ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekend Box Office #130

So it's fair to say that this blog has slipped into a state of low priority. I just seem to be too busy every day, and not getting nearly enough done.

For those who want more insight into the reading/writing business, dig back into the columns from 2 or 3 years ago, when my mind was springy and I hadn't emptied it.

I'm a bit underwhelmed by this weekend's offerings:

17 AGAIN (3255 theaters). In what universe does Zac Efron grow up to look like Matthew Perry? Do you think that gives Zac nightmares? This movies for young women only, though there may be enough of them to let this do about $16.5 million for the weekend.

STATE OF PLAY (2803 theaters). The interesting thing about Russell Crowe is that his best movies always take place in the past. This one doesn't, and there just isn't anything to really distinguish it. Prediction: $8.3 million for the weekend.

CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE (2223 theaters). The premise is funny, but the quick-cutting, washed out look trailer gave me a headache. Still, it should do about $12.9 million.

*****

Last weekend, HANNAH MONTANA did a solid $32.3 million (ensuring that Miley isn't going away any time soon, for better or worse).

OBSERVE AND REPORT did $11 million. DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION did $4.6 million.

21 Comments:

At 5:44 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

I'm looking forward to seeing "17 Again" just to see if Zac Efron is the next big thing. Personally, I think he is. He and Kristen Stewart ARE the hope for the future as I see it. We'll see...

I think Russtle Crowe is perhaps the most overrated actor in the movies today. Did you see "3:10 to Yuma?" It totally sucked.

Going to try to see "17 Again" and either "I Love You Man" or "Observe and Report" in between my own writing.

Blog when you can, Scott. I appreciate what you do, do. BUT not your do-do. (joke)

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Zac Efron and Kristen Stewart are great actors while Russell Crowe is overrated.

I just had to see how it felt to type something so absurd.

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Matt, I never said Zac Efron and Kristen Stewart are great actors YET, but I think down the line they're going to star in a lot of movies. You missinterprited THAT part of what I posted.

Instead of taking shots at me, you should try posting your own thoughts and opinions.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Matt said...

I did state my opinion. My opinion was that what you said was ridiculous.

Neither of those two actors will ever reach what Russell Crowe has done. Have you seen The Insider? LA Confidential? Romper Stomper?

Zac Efron isn't fit to carry Crowe's jock. The work Crowe did in The Insider is a master class in acting.

Kristen Stewart plays every character the exact same way. Bored, disaffected, troubled, brooding. I could easily do without her.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I think if Zac wanted to carry Russell's jock, Russell might let him, while rolling his eyes.

Otherwise I kinda hafta agree with Matt.

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Di Caprio started off on Growing Pains

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it's true, Russell Crowe is grossly overrated -- his Oscar win for Gladiator was absurd.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Anonymous,

Anybody can say someone is overrated. I could say Daniel Day Lewis is overrated.

The fact is, Crowe has more range than just about any other actor of his age range. I wouldn't have given him the Oscar for Gladiator. It was an action movie, but a good one. But I would've given him at least a nomination for LA Confidential and The Insider, among others.

Good point about DiCaprio though. It's true, Efron could prove me wrong. I never thought I would actually admire Justin Timberlake. Timberlake is not Lawrence Olivier, but he's taken on interesting projects and his SNL skits are becoming legendary.

Efron could be the next Depp or Dicaprio if he plays his cards right.

Stewart though is extremely dull onscreen. I loved Into The Wild but her performance was not great. I saw Twilight for my wife, and couldn't stand her. She was also dull as hell in the otherwise decent Adventureland.

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I saw State of Play last night, and it was solid -- and it reminded me what a great actor Russell Crowe is.

Kristen Stewart was actually much more interesting as a child actress, in movies like The Safety of Objects.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

Anyone can say anything -- that's what makes them personal opinions. You can call some actor "overrated" or "dull" and another might disagree. Although I rarely agree with EC (I liked 3:10 to Yuma), he can reach his own conclusions without being mocked for reaching them.

I thought Crowe was good in The Insider -- but I thought his LA Confidential performance was overrated. And yes, anyone can say that -- and I just did. Just like anyone can label EC's post as "so absurd" -- like you did. All these are opinions, but some choose to add sarcasm and venom to theirs while others do not.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Anon,

The point of "anybody can say it" is this. I can say Greg Maddux was an overrated pitcher. It wouldn't be true and it can't really be backed up. But I can say it.

I could say Daniel Day Lewis is overrated. I can't really back that up with anything.

Saying you don't like something and saying something is overrated are two different things. You don't like Crowe, fine. But to say he is overrated is a sweeping statement. How can one person decide that a much lauded actor is actually not worthy of that praise?

Opinions are overrated. A coworker of mine thinks Sean Penn is a crappy actor but he really loves Chris Farley and Adam Sandler. Is his opinion on the art of acting as valid as Michael Mann's? I say no. Do you think Robert DeNiro can better rate an actors ability than a guy working at your corner gas station? I do.

There are personal preferences, and then there is physical evidence.

Russell Crowe does accents perfectly. His accent in LA Confidential and The Insider were dead on. Based on many of his films, you'd have no idea he was Australian. I didn't love a Beautiful Mind or Cinderella Man, but he was great in both. He transforms his body, his body language, his speech, his physical presence (cocky, pathetic, tough, mentally ill) for every role.

You had a steady dose of venom and sarcasm in your own post, so the hypocrite factor will now come into play.

Scott,

I'll have to check out that movie. I've heard about it for a long time. She was actually the daughter in Panic Room. I think she did a solid job in that.

Psyched to see State of Play.

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,

Your analysis of the term "overrated" is problematic. My opinion that Crowe is overrated is the same as me saying that I disagree with your assessment of him -- but in this case I disagree with many others who share your assessment. Using your logic, your comment regarding Crowe's Oscar for Gladiator must be wrong since the Academy said otherwise -- and they know more than you. I disagree. I think these are debatable issues. My opinion is mine -- if it happens to go against the "experts" or anyone else is irrelevant. Also, if you're reading a blog like this one, you might be aware of the brutal Hollywood politics and million dollar ad campaigns that go into getting an actor, film, etc to receive a nomination or win. Did you think The Departed was the best film/best director that year -- or did they decide it was about time to give Marty the nod? My point is that this process is far from objective -- at either the amateur or professional level. Look at Jack Nicholson's face when he opened the envelope for Crash as best picture and tell what really goes into Oscar picks.

And I think there's far more to an actor's performance than the skills you describe. Again, this ia your personal preference (opinion) to place more weight on those things you mention than others. And let's be genuine, sometimes people just like one actor over another purely on the basis of the types they play. See the affinity some have for De Niro for his earlier work as opposed to his latter day comedic roles. Or try to compare the performance of a R Jenkins in The Visitor versus DDL in There Will Be Blood. DDL won an Oscar for his, but I know many other "experts" who slammed the performance for being too broad -- or too stylized. Is a "dull" performance dull or just understated and appropriate for the role? Or how 'bout the weight gain or disability "Oscar roles" that Theron or Hoffman or De Niro or DDL have engaged in. Does Jack Nicholson transform himself in every role -- or do people just like him doing his Jack "thing" in every role? All these things have been lampooned in Tropic Thunder and For Your Consideration. Was it time for Winslet to win b/c it was a great performance -- or b/c it was a "serious" Holocaust movie -- or was she just due for past work? Far from an exact science based on physical evidence -- much more about popularity, the stars aligning -- and some pull-peddling.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Matt said...

They're called paragraphs, dude.

And since I disagreed with your first sentence, there really wasn't any need to read any further.

Take it easy.

 
At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on your comment, my opinion is that you read every word -- but you didn't have a retort. Maybe you can pick on EC again next week -- in between splicing -- dude.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Okay, enough.

 
At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the first excitement on this blog in a long time and Scott calls enough-- oh well, his blog... but when was the last time such a "clean" debate happened between readers?

Usually it's pick on EC and that's ok...

(sigh)

 
At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,
Matt didn't want to debate. He only wanted to drop a snide comment like "I just had to see how it felt to type something so absurd." to insult someone (EC) who doesn't share the "man crush" he clearly has for Crowe. His comment that "Opinions are overrated" is priceless when you consider that his comment itself is an opinion -- and he had just bashed the term "overrated" as being meaningless.

Also, I think EC might be responsible for half the posts on this blog, and he usually starts the bidding -- so his unique perspective might deserve more than instant derision. I think Matt's first post warranted a warning shot from Scott, but as you say, it's his blog. Attacks on EC and his opinions are welcome -- but debates with those attackers are not.
Oh well.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I have nothing against debate, but when it starts getting juvenile and repetitive, I get to shut it off :-)

 
At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I just had to see how it felt to type something so absurd."

The above wasn't juvenile?

 
At 9:57 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Well, I could delete it all, but I didn't want to be Stalin...

 
At 4:42 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Scott,

Not trying to stir the pot again, but I did see all three movies: "17 Again," "I Love You, Man," and "Observe and Report" over the weekend. Of all them "17 Again" is BY FAR the best of them.

The central story of "17 Again" is very reminiscent of "13 Going on 30" which is like one of top 5 movies of all time. Unfortunatley, "17 Again'" b-storylines can't hold the mustard and drag the overall film down.

"I Love You, Man" has a GREAT threesome triangle: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Rashada Jones, but the plot of this story is flat and boring. Still, best female mouth in Hollywood today -- Rashida Jones baby!

"Observe and Report" is a rather crude show. The previews made me think this was a comedy. Alas, it is not. The end of this movie is especially painfull to watch. Wathing a pot bellied middle aged flasher running arround a mall in slow motion with his thingie dangling in the breeze goes beyond the bounds of good taste.
STILL, Seth Rogan did a good job as a bi-polar mall security guard. Too bad the accents in this movie were so crude. "Observe and Report" had the right elements to he a good movie, but excessive time spent in grossness makes you wanna take a shower after watching it.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 

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