What can I say, kids? It’s been a wild ride this past year, and it’s going to get even wilder this coming year! This is the final installment of WIB? for 2007 and we’ve seen plenty of spectacular, horrible, and marginal films come and go. So, what flicks have the studios chosen to be their last salute to this banner year? Scroll on down and take a look!
The Bucket List (Limited Release): Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson may look like a couple of old coots who are cooped up in the hospital, making the list of the things they want to do before they go off to another world. Once they break out of there, they decide to grab life by the lapels and shake it up, by doing the things that they put on that list! Plus, you get a bonus: Sean Hayes! Will It Bomb? Who doesn’t love these men? While this premise is bit hokey and little soft considering what kinds of performances we are used to seeing from them, it’ll bring in fairly decent amount of cash. Let’s see how they do.
The Great Debaters: Denzel Washington directed and starred and Oprah Winfrey produced?! That already screams “powerhouse”! As a debate teacher circa 1935, Washington motivates his team of collegiates to persevere against all odds. There are quite a number of battles to win, but it does pays off! They have the opportunity to compete against Harvard! Will It Bomb? Critically, this will clean up. It’s still the time of year for the feel-good drama. Financially, I’m not as confident. I think it will set up shop somewhere in the mid-to-low end of the 10. That’s a nice, comfortable place, if you ask me.
Well, guys! The holiday rush hasn’t quite ended at the malls, but there was a bit of a pre-Christmas one this past weekend over at the cinema!
I gave you my predictions, so now let’s find out how they turned out!
Here comes the final edition of DIB? for 2007!
Charlie Wilson’s War: Tom Hanks as one flashy politician who teams up with a couple of people to covertly assist Afghanistan against Russia. Co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a government agent and Julia Roberts as an equally flashy Texas socialite, it gives us an in-depth view into the whole deal. Will It Bomb? Three A-list actors in a plot that could have been a film before a film was even thought of! It’ll end up in the high-to-middle section of the Top 10. Did It Bomb? Hey! It managed to crawl up the ranks and make it to the #4 slot, earning $9.62 million. Outcome: Score! 1 out of 5
National Treasure: Book of Secrets: In this sequel to the hugely popular flick, Nicolas Cage returns as treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates, and this time he’s out for more than gold, jewels, or precious artifacts! He wants to see what kind of involvement one of his ancestors allegedly had with the Lincoln assassination plot, and he gets into business that he probably shouldn’t be dabbling with. Will It Bomb? The first movie did very well; we needed a new action/adventure; this was the only sequel released this weekend. This will get into at least the Top 3. Did It Bomb? Absolutely not! Obviously, a stroke of luck wasn’t the only thing clinching this picture’s success! It shot up to #1, making some cash! $45.5 million, to be exact! Outcome: Score! 2 out of 5
In Romania, circa 1938, Professor Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) has become disillusioned with two certain things: that he still has not completed his life’s work of a linguistic nature and that he lost his true love (Alexandra Maria Lara) many years before due to his workaholic nature.
After a bolt of lightning strikes him, miraculously not only does he survive, but he regresses in age. While his chronological age is that of an elderly man, his body is that of a 40 year old. Everyone in the medical world is trying to get their hands on him to study and conduct experiments. In the meantime, with the assistance of a physician, Dominic gets the chance to further his career aspirations and continue his work. As one would expect, in the era that this is set in, the world’s had some bigger problems to deal with, which provides an ample backdrop to this tale.
The film’s message to me was mainly one of personal fulfillment by someone who has the chance to do something many of us have wished to, at one time or another: to start life all over again. To right the wrongs, and have things fall into place the way that they should have been. While other characters in other literary and film works are forced into this position and despise it, Dominic relishes it. He doesn?t seem to be rejecting the course of action he must take. He embraces it.
After many years of being on the run, he encounters a woman who could be the twin of his beloved Laura. Veronica (also Ms. Lara) exhibits some interesting traits of her own as we get to know her: reincarnation and the ability to channel spirits. In my eyes, Dominic behaves a bit like Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo from this point on. Does he really love Veronica because she is Veronica? Or is it because of who she resembles and what that represents?
It took me a while to figure out my personal significance of the title. The ambiguousness of whether he really did go through everything he experienced or if it was just the wishful thinking of a lonely old man of how his life could have been made it both exasperating and hopeful. The film was rather long, but in Coppola fashion, he turns over the stones as he sees fit. I did enjoy the film as a whole, but some parts did lag a bit. In essence, it is imaginative and will give everyone something to ponder when life isn?t quite going the way one would like it to.