Posts Tagged 'james badge dale'

Free Review of a $200 Million Turd: THE LONE RANGER

spanish poster

The Lone Ranger (from the team that brought you Pirates of the Caribbean, didn’t ya know?!) arrived in theaters last week to scathing reviews, low industry expectations and minuscule audience anticipation. Of course, by that “team”, I’m referring to producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and star Johnny Depp. Here we have another project that took a long, troubled road to the big screen – a road that Disney probably now wishes it hadn’t traveled. The final box office tally for the film’s opening weekend was a disastrous $48.7 million for the 5-day holiday weekend. For comparison, Despicable Me 2 opened strong with $143 million over the same period. Wall Street analysts are now saying that Disney could end up losing $150-190 million total on the movie. That’s a big deal, but a company the size of Disney will absorb that without blinking. The only thing it will really cause is some bruised egos. Anyway, it’s still not as bad as the $200 million hit Disney took last year on the stinker known as John Carter. So‚Ķthere’s that. Nor is Jerry Bruckheimer likely to feel much heat given how much money he’s made for the studio with the Pirates movies, especially given the [unfortunate] fact that a fifth one is on the way.

So why did Bruckheimer think that a cheesy western TV show from the 50’s would make an exciting $215-250 million (depending who you ask) summer blockbuster in 2013? The fuck if I know, brah. I thought this was a terrible idea from the get-go when it was announced several years ago, so its creative and financial failure doesn’t surprise me one bit. I’m not celebrating its failure, but I am happy that audiences knew better and rejected it. That’s a positive sign. I only wish they’d do so more often (like, say, on the 4th Pirates movie). I guess Bruckheimer felt that if he can turn a theme park ride into a multibillion-dollar franchise, he and his boys could do it with any property. Unfortunately for him, that is not the case. I’m not as big a fan of “TV crime show/epic adventure-fantasy film producer” Jerry Bruckheimer as I was “R-rated action movie producer” Jerry Bruckheimer from the 90’s, but I still respect the guy a great deal and consider myself a fan. Just don’t expect to see CSI: Topeka on my DVR, and I will not be fooled into paying to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5 in theaters. Never again!

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Mini-Review: WORLD WAR Z

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Note: For once, I will try to keep this review spoiler free, as I’ll be posting it the same weekend of the film’s release.

World War Z finally hits theaters this weekend after 6 months of delays, rewrites, and a reshoot of the entire third act. I am surprised, but happy, to say that the end result is actually a pretty decent movie. Despite the much publicized production issues this project endured (For a fascinating look at the behind-the-scenes drama on this project, you MUST read Vanity Fair‘s excellent long form piece. Check that out HERE), and despite the advertising telling me not to expect much, I was still rooting for the movie to be good. For one, I’m a fan of Brad Pitt, one of the few big-name actors who rarely makes a bad movie. Seriously, look at his filmography and tell me the last bad movie he was in that he was also the star of. If there’s any A-list star that could will this movie to respectability, it was him. The other reason is because I loved the idea of a Roland Emmerich-sized zombie disaster movie. The vast majority of zombie stories we’re used to seeing are very small in scale and limited to a few small, key locations. I’ve wanted to see one done on this scale for a long time. I’m still not sure Marc Forster was the best choice of director for a movie like this, but he equips himself ably enough, and he did have some big budget experience, having recently directed a Bond movie (the much maligned Quantum of Solace). I also believe “PG-13 zombies” is an oxymoron, and the idea of CGI zombies might be even worse, but this was probably as good as both of those concepts could have been executed in one movie.

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Review: IRON MAN 3

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Iron Man 3 marks the beginning of Marvel’s “Phase Two” series of films in the buildup towards The Avengers 2 in 2015. Between now and then, we get Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World (11/8/13), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4/4/14), and the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie (8/1/14). However, Iron Man 3 is very much a movie about Tony Stark, which I think is appropriate. It does not exist merely to help setup The Avengers 2. There are no big Avenger cameos during the film, no appearance by Sam Jackson or really any mention of S.H.I.E.L.D. The story deals a lot with Tony’s personal struggles after the events of The Avengers, but that’s really the only Avengers connection we get. One of the complaints a lot of critics had about Iron Man 2 was that the S.H.I.E.L.D./Avengers stuff was too central to the story. I sort of agreed with that. This one is a much more personal, character-driven film than the other Iron Man movies, and I found that refreshing. There are really only 3 major action set pieces, which may leave some ADHD viewers scratching their heads, saying, “DERP!?”

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