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The Top Ten Films of 2012…and more! (Flick’s List)

Posted on | February 8, 2013 | 4 Comments

We’ve never done it before, never, not for any other year. But all of the other critics do it and we believe the time has come. It’s time to list the top ten films of the year. Below, you can find my top picks. So, what’s the “…and more!”? Well that would be some awards that will be given to the Worst Film of the Year, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director. Enjoy! I hope to be posting more posts in the rest of the new year!

First, a word or two describing the year. 2011 was widely considered a terrible year for movies. Personally, I think there were some great spectacles, but, similar to this year, there were also many disappointments. All in all, I would say this year was a better year than last. That is not to say that there were no disappointments. In fact there were several films that I was highly anticipating, that dropped my excitement on the floor.

This was not the year of the spectacle. Many of those let-down films that I mentioned are big, explosive blockbusters. The summer was an unfortunate time for films, but the fall and winter films took the torch to a higher level. So what was this year? This was the year of the small (some large) films that put storytelling first. They didn’t use action sequences and laugh-out-loud jokes to carry the film on their shoulders. No, they used them to build your interest in the story. The films weren’t afraid to have A+ list actors sit in a room and talk for 150 minutes. The films weren’t afraid to build tension during cinematic reincarnations of events that we already know will turn out this way or that way. The films on my top ten list all did one thing in common: they told stories of different scales with one common goal. That goal was to keep the audience wanting more. I’m not saying that we need another sequel. What I mean is these were the films that I responded to…and will treasure over time. But before my list…The other lists!

The Other Top Ten Lists

Below are links to other critics thoughts on the year in film. Some are ten best lists while others are just thoughts and some are both, plus some are even audio. Enjoy!

David Edelstein (New York Magazine/Fresh AirRead the list from New York Magazine here. Listen to his thoughts on Fresh Air here.

A.O. Scott  (The New York Times)

Manhola Dargis (The New York Times)

Stephen Holden  (The New York Times)

Michael Phillips (The Chicago Tribune)

Josh Larsen (Larsen on Film)

David Denby (The New Yorker)

Anthony Lane (The New Yorker)

Adam Kempennar and more (Filmspotting) Listen to Part 1 here. Listen to Part 2 here.

Bob Mondello (All Things Considered)

Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter) Read his thoughts here.

Empire Magazine 

Total Film Magazine 

Ty Burr (The Boston Globe)

Wesley Morris (The Boston Globe)

Roger Ebert (The Chicago Sun-Times)

The Top Ten Films of the Year

10. Frankenweenie

Tim Burton’s ode to classic monster movies beautifully blends sentimentality with purposefully cheesy scares. It features a wonderful opening scene that I won’t spoil here. All I’ll say is that, of every moment in the film, the opening showcases Burton’s wildly funny imagination the best. The rest of the film isn’t quite up to your average Burton par, but it’s still enjoyable fun.

9. The Amazing Spider Man

It’s not the best action film of the year (save that for my next pick), but it’s one spot away (second place!), and an entertaining film at that. It was the only summer spectacle that not only met my expectations, but also took them and threw them out of the window. The film features several mind-blowing action sequences (large poles falling down, a scientist turned lizard, etc.) that may not have revolutionized visual effects, but certainly filled the spot of “Lack of Massive Summer Blockbuster”.

8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson’s decision to adapt J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit into two films scared some people out of their minds. But that shock was much smaller than a baby Hobbit compared to the level of surprise when Jackson announced that there would be not two films, but three. Whatever you think about Jackson’s decision, we can only judge the first film. So…let’s judge! Despite that looming dread in the back of my head (“There’s two more coming! Two more coming! Two more coming!”), I managed to enjoy most of the film It’s worth the extra money for the IMAX and 3-D, and despite the overly lengthy battle sequences (“Just throw the rocks already!” raced through my mind), this is an enjoyable romp through the mystical world that Tolkein and Jackson have magically created.

7. Moonrise Kingdom

An extraordinary achievement from a director who managed to blend story with humor, style with substance in this indie wonder. Wes Anderson is the man I am talking about. Anderson only overdoes the story with style a few times, and even those segments are entertaining because of the style overdose. Mostly though, he creates cinematic feats of marvel without using $250 million. Anderson has the ability to create entertaining moments out of small two person conversations, and that is unfortunately a rare however delicate skill.

6. Argo

A tense, politically personal thriller-drama that’s expertly crafted. The entire first three and a half quarters of the film are fabulous. Is it possible to have your heart racing, as you’re laughing? Director and star, Ben Affleck proves it is. The amazingly funny scene stealers are Alan Arkin and John Goodman, although Affleck does underuse them somewhat. The only major weakness of the film is the climax. Affleck makes the final moment so obviously fictional that I shivered in my seat. Other than that though, high marks to Mr. Affleck!

5. Life of Pi

While it doesn’t quite rise to the full potential that Yann Martel’s stunning novel gives, it is still a visual masterpiece and for what we have here, Ang Lee and his screenwriter, David Magee, do a good job with keeping everythng straight. The 3-D is the best I have ever seen and this is a competitor for my favorite visuals in a film of this year. (The only other close contenders areThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Amazing Spider Man.)

4. Les Miserables

Forget what they said. The critics were wrong. “A tasteless bombardment” and “I screamed a scream as time went by” were two of many criticisms that critics threw at this film. But, I heartily disagree. The only reason why you could possibly not like the film is because of the camera-on-a-rope effect that is slightly overdone and, of course, if you don’t like the music, then you won’t like it anymore after sitting in the dark for nearly three hours. But I love the music and the film. Tom Hooper’s decision to actually sing live (on set), was a great one because it pulls out the true emotion in the actors which forces us to feel like we’re sitting just above a Broadway stage. All of the actors are wonderful, especially Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. And while Russel Crowe doesn’t have quite as perfectly rounded a voice as Jackman and Hathaway, he can sing. I dreamed a dream that time went by and this remained…CLASSICCCCCCCCCCC!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Searching For Sugar Man

Searching For Sugar Man is in my opinion the best doccumentary of 2012. There were many other good ones, but this one prevails. It takes the story of an American musician who, ironically, failed in America but was a big success in South Africa and then…He shot himself in front of an audience at the end of a performance. But the film searches for the musician who went by the name Rodriguez. The story is fascinating and as a South African record store owner and music journalist come closer and closer to the truth, the pulse pounding kicks in. And boy does it kick hard. The film doesn’t only tell a fascinating story, but it also tells it well. On top of it all, Rodriguez’s music is wonderful and fortunately director Malik Bendjelloul isn’t afraid to incorporate Rodriguez’s music into the story, this giving the film a breaking-the-boundaries-of-doccumentaries feel. When the credits roll you are left with Rodriguez strumming his guitar and singing his pesimistic, yet amazing lyrics. “Sugar man” he sings. “Oh my gosh!” I respond, in awe of a riveting tale.

2. Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has a wide range: sci-fi ’70s action films to Indy & co. adventures to gritty warfare violence. But I didn’t think he could do this. Here, Spielberg manages to shift the focus in key moments from Lincoln to other vital characters. He also manages to do what, judging from the trailer, everyone thought impossible: turn Lincoln from giant legend statue to intimate, understanding, man. Best of all is Daniel Day-Lewis’ unflinching portait of Lincoln that is without a doubt mesmerizingly real. The screenplay by Tony Kushner, I agree with the critics, does feel more like a play than a film. That doesn’t mean that Spielberg loses sight of his usually cinematic camera angles. In a year of films that ranged from the plain awful to the cream of a very good crop, Lincoln managed to battle it’s way to second place. It is a sincere and beautiful film, not because it involves $250 million effects (which it doesn’t), but because Spielberg and his team took their time. In doing so they have created a film that is beatiful because it is so unlike anything else. It is a real masterpiece.

1. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Raw. It’s definition: “a material or substance in it’s natural state; not yet processed or purified”. That’s how I would describe Beasts of the Southern Wild. It is directed by a debut director and it stars an adult who is a debut and…Quvenzhanè Wallis. Possibly the best performance of the year, as it is unrivaled in realistic feeling. By the way, she was five when she shot it and had never acted in anything before. And the film was shot with just under $2 million. And yet Zeitlin manages to capture truly wonderful acting in order to ground the film in raw, stark reality. The first time I watched the film, I was under impressed, but the second time, the film was totally different to me. Now, I can’t wait to see it for a third time.

The Year Roundup

I hope you enjoyed my list of the top ten films of the year. But no worries: it’s not time to say goodbye yet! Oh no! To give light to other films that didn’t crack the top ten, but were brilliant or horrible in their own way, I have decided to list off some achievements. Let’s start with the worst of the worst.

Worst Film: Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

I love Dr. Seuss’ playful and funny books, his wit and his humor that travels to all ages. But this animated film is the opposite. Here we get a piece of tasteless trash. A despicable film this is. Not only does it not do justice to a timeless book, it seems as if the filmmakers are prurposefully trying to make this a terrible experience for the audience: it’s unbelievably that bad! The songs are tastelessly antagonizing the already boring film. Am I overwhelming you with terribly awful adjectives? I am sorry, but this film deserves them. There is however one redeeming element to the film: it’s a very short 86 minutes!

Thoughts on Performances of the Year:

This year was a great one for performances. They ranged from debut breakouts that include Suraj Sharma to Ben Affleck sporting a ’70s hairdo to Hugh Jackman singing at the top of his lungs. Some actors and actresses starred in many films like the Hemsworth brothers, Liam and Chris. (Liam appeared in three films: The Hunger Games, The Expendables 2, and Love and Honor. Chris on the other hand, tied his brother’s amount of films and appeared in The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Red Dawn.) But my favorite actor and actress of the year both appeared in one film. The actor nearly didn’t get the part, not because he wasn’t offered it, but because he dismissed it. Once he accepted, he researched the role for one year. The actress had nothing to research. She did the audition. Two days later, her mother gets a phone call. She got the part. Both performances are massively different, but both are, in my opinion, truly wonderful works of acting. Here they are.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

I have never seen an actor like Daniel Day-Lewis. This is the only film I’ve seen him in, but while and after watching him, I could feel Lincoln. Lincoln is one of the most loved American presidents of all time. He is one of the most famous people of all time. He died one of the most tragic deaths of all time. How do you translate all of that into one film, more precisely one performance? You don’t. You focus on one task out of a trillion and make that performance a nail biting “How did he pull that off?” craze. In a year of great male performances, this one arose from the rest because of Day-Lewis’ sheer skill.

Best Actress: Quvenzhanè Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

“Come on! She was five years old when she shot the film!” If you haven’t seen the film, that is what must be racing through your mind. That’s exactly what I thought when I heard the buzz. There were definitely many great performances from adult women this year, so why did this youngster surpass them all? I highly doubt that Wallis was aiming for perfection. I think she was just doing her best. But there is a raw intensity that she posses. It’s far too raw for some; many people don’t enjoy watching something so real. But I love it. I love the overwhelming expressions that spread across Wallis’ face as her character, Hushpuppy, experiences many things that your average 5 year-old wouldn’t be able to handle. This is barely a performance: to me it registers more as a 5 year-old being put on camera, acting as she always would. This is probably part of Wallis’ genius.

Thoughts on Directors: I’ve already talked about the great performances of the year, but now the question has come: how are these films crafted so greatly? They are directed by a great director. Also, the entire film. From the special effects to the score to the cinematography; it comes down to the director to make the final decision. The greatest directors of this year are the ones who have been able to take the stories and make them something of their own. They put their style into it. Lincoln wouldn’t have been the same if it was directed by Benh Zeitlin or Terrence Malick or Martin Scorsese or Tim Burton. As you read those names you must be thinking “I can’t even imagine the film with those directors at the helm!”. That’s my point! Spielberg makes Lincoln his own film. But what about some other directors who are just starting out. Take for example Malik Bendjelloul (Searching For Sugar Man) or Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man). Are they just as good? Judging from this year, yes. But my No. 1 pick just barely manages to rise above the rest.

Best Director: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

Although Beasts of the Southern Wild managed to beat out Lincoln for my favorite film of the year, Spielberg managed to beat Zeitlin for my favorite director. Why? Because, with Lincoln, I sense Spielberg is moving into a new phase of his career. Is this enough for me to award him as being the best director of the year? No. But this phase, judging from this film, will be a wonderful one, an absolutely great one. Spielberg garners great performances from his actors, but so does Zeitlin! Yes, but I think Wallis is more responsible for her performance than Zeitlin. I think Spielberg is very much responsible for not only Day Lewis’ performance, but the entire ensemble’s performance. Spielberg has so much to deal with: keeping John Williams’ score hearty and exciting, but reserved, keeping the editing in sync with the film’s long, slowly drawn out pace, not allowing for Janusz Kaminski to get too fancy with the camera work, and of course getting the most emotional, dramatic, yet real performances out of the talented cast. And he pulls it off. Every nitty-gritty trick, it’s all there.

With that, I hope you’ve enjoyed my year end-wrap up extravaganza. It was probably the hardest post to write out of any that I have written. It’s also just about the longest (or pretty close) post I ever wrote. But, I think it was worth it. Was it? (Comment below! COMMENT BELOW!!!!!) Until the next post…”That’s all folks!” (Trust me, that’s really all there is left to say.)

West Side Story (Flick’s Review)

Posted on | June 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

5 stars

There are two street gangs: the Jets (the Americans) and the Sharks (the Puerto Ricans). Two young teens are in love: Tony and Maria. But there’s one problem. They are from different families and both families/gangs will not allow them to be together. As the two gang’s rivalry gets bigger and bigger tragedy ensues.

What a wonderfully delightful and yet incredibly heartbreaking epic musical. If you haven’t seen and you’re a fan of musicals, Shakespeare, and/or if you’re in existence on the universe do yourself a favor and watch West Side Story. It’s a joy. Not only because of the insanely catchy songs like America, Maria, Cool, I Feel Pretty, Jet Song (“when you’re a Jet”), and wordless tunes like Overture and Prologue. Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics are great and while listening to the Overture set against the credits featuring the legendary Saul Bass’s titles, it’s obvious that this is a masterpiece.Shakespeare’s original Romeo and Juliette was and still is a wonderful play. However this 60’s film version sets the tragedy to jump-up-and-dance music. However that doesn’t mean the play is sugared down. It’s certainly not: the Sharks and Jets constantly battle in hopes to claim their side of the street. And yet, when the final “rumble” comes… no I won’t spoil the movie here, but if you haven’t heard of Romeo and Juliette you have some dangerously serious catching up to do. For any  incredibly serious thespians, a musical of the very serious play might not sound like a great idea, but it certainly works. And while it “works” it becomes a classic.

My favorite character is Tony because Richard Beymer has a lively voice and in the climax moral questions are raised because of Tony’s actions.

My favorite scene is a tie between the opening scene because the snapping fingers and whistling give the scene so much suspense… and then the dancing comes and it’s amazing. My other favorite scene is when Rita Moreno leads some of the Puerto Ricans in singing America because the song is fun and has real meaning.

West Side Story will be remembered as a timeless classic. Long live this deliriously sung musical with nail biting action.

Updated Summer Movie Preview: June 2012

Posted on | June 3, 2012 | Add Comments

In the first part of my June movie preview I will discuss and predict critics reactions and box office tallies. In the first three weeks of June there is only one movie that will totally make over $100 million in the US alone although there are two other films that I’m guessing will make over that mark as well. Without further adieu, here we go!

Snow White and the HuntsmanJune 1st: To kick off June is one of the more intriguing new blockbusters, Snow White and the Huntsman. It stars box office biggies Kristen Stewart (from Twilight) as the leading heroine and Chris Hemsworth (from The Avengers and Thor) as the Huntsman. A previous Snow White film Mirror Mirror, released March this year, failed at the box office and with critics. However, this version of the classic fairy tale looks darker, more modern, and less of a happy family movie and more an exciting scary fantasy film. On paper this new modern version seems like it will be more successful than Mirror Mirror.  However there are a few detractors: the director Rupert Sanders has never made a movie before, Kristen Stewart doesn’t always get good acting reviews, also movies such as The Avengers (which is making a lot money and will probably be third place with $29 million)  and Men in Black 3 (which will likely be successful in the long run and be in second place with $40 million), will still be competing against new movies coming out like Snow White. However some people are still wondering if women will want to see an action movie and if men will want to see a Snow White movie. I think the film seems like it has enough big movie stars, battle scenes, and fairy tale magic to lure in enough audiences to make the movie movie successful. It might not be an Avengers type smash, it might not even earn back it’s $170 million budget back in the US, and it certainly won’t be as big as Alice In Wonderland but it should still be enough for the cast and crew to make money. Critics will probably enjoy the movie but not the actors and action. RT (Rotten Tomatoes) prediction 75% fresh. OWG (opening weekend gross): $45 million DTG (domestic total gross): $160 million ITG (international total gross): $400 million

Prometheus
Madgascar 3: Europe's Most WantedJune 8th: Prometheus has been called by many as “the most anticipated non-sequel of 2012. Why? Because Ridely Scott is returning to sci-fi for the first time since his 1982 movie Blade Runner was released 30 years ago. However this movie is said to be a prequel on Ridley Scott’s only other science fiction film: Alien. Though many Alien fans are waiting to see it, there are numerous detractors. For one, there are no real movie stars all though Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Thereon, and Idris Elba have all been in some famous movies. Also the Alien movies were not massive smashes at the time although adjusted for inflation Alien made $249 million. And the biggest problem is that the movie is rated R, which will prevent younger people, like me, from seeing it.  Still I think there will be enough older people who want to see it. Critics will likely enjoy this film because Alien and Aliens were well reviewed, although the other two Alien films were not. Also that weekend, the animated movie Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted opens.  The previous Madagascar films have been very successful, especially in the rest of the world were foreign audiences have flocked to see them. Lately animated sequester such as Cars 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2 last Summer have performed considerably less compared to their predecessors.  However the trailers of this movie have showed enough combinations of comedy and action to lure family audiences in.The film showed at Cannes this year and has gotten fairly good reviews so far.  This will be a very tight weekend of competing films, although they will be vying for very different audiences. The rest of of the box office: 3rd place: Snow White and The Huntsman with $33 million 4th place: Men in Black 3 with $35 million 5th place: The Avengers with $15 million  Prometheus: RT (Rotten Tomatoes) prediction 88% fresh. OWG: $40 million DTG: $130 million ITG: $445 million. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted  RT prediction 80% fresh. OWG: $65 million DTG: $195 million ITG: $605 million.
first kids movie summer

Rock Of AgesJune 15th: This weekend is an odd one with two new releases that likely won’t even make over $65 million domestically. So far this year most movies have either totally bombed (John Carter, Battleship) or totally made money (The Avengers, The Hunger Games). One release, Rock of Ages cost $80 million to make and in the US it probably won’t earn that much. Other recent summer movie musicals Mamma Mia (DTG: $144 million) and Hairspray (DTG: $118 million) both had opening weekends of $27 million. Worldwide they made $609 million and $202  million, respectively. This time though Hairspray director Adam Shankman has made a movie starring Russell Brand, Paul Giammatti, Catherine Zeta Jones, Alec Baldwin, and most surprisingly Tom Cruise as a singing rock star. I think that not many people will go to see this film and it will be a flop. Tom Cruise being a silly singer rather than a super spy may be a  intereeseting premise but that’s not enough to carry a movie to box office gold and critical praise (it definitely won’t get either of those two prestigious things). While it could be a breakout hit it doesn’t seem like it will be. The other release Adam Sandler’s latest comedy That’s My Boy should open just a bit below Jack and Jill‘s $25 million opening weekend and $75 million DTG, and ITG of $149 million. However considering this an R rated comedy and not a PG one it should do a bit worse. Also Adam Sandler has never been critically loved. But which Adam will get the top box office spot: Shankman or Sandler? Neither (although Sandler will do a little better! Madagascar 3 should easily hold the top spot with $53 million and Prometheus should be just a little behind in 2nd place with about $35 million. Because of weak new release competition Prometheus should turn into something of a surprise hit and Madagascar something of a big hit. Rock of Ages: RT: 48% rotten OWG: $17 million DTG: $55 million ITG: $115 million That’s My Boy: RT: 25% rotten OWG: $19 million DTG: $62 million ITG: $115 million

That's My BoyAlso don’t forget to check back soon for movie talk from Flack about the rest of June!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Flick’s Review)

Posted on | March 21, 2012 | Add Comments

2 stars

Ted lives in a world without nature.  Everything is plastic, nothing is organic.  But when Ted’s girlfriend says what she really wants is a tree,Ted becomes determined to find one. Ted’s grandmother tells him in order to find a tree, he must go on a journey to find the Onceler. Ted learns the story of the Lorax and decides to change his town.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who!, and now Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax have all been made into feature films. The new film is the first 3-D Suess film and with voices by Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny Devito, Ed Helms, and Betty White, The Lorax is surprisingly not enjoyable.  The real reason why this film isn’t going to stand the test of time, is simple: the message Suess displays in the original book gets lost in the (mostly) forgettable musical numbers and added characters who aren’t very interesting. Even the character of the Lorax differs from the book; in the film he becomes more of a comic relief. The “that’s a woman” joke is so unSeussian that I wish the Despicable Me crew sent this to Pixar. Imagine a John Lasseter directed Lorax with John Ratzenberger as the Lorax. Okay, maybe give Ratzenberger a smaller part, but it would still be better than this version.Why didn’t I give this zero stars? There are redeeming qualities but nothing in the film is above good. The only redeeming quality the 3-D adds is that it doesn’t distract from the story because it does so little. It doesn’t even get in your face! I think that’s where the film comes short. I don’t need 3-D in my face, but I do want the message to be evident. The story and message don’t tear out your eyes to aware you to stop cutting down trees, instead fans of the book (like me) are rewarded with unmemorable songs and low quality entertainment. So in the end I wish The Lorax did come in my face; if only the story was right in front of me. As Dr Seuss might have said: the film is so poor and it’s mostly a bore.

My favorite character is the Onceler because I liked seeing the different characteristics he had during his life shown in the film.

My favorite scene is when the Lorax, the bears and the fish put the Onceler in the river while he’s in his bed, because of the Mission Impossible theme rendition, the original music and the textured CG.

The Lorax is rated PG for some mild language and brief rude humor.  If only the one swear was cut (I don’t know which humor was rude), then it could have been G.

The Lorax is great for younger kids, but serious Dr. Seuss fans will be disappointed.

Box Office Battle Brews (Flack’s Report)

Posted on | March 14, 2012 | Add Comments

When 2011’s total box office total grosses were announced to be the lowest since 1995, high expectations were already being set for 2012.  I was personally surprised about 2011, considering that the last Harry Potter installment, not one but four super hero films, Transformers 3, and two Steven Spielberg films were all released.  But with Batman 3, a Spider-Man movie, the Avengers, and another Steven Spielberg movie all being released in 2012, excitement is starting to brew.

So far the box office is 24% higher at this than point last year.  But not quite as high as 2009 and 2010 at this point.  Coraline and Pink Panther 2 were released in early 2009 and Avatar was released in December 2009 and obviously carried over into early 2010.  This year 3 movies have already passed the 100 million dollar mark.  In order from least to greatest, they are:  the action movie, Safe House ($116 million), the romance, The Vow ($118 million), and the family film, The Lorax ($129 million).  Those movies also have the highest opening weekends, with $40 million, $41 million and $70 million.  Also twenty movies have passed the 30 million mark.  Still there have been a large number of commercial flops, such as, This Means War, The Woman in Black, The Grey, Red Tails, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and so far John Carter.

Now let’s take a look at what other March blockbusters are coming up.

21 jump street movie

March 16, 2012: The Big Opening: 21 Jump Street.  Why it will be big?  Starring comedian and Oscar nominee, Jonah Hill.  And with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 85%, it’s likely to become a semi-big commercial, crowd pleaser. Why it will not be big: It’s rated R, which means that younger audiences won’t go.  Also others might not be old enough to remember the TV show.  My box office predictions:  Opening Weekend: $35 million, Domestic Total: $155 million, and International Total: $255 million.  Other movies opening that week:  Seeking Justice staring Nicolas Cage, Jeff who Lives at Home staring Jason Segel, and the Spanish film Casa de mi Padre starring Will Ferrel.

The Hunger Games

March 23, 2012: The Big Opening: The Hunger Games. Why: This is the biggest non-summer, non-holiday movie of the year.  Comparisons to Twilight could give it a push…. or not.  The first Twilight opened to 69 million dollars in it’s opening weekend, but this is likely to do better.  It has a massive, massive, massive fan base and could get great reviews.  Why not: It’s possible because not everyone is familiar with it, it might not do well.  My box office predictions: Opening Weekend: $80 million, Domestic Total: $350 million, and International Total: $400 million. Other movies opening that week:  The Raid: The Redemption, and Brake.

Wrath of the Titans

March 30, 2012: The Big Openings:  Wrath of the Titans, and Mirror Mirror. Why? The first Titans movies was released to a $61 million weekend, suggesting this could very well possibly follow in its footsteps.  The first Titans movie was badly reviewed, and got a 28% splat on Rotten Tomatoes.  The 2 worst reviewed elements, however, are back: Sam Worthington and 3-D, but the first earned $300 million overseas, making this one a potential blockbuster. Also people now know that they didn’t like the first one so they might not return for a sequel.  Meanwhile Mirror Mirror is the more family-friendly of the two Snow White movies, opening in 2012.  It also stars Julia Roberts.  But it’s not a summer movie, an action movie, or a Kristen Stewart movie, or even a movie with Thor in it, which the other one is all of those. My box office predictions for Wrath of the Titans:  Opening Weekend: $40 million, Domestic Total: $200 million, International Total: $300 million.  My Mirror Mirror box office predictions: Opening Weekend: $25 million, Domestic Total: $115 million, International Total: $170 million.

Mirror Mirror

One last note, I wanted to point out is that all top 1o movies at the box office right now have a SPLAT on Rotten Tomatoes, which means they are badly reviewed.  However I expect that to change for new movies coming out, particularly the first two ones I was just talking about  Many people are saying that all this good box office will lead people into the Summer, however I hope that some of the Summer movies get good reviews.  In December, I’m expecting The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to be the big holiday movie and Lincoln (directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis) to be the big Oscar movie and a potential blockbuster. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will probably be first or second place along with The Dark Knight Rises for the whole, entire year. The Amazing Spider-Man, Skyfall, and The Avengers will round out the top 5 for the year (not in order).  More Summer movies preview for 2012 are coming soon.

The Hobbit

The Lorax (Flack’s Review)

Posted on | March 11, 2012 | 1 Comment

The Lorax (Flack’s Review)
4 Stars

The Lorax is loosely based on the classic Dr. Seuss book by the same name. It is about a young boy named Ted who sets out on a journey to find a tree for Audrey (which is also the name of Dr. Seuss’s wife) who he is in love with. He meets the Oncler who tells him the story of the Lorax and helps on his adventure. Along with his grandmother, his mom, and others, he embarks on a quest to find a non-plastic tree in his all plastic world, guarded by evil businessmen. However, if he doesn’t believe in his mission a lot he just won’t make it, he will not!!!!!

The Lorax is a surprisingly good family film with so-so songs, a great voice cast, and creative animation!!!!! Walking into the theatre I had pretty low expectations. Expecting to give it two stars, I was also wondering how the film would live up to the book. But in the end I was happily surprised. The movie is a musical. When comparing the songs to those of another recent family-friendly movie musical, The Muppets, the Lorax’s songs are just okay. “How Bad Can I Possibly Be” isn’t really that bad and “Let It Grow” is delightfully cheerful. But the show stopping opener has been done better and has been done before. None of them are as great as “Life’s A Happy Song” and the Oscar-winning “Man Or Muppet,” but they are okay.

Compared to the mega-popular blockbuster, Despicable Me (made by both the same studio and directed by the same directors) this is way better. Despite The Lorax‘s massive opening weekend at the box-office, I’m afraid that bathroom jokes and annoying minions will live on longer than the movie form of tree-choppers and furry orange animals. The Lorax does have some joyful jokes and great gags. My favorite? The part in which the Lorax robs the Oncler’s bed and all the tree animals start singing the Mission:Impossible theme song. I also loved the beautiful animation, even though at times it is a bit too candy colored. The 3-D is okay. It doesn’t even come close to Hugo, which I think is the best 3-D ever (I haven’t seen Avatar in the format of 3-D). But, hey it’s still always cool to see things go fly right up in to your face. After watching this I want to go back and rewatch Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who, from 2008.

My favorite scene is when the Lorax and the tree animals sing the Mission:Impossible theme song because it is hilarious and a neat and funny reference.

My favorite character is the Lorax because of Danny DeVito’s Robin Williams as the Genie in Aladdinish voice acting.

The movie is rated PG by the MPAA for brief mild language. The movie is rated G by Flack because there is nothing that inappropriate about it and so that more younger kids could see it and because I think they would like it.

With a great voice cast including Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Ed Helms, as well as the fabulously funny Betty White and Danny DeVito plus a great moralistic message, this a great movie. It’s even better than Cars 2 (the worst Pixar movie ever). And beneath the movie’s so-so songs, candy colored animation and okay 3-D it is a terrific tribute to Dr. Seuss.

The Lion King (Flack’s Review)

Posted on | February 6, 2011 | 1 Comment

The Lion King is about Simba  who is the son of Mufasa, the current king. When Mufasa is killed Simba runs away from his home. On his journey he meets Timon and Pumba and is reunited with his old friend Nala. Meanwhile at the Pride Lands (Simba’s  old home) all the animals are starving because of Scar, Simba’s uncle who has become king. When Nala reminds Simba  that he is the rightful king he must choose. Will he return to the Pride Lands and claim that he is the king or never go home?

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My favorite character is Simba because I think the animation,voice,and singing of him is very good. I also like what he does in the story. My favorite scenes are the songs Hakuna Matata, The Circle of Life and I Just Can’t Wait To Be King because I like the music.

The songs, animation, voices, story, and characters are all excellent. If you have not seen this movie you should definitely watch it. And just because the animation is traditional doesn’t mean it’s not absolutely stunning. The voices are all terrific especially the voices of Simba and Mufasa. The story and characters are well fleshed out too. The film is a Disney classic and a treat for all ages. If you like it you might want to see the equally equexcellent Broadway show. If you want to know about this and other movies that Disney struggled making you should see the amazing documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. The film is rated G but I think it should be rated PG for a sad scene, brief scary images, and some accessional action scenes. I give the movie 5 out of 5 reels.

Singin’ in the Rain :: Flack’s Review

Posted on | November 2, 2010 | 2 Comments

Rating: 5 movie reels

Singin in the RainThis movie is about Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood who are famous silent action movie stars. When the sound movies (the talkies) come, they of course have to make one. The problem is that Lina’s voice is squeaky and everyone laughs at her. So Don and his silly friend, Cosmo and the lady he is in love with, Kathy Seldon, must come up with a way to make the movie work.

The good and bad things: There is romance but that’s part of the story. If you do not like musicals you will not like this movie but if you do it may be your favorite movie ever. I do like musicals and this is one of the best musicals I have ever seen. It’s also very funny and there’s a tiny bit of action when they film the movies. The thing that makes the movie so good are of course the songs and the dancing because they are catchy, fun and funny.

My favorite scenes are all musical numbers. They are not in the order of how good they are. My favorite scenes are “Make ’em Laugh” because it’s hilarious, “Moses Supposes” because it is funny and  just great, and “Singin’ in the Rain” which is probably the best because it’s catchy, fun, and the best song of the movie.

My two favorite characters are Cosmo, because he is funny, and Don because I like when he sings and dances.

Rated G

I rate it G also. There is nothing inappropriate.