Saturday, March 26, 2016

New Movies Friday on Saturday

Yeah, so I'm a day late.  Well, it will make box-office predictions easier as I have already gotten to see how much the movies pulled in on Friday.  Obviously, the only movie that really matters this weekend is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  This is a summer time movie coming out in March and it is going to have summer time box-office numbers.  A couple interesting notes regarding this movie:  First, the reviews are pretty bad.  The movie has pulled in a poor 30% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes which makes it the poorest reviewed Batman related film since 1997 and the poorest reviewed Superman related film since 1987.  Second, the word-of-mouth from the fans is average.  The fans have given BvS a grade of a B at Cinemascore which is considered a very average grade in their rating system.  Of course, that isn't keeping the fans away.  The movie pulled in a huge 82 million on Friday alone (including Thursday previews).  That would be the fourth biggest opening day of all time.  At this point, expect the movie to dominate Easter weekend and to pull in 165+ million in its first three days.  That would give Batman v Superman the biggest March opening of all time and the biggest DC Comics opening of all time.

The second major new movie of the weekend is the sequel to the sleeper hit of 2002, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.  The first film came out of nowhere to pull in a huge 241 million at the box-office, so it is no surprise they are hoping to capitalize again.  Why it took 14 years to get around to it is a mystery to me, but they finally did.  Critics don't like the movie as it has only pulled in a 25% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but fans seem to like it as it has pulled in an A- from Cinemascore.  I figured the movie would pull in around 15 million this weekend, but it did pretty well on Friday and pulled in 7.2 million.  Look for the movie to end the weekend with around 20 million and while it won't live up to the original's success, it should have pretty nice legs thanks to the good word-of-mouth.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

In 2008, JJ Abrams produced the surprise hit Cloverfield which was basically a found footage monster movie.  If the movie didn't make you want to throw-up from all the shaky camera movement, you probably enjoyed it.  Eight years later, Abrams produces a movie that is its own film, but it is slightly related to Cloverfield.  If you didn't like Cloverfield, don't let that stop you from seeing this movie because it stands on its own and it is much better than the 2008 hit.

10 Cloverfield Lane tells the story of a conspiracy theorist who has built an underground bunker to protect himself from the end of the world.  Whether the end of the world comes from terrorists, nuclear war, aliens or a Trump presidency, he is ready to survive whatever may come.  After a series of events, we find this survivalist in his bunker with two guests, one of which he saved after she was in a car accident.  Soon, the questions arise:  Is the world really ending?  Did this man really save anyone?  Is this man crazy?  Can he be trusted?  This is where the psychological thriller aspect of the movie takes off and is very enjoyable.

The movie succeeds thanks to the solid suspense and John Goodman's performance.  Goodman is a man who has proven time and again that he is a solid actor and he is excellent in this movie.  Whether you find yourself trusting him or not, there is something that keeps a level of fear in the back of your mind and that is because of Goodman being so convincing.  I also think that director Dan Trachtenberg does a good job with the movie and being this is first full length film, I am excited to see where his career goes.

The movie cost only 15 million to make and it will pass the 50 million mark this week domestically.  My hope is that Abrams decides to continue expanding the Cloverfield universe because it could be a lot of fun.


Friday, March 18, 2016

New Movies Friday: 3-18-16

This weekend, expect Zootopia to rule the box-office for the third and final time with 35+ million.  The movie should pass the 200 million mark domestically on Monday.  The final couple weeks of the month should be strong for Zootopia as kids take their Spring Break vacations.  Look for the movie to end its run at 260-280 million domestically.

In a weekend I call the calm before the Batman vs Superman box-office storm, the latest Divergent film is opening to horrid reviews.  So far each film in the series has done worse than the previous one and that trend should continue with The Divergent Series: Allegiant.  The series has never gotten good reviews from critics and this movie is pulling in a very low 11% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  The series hardcore fan base will help the movie open at the 30 million mark, but not much more.

It is close to Easter so that must mean its time for another faith based movie.  Jennifer Garner stars in the real life based story Miracles from Heaven.  Reviews are pretty average, but that is to be expected.  A movie like this doesn't need critics to like it, it needs faith based viewers to like it and they certainly do.  While the movie is pulling in so-so 53% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, its Cinemascore is a perfect A+.  That means its core audience is loving it.  While last weeks faith based The Young Messiah bombed with only 3 million pulled in, look for Miracles from Heaven to pull in 12-15 million and for it to have strong hold through Easter.

The Best Commercial on TV Right Now? I Think So.

There are always good commercials out there, but if I had to choose my current favorite, it would be this iPhone commercial featuring the Cookie Monster.  It is hilarious and adorable.  If you haven't seen it yet, you are welcome.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Gimme A Break...A Fifth Indiana Jones Movie

With the huge success of the latest Star Wars film, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Disney decided to take the other huge Lucasfilm franchise and make a new movie, but seriously, please don't.  Harrison Ford is 73 years old now and will be 74-75 years old when the movie is being filmed.  Nobody wants or needs to see Indiana Jones at that age.  In fact, you could even see it in The Force Awakens, Han Solo was not moving like he used to and I'm not going to lie, it was tough to watch.  Luckily, Solo was just a small part of that movie so it didn't hurt anything, but can you imagine Ford playing Indiana Jones for an entire movie?  Lets face facts, if Indian Jones was to try to out run a huge boulder now, he would end up as flat as a pancake.  If he is lucky, he'd just need a new hip after getting out of the way.

It makes perfect sense for the Star Wars franchise to continue because new characters and new stories will always be possible even after Luke Skywalker is long gone, but the same can't be said for the Indiana Jones franchise.  They already tried the Indiana Jones "has a son story" in the last movie and it didn't work.  This is obviously nothing more than a cash grab by Disney, Speilberg and Ford.  It is also a way for Disney to perhaps create new Indiana Jones themed rides for their parks.

If they want to milk the Indiana Jones franchise for all it is worth, I'd suggest they re-visit the Young Indiana Jones idea.  Back in the early 90's they did The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles on television which was a critical success and now has a cult following.  Perhaps it is time to do a Young Indiana Jones movie?  It sure makes a lot more sense to do that than having a 75 year old Harrison Ford going on another adventure that has to include at least one nap everyday.

Finally, for an insider scoop, the rumored name for the new movie is...

Indiana Jones and the Search for an Assisted Living Community

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Movies Friday: 3-11-16

Last weekend Zootopia rocked movie theaters with a 75 million dollar opening weekend and it will rule the box-office again this weekend.  Look for the movie to pull in another 45+ million this weekend.

As for new releases, it is the JJ Abrams produced 10 Cloverfield Lane that is going to be the biggest hit.  The movie is considered a related film to Abrams 2008 hit Cloverfield, but it is really its own movie and it should not be considered a sequel.  The reviews for the movie have been excellent and the movie has a 91% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  This movie should pull in 25+ million which would be a good opening for the movie which has a lower budget.  I hope to see this one soon.

Sacha Baron Cohen is back with his latest R-rated comedy The Brothers Grimsby.  For a short period of time Cohen was pretty successful at the box-office with his comedies, but that time is in the past.  The movie is not getting good reviews and has a 44% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes; so chances of this movie being a hit are low.  Look for the movie to pull in 5-10 million this weekend.

The final wide release of the weekend is the religious movie The Young Messiah which tells the story of what Jesus Christ's life may have been like as a child.  The movie has not had that many reviews yet, but it is currently at a decent 63% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  What is interesting is reviews from Christian websites have been good and that should help the movie a bit.  Still, there are no stars involved and very little hype, so the movie should only pull in 5-10 million.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: American Crime Season 2

I have to start off by writing that I did not watch season one of American Crime as its story did not appeal to me.  Luckily, American Crime is a show that follows what American Horror Story does by having each season tell a different story with new characters and many of the same actors/actresses returning from the prior season.  Therefore missing season one of the show doesn't affect season two in any way.  The wife and I decided to give Season Two a try because the plot seemed interesting.

Without giving too much away, American Crime Season Two's main plot was about a high school boy who accuses another high school boy of raping him at a party.  Both of the boys go to a very exclusive private high school whose reputation is outstanding.  As the show unfolds, we see everything from how the school handles the situation to homophobia to racial issues to social class issues.  The show also brings in some subplots, but the core of the story centers around the rape accusation and the fallout that comes from that.

Let's start with the good.  The acting on this show is incredible.  Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Lili Taylor, Regina King and Connor Jessup are just some of performers who did an outstanding job on this show.  I'd imagine there will be a lot of Emmy award nominations being given for these performances.  Next, the core of the shows plot is thought provoking and emotional.  The aftermath of the rape accusation and its fallout will keep you captivated.

Now the bad.  In episode seven of this ten episode season, the show starts to fall apart.  Without any real reason other than to do it, there is a school shooting and they bring in a hacker twist that bloated the story.  While episodes seven through ten still had a high level of quality performances the plot tried to do too much and ended up losing its way.

In the end, the show was strong television, but the series could have been better if they hadn't expanded the story by trying to do too much by the end.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: Darth Maul: Apprentice

I think the vast majority of Star Wars fans will agree that Darth Maul was the coolest part of the prequels.  Most would  also agree that it was a huge mistake for Lucas to kill off Maul in The Phantom Menace and that Maul should have played a larger role in the trilogy.  Well, for those of us who don't care for Star Wars cartoons, we now have T7 Production's Darth Maul: Apprentice.  The movie is written, directed and edited by Shawn Bu and something tells me we will be seeing more from this guy in the future.

The story basically focuses on what Darth Maul did best, fighting.  Darth Maul is stationed at what appears to be his training facility when a group of Jedi happen upon the planet.  Maul then must confront the Jedi and he has to make sure that he kills all of them because Darth Sidious is not ready to reveal the return of the Sith to the Jedi yet.  Of course, killing Jedi is always easier said than done.

What this short film does right starts with the way they portray Maul.  It is pretty much exactly how it should be.  The fighting scenes are also done really well.  Finally, for a low cost production like this, I thought the acting and the special effects were decent enough.  The only real downfall is that they could not use the Duel of Fates theme for the fight sequences.

In the end, Darth Maul: Apprentice pretty much reaffirms what we already knew; Lucas should not have killed Darth Maul because he deserved a lot more story and screen time.

Thanks Obama. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

New Movies Friday 3-4-16

In what I hope to be the first of a weekly Friday post here at Various Crap, I want to share some thoughts on the new movies coming out this weekend.  There are three major releases opening this weekend and these are led by Disney's Zootopia.  It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the movie theater waiting for The Force Awakens to start.  I had to sit through about 20 minutes worth of trailers and the one that created a great reaction was Zootopia.  I knew then if the movie was as good as its trailer was, the film was going to be a huge hit.  Well, Zootopia is getting an excellent 99% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is set to dominate the box-office this weekend.  I'm not sure when I'll take the kids to see it, but I really want to see it soon.  The movie should pull in 65-70 million this weekend and it will stay strong all month as kids take their spring break vacation.

Next up is the movie London Has Fallen which is a sequel to 2013's hit movie Olympus Has Fallen.  I never saw Olympus Has Fallen and have never had the desire to; so it's sequel does nothing for me.  Not only does the movie look pretty lame, but its reviews are horrible as it is pulling in a 24% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  The movie is set to not live up to the success of the first movie and is on track to only pull in around 20 million this weekend.

The final major release is the Tina Fey film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot or the abbreviated WTF.  While the movie trailer doesn't really give me a big desire to see the movie, Tina Fey is a comedic genius and I am always willing to give her movies a try.  For me, WTF is a movie that I'll watch on cable or Netflix someday.  The movie has a 60% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes which is not good, but not bad either.  Look for the film to pull in less than 10 million this weekend.

There is one limited release that I want to discuss and that is The Wave.  This is a Norwegian disaster film that is getting really strong reviews.  The movie has a 82% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and it has a lot of critics saying that it is one of the better disaster films made in recent years.  Due to its limited release, it will be very hard to see on the big screen, but this is a movie I am pretty pumped about getting to see when it is released on DVD.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ghostbusters 2016 Trailer Released

It has been 32 years since the original Ghostbusters dominated the summer of 1984 and it has been 27 years since its sequel came out.  This summer we are getting what is being called Ghostbusters (2016), but is essentially Ghostbusters 3 starring some of today's top female comedians.  For the most part, those of us who grew up watching the original two are not too excited about this new movie and now that the trailer has come out, all our fears have been realized.  This movie looks a load a shit.  There is nothing in the trailer that is even remotely funny at all.  It also appears that Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are playing the same damn characters they play in every movie they are in.  Finally, does anybody else find it ridiculous that the three white characters are the super smart scientists and the black character is nothing but street?  Seriously, who can be excited for this?  In 2010, Hollywood updated The Karate Kid and scored a big hit for the studio, but I can understand a younger audience being interested in that movie.  For this new Ghostbusters film, I can't imagine even teens wanting to watch it.  I really hope this movie bombs so that is discourages movie studios from trying to reboot classic movies.



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Struts First US Release This Friday

In 2014, Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue tweeted about a new band from England called The Struts.  He talked about how they were a "throwback band" to the 70's English glam rock scene.  I checked them out and immediately became a huge fan.  I liked them so much, I bought the import of their debut album and it became my favorite album of 2014.  Over the last year or so The Struts have started to gain a following in the United States, so they are finally releasing a debut album for US rock fans.  This is obviously great news for anyone who does not want to pay import prices.  This album includes the best songs from their 2014 Great Britain debut plus five new songs.  If you like bands like Slade, The Sweet and T.Rex, I can't recommend a new band more than The Struts.

The new album will be available via iTunes and Amazon digital this Friday or you can order the CD or vinyl here: 

Check them out here: