So here’s the deal…
Pete Conway and I are both extremely busy people. We understand that you folks are too and to hear that isn’t ground-shaking news. But the reason that I’m bringing it up is because for the time being, we will be alternating this column between the two of us (with no pattern – it might be me a few weeks and then you won’t hear from me for a month). We both enjoy writing this column so it will undoubtedly continue but you just will never know who you’re gonna get from week to week. So… enjoy that! And now you’re up to speed!
On the box office front, Ant-Man won the weekend with a simultaneously good AND bad $57 million (good because it didn’t completely bomb despite being a lesser-known entity but bad because it wasn’t the three figure openings that Marvel has gotten accustomed to). Minions continued to do solid business with another $49 million, and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck managed to scrape by the $30 million mark, a huge coup for the comedienne in her feature film debut. If I had to guess (and… it’s kind of the point of this intro) I would have to say all three of those movies are going to slip down a couple pegs as this weekend offers a wide range of films, all of which could find a way to the top of the box office ladder. But which one? Sadly… I think I know the answer. So let’s get to it!
Me, twenty minutes ago: “I have no clue what Paper Towns is…”
“Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story centering on…”
Oh good god. Another angsty, emo-riddled, sappy, milquetoast, white teen movie. This one involves a girl who disappears suddenly, leading a young boy to find her through clues that she set up. The two teens are named Margo and Quentin for crying out loud… can it get any more pretentious than this? The final sentence of the plot summary just kills me: “Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love.”
Justin’s Chance of Seeing This in Theaters: Follow the clues in the above section to find out the TRUE answer… (Hint: it’s 0%)
First, start off with classic video game characters from the 80s and 90s like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
Then, take into effect that aliens received transmissions featuring these characters and used this information to create gigantic and destructive versions of those characters to attempt to exterminate humans on Earth.
Lastly, throw in a crew of grown up video game champions who are commissioned to help save the world because of their knowledge of defeating these particular foes and they get after it with the help of a goverment-issued Michelle Monaghan and mini coopers that look like the ghosts from Pac-Man.
You’re probably in at this point. If you have ever played a video game, then this movie has a premise that entices you. It has to!
Oh I forgot to mention something… these are the saviors of this film:
Plus Kevin James.
I know what you’re thinking now… WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO US?!?! That’s the world’s oldest teenager, Adam Sandler, the when-does-Frozen 2-come-out Josh Gad, and Tyrion Lannister with a mullet…
And I have no answer for you, other than to mention that Adam Sandler has FOURTEEN films in his career that have crossed the $100 million mark and that regardless of their combined quality (read: they universally suck, except for that one or two you have a soft spot for) he still brings in the crowds. Thankfully, three of his last four live-action films have been box office disappointments and the hope is that he might just… go away. But depending on how this one goes, (and my guess is it’s going to win the week with right around $30 million) we might be in for another decade of his nonsense.
Again, I say… yuck.
Justin’s Chance of Seeing This in Theaters: 2% – it’s one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen and I just don’t want to write 0% again… also, Peter Dinklage, I have to ask… WHY?!?!?
In what is Hollywood’s roughly 433rd boxing movie, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Billy Hope, a boxer at the top of the game who falls to the bottom of the pile… to then push his way back up to the top. Presumably.
Gyllenhaal has quickly become a top-tier actor in Hollywood. And when I say actor I mean that he is literally transforming into each of the characters he is playing and disappears to the point that you forget you’re watching an actor. Nightcrawler, End of Watch, Prisoners… the guy is incredible. And with Southpaw, he transformed himself into a chiseled pugilist vying for a return to fame. And I couldn’t be more pumped for it. Director Antoine Fuqua is hit-and-miss with me (but when he is hit – read: Training Day, one of my top-5 favorite films of all-time – he is super, super solid) and a supporting cast of Forest Whitaker and Curtis Jackson makes things even more interesting (I’m one who thinks that 50 Cent could actually be legit in a role like the one he has here) plus Rachel McAdams will appear as Hope’s wife and she’s always solid…
…but unfortunately the film’s FIRST TRAILER gave away that McAdams is going to get shot and killed in a brawl (likely) early on in the movie, which is what starts Hope’s downward spiral. I contend that it would have been so much better had they saved that twist from the promotional materials (especially considering it’s McAdams!) but I understand they want to show that it’s a comeback story and who doesn’t love one of those?!? It’s disappointing… but it’s not a deal-breaker for me. At all.
Justin’s Chance of Seeing This in Theaters: 93% – I will definitely be seeing this… it’s just a matter of time. Remember how I said I was busy? Yeah, that’s still a thing. But it looks awesome.