September 2009 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

September 4, 2009

He finally was able to eat that high C.

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4) Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself (September 11th)

While I don't think most of his movies are particularly good (I've seen all but one), it's hard not to admire Tyler Perry - he's a one-man movie-making machine: Perry writes, directs and stars in not one, but two movies a year, all while directing and co-writing two concurrent television series, as well as the occasional play. Clearly, there is something of that old Roger Corman can-do spirit in Perry - and indeed, his movies are sometimes just as cheesy as Roger's were. Considering the almost-unbelievable $90 million box office for his last film, Madea Goes to Jail (do we all realize that this was a film that wasn't too far from beating the domestic box office of Watchmen?), it's no surprise that Perry's dipped back into his star attraction for this film, and brought Madea to the forefront again - even if she is only a supporting character (one of the posters utilizes her in a delicious parody of Straw Dogs). Madea's presence would look like a plus, but I think there might be a case of overexposure going on here, and I suspect Madea Goes to Jail may have given us the peak box office for this character. Otherwise, recent Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson is on hand for dramatic chops, and the film's choice of supporting cast - including singers Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, and Pastor Marvin Winans (!) - follows the Perry tradition of giving non-actors interesting roles in his movies (my favorite is Maya Angelou, who really had a screen presence in Madea's Family Reunion). Anyway, a Tyler Perry film is a Tyler Perry film, and so this latest entry in the oeuvre, based on his 1999 play, should do about as well as his two 2008 films. Plus, you can't really go wrong when the trailer starts off with the following typically introspective query by Madea: "Do you know these children, hooker?"

Opening weekend: $24 million / Total gross: $49 million


5) Jennifer's Body (September 18th)

An evil, undead cheerleader who seduces and kills men. This is an excellent idea for a movie. Can you imagine pitting this character against one of those Slumber Party Massacre-type serial killers? Freddy? Jason? Or how about having her fight off that turd in Sorority Row? But we all have to start somewhere, and so Megan Fox's Jennifer is resigned to hacking up the usual assortment of horny high schoolers. While this premise seems naturally designed to give birth to a fun, '80s-style horror film, Jennifer's Body has me a little worried: the screenplay is by Diablo Cody, who masterminded the unstoppable assault of quirky witticisms and implausible pop-culture references in Juno. This film isn't going to be like that, is it? Surely we can be served ample doses of exploitation without having to pay the price of listening to the characters list off their favorite indie bands? Please?

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