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David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks Of Summer… That's A Wrap!

This summer being the biggest ever is just as insignificant a stat as The Slump stats were in 2005. To perceive this as a recovery by theatrical, you have to have bought into the absurdity of The Slump in the first place. And to sing to high heaven about two $250 million-plus productions and two $150 million-plus productions and none passing $350 million … that’s silly too.
Given the budgets of this summer and the security of the franchises – 8 of the current 13 $100 million grossers were sequels, two were based on TV cartoons, one was Adam Sandler, Ratatouille is part of the Pixar franchise and only Knocked Up really stood a unique, unfranchised, not-star-driven 9-figure films – we should have expected bigger numbers. Again, all five of the Top Five for this summer grossed $200 million in less than 12 days … and none cracked $340 million total.
Moreover, the only sequels to do under $97 million domestic were Hostel II, 28 Weeks Later, and the not-really-a-sequel sequel, Daddy Day Camp. Of the other nine sequels – the ones released by the majors – only Evan Almighty was under $110 million domestic or $250 million worldwide. So … does anyone want to ask the “Why do they make so many damned sequels” question again?

The Rest…

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58 Responses to “20 Weeks Of Summer… That's A Wrap!”

  1. LYT says:

    So how about that Hairspray, eh?
    I’d have won that bet about it not hitting $200 mill if we’d made it way back when.

  2. Crow T Robot says:

    Summer wrap up poll time. Give me your choice for…
    1) Best movie
    2) Worst movie
    3) Biggest creative winner
    4) Biggest creative loser
    5) Most overrated
    6) Most underrated
    7) Biggest surprise
    8) Favorite scene
    9) Breakout star
    10) Most unfortunate success

  3. Josh Massey says:

    So can we expect a retraction from Don Murphy? “Er, fourth biggest movie of the summer!” Nothing to scoff at, to be sure, but he definitely seemed to hang his hat on being the biggest.
    Crow, I haven’t seen enough to play, but I’ll definitely say no movie could have been more terrible or disappointing than Spider-Man 3.

  4. ployp says:

    Do keep in mind that a lot of movies have yet to open in Thailand, but here’s my take of what I’ve seen so far.
    Best Movie – Ratatouille (without a doubt!!)
    Worst Movie – Spider-man 3
    Biggest Creative Winner – Ratatouille
    Biggest Creative Loser – Spider-man 3
    Most Overated – really don’t know
    Most Underrated – again, haven’t seen anything worthy of this distinction.
    Biggest Surprise – Transformers (I really, really enjoyed it)
    Favorite scene – The ending of Ratatouille
    Breakout star – The young guy in Transformers
    Most unfortunate success – Spider-man 3
    I’m looking forward to seein Knocked-up and Stardust. I’ll have to wait until October.

  5. 555 says:

    Most unfortunate success has to go to Die Hard 4, as it now paves the way for Wiseman (and FOX) to take other traditionally R-rated fare and sanitize them for the kiddies.

  6. jesse says:

    Hooray polls!
    1) Best movie: toss-up between Ratatouille and Knocked Up, though I haven’t seen Superbad yet.
    2) Worst movie: License to Wed
    3) Biggest creative winner: How is this different from best? Well, I’ll go for people rather than films. Probably Apatow because he just got another couple of years to do whatever he wants.
    4) Biggest creative loser: The cast and crew of Fantastic Four 2, who had the opportunity to improve upon a mediocre first film and instead made pretty much the exact same kind of dopey movie as they did before.
    5) Most overrated: The Bourne Ultimatum — I liked it, more than the even-more-overrated Supremacy in fact, but the flipping out over these movies ought to stop.
    6) Most underrated: Spider-Man 3!
    7) Biggest surprise: Nancy Drew (I really enjoyed this movie; it’s not perfect but it’s a lot more fun than I could’ve anticipated)
    8) Favorite scene: Whoever said the last scene of Ratatouille… I’ll see you the last scene and raise you the last 10-15 minutes.
    9) Breakout star: Maybe it’s just because the film is fresh in my head, but the Tracy Flick-like girl in Rocket Science was pretty terrific… but she’s not a star by any means since no one will see the movie.
    10) Most unfortunate success: Shrek the Third. I know it made way less than Shrek 2, but that they could get to $300 million on such a crummy movie is still depressing.

  7. LYT, did David ever actually say Hairspray would make $200mil?
    For summer movies I haven’t seen Ratatouille, Hairspray, Bourne Ultimatum, Stardust, Die Hard 4 and many many others because they’re either not released here yet or I didn’t bother wasting my money.
    Best was Transformers. Worst was Spidey 3 (although, was La Vie en Rose a summer release? That was worse). Other than that I can’t really say.

  8. jesse says:

    Some of y’all astound me. Spider-Man 3 is indeed flawed and the weakest of the series… but it’s only a few comments into the thread and we’re already hearing about how Transformers? Was … better? Really? I mean, I enjoyed Transformers well enough in that it had giant robots beating the shit out of each other and smashing into buildings. I wasn’t bored. But even at its most overstuffed and leaden, Spider-Man 3 did have characters that I found interesting beyond their abilities to beat each other up. And at least the comedy in Spider-Man 3 comes from someplace offbeat and human (it felt very “Sam Raimi” to me), as opposed to a giant robot “peeing” on John Turturro, or Michael Bay’s general penchant for screaming black grannies (who the shuck-and-jive men then threaten with violence… hilarious).
    If this is what the geeks do when they inherit the earth — praise the fighting-toy movie while complain about a flawed but enjoyable Spider-Man movie — then I’m out. Enjoy the Thundercats movie, guys.

  9. IOIOIOI says:

    Best Movie – Stardust
    Worst Movie – Rush Hour 3
    Biggest Creative Winner – The Order of the Phoenix
    Biggest Creative Loser – Hostel 2
    Most Overated – The Three Sequels of May.
    Most Underrated – Waitress
    Biggest Surprise – Knocked Up.
    Favorite scene – Luna Lovegood and Harry talking at the end of OotP.
    Breakout star – Evanna Lynch
    Most unfortunate success – Shrek the Third.

  10. TuckPendleton says:

    I’ll take a few swings…
    Best movie / biggest surprise / most underrated: Once
    Favorite scene: the duet in the piano room of the recording studio from Once. (And, maybe Megan Fox working on the car’s engine in Transformers. Ahem.)
    Most pleasant surprise: Transformers. For trying to make as broadly commercial movie as possible, I’m not sure they could have done a much better job. Runner up: Disturbia.
    Breakout star: Has to be Katherine Heigl, doesn’t it? Will anyone else bank more new $$$ off of a summer perf than her? I would add Shia LeBouef, but it seems he was well on his way. (And am I the only one who felt better about Indy 4 after seeing Disturbia and Transformers?)
    I am torn on Spider-Man 3. While the movie itself was absolutely horrendous, the fact that it did so well may mean a 4th (and didn’t I read somewhere that Koepp was writing it?) and hopefully we can see some new blood behind and in front of the lens to rejuvenate Spidey.
    For another type of disappointment, I’d put up Waitress. Aside from the real tragedy, it’s also a shame we won’t get to see how Adrienne Shelly would grow as an artist.

  11. Rob says:

    1) Best movie: Knocked Up
    2) Worst movie: License to Wed
    3) Biggest creative winner: Has to be Apatow
    4) Biggest creative loser: Claire Danes or Lindsay Lohan
    5) Most overrated: I’m gonna be the asshole that says Once. It’s good, but…
    6) Most underrated: Paris je’taime
    7) Biggest surprise: Enjoying Hairspray
    8) Favorite scene: The finale of Hairspray; Leslie Mann cursing out the bouncer in Knocked Up; any of Paul Hughes’ talking-head moments in No End in Sight; the escape in Rescue Dawn; Michael Cera singing to the guys doing coke in Superbad; Edith Piaf singing “non, je ne regrette nien” in La Vie en Rose
    9) Breakout star: Michael Cera
    10) Most unfortunate success: Any part 3 except for Bourne

  12. jesse says:

    Totally forgot about Once — that could fight it out with Ratatouille and Knocked Up for best of the summer. I also really liked Sunshine.
    Tuck, I actually felt a little worse about Indy Jones 4 after Transformers, because though Shia is very likable, Bay keeps letting him resort to this sort of quasi-improv mook version of Vince Vaughn where he just babbles uncontrollably — and unrealistically; it’s not even entertaining or funny babbling. He’s just saying words. I didn’t believe that someone as obviously confident as Shia would be reduced to a stammering, incoherent mess by Megan Fox (no matter how hot she is). Have him putting his foot in his mouth or being awkward, sure, fine. But — befitting Bay’s trademark directorial style — it had to be so over-the-top and obvious that it winds up grating. The guy may be a good actor but he’s not automatically funny. He can’t, as far as I can tell, just riff and be charming.
    Spielberg will probably know how to keep that under control, and his work in Disturbia is fine. But Transformers took the shine off for me, at least a little.

  13. TuckPendleton says:

    OK, Jesse, I’ll take the bait.
    Spider-Man 3: the first movie arguably re-energized the genre. The 2nd many called the best superhero movie ever made. Which brings us to the third, an overstuffed, overlong train wreck built on a series of completely unbelievable coincidences, with no sense of story, or the pathos that made the first two so resonant. (Within the genre, anyway. We’re not talking Ordinary People here.) Not only that, while the first two winked at their audiences occasionally, the third devolved completely into camp, disrepsecting the audience and the previous two films. It also disappointing because Raimi could have ANYTHING he wanted with this film, and this is the result.
    Transformers: it’s a fighting-toy movie. Exactly. Not a movie that has to live up to 40+ years of the some of the best stories in comics, as well as two great films. We wanted a fighting toy movie, with giant robots bashing the crap out of each other, and it’s what we got. And given it’s creative CV, I’d say it surpassed creative expectations. I’ll also argue that Shia LeBouef gave that movie more heart than it had any right to have, and more heart than the entire cast of Spidey 3 combined.

  14. TuckPendleton says:

    Hey Jesse — I think we cross-posted.
    And at least we agree on Sunshine. 🙂
    I hear ya on your Shia concerns, but I think Spielberg will rein that in. I guess my initial reaction to his casting was that it was purely a sop to get the younger generation into the theatres (which I am sure there is an element of) but I do think after seeing these two films, that he’s got the chops.

  15. Wrecktum says:

    Poland is right about one thing…expect the “’08 slump” stories to start pouring in about nine months from now.

  16. Scott Mendelson says:

    1) Best movie
    Ratatouille. That was easy. The two best films of the year are both Disney cartoons (Rat and Meet The Robinsons). Best live action film, though, is Away From Her. Ironically, despite its quality, I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone as it’s genuinely painful to watch (the first act is especially brutal).
    2) Worst movie
    Transformers. Too many reasons to count (boring, unfunny, reluctant to actually show robot fighting action even at the climax, hence the constant cutaways to human stories). Ironically, I saw Disturbia before Transformers so I know that LeBouf can act and act well if he has to (I have this visual image of Shia begging Bay to let him act somewhat natural, and Bay thundering at him to be as goofy and ridiculous as possible lest Bay call Spielberg and get him kicked off Indy 4). I also know that the ‘confident but geeky guy wins the super-hot neighbor’ subplot doesn’t have to be as stunningly stupid, because he did it well in Disturbia (and gasp, she was allowed to be an actual character too!).
    3) Biggest creative winner
    4) Biggest creative loser
    Transformers. Bay could have built on the brains he developed on The Island, but he reverted back to his Pearl Harbor/Bad Boys 2 worst.
    5) Most overrated
    Transformers, since almost everyone I know loved it or tolerated it. My fiancee is SURE that we saw a different print. There were times last month when I felt like Kevin McCarthy/Donald Sutherland.
    6) Most underrated
    Not sure if ‘underrated’ applies, but Oceans 13 turned out to be the strongest of the series, with all of the good stuff of parts 1 and 2, and none of the fat that marred those installments.
    7) Biggest surprise
    Die Hard 4 turned out to be a relatively well-made, exciting adult action adventure movie. Real stunts and well-chereographed confrontations, this really felt like a return to the late 80s/early 90s genre. Ironically, despite the PG-13, it was STILL too violent for kids and it felt aimed at an adult audience.
    8) Favorite scene
    Peter O’Toole’s speech in Ratatouille.
    9) Breakout star
    Shia LeBouf (pardon the spelling, it’s early).
    10) Most unfortunate success
    Spider-Man 3 made $340 million without anyone really liking it, and most of the populace actually hating it.
    Scott Mendelson

  17. jesse says:

    Tuck, I can see some of your points though I enjoyed the movie, but I would definitely question two of ’em:
    1.) I don’t think Raimi was disrespecting the audience (to quote MJ in Spiderman 2, “… whatever that means!”) in the winking parts of Spiderman 3. That all felt in character (and funny) to me — Peter Parker is essentially a dork. So even the “bad” version of him is still going to be a dork. It doesn’t diminish him being a dick — and in fact, it made it more striking to me when he turns from a goofball-jerk to someone who turns and shoves Mary Jane in anger. I think people were expecting the movie to be darker, but I don’t know that “darker” fits with the series.
    2.) I don’t think Raimi really got to do whatever he wanted with this movie so I don’t take its weaknesses as an affront from him. I got the sense that he was trying to please the studio, the fans, and himself, all at once — hence the overstuffed nature of the movie. When you’re piloting a $300 million movie, you are in someone’s pocket to some extent. Unfortunate but true.

  18. movielocke says:

    1) Best movie – Stardust, runners up Knocked Up, Hairspray, Waitress, Bourne, Ratatouille, Pirates (been a good summer)
    2) Worst movie – Hot Rod (and not terrible, just the worst that I saw)
    3) Biggest creative winner – Hairspray
    4) Biggest creative loser – Stardust (shame to see this fail at the B.O. 🙁
    5) Most overrated – 300 (may not be summer, it’s still a terrible and terribly made movie).
    6) Most underrated – Stardust
    7) Biggest surprise – Waitress
    8) Favorite scene – whirlpool battle in Pirates, voodoo sword fight in Stardust, Secundus’ death in Stardust, teaching the boy to cook montage in Ratatouille, Amanda Bynes tears it up and sings in Hairspray, any song Queen Latifah sang in Hairspray, the Fred Astaire dance number with Edna and Wilbur in Hairspray,
    9) Breakout star – Shia LeBeouf
    10) Most unfortunate success – no opinion, I mostly saw good movies

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Excuse me, but I just looked at the list of movies yet to be released before the official end of summer. I’m not sure I’d be too quick to decide on “worst movie” quite yet.

  20. TuckPendleton says:

    Jesse (or anyone else):
    Didn’t Raimi have final cut on Spidey 3? I thought that he did. (If not, then I will revise earlier statements.)
    Regardless, I still don’t understand how Sony, who on the previous installments had David Koepp, Scott Rosenberg, Alvin Sargent, Michael Chabon, Millar/Gough working on the script, ended up with Sargent (okay, I get it) and Sam Raimi (hmmmm…ok), and…Ivan Raimi? This is THE franchise for Sony, and they can’t pony up for another A-list guy or gal? I think the only way Ivan Raimi ends up on this film is because Raimi had carte blanche.
    Maybe they had someone ghosting, but I don’t recall hearing or reading anything to that effect.

  21. iowabeef says:

    1) Best movie – Once, Ratatoullie, Hairspray, Away From Her, Waitress
    2) Worst movie – I Know Who Killed Me, Spiderman 3
    3) Biggest creative winner – It’s definately Apatow’s year
    4) Biggest creative loser – Lindsay Lohan Say what you want about her but at one time she was a promising actress and now her movies and personal life have ruined that hope — for now
    5) Most overrated – any sequel with a “3” at the end
    6) Most underrated – Well it did make money but I think Ratatoullie should have been a Finding Nemo sized hit, it was awesome
    7) Biggest surprise – honestly I think I am surprised at how much I hated a Mighty Heart, given the pedigree and the fact that I myself am a journalist so it was topical
    8) Favorite scene – the piano scene where they sing the duet in Once
    9) Breakout star – The Simpsons! I was like 1989 all over again!
    10) Most unfortunate success – Spiderman 3, Shrek 3, took two awesome franchises and kinda killed them

  22. Josh Massey says:

    Shia LeBeouf did nothing for me in Transformers, but I just caught Disturbia on DVD and was surprised how much I liked him in it.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Best: Ratatouille
    Worst: Evan Almighty, Fantastic 4 2
    Biggest Creative Winner: The Apatow twosome
    Biggest Creative Loser: Sam Raimi, even though I think Spider-Man 3 is underrated.
    Most overrated: Transformers. Come on guys, raise your standards.
    Most underrated: 28 Weeks Later
    Biggest surprise: How sloppily made Spider-Man 3 was (even though I liked it)
    Favorite scene: Anton Ego’s flashback, Ratatouille
    Breakout star: Shia TheBeef
    Worst success: All the bloated sequels.

  24. Nicol D says:

    1) Best movie: Ratatouille; beautiful, adult and what a family movie should be. A film every member of the family will like. Will age well.
    2) Worst movie: A tie between Hostel II and Sicko (you didn’t think I’d pick Spiderman 3 did ya?)
    3) Biggest creative winner: Knocked Up/Apatow team, they just keep raising the bar.
    4) Biggest creative loser; Lindsay Lohan, and I say this because she has genuine talent and sex appeal but it has been overshadowed by her personal life. Unfortunate all around.
    5) Most overrated – The Bourne Ultimatum, The left leaning New Republic said it best. Take out the overt left-wing ideology and this is nowhere near the great film critics are claiming. Michael Bay holds his shots longer. The Bourne films are good, but have not made the cultural impact of Bond no matter what its fans claim. Not bad by any definition…but overrated? Dear god, yes.
    6) Most underrated -Spiderman 3, not because it is a very good film, but just because it is not the absolute piece of shite everyone is saying. Much like the Star Wars prequels, it only suffers because what came before it was so great. Won’t age as badly as some claim.
    7) Biggest surprise- I loved Knocked Up but we all kinda knew it would deliver. The biggest surprise was Live Free or Die Hard. Even for those who did not love it, it was not the crap we all expected. I actually thought it was pretty damn good.
    8) Favorite scene – Gotta say the Bruce Willis-Maggie Q mash up in the elevator shaft with the vehicle in Live Free or Die Hard.
    9) Breakout star- Seth Rogen. Shia already was hot and got Indy before Transformers. Rogen is the true, out from nowhere star who made us take notice. Heigel already is a star from numerous TV series.
    10) Most unfortunate success-License to Wed is far too obvious and trite. I’ll say Shrek 3. A half assed success if ever there was one that just gave more of the same ol’ same’ol. Deserved to fall on its face for laziness, but got rewarded instead.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    A film doesn’t have to be good to have cultural impact, Nicol, and vice versa.

  26. Spacesheik says:

    Worst: SPIDERMAN 3
    Biggest Creative Winner: PIXAR
    Biggest Creative Loser: SAM RAIMI and TIM STORY (FF2)
    Most overrated: KNOCKED UP
    Most underrated: RATATOUILLE
    Biggest surprise: LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
    Favorite scene: THE SIMPSONS’ skateboarding/nude sequence
    Breakout star: SHIA LABOUEF
    Most unfortunate success: SHREK III

  27. Nicol D says:

    Never said it did, Jeffrey. Never said it did.

  28. Hopscotch says:

    Keeping in mind I haven’t seen Superbad or Rush Hour 3 yet, and didn’t see any of the earlier three-quels or Die Hard or Once, which I’ve heard is amazing.
    1) Best movie – Rataouille
    2) Worst movie – (I’ll leave blank because I avoided the really bad stuff)
    3) Biggest creative winner – Hairspray (it had me)
    4) Biggest creative loser – Dreamworks. They sure sucked it up this summer, but did earn the $$$.
    5) Most overrated – Knocked Up (though I did like it) and Waitress (cute movie, but nothing special)
    6) Most underrated – No End in Sight (remarkable)
    7) Biggest surprise – How FUNNY The Simpsons turned out to be.
    8) Favorite scene – The rats fleeing the home in Ratatouille; Tom Hanks cameo in The Simpsons; The bouncer scene in Knocked Up.
    9) Breakout star – supporting stars of Knocked Up
    10) Most unfortunate success – Transformers (more Toy movies on the way…great)

  29. Hopscotch says:

    Shit, Forgot about Evan.
    2) Worst movie – Evan Almighty. And am very glad it’s a failure.

  30. hendhogan says:

    i confess i have not seen spiderman 3 yet, but i did make the unfortunate mistake of seeing FF2. you guys are really scaring me if you think spiderman 3 is worse than FF2. i mean, that’s gotta be really, really awful.
    or is it that you guys were smart enough not to see the dreck that was the rise of the silver surfer?

  31. Weinberg says:

    1) Best movie — The Bourne Ultimatum
    2) Worst movie — Evan Almighty
    3) Biggest creative winner — Apatow’s crew
    4) Biggest creative loser — Shrek
    5) Most overrated — Ratatouille
    6) Most underrated — Sunshine & Waitress & 1408
    7) Biggest surprise — 28 Weeks Later
    8) Favorite scene — The Bourne Ultimatum
    9) Breakout star — Seth Rogen
    10) Most unfortunate success — Rush Hour 3

  32. Noah says:

    This may have been the greatest summer in terms of dollars earned, but it has been the most mediocre in terms of quality. Knocked Up and Ratatouille would be my favorites so far this summer with This is England close behind and my least favorites would be I Know Who Killed Me and Broken English (although the former is certainly much worse than the latter. Expecations play into it as well, I expected the former to be terrible and was surprised that the latter was bad as well).
    But everything else I saw was really blah. I walked out of so many movies this summer saying to myself, “eh.” I didn’t hate most of them and I certainly didn’t love most of them, I was surprisingly indifferent. I wonder if perhaps the lack of great or terrible movies will indeed enforce a slump next summer.

  33. Tofu says:

    “The only first two weeks of August that seem to have been better are 2001, with Rush Hour 2, American Pie 2, and The Princess Diaries 2.”
    That was the first Princess Diaries. You’re making me feel old! And girly!

  34. Tofu says:

    Wow, Potter not mentioned AT ALL yet?
    1) Best movie – Rataouille was pretty well done, but Potter & Pirates tie since they have had so much buildup and payoff.
    2) Worst movie – Rush Hour 3. Totally lacked a storyline to even speak of.
    3) Biggest creative winner – Pixar. Why do people ever doubt them?
    4) Biggest creative loser – Even with the Silver Surfer and MUCH better plotting, no one could bother to care this summer. Spider-Man 3 at least got attention.
    5) Most overrated – Transformers. This is not a quality movie. Hell, it is barely a movie. An odd ride to be sure, but nothing I cared to remember beyond the flashy colors.
    6) Most underrated – Ocean’s 13. Holds up after three screenings. Just easy on the eyes and to chill with.
    7) Biggest surprise – 1408! A horror movie that bothers to inject some entertainment it’s running time.
    8) Favorite scene – Harry Potter 3D IMAX last twenty minutes. Amazing, and the crowd at last got what they paid for from one of these IMAX conversions. See it now, it is a true theatrical event.
    9) Breakout star – Evanna Lynch turn in Potter won entire legions of fans over.
    10) Most unfortunate success – Live Free or Die Hard, a major step backwards for the series, and dull to a fault.
    28 Weeks Later and Fantastic Four just came and went.

  35. William Goss says:

    1) Best movie: Once, Knocked Up, The Bourne Ultimatum
    2) Worst movie: License to Wed, Delta Farce, Bratz
    3) Creative winner: Judd Apatow and friends
    4) Creative loser: Brett Ratner
    5) Overrated: Waitress, A Mighty Heart, Eagle vs. Shark
    6) Underrated | well, underseen: Stardust, Sunshine, You Kill Me
    7) Biggest surprise: 28 Weeks Later (that good), Spider-Man 3 (that bad), Hot Rod (that funny), Harry Potter (that improved from its source)
    8) Favorite scene: Julia Stiles’ reaction, Peter O’Toole’s big speech, and Bruce Willis trapped in that tunnel
    9) Breakout star: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (what? I love the gal)
    10) Most unfortunate success: Chuck & Larry, Rush Hour 3, Spider-Man 3
    -Sorry for all the rule-bending. Couldn’t help myself.

  36. Crow T Robot says:

    Hey, good answers. Thanks. Insomnia kinda spurned this list on last night. Funny how so many match my own:
    1)Best: Bourne Ultimatum — Is there a better Part 3 on record? I’d reckon Greengrass is one more hit away from being the Director of The Decade.
    2)Worst: Ocean’s 13 — Brett Ratner would have done a better job directing this lazy piece of shit. I’m being dead serious.
    3)Creative winner: Actor/Writer/Pervert Seth Rogan.
    4)Creative loser: Steven Soderbergh, who seems to have given up on being a serious filmmaker.
    5)Overrated: Knocked Up — Yeah, I know what I said on #3, but this movie felt false most of the way through.
    6)Underrated: 28 Weeks Later — A horror flick that remembers to be scary.
    7)Surprise: That the Len Wiseman directed Live Free or Die Hard had a weird little song in its heart.
    8)Favorite scene: The punchline of the naked skateboarding Bart in The Simpsons Movie. Now that’s funny.
    9)Breakout star: Shia Lebouf Jones Junior Esquire and Keri “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie” Russell.
    10)Unfortunate success: The soulless, heartless, charmless Michael Bay earning another few $200 million greenlights.

  37. Bulldog68 says:

    Will not compile a list until I’ve seen Superbad, RH3, Stardust, Last Legion, Invasion.
    Just wondering Dave why you think Transformers will basically fall of the earth at 306m when its at 304m now after 44 days. Pirates was at 300m after 44 and still crawled to 306 at 63 days. Additionally, Transformers earned 400K yesterday, with Ratatouille earning almost the same but you think the Rat still has about 15M left in the tank but Transformers only 2m. Some fuzzy math for sure.
    I’m personnally glad the “Big 3” wont be what everyone said it would be and just sorry that Potter wont also spoil the party, as they were the three most disappointing sequels in sequel history and IMO the box office should have been the reverse of how they were released.
    Now that the dust has settled, do you guys think that they hurt each other and would any of them have gotten to 400m if we had one less 3quel to deal with. Quality notwithstanding of course.

  38. Goulet says:

    1) Best movie – Spider-Man 3 (yeah, I said it)
    2) Worst movie – Skinwalkers
    3) Biggest creative winner – Ratatouille
    4) Biggest creative loser – Shrek 3
    5) Most overrated – Hairspray
    6) Most underrated – Spider-Man 3
    7) Biggest surprise – Waitress
    8) Favorite scene – The chase (ha!) in The Bourne Ultimatum
    9) Breakout star – Jonah Hill
    10) Most unfortunate success – Live Free or Die Hard

  39. IOIOIOI says:

    Tofu; are you kidding me? I gave props to OotP and Evanna Lynch way up thread. Throw a brother a bone will you.
    Now on to Spider-Man and FF2; what the fuck? On some level; I can understand the dislike of Transformers. Bay and his way of telling a story, are not exactly a cup of joe everyone likes to drink.
    However, Spidey and the FF2, told comic book stories on a rather grand scale. I have no idea what people expect or assume they are going to get from COMIC Book films anymore because the FF2 works on a very COMIC BOOK Level. Yet it lacks the darkness or something, that people want?
    Spidey 3 is even more confusing for one reason only; IT RESOLVED EVERYTHING. Everything that they left danging for 5 freaking years got resolved with two villians, one face turn, and one eliminate of a great character who freakin Raimi never respected.
    Yes: The film could have been shorter. It could have gone without all the silly EMO PETEY stuff. Yet; it ties everything into a neat little bow in that universe, and could easily be a series ender. If Sony did not need the cash. Does any of this make Spidey or FF2 great films? No. They are films that told their stories as well as the comics ever could, and without Spidey having to explain to the Beyonder how to use the bathroom. So… they are what they are but decrying them as the worst of anything… makes very little sense.
    This has been my ranting in defense of Spidey and FF2. HIIIIIIIIIIIYOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  40. ployp says:

    Glad to see Ratatouille on many lists.

  41. transmogrifier says:

    Ugh, Ratatouille is easily the most overrated. I can’t believe so many people are excited about this morally dubious, horribly-premised and laugh-free film – it looks great, but there is absolutely nothing there except for the odious exhalatation of natural genius at the expense of colloboration and love for what you do, even if you aren’t great at it. By the end of the film, you have a whole bunch of talentless, no-nothing plebs following the whims of a supreme dictator who doesn’t allow anyone to have any of their own ideas regarding food, and who doesn’t really appear to love making food, just dislikes other people not being perfect. And the film sets up a world where rats are both despised vermin AND fit to handle and serve food, which doesn’t work at all. And what the hell was with the stupid hair control thing?
    Why are people slavering over this thing?

  42. transmogrifier says:

    However, that’s not to say it was the worst of summer: Spider-Man 3 takes that honor.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    “Supreme dictator”? I thought it was more about team spirit and getting over their former ostracization.

  44. Tofu says:

    IOIOIOI: Good job, super thumbs up! I threw and ‘Potter’ into the browser search after a quick look and nothing turned up.
    I count FF2 and SM3 as losers as their crowd reactions did nothing to expand their prospective audiences. I myself was just sort of ‘whatever’ to them both, just like the originals.
    transmogrifier: Don’t think I caught where Remy didn’t allow anyone to have their own ideas. He clearly loved the creation of food.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    I will agree that Ratatouille, like Incredibles before it, promotes a certain amount of elitism – in a good way.

  46. hendhogan says:

    i’m sorry, but ff2 works on no level whatsoever. if you’re a fan of the comic, you don’t recognize these characters. but, if you’re a fan of movies in general, this thing is just a mess. huge plot holes and things that go nowhere. not to mention the waaaay overt commercial tie ins

  47. Jerry Colvin says:

    Loved Ratatouille and Once. Liked Spider-Man 3, FF:ROTSS, Sicko, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Hairspray, Knocked Up, Rescue Dawn, Talk to Me, Stardust, Bourne, My Best Friend, Sunshine, Waitress. Did not like Pirates 3 or Shrek 3. Didn’t see Transformers or Die Hard 4. Can’t wait to see Superbad.

  48. In non-defence of Spider-Man 3, Raimi overstuffed the movie with villains, scenes of silly dialogue, camp (Saturday Night Fever? That musical sequence?) and every thing has been filled with cliche after cliche (Franco turning good and then dying is possibly the lamest one of all). The characters were weak (Sandman? What the hell was that?) and it was longwinded (oh, he’s not dead? Great. Oh! And here’s another villain for the final half hour). I can sort of understand how someone could like the movie if they have a real vested interest in the series longform, but all you guys saying “It’s not as bad as everyone says” or making up reasons why we didn’t like it… well, you need to realise people have a difference of opinions. Yeah?
    And to Jesse, I’d love to be able to say I saw a better movie from the US Summer season than Transformers but stuff like Ratatouille or Hairspray haven’t been released here.

  49. jesse says:

    If that’s the case, Camel, find something that came out in the U.S. in the spring that didn’t make it to Australia until May or June. 😉
    And you make up reasons of your own why people would like Spiderman 3 (“a vested interest in the series”? Fiscally or emotionally? 😉 )… people often do that when they can’t figure out what the big deal is in either direction. For me, Spiderman 3 had some classic sequel problems but if all it took to sink those movies were a couple of cliches, the series would’ve been dead at #1. And I liked the musical sequences because they were funny.

  50. Cadavra says:

    Go slowly, guys. Ol’ Third Week Cadavra still hasn’t seen ONCE, SICKO, SIMPSONS, POTTER, BOURNE, STARDUST, JANE, TALK TO ME…

  51. jeffmcm says:

    Spider-Man 3 isn’t as bad as everyone says.
    I’m right there with you, Cadavra, on half of those – I just tonight saw Hairspray (not as good as the original).

  52. Jesse, it’s my belief that certain people may be looking at Spider-Man 3 with rose-tinted glasses because they don’t wanna see that it was a major step down from Spider-Man 2, which was (in my mind) one of the three best films of 2004.
    But just because you say it’s not as bad as people say doesn’t mean that I’m simply going to forget why I didn’t like and go “you know what? you’re right!” At least, Jesse, you’re giving reasons why you thought it wasn’t as bad as people are saying as opposed to many other people. Those who are negative towards it can give many many reasons as to why, but it seems quite a few of those who are positive towards it just say the equivelant of “because I say so”.

  53. IOIOIOI says:

    Hogan, love the FF, and I read the comic. These are the same characters. Excuse Tim Story for not living by the geek creedo; “BITCHES: IT BETTER BE DARK OR I AM GOING TO BITCH!”

  54. jeffmcm says:

    I can excuse TIm Story for that, I just can’t excuse him for having a lame sense of humor and no ability to direct actors or concoct a compelling story.

  55. Joe Leydon says:

    This whole thread reinforces my impression that, these days, rabid hyperbole drows out reasoned judgement (and not just in film appreciation). Sorry, folks, but Spider-Man 3 isn’t that bad, Superbad isn’t that good.

  56. David Poland says:


  57. Joe Leydon says:

    David, maybe it did indeed make you vomit. But, then again, maybe that’s why you (and, to be fair, Jeff Wells) vastly underestimated its potential, while I got it right when I wrote the review that, judging from the number of times I saw it quoted, directly or otherwise, in USA Today and LA Times and theater lobbies everywhere, pretty much set the agenda. (Proving again that even a stopped clock can be right at least twice a day.) If that upsets you, well, to paraphrase Noel Coward: Gnawing regret can make some people turn extremely bitter. LOL. Just take comfort in knowing that you called Flags of Our Fathers far more accurately than I did.

  58. jeffmcm says:

    Maybe it would be better if you guys weren’t out to be RIGHT so often that you had to make ‘calling’ a movie into a competition.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon