Movie Musings - Adam Sandler, 'Transformers 3' and Moving the Oscars
Last week I took a shot at the Grown Ups trailer. You and I both know it deserved it. But this week it's decision time for audiences, and how Grown Ups performs will go against one of two historical trends. Either people will decide to support yet another idiotic Sandler film or they'll punish yet another in a string of hapless summer releases. Consider the following list, whipped up by the crack Hollywood.com staff:
Now ponder this alternative list:
Prince of Persia $83 million domestic gross, $200m budget
The A-Team $55m, $110m
Marmaduke $29m, $50m
Jonah Hex $7m, $50m
Killers $41m, $75m
The studios have been getting drilled for their inferior product this summer. So, if the reviews are to be believed, something has to give. Either Sandler will remain the king of mediocrity ... or Grown Ups will join the ranks of big money losers this weekend.
When the news broke early this week that The Academy Awards might move to January the two reasons listed for it not happening were:
1. It would be hard for Academy members to see all the movies.
2. Piracy would be easier because more screeners would need to be shipped.
Luckily, I have some good news for The Academy, news that will allow them to push for a January awards ceremony come 2012. You ready for it? First off, my impression is that Academy members, by and large, don't see all the movies. Why? Because they all have jobs. Writing, acting, directing, being a key grip -- whatever the case, The Academy has always relied on that elusive "buzz" factor combined with "what would make the biggest headline" to determine who gets the little golden man. So we needn't worry about rushing their vote, because it will be as uninformed as always. Secondly, on the piracy note, the films that are winning over the last decade aren't really pirate fodder. Crash and The Hurt Locker parlayed a Best Picture win into heavy DVD sales, using the stamp of approval to cash in. The Academy now awards predominantly non-commercial work, the exact sort of work that's not as beloved by the "free movie" crowd.
Now that we've gotten the potential negatives out of the way, I've got a solid list of wins The Academy would reap from moving forward. First off, the show would become unpredictable again. Picking last year's winners was as easy as reading a newspaper two weeks prior, because it was all based on momentum. Avatar might have won in January, but by March it felt a little overhyped, allowing Hurt Locker's counterargument to rule the day. Secondly, it would kill all the other award shows, relegating them back to the minor leagues ... instead of the hallowed "road to Oscar" ground they are leeching off of now. An unpredictable Academy Awards that starts the year off right? Let's do this thing.
We've learned that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (pictured right, click for the big size) will have no problem replacing Megan Fox. Plus there will definitely be massive weaponry and Shia looking confused. It will likely be plot free, Michael Bay's specialty. And some point a robot will probably emit some sort of fluid that's meant to make us chuckle. Other than that, stay tuned, I'm sure the marketing push will kick in soon.
There's been a slew of films lately attempting to pull off the elusive funny and lethal former C.I.A. agent vibe. Losers, A-Team, Knight and Day, and The Killers all come to mind. But this new Red (Rretired Extremely Dangerous) film might just be the winner. We've been waiting for a worthy successor to True Lies and Grosse Pointe Blank. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Hellen Mirren are an awful nice start.
On that note, I hope you all have a great weekend, full of World Cup wins!
Laremy is the lead critic and senior producer for a website named Film.com. He's also available on Twitter.