Fearless, Flawless Box Office Predictions for December 10

Nothing happened yesterday and today. I don't mean literally. People did stuff and things. Just nobody did anything particularly noteworthy. You can always tell thin movie news days based on when sites run things like "Videos of the Day" that are goofy or drop shots of new posters like it warrants a whole post unto itself. I mean, Matt Damon MAY be talking about starring in the new Neill Blomkamp movie, Guillermo Del Toro is starting a production company, the Thor preview drops soon...but when people are running double-removed rumors about secret projects, covering stories about someone's new production shingle, and are DESCRIBING shot-by-shot what a trailer that is going to be posted soon WILL look like, you know it's a good day to sit back and take it easy. That's the Cutting Room guarantee: In the absence of real and/or truly interesting news, I will either do nothing or run a photo of Evangeline Lilly. Possibly both.

So there you go. Now, moving on to the box office stuff. The new Narnia is going to hit this week and will determine if they're going to wrap everything up with at least one more movie. There's apparently something that happens called "the last battle" in this series. If you drag us through 7 hours of things like a River Jesus and poorly CGI horsie things, you should really at least shoot the "last battle." So I hope that it does well enough to warrant that. Given the built-in Christian audiences, there is at least that chance. The other flick, The Tourist, is going to sizzle then fizzle. I predict a nice opening before a total kersplat. And not just because better movies are opening, but because people have apparently forgotten that Angelina Jolie, while good at philanthropic work and formerly beautiful (before she became the skeleton of someone who used to be beautiful), is a terrible, terrible actress. Never good. Never. So there are your new movies that will heat things up.

Here's how I see the weekend box office, haiku style:

1.) Narnia 3: Mo' Narnia Mo' Problems - $48 million

It's Lion Jesus! He will save you with growling! That's the take-home theme.

2.) The Tourist - $25 million

Hey, it's Johnny Depp! And Angelina Jolie?!?!?! That's all this has got.

3.) Tangled - $15 million

Disney Princesses will always be popular. CGI or not.

4.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - $9 million

Okay, we're ready. Bring on the final chapter. No more foreplay, K?

5.) Burlesque - $3.5 million

I can't keep this up. This must leave the top 5 now. Please make that happen.

WILDCARD - Unstoppable - $3.5 million

Enough with the train. This has run its course by now. Emergency STOP!

Okay, that's it. You have a great, safe, fun holiday-time weekend. Be merry and stuff, or I'll tell Santa. He and I are boys. I'll also tell him if you don't follow me on Twitter.

entered on 12/10/10 at 06:49 PM | read comments »

Ryan’s Junk Drawer for December 9

With great junk comes great responsibility - "Better Off Ted"

Welcome weary weekly warriors. Greetings grousing and grumbling grunts! Hello humble heroines and heroes! It is finally, finally, finally time for your Ryan-fueled salvation, for that weekly dose of girthy goodness that can only be described as the most magnificent junk you have ever before laid your eyes upon! Look upon my junk and weep, for you shall find that it is good.

Obviously, by junk I mean movie nuggets that are more like nougat, in that they only work in combination with other ingredients. Seriously, who is ever "I am only eating nougat. Not a candy bar, not chocolate, but only nougat." Point is, these movie tidbits are too on the bitty and tiddy side to warrant full blog posts, so I combine them here in a cleverly titled column that makes people snicker at the dirty jokes I make. Wow, now I worked "snicker" in here, I must be angling for an endorsement from the Mars Candy Bar Corporation.

Each week I begin by looking at the creepy-ass image of a junk drawer above (from Highlights Magazine FOR CHILDREN) and making up a funny story about one of the items. Why do I do this? I have no idea. It seemed like a good idea once, which means it must be a good idea 50 times in a row, right? Today's item is the pink square in the upper left corner. Bleep Blorp did not believe in Santa Claus. I mean, come on, he was a robot...and a robot believing in Santa would be stupid, right. Bleep Blorp knew better. But the only thing he knew more than the imaginary nature of Kris Kringle was that if he didn't get the shiny-new pink memory chip he wanted, he would be laughed at by all the other robots...and those guys have built in synonym checkers...so their insults are really thorough. So Bleep Blorp sent a letter to the North Pole, figuring it was worth a shot. When Christmas came and went without the chip, he wasn't surprised. But as he was about to return to Robot School, he happened to need some oil. He checked in the junk drawer for it and...BEHOLD: The new chip he had wanted. How did it get in there? That's for cyber Santa to know, and Bleep Blorp to wonder.

Okay, enough goofing around, let's get to looking at my junk (and I mean movie tidbits).

1.) Leggo my Legolas - Don't be fooled, there are sub-nerd categories. For example, if your favorite character in the Lord of the Rings movies ISN'T the elephant murdering, orc-throttling, feathery-light Legolas, you are the low nerd on the totem pole in my opinion.

(FYI: I almost accidentally spelled that "totem poll" and it made me giggle because I thought of a questionnaire regarding Dom's spinning top from Inception...and yes, that digression puts me in the lowest sub-sub-nerd category.) Anyhoo, good news for the dorks on top of the nerd pile: Legolas is returning for The Hobbit! I don't know if that fits with the book or not (because I'm above the sub-sub-sub-nerd category that knows every nuance of the novel), but it makes me happy in my happy parts. I swear I squealed like a child opening the best present ever when Legolas slid down the trunk of that elephant tank. And if that doesn't mean anything to you but you are still reading this blog, congratulations for you are in the very top echelon of nerd-dom!

2.) James Cameron: King of the Weird - I don't know why, but James Cameron is interested in this:

That's Cirque De Soliel doing something batshit insane. Seriously, as near as I can tell, they dance to your nightmares. That's what they do. They project demonic images while contorting their bodies in front of you and you pay them lots of money to do it. And now James Cameron is producing a movie with them. Yay! Let's hope it's in 3D so I can really feel like I was sucked directly into hell. That would be so much fun! Gosh, I hope it's in IMAX too! That way it would be like space and time had severed their thread and we spilled into the depths of madness! Yay! Look, Jimmy C, I don't get why you do what you do, but using your giant fan base and immense power to coordinate a Cirque De Soliel film is officially nutso. Thanks for that.

3.) I've got...two versions of Paradise - It's fitting that this Alien news isn't digesting well.

We were first told that we aren't getting the prequel when we thought we were. Then we were told we don't have a good short list of who will be the female lead in the film (come on, Portman...come on). Then we were told it is going to be two movies and not one. Then Vulture said that the prequel will be called Paradise, which makes no sense...but also said that it was back on for the original date. Cross-eyed yet? Well then Chris Petrikin from 20th Century Fox briefly explained: “I don’t know where to begin to correct what is being written about a certain Ridley Scott project…” before adding “it’s not called Paradise…answers soon.” Oh, and he also said “It’s not two films…can you hear me now?” Jeez-a-loo. Okay, so it may or may not be called Paradise, but probably not, and is likely only one film, if the studio stooge is to be believed. Look, I loved Alien and Aliens, truth be told I didn't even mind the other two terrible films in the series (I ignore everything involving Predators). I love that Ridley Scott is back, I want this to work, I have a good feeling...but COULD WE FIGURE SOME STUFF OUT BEFORE WE START SPILLING IT EVERYWHERE?! Thanks, y'all.

4.) It's all good in the Hood - I don't care if Speed Racer was a misfire, it was a cool-looking misfire. I don't care if the Matrix sequels didn't live up to the unreal hype they were born into. I love the Wachowskis.

That's why if any other filmmakers had gotten pegged to do a modern version of Robin Hood set in an urban environment (and possibly starring Will Smith), I would have thrown up a little. But the Wachowskis are smart. They know they'll need a box office hit at some point to stay relevant, and chances are that their upcoming controversial gay Iraq war love story will not be the smash hit of the summer. They lined up this more commercial project, and I'm fine with it. I know Robin Hood has been done to death, but hell, if they do something cool with it, I'm there. I'm also there for the gay Iraq love story, but you probably knew that.

5.) Trailers, parked - What a bevy we have for you today! Let's get to some trailers, huh?

First up is Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I'm not going to spoil this clip for you, other than to say I believe in the first cut of it, the robot at the end drops the N-bomb. Get it? Because Michael Bay loves racist robots...and gratuitous shots of women. And being awful. Here's the clip!

I am Number 4 sounds like the worst sports chant ever, right? It's like a self-help book gone wrong. It also looks like the movie might have gone wrong. This may be sci-fi mediocrity day. Here's the trailer.

I was going to try to be clever about this...or reflective. People have opined about how similar the plot seems to be to Mel Gibson's real life, how interesting the movie looks...personally, I think it looks kind of awful and the trailer gives away the whole film. So instead of being clever, I'm going to be vulgar. I've been waiting to say this for awhile now...because she directed it and it's the name of the movie, remember that people...Ladies and Gentlemen: Click here to see Jodie Foster's Beaver.

Finally, the last weird sci-fi flick of the day, here's Hugh Jackman in a big-budget version of Rock'em Sock'em robots. Yes, Reel Steel is real.

Okay, that's all the junk I have for you today. Hope you liked it. Follow me on Twitter or you'll ruin my Christmas.

entered on 12/09/10 at 08:17 PM | read comments »

Things You Should Buy Me (Volume 58)

Over the course of the weekend, I discovered something. No, not a package that was sent to me containing free goodies. Why didn't I discover that? Because you didn't buy me anything. Just like the week before. Nothing. You and nobody you knew contacted me at film@thereader.com and got my address to send me sweet swag that I would brag about. Season of giving my ass. No, what I discovered was...this is somehow one of the more popular columns I do. I mean, I get the appeal of Thursday's column, as who doesn't look forward to seeing my junk? But the fact that others love this little segment was perplexing to me. Why? Well, that's because it means that people are reading it AND NOT SENDING ME ANYTHING! It was an admission of guilt! Obviously, they saw through my clever internet persona and realized I was mostly kidding (I said mostly). So with that in mind, here is the stuff those people have been waiting to hear about for this week:

1.) I stab my drinks colder - Of all the things that people have noted seeing in this column, the most popular item hands down were the ice cube trays designed to make thin ice slices for water bottles. Well then, have I got a new product for you:

Yeah, those are Ice swords. "How do you keep your drink cold?" "Oh, you know, I STAB IT COLDER!" How badass is that? Sure, you can use them to make Popsicles and such, but it's much more cooler to just be drinking a beverage with a giant sword in it, right? See, I came through for all of you ice fans this week, didn't I?

2.) See, those old negatives WERE good for something! - Remember when you used to actually get physical pictures? You know, in the time before the internet made digital photos so prevalent that a guy can barely finish splitting his pants in public before detailed images of his nether regions are online. Well, back when photos came in envelopes and not email attachments, you used to get negatives with your order. It was so you could use them to make more photos later, but when I was a kid, I just assumed we had some weird slide projector I didn't know about. That or I was the secret owner of the Zapruder film. My imagination was always rather historical. Well, good news for those people who wisely hang on to those negatives:

For a mere $100, the ImageLab will turn your negatives into digital photos of good quality. Howsabout that? Those pictures of you with the 80s bangs and leg warmers? Totally going to be this week's profile picture. This is a brilliant gift idea for old people.

3.) This week I combined my obligatory Star Wars and Threadless segment - Let's face it, every week I pimp Threadless and something Star Wars. I don't mind the former, and the latter is just because that crap has more merchandising than any one thing in history. Seriously, there are more Luke Skywalker-related products than JESUS-related products, and he's the son of God (Jesus, not Luke...man this stuff is out of control). This week, I'm combining the two obligatory items with this from Threadless .

That shirt is called "Hans off my cookie."

Chewbacca is a chocolate chip cookie.

This is a real thing.

And I love it.

And so do you.

That's it for this week. Your job is to start buying me crap and sending me crap and following my crap on Twitter.

entered on 12/08/10 at 04:24 PM | read comments »

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