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June 30, 2008 | Comments ()


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Kneel Before Wall-E

The Weekly Box Office Round-Up / Brian Prisco & TK

Box Office Round-Ups | June 30, 2008 | Comments ()


It’s a long, hard road out of hell, people. The power struggle at Pajiba continues, and the New Jacks have struck another blow. It was a bloody battle, but once again Grand High Alligator Rowles has been toppled from his fancy-pants throne. What’s that? You didn’t think he had a throne? Oh, people. Open your eyes . This isn’t a movie website — it’s a tyrannical fiefdom. But for now, we have control of the ship and we are headed to fucking flavor country. Let’s boogie.

We’re gonna just come out and say it — both as critics and more importantly as movie fans — it’s a good fucking summer. As ambivalent as we are about most of the releases, we’re finding that we don’t have to suffer the lash of the bad stuff for long, before we’re able to languish in the cool waters of the good stuff. Yes, yes, we had to endure the doubly dreadful douchetastic duet of The Love Guru (note: can we all collectively make a pact to never mention this movie again, ever?) and Get Smart last weekend; but it was only to clear the way for the all-out awesomeness that was this week’s releases: Wall-E and Wanted.

We see this as the clarion call of great things ahead. Even the films that might not be as good as we hope, like Hancock, or stuff that might be a stunning surprise (Hellboy II — maybe please maybe, come on Guillermo, no whammies, no whammies, big monsters, STOP!) to even the little indie darlings (American Teen, please hear our Hughesian prayer); they all help to keep us afloat weekend to weekend.

What boggles the mind is we’re seeing actors popping up in multiple movies in multiple roles, as if in some sort of divine fantasy football league, and there’s nary a Walken nor Jonah Hill to be found. Though there was an unfortunate appearance by Sir Ben Kinglsey, whom we’re putting on the injured reserve list until his obvious head injury clears up — when last seen, Sir B-Kings was contemplating the role of the Evil Sorcerer in Uwe Boll’s alternative-universe remake of Tootsie — clearly the man needs help. This weekend featured an intriguing showdown: Lara Croft vs. General Zod vs. a sad-eyed robot. Angelina Jolie and Terence Stamp make their marks on two of the top five this week, with one movie featuring the seemingly unstoppable combination of both. It’s like trying to track the stock market. On to the round-up (now with points!):

5. The Incredible Hulk ($9.2 million, $115.5 million): While the presence of Edward Norton is enough to brighten anyone’s day (+3), his rampant on-set douchebaggery (-2) and blurry, muscley-armed CGI battle sequences (-2), lose him some points. Despite the coolness factor of having Tim Roth (+2) and a favela chase sequence (+1), our big green meanie suffers for a distinct lack of Jolie/Stamp. However, even two minutes of RDJ will give them the nudge needed to surpass The Love Guhuhuhuhhhhh. (+2 points)

4. Kung Fu Panda ($11.7 million, $179.3 million): Expect portly Po to have people coming back for seconds as the sold out lines for Wall-E have parents pandering to the panda. It cannot hold a pan-dle (Ed. note — ‘pan’ jokes are 100% Prisco’s fault) to the luminous little rolling toaster, but it’s got enough heart and plenty of slow parts for you to sit and pan-der who’s voicing which weird animal. Jack Black, Angelina Jolie. Good. Dustin Hoffman. Strange. Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan. Good, but awkward. David Cross, awesome, but as a crane? Really? Seth Rogen, you have officially oversaturated your welcome, good luck with Pineapple Express, it may be your saving grace. Michael Clarke Duncan, okay, good — also, don’t hurt me. Uh, oh. Dan Fogler?! How will you ever survive this? Oh, Ian McShane, you cocksucker — does Swearengen’s awesomeness outbalance the suckitude of Fogler? It’s tipping, it’s…wait! The Panda’s father is who? James Hong? David fucking Lo Pan?! You have redeemed yourself, noble Panda. (+3 points)

3. Get Smart ($20 million, $77.2 million): Ouch. Well. Fortunately, this little turd will soon be flushed. Steve Carrell is great and all, but seriously, it’s like watching an improv by slack-jawed morons. And who let Anne Hathaway in this movie?! Get the fuck out of here! You do not belong — and fire that dipshit agent of yours, would you? Verily, Terence Stamp does grace us with his presence, but his sidekick is Borat’s taint facial. We’re ashamed to say it, but we do not smell what the Rock is cooking in this movie. And a direct to DVD spinoff the same weekend? Are you fucking kidding me? (-3 points — and we’re being generous)

2. Wanted ($51.1 million, $51.1 million): This lost, only because it’s an R-rated buffet of delight, and the whining power of young children will ever-ever outweigh the force of curving bullets. It’s got not just Jolie looking luscious, but Stamp as a rogue bullet-making monk. McAvoy puts forth a surprisingly effective performance, and it’s nice to see Morgan Freeman doing something other than playing the Knowledgeable Negro™. But the Loom of Fate? Oh, Timur. Timur, Timur, Timur. Bad Russian, no borscht! (+4 points)

1. Wall-E ($62.5 million, $62.5 million): What disturbs us most about Wall-E is that no one is nervous about a movie that is completely digitally created, features very little dialogue, has almost no humans, and is, in part, about the destruction of our planet. Wake up, people. This is a harbinger of things to come. The machines will rise, and they won’t look like The Governator, or Robert Patrick, or that brick house from BloodRayne. No, it’ll start with your goddamn blenders and George Foreman grills, and the next thing you know, the fucking robot uprising will be upon us. And you will have done nothing!

Kneel before Wall-E! (+1,000,000 points)







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