Clooney vs. Trejo

Even if Anton Corbijn’s The American was a straight-ahead popcorn thriller, Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez‘s Machete would kick its box-office ass regardless. I don’t know what The American will be specifically, but it seems to be a truffles and foie gras and elite bullets type of film whereas Machete is strictly a Taco Bell meal with boobs, blood sauce, bikinis and severed limbs, and a side order of pro-Mexican immigrant, anti-racist-cracker politics to keep it spicy.

It’s not a slur to say that Machete is aimed at a typical twelve-year-old mentality. For me, the political satire and anti-yahoo stance makes it Rodriguez’s most agreeable film since El Mariachi (’94). But it’s a very primitive and extremely bloody thing, and pretty much an out-and-out gore comedy (although what Rodriguez film hasn’t had some comedic winking going on?), and there are some moderately funny bits here and there. Given a choice, dollars to donuts an American movie audience will always take a chance on primitive and coarse before rarified and austere.

Honestly? If given an either-or choice even I would probably pay to see Machete first. The reason, I’d be ashamed to admit (if I hadn’t already seen Machete), has to do with the Lindsay Lohan revealings.

Kurt Schlichter‘s American screenplay review suggests it may be Machete‘s match in terms of female nudity, although that has yet to be determined.

I’m saying this without having seen any tracking for this weekend (although I’ve heard second-hand that Machete is tracking fairly well among younger males. The two extra days of commercial playing time for The American won’t make that much of a difference, I’m guessing.

66 thoughts on “Clooney vs. Trejo

  1. Jeff, I think you might be pleasantly surprised come Monday morning (er, Saturday morning…)

    Yes, “The American” is feeling more and more like a cool, minimalist Euro endeavor that’ll end up with a Cinemascore C and disappear within two weeks…

    But what DATE COUPLES are gonna go see “Machete”? “The American” might get that nice, humble 15 mil or so type opening that smart adult fare does, especially with the promise of at least SOME hit-man action gunplay-Bourne type stuff; It’s not gonna be big, but it could do Informant!/Duplicity-type numbers.

    “Machete,” I just get this vibe that literally NO woman EVER would sit through this thing… I am Captain Horndog around here, and this thing is right in my wheelhouse, not to mention we all know my enthusiasm for Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, guns and stupidity, and even *I* am vaguely grossed out at the prospect of 105 minutes of scantily-clad hot chicks fawning all over a sweaty senior citizen with all the “movie star” appeal of Vic Tayback.

    Plus if this year has taught us anything, it’s that goofy “geek” action plays to a REALLY limited sphere… Think some middle-class couple in Ohio knows who the fuck DANNY TREJO is???? Shit, I work in LA postproduction, and some dude last week asked me in earnestness, “Who’s Danny Trejo again? What have I seen him in?” To say nothing of the fact that Rodriguez has made this SAME. FUCKING. MOVIE. at least six times by now. It’ll do huge in L.A. and other heavily Latino markets, and do the Poland-trademark “geek 8 mil,” but it’s that jokey, cameo-heavy meta pop-culture kaleidoscope vibe that I don’t think anyone else really considers a satisfying night at the movies outside of the niche that “gets” it.

  2. I’m worried that Lex is right.

    It’s been a good run for a few years, pretty-much post-Kill Bill, of film geeks actually getting good/great stuff in their “vein” in theaters and on DVD because enough of “Douche America” could be trailer-led into seeing them, too. I LOVE, for example, that “Fight Club’s” eventual success comes at least partially from legions of Tapout goons who don’t realize they’re being made fun of. And I’m very, very happy that Joe Sixpack’s surprisingly-boundless affection for Robert Downey Jr witty-banter has very nearly (2 years to go!) netted me the “Avengers” movie I’ve been dreaming of since I could form conscious thought.

    But Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim still have me worried that there’s a real, genuine, “stop blowing my mind!” revolt against the whole nerd-appeal-action “thing.” I’d hate to go back to the days when “The Expendables” were the norm, when there’s still so much yet to be done…

  3. I never get these arguments. Unless you’re pretty broke (and that’s a lot of people, I realize) what’s wrong with seeing both movies? I definitely will. Why do we have to pick a side when it’s, say, The Expendables vs. Eat Pray Love if you wanna see both? Just see both. Machete and The American look like two films with almost nothing in common. I forsee a fun double feature.

  4. Machete will do fine. I think where the genre/geek films go wrong is when Joe Popcorn has no idea what the hell they are about or supposed to “be.” Like Scott Pilgrim, or Kick-Ass–or Grindhouse. Anything where either the tone or plot are unclear from the commercials. They go into the movie theater defensive, with the attitude of “don’t fuck up my night.”

    And THAT is the story of why I saw New in Town in the movie theater. And it DID ruin my night!

  5. The lack of buzz for The American is very strange. It’s like the mainstream media has given up on him being a movie star now, and has relegated the film to the art-house ghetto. I feel I saw more promotion for the offbeat quirky indie drama The Kids Are All Right than a Clooney-starring hitman thriller. Very odd.

  6. Lex, the GF wants to see it– she was a fan of the *idea*, back when she saw Grindhouse, I’m sure she’d get a kick out of the actual movie. So, that’s at least one woman who would sit through it on a date.

    Alas, for me, it screams rental/cable.

    As far as getting excited over Lindsay Lohan… ummm, no. Right after Mean Girls, yeah, I’d be thrilled at the prospect, like all red-blooded Americans. Sadly, she fell apart faster than a Twinkie in a blender. Now, the thought of seeing her naked is, well, a little upsetting to the stomach.

  7. No, but if you assume that anyone in this country that appears to be of Mexican heritage is here illegally, then yeah, you might just be a “racist cracker”.

    I don’t see that many movies in the theater these days, but “Machete” looks like it could be a fun one to see with a group. I’m a fan of Clooney as an actor, but a much bigger fan of his taste in films that he chooses to be in. And yet, the early descriptions I’ve read about “The American” don’t have me eager to see it.

  8. Gabe: To be fair, you’re a young, NYC-based movie blogger. For most normal people, especially families, seeing a movie at the theater is a sizable expense of time and money.

  9. I saw plenty of trailers for The American Eloi. And I agree with Lex that it will be the film this weekend that will attract the late middle aged moviegoers who haven’t had anything to see all Summer.

  10. “Machete” has been on my radar for a while due to the over-the-toptitude of the early trailers (including the one in “Grindhouse”). But a few weeks back I saw another trailer that tried to make it look “legitimate”, which sucked all the fun out of the proceedings and made it look, dare I say, boring. Don’t care, I’m going anyway.

  11. MovieBob;

    You’ve registered that worry a few times in the last week, so I have to ask: Aren’t you just a little sick of “ironic” action that has to be some COMMENTARY on the genre?

    Irony is pretty close to the worst thing on earth, but more power to you if you think this meta deconstruction of action movie tropes is somehow worthwhile, but I’d sort of prefer if people made, you know, an actual movie, instead of all this smart-ass masturbation that appeals to an extremely small club of “too cool for school” smart-asses.

    Look, I love dumb excess and bad-ass character actors as much as the next guy, but I’ll take The Expendables any day of the week over one more stroke-off wink-fest where QT and RR join forces to cast Mark Boone Junior as some eyepatched assassin banging Marley Shelton and Paris Hilton while riding his flame-hued chopper across the American Southwest to get in a Ninja battle with Ken Wahl. They’ve both done it a half-dozen times now, and even Tarantino occasionally gets that it helps to mix it up with a real movie with real issues and characters from time to time instead of Rodriguez’s ceaseless “WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF?” shtick.

    Goes double for Edgar Wright DECONSTRUCTING his favorite kitsch genres. How about making a movie ABOUT something? Or at least something straight ahead. I guess we fundamentally disagree, because I don’t go to movies to titter and tee-hee about cliches to make myself feel smarter– if something as lightweight and sloppy as Scott Pilgrim really achieves any of that. We’ve had WINKING irony in movies for a lot longer than you’re claiming– it’s been at least fifteen years, just this latest streak of wholesale masturbation IS making people nostalgic for straight-ahead B-movies where a regular audience doesn’t have to feel like they need a GOONIES SUPERCLUB decoder ring to “get” all the “funny references.”

  12. Not what this topic is about, but Lohan is sexier than ever. She’s not demure at all, but on the flip side, the next sexiest thing to innocent modesty… is damaged and slightly wounded. YEP.

  13. Amen, Lex. Saw The Expendables this weekend and didn’t realize until then how much movies had changed. And I wasn’t that big a fan of 80s action excess back when it was happening.

    There was some CGI here and there, but it was refreshing to see how many practical effects there were. It was nice to see Jet Li fighting without dancing around on wires, or a just truck blow up, without launching 40 feet into the air.

  14. Lex,

    I’d rather not choose :)

    Irony for irony’s sake is awful, agreed – but QT and even RR generally DO have something else going on underneath in their better efforts. Machete is a gag in premise and execution, but if it actually does go “whole hog” on the “immigrants vs. racist assholes” thing then, yeah, even with the irony it’s “about something.”

    And I’ll take it over Expendables (or Transformers, for that matter) which have no self-awareness AND aren’t “about” anything, either.

  15. “They’ve both done it a half-dozen times now, and even Tarantino occasionally gets that it helps to mix it up with a real movie with real issues and characters from time to time instead of Rodriguez’s ceaseless “WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF?” shtick.”

    Yeah. I get the impression that QT is genuinely well-read and well-versed in cinema, literature and music across a variety of genres and eras. Basterds was like a European Cinema 101 course at times, such was the depth of references throughout. Certainly QT is drawn to the pulpy stuff too, but RR seems to only know the B-movie schlock and nothing else. So while QT follows up the minor homage Death Proof with a masterpiece like Basterds, RR is going back to the Grindhouse film to mine it for material. Then he’s going to do another Spy Kids.

  16. I’m very much looking forward to both of these completely different movies — mainly, The American, because Clooney has the absolute best taste in projects and he seems to be single-handedly keeping the 70s adult film vibe alive in these days of Vampires Suck and super hero junk.

    As for Machete: what actionman said.

  17. What worries me here for THE AMERICAN is that Labor Day weekend is a dumping ground for adult films. Adults don’t go to movies, over Labor Day weekend — they’re enjoying their last weekend of Summer vacation.

    Teens will show up for MACHETE like they did for JEEPERS CREEPERS.

    Sorry to say, but Clooney will lose the weekend — even though THE AMERICAN is opening on Wednesday.

  18. Can’t think of a movie that veers more over(under?) sexed geek than “Piranha 3-D,” and we all saw how that turned out. But if anything, Rodriguez is ever so slightly more ironically OTT macho, so maybe the mix of yucks and yuck will work on a broader scale.

  19. Interesting to note Wells’ sublimated racism: He refers to ‘Mexican Immigrants’. Nice and respectful. But anybody opposed to them is a racist ‘cracker’.

    Would you use “wetback” in a description of illegal immigrants? Political Correctness is inherently racist.

    By the way, I’m a legal European immigrant myself.

    Don’t you ever get a tad sick of yourself?

  20. Lindsay Lohan is Lady Godiva naked in this film. Her blonde hair covering her boobs, I mean. Half-naked, I should say. In one third-act scene. She’s seemingly waist-up naked in another scene (i.e., a menage a make-out scene with Trejo and another girl in a large pool with a waterfall), except she’s not — there’s a topless body double standing in for her. Did she say “I’m not making out naked with Danny Trejo?” or “I’ll look too cheap doing a scene like this?” One reason or another, they used a body double.

  21. Teens will show up for MACHETE like they did for JEEPERS CREEPERS.

    Someone should hand out a DZ award to Arnold Stang for the “Most Random WTF Analogy in an HE Thread.”

  22. Listen, if Piranha 3D couldn’t pull in audiences, what makes anyone think that Machete will move the needle in any way? The Weinsteins literally have no idea what audiences want to see anymore, if we judge the result of Piranha and the upcoming Machete bloodbath.

  23. Extreme gore, a la Machete (and Piranha) always limits the audience, maybe even more than shapeless marketing, a la The American.

    However, the titles alone will push Machete to victory…who wants to see a movie called “The American”? Dull.

  24. Aren’t these both kinda similar in that they involve images of the “ugly American,” whether it’s pitchfork wielding yokels in AZ vs. the “you Americans don’t know how to live life crap.” Plus what happened to the race war Machete was supposed to ignite? Color me disappointed.

  25. The vacuum this conversation takes place inside, is getting smaller.

    1 Toy Story 3 $405,659,221

    2 Alice in Wonderland $334,191,110

    3 Iron Man 2 $312,128,345

    4 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $298,027,752

    5 Inception $270,519,920

    6 Shrek Forever After $238,053,790

    7 Despicable Me $236,276,085

    8 How to Train Your Dragon $217,581,231

    9 The Karate Kid $175,908,763

    10 Clash of the Titans $163,214,888

    Meanwhile, the various films that various nerds and bloggers jizzed over, aren’t faring much better, with “Scott Pilgrim” standing as the most recent casualty. One of the few exceptions, currently….

    The Kids Are All Right $19,149,701

    With an estimated budget of $10 million, this film is, thankfully, a hit (from only 994 theaters no less). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the the domestic BO will reach $20 million. Why? This film had the best chance to be the Little Miss Sunshine of 2010, a film with an estimated budget of $8 million that went on to gross $59ish million in 2006.

    Meanwhile, the critical darling of four months ago…

    Cyrus $7,353,115

    With an estimated budget of $7 million (which doesn’t include all the PR and such), this film tanked. BIG time.

    Then again, on the mild flip side….

    Winter’s Bone $5,426,064

    With a budget of $2 million and only 141 screens….impressive. Damn impressive. However, what are the odds that this will, ultimately, be the peak in Debra Granik’s career? It shouldn’t be, not by a long shot but will it?

    Meanwhile….

    Get Low $3,633,451

    With an estimated budget of $7.5 (and stuck in only 570 theaters), this critical hit is a bomb.

    While the marketing sucks I’m thankful a film like The American, with the support of a guy like Clooney, can still get financed. Let’s hope this trend doesn’t peter out anytime soon.

  26. I’m sick of ironic action movies. I’m sick of self-referential geekdom-movies. After a point, it’s easier to nudge-nudge-wink-wink at the audience than it is to play it straight and make it work.

    There’s an entire generation of genre filmmakers that’s in danger of spending their entire careers paying homage to each other while being all cutesy-self-referential about how clever they’re being. Whereas while, say, John Carpenter loved Howard Hawks (and certainly tipped his hat to him on more than a few occasions), he spent the bulk of his effort actually making a movie that worked.

  27. @Barnes78 – you might be in that vacuum yourself. GET LOW and THE AMERICAN are exactly the type that quietly (per studio design) end up making most of their ducats in post-theatrical revenue. Especially DVD, where that relatively high profile that says “bomb” to you turns into “gotta rent/buy it” for home video. Money that doesn’t have to be shared with either theater owners or pesky non-profit participation actors.

    Which is ironically where I’ll end up seeing MACHETE. Clooney in a film like this is about as close as I need for a guarantee that a trip to the Landmark with dinner beforehand won’t be a mistake for me and the SO. Rodriquez has turned out too many “should have waited for DVD” films at this point.

    And LexG spends too much time in the metro LA bubble – head out to Riverside, buddy, and you’ll find plenty of women 15 – 55 who love testosterone heavy shit like MACHETE. While Westside & Burbank ladies might want to get laid by Clooney in some Lake Cuomo villa, there are stadiums full of San Berdoo & Corona chicks who want to get fucked convict-style by a rough Trejo type over the desk in the back office of the local biker hangout.

  28. @Deathtongue, last I checked/heard/read, the DVD market is basically on life support. On top of that, you only mentioned one of the four films I highlighted. I didn’t really single out The American other than to say I hope movies of that nature continue, especially with actors of Clooney’s caliber.

    My presentation was rooted in numbers and facts while your rebuttal was rooted in financial speculation. I’m not saying you’re wrong, per se, but for crying out loud, if you wanna prove your dick’s bigger, show the numbers to back it up. Provide examples from the last 2-3 years that were on the same track as Get Low or The American. I’m fine with being wrong, God knows it wouldn’t be the first time.

    Unless you’re projections are utilizing the 5-7 year model, I’m not sure how Get Low will even make a profit once it’s out of theaters. And who said Murray or Duval (Get Low) or Clooney (The American) aren’t involved, in some way, with profit participation? Do you have the budgets and contracts to back up that claim? I know a lot of indie directors that (still) use actors of far lesser skill and popularity as Clooney with “act now, pay later” deals.

  29. “Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez’s Machete would kick its box-office ass regardless.”

    I dunno. While I generally think, demo-wise, that should be the case, Machete seems to have the opposite problem of Expendables, as most of the principles involved are only recently washed-up, and don’t have much nostalgia value, either. Plus, yeah, if the short wasn’t enough to sell Grindhouse, then I’m not sure how well a full-length version of it would do, either. In addition, Taken and Gran Torino did well for themselves in spite of also being one-star shows. So I think they’re betting too low against The American. But I’ll probably catch both, either way.

    It’s also weird that, like Cameron, RR is setting up shop with a faceless corporation which promotes the opposite of his political views. Oh, and El Mariachi came out in ’92.

    “Given a choice, dollars to donuts an American movie audience will always take a chance on primitive and coarse before rarified and austere. ”

    Didn’t seem to be the case with Kick-Ass and Piranha 3D.

    “The reason, I’d be ashamed to admit (if I hadn’t already seen Machete), has to do with the Lindsay Lohan revealings.”

    If people wanted to see Lohan softcore, then “I Know Who Killed Me” would’ve been this decade’s Basic Instinct at the box office. She’s got the polar opposite problem of Michael Cera. She’s got the looks, but she can’t get her shit together. Maybe they should hook up. But then if I were Cera, I’d be worried about where she’s been.

    And judging by the scene you described, it sounds like a Sleeping Dictionary-type cock-block.

    Lex: Women might wanna see the film if Rodriguez does anything in it. I kind of think that’s part of why they were able to save the Fast and Furious franchise last year.

    “and even *I* am vaguely grossed out at the prospect of 105 minutes of scantily-clad hot chicks fawning all over a sweaty senior citizen with all the “movie star” appeal of Vic Tayback.”

    Shouldn’t that give you hope? Nah, that went too far. Sorry.

    “We’ve had WINKING irony in movies for a lot longer than you’re claiming– it’s been at least fifteen years, just this latest streak of wholesale masturbation IS making people nostalgic for straight-ahead B-movies where a regular audience doesn’t have to feel like they need a GOONIES SUPERCLUB decoder ring to “get” all the “funny references.”

    Pretty much. When chicks would rather see Expendables than SP, you know this shit is getting tired.

    Bob: “I’d hate to go back to the days when “The Expendables” were the norm, ”

    Uh, I’m not fond of The Expendables, but I sure as fuck don’t see why I’d miss Scott Pilgrim over, say, more films like Die Hard 3 and A Better Tomorrow 2. Even Wright admits liking that shit. I’m getting tired of hipster douchebags quoting lines from other movies and doing stupid fucking poses and “so close you can’t see shit” action scenes. Won’t miss that one bit. And ironically, I think Fight Club contributed to that trend, ‘cus they suggested that you could anyone as geeky-looking as Edward Norton to kick ass.

    “but QT and even RR generally DO have something else going on underneath in their better efforts. ”

    Yeah, just stupid “look at how much shit I know about the genre” commentaries.

    actionman: Probably naked from behind or covered in a silhouette or some shit like McGowan in Planet Terror.

    Rich: The only time Jet uses wires is for his fantasy stuff. Everything else is all him.

    Eloi: ” I get the impression that QT is genuinely well-read and well-versed in cinema, literature and music across a variety of genres and eras. ”

    Not really. He’s just a high school drop-out who copies and pastes to compensate for his lack of class.

    arnold: I think teens would rather go for another round of Takers and/or The Last Exorcism than Machete. They don’t have to worry about the R-rating, for one thing. And they actually know some of the actors in Takers. Plus, yeah, once, again, Piranha 3D. That should have scored.

    Wrecktem: Weinco isn’t handling Machete this time.

    Abbey: Only if it’s gore used to comic effect. Hostel and Saw-type movies seem to at least be guaranteed not to go broke.

    Barnes: I already said why Kids “disappointed”. The actresses were not hot, and no one knows who the fuck Mark Ruffalo is.

    As for Cyrus, that’s actually not a bad take, considering it’s got two ugly fat guys as leads. I was expecting it to do a lot worse, ‘cus those ads were clearly not flattering to Reilly.

    And Get Low would’ve worked better as a fall film.

  30. Barnes, to continue with your Little Miss Sunshine/2006 analogy, even A Prairie Home Companion had a $25 million haul, though it did have a built in audience. But there was also The Illusionist, that grossed nearly $88 million on a $17 million budget.

  31. “If people wanted to see Lohan softcore, then “I Know Who Killed Me” would’ve been this decade’s Basic Instinct at the box office.”

    Non-rhetorical question: What was the last movie to be a hit in which soft-core sex was one of the main appeals? The most recent one I can think of is Unfaithful. Today, we get Fatal Attraction thrillers like Obsessed rated PG-13.

  32. @Kakihara,

    I’ll agree with “Kids” doesn’t have any ‘hot’ actresses in the lead and Mark Ruffalo should suck it up and enjoy the box office coattails of “Shutter Island”. However, the same could be said (minus the Ruffalo) of “Little Miss Sunshine”, which didn’t exactly have the frames busting with beautiful babes. I felt like the marketing for “Kids” (all of the one sheets, trailers, tv spots) did all it could to try and capture the laid back, summer time, hip, somewhat whimsical feel that “Sunshine” utilized. Clearly, it didn’t pay off. Then again, Hollywood loves to pat itself on the back for embracing such a film so for everyone in that bubble, the film is more than a hit.

    @Reverent,

    “Companions” built in audience was a huge plus, Altman should have thought of that angle sooner (RIP). As far as “The Illusionist” goes, the $88 million you reference is a result of the worldwide box office pull. The examples I listed were just rooted in the domestic market. That film *should* be considered one of the bigger successes of Norton’s career but I still think it gets lost in the shuffle of his resume. Domestically, the film made less than $40 million so for it to pull twice as much overseas says a lot about his marketability with good material. It also didn’t help that “The Prestige” was the flashier, in-your-face magician film of that year.

  33. reverent: “What was the last movie to be a hit in which soft-core sex was one of the main appeals? ”

    Does Obsessed count? Assuming it has sex, of course. Chloe came close, though. [No pun intended.]

    Barnes: Yeah, but Sunshine sold itself as a family/heartland movie, while the gay couple in Kids seems a tad dysfunctional, even though both films have gay characters.

  34. Chloe didn’t even make the equivalent of its $11 million budget worldwide.

    I suppose Obsessed could count, since it pitched itself as a sex thriller, but with the PG-13 rating, anyone who bothered to look would know they weren’t going to see Ali Larter nude.

    On the other hand, an R rated skin/slasher flick like Sorority Row flopped.

  35. “Sunshine” was sold as a family/heartland movie? You lost me on that one too. The marketing certainly played up the road trip/heartland aspect, but the dysfunction of the family was front and center in ALL of the ads. That’s how you knew it was a comedy.

    If anything, the problem the film had was that it was made in LA for an LA crowd. It wasn’t given the chance to expand, even if that consisted of test screenings in other markets. Ultimately it comes down to bad marketing and a poor distribution strategy.

  36. Plus if this year has taught us anything, it’s that goofy “geek” action plays to a REALLY limited sphere… Think some middle-class couple in Ohio knows who the fuck DANNY TREJO is???? Shit, I work in LA postproduction, and some dude last week asked me in earnestness, “Who’s Danny Trejo again? What have I seen him in?”

    Hey, I just found out he’s voicing a character in Fallout: New Vegas — right alongside William Sadler (and Ron Perlman and Felicia Day). Frankly, right in the last 36 hours, I could give a shit what some middle-class Ohio couple thinks.

  37. “Someone should hand out a DZ award to Arnold Stang for the ‘Most Random WTF Analogy in an HE Thread.’ ”

    Yeah, the comment of his that stopped me dead in my tracks was the statement that adults don’t go to movies on Labor Day weekend because they’re too busy enjoying the last weekend of summer vacation.

    At least three problems with that statement:

    1) Adults are the ones who have a summer vacation (as opposed to kids)?

    2) The use of the phrase “last weekend” seems to imply that this vacation entails many, many weekends off work. What jobs do these people have?

    3) “Busy enjoying a holiday weekend” and “enjoying a film at a theater” are mutually exclusive activities?

    Baffling.

  38. Crazy Nine – the JEEPERS CREEPERS connection is that JC opened over Labor Day weekend and actually did excellent box office.

    Not so when majors open adult themed films over the same weekend. It’s a dump.

  39. Barnes: “but the dysfunction of the family was front and center in ALL of the ads.”

    It was more like a “we’re united, no matter what” kind of dysfunction, rather than the “open wounds” dysfunction in ‘Kids. Hence the family label.

    “If anything, the problem the film had was that it was made in LA for an LA crowd.”

    More like the Napa Valley crowd. Don’t think it would’ve mattered anyway, though, as it just didn’t make for compelling material, anyway. Might’ve done better as a Lifetime movie.

  40. >Goes double for Edgar Wright DECONSTRUCTING his favorite kitsch genres. How about making a movie ABOUT something?

    Is the Expendables about anything?

    Comes to that, I’ll take Machete because RR has real filmmaking chops, misspend them though he may. In the absence of anything else, cinema craft carries the day.

    That said, I’m not in any particular hurry to see either movie.

  41. CKane,(apologies for giving you a DJ name) I am continually amazed at how many adults in corporate jobs actually do get “summer hours,” where Friday is a half-day, or they get one floating Friday a month off.

    That said, I think it has virtually no impact on box office numbers.

    The economy is gonna have far more impact than it being the “last weekend of the summer.” Tickets are expensive enough before you kick in for a babysitter.

  42. It was nice to see Jet Li fighting without dancing around on wires

    at least for the ~30 seconds when the editing and blocking made it possible to determine it was actually Jet Li fighting and not a stunt double or Donnie Yen or possibly an elaborate full-size marionette — flick had some well-mounted action but the hand-to-hand stuff was awful

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