1. Hercules (Paramount, 3,595 Theaters,98 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences, violence, suggestive comments, brief strong language and partial nudity): It not often that Alan Moore calls for a boycott of his own films, and he has one of the worse relationships with Hollywood of any author. So why is he calling for one here,with this film?
Well, this particular version of the myth was based on a comic book from Radical Comics. The book was written by Steve Moore, who, while no relation to Alan, was his friend and mentor. Radical denied Steve financial compensation if the film, changing an earlier agreement, and an angry Steve asked for his name to be taken off any promotional materials for the film. Paramount and Radical complied…until Steve Moore died in March.
Then the powers that be behind Radical and the film company decided to pay their respects to the deceased Steve, and were sure to mention the film at the same time. This seemed to Alan Moore as the testimonies were just a tacky way to get a little more publicity, so, to honor his friend. Alan Moore asked for a boycott of the film.
Moore’s interview about the boycott can be read over at Bleeding Cool and I’ll be talking about it in a couple of weeks when it comes up in my History of the Comic Book Film feature. But this is another strike against a film that has a lot of strikes against it already. The Legend of Hercules opened in January and was a major flop. Dwayne Johnson is good box office for the franchises he joins, but isn’t really good at starting them himself. And, two words: Brett Ratner. So, there are plenty of reasons for people not to see this film already.
2. Lucy (Universal, 3,172 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality): I consider this film as a litmus test as to whether or not we will ever get a Black Widow film. The prevailing wisdom is that people won’t see women in genre action films, and the The Hunger Games and Divergent series are the exceptions that prove the rule.
This one, which stars the Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson, seems like a pretty good action flick. So, if the “women can’t sell tickets” rule is true, we’ll see here. And if this one bombs, there’s no hope for a Black Widow film.
The film focuses on a young woman who is kidnapped and forced to be a drug mule. When the experimental drug canister breaks open inside her, the increases her brain’s capacity, giving her superpowers. She uses these powers to get revenge on her kidnappers.
3. And So It Goes (Clarius Entertainment, 1,760 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements): Can we stop a second and talk about Rob Reiner as a director for a second? This is the man who directed This is Spinal Tap. And this started a ten year span of of great film after great film: The Sure Thing, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally…, Misery, A Few Good Men.
Then he made North and things went down hill from there. While he had some success (namely, The Bucket List), most of his output is disappointing. His last two films were Flipped and The Magic of Belle Isle. Does anybody remember them? Or ever heard of them? Need I say any more?
And now he’s delving in the AARP Rom Com genre, and it actually seems like a step up!?! That is so very sad to see.