My power is back and so am I! I didn’t have a chance to see Conan this weekend, but I fear that the critics and the audiences have spoken. What a bizarre weekend at the box office…
1 The Help $20,018,659
2 Rise of the Planet of the Apes $16,119,502
3 Spy Kids: All the Time in the World $11,644,672
4 Conan the Barbarian $10,021,015
5 The Smurfs $7,802,377
6 Fright Night $7,714,388
7 Final Destination 5 $7,703,466
8 30 Minutes or Less $6,402,602
9 One Day $5,079,566
10 Crazy, Stupid, Love. $4,797,364
11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $4,511,411
12 Cowboys & Aliens $4,215,780
The Help managed to make the coveted move from #2 to #1, swapping spots with Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and much deservedly, I may add. But Apes is still on a great run…I mean two weeks at #1 and now the third week in release at #2. Granted, Smurfs held off the Apes overseas, I think we can safely say that the success of Cesaer and Co. will lead to a greenlit sequel for that franchise.
Of the two re-envisionings, Conan was the winner by position, but with a $90 million budget, versus the more manageable budget of Fright Night at $30 million, the financial winner was Fright Night. Granted I haven’t seen Conan as of yet, RT has it sitting at 24% and Fright Night at 74%. Hopefully word of mouth will get out on Fight Night, for it is actually a pretty good time….
Colin Farrell is usually hit or miss for me, and this is a hit in his role as the swarmy and deadly vampire, Jerry. For other Farrell hits, check out Tigerland, In Bruges, and The Way Back.
Anton Yelchin is someone that at this point, I think I would watch in anything. From his great turn in JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot to Defiance to Charlie Bartlett…this cat’s got range. His leading man effort her as Charley Brewster is no different…he just has charisma.
Toni Collette is great as Charley’s mom, Jane and Imogene Poots is both cute and effective as the damsel in distress Amy, to Yelchin’s Charley.
There are some similarities to the original, but has originality in both story and in visual appeal. Missing is some of the campiness of the original, but a well developed story is the result, so fat and happy, am I.
That well developed story is attributed to Marti Noxon, whose most recent credit otherwise is I Am Number Four. This is a more sold effort and the direction here was also well handled, by Craig Gillespie, the man behind Lars and the Real Girl, but also Mr. Woodcock.
Oh yeah…McLovin’ alert, McLovin’ alert. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is in the house and yet again, I find him completely enjoyable (see also: Role Models). I would even argue that he is stunningly leading-man handsome in some of his later scenes in the flick.
Finally, the character of Peter Vincent is pure gold. Culled from the 1985 film, the casting is great and some of the funnier moments come with him on screen. Quite a change from the role first portrayed by Roddy McDowell.
I say ‘funnier’, but again, much of the camp is gone with laughs found here in the firm of throwaway one-liners here and there in a very well composed screenplay with a tone I had hoped Disblo Cody would have given us with Jennifer’s Body.
The last 15 minute of the movie are brilliant. Something of a mix between Ghostbusters and a less terrible Van Helsing.
Again, 4.5 Horns for this wholly enjoyable entry into the horror genre.
Final Destination 5
Timing is everything, and while I may have rather caught Conan, I was drawn into this due to the fact that it was starting and it was short.
Now I hadn’t seen the fourth in the series, and I actually had wanted to, with #4 having been the first in the series in 3-D. I have a vague interest in the torture-porn genre and was similarily interested when Saw gave us their first 3-D offering.
Let me sum up this film for you….
One of the cast has a vision of a disaster, this time, it’s a bridge collapse.
He quickly realizes that his vision is about to come true.
He warns everyone, a few people survive the disaster.
They start dying
Tony Todd is seen here or there, perhaps at some times, offering insight to the plight of the survivors.
The dwindling survivors hatch a scheme to further cheat death.A twist ending gives death the upper hand.
Now perhaps this is an over-simplified version of this screenplay, but it is pretty accurate.
The last 10 minutes of the film were by far the best, and that does include the four minutes or so of the death compilation, a compendium of all the kills in the history of the series. I did mention a twist ending and for all the bad, it was an enjoyable little wrinkle that I actually did enjoy.
Final Destination 5 gets a 1.5 of 5 Horn rating from the Reel Rhino. The kill scenes were mediocre and from what I hear, a vast improvement over part 4, so perhaps I was spared in missing it after all.
The best part of this movie was the freaky 3-D holographic poster stand-up that graced the theater lobby!
That’s all for now.
A final question before I bid you adieu….
Will Shark Night 3-D capture the enjoyable campiness that last year’s Pirahna 3-D managed to spin up? Time will tell as Sept 2nd is rolling up quickly.
Until later, take care.