Random assortment of movie musings and news

Hope everyone’s had a nice weekend, it’s first weekend of Summer for us here in the States. I didn’t see any new flicks this weekend, but my girlfriends and I had our monthly movie night this Friday and saw Jane Austen’s Persuasion (1995). I still love it the second time around, though from the comments my friends made during and after the movie, some of them don’t share my sentiment. Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds might not be as stunning as other Austen’s movie couple, but I thought that their subtle-yet-heartfelt love story is one that leaves a lasting impression on me than the more famous Pride & Prejudice. Oh well, maybe I’ll let them pick the movie next time around.

Anyway, moving on. Here are just some random stuff I noticed this past week:

  • Christoph as Green Hornet's villain
    Christoph as Green Hornet's villain

    Is it just me or lately we see more and more talented actors who gets noticed in a certain role sort of ‘graduate’ to being cast in superhero/comic book movies? What I mean is, it’s almost a given that previously ‘unknown’ actors whose certain performance garnered rave reviews(even major awards), immediately got offers in a comic book genre. Is it supposed to be a ‘sign’ that they’ve made it? The people that came to mind are Christoph Waltz (Green Hornett), Michael Fassbender (Jonah Hex, X-Men: First Class), Mark Strong (Kick-Ass). Now A-Team isn’t a comic-book genre, but it’s sort of superhero-ish, and we see Sharlto Copley who made a splash in the critically-acclaimed District 9 as one of the four main leads.

  • Where's your mega-watt smile now, Tom?

    Tom Cruise must not be having a very happy weekend. His action comedy Knight & Day opened to a paltry $20.5 mil, which is terrible for a megastar such as him. But really, can he still even live up to that moniker? Methinks the ‘megastar’ days are behind him now. This Yahoo! article asked whether  the Cruister can re-establish himself as ‘the guy,’  you know, the owner of what the article called billion-dollar grin that have a lifetime worldwide box office gross of nearly $3 billion (per BoxOfficeMojo). Well, based on this weekend’s K&D b.o. results, the answer seems to be a resounding ‘NO.’
    ….
    Even when CS Monitor declared that the movie’s bomb means this is the official “fall from grace” of Hollywood stars (which Castor @ Anomalous Material already discussed back in March), I don’t think that’s completely true. I think there are still actors out there who still have the ‘it’ factor that can still open a movie on their own name alone. Here are ten 80s/90s movie stars who I think are still pretty bankable:

    1. Adam Sandler
    2. Bruce Willis
    3. Robert Downey Jr.
    4. Leonardo DiCaprio
    5. Harrison Ford
    6. Clint Eastwood
    7. Tom Hanks
    8. Wil Smith
    9. Keanu Reeves
    10. Ben Stiller
  • The jury is still out whether M. Night Shyamalan can still get his mojo back and whether his next movie The Last Airbender is poised to be his “comeback” flick (as Marc from Go-See-Talk pondered last April), but I can’t help but getting a bit excited to hear this Total Film news that he might be reuniting with Bruce Willis in his next movie. The last time he and the A-lister worked together, the result was the awesome comic-book-themed thriller Unbreakable, which could very well be my favorite M. Night’s movies that warrants much repeated viewings that the crowd’s fave The Sixth Sense. Not sure what he’ll tackle next, though I must say I’d welcome the idea of an Unbreakable sequel, as a few commenters in the article suggested.
  • Last week, we’ve got a couple new stills from Johnny Depp’s long-in-limbo project Rum Diary. Can’t believe it’s almost a year ago that I posted pics from the set in Puerto Rico, courtesy of my colleague Dave who took the shots on his family vacation. Heh, you’d think we’d get a trailer by now, but instead we only got these first official photos below:

    Boy, what fountain has he been drinking to still look this good? The eternal youthful actor is 47 but looks forever ‘stuck’ in mid 30s. And the mind-boggling part is the guy is a chain smoker!
  • On a related note, now that A-Team is out, another TV-show based series is not far behind. 21 Jump Street, the cop show that made the Deppster famous is getting the big screen treatment courtesy of Jonah Hill. Despite being reportedly interested in a cameo role, his involvement hasn’t been confirmed. Not sure how I feel about this, it’s probably worth only a rental only if Depp is on board.

Well anyways, happy Monday folks. Any thoughts about any of this topic, please chime in below.

28 thoughts on “Random assortment of movie musings and news

  1. Vince

    Unbreakable is an underrated film IMHO – loved the way everything was understated but with high tension.

    As for 21 jump street, two words: DEPP… GRIECO!!!

    1. Yay, I know you and I are on agreement on this Vince, high five! Just because of that movie, I still think Shyamalan’s still got it in him.

      Methinks Grieco just might have something to do with Depp still not signed on to 21 Jumpstreet… I smell a conspiracy! 🙂

    2. Darren

      Unbreakable is my favourite Shyamalan film, if only because it actually works better the second time around (the rest of his films only really work once, if at all).

        1. PrairieGirl

          Yes, you did, just put it on my list, even added the Bonus Material DVD of it too. It’ll be interesting to finally see it all the way to the end.

              1. Hi Dan, I just read your post. WOW, what an in-depth analysis of the movie, but given your profession and training, I guess that’s to be expected 🙂 I absolutely agree with you that it’s such a mature and considerable effort from M. Night. I like what you said that it’s a superhero-themed movie that “… doesn’t renege on its aesthetic pledges by descending into spandex and flying” It’s all the better without ’em of course!

                And yeah, I forgot Bruce and Sam J. were in Die Hard 3, but they’re sooo different here that I didn’t make the connection right away.

                Thanks for sharing that. I’m gonna tweet about it now to spread it around. Great post!

  2. I don’t think Bruce Willis and Keanu Reeves can still open movies at this stage of their career. Same for Harrison Ford even though I love the guy.

    1. Well, I think in comparison to Cruise, these guys are still in audience’s good graces enough to bring them in. Ford might still have a few years left in him I think, just don’t do a movie with Brendan Fraser! 🙂

  3. Wasn’t Ciarán Hinds amazingly great in ROME? Somebody should give him a country to rule like Caesar :))

    I’m also not sure if Keanu, Bruce and Eastwood can bring money back.

    1. Yes indeed, Dez! I like his rapport with James Purefoy as Anthony, too. Plus, he gave one of the most haunting death scene ever. I’m still hoping he’d get an Academy Award recognition one of these days…

      1. Ah, Purefoy was pure joy in that show (and I think you know what I mean). I also loved Polly Walker as Atia and Kevin McKidd in ROME and young Simon Woods as older Octavian, whom I also loved in CRANFORD. He almost won THE BEST BRITISH LAD poll over at my place.

  4. Adam Sandler will always open up a strong weekend of $30+ million, but I don’t think he’s every going to have a breakout hit past that, which is okay considering that is high for comedies. And like you said, that’s bankable if it’s guaranteed.

    Willis… not sure, he’s had quite a few misses.

    Downey is more of a star now than he was then I guess, but he’s got the Johnny Depp quality of charming, hansom and came around once aged… speaking of… where is Depp here?

    DiCaprio… yes.

    Ford… eh, I’d kind put him there with Willis where it might be a little too late.

    Eastwood… yes Hanks… very much so, and Smith… probably the most bankable.

    Reeves doesn’t have a lot of star power, mostly he is a franchise man.

    Stiller, yes. Jim Carey I am glad you didnt include, because Phillip Morris can’t even get released…

    Love the assortment of musings by the way.

    1. Yeah, Sandler is probably the most bankable comedic actor working today, taking the throne from Eddie Murphy perhaps? Oy, I did miss Johnny Depp, thanks for pointing that out. Like RDJ, he’s actually becoming MORE bankable the older he gets, which is amazing. Jim Carrey was so overrated for a while, not sure he’ll be able to get back to the height of his career again. I just find him generally unlikable.

      Glad you liked my random musings, it’s kind of a good filler when I don’t know what to blog about 🙂

  5. Ben Stiller? Greenberg didn’t even hit close to the million mark in its first week. But whatever, I don’t care about the money they’re making. I liked Greenberg and that’s all that matters.

    And I’ll talk about the star system thing later if someone really brings it up. Again.

    1. Greenberg is a relatively small movie, so it’s probably not considered a major bust. His other comedy/kiddie flicks Night at the Museum both gross well over $100 mil and even the R-rated Tropic Thunder crossed the $100 mil mark.

    1. I liked The Eclipse actually, I reviewed it for the Bellfast Film Festival this year, I thought it was a fresh take on the supernatural drama.

        1. Ciaran Hinds was actually at the premiere of the film in Belfast. He introduced the film and I met him afterwards, he gave me his autograph. I probably should have mentioned the blog or something but I was too star struck to mutter anything remotely sensible.

          1. Oooh you’re trying to make me jealous Ronan, and it worked! 🙂 I would’ve loved to meet him and tell him what a great actor he is, and that he made a great Austen hero. I also like him in ROME as Caesar. Yeah, you should’ve mentioned your blog but I too would’ve been star struck also. Anyway, good for you and thanks for sharing the story!

  6. I really hope M. Night Shyamalan does see a come back to his best because The Sixth Sense and The Village are two of the most heartfelt and original films I can remember. Unbreakable was a welcome shift in the conventional comic book caper.

    1. I like The Village, too. Both Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard were great in their roles.

      “Unbreakable was a welcome shift in the conventional comic book caper.” YES! Absolutely concur with that statement, Ronan, and not knowing anything about the story beforehand, the ending totally came out of left field!

  7. Mike B.

    I’m hoping Tommy C. lays low, then comes back in any kind of movie OTHER than an action flick. He’s like what, 5’6″?!?!? Hard to believe that small of a dude as an “action hero”.

    1. Aw come on, Mike. The height thing is the least of his problems 🙂 As for someone 5’6″ being too ‘small’ for an action hero, well tell that to Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li and a slew of other Asian actors who are perfectly capable of being one.

  8. I was forced to study Persuasion at school and my deep rooted loathing of Austen got worse i’m afraid. Even she died of boredom while writing it.

    As for Tom Cruise, he’s so creepy I actively avoid his movies because I can’t look at his face.

    I clearly need to see Unbreakable again, because I thought it sucked, but I seem to be alone in that.

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