Box office preview: Will “The Green Hornet” sting? Will anyone want to solve “The Dilemma”?

Time is at a total premium tonight, so I’ll be keeping the bad puns and what not brief.

There’s some disagreement about whether it’ll make an amount in the $30 millions or $40 millions at my usual sources. However, I don’t think there’s any way around the likelihood that this will be the weekend in which Seth Rogen, co-writer Evan Goldberg, and director Michel Gondry’s take on “The Green Hornet” will dominate things.

Seth Green and Jay Chou lose their cool in

If only because the trollish fanboys who pre-decided to hate this movie irritate me no end, I’ve been rooting for this action comedy approach to the masked hero of old-time radio and a short-lived sixties TV program, remembered today mainly for the presence of Bruce Lee. In fact, there’s been some positive buzz on it lately and our own Jason Zingale mostly likes it. Overall, however, the overall critical reaction is disappointing, with top critics being significantly harsher. Even the usually rather gentle Roger Ebert calls it “almost unendurable” and gives it the one-star rating qualifying it for his next edition of Your Movie Sucks.

Still, I’ll probably check this one out eventually, if only to see new-Kato Jay Chou, who I really think might be a very big U.S. star in the making (he’s already huge in Asia), do his stuff. I’ll probably avoid the extra price tag for an extra dimension, however. The 3D on this is getting a negative reaction from at least some. It’ll be interesting to see whether audiences who’ve been stung by sub-par 3D before steer more towards the 2D “Hornet.”

Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder think about their odds in With Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, and Winona Ryder starring and Ron Howard directing and a easily understandable premise, you might expect big things from a comedy like “The Dilemma.” However, the box office gurus tell us that not a gigantic people will actually go to see it this weekend. The critics mostly tell us they shouldn’t.

Maybe see one of those potential Oscar nominees you’ve missed so far this weekend. Perhaps “Black Swan,” which is still expanding several weeks into it’s run and expected to continue its strong run. That’s what I’ll do if I can find the time. If you’ve seen all of those and live in New York or L.A., there’s “Barney’s Version” featuring a great lead performance by Paul Giamatti and an outstanding supporting cast and getting mostly good reviews, if only for the great acting. Of course, I didn’t think even the cast made up for the drab second half of the film. Still, you could easily do worse in this or any January.

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

Trailer time: “The Green Hornet”

I’m taking a brief hiatus from my hiatus to present the first trailer for one of the most widely discussed upcoming films on the ‘net. First impression: no surprise that Seth Rogen and Michel Gondry’s “The Green Hornet” appears to be another slacker superhero flick, but take a look for yourself.

The performances from Rogen and highly skilled costar Jay Chou look reasonably okay. (You probably also noticed that we get a very brief look at Tom Wilkinson, Cameron Diaz, and villain Christoph Waltz, who I’m sure will be fun.) Still, I can’t get over my vague disappointment that it’s not a period piece, even though I probably already knew that it wasn’t and forgot.

Even though the sixties TV show was set in the same out-of-time contemporary time period as the “Batman” TV show, I’ll always associate the Green Hornet with the thirties and forties, the era in which the original radio show was made and set. There’s just something very old fashioned about the entire character and concept — Britt Reid is actually supposed to be the great nephew of the Lone Ranger, which was created by the same team of writers — but since I’m one of the very few people whose ever even listened to more than one classic-era radio broadcast of any sort, I don’t imagine that will be a commercial problem. There may be others, however.

H/t Pajiba.

  

Related Posts

Midweek movie news

It’s quite late, or quite early, here on the west coast, so this edition will be swift.

* Captain America has got his girlfriend, and I’ve never heard of her! However, those of you who keep up with your TV may know Hayley Atwell, who’ll be playing Peggy Carter, Cap’s WWII era love interest. Among other shows, she was featured on the not-so well received AMC redo of “The Prisoner.”

* The folks over at Dreamworks have been busy beavers. First, they began the roll out of their “Kung Fu Panda” “virtual theme park” — basically a collection of Panda-based games for kids. Also, their gearing up for the May release “Shrek Forever After.” Today, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) confab about, naturally, 3-D conversions on the first three “Shrek” productions and how they won’t suck like certain live-action 3-D conversions.

Still, there was a fly in the family-friendly ointment, and that was a photo spread that’s coming out in the glossy Vman Magazine that apparently caused some unhappiness at Dreamworks Animation. I could explain why, and you may definitely read the Paul Bond’s THR article about it. On the other hand, I don’t have to tell you how many words a picture is worth.

960x587-3

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts

A special Thursday at the movies

It’s special because I usually do my box office preview tonight, but personal circumstance are forcing a small delay in that, so instead we have some more, if extra brief, news hits right now.

* The sad and shocking death of actress Brittany Murphy has been ruled accidental and is ascribed to a combination of pneumonia and prescription drugs.

* The Playlist points us to the latest on director Michel Gondry, off the set of “The Green Hornet” with Seth Rogen and working on some kind of “secret project” with Bjork, who long ago has sworn off movie making after the infamously difficult shoot of “Dancer in the Dark.”

dancer-in-the-dark-1-800

* From Nikki Finke: He’s not quite the J.D. Salinger of movie directors, but the very private and selective director with a large cult following and a tendency to take things slowly — very slowly — Terrence Malick¬† (“Badlands,” “The New World“), is keeping busy and working with big stars.

* One of the most buzzed about documentaries at Sundance, “Catfish,” has been purchased. Sounds interesting.

  

Related Posts

Okay, maybe this guy actually should be making movies

In the post just below this one, I write quite skeptically about a planned upcoming movie that commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch is said to be “circling.” Aside from my other strong misgivings about the project, I was initially unimpressed that yet another big movie was being helmed by a commercial director.

Now, as Ridley Scott (one of the bosses at Rinsch’s commercial production company) proved, the demanding field of commercials can yield some fairly great directors. At the same time, commercials are great proving grounds for visual flash and style, but don’t require the kind of sustained storytelling that even dramatic short subjects require.¬† I think one reason old Hollywood worked better from a film consumer’s point of view was that directors started on dramatic short subjects, then moved on to low budget “B” pictures, and finally on to main features. I don’t think I need to remind anyone where Michael Bay started.

Still, things haven’t worked in the old school way in a long, long time and I thought it was only fair for me to see if I could find some of Mr. Rinsch’s commercials online. And, I have to say, I was impressed — not that they’re all perfect or indicate he’ll be the next John Ford, but he certainly has a way with an arresting image and with some very cool CGI work as well. I just wish Rinsch could find a more promising project than “47 Ronin” — or figure some brilliant way to make the thing not as wrongheaded as it sounds. We’ll see about that, but I do think these are very intriguing pieces of work. There’s a bit of a Spike Jonze/Michel Gondry vibe here, alongside something else.

Much more after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts