The Big Reviewski - The Top 5 Films in this week's Irish Box Office (2/8 - 4/8)
JOE brings you the run-down, the low-down and the ups and downs of the top 5 films in this week's Irish Box Office (2/8 - 4/8) with thanks to Magnet.
The Smurfs completely blue The Wolverine out of the water this week as they smurfed their smurfin' way to the top of the smurfin' Box Office chart.
1. The Smurfs 2
How much of your lovely money they've taken so far: €457, 085
After releasing the pretty awful film The Smurfs back in 2011, Sony Pictures thought it would be a great idea to follow that flick up with a similarly awful sequel. Are they out of their smurfin' minds!?
It seems so.
After successfully squeezing some magic essence out of Papa Smurf in the first film, the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) plots to take over the world by using this magical old Smurf-iness to create his own army of evil Smurfs, the Naughties.
Magic essence? Squeezing? Naughties? This really is a blue film after all.
Apart from the always watchable Hank Azaria having a grand aul time hamming it up as the villainous Gargamel, The Smurfs really isn't worth your time and, if the kids are dying to go and see it, just SHOUT AT THEM REALLY LOUDLY AND TELL THEM TO SMURF OFF.
Take them to Monsters University instead.
2. The Conjuring
How much of your lovely money they've taken so far: €219, 002
It takes a lot to do something new in horror and while The Conjuring falls into a sub-category of the well-worn "haunted house" sub-genre - and does little that we haven't seen before - it's still a hugely entertaining and genuinely scary hour and a half at the flicks.
Vera Fermiga and Patrick Wilson are married couple Lorraine and Ed Warren who work as paranormal investigators. Just what was their career advice teacher in school thinking?
The couple aren't mental or eccentric though, one of them just happens to have an connection with the afterlife while the other is a demonologist - a bit like Joey Barton's agent, then.
While the story and structure are hardly anything different or new, being conventional has never really hurt horror films before. The good ones come down to two things - quality of execution and characters that you give a shit about when in peril. While the script is hardly gong worthy, the characters at least have depth which is only aided by the stellar work from the film's excellent cast.
The real stand-out though is helmer James Wan, who directs with panache and patience, delivering a film that isn't light on scares and one that isn't afraid to take it's time.
Clapping has never been so terrifying.
3. The Heat
How much of your lovely money they've taken so far: €367, 624
Paul Feig, director of the unexpected comedy hit Bridesmaids, returns to our cinemas with a buddy cop action comedy that puts a welcome twist on the genre by having two females in the lead roles.
Ladies can be buddies too you see. Who knew?
The Heat pairs Bullock’s by-the-book FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn with Melissa McCarthy’s poop-mouthed, street-wise Police Officer, Detective Shannon Mullins. The two are required to team up after promotion-chasing Ashburn is sent to Boston to track down an elusive drug lord and Officer Mullins is the only cop who can help her, albeit reluctantly.
It’s a case of good cop, mad cop.
The film really is the Melissa McCarthy show, and the actress delivers in both the verbally creative and physical comedy sense. The problem, however, is that with a running time of just under two hours, the schtick does get quite weary and, whatever you do, don’t worry about the plot because this thing has more holes than a brothel with a leaky roof.
The Heat, although a routine buddy cop action comedy, manages to be elevated by the pairing, performances and charm of the two leads and, while it does essentially want to be The Other Guys meets Bridesmaids, it’s just not as funny as either – but that's mainly because The Heat doesn’t star Will Ferrell or Kristen Wiig.
4. Grown Ups 2
How much of your lovely money they've taken so far: €175, 694
Following The Smurfs 2 claiming the Box Office number one spot, the second Sony sequel of shitness released this week is the universally panned Grown Ups 2.
The film, starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James tells the tale of four childhood friends who, after moving back to their hometown in Connecticut, realise that maybe it's about time they allowed their own kids to, you know, grow up too.
Grown Ups 2 also stars *shudders* Rob Schneider and, in order to make it more appealing to people who like really, really bad movies with really, really bad actors, the film-makers also threw a shirtless Taylor Lautner of Twi-shite fame into the mix.
As one critic brilliantly put it, "Sandler scrapes the bottom of the barrell and then pukes into it." We couldn't have put it better ourselves.
5. The Wolverine
How much of your lovely money they've taken so far: €716, 220
Set after the events of the pretty poor X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine sees Logan travelling to Japan where, after being stripped of his immortality, he must battle deadly samurai and his pesky inner demons.
An even hairier than usual Hugh Jackman returns as the titular Wolverine, making the actor the proud owner of the great fact that he has played his superhero character more times than anyone else has theirs, appearing as the fearsome Furball a whopping seven times.
That’s more than Christian Bale as Batman, more than Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man and more than, ahmm, Ben Affleck as Dare Devil.
The Aussie actor has perfected the comic-book character at this stage and, with James Mangold at the helm this time round, has the opportunity to bring out the moodier and softer side of the beast. The problem with that though is that the action might be a little bit too tame and the pace a little bit too slow for some fans.
Rest assured though, Logan eventually leaves his nice-guy routine behind and becomes the hairy mean mutant bastard we all know and love.
The real problem with The Wolverine is that, in spite of claiming to have a number of evil enemies for Wolverine to deal with, the film is completely devoid of a decent and captivating villain. Unforgivable really for a film set in a world with countless terrifying bad guys. Frog-man anyone?
As with any Marvel film though, make sure you hang about to watch one of the best post-credits scene we've seen in a long time.
Or, if The Wolverine isn't your thing, maybe you'd fancy going to see The Worineolve starring Human Ghjack instead as one English bus company were advertising?
There you have it folks. If you want to find out more about any of the movie mentioned above make sure you have the best broadband in town when you're doing it. The lads over at Magnet should be able to help thanks to their 70mb fatpipe broadband.
Source: Irish Film Board and Rentrak. Correct as of 6th August 2013.