Something Borrowed

Anyone who has ever had to keep a secret knows staying mum is more chore than awesome. It’s one of those things that, as I’ve aged, I’ve grown to hate more than anything. I understand and respect the importance of secrets. I just don’t understand the drama behind them. Or, for that matter, the sheer thrill when one finally unravels. I’ve learned from both personal and filmic examples just how when you keep something scandalous inside you for so long, eventually it will eat you from the inside out. Nothing has driven my absolute disgust for secret relationships more than this year’s Something Borrowed,a film that causes both our own Kate Erbland and myself to want to punch babies. In the face. While there is more than one reason to hate the vile, troubling nature of a film pitting two supposedly best friends against each other, what I always come back to when the horrible, PTSD-like flashbacks of the film hit is how difficult it must be juggling so many lies with people one should care about. Even worse is that the lies involve having sex with someone you shouldn’t and then secretly hoping another person finds out. The thrill of the tryst is the same thrill of exposure. The film’s plot has been well-documented. Based on the Emily Giffin novel of the same title, Something Borrowed follows the mousey, “smart” girl Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and her frienemy relationship with Darcy (Kate Hudson) as they both navigate their newly minted 30′s and prepare […]

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a late look at some of the best releases from four days ago, and eleven days ago. Okay, so it’s been a boring fortnight in Blu-ray, so were combining two weeks worth of coverage into one shot of high definition adrenaline. In this long list, however, you will find plenty of stuff worth your time and money. This includes a definitive release for The Dude, an adventure with Trolls, some time spent with everyone’s favorite serial killer and a few under-the-radar, direct-to-DVD films that are worth watching at least once. The Big Lebowski For The Dude shall get the release he so deserves. That’s how I would assume it is written in the Book of Lebowski. And that’s what we have here: the Blu-ray release — for the most part — The Dude has deserved all along. Not only is the Coen Brothers’ most popular cult hit presented in crisp, dynamically transferred and near-perfect HD, it is also presented with a few new special features. The packaging isn’t as impressive as the DVD edition I have on my display shelf that comes inside a bowling ball, but I’m willing to look past that for this particular release. It’s a great movie and this is a very good Blu-ray release. There is some HD-exclusive content, including a picture-in-picture commentary track and an interactive pop-up trivia track. It also comes with Digital Copy, because you never know when you might want to bust out Lebowski and […]

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The Reject Report

Could have been a B-. Maybe even a C+. The point being X-Men: First Class rose to a somewhat acceptable occasion, about what was expected. Especially by analysts who realized the film wasn’t being backed by Hugh Jackman, the first time in the franchise, and was comprised of an entirely new cast. Add into that mix the idea that X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine were both such colossal disappointments, and it seems X-Men: First Class did rather well despite all it has going against it. It still opened larger than 2000’s original X-Men, but the film still came in fourth among the franchise’s debuts.

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The Reject Report

They set sail. They walked the plank. They scuttled some…things you might scuttle. And in the end, whether it lived up to expectations of analysts or the openings for the previous two films, Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger Tides ripped into theaters with an impressive debut. Unlike Dead Man’s Chest or At World’s End, this fourth entry in the Disney franchise didn’t smash any records, but it ranked fairly well on charts such as biggest May opening and biggest opening day gross. Where On Stranger Tides goes from here is curious. The film ended up costing a reported $250 million despite Disney’s claims they were “cutting back” on the visual grandeur and overall budget. Regardless, the film has already punched out $346.4 million in worldwide ticket sales, so the future seems to be in order for Captain Jack Sparrow to return for Pirates 5.

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The Reject Report

What the hell does that even mean? Of course, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate that phrase for all it’s worth, as the Reject Report this week is going to be a little lean this week. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters far and wide, and that’s it, folks. No one dared step up to the May 20th date for counter-programming, because, really, how do you counter-program Johnny Depp? You don’t. That’s how. Even the limited releases this week don’t have anything noteworthy to brush upon. So shiver those timbers, and when you find out what that means, let me know.

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The Reject Report

Sure, Thor came in at the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Sure, the big debut of the weekend, Bridesmaids, had to settle for the #2 spot with a little over $10 million less than the summer blockbuster. Sure, the rankings are out there, but it’s hard to deny Bridesmaids the big winner spot of the weekend. For one, the R-rated comedy had a lot more to overcome in terms of mass appeal than Thor. The Marvel fandom is pretty widespread, and a number of comic book fanatics who are frothing at the mouth for The Avengers were certain to head back in and see Thor a second time around. Also, a number of tickets sold for Thor cost more than those sold for Bridesmaids between the price swell for 3D tickets and IMAX. An evening ticket to an IMAX screening of Thor could cost $5-10 more than an evening ticket to Bridesmaids. It’s a factor that is always in effect when a movie is playing in IMAX theaters, but it’s not one that gets considered too often.

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The Reject Report

Hello, May weddings. Hello, May wedding movies. Those maids of the bride sure are going to rake in a boat load of cash this weekend, but a certain God of thunder might have a thing or two to say about them taking his throne. There’s also a 3-D movie coming out from the guy who directed Legion. You remember that movie, right? The worst of 2010 until Jonah Hex came out. Sorry, Jonah. We won’t be invoking your name for too much longer. It’s all part of the Reject Report this week. Now where’s that bag of rice?

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The Reject Report

It wasn’t the record-smashing, jaw-dropping opening Marvel was hoping for. They probably weren’t even expecting as such, but Thor kicked off the Summer movie season with a decent opening. Time will tell if its longevity makes it an Iron Man-like success or a Hulk-like disappointment. The reality will probably fall somewhere in between those two. Thor has a broader appeal than 2003′s Hulk, which ended up dropping 69.7% in its second weekend of release after a $62.1-million opening. Iron Man, on the other hand, opened Summer 2008 with $98.6 million and went on to pull in $318.4 million domestic. Thor‘s sustainability won’t be anywhere near that even though it’s chances of topping the charts next weekend as well seem doable.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his codpiece and cape, then gets hammered in the cineplex with Thor. He also suffers from wedding overload with two new movies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. Though he probably should have put his shirt back on before seeing all the chick flicks. Finally, he takes a more esoteric and educational look at the Spanish Civil War drama There Be Dragons. Spoiler alert: There are no dragons in the movie.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a hammer-wielding Norse God from the pages of Marvel, a woman who can’t keep her hands off her friend’s fiance, and a crazed Mel Gibson with a puppet on his hand.

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The Reject Report

Finally Summertime is here. Time to kick back on a beach, crack open a nice page-turner, soak up some sun, and listen to the ocean. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll spend at least one night every weekend sitting in uncomfortable seats, listening to disrespectful teens gabbing on their cell phones, munching on 8-hour popcorn, and taking in the latest $200-million epic Hollywood tells me is going to be the end all for cinematic extravagance. Now that’s bliss. First up on the Summer blockbuster slate is the mighty Thor, the next turn in the windy road towards 2012′s The Avengers. It’s not opening alone this weekend. There are a few films being served up for counter-programming, and the Fast and Furious guys are still out there reeking havoc in the streets. But the weekend will be Thor‘s. Let’s take a look at just how much lightning the God of Thunder will be able to catch.

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Solid relationships are built on compromise. Meaning, when your boyfriend or girlfriend tells you they want to go see Something Borrowed or Thor this weekend and your gut reaction is “I’d rather have an eagle bite out my liver every day for an eternity than see that movie,” well, you have to suck it up. Not just because you’re trying to keep the two of you together, but because the movie may actually turn out to be your cup of tea. Open minds, people. I’ve been the “movie buff” in many a relationship, but this weekend’s line-up reminded me of the many discoveries I’ve made thanks to the differing opinions and interests of past significant others. For every sappy mother/daughter road trip drama (Anywhere But Here), fairy tale relationship come true (The Prince and Me), or by-the-books rom-com with a song for a title (Sweet Home Alabama), my girlfriends took me to a movie that — gasp — continues to resonate in my memory, challenge the way I watch films and remind me that I should get over myself once in awhile. Pretty impressive. I hope one of them felt that way when I sat them down to watch Jet Li’s The One. As a reminder to myself and to all that we don’t ever really know what we’re going to enjoy the heck out of, here are eight movies I would probably never have seen on my own volition. And then I turn the table on you: what movie […]

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