Soul Surfer

Aural Fixation - Large

Whether purposely sending a helicopter into the eye of a tornado or believing you are a real life fairy tale character, it seems that no matter what films oriented towards the younger generation may be about (or who my star in them), the music featured in these films is not only well done, it is also (maybe more surprisingly) impressive. This fact is proven most handily in animated films like How To Train Your Dragon (with a score composed by John Powell) and Rango (composed by Hans Zimmer) which had the kind of full-bodied, moving sound you would expect to hear in an Academy Award winning film rather than a movie aimed at kids. That’s probably why Powell got his first Oscar nomination for Dragon. Granted Powell and Zimmer are accomplished composers in their own right and regardless of the genre they work in, their music is sure to be impressive, but lesser known composers working on these types of films also seem to create music that stands out. This question has come up several times, as each kid-oriented film would be entertaining enough, but the music would always stand out the most. This question came to the forefront of again while I was watching Journey 2: The Mysterious Island this past week and could not deny that even though The Rock was riding a giant bee with Luis Guzmán holding on for dear life behind him, the music driving the action was decidedly impressive. Composer Andrew Lockington was the […]

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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

Furious sits alone on a hill underneath a single tree that shades it. Its buddy Fast is out gallivanting around town with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, jacking Supras and drinking Corona like it holds the key to eternal youth, and Furious is sad. That’s okay, Furious, we still like you. And it’s not like Fast Five is going to open huge. It’s not as if we’re looking at another $70+-million opening for a Fast and Furious entry. Fast couldn’t do that without you. Oh, wait, the Rock is in this one, too. Yeah. It probably will. Sorry, Furious. We’ll catch you next time. Maybe.

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Early yesterday, the LA Times blog released quotes from Atlas Shrugged Part 1 writer/producer John Aglialoro which indicated that he was throwing in the towel on making Part 2 and Part 3. The reason, of course, was that the film just didn’t make its money back. Aglialoro spent a reported $10m of his own cash on the production, and a second week drop off hurt the independent flick considerably. The movie has currently only made $3.2m at the box office. It started with an impressive per screen average, but as with other films which zero in on an audience, everyone who wanted to see the movie saw it opening weekend. The numbers dropped, and an expansion was scrapped. Aglialoro very specifically blames critics and what he believes is a collective “fear of Ayn Rand” amongst them for the movie’s failings. So much for personal responsibility. However, it’s his ire and hatred of the critical response that has caused an about-face. Aglialoro now claims that, while he was once defeated, he now stands ready to proceed with making Atlas Shrugged Part 2 and Part 3. Like all misunderstood artists, he should.

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The Reject Report

The birds of Rio and the sugar-infused children were too much for the family crowd headed to see Madea’s latest outing this weekend. Madea’s Big Happy Family had anything but the worst opening for a Tyler Perry film, but it is the lowest opening film of his since 2007. It’s also the lowest of the three in terms of Tyler Perry films with Madea’s name branded on the marquee. That’s not to say Madea’s Big Happy Family had a bad opening. You can’t really scoff at over $25 million, and it isn’t like Rio completely trounced the #2 film. The gap is wide enough that we won’t be analyzing Monday’s official numbers to determine a clear-cut winner, but it’s way too soon to start the Madea retirement rumors. Big Happy Family is sure to be viewed as a success for everyone involved especially Perry who is sure to have another Madea film in the works by, say…oh, what time is it?

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The Reject Report

…for Elephants! But seriously, that’s a lot of possessive apostrophes going on in that title. If I wanted to do a remake of this movie – I could. I have the funds – who would I have to get the rights from? Madea? Tyler Perry? Oprah? There’s a lot of ownage going on in here. Lionsgate is hoping for a lot of ownage at the box office this weekend, too. I know you saw what I did there. That I’m pointing it out is chalked up to arrogance. The elephants, cats, and birds of the world might have something to say about it, but there’s little chance they’ll be able to do anything about it. Let’s see how everything breaks down. That is, if Tyler Perry allows it.

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The Reject Report

It’s a time for celebration in the world of animated film. Maybe not dress-up-in-your-favorite-gold-costume-or-mask celebration. We’re not throwing a lavish parade or anything, but an audible “hip hip hooray” might be in order if you’re a fan of computer animation. Rio, the latest such film from Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox, came out wings blazing this weekend and easily topped the box office with the biggest opening so far in 2011. The $40 million the film brought in isn’t a record for the studio, though. It didn’t even top the $45 million Horton Hears a Who brought the studio in 2008. However, given Rio‘s worldwide box office thus far – $128.2 million in additional revenue outside the US – the film is well on its way to being a huge success. Plenty of money for the company to bring us another Ice Age film, so all you Scrat fans out there can rejoice.

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The Reject Report

Imagine a quiet, two-story house on a dark small-town street. Inside, a group of teens prepare to watch a movie, something scary, something hi-def. They have wealthy parents. As they drink their respective beverages and the FBI warning sits on the screen unobserved, the phone rings. One of the teens answers. On the other end, a high shriek emits, a shriek the other teens hear coming from outside. They go to the window to look, and flying through the air, headed straight for them, is a tropical bird. It has recently been launched from a giant slingshot jutting up out of the front yard. The bird’s target has been set. The teenagers are unsuspecting. Some of them might die this night. They scream, and thus begins this week’s Reject Report, Rio vs. Scream 4.

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On the surface, the story of Bethany Hamilton is toweringly inspirational. The young surfer on the verge of going pro faced a personal loss so great that it should have destroyed her future career and water-soaked passion in one blow. The fact that she fought back against it, got back on the board, and eventually triumphed is a testament to the human spirit (as well as, according to the film, a testament to faith and the power of a higher being). It’s a compelling story, but as Soul Surfer proves, it’s not the best basis for a full-length feature film. It’s perfectly passable, but director Shawn McNamara has created a version of the story that focuses on filler and ties up all the drama far too easily.

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The Reject Report

It was really the battle of the two evils this weekend. Unfunny CG Russell Brand vs. Unfunny Russell Brand in a suit. The kids won out, and Hop was able to pull into the #1 spot for the second weekend in a row. Its drop wasn’t all that insignificant, about what was to be expected with there being no counter-programming for family entertainment. I guess kids just don’t have much interest in Helen Mirren these days. Hop was, however, able to pull ahead of its reported $63-million budget with its second weekend take and shed a glimmer of hope for those wanting more adventures starring the Easter Bunny. We can all pray for the best there.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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The Reject Report

Ah, remember Dudley Moore and how funny he was in Arthur with the top hat and the bubbles and slurred speech? What’s that? You know the name, but you’re both under 30 and can’t stand the classics? Warner Brothers is hoping for that, too, as they’ve now remade the film starring Russell Brand. Now they’re hopes rest on it returning an Arthur-sized fortune. That could be very well what happens here, and Brand will probably have his name splashed all over the #1 and #2 movies this weekend. He’ll have some competition from some pothead knights, a pair of adolescents. One is an assassin. The other is a surfer. The surfer might not be much competition, but that pairing would make one hell of a buddy 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 young girl who could kick your ass, an old boy who could buy and sell your whole family, a pair of pothead fantasy role players, and a young girl who couldn’t kick a shark’s ass.

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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. Strange, we know. How will you know what to watch this month? Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of March, taking naps, playing tether-ball, and researching movies at the last minute to keep you informed about what’s coming out in April. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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Right now in theaters, there’s a movie focusing on the decade-long struggle for a Canadian kid who met Usher to become a pop superstar. That movie is titled Never Say Never – a rousing call to action for all white bread pubescents out there that dream of having training bras thrown at them on stage. The phrase is also used in the new trailer for Soul Surfer – based on the true story of a young surfer who loses her arm in a shark attack, continues to surf, and inspires a ton of people because of her perseverance through, you know, real adversity. Which one is more appropriate? You be the judge. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Resistance is futile, especially when the opportunity to tie movie news in with a Dave Chappelle skit about a great moment in the life of Samuel L. Jackson comes along.

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