Everybody is talking about how creative and original Christopher Nolan's Inception is, but it turns out Gyro Gearloose thought of it first. The inventor/anthropomorphic goose actually invented his own shared-dreaming device back in 2004, in an Uncle Scrooge comic book, and the Beagle Boys tried to use it to get the combination to Scrooge's giant money vault. Did Nolan read a Disney comic book six years ago and forget about it? Or did somebody plant it in his brain while he was sleeping? Out of curiosity, we skimmed through our comic book collections to see what's what, and found that all of Nolan's movie plots can actually be traced back to kids' comic books and comic strips. Scandal!
This past weekend, two big-budget action movies, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Inception, went head-to-head. And while Apprentice was heavily hyped, and obviously meant to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, the film tracked poorly, got middling reviews and ultimately made half as much as Inception, despite opening two days earlier. ($25 million vs. $60 million.) With profitability in question and hopes of a sequel evaporated, we took a look at the fun-for-the-whole-family action-adventure to see what went wrong.
Positive buzz for Inception shot into the stratosphere with the very first reviews, and since then the response to the movie has been overwhelmingly good. But there's also been a small backlash against what some see as a long, confusing, ponderous film. And maybe it is long, at two and a half hours, but that's slightly shorter than director Christopher Nolan's last, The Dark Knight, and there's a lot more here to chew on. Too much to chew? Perhaps, but I'd rather have an excess than not enough, and this movie certainly gives you plenty to look at while you're chewing.
"Say hi to your money for me!" Mark Wahlberg became intimately familiar with the contents of America's wallets this weekend as one half of The Other Guys along with co-star Will Ferrell. The film is mostly marketed as a Will Ferrell picture, and is being compared to Anchorman and Talladega Nights in terms of box-office take and overall hilarity, but Wahlberg was equally key, and the pair had great chemistry together. Still, the movie's nearly $36 million take erased memories of Ferrell's last movie, the flop Land of the Lost (which was still reasonably funny) and doubled the amount of money made by Cop Out in its opening weekend. And rightly so!
Regardless of whether you felt Zack Snyder's 300 was spectacular art or mindless drivel, or that his Watchmen was too faithful or not faithful enough, or whether you think he's a good choice to direct the next Superman movie, you have to admit you're intrigued by Sucker Punch. Sure, the latest trailer is chock-full of his overused slow-motion, but it's also packed with more geektastic imagery than any movie we've ever seen before, leading one man to call it Things The Internet Likes: The Movie, and numerous others to compare it to Inception due to its dream-state storyline. So is it actually Nerd Inception? Let's use what we've learned from the new trailer to take a closer look.
In the old days, before video games were as prevalent, movies regularly got their own board games. From obvious titles like King Kong and Raiders of the Lost Ark to head-scratchers like Platoon and The Godfather, every toy company was hoping moviegoers would want to bring the experience home. Nowadays, aside from some of the bigger kiddie films and Twilight, a movie is lucky if it gets its own version of Monopoly or Scene It. But the 25th anniversary release of The Goonies on DVD comes with a brand-new board game! How awesome is that? Hopefully, this will herald a return to the movie-specific gameplay that died out with Waterworld and Batman Forever, because there are some recent movies that seem tailor-made for a home version. Here are the ones we'd love to sit around and play on Friday night with the fam.
The resurgence of 3-D as a way to make movies a more immersive experience is all well and good, but we've been tinkering with the same formula since the 1950s, and the only other thing we've come up with since then is Smell-O-Vision. Isn't it time for something new? Something that can make horror movies scarier and other movies far more personal? Well, there is now. Director Chris Milk has made an interactive music video for Arcade Fire called The Wilderness Downtown, which lets you choose the location where it takes place. By entering in your childhood street address, you get to watch the hooded teenager in the film run down the streets where you grew up, thanks to what I can only assume is the magic of Google Earth. If this technology can be perfected, imagine the possibilities -- films could be shot on bluescreens, then the backgrounds could be dropped in based on the renter's mailing address! Special glasses could personalize the locale for everyone in the theater audience! Just think how much better these films would be if they took place in your neighborhood!
Spoiler alert! We're about to talk about the very mysterious and open-to-interpretation ending of this weekend's number-one movie, Inception! As everyone who saw it knows (and they likely cannot remove the image from their brain), Dom Cobb's metal top, which remains upright in dream worlds, had yet to fall over. Does that mean he's still in a dream world? Or was it just a really good spin? Sometimes you get a really good one, and they take a while to fall down. Well, whether he's awake or dreaming, we want to see what happens next. And even before! A prequel comic shows what happened on the Cobol Job and the cast is already hemming and hawing about a sequel, so we figured we'd come up with some of our own. Here are some ideas we'd like to plant in Christopher Nolan's head.
"It's a man's world, but it don't mean nothing without a woman or a nerd." I'm paraphrasing James Brown, but the men were certainly on top this weekend as approximately 500 biceps rippled across theater screens to the tune of $35 million, putting The Expendables at the top of the box-office, over Julia Roberts' return to form Eat Pray Love and Edgar Wright's hardcore geekfest Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Looks like that call to arms worked, huh? This means there will now almost definitely be an Expendables 2, which director/star Sylvester Stallone wants to shake up the cast for. (If Mr. Stallone is looking for some casting ideas, we've raided our VHS libraries to come up with a few suggestions.)