The Big Reviewski - The Top 5 Films in this week's Irish Box Office (9/8 - 11/8)
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 (9/8 - 11/8) with thanks to Magnet.
The Smurfs have been knocked off the Box Office top spot by super scare-fest The Conjuring. Rumours that Papa Smurf smurfed his pants because he was so terrified by the horror are, at this point, unconfirmed.
1. The Conjuring
How much of your lovely money they've taken since release: €723, 419
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.
2. The Heat
How much of your lovely money they've taken since release: €782, 845
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.
3. The Smurfs 2
How much of your lovely money they've taken since release: €839, 071
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.
4. Grown Ups 2
How much of your lovely money they've taken since release: €511, 744
Following the recent release of The Smurfs 2, the second Sony sequel of shitness clogging up our big screens at the moment 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 Lone Ranger
How much of your lovely money they've taken since release: €115, 017
From the team that brought you the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, comes The Lone Ranger. Don't be too scared though, because it's nowhere near as bad as you've been hearing.
It seems logical that if Disney, director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp can make a multi-million dollar series out of a children's theme park ride, then surely they can cash in on another equally lucrative franchise based on a 1930s radio series that everyone had forgotten even existed.
Of course they can, and don't call us Shirley.
Starring Armie Hammer as the bumbling and charming titular hero, The Lone Ranger tells the tale of John Reid, a masked ex-Texas Ranger who strives to bring justice to the American Old West. Accompanying him in his quest is his Native American guide and sidekick, Tonto, played by non-Native American Johnny Depp, and Silver the horse, played by Sarah Jessica Parker.
A decent supoorting cast, including Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale and William Fichtner as the snarling, villainous Butch Cavendish, play their part as the Wild West is brought to life with the help of Rossini's iconic William Tell Overture theme tune.
Incorporating an unecessary narration framing device and with a running time of 4 and a half days, The (surprisingly violent) Lone Ranger is most definitely waaaaay too long, something that Verbinski has been very guilty of in the past. Additionally, when not focusing on the fun, the film gets bogged down in the existential waffley bullpoo that, yes, you guessed it, Verbinksi usually likes to crowbar into his films.
In saying that though, it's hard not to get swept up in the boyhood adventure when the big action set-pieces do kick in, especially the two train-based sequences at the very beginning and at the very end of the film.
The Lone Ranger has been panned by critics in the States but, since being released in Ireland and the UK, reviews have definitely been much more positive. So, if you're after a bit of cowboy fun this weekend, this is the film for you.
Just make sure you go to the toilet first.
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 13th August 2013.