Movie Monday: The Hunger Games, Anchorman 2, Reviews for ATM, Apollo 18

April 2, 2012 § 1 Comment

For the first time ever, this blog is getting a little structure.

Well, sort of.  I’ve decided that because of the randomness of KennethAuthor that it would be beneficial to both of us if I just started designating Monday for movie talk.  I love movies and I love writing about movies, at one point in my past I was going to be a movie critic, so now I can use this forum to get it all out.  And Mondays will be the day for that.

To help me stay somewhat chaotic though, this originally turned from just being movie reviews of the films I saw from the past week into my thoughts on movie news as well and whatever else tickles my fancy because if I know anything about Mondays, it’s that I need my fancy tickled more often.

The Hunger Games Wins the Box Office Again, Now at $365,000,000 Worldwide

I haven’t seen The Hunger Games yet or read the books, so no, this is not a review and I won’t pretend that it is a review.  It wasn’t long ago that Hunger Games was what I called the time between dinner and 4th meal.  I just like box office numbers, so I want to talk about THG….

 

The most important thing to remember about box office numbers and records though is how much the circumstances change over the years with things like inflation, midnight openings, and the amount of theaters and screens that a movie plays on.  THG opened to $152 million in it’s first week, third most all-time.  What’s more impressive is the fact that it took 60.8% of the total receipts that weekend; only two other movies in the top 100 for opening weekends have taken in more than 50% and those were Valentines Day (90th, 50.9%) and Watchmen (95th, 51.4%)

What’s kind of amazing to me is that the first book came out in 2008 and now less than four years later, it’s a movie franchise that will end up being worth billions.  The only reason I haven’t seen it yet is because of the PG-13 rating and comparisons to Battle Royale, but I’ve now heard from friends that they were shocked at the PG-13 rating.  I didn’t want to see a family version of Battle Royale, I would rather just watch Battle Royale.  My concerns have been eased though and I’ll go see it soon, probably.  I can’t wait to find out if Jennifer Lawrence eats or not.

Anchorman 2: Ron Burgundy and the Crew are Coming Back, Filming in February 2013

News team! Assemble!

It’s hard to remember what the Hollywood atmosphere was like eight years ago, but try… I remember being in college and having my friend tell me that I had to go see this movie Anchorman.  I was skeptical and the movie wasn’t exactly full of movie stars and wasn’t getting a whole lot of buzz.  I know that sounds crazy to say now, but it’s true.

This was the first movie written and directed by Adam McKay.  Will Ferrell was “Frank the Tank” but could he carry really carry a movie?  Only the most hardcore of Freaks and Geeks fans had ever heard of producer Judd Apatow.  Paul Rudd?  Not even close to being a star.  Steve Carrell?  I think I recognize him from The Daily Show.

Even Seth Rogen had the most minor of parts, not as a cameo… but because Seth Rogen was a nobody.

In the course of the last eight years, all of these people have become major players in the film business and it all basically started with Anchorman.  Do you think Carrell would have ever gotten The Office and 40 Year Old Virgin if it wasn’t for his breakout performance as Brick Tamland?  Do you think that 40 Year Old Virgin would have even ever been made it if Anchorman was a total failure?

In addition to all of that, the entire trend of “multiple takes improv” filming basically became popular because of Anchorman.  I’m not going to say that Anchorman invented the style (because it didn’t) but after it became a cult hit and one of the most quoted movies of all time, the copycats came out in full effect.  Some did it well, others did not.

After years of fans begging for it, Paramount finally ran the numbers and decided it was time to give us the sequel that all of the people involved promised that they actually wanted to make.  It’s time to find out whether San Diego stayed classy or not.

Movie Review: ATM

ATM (2012) directed by David Brooks, written by Chris Sparling, and starring Josh Peck, Alice Eve, and Brian Geraghty.  Now Playing On Demand and on Amazon Instant for a robust $10

Unless you won the lottery last week, save your ten bucks.  ATM is basically “Two guys, a girl, and a vestibule.”]

What happens when three co-workers stop off at an ATM machine late at night and are terrorized by a mysterious dude in a winter jacket without any real weapons?  Better yet, what happens when an incredible set of circumstances and unexplainable decisions leave three friends in a position that they could have avoided if they just did any number of things differently?

ATM is basically a “bottle episode” horror movie, which I usually like.  Recently, the movie Frozen was about two guys and a girl stuck on a ski lift over night and the film shares about 100 things in common, except that Frozen seemed exceptionally more believable.

Question: Why did you park 100 feet away from the ATM?

Question: What are the odds that three people would be standing anywhere in America and none of them would have a cell phone in 2012?

Question: How impatient do two people have to be in order to go check on their friend in the ATM booth when only one person needed cash?  Is one minute really that long of a time to wait?

Question: The ending… really?  Really?

Question: No, really?

This movie has a ton of frustrating questions and very few answers.  But on the bright side, screenwriter Chris Sparling has at least expanded his setting from his first movie “Buried” by a good 150 square feet.  I can only assume his next movie will take place in a Taco Bell/KFC.

Movie Review: Apollo 18

Apollo 18 (2011) directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, written by Brian Miller, and starring Warren Christie and Lloyd Owen

“The found-footage-movie that you’ll wish was never found!” – Me, right now

I will give props to the ambition of Apollo 18.  A low-budget space movie that legitimately pulls off “being in space” and with good special effects, considering.  In the history of these types of movies, dating back to Blair Witch Project and continuing on with movies like [REC] and Paranormal Activity, you will have a certain cliche of criticisms: too shaky, too boring, not believable.

I personally never had a problem with the “shaky shot.”  I didn’t think that any of the Paranormal Activity movies were boring.  I bought into Blair Witch Project from the beginning and enjoyed the hell out of it.

Apollo 18: One of the most annoying, boring, and unbelievable movies I have ever seen.

“You’ll vomit from the constant movement!”

“Just when you think something is going to happen…. It doesn’t!”

“Who said that two random astronauts talking about nothing in particular wouldn’t be worth 75 minutes of your time?  Me!”

When it was all said and done, there was barely more than an hour of the actual movie and by minute 20 I was begging for it to be over.  Apollo 18 was a movie that I will never give a second chance to, it was terrible.  Producers didn’t allow the movie to be screened for critics, and now I know why.

I give it 2 out of 18 moon rocks.

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