Welcome fellow movie lovers! It is I, the Self-Made Critic, here to
save you from the horror of the Hollywood Summer Movie Season! So many
movies, so little time! What to do? What to see?
Well put aside your fear and come along with me as I guide you through
the upcoming hits and misses which will be vying for your attention in
the next few months. Grab a hold, the roller-coaster is coming 'round!
Summer starts on Memorial Day, but the summer movies have already begun
to arrive. The first true Summer Blockbuster was Deep Impact, a little
film about a little comet and a little tidal wave which made a little
money in its first week of play. We're talking $41 million little
dollars. Nice way to kick off the summer...
Then the first true chick film arrived, Robert Redford's The Horse
Whisperer. Actually, industry experts (Josh and Gus at the local bar)
have noticed that this film is the first in a long time to create a
sub-category in the genre of chick film: The Old Chick Film. Seems
that young chicks, who normally flock to this kind of emotional flood,
are staying away, commenting that "This film is something my Mom might
like." I mean let's be honest, Hot Stud Redford is, what, 83?
Older chicks think Rob's just dreamy.
One last pre-summer note. Warner Brothers entered the animation blitz
with a mega-star production of Quest for Camelot. Two-headed dragon,
talking hatchet. Sounds groovy.
One more last pre-summer note. Bulworth. Warren Beatty goes
political. Everyone loves it. Biting, satirical, funny. Only in NY
and LA right now, but will be expanding soon.
OK, bring on the heat!
How do you win the summer? You make a movie that can literally eat the
competition. Here comes Godzilla, he's one tough customer, he knows
what he likes when he sees it.
OK, Godzilla actually opens the 20th, with a sneak on the 19th. (So
doesn't that mean it opens on the 19th? Damn those wacky marketing
folk!) Here's the Zilla-scoop. Big monster. Steps on New York.
People die. Movie makes the most money this summer.
Come on folks, it's Godzilla! Done by the guys that did ID4! It
stars...it stars...a big lizard!! Rock On! Self-Made Critic's Estimated Gross (SMEG): $250 million.
Also opening this weekend is a little movie for those of us who haven't
found a way out of the sixties. Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, 12
Monkeys) brings us Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A story about
drug-addled Hunter S. Thompson whose biggest claim to fame, as far as
I'm concerned, is being the inspiration for Doonesbury's "Uncle Duke."
SMEG: $35 million
Everyone's still scared of the Lizard, so we get more
counter-programming here. Sandra Bullock cries a lot and Chris Farley
comes back from the dead.
Hope Floats is for anyone who can't figure out the ending from the
storyline: Woman loses husband, comes home, meets up with guy who likes
her. How will she ever be happy again? Hint: I'm betting it has
something to do with the new guy. SMEG: $30 million.
Almost Heroes is for anyone who wants to see Chris Farley's last film.
Don't worry, this isn't some sick post-mortem piece, it was all done and
finished before he died. It might actually be funny, except that it
also stars the cute guy from Friends. And none of the Friends cast is
ever allowed to be in a good comedy. SMEG: $17 million.
With Godzilla still eating any action blockbuster that would dare poke
its head up, the studios continue counter-programming.
The Truman Show. As if his ego wasn't bad enough, Jim Carrey stars in a
movie where he's the center of the universe. In all honesty, Jimmy's
getting good buzz for his portrayal of a guy whose entire life has been
filmed without his knowledge. What isn't widely known is that it's a
true story, based on the life and times of Jim Carrey. SMEG: $90 million.
A Perfect Murder. Michael Douglas is married to Gwyneth Paltrow and
wants to kill her. Yeah, like that'd happen. My friends, if you're
married to Gwyneth Paltrow, you do not kill her! I mean come on
people! $45 Million.
Can't Hardly Wait. I only mention this because it's gonna surprise
everyone and make some money from all the pre-pubescents who are
graduating from high-school. Think of it as Fast Times at Beverly Hills
90210 High. SMEG: $25 million.
OK, we've had 3 weeks, time to bring out the ammunition.
Harrison Ford is such the man, that he can win the love of a lesbian,
Anne Heche. 6 Days, 7 Nights is the story of these two cats who get
stranded on an island for, guess how long? Harrison's the biggest box
office star of the century. He's old, but who the hell cares? $110
The Truth is out there at the Movies on a big screen with popcorn in
your lap. And this weekend, it's animated.
Who's conspiring against who? What's the black stuff? Who's related to
who? Which aliens are good, which are bad? Will Mulder and Scully
finally hop into bed? If these questions mean nothing to you, then you
probably won't get much out of The X-Files Movie. But FOX doesn't care,
because with a weekly audience of 30-40 million folk, they're betting
that enough people will shell out 8 bucks to find the answers. I have a
prediction to make about the movie: It will answer a bunch of
questions, and raise a bunch more. You can quote me on that. $120
Mulan. Every year Disney dusts off some old story or fairy-tale and
creates a summer animated classic. Mulan is already a Disney Animated
Classic and it won't be released for months. The story's about an Asian
girl who pretends to be a man in order to fight in the army. Or
something like that. I just want to know how Disney plans on getting
away with its standard "huge, blue eyes heroines" in a story which takes
place in the far east. SMEG: $75 million.
One Doctor is in, the other is Out.
Eddie Murphy, fresh off his "I thought she was a hitch-hiker, not a
hooker" stunt, warms his way into our hearts with a remake of Dr.
Dolittle. Hell, the Nutty Remake saved his career, so it's a good bet
that this one will help wash that awful taste of call girl out of his
mouth. No comment. SMEG: $90 million.
George Clooney, best known as "The guy who killed the Batman franchise,"
plays a bad guy who hits on good girl Jennifer Lopez. It's called Out
of Sight, and, while fun, I think that's the title best describes the
film's future in this action-packed market. SMEG: $30 million.
Continuing the summer's theme of "People love to see millions of other
people die," Bruce Willis, a couple of months too late to save the world
from Deep Impact, tries to save it from Armageddon. It's a different
movie, honest! No comets, meteors!! And instead of sending Robert
Duvall up to negotiate with the heavenly bodies, we send Bruce up to
kick some celestial ass! And instead of being the size of New York,
this one's the size of Texas!
Whatever, who cares, I'm there. SMEG: $180 million.
Small Soldiers. Toys go bad and start attacking kids. Think Gremlins
with batteries. The producers thought that, so they got Gremlins
director Joe Dante to direct it. You all have to see this film
because...I'm in it. Well, my car, at least. During a scene where the
school is let out for the day, a dark green Saturn drives up to the
front of the school and picks up a little girl. That's me. The car,
not the girl.
I just hope I don't get lost on the cutting room floor. SMEG: $70 million
Lethal Weapon 4. Mel Gibson, not enough. Danny Glover, not enough.
Rene Russo, not enough. Joe Pesci, not enough. Who else can we cram in
there? Chris Rock. Word on this sequel (it's the fourth - says so right
in the title) is that this is a good movie. The Lethal Weapon series
has done strange things to the idea of sequels, as #'s 2 and 3 made more
money than #1. Who knew? #4 should do pretty well too. SMEG: $150 million.
There's Something About Mary. Never heard of it. But test audiences
loved it so much that the studio pushed it up to a summer release. It's
supposed to be funny. Never heard of it. SMEG: $15 million.
>From the desk of Steven Spielberg:
Dear Academy. So you passed me over for Amistad. Jerks. Well here's
your chance to make up for it. I got two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks in
a gripping war drama called Saving Private Ryan. If I don't get a Best
Director nomination this year, you can kiss Indiana Jones 4 goodbye.
That about sums it up. SMEG: $130 million.
Also opening this weekend, Antonio Banderas as a swashbuckling stud in
The Mask of Zorro. SMEG: $50 million. And Lloyd Bridges' final role, the
leader of organized crime in Jane Austin's Mafia. It's a parody, or
didn't you figure that out? SMEG: $25 million.
Movies that no one has heard of starring who really cares. Are the
Olympics on this year?
Mike Myers vs. Nick Cage.
Mike gets into Disco in the movie 54, about famed nightclub studio 54.
Nick brings down a bad guy in a boxing match as a hurricane approaches
in Snake Eyes. I give the match to Nick $45-$20.
Quick! Summer's Ending! We need one more blockbuster!
Sean Connery, Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes are destroying and saving
the world in style. Remember the old TV series The Avengers? Me
neither, but the movie looks fun. SMEG: $85 million.
And for those who needed some cheap B-movie thrills. Jamie Lee Curtis
journeys to Ye Old Science Vessel out in the middle of the ocean where
all the good B-movies take place. This time, she's up against something
that's made out of whatever, or whoever, is handy. Hey, you know it's
bad, it has Donald Southerland in it. SMEG: $27 million.
And that's it. That's all. I'm done. Did I miss a movie? Well that
movie isn't important. Only these are. If you see any other film,
you're taking your life into your own hands, and I won't be held
To sum up:
Top Ten movies of the summer, in order, will be:
3) Lethal Weapon 4
4) Saving Private Ryan
6) 6 Days, 7 Nights
7) Dr. Dolittle
8) The Truman Show
9) The Avengers
Peace, love, ju-ju-bees,
The Self-Made Critic
So the Big, Bad Critic thinks he can handicap the summer, eh? Well last
year he thought Speed 2 had "blockbuster" written all over it! So he's
obviously fallible. Think you can do better? So do I. Here's how you
can put your prognosticating knowledge to work for you:
Pick the movies you think will be the top ten grossing movies of the summer
and list them in order from 1 to 10. Movies will be graded on how much
money they make from release through Labor Day Weekend (7 September).
For our purposes, films which were released prior to May 19th (Deep Impact,
Horse Whisperer) are ineligible. Sorry.
Mail your picks to
by Wednesday, May 27.
We'll post all of the entries and we will continue to
update the box office progress of the movies throughout the summer.
Scoring is as follows:
Points are awarded based on how close you got to the actual
top ten films of the summer. 10 points for correctly guessing a movie's
final place, 8 points for being one off (You said it'd be #7 and it was
#6 or #8) , 6 points for being 2 places off, etc. Ties, as they say,
will be decided by random draw, and we won't tell anyone your e-mail
address or use it for anything other than notifying you about the
There will be prizes awarded. The winner gets a Brunching Shuttlecocks
T-Shirt and a "Combat Claw Godzilla" action figure. The three runners-up
(or "losers, but barely") will get Shuttlecock T-Shirts.
Good Luck. And please beat The Critic.