With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
1. THE LONE RANGER Interviews with Johnny Depp and More
In spite of the fact that few people alive today do large scale action/adventure fare as well as director Gore Verbinski, I have to admit that Disney’s The Lone Ranger (Matt’s review here) is not on my list of movies to see this summer. From the setting, to the character, down to the genre itself, it’s just not my “cup of tea”. Nevertheless, that statement should do nothing to detour those interested in the film from checking it out and/or at least giving Steve’s video interviews with Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski, William Fichtner (who talks about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Ruth Wilson a fair shake. There’s also Christina’s interview with James Badge Dale if you’re so inclined.
2. 15 Movies You May Have Missed in the First Half of 2013
Now that we’re officially past the midway point of 2013, our own Dave Trumbore did the honors of taking us out of our summer movie daze to remind us of 15 movies that were released earlier this year that he deems worthy of our time. Check out his list of “15 Movies You May Have Missed in 2013” to see if there’s anything that catches your eye.
3. Christian Bale Says He Is Not Involved with JUSTICE LEAGUE
In the grand scheme of things, we may look back on this entry as an example of why actors denying their involvement with “in development” movies is suspect to say the least and fodder for debate at best. For now, though, Christian Bale says he has nothing to do with the Justice League movie and he looks forward to seeing “what somebody else will come up with”. Make of this what you will.
4. THE WAY, WAY BACK Interviews with Steve Carell and More
As a sucker for coming-of-age comedies, writers/directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s The Way, Way Back (Matt’s Sundance review here) is one that I can’t wait to see. In fact, if it can do for me half of what 2009’s Adventureland did then it will have earned its spot in my personal collection. Here’s to hoping the film gets an expanded release soon so I can partake in the near future. In the meantime, I have Steve’s video interviews with stars Steve Carell & Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb & Liam James, and Sam Rockwell & Maya Rudolph to help pass the days until it reaches the theatrical void that is Southern Illinois.
5. Our Most Anticipated Movies: July to September
Now that Q3 2013 is upon us, my colleagues Matt, Adam, and Dave collaborated to bring you their most anticipated movies from July to September. You can check out their list here for an idea of how they’ll be spending the next three months of their movie lives. For my own part, I think the trio did a fine job covering the essentials. That said, I would like to throw my own support and anticipation behind James Wan’s The Conjuring which hits theaters on July 19th (to be fair, it did earn an Honorable Mention from Dave). As a horror fan, it’s my most anticipated release of the next three months and if it doesn’t earn more than fellow July 19th opener R.I.P.D. at the box office then, well, I don’t know what I’ll do. Probably nothing. But I won’t be happy.