The Reject Report

Would You Believe — it’s time for another edition of the Reject Report? This week, it’s a special Secret Agent edition of the Report. We’ve got the much-ballyhooed Get Smart movie starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, plus the return of Mike Myers, a.k.a. Austin Powers, in a movie that to my eyes looks like an Austin Powers movie without Austin Powers (or any laughs, either, based on the trailers we’ve seen): The Love Guru. And that effort co-stars Jessica Alba.

So we not only have two competing movies with secret-agent overtones going at it, we’ve also got a battle between two renowned funnymen in Steve Carell and Mike Myers. Plus, we’ve got a battle between two hot babes in Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba. So let’s get right to it, starting with agent 86.

Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway in Get SmartGet Smart is of course based on the legendary Mel Brooks-created spy spoof comedy series of the late Sixties that starred Don Adams as the bumbling incompetent CONTROL agent Maxwell Smart. That series co-starred Barbara Feldon as the dashing 99, and was loaded with interesting villains and catchphrases. Such as “Would you believe?” “Missed it by that much!” And… “loving it!!” The series was an absolute classic and was obviously a good candidate to be remade into a movie. Heck, we’ve seen plenty of film remakes of TV series, including Charlie’s Angels and the Dukes of Hazzard, and even Starsky and Hutch. Why not Get Smart?

The movie version stars Steve Carell in the title role of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86. And this time it’s slinky Anne Hathaway as 99. The cast is loaded with names including Alan Arkin as the Chief, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson as agent 23, and Terence Stamp as Siegfried. It also features folks like James Caan, Bill Murray, Ken Davitian, Terry Crews, and a whole bunch of others in the classic faceoff between KAOS and CONTROL.

Here are my own thoughts about Get Smart, and they sort of mirror what a lot of people thought about The Incredible Hulk before it came out. Basically, there’s a lot of dread about this movie and a big wait-and-see attitude from a lot of people, because people are worried about what they hear about the whole production.

The problem as I see it for the whole “Get Smart” franchise is that the whole thing went downhill a long time ago. Way back in 1969, after the series moved to CBS, they had Max and 99 get married, and that basically ruined the show. It was a major Jump the Shark moment if there ever was one. Since then, there have been numerous attempts to revive “Get Smart”. There was a terrible movie that came out way back in 1980 called The Nude Bomb. Don Adams reprised his role as Max, attempting to go after people trying to create a bomb that eliminated everyone’s clothing. They should have eliminated that whole movie. Then they revived the whole “Get Smart” series in the Nineties with a very lame effort that aired on FOX, with Andy Dick as Smart’s son.

Now we have a Get Smart movie that looks to me like it’s similar in style to that revival of The Pink Panther series that came out recently, the one that featured Steve Martin in the Peter Sellers role of Inspector Clouseau. I dunno if Steve Carell can pull it off as Agent 86; Don Adams was Maxwell Smart.

Hathaway, though, is an absolute babe and completely stylish, and I think guys will love to see her play sexy Agent 99. I notice in the trailers there was a good shot of Hathaway as 99, in her undies. (Man, I love women.)

So because Hathaway is a babe, because Carell is a legend with a lot of fans and because there are still a lot of “Get Smart” fans out there, I think Get Smart will win at the box office this weekend and defy some of the dire predictions out there about the testing for this movie. I’ve heard the testing was NOT good for this movie at all, which I kind of half-believe. Then again, I don’t know what to believe these days: so much of this information out there is total BS. Still, the movie is rolling out on 3,700 screens. So I predict $37 million and first place for the weekend for Get Smart.

Mike Myers in The Love GuruNext is Mike Myers in The Love Guru, a movie that everyone is worried about because of all the creepy trailers we have seen promoting it, not to mention the creepy beard Myers wears in the movie. Myers plays Pitka, an American raised by gurus in India, who comes back to North America to get into the self-help business. His first task: to help solve the romantic problems of a star NHL hockey player in time for his team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, to win the Stanley Cup.

In addition to co-star Jessica Alba, this movie also features Justin Timberlake and of course Verne “Mini-me” Troyer.

First of all, I think Canadians will find the stuff involving the Maple Leafs and the Stanley Cup quite amusing. (Myers is a proud Torontonian, and scenes were actually shot at Air Canada Centre.) But that’s about it. Doesn’t this movie look lame to you? It creeps me out, man!! The Love Guru looks to be an absolutely juvenile gross-out movie, just based on the freaking trailers!!!

I also notice the buzz is not good out there in the press: there’s a lot of complaining out there that Myers is past his prime and has had it. Personally, I think this looks like an Austin Powers movie with no Austin, and no mojo, either. Yet there are some people actually predicting a close race for the top with Get Smart. You have got to be kidding me.

The only reason I am picking this flick to make $24 million in its opening this weekend is because Mike Myers has a lot of Austin Powers fans who will see this movie no matter what. Then watch out, this will drop like a rock. My personal advice is for Myers to go back to making Austin Powers movies. And soon. This Love Guru junk will not cut it. And that’s my rant.

So there you have my assessment of the prospects of these two new movies rolling out at theaters this weekend. Plus, I think The Incredible Hulk will hang in there and get some decent business, and will not suffer the massive dips that other movies like Sex and the City have suffered. So here is where I see the Top Ten ending up this weekend:

1. Get Smart $37 million
2. The Incredible Hulk $30 million
3. The Love Guru $24 million
4. Kung Fu Panda $20 million
5. The Happening $14 million
6. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan $9.5 million
7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $8.5 million
8. Sex and the City $5 million
9. Iron Man $3.5 million
10. The Strangers $2 million

Stay tuned for the box office update at the end of the weekend as we find out who wins at the box office here at The Reject Report. And be ready to read some interesting catchphrases from me for THAT posting.

“Would You Believe… Love Guru triumphs at the box office?” Fat chance.


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