What Else Ya Got? “The Losers”

Sylvain White’s big-screen adaptation of the DC/Vertigo comic book series, “The Losers,” will undoubtedly get plenty of airtime when it premieres on basic cable, but as one of the many man-on-a-mission movies released this year, it’s probably the weakest of the bunch. Fortunately, Warner Bros. has still thrown together a pretty decent collection of extras that, while not incredibly memorable, are certainly worth checking out once.

Band of Buddies: Ops Training

This three-part featurette is the closest thing you’ll find to an official making-of, but it just barely scrapes the surface at only 17 minutes. Each section covers a different topic, including training the actors to resemble Special Forces soldiers, using Puerto Rico as a stand-in for the movie’s various global locations, and the tricks employed to film certain stunts. It’s a nice tease, but it really could have been better.

The Losers: Action-Style Storytelling

Creators Andy Diggle and Jock sit down to discuss the origins of the comic book and how it compares to the film adaptation. There are some cool accompanying shots from the comic that show the similarities between the two versions, while Diggle comments on the necessary changes to the main villain in order for it to work in the context of a movie. Fans of the comic might be relieved to see that the creators are happy with the final product, but I can’t help but feel like they were legally bound to hold back from revealing their true feelings.

Zoe and The Losers

Zoe Saldana is the center of attention in this short featurette about the film’s only female character that includes some flattering interviews from the cast and crew and a fairly in-depth look at a key fight sequence between her and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It’s just too bad Warner Bros. didn’t see it fit to expand this character featurette to include the rest of the cast.

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Your TCM Fest ultra-quick box office report.

It TCM Fest‘s closing day and I’m determined to see “The Magnificent Ambersons,” “The Good Earth” (with an appearance by centenarian film legend Luise Rainer), and the new, new, new “Metropolis” but today’s box office estimates are bit too interesting to ignore completely.

The short version is that, as per the mighty Box Office Mojo chart, “How to Train Your Dragon” won the weekend box office with just over $15 million. “The Back-Up Plan,” a comedy vehicle for Jennifer Lopez, opened with a rather lame $12.25 million which should please our own David Medsker, who hated, hated, hated it. Graphic-novel based action fest “The Losers” made only $9.6 million, but seeing as it’s budget was $30 million less than the J-Lo film, it’s actually doing a lot bettter despite grossing less.

Date Night” is hanging in there very nicely in its third week. Like, “Dragon” it defeated both newcomers and came in at the #2 spot, earning $10.6 million for an accumulation nearing $65 million, $10 million more than its budget. Familiar and reliable comedy faces still mean something at the box office if the movie makes people laugh. Expect to see more family films and wide-audience PG-13 comedies and a bit less ultra-violence.

And that leads us to Matthew Vaughn, a director who has a lot less luck than talent and smarts, is no doubt thanking his reasonably lucky stars for keeping the budget on “Kick-Ass” reasonable.  The controversial black-comedy action flick dropped by 52%, roughly average for genre films that aren’t setting the world on fire. Still, the total gross is actually already $4 million above the $30 million budget. Assuming  the budget number is correct and what I can only imagine will be a long and healthy life on home video, he’s actually done rather well even as a something of a disappointment. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Oh, and I guess I should see “Kick-Ass” myself before it leaves theaters. I always seem to catch Vaughn’s films after they’re declared failures and find myself really liking them. I guess I like underdogs.

  

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