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Entries in Giant Fucking Robots (20)

Sunday
Jul062014

Box Office: The Studios Fail America on the 4th of July

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report. ‘twas quite a sad one at the multiplex; Positive adjectives were hard to come by. Tran4mers topped the charts again, but even that franchise has tired its audience so much that it now lags significantly behind the previous installments. Tammy came in second, but this one is also way behind last year’s Melissa McCarthy vehicles like The Heat. Maybe people are finally realising that having a superstar who doesn't fit Hollywood's notions of traditional beauty is completely different from having a superstar who doesn't fit Hollywood's notions of traditional beauty solely to make fat jokes about her.

 

Deliver Us From Evil was a big flop, this one falling behind director Scott Derrickson’s previous films, despite finding some major champions among critics. And if those are not enough underachievers for one week, there was also Earth to Echo, not just beating Deliver Us... as the weekend’s most awkwardly titled offering, but also beating it on the disappointment scale. This was the only new family option of the weekend, but it finished behind the leftover How to Train Your Dragon 2, which is another massive disappointment in its own right.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION $36.4 (cum. $174.7)
02 TAMMY $21.1 NEW (cum. $32.9) Review
03 DELIVER US FROM EVIL $9.5 (cum. $15)
04 22 JUMP STREET $9.4 (cum. $158.8) Podcast
05 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $8.7 (cum. $140) best movie dragons
06 EARTH TO ECHO $8.2 NEW (cum. $13.5) 
07 MALEFICENT $6.1 (cum. $213.8) Podcast
08 JERSEY BOYS $5.1 (cum. $36.7) Review
09 THINK LIKE A MAN TOO $4.9 (cum. $57.1)
10 EDGE OF TOMORROW $3.6 (cum. $90.8) Capsule / Top Ten Thus Far

Perhaps Begin Again and Snowpiercer could have emitted some positive vibes with their relatively strong expansions, but no, hang on a minute! Dinesh D’Souza’s America – a sequel to Obama’s America? Oh, who cares anyway? It’s not like that first film made any damn sense – beat both of them to finish just outside the top ten. Yes, Dinesh D’Souza! Enough has been written about the hypocrisy and sheer stupidity of this man to make one think that a multimillion dollar opening and an A-Fucking-Plus Cinemascore is out of reach for his films, but no. It’s still possible. America has disappointed us all. The silver lining is that he, too, is lagging far behind his previous film.

What did you watch this weekend? Please give us some positive vibes to counteract Hollywood's failure to schedule anything worthwhile on such a big moviegoing weekend.

See Also: Nathaniel's Top Ten at the Halfway Mark

Thursday
Jun262014

Tim's Toons: Remembering the Best of All Transformers Movies

Tim here. We are come to the release weekend of a new Transformers movie - this one has Mark Wahlberg replacing Shia LaBeouf and robot dinosaurs replacing the idiotically absurd lack of robot dinosaurs. And with solemn redundancy almost as predictable as the content of the movies themselves, the same critical conversations that happen every time a Transformers opens are happening once more. There's the "if you like these movies, you are objectively wrong" essay; the litany of reviews all bemoaning the length, noise, and visual incoherence of Michael Bay's latest bombardment of ugly CGI and sexism; the handful of weakly noble defenses that it's all actually fun, and don't we like having fun? And I largely agree with at least two of these, and always enjoy when they put in their appearance.

Then there are always the pieces about how the Bay movies are cynical, loud junk that entirely miss the goofy fun of the crudely-animated Japanese cartoon from 1986 that first brought the Transformers to the big screen. And since I wasn't doing this when the last movie opened, it's my pleasure to write about that one this time around.

For Transformers: The Movie (or, formally speaking, The Transformers: The Movie, but that’s a lot of definite articles in just four words) is actually pretty good, considering how crappy it is. [More...] 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun172014

22 Link Street

VF Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt & Goldie, on his 22 Jump Street experience
Digital Spy Mark Ruffalo talks the future of the Hulk. Solo movie, Avengers, so on. (BTW and unrelated: did you see Mark Ruffalo riding a unicycle on Graham Norton?)
MNPP wonders wtf Jude Law is wearing
/Film "40 things I learned on the set of Transformers: Age of Extinction"


Film Doctor has 10 notes on 22 Jump Street
Gothamist recommends 5 drive-in movie theaters near NYC. Holy hell. I didn't realize any were left nearby. I am so going. If uh... well, I don't have a car because I live in NYC. Never mind.
Pajiba an open letter to a kid at the theater watching How To Train Your Dragon 2 (spoiler heavy)
Empire whoops. Just days after that awful teaser, Paddington has lost his voice as Colin Firth exits
The Blot Michael Musto names his 10 greatest female movie stars of all time with the most recent addition being Cate Blanchett. A couple of strange choices. Of note: His three way tie (Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland -I can't see what connects them) features three indisputables but that makes it a top 12

WTF?ness
Hollywood.com posted a list of 20 remakes that prove "original isn't always better" -- is it a prank that The Stepford Wives (2004) begins the otherwise kinda okay no wait kind of respectable but  random no wait insane list?

A Forever Must Read
"How to Deal With Criticism" - this piece from The Toast made me laugh so so much - the cave story is just. gah! -- and was also so inspiring. I've done some of these self-sabotage things. Listen, nobody is ever going to love everything you do. But you gotta do you. Chin up. Back to work.  

Monday
Mar242014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

In my superhero clogged mind, Spider-Man 3 has remained the gold standard of a dubious honor: by the time it had arrived you could justifiably feel like you'd seen the whole movie what with the multiple trailers, numerous clips and stills and two previous features with the exact same cast. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been teasing its teases and characters and counting down to its trailer for what feels like forever but it retains at least some mystery. I hope this is our last taste before the movie opens on May 23rd. It's not likely but I can dream. 

Because I am a glutton for punishment and The X-Men were a huge part of my developmental process as a human being (you don't even want to know how obsessed I was from the ages of, like, 8-18) will do like what we did with Maleficent. A Yes, No, Maybe So™ reaction to (almost) every last piece of the trailer.

Deep breath before the plunge. Okay let's go...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul192013

Trifurcated Link

actressssssssss
Buzzfeed Nine magical photos of Nicole Kidman's hair in the Eighties
/Film Kristen Wiig's new comedy film Welcome to Me gets a slew of new cast members including just-Emmy nominated Linda Cardellini (from Mad Men & Freaks and Geeks)
Jacket Copy Reese Witherspoon will play the leadiest of leads in Wild, (in that she'll be onscreen every second without much in the way of co-stars) based on the best seller about a woman hiking 1000 miles alone after her mother's death
Guardian on the climactic row between Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight and acceptance vs. resignation in relationships
i09 check out Hailee Steinfeld's geeky nail art for Comic Con

tv mania
Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on the pleasures and brilliance of "Suits" and why critics ignore it
Pajiba on the 25 best series which were never nominated for best comedy or best drama series in their runs. (Honestly I still look it up every time I hear that Roseanne was never nominated for Best Comedy. It seems so patently absurd that I resist the fact every time and scurry off to fact-check. But a fact it is.)
Slate *TODAY'S MUST READ* an excellent piece, arguing as I like to and have right here, that it's stupid to argue that "tv is better than cinema these days" for a variety of reasons but mostly for the dishonesty of this ubiquitous context-free argument.

it's Comic Con time so it's all genre all the time
Timothy Brayton reviews Pacific Rim. Kaiju dig it? 
i09 on the first ten minutes of Terry Gilliams Zero Theorem which they memorably describe as "Blade Runner meets Sesame Street"
Superhero Hype huge gallery of cosplay photos from Comic Con - my favorites are these gender-flipped X-Men boysThe Princess Bride couple and this tiny Hulk
The Playlist shares the very inspired teaser poster for Gareth Edwards reboot of Godzilla
MNPP which is hotter: Lee Pace blonde or blonder?
Towleroad Jamie Foxx "Electro" teaser for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Shit, guys, I was kidding about the looking like Mr Freeze part but now that I see more of him it's even moreso!
Coming Soon Character posters from X-Men Days of Future Past including Bishop (Omar Sy)
Cinema Blend the Sentinels design from X-Men Days of Future Past which will merge the superhero genre with the giant fucking robots genre at long last*

 

*that was facetious even though i'm a huge fan of that arc in the X-Men comics. 

Sunday
Jul142013

Box Office Notes: Pacific Rim & Sandra Bullock

giant fucking robots, the multi-franchise franchiseThis week's box office results are an example of why we can't have nice things. The top two films are both sequels. Audiences didn't get super worked up about the "original" opener, Guillermo del Toro's monster movie Pacific Rim. Yet the people decrying the general moviegoing public for "rejecting originality" -- a claim I keep hearing on twitter and on blogs -- have failed to admit that Pacific Rim looks JUST like Transformers Meets Godzilla in its advertisements. Which is not, you know a hallmark of the truly original, to look like a mashup of two excessively familiar things. Now, before I'm stomped by giant metallic or clawed kaiju feet, please note that though I haven't seen it I'm sure that Pacific Rim doesn't play like a Transformers sequel since one can't really mistake the filmmaking style of del Toro for Michael Bayisms. But audiences don't buy tickets based on how a movie is but how its perceived to be.

This wasn't a rejection of true originality. It was just a third place finish indicating half-interest in something that looked familiar but didn't sound familiar. Maybe they should have just called it Pacific Rim 2? Wouldn't it be awesome if some new franchise hopeful did just that, skipping the first film and testing the public's Pavlovian response to titles that end in numerals?

TOP O' THE CHARTS
01 DESPICABLE ME 2 $44.7 (cum. $229.2)
02 GROWN UPS 2 $42.5 *NEW*
03 PACIFIC RIM $38.3 *NEW*
04 THE HEAT $14 (cum. $112.3) Review
05 THE LONE RANGER $11.1 (cum. $71.1) Review

Of Note:  Fruitvale Station, which eerily opened on the weekend of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin fiasco, opened to a big per screen averages but given the timid amount of screens it didn't make the top fifteen of the box office. If they're aggressive in expansion you'll undoubtedly see a lot of editorial attention in the media.

And Finally...
We'd just like to say "congratulations" to Sandra Bullock who has her umpteenth $100 million hit with The Heat. No, she didn't deserve an Oscar to commemorate her career but applause she does deserve in an industry that's notoriously resistant to appreciating its actresses. You have to hand it to her: she's been a draw for 20 years now and that's true staying power. Here, courtesy of box office mojo are her biggest hits (adjusted for inflation)

SANDRA'S TOP TEN
01 THE BLIND SIDE (2009) $264 
02 SPEED (1994) $230
03 A TIME TO KILL (1996) $195
04 THE PROPOSAL (2009) $174 
05 MISS CONGENIALITY (2000) $151 
06 WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995) $147 
07 TWO WEEKS NOTICE (2002)  $124 
08 * new entry * THE HEAT (2013)  $112
09 DEMOLITION MAN (1993) $111 
10 HOPE FLOATS (1998) $101

What did you spend your money on this weekend?

Thursday
Apr252013

Posterized: Michael Bay

I can't believe I'm doing this. It feels so perverse. But with the Notorious B.A.Y.'s 10th movie dropping this weekend, why not? Pain and Gain is winning generally favorable pre-release buzz for its dumb brute yuks and for Michael Bay's understanding of his own "gifts". And people are even asking if he's an "auteur"... which, well I called him that really early on because he is. Auteur means "author" so anyone with a clear ownership of their filmography -- where you can see their fingerprints all over their work -- qualifies. It doesn't mean "Great Filmmaker" though that tends to be how people use it.

Besides, I'm genuinely curious if you Film Experiencers have seen his movies. I've often bristled at the notion that movie buffs and cinephiles are elitist snobs. From my personal experience its the multiplex masses who are the true elitists, since they're so unlikely to seek out movies that are outside the mainstream comfort zones. Most "film snobs" I know will see just about anything and can find worth in just about any genre. Have any Michael Bay fans seen a film by Michael Haneke, Jane Campion or Lars von Trier?

Anyway... 

How many of Michael Bay's nine GIANT movies have you seen?

Bad Boys (1995), The Rock (1995), Armageddon (1997)
Remember when you couldn't escape these blockbusters? Actually I escaped them. I only saw Armageddon in theaters from Bay's Noisy Nineties Breakthrough period. Because his films were always on cable at one point I think I have seen sizeable portions of the others.

Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), The Island (2005)
Remember when Pearl Harbor had Oscar buzz. Hee!
Remember how profoundly uncool it was of Michael Bay to blame Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson for The Island's box office failure? As if they were to blame for him getting his arguably worst reviews.

Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Michael Bay has been directing giant fucking robots (or the green screens where they will eventually be super-imposed) for the past half decade. Now he's got actors again, though he very wisely chose cartoonish ones.

How many of these blockbusters have you seen? I'm surprised to realize that I've seen only 3 in theaters though it feels like I've seen them all from their ubiquity. I do plan to see Pain & Gain. You?