Considering how well How to Train Your Dragon has been doing ($44 million opening weekend, $211 mill to date), it's no wonder that the fourth installment in the popular Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After would do even better. After all, it has dragons and overweight cats! Adorable! That, a lack of kid-friendly competition and the money-printing combo of IMAX and 3-D helped Shrek go medieval on the box office and earn $71 million, and although that's less than the last two Shrek films did in their opening weekends, it was still enough to knock Iron Man 2's knight in shining armor out of the top spot. However, since the armored Avenger has made a quarter-billion in the U.S. and one and a half-bill world wide in only three weeks, we won't feel too sorry for him.
MACGRUBER! Didn't do well in theaters, now it's come out on DVD! MACGRUBER! Still trying to recoup that massive budget, hope we make it in rental fees! MACGRUBER!
We really shouldn't have expected much from a film adaptation of a Saturday Night Live sketch. After all, of the ten movies that the show has spun off, you can count the ones that are entertaining on one hand (The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World, Superstar, list over). But the MacGruber sketches are so funny, with a bomb-defusing Will Forte getting held up by father-son issues, political correctness and heroin addiction, that we thought there was no way the movie could fail -- especially with co-star Kristen Wiig on board. But the redband trailer, which surfaced last week, makes it look like a huge mess. Maybe they're focusing on the more risqué elements for this particular trailer, but since it's the first one we've seen, we're gonna go ahead and assume the rest of the movie is like this, meaning a shoestring assembly of far too on-the-nose jokes.
There was a strange phenomenon happening with MacGruber in its early months of test screenings -- the project quickly went from a laughably ill-advised idea to a buzzed-about, anticipated comedy, and nobody could believe it. I saw the movie last night, and I can tell you that although I definitely did laugh quite a bit, it is far from a classic, and anything but brilliant. Stupid, childish, forgettable fun, however? That, it absolutely is. And I think that's all it wants to be.
The recent announcement that SNL's parody sketch "MacGruber" would be following MacGyver into movie theaters got us thinking about the state of the SNL movie machine. We haven't seen a new SNL sketch-based movie in a while, probably because the last dozen or so have been terrible, but not all of them have been. Some of the earliest ones, like The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World are classics, and even Superstar and The Waterboy are pretty damn funny. So we shouldn't let travesties like The Ladies' Man and It's Pat keep us from getting funny movies based on funny, funny sketches. The formula can still work, dammit! Here's a bunch of sketches we'd like to see feature-length.