May 2009 Forecast
By David Mumpower
May 1, 2009
6) Angels & Demons
Perusing the list for the top five, the first Night at the Museum film was great, the last Terminator film was surprisingly good and if we consider all Pixar films sequels of sorts, WALL-E was wonderful. The other two films, Wolverine and Star Trek, are following absolutely disastrous movies in terms of quality and Angels & Demons can be thrown on that pile. In fact, The Da Vinci Code was a gigantic pile. Because of ceaseless hype and an ill-considered religious boycott, it wound up making $750 million worldwide anyway. I think we're looking at a Prince Caspian situation here where all of the name recognition from the first film is gone, thereby cutting the overall sequel take by 45%. Somehow, I don't see Sony complaining about another $420 million worldwide if that is what happens with Angels & Demons. Here's hoping it's a better movie as well.
7) Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi returns from his horror sabbatical wherein he made a lot of $300+ million comic book adaptations to go back to scaring the crap out of people. Drag Me to Hell is by no means a demonstration of permanence in the genre as he heads straight back to Spider-Man related webslinging the instant this film is released. Of course, those of us who grew up watching Bruce Campbell fight evil dead until their numbers swelled into an army of darkness will take what we can get. His horror project is perfectly timed for the current economic climate as a well-intended woman sees her day job as a foreclosure specialist raise the ire of a certain homeowner. A homeowner who happens to have powers of the occult and a thirst for vengeance. Frankly, I don't care if this is a box office hit or not. I just want to watch it. I'm old enough to have seen Army of Darkness in the theater on the day of its release (and if you look at its opening weekend box office, you'll notice there weren't many of us). This film is like a special gift to me in a time of pointless gorno and mindless remakes. Lead the way to a better horror film tomorrow, Mr. Raimi. Hollywood needs your bloodthirsty guidance.
8) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
I had hope that this one might prove to be an engaging and inventive romantic comedy along the lines of a personal favorite from last year, Definitely, Maybe. Alas, BOP's own Sean Collier extinguished that hope with his review. As someone who has never been a fan of mediocrity, this was a heartbreaking turn of events. The good news for our friends at New Line Cinema is that Reagen Sulewski and John Hamann have correctly pointed out on several occasions that mediocrity is exactly what the target audience wants. Its success is certain.
9) Next Day Air
Mike Epps is funny. Donald Faison is funny. I have to believe that a movie starring Epps and Faison has to be funny. Then again, I would have said the same thing about Pineapple Express' co-stars last year yet I genuinely despised the similarly themed title. I suspect Next Day Air won't be as bloody and it clearly won't make the $87.3 million that the Seth Rogen film did. Even so, I still think this is poised to be one of the surprise hits of the first half of summer. The ninth place finish may not reflect this, but this would be a third or fourth place film most months.
10) Dance Flick
This spoof of yard-stomping, you-serving cinema is directed by Damien Wayans. Not Damon Wayans. Damien Wayans, his nephew. God, I feel old. Also, I wonder if there is a Wayans born every 13 seconds in Hollywood or if it only seems that way. If you live there, you should simply add Wayans to your last name and see if you get into better parties that way. It's not like the guy holding the velvet rope is going to be able to prove you wrong. No one could possibly keep up with the sheer volume of California Wayanses. They must outnumber Playboy Bunnies by now.