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.

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REVIEW: When In Rome

29 08 2010

I was preparing for the worst when I popped “When In Rome” into my DVD player.  It’s a romantic comedy, so that means a marriage to formula and the same old gimmicks for an easy laugh.  But the thing about low standards is that it becomes a whole lot easier for a movie to really surprise you.  Such was the case here.

Shockingly enough, it’s not half bad.  I’m sure you are shaking your heads, saying it’s not possible for a romantic comedy that looked pretty uninspired from the previews to actually be any good.  And I’m not saying that this a new classic for the genre or that it has successfully introduced a new formula into the romantic comedy lexicon.  It’s nothing highly original or innovative.  All I’m saying is that something about “When In Rome” … works.

At the start of the movie, I was preparing to hate Kristen Bell’s character Beth after she can’t stop rambling to herself about a bad experience in an Applebee’s.  It’s even worse because she’s a high-brow art curator and Guggenheim obsessive, something regular Applebee’s customers usually aren’t too fond of.  Yet at her sister’s wedding in Italy, she gets a little too much champagne in her and makes an impulsive decision, yanking coins out of a fountain of love.

All of a sudden, that paradoxical facade is wiped away, and Beth is someone we can actually like as she is thrown into a crazy situation.  She had never been the kind to actively seek love, but by taking the coins, the men who threw them come looking to her for love.  Four men are over-the-moon smitten for her: a sausage mogul (Abe Froman, anyone?) played by Danny DeVito, an Italian painter played by Will Arnett, a model in love with himself as much as Beth played by Dax Shepard, and a loopy magician played by Jon Heder.

And then there’s a wild card thrown into the mix: the best man at her sister’s wedding, Josh Duhamel’s charming Nick, seems to be quite interested in Beth after they had a connection at the reception.  Her concern at first is that these four men will ruin her chance with Nick, but she soon realizes that he could just easily be one of her head-over-heels lovers.  It’s a bit of a romantic mystery, enough to keep a little bit of suspense throughout the fun and funny “When In Rome.”  B /