07 June 2007

Radar Blips - The X Files: Fight the Future

The Year: 1998

The Players: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and a little role for Lost's John Locke.

The Take: $84 Million

What's an X-File?: These are the FBI's case files for supernatural or other worldly encounters.

Why you should see it: This movie was my first exposure to the world of The X Files. The movie ties into the series (coming midway through the series' run) but stands alone on its own. As it turns out, the movie offers answers at breakneck speed as compared to the snails pace of the series. The movie has aliens, and mysteries, and quite a bit of action. Take it as a Cliff's notes to the tv series.

05 June 2007

When There's Trouble You Know Who to Call - TEEN TITANS

I know this story is a bit late, but its too big to just skip. The word on the street is that a Teen Titans feature film is in the works. This ensemble film could even see the light of day before a Justice League film. While many of the titans are sidekicks for the leaguers, efforts have been made to let the sidekicks stand on their own.

Over the years members have included Robin/Nightwing, Superboy, Batgirl, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, and Speedy (Green Arrows boy toy). Other non-sidekicks have included Raven, Starfire, Changeling AKA Beast Boy, Cyborg (how has recently appeared on Smallville) and Terra. With so many to choose from, this film could be a lot of fun.

04 June 2007

Pirates and Shrek Get Knocked Down

Knocked Up took a bite out of the box office with $29 million. Pirates maintained the top spot with another $43 mil, but the poop deck swabbers may not best Spidey after all. With a $300 million price tag, it looks like Pirates 3 may not be quite as profitable as it should have been with a reasonable budget, but still sailing past $200 is a nice milestone. Shrekers passed the $250 million point, and with a the smallest budget of the big three, is already rolling in the green. Hence Shrek 5's announcement.

Next week is a bit crowded with ho-hummers. This summer's 4th 3quel Ocean's 13 opens against Hostel 2, and Surf's Up (that other penguin movie). I think the Peng's have a chance at winning the weekend (due to penguin mania and youngins) with Ocean's coming in a close 2nd (for the record Ocean's 12 was terrible).

Current Rankings:

#5 Georgia Rule - $18,109,000 (-.-%)*
#4 28 Weeks Later - $26,577,000 (-.-%)*
#4 Knocked Up - $29,284,000 (-.-%)*
#3 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $216,527,000 (54.7%)*
#2 Shrek the Third - $254,611,000 (78.2%)*
#1 Spider-Man 3 - $318,264,000 (83.7%)*

*Percentages earned relative to my predictions

My Predictions:

#9 Evan Almighty - $170,000,000
#8 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - $175,000,000
#7 The Bourne Ultimatum - $185,000,000
#6 Transformers - $205,000,000
#5 Ratatouille - $260,000,000
#4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - $275,000,000
#3 Shrek the Third - $325,000,000
#2 Spider-Man 3 - $380,000,000
#1 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - $395,000,000

Stick a Fork in BSG. After Season 4, Its Done.

Battlestar Galactica is one of the best and most consistent shows on TV. It doesn't return until next year, but I will try and enjoy the hiatus because once it returns the fraking show will be ending.

Season 1 showed us a high stakes game of cat and mouse between the cylons and humans. The episode 33 in which the cylons attacked every 33 minutes for days on end was one of the finest and most intense hours of any television show ever made. In season 2, the humans began to turn on themselves, threatening to wipe themselves out of existence. The Pegasus caught up with the Galactica in an amazing 3 part story. The third season kicked off with 5 in a row near perfect episodes chronicling the escape from New Caprica, and the fate of the cylon collaborators. It was in the episode exodus that the Galactica belly flopped into low orbit, and the Pegasus gave her swan song. The season ended with the revelation that 4 of our good friends were actually cylons all along. As All Along the Watchtower played, we caught a glimpse of the not too distant Earth. Well, in season 4, Galactica will find Earth and the series will end.

As much as I have enjoyed the ride, it will be nice for a show to end without having over extended its welcome. This is the kind of planning shows need more of. Fantastic stories and characters with dignified endings. Still, its hard to believe one of my favorite shows will be gone. Thank the Gods for DVD.

More here at Variety.com.

Ink Blots LXVII - Open Season

This month features films with large bearlike creatures... like bears, or other large beings. Up first, Open Season.

Open Season was Sony Pictures Animation's foray into the CG animated world hitting in a year jam packed with animal themed animated films. The film had a reported budget of $85 million and earned $84.3 million at the box office, so it really was not much of a financial success.

Ashton Kutcher does a good job as the voice of a wussy one-antlered deer, and Martin Lawrence voices the tamed bear Boog. The two meet up... conflict occurs... the two team up to take back the wilderness... hilarity ensues.

As for its artistic impact, Open Season was able to take the now common "fart joke" to a new level with a gag featuring on-screen defecation. Way to go guys! Having said that, I actually liked this movie better than I expected I would. It has a lot of funny (less crass) moments including the trashing of a 7-11 style convenience mart, rampant abuse of rabbits, and an ever growing assemby of quirky woodland creatures. I am not sure if the anti-hunting message will convince any young hunters to turn in their rifles, but overall, the film does deliver some laughs.

As for the animation, the animals all look pretty good being slightly caricatured, but the humans look rather freakish. I do not expect great things from Sony in the future, they look to be following the trends as their next film, Surf's Up seeks to cash in on the currently hip Penguin market. For a first effort and some good humor, Open Season dodges a bullet and escapes with a B.