Abrams director’s chair so we’ll see.

Jason Bourne.  Should be fine

Suicide Squad-DC’s answer to the Avengers.  Massive reshoots were ordered after the success of Deadpool because they felt more humor needed to be injected.  The real question will be how does Jared Leto handle the Joker after Heath Ledger put that character in the stratosphere with his performance.

Pete’s Dragon (live action) The Jungle Book live action was a smash but I don’t think this will be near as successful.  I never saw the original Pete’s Dragon and don’t recall anyone else looking back fondly on it.  Hell, did or do they even have a ride at Disneyworld for this film?

Ben Hur-historical reboot.  No thank you

Sausage Party-animated Seth Rogen film.  I’ll pass.

Here’s the bottom line: A lot of these tentpole films bit the big one.  Why? America is getting smarter and not dropping $15 a ticket.  And god forbid if you go see a film in 3D or even 4D where you could shell out as much as $30 a ticket for a mediocre film.  Audiences are saying no thanks, I’ll wait for Netflix or illegally stream it.  And can you blame them?  You run the risk of sitting next to assholes who are talking and chewing their food loudly.  The guy 5 rows in front of you is on his cell phone every 2.5 minutes and the light keeps distracting you.

The reason you see so many reboots is because a lot of the good ideas have been done and the knockoffs of those good ideas are mediocre at best.  Long gone are the days where an entire summer offers a variety of quality movies.  I wish they weren’t but it sure does seem that way.  And good for you, America.  Keep your wallet in your pockets and don’t pay top dollar for less than acceptable quality films.  I know I’m not…