Recap: 3 August 2008

For my loyal readers who missed my box office predictions on Friday, I am sorry. As far as I know, there’s only one of you who cared, but, nonetheless, I figured an apology was in order. I was filled with overwhelming apathy, and the lack of compelling new wide releases was the non-catalyst for the blog. That being said, here’s your box office recap.

  1. The Dark Knight ($43.8 million)
  2. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor ($42.5 million)
  3. Step Brothers ($16.3 million)
  4. Mamma Mia! ($13.1 million)
  5. Journey to the Center of the Earth ($6.9 million)
  6. Swing Vote ($6.3 million)
  7. Hancock ($5.2 million)
  8. WALL-E ($4.7 million)
  9. The X-Files: I Want to Believe ($3.4 million)
  10. Space Chimps ($2.8 million)

As for me, my sister dragged me to Mamma Mia! for the second time Friday night. Despite my reluctance, I will admit I had a remarkably good time mocking Pierce Brosnan every time he sang as well as dancing to the credits once the theatre was empty.

What Else I Watched:

  • Rope (3 stars) – Filmed in seven 10-minute takes and styled as one continuous tracking shot, watching this was almost like watching it on stage. While technically impressive, the story doesn’t become compelling until the second half. Its best moments are reminiscent of Oscar Wilde. Speaking of…
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (3½ stars) – This is the only major Wilde play I haven’t yet read, but I enjoyed the adaptation quite a bit. Colin Firth is always enjoyable to watch, and the rest of the cast was up to par as well.
  • Shopgirl (4½ stars) – Penned by Steve Martin from his own novella, this is an extremely simple story about three people and their journeys through life. The palette is beautiful, the characters are complex and compelling, and the story is engaging. Highly recommended.
  • The Lion King (4 stars) – Classic animated Disney. Stands the test of time.
  • Harvey (4½ stars) – This is now my favorite James Stewart movie. I’d put off watching this because I found the logline to be a bit silly, which just goes to show the limitations of loglines at times. James Stewart is at his best here, and the story is heartwarming without being saccharine.
  • Frankenstein (3½ stars) – If I hadn’t read the novel (1818 text, to be specific), I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more. There are several rather small departures from the book that bothered me, though, all in all, it’s a solid film with a stellar performance from Boris Karloff.
  • El Mariachi (3½ stars) – A charming action indie filmed for only $7,000. It had moments that reminded me of West Side Story sans music (in a good way), and the 10-minute film school in the extra features was eye-opening.
  • Desperado (3 stars) – The follow-up to El Mariachi, Antonio Banderas takes over the original title role. Not quite as interesting as the first in the trilogy, it was still fun and entertaining.
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico (3½ stars) – Honestly, the third and most likely final film in Robert Rodriguez’s Mariachi trilogy would have only mustered three stars from me had it not been for Johnny Depp’s Agent Sands. Hands down best part of the movie. Also, the 10-minute cooking school recipe in the extra features looks amazing.

I’m also pleased to report I have finished my short story challenge. Look for it to be posted on Tuesday.

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