Box Office Results: 18 July 2008

I may have missed the third pick, but I was correct in predicting that The Dark Knight would break the three-day weekend box office record. And rightly so. It’s an amazing movie, and you should go see it if you’re one of the three people in America who hasn’t already.

  1. The Dark Knight ($155.3 million)
  2. Mamma Mia! ($27.6 million)
  3. Hancock ($14 million)
  4. Journey to the Center of the Earth ($11.9 million)
  5. Hellboy II: The Golden Army ($10 million)
  6. WALL-E ($9.8 million)
  7. Space Chimps ($7.4 million)
  8. Wanted, ($5.1 million)
  9. Get Smart ($4.1 million)
  10. Kung Fu Panda ($1.8 million)

What I watched:

  • Pan’s Labyrinth (5 stars) – Written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, this film is visually stunning and beautiful, frightening, heart-breaking, touching and inspiring. Hard to ask for more than that.
  • Rear Window (4 stars) – My favorite of the four Hitchcock films I’ve watched seen. James Stewart is always fun to watch, and (perhaps ironically considering the wheelchair-bound state of the lead) this film doesn’t drag like the other Hitchcock films I’ve watched. Rear Window also does the best job of balancing drama, humor and intensity.
  • Edward Scissorhands (4 stars) – This is one of my favorite movies. Classic Burton and Classic Depp: what’s not to love? Tip: If you’ve got the anniversary edition, watch the featurette to see Johnny Depp gush about working with Tim Burton for the first time.
  • Labyrinth (3 ½ stars) – This movie has held up surprisingly well over time. David Bowie is hilariously campy (in a good way), and the creatures are as charming as you would expect from Jim Henson.
  • Win a Date with Tad Hamilton (3 stars) – Another movie that benefits from going in with low expectations, it neither disappointed or pleasantly surprised me.
  • Return to Me (3 ½ stars) – It’s always pleasant when a movie lives up to your memories of it, and Return to Me did just that. I loved this movie when it came out, and I’d feared I’d loved it solely because I was at the height of my X-Philia and David Duchovny is the lead. But it turns out this movie actually is just unbelievably heartwarming in the best sort of way. Sure, it’s cheesy and fairly predictable, but it’s also really quite funny and very, very sweet.
  • Love and Other Disasters (3 stars) – This movie starts off slow, but once they start drawing comparisons to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it really improves quite a bit. It’s not spectacular, but it’s a pleasant-enough way to spend an evening.
  • Mamma Mia! (2 ½ stars) – Here are a couple of lessons in directing movie musicals: 1) Songs should move the story forward, and 2) Keep the camera and the characters moving during musical numbers. Sadly, Mamma Mia! fails to follow either of these rules. If you’re not going to offer me something more than what I can see on stage, then you probably shouldn’t adapt the musical for the screen. For example, a potentially moving rendition of “The Winner Takes All” by Meryl Streep was completely ruined because she simply stood there singing her heart out instead of moving. If they’d simply had her start moving up the hundreds of stairs to her destination, it would have been a great, heart-wrenching number. Instead, I was simply bored and waiting for the song to be over so we could get on with the story. A number of the leads also seemed to forget how to act when they started singing. There were some bright spots (namely, Dominic Cooper and Colin Firth), but there simply weren’t enough to save the rest of the movie. And also, there are some people who should really never sing in public. Pierce Brosnan, sadly, is one of them.
  • The Dark Knight (4 ½ stars) – I can’t say anything about this film that hasn’t already been said by someone else. It was awesome. Go see it.

Wow, that was a lot of movies. My current task at work enables me to watch a couple of movies a day, so I expect that will be the case for a while. And you know what? I’m OK with that.

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