Posts Tagged ‘bad guy’

Starring The Mousy Girl as The Killer

May 17, 2012

I found some pictures on the Internet of Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and the resemblance was uncanny. Well, that got me thinking. What about? You ask. Actors and their roles, specifically what if a certain actor who is known for playing a certain kind of role, plays against type. Such as:

Bette Davis as a Boozy Single Mom
Yes, it is true. She played a single mom in Frank Capra’s final film Pocketful of Miracles (1961), which is a remake of an earlier film of his Lady for a Day (1933). The film deals with Apple Annie who sells apples on Broadway and has a daughter who is studying in Spain. One day she learns that her daughter, who has no idea that her mom sells apples for a living, is coming to visit with her fiance, who is the son of a Spanish count. So, she enlists her best customer, gangster Dave the Dude to help her convince her daughter and her daughter’s fiance that she is a part of New York society. As interesting as this film sounds, there was trouble on the set from day one (a good deal of it came from Davis) and when the film premiered the reviews were tepid at best. So, Capra never directed another film after Miracles.

Pat Boone as a Cold Hearted Husband
Yes, Mr. Sweaky Clean can go beyond sweaky cleanness. In the film The Yellow Canary, (1963) he played a famous singer by the name of Andy Paxton. On the surface, he has the life many could dream of, he has a successful career as singer, a beautiful wife, played by Barbara Eden and a baby boy. Well, when the lights go down Paxton is very self-centered and his wife is fed up with Mr. I’m-So-Great-And-You’re-Not. Yet, just as she is about to leave him, their baby is kidnapped. Does this cause a turnaround in Paxton? No, he refuses help from the police and even agrees to pay $200,000 as a ransom for his son. Yet, once Paxton arrives at the location to make the payment, the kidnapper is no where to be found. Hmmm, the plot thickens.

Meg Ryan as a Tough as Nails Army Helicopter Pilot
Yep, America’s Sweetheart (how in the world did she get that title), can play tough. In  Courage Under Fire (1996), Ryan plays Army Captain Karen Walden, a rescue helicopter pilot who is up for the Metal of Honor. Reports say that just before she died, she rescued a downed helicopter crew and fought off the Iraqis after her helicopter crashed. Well, as the investigation into Captain Walden’s actions goes on, conflicting reports come out and lead investigator Lt. Colonel Serling, played by Denzel Washington, begins to wonder if she deserves such an honor. Does she or doesn’t she get it? Watch the movie to find out.

Arnold Schwarzenegger as a Kindergarten Teacher
How many movies have Schwarzenegger playing a tough cop? Lots of them! How many of them have have Schwarzenegger playing a tough cop who has to go undercover as (insert dramatic pause here) A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER! Only one and it is called Kindergarten Cop (1990). In order to catch a drug dealer, Schwarzenegger has to find the dealer’s ex-wife, who is hiding out in Oregon as a teacher. So, if he wants to find her and ultimately get the drug dealer, he has to pose as a kindergarten teacher. Does he find the ex-wife, nab the bad guy and save the day? If you really want to know, put the film in your Netflix queue and all will be revealed.

Yes, it can be interesting to see actors playing against type. Yet, when you think of it, there should be no “type”.  After all, it is called acting for a reason.

Sources:
http://www.movieweb.com/news/first-look-at-ashton-kutcher-as-steve-jobs-in-jobs

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055312/

http://www.amazon.com/Pocketful-Miracles-Glenn-Ford/dp/B00005LOLA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336876323&sr=8-1

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057700/

http://www.allmovie.com/movie/the-yellow-canary-v117884

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115956/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099938/

2011 Summer Movie Review

September 8, 2011

The first Monday in September is Labor Day in the U.S. and that day is considered the unofficial end of summer. It also marks the end of the summer movie season. This year’s summer movie season saw its share of blockbusters and bombs. Box office totals for this summer movie season have not been released in time for me to include in this blog entry.  Still, early indications are that the 2011 summer movie season was good, though not great, for the studios. Anyway, without further ado, here are some highlights of the 2011 summer movie season.

Blockbusters
This just in! Nine out of the 10 biggest money making films were either sequels or superhero films. Okay, so that isn’t such a big surprise. Then again, that’s what I like about summer movies. They are exercises in escapist entertainment. There’s a good guy and a bad guy, good guy gets the bad guy and the good guy gets the girl in the end. Not to mention, there loads of cool special effects to liven things up. Yes, I go on and on about the lack of originality in the current moviemaking environment, still if a blockbuster is original, I’ll go and see it. Of course, millions of other people went to see blockbusters this summer (original or not), as well, and here is the breakdown for you. Box office numbers are for the U.S. only.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
$366,007,900
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
$348,540,006
3. The Hangover Part II
$254,174,506
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
$240,141,369
5. Fast Five           
$209,837,675
6. Cars 2           
$186,951,457
7. Thor
$181,015,141
8. Bridesmaids           
$167,661,310
9. Captain America: The First Avenger                   
$164,747,643
10. Kung Fu Panda 2                                                    
$163,942,842

Bombs
Of course, not every film was a hit. Some movies were just plain bad and the audiences responded accordingly by staying away. Some movies just didn’t find or attract their audience. Then there were some that just had people scratching their heads. So, in case you were wondering, here is a breakdown of the summer movies of 2011 that bombed at the box office (as opposed to being the bomb). Again, box office numbers are for the U.S. only.

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
$    1,300,000
2. Glee The 3D Concert Movie                                 

$  11,700,000
3. Fright Night                                                            

$  14,300,000
4. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
$  15,000,000
5. Conan The Barbarian                                           

$  16,600,000
6.
Priest
$  29,100,000
7. The Change Up                                                        

$  34,500,000
8.
Larry Crowne                                                         
$  35,600,000
9.
Cowboys & Aliens                                                   
$  93,500,000
10.Green Lantern                                                        

$116,000,000

What Do I Think
I’m not surprised that the movies in the Blockbuster list did well. After all, Pixar films  have done well. The last Harry Potter film was scheduled for this summer and if it wasn’t going to do well, loads of people would have lost their jobs and we would have heard all about it and then some.

I’m also not surprised that Conan The Barbarian, The Change Up and Priest bombed. In particular, Conan The Barbarian is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature roles. He knew how to play an action figure better than anyone else. So, the expectation was pretty high for Conan. When it didn’t meet expectations—bombs away! As for the Green Lantern, I thought it would be this summer’s Iron Man. Unfortunately, for DC Comics and Warner Brothers, it wasn’t. Still, there are loads of superheroes in the DC universe. So, there are other comics books they can greenlight for movies.

As for Larry Crowne and Cowboys & Aliens, I am surprised and disappointed that these films didn’t do as well as expected. They each had a lot going for them, namely A-list stars and good concepts. Yet, for Larry Crowne, I think the problem was that it came out in July, as opposed to August. July is when the blockbusters are blasting away at the multiplex. August is when the studios release films that aren’t exactly shoot’em ups.  As big as Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are, if the movie they are in is going to be released in July, there better be a car chase and shooting at bad guys or else no one will see it. After all, The Help was released in August and it is doing very well without having explosions or car chases. Now Cowboys & Aliens, talk about an original idea that didn’t go very far. Having cowboys fight aliens—why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t it do better and why did the The Hangover Part II make over $348 million at the box office?  The world will never know.

On that happy note, I say farewell and invite you to come back next week for another exciting read about the world of movies, movie posters and collecting.

Sources:
http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/collections/gallery/3572/2011-summer-box-office#photo0

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/summer-box-office-s-10-biggest-flops-of-2011.html

Summer of the Comic Book Movie

June 2, 2011

Yes, summer means longer days, school being out, vacations and blockbuster movies. Yet, this summer the studios will be putting out six, count’em six, movies based on comic books/graphic novels. What gives? There was a time when comic books were considered a sign of the downfall of civilization and were blamed for corrupting young minds. Even Stan Lee, the creator of Spiderman, Thor and other superheroes of the Marvel Comics universe, didn’t think too highly of comic books when he first started out. He became a comic book writer because he needed the money and Timely Comics, which later became Marvel, paid him very well for his work. Yet, many years later both he and movie studio executives realized that there’s storytelling gold in comic books. They have action, drama and a love story for when there’s a lull in the action.

Still, if there is going to be a superhero movie during the summer blockbuster season, there is usually one maybe two, not six. Well, here are my theories on the increase, at least for the summer of 2011, of superhero movies:

It’s still the economy, stupid.
Last summer people wanted to escape the recession with animated films, this year the escape “vehicle” is the superhero movie. While last year moviegoers wanted reminders of childhood, this year they want a hero to save them from unemployment and home foreclosure. Unfortunately, superheroes can’t do much about those things, but it is fun to imagine that they could. After all, the U.S. is still in the grips of a recession and escapist films have traditionally done well during difficult times. Last year’s summer blockbuster movie season saw $4.05 billion worth of ticket sales, so the studios must be doing something right.

They get the job done.
Why do people want a superhero? Because a superhero gets the job done. Superheroes get the bad guy without so much of a grumble and they do it with style. Just look at Superman, Batman Spiderman, Ironman and the like. They either have gadgets, strength or a little of both and they get the villain. Crime will not pay if a superhero is on the case.

The story of the superhero goes waaay back.
If you think the superhero story is a 20th century invention, think again. Stories such as Hercules and Samson show how far back the idea of a superhero goes—and those are just from the Western culture. Other cultures have their stories of someone who can perform amazing feats of strength for the good of a community. People all around the world and in all times have had to deal with evil and injustice, so it is no wonder that stories of a person with both amazing physical strength and the will to fight the good fight were told. They were and still are exercises in fantasy and an inspiration for others to fight the good fight, as well.

As for which superhero movies will be very successful and which ones will just bomb, I’ll most likely write about that in a future blog entry.

Sources:
http://www.reelzchannel.com/article/1082/summer-2011-preview-20-movies-well-be-talking-about-next-year/

Cantu, Hector, Heritage Magazine “Stan the Creator” Fall 2008, pg. 52

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118023577.html?categoryid=1237&cs=1