Summer Blues

Feeling a little blue that summer is soaring by at (a box-office disappointment) “Turbo” speed?
The “Smurfs 2” are wishing these lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer would slow to a more enjoyable, as well as profitable, pace. “The Wolverine” has been knocking at their colorful door, threatening to knock them off their animated pedestal their first week out to play. His weapon of choice? Perhaps he can borrow “2 Guns” from comrades Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, who are all about taking down the drug cartel as well as anyone who stands in their movie-crime-fighting way (including innocent animated creatures).
“Turbo” notwithstanding, movie buffs have shown a great deal of love to our eclectic, animated stars this summer. The non-animated stars, meanwhile, emphatically state “Despicable Me 2” to be life-size yet lacking in such lively, computer-generated form.
We’ve seen our share of heroes and horrors, animated characters and action-oriented idols. We’ve seen movies catering to kids and “Grown Ups 2,”with comedy and “The Conjuring” finding a sweet spot during the rollercoaster summer of 2013
There’s no better time to spend in your multiplex than “The Spectacular Now,” where teen angst looks even prettier on the big screen (as do even the tiniest of starlets)…

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A Marvel of a Movie Weekend

The “Wolverine” came out to play this last weekend in July, preying on the competition and coming in at #1 at the domestic box office with $55 million (more than $10 million less than studio 20th Century Fox projected). “The Conjuring” conjured up a horror of an audience in its second week, sending the low-budget wonder to the second position with $22.1 million. The sunshine-colored minions shouted “Despicable Me 2” their family-friendly fans, this time from the #3 spot with $16 million. Family friendly but studio-disappointing “Turbo” continued to move slowly at the box office, as the animated gang spent its second week out at the #4 spot with $13.3 million. The “Grown Ups 2” mature for mutants and computer graphics spent their summer weekend at #5 with $11.5 million.
So, what did we learn at the movies this weekend? So much! Retractable metal claws can be fantastically functional, Marvel mania is thriving with mutants beating the minions as sequels continued to soar. We’ve learned snails really are slow, horror provides a strangely nice escape from the heat and being grown-up, apparently, isn’t as overrated as we thought.
From seaside days to starry nights, may your week ahead be horror-free and hero filled, with colorful entertainment and grown-up fun…

Following the Path of Box-Office Success

Poet Lord Byron once remarked, “Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.” “The Wolverine” is preying (heroically) on movie buffs this weekend, praying they see fit to place him in the lofty #1 spot at the box office. The romantic movie lovers among us may find the path to box office success treacherous, as animation, action and adventure, as well as a creepy horror flick, continue “The Conjuring” of enticing vacationers to a prime location at their local movie theater (with the occasional seaside view for scenic effect). Adding the scent of “Blue Jasmine” to the Hollywood atmosphere, Woody Allen is also following the path to movie success, shouting “Despicable Me 2” be falling behind the “Turbo” fueled animated guys. The “Grown Ups 2” smart for inferior films are seeing “Red 2,” after too much sunshine and ready for the multi-colored weekend ahead. There’s just so much on our “To Do List!” Fortunately, there’s lots of summer days left for the blockbusters scheduled to make a grown-up appearance.
Heroes and horrors, colorful cuties, sequels and scintillating drama, adventurers and Allen! Who needs an island getaway when unlimited entertainment is so close to home! Our summer under the stars keeps getting brighter.
From seaside days to starry nights, our full-of-life characters have found the path to THE greatest stories just waiting to be told at the local multiplex…

The Movie To Do List

Barbeque, beach, sunshine and SPF; a weekend in the summer offers endless outdoor possibilities, but what about the indoor type (who prefer movie lines to tan lines?) This last weekend in July finds so many things on our movie “To Do List” as “The Conjuring” to find quality summer films continues. Wondering where to begin this mid-summer weekend? Perhaps on a train platform in Oakland’s “Fruitvale Station,” where stark reality invades our escapist world. Those looking for a more lighthearted form of entertainment can add the “To Do List” to their movie roster and relive (or experience) coming of age in the 1990’s. “The Wolverine” seems primed to hog the superhero limelight thanks to the heroic Hugh Jackman, who hopes to find more fans than the equally heroic but lonely “Lone Ranger.” The X-Man quickly learns he has more than ninjas to battle in movie land, where animation and comedy have found a sunny (not to mention profitable) home during the summer of 2013. As the X-Man takes on “The Heat,” the red-hot minions are heard shouting “Despicable Me 2”the non-animated characters sailing by at “Turbo” speed. “The Girl Most Likely” to hit on the hairy idol seems uninterested in the comedies appearing on the big screen, as her life at present feels like one big joke. The colorful “Red 2” gang finds sunburns ludicrous and sequels anything but laughable while the “Grown Ups 2” mature for animation are finding the residents at “R.I.P.D” lively and entertaining. Then there’s the oddly amusing Woody Allen, sailing on American shores where the hint of “Blue Jasmine” lingers.
All of our diverse characters agree on one thing; whichever form of entertainment you choose this weekend, your local multiplex promises a spirited time without those annoying tan lines…

Conjuring a Break from The Heat

Has summer offered you its share of thrills, chills and paranormal ills? Has too much time in the sun caused visions of the no-longer-living ominously residing among us? Those living-and-loving movies with a terrifying kick hurried to air-conditioned movie theaters this weekend, evading the heat in exchange for a horror of a story.
A low-budget wonder of the mystical kind pulled a magic trick out of its hat, besting animation and action this steamy summer weekend as “The Conjuring” summoned scare-seekers to chilly movie theaters, answering the call at #1 at the domestic box office with an anything-but-scary $41.5 million. The brave little minions were shouting “Despicable Me 2” come in at #2 behind such an un-lively bunch with $25.1 million, as they plotted their animated revenge against the house haunters. Adding a bit more animation to the movie mix, a snail with a need for “Turbo” speed arrived on the cinematic landscape at #3 with $21.5 million. Following behind the speedy and the sunshine gang were the “Grown Ups 2” scared of things that go bump in the night, preferring a non-threatening summer day spent at the sunny #4 spot with $20 million. Time outdoors also had Bruce Willis seeing “Red 2,” as the action star heatedly settled in on his first weekend out to play at the #5 spot with $18.5 million, pretending NOT to be frightened by the competition.
It was a terror-infused weekend, all right, as the dead mixed with the living, with adventure and animation adding a bit of spirited color. Original films shared movie space with summer sequels as everyone searched for an entertainingly cool escape from the oppressive heat.
From seaside days to starry nights, may your week ahead be filled with the coolest entertainment…

The Animated Arena’s Latest Addition

Walt Disney once said, “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” Studio executives clearly supported this theory, at least during the summer of 2013, where animation for kids and “Grown Ups 2” has found a profitable, happy home. The latest animated story for big and little kids hits movie theaters this weekend at “Turbo” speed. Will a speedy snail, with the help of Ryan Reynolds, outpace the students at “Monsters University” or the minions shouting “Despicable Me 2” the annoyance of their capable competition? Are our favorite “Grown Ups” gearing up for another successful weekend? With success also comes disappointment, as we find the “Lone Ranger” still struggling to find bigger crowds to deflate his feelings of LONEliness.
Will “Red 2,” with lonely-no-more Bruce Willis and new addition Anthony Hopkins in action-oriented mode, feel “The Heat” reserved for cool characters? The always-cool Kristen Wiig, meanwhile, strives to become “The Girl Most Likely” to hog the box-office limelight. On a totally unrelated film note, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds are bringing their bizarre beings to the “R.I.P.D” (Rest in Peace Department).
It’s a supernatural weekend at the movies!
From seaside days to starry nights, the Grown up land of thrills, chills and family-friendly films filled with childlike wonder lives on at the local multiplex all summer long…

Animated Snails and Summer Sails

Summer is flying by at “Turbo” speed, particularly in the land of animation, which has found a comfortable spot at the box office all sultry season for kids and the “Grown Ups 2.” For sun worshipers, too much time in natural sunlight has left many seeing “Red 2” even redder complexions. Luckily, true movie buffs don’t possess that problem. They’re too busy absorbing the starlight to be spending time in the sunlight! “The Girl Most Likely” to get plenty of sun AND stars knows our new contenders have some tough competition. Can an animated snail, with Ryan Reynolds on voice duty, surpass the tough entrance exam at “Monsters University” on the way to box-office success?” Are little yellow minions shouting “Despicable Me 2” unsuspecting moviegoers more appealing or just plain appalling? What about the “Lone Ranger?” Can he get some movie love? Will Kristen Wiig become “The Girl Most Likely” to surpass her red-hot “Bridesmaids” costar, Melissa McCarthy, who’s currently bringing “The Heat” to our comfortably cool multiplexes? Adding a bit of supernatural to the movie mix, a deceased policeman (the hard working Ryan Reynolds) fights to save the living, working within the “R.I.P.D” (Rest in Peace Department) alongside Jeff Bridges, whose deceased character is viewed by the living in the form of a beautiful model. Freaky, I know. Finally, where would summer at the movies be without a sequel of the action/adventure sort? Our hero Bruce Willis has seen “Red 2” many times to count, THIS time inviting newcomer Anthony Hopkins along for the movie ride. Willis and his well-regarded sequel cohorts are sure to supply their own brand of (non-animated) appeal.
During a summer of movie highs and lows, animation, action, monsters, minions and McCarthy, movie mania has reached the hottest peak! Are you ready for the rollercoaster ride?