Year 2 Week 20 Preview
This totally slipped my mind this week. Star Trek Into Darkness sure looks untouchable
Year 2 Week 19: Iron Man 3
It looks like I have to recant some of the things I said about this movie last week and even more things that I thought and said privately but didn’t think were fit for publication. Iron Man 3 is a better movie the second time around. It has a cleverness to it that caught me completely by surprise in the second viewing. I’m still not willing to call it a fantastic movie. The stuff...
Year 2 Week 19 Preview
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “There are no second acts in American lives” but this weekend I bet his heirs are hoping there are no second weekends in American blockbusters. I really hate that I just wrote that. Let’s just go. The Incumbent Last year, when The Avengers set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend it held surprisingly well for week two. I have to...
Year 2 Week 18: Iron Man 3
I’ve been kind of agonizing over what to say about Iron Man 3. It’s such a weird pastiche of different ideas that barely feels like a coherent movie. The rational adult in me didn’t much care for it at all. The kid in me was completely blown away. I walked out of the movie with a smile on my face because it’s a very good big action movie. The action beats are...
Year 2 Week 18 Preview
I think Iron Man 3 will make ten times more than the number two movie. i’ll see you all on Thursday.
Year 2 Week 17: Pain & Gain
Pain & Gain is, visually, a great movie. Like it or not Michael Bay has established a visual aesthetic that has become the dominant style for an entire generation of filmmakers. There’s a slick quality to the movie that really meshes well with the setting of mid-90s Miami and the self-help seminar-obsessed characters. Unfortunately all of this is on top of a terrible movie because...
Year 2 Week 17 Preview
Next week is the start of summer blockbuster season. This is the last week of picking up the pre-summer scraps. Oh boy! The Incumbent I want to believe Oblivion can repeat this weekend but it appears to have a couple big factors working against it. I haven’t heard fantastic word of mouth on it at least anecdotally but more importantly it shares a lot of audience with next week’s...
Year 2 Week 16: Oblivion
I went in to Oblivion really wanting to like it and I spent most of the movie doing just that. It is, for the most part, a genuinely compelling movie and a solid attempt at making a non-franchise science fiction movie. These are the kind of movies that should be encouraged even if the individual efforts have some odd flaws. Tom Cruise has to do almost all of the work here. His character is a...
Year 2 Week 16 Preview
I always feel silly doing the traditional previews when there’s only one movie opening. Let’s try not doing that. I saw a TV spot for Oblivion today that was actually advertising that it had the director of Tron: Legacy and that was certainly surprising. It’s not like Tron: Legacy did bad business or anything but it wasn’t exactly an acclaimed piece of cinema and I...
Year 2 Week 15: 42
It’s hard to not like 42. I like Jackie Robinson and this is a perfectly adequate telling of his story. My problem is there have been so many sports movies about racism and they all walk the same path that this one comes around and it’s impossible for it to feel fresh. The first thing I did after watching the movie was to look up Ben Chapman, the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies...
Year 2 Week 15 Preview
Yeah, I never really nailed down the whole time change thing. I’m coming home soon. In time for what should be a close week. Arvin’s pick is below. I disagree with him, I think Scary Movie 5 has been severely under-marketed and if people were so anxious for a horror parody then A Haunted House wouldn’t have bombed so hard earlier this year. I’ll take 42. Arvin’s...
Year 2 Week 14: Evil Dead
Andrew’s here again for Evil Dead. I’ll be back next week with quick thoughts on the two movies I missed and a review of a movie that hopefull isn’t Scary Movie 5. Despite being an ardent Stephen King fan, I’ve never been much for horror movies, especially of the (usually) mindless splatterhouse variety. I haven’t seen the original The Evil Dead (or its sequels) since I first...
Year 2 Week 14 Preview
I’m still out of the country and I really don’t have a good idea of what day or time this will be posting. There’s a couple ways this could go this week. G.I. Joe: Retaliation could easily repeat, it’s probably good for ~$20 million dollars this weekend and this is likely to be a soft weekend. The only thing standing in the way of a repeat is the fact that no one seems...
Year 2 Week 13: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
What’s that? How do time zones work? This should have gone up earlier and it was all ready I just did some subtraction wrong. Here’s Andrew on G.I. Joe: Retaliation followed by Arvin. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra holds the dubious distinction of being the first movie I ever rented from a Redbox and, for just a dollar, it was a pretty good deal. Aside from the cartoonish bodies...
Year 2 Week 13 Preview
I hate to do this again. I’m leaving in the morning for a two week trip to Japan and I have not had the time to type out a preview. Here’s Arvin’s pick and I completely agree with his selection. I will have a fill-in for the blog (the insanely funny Andrew Wollman) and, when I get back I will view both winners. Have fun everyone. Arvin’s Pick: My fiancee had been...
Year 2 Week 12: The Croods
I’m getting flashbacks to Hotel Transylvania. I liked this movie and I can’t figure out if that’s a result of genuine quality or rock-bottom expectations. The Croods is a dramatically better movie than Hotel Transylvania but that’s some of the faintest praise I could give a movie. It’s like complementing a restaurant for not making you shit yourself to death. The...
Year 2 Week 12 Preview
I’ve been watching basketball for almost 12 hours now. It’s hard to muster up the energy to pretend this will be a competitive weekend. Spring Breakers is being omitted here because it’s under my theater threshold. The Incumbent Probably the end of the road for Oz. The big release this week is another family film and one with a hell of a marketing campaign. It’s been a...
Year 2 Week 11: Oz the Great and Powerful
It’s really hard to review a movie that’s sort of in the middle of the road. It’s even harder to have to review that movie twice. All the things I had to say last week are still true, it’s still a fine movie that shows what can happen if you give a good director a real budget and a cast that’s like a seven out of ten. Here are some admittedly small potatoes...
Year 2 Week 11 Preview
Hey, I have like no time this week and Arvin kind of crushed it. Here’s his pick and I completely agree with him. He left out The Call but won’t we all? Arvin’s Pick: There’s an old-school quaintness to The Incredible Burt Wonderstone that I find charming, and frankly I’m shocked it’s taken this long to do an A-List broad comedy about magicians. I doubt...
Year 2 Week 10: Oz the Great and Powerful
Oz the Great and Powerful is an excellent movie. It’s a big studio film with a name director and, dammit, it’s movies like this that make us go to see big spectacle pictures to begin with. After seeing movies like last week’s Jack the Giant Slayer where the plethora of tragic missteps drown out the things that might have worked it’s so refreshing to see a movie that does...
Year 2 Week 10 Preview
Sorry for being so late this week Oz has probably already made enough money to be number one by now. The Incumbent Sorry Jack, you’re a flop. I would bet that Oz is going to suck a lot of your air out of the room and plunge you down to the low teens maybe even down to seven digits. Thems the breaks I guess. Opening this weekend Dead Man Down: I’m pretty sure I’ve never...
Year 2 Week 9: Jack the Giant Slayer
This was week 62 of this project and I would bet I’ve disliked most of the movies I’ve seen. Some more than others and a couple that I had immediate negative reactions to I eventually came around on. The third time I saw The Hobbit I seriously considered leaving but stayed because it was the final week of the first year and I wanted to make a point. I have never wanted to walk out...
Year 2 Week 9 Preview
A legit four-way heat this week! This is what makes this kind of thing fun. The Incumbent I’ve written off Identity Thief before and been wrong but I think it’s really finished as a top contender this time. There are too many new movies including another comedy. It’s been a remarkable run but all things must end. Opening this Weekend 21 and Over: They are pushing the...
Year 2 Week 8: Identity Thief
I had really hoped this movie wasn’t going to come back. Alas, it is the first big hit of the new year, the first movie of 2013 that will reach $100 million, and I will just have to learn to live with the notion that the American public loves this movie. It is kind of like the McGriddle of movies that way. Identity Thief plays a little better the second time. It’s easier to kind of...
Year 2 Week 8 Preview
This is a straightforward kind of week, star power versus a very strong genre. It’s on! The Incumbent A Good Day to Die Hard is done. The word of mouth is bad and it had a weak opening to start with. If this week’s newcomers falter I think it’s far more likely that Identity Thief comes out on top than the twitching remains of a once great franchise. I’m rooting for...
Year 2 Week 7: A Good Day to Die Hard
Die Hard is a great movie. Die Hards 2 and 3 are pretty good. Die Hard 4 is a decent way to kill a weekend afternoon watching USA Network. Die Hard 5 might live up to that last platitude but it doesn’t have a prayer at the first two. A frequent criticism of the last Die Hard film was that it turned John McClane from an everyman in to a far flung action hero and that, in that misstep the...
Holiday weekends are the worst
A combination of having to wait extra long for results and a very busy Wednesday have pushed this week’s review back to Thursday. My apologies.
Year 2 Week 7 Preview
Ever since The Vow last year I have been dreading another Valentine’s Day movie weekend. Perhaps all that dread was for nothing. The Incumbent Identity Thief did very well. It can probably hold audience because there isn’t anything else out in the comedy niche. That said with three new movies opening each with a substantial hook I can’t see it holding the top spot. Third...
Year 2 Week 6: Identity Thief
This year is young from a movie standpoint. I worry that anything I say about something being the most anything is not going to connect. I would like to remind you all that in six weeks I have seen a movie about a vengeful ghost following children home from the woods, a movie about hunting witches with rapid-fire crossbows, a movie where a man with a chainsaw completely overwhelms an entire...
Year 2 Week 6 Preview
The mid-winter doldrums are certainly coming to a middle. Let’s take a look. The Incumbent Warm Bodies has a chance at repeating but only if the two new movies are dead on arrival. It probably gets a little bit of pre-Valentine’s love as it tries to hold on to audience. There’s an alternate universe where Warm Bodies makes $13 million this weekend and is number one but that...
Year 2 Week 5: Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies is a movie in which a zombie delivers a jump kick to a gun-weilding survivor. I lead with that piece of information because it’s probably a deal breaker to a certain percentage of zombie purists out there. It’s also indicative of how Warm Bodies is as a film, it makes a lot of fatal mistakes and hopes you can keep looking past them to see the surprisingly decent love...
Year 2 Week 5 Preview
Hey guys, this week has been quite busy and I didn’t have nearly enough time to give you all the preview write-up you deserve. I also didn’t think of getting Arvin to do it until it was way too late. We’re both picking Warm Bodies but Arvin’s way more upset about it than I am. I, for one, welcome our rom-horror overlords. See you all on Tuesday
Year 2 Week 4: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
There is some solidly above average production design in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. The rest of the movie is terrible. I’m not even sure there’s the skeleton of a good movie in here, it’s just rotten to the very core. It starts with the incredibly indistinct setting. There’s no way to tell what year this is set in or even what century. The towns are medieval squalor and the most...
Year 2 Week 4 Preview
This is a pretty boring week disguised as an interesting one. Oh, Jason Statham, I miss seeing you in movies that aren’t The Expendables 2. The Incumbent Mama dramatically over-performed expectations last weekend and it’s tempting to think it might be a lasting phenomenon. Mama is probably not going to have a sustained run on top but it’s still the only recent release without...
Year 2 Week 3: Mama
Warning: There are more spoilers in this week’s piece than normal. Proceed with caution. I find it really hard to write about scary movies. They have the same burden as regular films in that they need to be entertaining and tell a good story and all that jazz but there’s also this requirement that they frighten you. I thought The Possession was a better movie because it creeped me...
Year 2 Week 3 Preview
Three wide openings this weekend plus another awards picture expanding massively. It’s a good old fashioned Hollywood-style smack down! The Incumbent I have no idea what to expect from Zero Dark Thirty in its second week of wide release. It’s clearly tapped in to something and it’s got a full head of steam in the hype department. On the other hand the hardcore probably saw...
Year 2 Week 2: Zero Dark Thirty
It’s strange seeing Good Movies after a year of basically not. I don’t mean like movies that are enjoyable there have been plenty of those but I mean capital G capital M Good Movies. The kind of movies that actually can make you think. There was Argo but that was 11 weeks ago and that was three Twilights and three Hobbits ago. All of the cells in my eyes that saw Argo have probably...
Year 2 Week 2 Preview
This week I will do my best to not immediately undercut my own amazing predictive skills. I won’t need to because this is a simple week. The Incumbent For a horror movie to repeat it either needs to be something really special or the competition has to be incapable of putting up a fight. Neither of these things are true this week so Texas Chainsaw is done for. More likely to put up...
Year 2 Week 1: Texas Chainsaw 3D
I’m thrilled to announce a new member of the Box Office Democracy team. My friend Arvin will be joining me as my sidekick. Sidekick was totally his term and is way more diminutive than I would have used. Kind of fits though as he has only pledged to see movies the first time and I predict that he’ll bail on more than a couple. Those weeks I’ll be dark brooding solo Batman and...
2012 Year in Review: Part 2
Holy crap, for 2013 I’m starting the year in review in August. I can’t begin to explain how much stuff has come up in the last week. Let’s finish it now and we can all get on with our lives. What Have I Learned? I think more than anything I’ve learned that I love having lines of bold text lead in to paragraphs of non-bolded text explaining the titular lines so...
2012 Year in Review: Part 1
The first step of working on a year in review was actually sitting down and making a list of the movies I saw in 2012. I was stunned to discover I had only watched 35 movies over 53 weeks. When I told people I was returning to this project for another year a frequent suggestion was to remove the repeat movie rule but I think the data bears out how important that part of this is. Sustained runs...
For the last year I thought there was something...
Turns out that’s not true. Here’s to 2013 with replies turned on!
I immediately regret picking Texas Chainsaw. It’s probably worth noting that I picked the first three weeks wrong last year too. Something about the new year makes me make bad choices.
Year 2 Week 1 Preview
Hey! Here we are at the start of year two. The year one wrap-up is still being finished and will probably be up (in two parts) in the next 24 hours but I want to get this all out there first. I picked weekly winners with a 73% accuracy and I really want to top that this year. Unfortunately we’re starting with a tough one. The Incumbent I don’t want to see The Hobbit again. I...
Week 53: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I am going to make a rather audacious statement for this week’s review. I want to give you all some time to prepare for it. I’m talking about a very specific set of circumstances and they’re very rare. I doubt this holds true for everyone. Ok, that’s enough of that. In the last eight weeks I have seen two movies three times. The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 and...
because this blog has not yet made me rich and famous I will be continuing the project for another year. I am amending the rules a little bit to help me keep my sanity a little better. I’m giving myself one movie a month, whatever I want, so I don’t miss quite so many things. I’ll try to use it judiciously. I will not have a chance to see The Hobbit today because NYE and...
Week 53 Preview
This is a rather odd week. By the time I had seen The Hobbit this week both of the new movies had already opened. I have more data than I usually have. I’m sure my blind love of Tarantino will still make me botch the pick. Let’s get to it. The Incumbent The Hobbit was a distant third on Christmas Day but it still has a huge advantage going in to the weekend in the form of a...
Week 52: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Last week I said that The Hobbit was very long but that it always has stuff going on and never gets boring. That does not hold up on a second viewing at all. I found myself frequently wishing they would just get on with the whole thing. There are far too many sweeping shots of static vistas with only minimal amounts of stuff going on. There are three such shots of the shire, a place that only...
Actual Week 52 Preview
Alright with the stress of picking a winner out of the way let’s take a look at the movies that are competing this weekend. The Incumbent The Hobbit is in a pretty good position this weekend. While it’s probably pretty safe bet to expect it to lose more than half its audience due to geek enthusiasm dying down and the prodigious run time you have a long way to go from $84 million to...
Week 52 Preview
I’m picking The Hobbit. I’ll have some more info tomorrow but today has been a bit of a runaround so I’m calling it a night.