Weekly Recap: Wonder Woman Soars, The Mummy Unravels
Will you look at that! It turns out WB can make a good movie based on a DC Comics superhero. It just took a woman’s touch. Wonder Woman, that is. Diana Prince’s solo adventure took the top spot at the box office for two weeks in a row which is convenient for me because I missed the weekly recap while I was out of town last Sunday. That makes this week’s recap a not-quite double-sized affair. While it’s covering two week’s worth of material, the weeks in question were a bit light on content given my absence. So before we jump into the recap, I want to give an extra big shout out to all the contributors who made sure there was something here for you guys to read. Take a bow Jestak, Daffy, Jeffthewildman and Kevthewriter.
Since we’re talking box office figures, let’s talk just a bit about the movie Wonder Woman beat in its second week. Universal has been trying for years now to launch a Marvel-style cinematic universe around their classic monster properties. There are a few problems with that the first of which is that it is a terrible idea. The minute Frankenstein meets Dracula, you have an Abbott and Costello movie. Or Van Helsing. But Universal keeps on trying. Their relaunch of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible mode is supposed to kick off the studio’s Dark Universe brand. But American audiences are missing Brendan Fraser like never before.
The new Mummy movie was directed by Alex Kurtzman. Never heard of him? He and his frequent collaborator Roberto Orci are proteges of Michael Bay with a little tutelage from JJ Abrams thrown in the mix. Let’s take a look at some of Kurtzman’s credits: Mission: Impossible III, Transformers, Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Cowboys & Aliens, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This is the guy Universal is entrusting with a massive multi-picture franchise. Lucky for them, overseas audiences don’t really care about lousy scripts as long as there are explosions. Despite tanking here in the US, The Mummy is doing quite well in parts of the world that don’t speak English.
Okay, enough box office talk. Let’s look at what’s been going on here at Le Blog for the last couple of weeks. The easiest place to start is with the site’s most consistent feature. We’ve got fourteen days of celebrity birthdays for a total of twenty-eight headliners from Jetsak. Let’s check ’em out:
- May 29: Annette Bening and Bob Hope
- May 30: Idina Menzel and Howard Hawks
- May 31: Clint Eastwood and Colin Farrell
- June 1: Morgan Freeman and Marilyn Monroe
- June 2: Morena Baccarin and Jewel Staite
- June 3: John Dykstra and Tony Curtis
- June 4: Angelina Jolie and Bruce Dern
- June 5: Mark Wahlberg and Kenny G
- June 6: Paul Giamatti and Harvey Fierstein
- June 7: Liam Neeson and Tom McCarthy
- June 8: Julianna Margulies and Kanye West
- June 9: Johnny Depp and Cole Porter
- June 10: Elizabeth Hurley and Judy Garland
- June 11: Hugh Laurie and Peter Dinklage
One of our headliners was cast as Catwoman, but had to back out after she became pregnant. And no, it wasn’t the one and only Adele Dazeem. Colin Farrell menaced Ben Affleck’s Daredevil and Clint Eastwood debated a chair. I actually saw Marilyn Monroe while I was on vacation. In fact, it may have been on her birthday. Ooops. I didn’t get her anything. I hope she’s not mad.
Mark Wahlberg is going to cash a big fat Transformers paycheck that could have been Shia LaBeouf’s if he hadn’t lost his mind. If you’re a Marky Mark fan, he’ll be showing up in an interview from the Movieline archives next week, so make sure you check that out. Liam Neeson has a special set of skills that somehow made him an action star surprisingly late in his career. Johnny Depp, like Tom Cruise, is enjoying robust international grosses for a movie that disappointed domestically. You can start the countdown for Pirates 6. And I can’t end the birthday recap without a shout-out to Dorothy.
I also can’t end the birthday part of this recap without another shout out to Jestak who just keeps on delivering the goods day after day and week after week. He’s closing in on a full year’s worth of articles without having missed a day. I take the family to Florida for a week and I can’t even squeeze in a recap.
Speaking of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and recent birthday boy, Johnny Depp, I ranked the Pirates movies from Worst to First before I left for vacation which means you guys got to do the same. This week, we reviewed the reader rankings of the series which basically matched my own. Jeffthewildman kicked off a Worst to First on the X-Men movies. If you haven’t already ranked them yourself, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Reader rankings to come next week.
Daffy and I have been following Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks. Have you? It’s been a weird trip so far and I don’t think either Daffy or I have fully made up our minds about it yet. I covered Parts 3 and 4 (which aired as a two-hour block) and while I was away Daffy grappled with the mysteries of Part 5. Thanks for filling in, Mr. Stardust! On a programming note, I have not been recapping Fear the Walking Dead which also runs on Sunday nights, but I have been watching. Those recaps will resume following the completion of Twin Peaks. In the meantime, just assume the characters on the show did something stupid and yet somehow survived (except Travis, but that dude lived a full two seasons longer than he should have).
Daffy also took a vacation relatively recently. After several weeks of videos, he finished chronicling his Spring Break trip. But never fear. He’s going back soon which will surely mean more videos.
Kevthewriter asked why Men in Black 3 bombed. I have to admit, I wasn’t aware that movie performed as poorly at the box office as it did. I watched it on cable after the disappointing second movie and was very pleasantly surprised. If you haven’t seen it and you like Men in Black, check out the third movie when you get a chance. He followed that up with a comparison between two dark and gritty superhero tales, the craptacular Batman V Superman and the solid Netflix series Jessica Jones. Bottom line, one of them was directed by Zack Snyder and one of them was good. (Yeah, I don’t feel good about making that joke after hearing about Snyder’s personal tragedy. Kidding aside, my heart goes out to him as a human being. I’m also a lot more stoked about Justice League than I was a month ago.)
Let’s wrap things up with some articles from the Movieline archives. Heather Graham talked about her supporting role in Boogie Nights, Phillip Noyce breathed a sigh of relief that he got to direct Harrison Ford instead of Alec Baldwin in Patriot Games, Eric Stoltz discussed his “method” for playing a paraplegic in The Waterdance and Faye Dunaway refused to answer any questions about Mommie Dearest.
Next Week: I’m working on a trip report for our Universal Orlando vacation, but I’m not sure if I’ll have it done next week. I will be recapping whatever happens on tonight’s episode of Twin Peaks. I’m willing to bet it will be weird. We’ll have another Worst to First and reader rankings on the X-Men movies. If you have been craving some Alien-related articles following the release of Covenant, we’ve got that covered too.