Legend of the Guardians

This Week in Blu-ray

Thanks to the calendar-makers over at Warner Bros., I’m pulling double Blu-ray reviewing duty this week. You’ve already seen my rundown of Tuesday’s releases in the regular column, but did you know that two more worthwhile Blu-rays hit shelves on Friday? Yeah, I hate it when they do that, too. And normally I wouldn’t give two shakes at a pair of Friday releases. Then again, normally we aren’t talking about two movies I would definitely have in my collection, if I were you.

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The Reject Report

As Admiral Ackbar so phlegmingly exclaimed, “It’s a trap!” You sit down in your seat at the movie theater to see the latest (last?) Saw film, you put on your 3D glasses, this triggers a wire to pull which drops a marble down a shoot which knocks over a pin which falls onto a switch which turns some gears which opens a doorway which allows a bowling ball to roll out which bumps into and starts a lawn mower which blows up and pops a balloon which causes a chicken to lay an egg which turns some more gears which opens Mikey’s front gate which turns some levers which opens a trap door which drops millions upon millions of dollars into Lionsgate’s pockets. That’s how that works. At least, I think it’s how it works. Maybe I shouldn’t be covering box office reports.

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The Reject Report

Two weekends in a row. Two cultural phenomena (as well as entries into a highly successful franchise) exploding into theaters. After Jackass 3-D broke October records last weekend, you might have thought movie goers would take a break, kick back as the weather gets cooler, and maybe carve out a jack-o-lantern. Nonsense, says the pool cleaner-hating demon! Get those people into theaters and let them feel the terror all for themselves. That’s precisely what millions upon millions of people did this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 2 opened to the fifth highest October opening in history. It now also holds the highest October opening for a horror film, beating out the $39.1 million The Grudge opened to in 2004. With a budget of only $3 million, you can be certain Paramount will be green lighting Paranormal Activity 3 in a matter of minutes.

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The Reject Report

Holy bungee jumping outhouse, Batman. $50 million can buy a lot of stitches for the painful stunts and soap for the gross ones. That’s how much money Jackass 3-D made this weekend, a new record for any October opening. We knew it was going to be big, and there was all likelihood it would end up coming out on top this weekend. However, now, in 2010, a decade after the original show premiered on MTV, the Jackass boys are riding stronger than ever. This could say so much about our nation. Do we like watching people humiliate, hurt, and horrify themselves for 90 minutes? Or is Jackass 3-D a welcomed release, the ultimate form of escapism that only comes our way every four years? This raises another question. Would the Jackass films be this successful if they were to come fast and furious like the Saw or Twilight series? Does that four-year gap between Jackass films help build the excitement for the next all the more, or does the gap stifle the sating of a public that would feast on it 24/7 if offered to them? The underlying, real-world implications and what this says about our culture (along with how this makes other countries view us) aren’t my forte. I’ll leave that to Landon. I’m just here to talk numbers, thank you.

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The Reject Report

Now I lay me down to sleep, yadda yadda yadda, Wes Craven’s still making movies. His latest hits this weekend, it’s in RealD, so you know it’s good, and it’s headed up against two films that probably have 100% less dismemberment and graphic violence against teens. Those movies, Life As We Know It and Secretariat (okay, there could be a subplot about that horse trampling some teens, and that would win it a few more fans), will more than likely favor better than My Soul to Take, but the real question is if any of them have the strength to take Fincher’s The Social Network off its friend-requesting mountaintop.

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The Reject Report

Okay, that’s just silly. If that headline were true, The Social Network would have pulled in something like $3 billion this weekend, and not even James Cameron could pull off those kinds of numbers. The way it stands, more like 4 million friends went to see David Fincher’s latest film, but that’s not a number to scoff at. It’s not groundbreaking by any stretch. It’s not even Fincher’s best opening to date. That remains the $30 million Panic Room was able to pull in its opening weekend. Nonetheless, The Social Network drew solid numbers, and the film is going to look like anything but a bomb once the awards considerations start rolling in.

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The Reject Report

While the Fantastic Fest festivities continue in Austin, the real world, the one not waiting on the edge of its collective seat to see Tim League get punched in the face by Michelle Rodriguez, carries on. With it, the Hollywood box office and all the money it made this weekend. It wasn’t as profitable a weekend as was anticipated, but something had to come out on top. This weekend, Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone, and The Beouf were able to soar higher than those 3-D owls. While it wasn’t able to pull in $20+ million this weekend, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was able to give Oliver Stone his biggest opening to date. It’s also the second highest opening for a film featuring Michael Douglas and the highest opener he’s had in the lead. It didn’t live up to potential, but it’s hard to throw the “bomb” label at Wall Street. $19 million is a respectable opening even if Shia LaBeouf has had better days.

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The Reject Report

Greed is good. Greed is legal. Yeah, we’ve heard all that malarkey before, and it’s obvious. Why else would studios release their films on more than 3000 screens in one weekend? That almighty coin that keeps Hollywood turning and those glorious things we call motion pictures hitting left and right ad nauseum. We’ve got two such films this weekend and two that aren’t opening quite as big. Both of the biggies are pulling in hype based around their respective brand loyalty, but they each have something new to offer, as well. It’s Shia LaBeouf Vs. the talking owls here at the Reject Report. Let the best squawker win.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them by now. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of August going to the local library, making phone calls to important producers and making fan trailers out of macaroni to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in September. Don’t let Machete scare you. If you watch movies, this guide’s for you.

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Legend of the Guardians

It may just be me, but the first several moments of this brand new Legend of the Guardians trailer — the new animated film from director Zack Snyder — feels a lot like 300. Super slow-motion and angry warrior faces. All that’s missing is the voice of Gerard Butler screaming “This is Ga-HOOLE!” while one owl kicks the other one down a pit of despair. That doesn’t exactly happen, but some other cool stuff certainly does.

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The folks at USA Today have debuted the first look at the upcoming animated adventure Legend of the Guardians, from 300 and Watchmen director Zack Snyder. Now that the title is settled, Warner Bros. has released the first five photos from the film — and they look beautiful.

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Zack Snyder - Legend of the Guardians

There are times — and these times are not few and far between — when the retitling of a film seems odd, unnecessary and often, quite stupid. Like when Sony Pictures renamed The Kung Fu Kid as The Karate Kid for branding purposes, then still made the movie about Kung Fu. That doesn’t make sense at all. This time, however, a movie has been retitled for the benefit of marketing, but it also makes sense.

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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