Sunday, February 19, 2012
This Week's Links
The Most Insane, Illogical Award Choices in Oscar History
This year’s Academy Awards are just around the corner (well, okay, they’re still a week and a half away, so it’s more like around the corner, down a little, second door on the left), and while we can’t help but get a little excited about Hollywood’s big night, we’re also being very careful to keep our expectations in check. We’ve already lamented the many worthwhile films and performances that were unduly snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the nominations phase; when Sunday the 26th rolls around, you can bet the farm that the AMPAS will confound us again by making at least a couple of spectacularly bone-headed choices. There’s a long and storied history of the Oscar simply going to the wrong damn person or movie, countless cases where a peek back at the list of nominees and the eventual winner provokes confusion, rage, or at the very least, a bit of head-scratching. After the jump, we’ve gathered ten of the most egregious examples.
The Most Unwanted Sequels in Film History
As you’ve surely noticed from the lines of ecstatic moviegoers camped out on the sidewalks of your local cineplex (/sarcasm), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is out tomorrow. Try to contain your excitement. Yes, in their infinite wisdom, Hollywood has spent $75 million to grind out a sequel to Ghost Rider, a film that nobody liked and nobody wanted to see more of. So why on earth does Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance exist? Ah, here we go: because beloved or no, the first film grossed $115 million, and while that may be a meager profit on a reported $110 million budget (seriously? SERIOUSLY?), it pretty much doubled that gross overseas. As they say, it’s show business, kids, and if there’s that many ticket buyers who’ll pony up once to see Nicolas Cage flambé motorcycling around for justice, maybe they’ll do so twice. (Not to worry, though: the sequel is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who did Crank and, um, Crank 2. And, oh dear, Jonah Hex. Enjoy, moviegoers!)
GR:SOV (as the kids are calling it) is just the latest in Hollywood’s long, long, long history of churning out utterly inexplicable sequels. Look, let’s be clear, we’re not cinema snobs, railing against sequels on general principle: movies from Godfather II to Aliens to The Dark Knight to Harry Potter 3-7.5 have proven that you can follow up a film with equal (or even advancing) returns. But there has to be a compelling reason for it to exist: a story worth returning to, say, or even a general positive opinion of the initial outing. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few occasions where we got a sequel, whether we wanted one or not.
10 Romantic Comedies That Aren’t Terrible
Well, kids, it's Valentine's Day, and those of you who aren’t looking to go out and spend a fortune at a swanky restaurant (read: those of you who are married or in relationships that have been going long enough that you’re not trying to impress each other anymore) may very well choose to stay in for the holiday, cuddling up on the couch and enjoying a nice romantic comedy. Except, ugh, they’re all terrible.
Or so it seems, in this Heigl/Hudson/Hugh/Sarah-Jessica saturated cinematic marketplace. But believe it or not, there are some genuinely great romantic comedies out there—smart, tender, funny movies that make you laugh and warm your heart. No, seriously! We’ve not only managed to collect ten of them, but even an alternate choice or two for each. Snuggle up and enjoy after the jump.
The Weekend Box Office: Explain Yourself, America
The pre-Valentine’s Day weekend was an unexpectedly big one at the box office, with four new movies bringing in over $20 million in receipts—only the second time in history that such an event has occurred, and the first time, as some outlets are reporting, that it’s happened on a non-holiday weekend. (We’ll let you decide whether a few days before Valentine’s Day counts as a “holiday weekend” or not. I’ll refrain from comment, in the interest of not upsetting anyone on the eve of said maybe-holiday.) What’s even more remarkable about this considerable fiscal accomplishment is that it was achieved with four movies that no one here at your Flavorwire can actually imagine going to see. Neat trick, Hollywood!
Trailer Park: Throwbacks and Festival Hits
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got seven new trailers for your Friday viewing enjoyment; check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.