People Like Us

The trailer for Alex Kurtzman‘s People Like Us (DreamWorks, 6.29) suggests a James L. Brooks-like relationship drama about romance, values, happenstance. But what sticks is the sound of Elizabeth Banks‘ nasally voice in the intro. In the mid ’40s Howard Hawks told the struggling Lauren Bacall to lower her voice — to make it sound smokier and huskier. She did that and the rest is history. Banks needs similar guidance. Or she needs to de-nasalize, at least.

  • Jesse Crall

    Banks is pushing 40 so I don’t think substantial vocal alterations are in her plans. Overall this looks pretty good provided the schmaltz doesn’t go too overboard. Plus Pfeiffer’s starting to get back into bigger things, which is nice to see.

  • Abbey Normal

    Actually, what sticks is that TERRIBLE sensitive douche rock that plays over the last 30 seconds or so…not a lot of JL Brooks in that, I’d say.

  • JLC

    Bacall was 20 and an unknown when she made The Big Sleep with Hawks. Banks is a touch older and better known. Might be a tad late.

  • Mr. F.

    PEOPLE LIKE US… have not been cast in this movie.

    On a related note: can we please, please, oh-my-God-I’m-begging-you-PLEASE stop with the talking head intros of cast members introducing the “exclusive” Internet presentation of trailers?

  • JBM…

    Kurtzman & Orci’s this-one’s-from-the-heart make-good for the heaps of festering shit they’ve flung at and on the moviegoing world…

    …but if Michael Bay called them tomorrow with a $10m offer to rewrite the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as aliens from outer space, would they say no?

  • Mark

    Two most noticeable things. Philip Baker Hall has been 71 years old for 17 years. And Michelle Phifer has surgically become Julianne Moore. I thought Moore was a little young to play Pine’s mom, before realizing that it wasn’t even her.

    I love all brother/sister movies, btw, You Can Count on Me, Jack and Jill, etc.

  • raygo

    Those are some really really pretty people in that trailer.

  • Ray

    “Philip Baker Hall has been 71 years old for 17 years.”

    Somewhere in his attic there’s a painting that keeps getting younger.

  • MilkMan

    They really are people just like us. I’m not kidding. I think if you got to know all of them you would say to yourself, at some point, “You know, those people, those beautiful, rich, and famous people, well, they’re people like us.” Because it’s true. They breathe the same air we do and drive on the same roads we do and shop at the same supermarkets we do and send their children to the same schools we do and eat at the same restaurants we do and vacation at the same resorts we do and shop at the same clothing stores we do and make appointments at the same doctors and lawyers we do and get their hair cut at the same stylists we do and go to the same plastic surgeons we do. They do all of the same things we do. You just don’t want to see it. But I promise, after this movie comes out, and after our hearts have been touched and our funny bones tickled, and after you have been reminded, as only Kurtzman and Orci can, that we’re all fucking human beings, you will realize that Elzabeth Banks and Chris Pine and Michelle Pfeiffer are People Like Us. Thank God we still have Hollywood to remind us who we are and what we stand for.

  • Kakihara

    OK, I’ll get it out of the way now. I underestimated the appeal of Hunger Royale. But as long as Titanic still bombs next weekend, it’s all good.

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  • Abbey Normal

    Milkman @9: I very rarely laugh out loud on this site…mostly it’s just low-grade chuckles and occasional rueful grins. But that comment inspired an unrestrained guffaw. Thank you.

  • Fortunesfool

    This may help answer the question no one’s asked: Whose the worst writer – Kurtzman or Orci?

  • Wiggumx

    Odd… I’d think that DZ would be completely accustomed to be 100% wrong on his box office musings at this point.

    Hey, DZ! A brother is reunited with a sister in this movie. Doesn’t that, like, totally rip off one of your precious animes? Shouldn’t you be rallying against this? Because, if I’ve learned anything at HE, it’s that animes ALWAYS did it first, and, by God, you will never shut the fuck up about it.

  • Kakihara

    Wiggum: I’m not 100% wrong. I noted Phantom Menace 3D was gonna bomb, and it did.

  • Rob

    Why is every third woman in movies and sitcoms named Frankie? Has anyone ever actually met a woman named Frankie?

  • Rod32303

    Looks better than decent. And it’s always nice to see Pfeiffer, who, despite Mark’s shitty comment, has aged well without going under the knife.

  • Mr. F.

    “I’m not 100% wrong. I noted Phantom Menace 3D was gonna bomb, and it did.”

    Yes — $100 million worldwide for a 3D conversion of a 13-year-old movie that no one really likes except the most die-hard Star Wars fan is a “bomb.”

    If you want to use examples that prove you aren’t 100% wrong, EVERY SINGLE TIME… don’t give an example of a “bomb” that is, in fact, NOT ONE.

  • Kakihara

    Mr. F: $100 million? It only made less than half of that here, and P+A and 3D conversion costs alone will make it unprofitable. The only way it looks good is George gets to say that it’s “more successful” than TDK, because he added the ’99 grosses to the pot.

  • Luke Y. Thompson

    No Talking Heads song in this trailer = fail.

  • Mr. F.

    “$100 million? It only made less than half of that here…”

    Which is relevant how, exactly?

    “…and P+A and 3D conversion costs alone will make it unprofitable.”

    You apparently don’t know how much 3D conversions cost, which isn’t surprising. Let’s take a more extreme example: TITANIC, which was an hour longer than Episode One, and had Cameron overseeing the conversion… cost *18 million*. I guarantee you that Episode One’s conversion did not cost as much — but let’s pretend it actually cost MORE. So… you’re still saying they spent $80 million on the Episode One 3D P&A??!!

    $100 million, even subtracting both the conversion costs (minor) and the P&A (less minor, but not huge), is just more money in the bank for the franchise.

    “The only way it looks good is George gets to say that it’s “more successful” than TDK, because he added the ’99 grosses to the pot.”

    I guarantee you, he will never, ever say that, nor will anyone care one way or the other.

  • Kakihara

    Mr. F: “Which is relevant how, exactly?”

    That it bombed, and barely recouped any money?

    “cost *18 million*. I guarantee you that Episode One’s conversion did not cost as much — but let’s pretend it actually cost MORE. So… you’re still saying they spent $80 million on the Episode One 3D P&A??!!”

    Let’s be honest here. It’s not just the conversion. They gotta pay theaters to give the film almost as many 3D slots as Journey 2 *and* regular non-3D screenings; and that’s not gonna be cheap.

    “So… you’re still saying they spent $80 million on the Episode One 3D P&A??!!”

    I’m betting $50 million. Lowest possible amount they could’ve spent is ~ $30 million. And even then, they gotta factor in the whole revenue split with the chains. If people are still calling Dragon Tattoo a misfire, even when it manages to break even, not sure why TPM 3D is any more of a hit.

    “$100 million, even subtracting both the conversion costs (minor) and the P&A (less minor, but not huge), is just more money in the bank for the franchise.”

    That’s how they want to spin it. But it’s pretty obvious that it was a wash for the theater count they gave it. They expected a bigger turnout, and it’s piss-poor, even in countries which like shitty FX films more than America.

    “I guarantee you, he will never, ever say that”

    Yeah, because a guy who also said that Red Tails is the closest we’ll get to a seventh Star Wars movie would never say anything that stupid.

  • Kakihara

    Seriously, it does not look good in any fashion that a sequel to a movie no one remembers-Journey 2-had a better return than a prequel to a franchise which everyone’s known about for the last 35 years.

  • Kakihara

    Er, release of a prequel.

  • Mr. F.

    “Seriously, it does not look good in any fashion that a sequel to a movie no one remembers-Journey 2-had a better return than a prequel to a franchise which everyone’s known about for the last 35 years.”

    Oh, silly Deezer…

    If “no one remembers” JOURNEY… why on earth would the studio make a sequel to it in the first place?

    And you’re also forgetting that it was a RE-release… of the least popular movie… that’s been available on home video for OVER A DECADE.

    But I see you’ve decided to ignore any talk of the conversion cost. So at least there’s that.

  • Kakihara

    Mr. F: “If “no one remembers” JOURNEY… why on earth would the studio make a sequel to it in the first place?”

    Because the last Journey movie was shot cheap enough that there was no reason not to make a sequel?

    “And you’re also forgetting that it was a RE-release… of the least popular movie… that’s been available on home video for OVER A DECADE.”

    And was the last Journey movie popular?

  • Mr. F.

    “And was the last Journey movie popular?”

    You need to look up box office before posting rhetorical questions like this…

    It was 242 million dollars popular. Because as you yourself said… “It was shot cheap enough.” Even with marketing costs, it made a nice profit for the studio — hence the decision to make that sequel you’ve already discounted.

    And while we know making a sequel was not a good “DZ” decision — gee, what a surprise, Mr. “AVATAR will bomb at the box office” — was it a good business decision? Well, it’s made $309 million and counting… so yes. Yes it was. So much so, in fact, they’re already developing JOURNEY 3.

    Meanwhile, Episode One — which came out on BluRay last year, which you’ve also forgotten — got the die-hard fans and some families to pay to see it. Did you expect more people to go? I’d say $100 million for the least-liked of all six movies is a “success.”

    But keep trying…

  • Kakihara

    I didn’t say making a Journey 2 sequel was a bad decision. Quite the opposite, actually. Though, obviously, if the original was a movie people liked that much, Fraser would still be in it, like he was in the Mummy stuff.

    “Meanwhile, Episode One — which came out on BluRay last year, which you’ve also forgotten — got the die-hard fans and some families to pay to see it. Did you expect more people to go?”

    I dunno if I expected more people to go, but obviously FOX and Lucas expected more people. Hell, even a shinier, newer film like Wrath of the Titans isn’t doing much better than Phantom 3D, in terms of return. But you’re ready to call TPM 3D a success.

  • bluefugue

    >…but if Michael Bay called them tomorrow with a $10m offer to rewrite the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as aliens from outer space, would they say no?

    Would you?

  • Jerry Aldini

    That trailer was just begging for “Solsbury Hill”.

  • JBM…

    @bluefugue: Yes, I would say no.