God, I feel old.
Despite some middling reviews, Shrek Forever After managed to hold onto the number-one spot for the second week in a row, defeating new releases Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 by bringing in the kids and charging extra for 3-D. Don't expect it to hang out in the Top Ten for long, though -- sure, the previous kid-friendly spot-hog, How to Train Your Dragon, is only now preparing to exit the Top Ten after 10 weeks, but between Marmaduke, The Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, the next three weeks will likely eat into Shrek's young audience, as well as the souls of any accompanying adults. (Toy Story 3 being the sure-to-be-tear-inducing exception.)
The new Sex and the City movie is a shining example of why everyone -- especially screenwriters -- should learn math and chemistry. Math, because the movie's 140-minute runtime could do with a little subtraction -- this isn't Gandhi, here, although Sarah Jessica Parker looks more like him every day. And chemistry, because the movie's two most important elements, "sex" and "the city" -- you know, the ones that are in the title -- are practically nonexistent in this installment, which takes away much of what usually makes this compound so potent. Statistically speaking, if New York City is "the fifth cast member" of the show, then 80% of this film is missing 20% of the cast.
Jon Favreau must really like AC/DC. Or, more likely, the band's blistering guitar rock, violent lyrics and electrically inspired name simply make them perfect candidates to provide the entire soundtrack to Iron Man 2. Rockers providing soundtracks is nothing new, but rather than featuring all-new songs, like Queen did for Highlander and Daft Punk is doing for Tron, the AC/DC soundtrack will be a "greatest hits" collection, including some of their best-known anthems from as far back as 1976. (The promo video is set to 1980's "Shoot to Thrill.") With this in mind, we looked at other tentpole films slated for this year and picked the bands (and solo artists) with suitable back catalogs to provide all of the music for each movie.
Even though the economy is in what's cheerily being called a "downturn," you wouldn't know it from the bustle around Hollywood studios lately, with more than 40 films being hustled into production for next spring and summer. Because of the writer's strike and the looming threat of an actor's strike, most studios halted production in late 2007 and, as a result, don't have much of a slate for their 2010-2011 release schedule. The few films that did go into production following the writer's strike had strike protection insurance in case the actors -- who still haven't reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and remain without a new contract -- decided to have a strike of their own. Now desperate to fill theaters with their usual crap in two years, studios are pushing to get movies made, crossing their fingers that the actor's union in-fighting continues.