The Spirit Looks Like Box Office Botulism
Currently clocking in at a pathetic 16% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, Frank Miller's adaptation of the classic Will Eisner comic strip debuted on a crowded Christmas day, with five films being put into wide release. It came in seventh, losing out to the cutesy look-a-puppy Marley and Me, prestige piece The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Adam Sandler crap-along Bedtime Stories, and Tom Cruise's Nazi eye-patch caper Valkyrie -- and two movies that opened the week earlier. With reviews like "Achieves all the high-tech excitement of a Sea Monkeys commercial" and "To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material" (that one from Roger Ebert, no less), bad word of mouth made the movie drop to ninth place for the weekend, and it looks like we have an epic, Howard the Duck disaster on our hands.
Verdict: Not much of a surprise from what we'd seen so far. But could it be so toxic that it poisons Sin City 2?
The New York Times puts things in perspective by looking at the year's big hits in number of tickets sold instead of the gross dollar amount, which is inflated by higher ticket prices. Turns out Twilight is on track to sell about as many tickets as Patch Adams or Michael, the 1996 movie about John Travolta playing an angel. Not exactly monster blockbusters. Sex and the City? About the same as First Wives Club, if you can remember that one. Even The Dark Knight doesn't seem quite as grand any more -- it's only #26 in all-time ticket sales. Behind 101 Dalmatians. (H/t Hero Complex.)
Verdict: The Twilight hype did seem a little hard to swallow. Then again, Patch Adams was pretty sweet. That red nose! Robin Williams, you are a delight.
Confirmed: Awards Boards Love Meryl Streep, Even When She's Lip-Synching Karaoke
Meryl Streep broke the record for most Golden Globe nominations, scoring one for Doubt, playing a nun, and one for Mamma Mia!, playing some reason to run along the beach singing "Fernando." Take that, Jack Lemmon! Twenty-two nominations. Please.
Verdict: Frankly, I think anointing every single thing Streep does an instant masterpiece is annoying. (Watch Death Becomes Her, and we'll talk.) Let's face it, this is a terrible movie, no matter how much money it made. And giving awards to anybody associated with it taints the whole idea of awards. Even the Nobel looks a little less impressive today.
The Terminator Named a National Treasure
Seriously! Alongside The Asphalt Jungle and the 1933 Invisible Man, the movie that brought us "I'll be back" and Arnold Schwarzenegger's naked heinie was one of 25 films named to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry this year. Only 500 movies are on the Registry, films that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant, that will now be preserved, forever.
Verdict: If Twins doesn't make the list next year, I think it's time to stage a coup.