Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 28, 2005
Dreaming of JokersDavid Mumpower: Lost in all of the disappointments this week is the fact that there are two bona fide hits now. Mr. & Mrs. Smith showed solid staying power with a 36% drop and Batman Begins did as we predicted, holding well at 45%. Each stands in the $120 million range. Which film do you think gets a sequel sooner, Mr. & Mrs. Smith or Batman Begins?
Reagen Sulewski: Batman, definitely.
David Mumpower: Also, who would you cast in the role of The Joker in a Batman Begins sequel? Johnny Depp feels like a natural to me but if that happens, they can't bring Cillian Murphy back. They're too similar in tone.
Kim Hollis: Sean Penn.
Reagen Sulewski: Crispin Glover.
David Mumpower: You want to see The Joker threaten Chris Rock's life at the Oscars?
Kim Hollis: It works with either Sean *or* Crispin!
David Mumpower: You want to see The Joker threaten David Letterman's life on his show?
Kim Hollis: Both are slightly less insane than Tom Cruise at this point.
David Mumpower: And offer ever so slightly more box office power than the people reading this column. *Slightly*.
Reagen Sulewski: Do you need to go with a big name for Joker, or can you stick with the character actors?
David Mumpower: I think a bigger name helps, but what character actor do you have in mind?
Reagen Sulewski: I'm thinking generalities. There was no one in particular who is a box office draw in Begins. Can you continue that, or does Warners blink and get a villain with star power?
David Mumpower: I think that if Batman Begins is accepted as a great film, they can remain flexible. If people focus on the disappointing box office, they need to secure a name.
Reagen Sulewski: An out of left field choice I heard was Craig Bierko, if you wanted a physically intimidating Joker.
David Mumpower: I don't think they'll hire Bierko, what with him not being able to act and all.
Reagen Sulewski: It's a small handicap, I agree.
2Rich2VigilanteDavid Mumpower: I'd sooner buy Paul Walker.
Reagen Sulewski: "Bro, I like poisoned Gotham, bro."
Kim Hollis: "I like your Batmobile."
David Mumpower: Also, you can't have the villain driving nicer cars than Batman.
Kim Hollis: *light bulb* Vince Vaughn as the Joker. I'm there, dude.
David Mumpower: He would accomplish the goal of having a physically intimidating Joker while also being off-the-wall funny.
Kim Hollis: I'm really half kidding and half serious. I think he could pull it off.
Reagen Sulewski: I do like that. Vaughn has that bit where you can't tell if he's angry or making a joke.
Kim Hollis: Vegas, baby! I'm pitching that tomorrow, too.
David Mumpower: Also, Brad Pitt is developing into a stellar physical comedian. He would make for a fascinating Joker.
Kim Hollis: Actually, he would. Now...if only I can get Owen Wilson as Batman and new director Wes Anderson installed, this would be perfect.
Billy Crudup Does Mastercard Commercial VoiceoversDavid Mumpower: If Batman were replaced, the only guy I would want considered is Billy Crudup.
Reagen Sulewski: "Batarang: $50. Bat Cowl: $150. Batmobile: $500,000. Foiling another one of Joker's schemes and saving Gotham? Priceless."
Kim Hollis: Dammit. Reagen stole my joke before I could make it.
David Mumpower: You might be the only two people in the world who get that reference. Well, okay, three counting Clare Danes.
Reagen Sulewski: I hadn't figured it out until his first line in Big Fish. And then it was like, "Hey..." *light bulb*
Kim Hollis: I actually had to see him physically in the Quick Stop slurpie commercial.
KrumpingDavid Mumpower: Speaking of obscure, something called Rize finished in 12th place this week with $1.6 million. It's a documentary about a south-central LA dance style known as "krumping".
Reagen Sulewski: Breakin' 3 has just been greenlit.
David Mumpower: Urbandictionary.com defines krumping as: Rapidly shaking your booty while dressed like a clown.
Kim Hollis: Actually, this film looks seriously good.
David Mumpower: Be honest, have either of you ever watched any krump porn?
Reagen Sulewski: No, but I have stumbled across some insane dance-off show on BET.
Kim Hollis: And yes, the style of dance was first called "clowning" and then switched over to krumping.
David Mumpower: McDonald's had licensed all linguistic styles of "clown", right?
Kim Hollis: They gave it a decent release of 350 some odd screens.
David Mumpower: Despite the fact that I have never seen Rize, I can say with 100% certainty that it's a vastly superior film to You Got Served.
Reagen Sulewski: At the very least, I suspect its stars were still talking to each other at the time
the film opened.
For the Love of God, Go See Some Movies! We're Dying Here.David Mumpower: Okay, let's finish up today by talking shop for a while. Box office was down significantly from 2004 again this week. That's 18 straight, the sort of streak you generally only see in college basketball.
Reagen Sulewski: Soon to be 19, since War of the Worlds won't compensate for Spider-Man 2.
David Mumpower: In the 23 years that box office has been carefully tracked, this is a first. The question everyone is going to be asking this week is: Are we seeing the end of days? What's next, locusts?
Reagen Sulewski: CBS already did the locust movie, David.
David Mumpower: C'mon, everyone calling us wants to know if movies are dead. Are you grabbing canned goods and heading to the basement? And if so, what's your favorite soup?
Reagen Sulewski: Only if I get to bring my DVD collection, which, boring as it is as an answer, continues to be one of the big reasons for the slump.
Kim Hollis: Nah, I do think there will be a comeback at some point (when Hollywood finally understands that people actually appreciate quality product).
Critics Hate Most Movies...And We've Got Proof!David Mumpower: It's interesting that Kim mentions this. I have been researching movie quality for an upcoming column. Giving away part of the ending, my research showed that movies released in 2005 have been almost exactly as well received by critics as 2004 releases. The problem is that, on average, six critics out of ten dislike every film released.
Kim Hollis: However, haven't there been a lot more on the low, low, low end this year? Under 10%?
David Mumpower: There have been a lot of dogs both years, but I think that it's an annual cinematic tradition.
Kim Hollis: And is that a function of the fact that RottenTomatoes has so many Internet critics included? Maybe we should compare cream of the crop year to year?
David Mumpower: That's a good point and something I will research, but even so, isn't it alarming that for 18 months straight, 60% of critics have walked away from a film unsatisfied?
Reagen Sulewski: I'd be surprised if it varied much year-to-year with such a large sampling of critics. even my own personal rankings of a year don't vary a ton.
David Mumpower: It's easy to say that Hollywood needs to make better movies and leave it at that, but that 40% acceptance rate is a staggering number to me.
Kim Hollis: It's not something anyone's going to hang their hats on.
David Mumpower: More to the point, I feel that one of the underlying keys to the industry's success is positive reinforcement. What early 2005 releases were so good that they would make movie-goers more likely to go out to the theater soon thereafter?
Reagen Sulewski: Well, you two saw every wide released film last year -- didn't you want to punch someone when the film was yet another retread?
Kim Hollis: Oh, I didn't see them all. Though the fact that I saw almost all is certainly the reason I've been more selective this year. And the person I want most to punch is still Uwe Boll.
David Mumpower: I did, but I can say with complete sincerity that 2005 has been worse. It's been a while since there has been a year as bad as this one. I'm a very easy consumer to please in a lot of ways (I love Chasing Liberty, for God's sake) yet there have been very few films I have given a thumbs up. Also, I would bloody my knuckles on George Lucas for many, many hours before ever turning my attention to Uwe Boll.
Reagen Sulewski: I'd actually give thumbs up to half the films I've seen this year, but I've only seen 15 2005 releases so far. And what will Hollywood be remaking in 30 years? Certainly very little of the crap that's been made recently.
Kim Hollis: The O.C.: The Movie. Seinfeld: The Movie About Nothing.
David Mumpower: Survivor: The Movie! It's fake, but it's based on reality. Can't you see the comic potential for a fading Hollywood actor to try to hire an unknown as the island Amber to his Rob but then discover she's really a...wait for it...prior survivor winner?
Kim Hollis: Senior citizen Sean Penn can play Rudy.