The writing was on the wall for Sony Pictures’ sci-ci film “Chappie,” when they
announced, 2 weeks ago, that media screenings would be held only 36 hours
before the film’s release on Friday. That typically means only one thing: except for
the fanboys who like, and will defend any crap you throw in front of them, as long as it has a
lot of special effects in it, that the studio had no confidence in the film, and
it was going to get slaughtered in reviews.
what? It got slaughtered in the reviews, and the word of mouth has been horrible. The
film is a total mess, for sure. The plot is unfocused and lurches from simple
sentimentality, to bloody violent action, with no context at all. Aside from
being also incredibly stupid, the main characters are truly annoying, with inconsistent, muddled motivations, just to keep the story going despite how
illogical it gets.
Furthermore, director/co-writer Neil Blomkamp is just a lazy filmmaker, obviously satisfied
with blatantly ripping-off ideas and concepts without shame, from “Robocop” 1 and 2, “Short
Circuit,” “A.I.,” “Frankenstein,” Jar-Jar Binks (yes, Jar-Jar) and of course, his earlier
film, “District 9.”
far, for me, is 0 for 3; though I know there are people who will still defend their
sainted “District 9,” which not was onlyvastly overrated, but a racist piece of shit as
well. How that film actually got
nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay Oscars is beyond me.
encouraging news is that, people, by and large, had their doubts about “Chappie.” It
opened in first place this weekend, but with a very disappointing $13 million, though projections last week were
that the film would do twice as much. And yet, even though it will, for sure, drop
like a rock in the following weeks, Blomkamp still has it made. As Tambay
himself said recently, and I quote: “Yet he’ll
continue to command mega Hollywood studio budgets, directing tent-pole pictures
like the next film in the “Alien” franchise, which he was just handed
the keys to (with just 1 *hit* on his resume). The day that black directors are
given just as many opportunities, and of this magnitude, especially after
repeat failures, like their white contemporaries, will be the day when we can
say that we’re finally approaching anything that looks like racial parity in
And that wasn’t
all. He continued with the following: “Of course fanboys and girls will watch this, and
cheer, wholeheartedly believing that what is in front of them is
“intelligent cinema,” thanks to Blomkamp’s heavy-handed attempts at
making socio-political commentary. “It makes you think,” they’ll
proclaim, and then chide anyone who challenges that “thinking.””
isn’t the only one. There’s Vince Vaughn and director Ken Scott as well. Their
comedy “Unfinished Business,” which also opened Friday, tanked big time, with under $5 million, in 10th place. But that’s par for the course with Vaughn, one of
those “How-in-the-hell did-this-lout-ever-become-a-movie-star?” movie star.
Better-suited instead to be delivering pizzas, his slovenly, boorish, fast talking, con
man act wore out pretty thin. And check
out his resume with other box office duds like “Fred Claus,” “The Dilemma,” “The Watch,” “The Internship,” “Four Christmases” and “Delivery Man,” all box office turkeys, and
yet he’s still in demand.
Now to add
to that stellar list of losers is “Unfinished Business,” directed by Scott, whose
last film was the aforementioned stinker with Vaughn, “Delivery Man.” How does
that work in Hollywood? “Hey remember ‘Delivery Man’? So let’s put Vaughn and Scott together in another lame comedy.
It’s guaranteed to work this time.”
said for Blomkamp goes double for Vaughn and Scott. And yet Hollywood can’t
figure out why it’s losing. In fact, box office totals are 40% down from the
same time last year, which were already significantly lower than the previous
So with that
rant of my chest, let us continue shall we? The weekend was a particularly weak
one with last week’s No. 1 film, “Focus,” taking a dive of some 46%, with just over
$10 million. It’s headed to becoming the lowest grossing Will Smith starring
vehicle ever made. Like I suggested last week, it was a big mistake to
piss off sisters, getting it on with that blond white chick in the movie. No joke. I wouldn’t be surprised for Smith to aggressively start pushing for another “Hancock” or “Bad Boys” movie.
of Grey” has, believe or it not, hit the half a billion mark worldwide. And it seems
that only bright spot this weekend was “The Second Best Marigold Hotel” – the cash
grab sequel to the 2012 b.o. sleeper hit.
The film grossed $8.6 million in its limited release, and has made more than that
overseas, so far, as well. Aimed at an older, more sophisticated audience, starved for decent entertainment and with
its PG rating, “Second Best” is poised to be another sleeper hit as well.