A Monster at the Box Office
Jurassic World absolutely owned at the box office this past weekend, bringing in $209 million domestically, edging out the first Avengers film for the biggest opening weekend of all time. It took in over $500 million when the international numbers are factored in, meaning it’s sure to gross a billion before all is said and done.
And if I understand the premise correctly, this time around the raptors are good guys and there’s a giant mixed dinosaur mutant that is rampaging.
I don’t know, sometimes I think I understand you people, then other times I’m very confused.
A Death in the Family
Jon Snow ate it big time in the season finale of Game of Thrones last week. It was disappointing because he was pretty much the last likable character on the show who’s not a Lannister.
This past season flew by with a host of major deaths and plenty of action, but we haven’t even heard from several characters in quite a while, and honestly I lost track of what’s even going on.
One thing I certainly didn’t care for this season was the advent of politicized story lines. After a particularly unpleasant sequence which depicted Sansa Stark being raped, many people unfriended the show (and many Facebook friends who weren’t that bothered by the whole thing) in an attempt to move the plot with their political voices. Boycotts have no place in TV show writing.
I’m just glad Snow was stabbed to death by all his brothers in black. It was a great end to the season and who knows, if they had a un-PC killer in the mix, it might become uncool to watch the show.
**END SPOILER ALERT **
A Deadly Adoption
Will Ferrell is not always successful with his swings. Land of the Lost didn’t find many takers (though for what it’s worth, it’s far from his worst film). Anchorman 2 was a big fat disappointment and Semi-Pro was unimpressive at best. But even haters have to hand it to him; he takes swings and it’s nice to see a guy take a risk once in a while.
Now he’s getting weird once again with A Deadly Adoption, a Lifetime original co-starring Kristen Wiig, where the two play a loving couple torn apart by a sultry and conniving young nanny played by Jessica Lowndes. The trailer, which features them all playing the characters “straight,” by which I mean hammy and Lifetime original-y, is surreal and brilliant. By featuring Ferrell and fellow comedy heavyweight Wiig in a schlocky infidelity ‘n’ murder jamboree on the network known for such fare, it shows the power movies have to play with our assumptions.
And it also has Ferrell in a priceless hairpiece looking somber and terrified.
A Long shot
One of the slickest looking blockbusters of the summer got a big trailer rollout this past week. The Man from U.N.C.L.E., directed by Guy Ritchie, is a long overdue (maybe unneeded) revival of the excellent classic comic spy caper series, which starred the great Robert Vaughn and David McCallum when it was a hit TV show 50 years ago. This time around Henry Cavill (Superman) and Armie Hammer (who in real life is heir to the Arm & Hammer fortune, and is actually named Armand Hammer—seriously, Google it) as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin respectively.
Vaughn and McCallum are both still alive and both quite active, so one would hope they make a cameo. McCallum is on the most watched show on TV, which most probably associate much more with his name than Kuryakin. He’s on NCIS every week as a Dr. Donald Mallard (goddamn it, CBS…).
I only wonder if the time for this kind of project hasn’t passed. Maverick was an unneeded update 20 years ago (though it is great), as was Wild Wild West 15 years ago, and Starsky and Hutch was just terrible. I only know of U.N.C.L.E. because I’m an appreciator of such things and seek them out. I find it highly dubious that many in the coveted 18 to 35 demo remember this show.
Something tells me this one’s not going to blow up the box office, when it goes up against the highly anticipated Straight Outta Compton, a biopic of rap legends NWA, on Aug. 14.
But I’ll be there.
By Ygal Kaufman