It’s that time again for TGITDNMAR, which (obviously) stands for Thank God It’s The Day New Movies Are Released.
I Don’t Know How She Does It
It’s wildly en vogue to hate on Sarah Jessica Parker. Much of it is probably deserved, as Sex and the City 2 is purportedly an abomination (an opinion I can surely buy) and it’s not as if her big screen choices post-SATC have been all that stellar. Perhaps even more so, people think she’s got a horse face and/or is trying to be decades younger than she appears, etc., etc. But I don’t believe I’m going to jump on the bandwagon this time.
I had a crush on SJP from the moment I first saw her. It wasn’t in the theater, but it couldn’t have been much later than 1987 the first time I saw Flight of the Navigator. She was the hot, older woman to the film’s protagonist (his character was about 12 and hers was probably 17), and he liked her just the same as I did. Her film career was up and down after that – great in L.A. Story, alright in Striking Distance, pretty good in Honeymoon in Vegas (from what little I recall), and probably good in Ed Wood (never saw it). SATC came along, though, and she went from being the “kinda cute, kinda butterfaced-girl with the nice boobs” to being “CARRIE! BRADSHAW!”
Over the next decade or so, that character went from being a charming journalist who wrote frankly about the sexcapades of her friends and herself to a vapid, materialist wench that nobody liked anymore, and who could blame them? That mentality seemed to transfer from Carrie to Sarah, and doesn’t seem to have gone away since.
Look, I don’t really have an interest in this flick, either, but I saw the trailer and (despite the pounding it’s getting critically thus far), I applaud the fact that it appears to be about real people with real problems…and c’mon, look at that supporting cast (Kinnear, Brosnan, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Jane Curtin, Seth Meyers, etc.). Maybe one day, for the memory of the Navigator, I’ll give it a shot.
Ok, probably not. But that sounded nice, right?
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 13%
Speaking of that title above, I keep thinking to myself that the title of this film should be “I Don’t Know How He Does It,” with the “he” in question being, I don’t know, director Nicholas Winding Refn. It doesn’t matter who the he is; my point is, how did this flick get a wide release? With 2,886 theaters (according to Box Office Mojo), it’s the third widest release of the weekend.
Did someone not get the memo that this is an art film? Yes, action art film but an art film nonetheless.
In fact, I shouldn’t be nearly so surprised. Its mood, theater count and even production budget are all strikingly similar to last year’s The American, which had a budget of $20 million (vs. $13 million for Drive) and went on to make $35 million domestically. Even better for Drive, it looks to be heavier on the action and lighter on the art house – the chief complaint from audiences expecting The Bourne Identity out of The American. Throw in a younger star (who, wildly coincidentally will be seen next with Clooney himself in The Ides of March) and you may have the recipe for an even bigger hit.
Oh, and by the way, I think it looks kickass and is currently #1 on my “films I must see” list, which ought to give you a good guesstimate as to what the percentage below will be.
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 100%
Although I’m perfectly fine with studios remaking films, the poster for this film really bothers me. Films are remade for any number of reasons (mostly financial), but I don’t think too many of us see them as duplicates of their predecessors. For whatever reason the film was remade, the creative forces behind the remake are usually trying to do their own thing, to put a stamp on the story that rings true to them or the times or whatever. They are not, unless their name is Gus van Sant and this is Psycho, attempting shot-for-shot remakes. So what’s with the downright theft of the original’s poster concept?
Would it have been that hard to come up with something new?
Dylan’s Chance of Viewing (in the theater): 3%