10 for ’10 – Worst Predictions

23 12 2010

Catch up with the idea behind this series here.

We can’t be right all the time, unfortunately.  I’m among the guilty people on this planet who make stupid predictions every once in a while, and I made them often with conviction.  Now that the year is over, here’s a look back at some of my worst predictions in chronological order – and with 2011 up ahead, I’m laughing at these predictions.

January

“… if there is a breakout hit in [January], my bet is on [‘Leap Year’].”

What To Look Forward To in … January 2010

Well, this didn’t turn out so well.  In the first weekend of 2010, “Leap Year” opened to $9 million on its way to a total haul of only $25 million, ending up among the bottom half of January grossers.  On the bright side, it did manage to recoup its production budget!

“Could Kristen Bell become a breakout romantic comedy star with ‘When in Rome?’ … I have a feeling that this could surprise people and a new start could be born.”

What To Look Forward To in … January 2010

When in Rome” only grossed about $32 million in its whole run, or in Leyman’s terms, what “Avatar” grossed in its 7th weekend.  As for Kristen Bell, she still hasn’t hit it big; “You Again” grossed even less in September.

April

 

“I’m waiting for tomorrow – ‘Clash of the Titans,’ baby!”

Shameless Advertisement #11 – April 2010

Talk about a bust.  “Clash of the Titans” was a huge disappointment as I was really eagerly anticipating it.  As I wrote in my review, “My eyes might have seen in three dimensions, but my brain saw a movie that only had one.  Given how deeply rooted in mythology the story is, I had very high expectations for ‘Clash of the Titans.’  Unfortunately … it fails on all levels.”

May

“[Best Supporting Actor]  LOVES villians … It is also a category that likes to reward actors (usually veterans) who are overdue for a trophy … By these two characteristics, Rourke would appear to have a great shot.”

Oscar Moment: “Iron Man 2”

It’s funny because while I wasn’t a fan of “Iron Man 2,” I actually thought Rourke was the worst part of the movie, and there I was writing about his awards chances!  As I said in my review, “It’s hard to believe from watching ‘Iron Man 2’ that Mickey Rourke was being heralded as an Oscar nominee just 18 months ago.  When we aren’t waiting for him to say a word, his Whiplash seems to be nothing more than an unkind Russian stereotype.”  Clearly I liked “The Wrestler” too much …

“If ‘The Dark Knight’ was part of the reason that the Oscars moved to ten nominees, then they are still looking for that popcorn flick with enough brain to atone for their horrifying omission.  ‘Robin Hood‘ could be that movie.”

Oscar Moment: “Robin Hood”

Clearly I forgot about a little movie called “Inception” that was gearing up for release.

August

“Don’t be surprised if [‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’] is an out-of-nowhere smash hit.”

What To Look Forward To in … August 2010

Despite massive love from the bloggers, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” became a high-profile flop over the summer, earning just $10 million in fifth place its opening weekend on its way to just over $30 million cumulatively.  Ouch.

October

“I think the premise alone [of ‘The Social Network’] draws in $80 million in revenue, but the fact that it’s going to be really good will increase its total take to somewhere in the range of $120-150 million.  I’m hardly a box office analyst, I know, yet I feel pretty confident making this financial prediction.”

Oscar Moment: “The Social Network”

Perhaps I overestimated the box office potential of “The Social Network” earlier this year.  The Facebook movie drew in a respectable but not great $23 million in its opening weekend and displayed strong legs to power itself to $91 million (and still counting slowly).  So I was a little bit off on it setting the box office on fire.  But to my credit, I was dead-on about it being the Best Picture frontrunner all those months ago.

“I think [‘Hereafter’] could be a very powerful movie …”

What To Look Forward To in … October 2010

Hereafter” was a pretty big disappointment for me in 2010.  I wrote in my review, “In hyperlink cinema, one might say there exists a formula that the final product is equal to the sum of its parts.  However, Eastwood’s ‘Hereafter’ in total feels like less.”  Too bad, it could have been something good.

November

“To save the weekend, there’s Rachel McAdams in ‘Morning Glory!’  As if she’s not enough, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton are on board for this drama-comedy mix that doesn’t seem to favor any genre over the other.  What a great surprise awaits us!”

What To Look Forward To in … November 2010

Rachel McAdams may have won me over with her incredibly good looks, but she sure didn’t win me over with her 2010 movie selection.  “Morning Glory” was incredibly cliched and forgettable, and it was hardly a breath of fresh air in November like I had imagined it would be.  It was recycled air, like the gross kind on a plane.

December

“… ‘How Do You Know‘ is still unseen, but I’m getting good vibes.  Probably stupid to put it on my list [of predicted Best Picture nominees] instead of ‘Another Year,’ but I’m going gutsy.”

Oscar Moment: November Predictions

How do you know when a movie won’t get a Best Picture nomination?  When despite being directed by an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, it can’t even muster up a single Golden Globe nomination and movies like “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Tourist” can.  If my hunch back then somehow winds up being right, I think a whole lot of people will give up Oscar guessing as a hobby.





Random Factoid #345

8 07 2010

After following some links, I wound up on Movie Mistakes, a site that charts all the technical errors made in a movie.  They’ve been keeping track of 2010’s most mistake-filled releases, and in case you didn’t want to click the link, I’ll list the top 10.

  1. Iron Man 2
  2. Shutter Island
  3. The A-Team
  4. Kick-Ass
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  7. Hot Tub Time Machine
  8. Sex and the City 2
  9. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  10. Robin Hood

And “Iron Man 2” has a solid 11 mistake lead over “Shutter Island!”  Jon Favreau should give his production team a big slap on the back.

I know I’ve caught errors in movies before, but they aren’t something I actively seek.  If something is really glaringly obvious, I can probably catch it.  But I usually trust the filmmakers to catch that stuff before they send it out to audiences.

Have YOU ever caught an error in a movie?  Perhaps you’d enjoy looking at the list of the best mistakes of 2010.





LAMB Alert: Robert Downey Jr. “Acting School”

31 05 2010

On the first morning of summer, I got up and watched “Sherlock Holmes” just because I could.

Speaking of “Sherlock Holmes,” there’s going to be another cool event going on at the LAMB involving the movie’s star, Robert Downey, Jr.  He’s the reason I decided to give it a second view after my less than glowing first opinion.  The movie works largely because of him, and it was commercially viable also because of him.  He has perfected the smug and slightly standoffish character, and Americans can’t seem to get enough of it.  $275 million and counting for “Iron Man 2” speaks as a testament to it.

But Robert Downey, Jr. has made plenty of other contributions to acting other than this character, and his two Oscar nominations have come from playing something entirely different.  In 1993, he received his first nomination for “Chaplin,” a biopic where RDJ played the famed silent movie star.  Just two years ago, he received his second nomination for a very risky comedic role in “Tropic Thunder,” playing (as the movie puts it) “a dude playing the dude disguised as another dude.”  It’s risks like these that have made Robert Downey, Jr. a unique and lauded actor.

The LAMB is celebrating the man, the actor, and the roles.  It’s really worth checking out because there are reviews of all of his movies as well as spotlight pieces on Robert Downey, Jr. and his work.  I contributed the two reviews I have written of RDJ’s latest movies, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Iron Man 2.”  I wasn’t particularly complimentary of the actor in those two movies, but I really do admire him.  In “Iron Man,” he had a dry wit and strange charm while constantly projecting an image of authority.  He showed a very tender side in “The Soloist,” a very good movie that few people saw.  And while I loathed “Tropic Thunder,” I found his turn to be strangely satisfying.

So come join in the celebration; click the image below and you’ll be directed to the event.





First Poll Results Post!

28 05 2010

I’m trying out some restructuring of the site, particularly in the sidebar and in the categories column.  In respect to the former, I’m working on reordering the boxes.  I moved the subscription box to the bottom of the sidebar and the LAMB logo to the middle.  As always, feedback is appreciated.

But this post concerns itself with the latter of my concerns, the categories.  I’ve made the first big move already; I took the “Marshall and the Movies” category and removed it as a sub-category of “About Me.”  Now, I’m using the category as an umbrella for all the activity on the site that pertains to the blogosphere as a whole.

One sub-category of “Marshall and the Movies” is dedicated to polls.  I run them fairly often but don’t post the results (with the exception of the monthly most anticipated poll).  Since they are a fairly big part of gauging the opinion of my readers, I decided it was time for me to start sharing them more often.

So here goes nothing!  The first polls ran during the Oscar Moment about “Toy Story 3.”  Using the success of last year’s “Up” as a talking point, I posed two poll questions wondering if Pixar could carve a niche for themselves in the Best Picture race.  The results were fairly definitive.

The polls show that most people think “Toy Story 3” will be nominated for Best Picture, and most people think Pixar’s movies always deserve a Best Picture spot (although by a smaller margin).

Onto the next poll, which was on the Oscar Moment for “How to Train Your Dragon.”  After the unexpected box office and critical success, I wanted to see if people thought it had a chance at winning Pixar’s category.  The results gave little to work with.

As you can see, the same amount of people think that it can win Best Animated Picture as think that it can’t.

The next poll ran with the Oscar Moment on “Robin Hood.”  At the time the post ran, a Ridley Scott-Rusell Crowe combination and a Cannes opening seemed to bode well for its Oscar chances.  Clearly you all weren’t fooled by my writing and saw the writing on the wall.

And you all are 99.9% right, barring some sort of a miracle.

You fell for it in the next poll.  In the poll on the “Iron Man 2” Oscar Moment, I suggested that Mickey Rourke could be a contender for Best Supporting Actor.

And you are very, very wrong.  If Mickey Rourke is nominated for an Oscar for this role, the world will come to an end.

I’ll save the “Get Low” results for another post, but in the meantime, vote on the June poll!  2 votes are unacceptable, people!





REVIEW: Iron Man 2

10 05 2010

Iron Man 2” may not have all that much to offer us as a movie, but it provides significant fodder for conversation about what it means to cinema in general.  In my mind, it marks the first comic book movie of the post-“Dark Knight” era.  Filmmakers have seen what made Christopher Nolan’s film such a hit on multiple fronts, and they are trying to strike gold using the same tools: namely, character development and strong plot over explosions and action.  Jon Favreau and the other minds behind “Iron Man 2” had time to adapt their series in an attempt to replicate that success.

One thing this sequel gives us is confirmation of a theory that many have been advocating for almost two years: “The Dark Knight” really does mark a revolution in the way we watch movies and the way they are made.  As soon as we saw it, we knew that we would never watch comic book or action movies the same way.  We instantly scorned “Transformers 2” and other movies that only emphasized the visuals.  But now, similar movies are trying to shift the focus to plot.  That’s a really good thing for the average moviegoer because it means that studios are recognizing our intelligence!

But “Iron Man 2” also reminds us of an unfortunate reality: some revolutions are only revolutionary once.  Some are meant to repeated; the American Revolution, for example, inspired similar uprisings in France, Haiti, and all over Latin America.  “Iron Man 2” incorporates many elements used in “The Dark Knight,” hoping to continue the pattern of success.

But its inability to recreate what made Nolan’s film so incredible signals the dawning of an era in comic book movies not favorable to anyone.  From now on, there will be “The Dark Knight” and every other movie who wishes they were “The Dark Knight.”  These movies cannot simply try to concoct their own version as if there is some sort of a formula.  Nolan’s movie worked for so many reasons.  Now, filmmakers have to find their own way if they want to make a movie that doesn’t play like a cheap ripoff of “The Dark Knight.”  A key factor to the success of Nolan’s film was originality.  Any movie that tries to use that originality will end up creating banality.

Read the rest of this entry »





Random Factoid #285

9 05 2010

“Iron Man 2” missed the opening weekend record that “The Dark Knight” set by $25 million.  Phew.  Batman will “live to fight another day,” as Harvey Dent says.

But AMC MovieWatcher Network’s blog Script to Screen pointed something out about the summer opener that I really wished I knew on Friday: there was an extra scene after the credits!  And I even told the friend I went to that I suspected there might be a supplemental scene.  He hurried me out, telling me his friends had seen it at midnight and said there wasn’t anything.  But there was!

I’m the kind of person that gets up as soon as the credits roll unless there is some sort of scene going.  Unless I had heard that there would be an extra scene at the end of the credits, I would never stay through the credits.  It’s just too much time to spend if you don’t know.  And credits are getting pretty long nowadays – “The Lovely Bones” and its 15 minute credits, anyone?

Anyone out there willing to stick it out without certainty?  I applaud you if you do.





Random Factoid #284

8 05 2010

Entertainment Weekly’s blog PopWatch asked an interesting question regarding trailers this week: how many is too many? Apparently, studios are paying to play more before the bigger movies.  I can tell you that six of them played before “Iron Man 2” last night.

I don’t mind a few trailers before a movie.  They give me an opportunity to go to the bathroom before the movie starts.  They give me a nice grace period to be tardy to the movie, although I don’t like to be.

But sometimes, they do go a little overboard.  Like the author of the EW post, I think four is a healthy number.  It still grants that grace period and gives you a glimpse at what’s coming up but doesn’t encroach too far past the scheduled start time.