This is not how I wanted to start the week.
Sincere apologies to those of you who have been checking the site since Friday. I didn’t post a comic last week due to the fact that I was recovering somewhat from the Thanksgiving holiday but also because Henry was sick and decided to toss his cookies all over me and we were left to manage a sick child over the weekend.
Then, on Sunday night, I sit down at my computer to work on Monday’s comic and, well… my scanner crapped out on me.
I guess I’m not totally surprised. I own a HP ScanJet 2200c that worked SWIMMINGLY with Windows XP but was choked to death by Vista’s persnickety peripheral acceptance parameters. I was able to patch it with some advice I found online. But in examining this recent failure, learned that it wasn’t a fail-safe method. The scanner would still be prone to crashes and I think that’s what happened here.
So, tonight after work I will be going to Best Buy or Office Max or someplace that sells cheap scanners so I can get caught up. My friend Brandon J. Carr suggested a WACOM Cintiq as a scanner replacement. That’s a tempting offer, but last I checked, I hadn’t won the lottery. So it’s low-tech for now. Relatively low-tech, I suppose. In the meantime, you’ll have to be patient with me. I promise to have a new comic for you on Tuesday!
I suppose since I don’t have a comic to blog about, I can tell you about the two movies I saw this weekend.
I went to see Transporter 3 Wednesday night and went with Cami to see Australia on Saturday night. I hadn’t seen the first two Transporter movies, but there was something about the trailers for the third one that made me want to check it out. I knew it was going to be cheesy. I didn’t know it was going to be so boring!
I fell asleep in this movie. That… shouldn’t be happening in an action movie, should it?
I’ll give credit to the stunt coordinators and to Jason Statham. I felt like they put together a few interesting sequences. But the plot was impossible to follow and they gave WAY too many lines to the girl played by Natalya Rudakova, who was impossible to understand.
That girl has so many freckles, she looks like she was shot in the face with a freckle gun.
By the way, you’re going to hear me drop that zinger a lot. You’ll probably hear it again if you listen to The Triple Feature tonight. Why? Because I thought it was clever when I thought of it and I’m clinging to it like a dog to a bone.
Anyway… the plot? Who cares? The action? So-so. It ends okay, but not before you can recover from the TRULY IDIOTIC sequence involving The Transporter crashing his car into a lake and resurfacing it with a bag from inside his trunk that he inflates with THE AIR FROM HIS TIRES! By that logic, shouldn’t the car be able to drive across the surface of the water and not sink? Ugh.
Yeah. Don’t waste your money on this one. Not even if you’re in it for a cheap laugh.
As for Australia, both Cami and I had high hopes for this coming in, but we left disappointed. I guess we had hoped that Baz Luhrman had gotten things out of his system with Moulin Rouge. But the fact is, there are enough farcical elements and screwball antics in the first act, you don’t trust the picture when it tries to deliver an emotional blow.
I appreciate the scope of the film. It truly is epic and serves as a great calling card for the Australia Board of Tourism. But there’s no shape to the thing. It can’t make up it’s mind if the main story is about Nicole Kidman’s character fighting evil cattle barons, her romance with Hugh Jackman’s Drover or her growing affection for a half-breed Aboriginal boy played by Brandon Walter. Toss in the Japanese bombing of Darwin at the onset of World War II and you’ve got more than you can deal with.
Luhrman’s tale is bookended with information about Australia’s practice of taking half-white/half-Aboriginal children away from their families to be led into a life of servitude. The called them The Lost Generations. So, in some respect, you expect the film to be about their struggle. But their story is a fractional element of the tale, you wonder why he bothered?
I was also turned off by the main villain of the piece, Fletcher, played by David Wenham. Why is it that all of Luhrman’s villains are the sniveling, mustache-twirling sort? I don’t hate them because they’re evil. I hate them because they are annoying and cliched.
I was also particularly annoyed by everyone’s insistence on calling Hugh Jackman’s character “The Drover.” A drover is the Australian equivalent of a cowboy. Someone who herds animals across long distances. Jackman’s character is meant to be so adept at the practice, he’s simply known as “THE” Drover. That’s kind of bad-ass, until Nicole Kidman’s character calls him Mr. Drover and everyone else in the film shouts his name over and over again – DROVER! DROVER!
That would be like shooting an American Western and naming your lead “Cowboy.” It’s generic and silly.
Let’s not even go into Luhrman’s repeated parallels in the story to The Wizard of Oz. He keeps ramming it down our throats when then connection is tenuous at best.
Ultimately Australia did a good job of displaying the magic and enormity of the Northern Territory, but I cared very little for the stories of the people in the midst of it. It felt bloated and sloppy. I thought the movie could have ended at any number of points and I would have been satisfied. But at 2 hours and 45 minutes, it drags on and on and on. A true epic shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should feel like it’s presenting you a world you never want to leave. A place you want to know more about. Luhrman’s vision gets you only half way there.
That does it for my blogging. Hopefully that’s enough to tide you over in the absence of an actual comic. Again, apologies for the technical snafu. Let’s just blame Microsoft and call it a day, huh?
Be sure to tune into The Triple Feature tonight at 9:00 PM CST over at TalkShoe.com and expect a new comic here tomorrow.
So here it is! The comic that was meant to go up on Friday, but was delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday and a vomiting 2 year-old. Then meant to go up on Monday and delayed because of a wonky scanner and Bill Gates making Vista impossible to use. Was it worth the wait? Was it everything you ever hoped for?
I don’t remember where the idea for mixing Pepsi with champagne came from, but I recall that it cropped up in an actual conversation between Cami and I last week. Probably before I went to see Transporter 3 on Wednesday night. That’s slummin’ it, cinematic ally speaking. Meanwhile, while we were still optimistic about Australia, it sat on the other end of the spectrum looking like a million bucks.
Oh, how wrong we were.
I gave my rundown on these two films in Monday’s blog, so go back one page in the archive if you want the details on that. Or, you could download last night’s recording of The Triple Feature. We had a great time talking about Australia, Transporter 3 and Four Christmases as well. I think we were really on fire last night. Lots of funny exchanges.
As evident by the presence of the comic, I bought a new scanner last night. I was disappointed that I couldn’t purchase a simple flatbed scanner. They don’t appear to be stocked in big box retail stores anymore. I had to buy an all-in-one printer. I went to Best Buy and Office Max before I gave up and bought a new HP printer, scanner, photo printer.
I was kind of upset about it at first, but it’s actually pretty nice. It took me a while to figure out the scanner settings and it’s still a little too sensitive for my liking, but I’m sure it’ll balance out before long.
Some people were confused with the graphic I posted on the site yesterday of the scanner with the smoke coming out of it. My old scanner didn’t catch fire, or anything. It was basically a problem with Vista recognizing the peripheral. HP no longer provided support to the device and there was not an updated driver for it. When I upgraded to Vista and ran into this problem, I combed the web for work-arounds and found one that tricked Vista into thinking there was a driver for the device. But those instructions warned that the scanner could still crash out in the future depending on how Vista was feeling on any given day. I think that’s what happened here.
Truthfully, the all-in-one is a good solution because my printer was HP as well and I had to perform the same work-around for it to work as well. It was only a matter of time before it crapped out on me, too.
Why HP refuses to support their devices with updated drivers, I’ll never know. Why I continue to give them my money for the inconvenience is equally mysterious. I guess I just like their products. They’ve never broken down on me and I like their interface. Their stuff is easy to use when Microsoft isn’t gumming up the works with a new operating system.
Bonus feature of the new scanner? It’s wireless! That’s pretty slick.
Anyway, that’s it for today. Thanks to everyone for their patience. I’ll see you here tomorrow with a new comic about Punisher: War Zone. Be here!
The joke for this comic comes straight out of the conversation we had during Monday’s recording of The Triple Feature movie podcast. It’s my line, though. So no one is getting ripped off. The more I started thinking about these reports about Ray Stevenson’s performance, the more fun I thought I could have with it in comic form. So, there you have it.
Punisher: War Zone comes out this weekend and I guess the third time is the charm? Kind of weird there have been as many Punisher movies as there has been Spider-Man films, don’t you think?
Truthfully, I don’t understand how the first two movies could have failed. The Punisher is a revenge archetype. The only made – what? – a dozen or so Death Wish movies with Charles Bronson, right? Just crib a few plays from them.
I liked Thomas Jane as The Punisher in the last movie, so it’s a shame they couldn’t bring him back. Too bad they decided to transplant Frank Castle to Miami for no good reason in that one. I’m glad they’re bringing things back to New York for Punisher: War Zone. And Ray Stevenson has the look down cold.
I have no doubt in my mind that this movie will by a hyper-violent turd burger. But I’m still psyched to see it because I’m curious how close they can get to doing it right. The teasers and the production photos are on the right track – even if Dominic West as the villain Jigsaw looks stupid. I’m also kind of encouraged by the fact that the most violent, bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred Punisher movie was directed by a woman – Lexi Alexander. Incidentally, she used to be a World Karate and Kickboxing Champion. How bad-ass is that? Her and semi-pro boxer Uwe Boll should have a chat.
So, yeah. Even though the movie will most likely be completely without a plot, over-the-top with a nu-metal, ‘roid rage sensibility… I’m looking forward to it. They’re using a lot of visual references from the comics – Specifically the work of Tim Bradstreet – and they’ve got Wayne Knight as The Punisher’s weapons supplier and intel guy Microchip! If you read any Punisher stories from the 90’s, you know what a great character that guy was.
Anyway, I’ll give you the rundown of the movie next week.
In the meantime, check out this interactive comic book for Punisher: War Zone that the studio – Lionsgate – produced in promotion with the film. The comic establishes the Punisher’s background and the final chapter is a teaser for the film. It’s good, pulpy fun.
That’s it for me! Have a great Wednesday!
Oh… and if you didn’t visit the site yesterday, I posted the strip that was intended to go live on Monday but was delayed due to a broken scanner. Don’t forget to check that out as well!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Jared is someone in the comic I like to characterize as keeping his lunacy just below the surface. He’s the guy who could snap at any moment, but he treats it like it’s common knowledge. It could all be a front, but you’re never quite sure. He’s kind of like Creed from The Office with the creepiness factor dialed down.
I kind of wanted to leave it open to interpretation in this strip as to whether Jared regularly packs heat when he goes to the theater or if this really was an accessory to his viewing of Punsiher: War Zone.
Truthfully, I just wanted another excuse to draw The Punisher’s death’s head symbol. It’s just so damn imposing. Probably one of the top 5 design choices in comics, if you ask me.
Reviews are starting to surface for Punisher: War Zone and the consensus is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s shot very well, but it’s violence and tone is repulsive. Read this review from Roger Ebert. It expertly describes what makes the movie difficult to endure, but it actually makes me want to see it more!
I feel a little bit guilty about this because I think the movie is pandering to it’s audience by making the violence so graphic and I’ve been totally suckered by it. Essentially, Punisher: War Zone is torture porn for the action movie crowd. For someone like myself who has been a vocal critic of films like Saw and Hostel, it’s completely hypocritical for me to be so excited about Punisher: War Zone.
I was sent a promotional link that I’m reluctant to share because it is VERY, VERY graphic and I try to keep things PG-13 around here. But I’ve pretty much endorsed the film anyway and the clip does a very good job of illustrating my point. What I’m linking to is basically the reddest of red band trailers. You will see people shot in the face, people whose head’s are blown clean from their bodies and critic blurbs that use four-letter words. In other words, if you are very young or you are accessing the site from work, THIS CLIP IS NOT FOR YOU!
If you’re old enough to vote and have a cast-iron stomach, you can the red, red, red band trailer for Punisher: War Zone here.
Punisher: War Zone was produced by Lionsgate and their name has been increasingly associated in my mind with producing schlockly, degrading, violent, lewd and offensive movies. They’ve made it their job to provoke people and some of it appeals to the lowest common denominator. There are high points. They producedBill Mahr’s Religulous andOliver Stone’sW. ealier in the year. But they also produced the aforementioned Saw and Hostel films as well as Transporter 3, Good Luck Chuck, Bratz: The Movie, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector,Employee of the Month and Alone in the Dark.
I’m skewing things a little bit to bolster my argument. Actually, if you look over their history of films since they were formed in 1998, the studio has some Oscar and indiepedigree. Affliction, Buffalo 66, Gods and Monsters, Amores Perros, American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream, Shadow of the Vampire, Monster’s Ball, Fahrenheit 9/11, Crash. All I’m saying is in the last few years, they’y seem to be producing more dreck. Certainly other studios do the same, it just seems more pronounced to me with Lionsgate. Maybe it’s neither here nor there, but it’s something I’ve noticed.
To that end, I’ll probably see Punisher: War Zone on Saturday night. I would go tonight, but we’ll be out celebrating my father-in-law’s birthday. I’m really looking forward to taking a two year-old to a nice resturant an hour past his bedtime. Should be fun!
Have a great weekend, everyone! I’ll see you here Monday!
The comic was delayed this morning due to a server hiccup not allowing me to input the comic correctly. Major thanks to Dave Buist for helping to set things right. Dave has his own web comic that I’ve mentioned before called Taking the Bi-Pass that you should all check out. Give Dave a big Theater Hopper “thank you” and visit his site this afternoon!
I sawPunisher: War Zone this weekend and people keep asking me what I thought about it. My reply? “It’s about what you expect.”
Admittedly, my expectations were low for this film and it didn’t disappoint. The film LOOKS amazing, don’t get me wrong. It’s lit especially well and Ray Stevenson inhabits the scary, stoic ferocity of The Punisher quite well. It’s just… well… It’s just when people start talking, the movie suffers for it.
The plot is boilerplate. Four years after losing his family in a gangland execution, Frank Castle is still out on the streets murdering thugs and crooks in cold blood. The police envy his vigilantism and even throw him tips from time to time. But while on another mission, Frank slips up an murders an undercover FBI agent. What makes it worse is that the agent has a family.
Frank decides to give up the life, but one of the gang members survived his brutal attack. Incidentally, the one he threw into a giant bottle recycler. His face torn to ribbons and stitched back together on the cheap, Jigsaw is born and vows to kill The Punisher and anyone who stands in his way.
Dominic Westas Jigsaw is a campy distraction through the entire movie. Today’s comic does not over-exaggerate his stereotypical mobster “Noo Yawk” accent. It is as if director Lexi Alexander asked him to play the role as broadly and comical as possible.
When Jigsaw and his brother Looney Bin Jim (recently freed from a mental institution) literally pimp-strut down the street recruiting local gangs to team up and take out The Punisher once and for all, there’s very little credibility to salvage from the production.
Ultimately, the movie plays EVERYTHING broad. Much has been written about the violence in this picture, which is way over the top. But after a while, the sight of head’s exploding at point-blank range becomes funny, not disturbing.
I blame director Lexi Alexander. A native of Germany, she approaches violence with a very European sensibility. It’s graphic and intense, but the movie is always winking at you – letting you know it isn’t real. When the Punisher punches a hole in a guy’s face,she’s pretty much gone off the reservation.
The Punisher needs a director with an American sensibility for violence. Someone who will make it gritty, real and – most importantly – regrettable. The Punisher isn’t a thrill killer. He doesn’t commit acts of violence for the sake of it. He kills because he feels he has to. And, in the end, the one he punishes the most… is himself.
I’m sure we’ll have more to say about Punisher: War Zone tonight on The Triple Feature. So be sure to tune in live over at TalkShoe.com at 9:00 PM CST. If you have questions for the group before we record, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, participate live in the chat field. You can even call-in if you like!
We hope to see you there tonight! Tune in and thanks for your patience waiting for today’s comic!
I got the idea for today’s comic when we were talking about Time Magazine’s publication of their Top 10 films of 2008 during The Triple Feature Monday night.. The ice cream analogy wasn’t discussed at the time, but the more I got to thinking about it, the more it fit.
On the whole, I don’t find much to disagree with in term of Richard Corliss’s picks. I think it’s a good mix of populist and obscure. That he puts Wall-E at the top of his list is a great harbinger of things to come. As much as I loved Iron Man this year (and wouldn’t shut up about it), Wall-E is who I’ll be cheering for come awards season. I really believe it’s a film that will stand the test of time and it accomplishes that in what is tantamount to a few, simple brush strokes (so to speak).
But back to Speed Racer and The Dark Knight. I don’t mean to characterize Speed Racer poorly. Although I was apprehensive of the film while it was in theaters, I fell in love with it once it was on DVD. The movie truly is an underrated gem.
But on Corliss’s list, it sticks out like a neon thumb. Glowing even brighter in the absence of the gothic gloom of The Dark Knight which was so perfectly assembled by Christopher Nolan that it is probably the most critically and financially successful film of the year. By leaving it off the list, Corliss is ignoring something important that happened in movies this year. A film like The Dark Knight doesn’t make A HALF BILLION DOLLARS from the domestic box office for nothing.
Certainly critical or financial success shouldn’t dictated prominence on an end of the year list. There is something to be said for expressing a personal preference. Judgments on art are always subjective anyway.
But despite Speed Racer’s hidden quality, he looks a little bit out of touch by promoting a film that was pretty my panned by critics and ignored by audiences at the start of the summer blockbuster season that cost three and a half times more to produce than it reclaimed at the box office against the first “comic book” movie that is generating serious buzz as an Oscar contender. In his pursuit to pick an unconventional choice, he leaves many readers scratching their heads.
Food for thought.
That’ll do it for me today. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you here on Friday! Have a great day!
I try to keep the comic timely, but usually as it pertains to movies. I think this might be one of a handful of times that I’ve made reference to any other surrounding circumstance.
I know this comic is a bit odd, but it’s truthful. Things have been stressful lately and both Cami and I are worn down. We work for the same company and we experienced several hundred layoffs this week. Fortunately, we both still have our jobs, but it weighs on our minds. Morale at work is low and we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’ve been let go from jobs before and it’s never a good feeling – especially right before the holidays. But since we had Henry, there is so much more at stake. It really stops to give you pause. What would you do if you were in that situation.
This is a particularly… adult concern and I know you guys aren’t coming to this site to be reminded of how ugly things are out there. For that, I apologize. But at the same time, I gotta be truthful and if there’s a joke I can attempt to mine from the situation, I’m going to take that opportunity.
Incidentally, the conversation played out in this strip pretty much happened verbatim in our house the day after our company announced layoffs. Everything right down to Snugglebug II: The Snuggling. It got a big laugh out of Cami, so I thought it would probably work in the strip. That’s the long and short of it. I hope you enjoyed it.
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but nothing looks good to me in the theater this weekend. Advertisements keep trying to shove the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still down our throats – even going so far as to remind us it will be the ONLY place to see the new X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailer (until the internet gets a hold of it about 15 minutes later) – and I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to see it.
I’m curious to see Gort. That’s about it. Keanu Reeves looks like he’s acting more wooden than ever – which I suppose is in-character for an alien emmissary. But as Owen Gleiberman pointed out in his review over at Entertainment Weekly, “Reeves seems to be trying to wriggle out of the charge that he’s a flat actor by acting flat on purpose.”
Cami’s reasons for not wanting to see the film are much more sussinct. “It has Jennifer Connoelly in it.”
I’m kind of with Cami on that one. Don’t get me wrong, Jennifer Connoelly is fine to look at. But every time she shows up in a movie, my shoulders drop. She acts like the kind of person who NEVER smiles. She seems so serious all the time. She seems like someone who would be a real drag to be around.
I think this weekend Cami and I are going to take Henry to see Santa at the mall – a bizzarre ritual if there ever was one. We took him last year, but obviously he was too young to understand the significance. This year, he totally knows who Santa is by sight (even if he doesn’t totally understand what Santa does). It should be a good time.
That’s it for me. Have a great weekend, everyone and I’ll see you here on Monday!
I think the title for today’s strip is quite possibly the biggest groaner in 6-plus years of Theater Hopper. It’s delicious. I love it.
I was thinking about The Day The Earth Stood Still and the quote I took from Owen Gliberman’s review from Entertainment Weekly that I grabbed last week. Y’know, the one about how Keanu Reeves “seems to be trying to wriggle out of the charge that he’s a flat actor by acting flat on purpose.”
The more I got to thinking about it, the more I decided that it was kind of an unfair stigma. I mean, there are plenty of actors who only have one or two moves and audiences love them for it. Maybe Reeves inate sense of distance is something that makes him unknowable to some audiences – and that makes him interesting or sexy. There are dozens of different reasons why people gravitate toward one actor and not another.
Look at my interest in Will Ferrell. Some people might find that inconcievable. And, truthfully, I can see it from their perspective. He plays a lot of the same roles, he does a lot of the same tricks. But, for me, it’s all about his line delivery. Earlier this year in Step Brothers when he’s burying John C. Reily and states simply, “I’m burying you!” just the emphasis he puts on “burying” puts me in stitches every time.
I didn’t see TDTESS this weekend. I couldn’t bring myself to it. The whole movie looks big, dumb and loud. Reviews didn’t help, either. Especially those that claimed it was heavy-handed.
TDTESS is the THIRD movie I can think of off the top of my head in recent months that has promoted some kind of environmental message or made eco-terrorists the bad guys. First it was Quantum of Solace, then it was Transporter 3. Now (instead of nuclear proliferation), Reeves as the alien ambassador Klaatu has come to warn the human race to clean up the environment… or else! It turns out WE’RE the villains! *GASP!*
What I really wanted to see this weekend was Milk, but Cami and I didn’t get the chance. I’m bummed because I think we’re going to be talking about it on The Triple Feature tonight and I really wanted to participate. Gordon saw it last week and was chomping at the bit to talk about it. I’ve seen him posting across social networking sites all last week chatting it up, so I know he’s ready to go. My birthday is on Sunday. Maybe we can snare a babysitter this weekend and check it out then.
Until then, don’t forget to tune in to The Triple Feature tonight and do my best to either moderate or keep up. As always, we record live at 9:00 PM CST. Be there and ask questions in real-time. Or, if you have a Skype connection and a microphone, call us yourself and ask it!
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you here on Wednesday!
Between this comic and last Friday’s “snugglebug” comic, I’ve been very interested in writing the relationship between Tom and Cami. I don’t read as many web comics as I used to, but I’ve been told that Theater Hopper is one of the few where two of the lead characters are married. To me, it’s almost inconsequential. Since I approach the comic from a “write what you know” perspective, there was never any reason for the characters NOT to be married, since they’re based off myself and my real-life wife, Cami.
At any rate, I still like writing the relationship stuff and, from the feedback I’ve gathered, you guys seem to dig it as well. So, win-win!
Yes Man comes out this weekend and I find myself looking forward to it in a way I wasn’t expecting. Even though it looks like a paint-by-numbers comedy (or, more accurately, the spiritual clone of Liar, Liar), I always appreciate Jim Carrey in broad comedic form. I look at him these days and think to myself “He’s getting kind of old for this. There are only so many more times he can make a movie like this before he has to switch gears permanently.”
So if you still giggle at the idea of a man talking out of his own butt, you’d better line up for Yes Man while you can. Because, eventually, Carrey’s rubber-faced antics are going to look really creepy flapping off the skull of a 50 year-old man.
I think now is the right time of year to release a movie like Yes Man. As you know, the premise of the film is about a man who simply says “Yes” to every opportunity thrown his way. Even when people might be taking advantage of him. The idea is to let the chips fall where they may and that your life will be richer for the experience.
I don’t know about you, but I always take stock of my life at this time of year. Not just because of the symbolism of a passing calendar from one year to the next, but because my birthday is also at the end of the year and that somehow makes the inventory process more personal to me. “Am I still engaged in life? Am I still learning new things? Am I a better person than I was a year ago?” I think Yes Man reflects this to a degree.
With any luck, I’ll get to see the movie this weekend. But things are always hectic right before the holidays. Either way, I think I suprised myself when I realized that this was the first Jim Carrey film I was sincerely looking forward to since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That’s kind of a weird comparison to make, but it pretty much says Carrey has been off my radar since 2004. So I’m eager to catch up with him.
That’s all for today. See you here on Friday!
I’ve talked about this in the past, but I’m not much of a Will Smith fan. It’s one of those irrational dislikes similar to Ben Affleck or Shia LaBeouf. I kind of stay quite about it and don’t exploit it for the comic because I know I am in the minority on this one.
How could anyone hate Will Smith? Well, “hate” is a strong word, but, generally, he creeps me out. I’m impressed with his story and how he found his way to fame. I think he manages his career very carefully and is smart about his choices. He stays out of trouble and promotes an uplifting example to others. But I simply don’t trust anyone who is that happy all all of the time. Sometimes it seems genuine, other times it seems fake. I’m not talking about his movie roles. Which, to his credit, seem to be taking a darker turn lately. Just watch the guy in interviews sometime and tell me it isn’t exhausting.
It’s probably just sour grapes. If I starred in a string of hits that have earned more than $100 million at the box office over the last 12 years, I probably wouldn’t have much to complain about, either. I should probably just stick to talking about his movies anyway.
I’ll admit that when I saw the trailer for Seven Pounds that I was sucked in by the mystery of the title. The trailer was also very tense and very well put together. But the more I thought about it, the more it started to look like The Pursuit of Happyness II – Get Happy. Maybe that’s deliberate as both movies share the same director in Gabriele Muccino. After reading movie blogs for a while, people started to guess what the title refers to and a few of them fell into place. I lost interest after that. It’s almost as if they knew the mystery behind the title was their biggest bargaining chip.
Reviews for Seven Pounds have been largely negative. Many critics are attacking it for being at once schmaltzy and ghoulish. Some say Smith is pandering for an Oscar (he may have missed his best chance after Ali). Ultimately, this one looks like a no-go.
I’m not exactly happy about that, in case you thought I was celebrating, or something. I saw The Pursuit of Happyness in theaters and liked it. But my radar was beeping on Seven Pounds. Something felt a little off about it and now I think I understand what it is. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some.
That’s all for me today. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again on Monday!