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This Week In Movies By Pete Hammond

By Pete Hammond This week in movies was obviously consumed with Oscars on Sunday and the crowning of The King’s Speech which with its four trophies including Best Picture, Best Actor for Colin Firth, Best Director for Tom Hooper and Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler has now already moved into the number one boxoffice position on the weekday charts. With a newly minted PG13 after producers agreed to remove a couple of swear words and mute three others, Havey Weinstein’s box office smash and awards magnet looks to substantially increase its take this weekend as the more restrictive rating is lifted and whole families can now go to see the film. Already at $114 million and counting , the sky is the limit for the regal smash.

On Monday’s Oprah co-star Geoffrey Rush made the observation that the genre of two middle aged guys sitting around talking about stuttering problems isn’t exactly the type thought to get people lining up at the multiplex but that is exactly what has happened in this case. The movie , now in its fourth month is simply defying the boxoffice odds and is blessed instead by the boxoffice gods. It’s Academy bounty from Sunday is bound to only increase the wicket action.

Coming later this year will be a London stage version, although its hard to imagine that unless they come up with a miracle cast that people will be jumping through hoops to see it on the stage. The pairing of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush was magical and will be hard to duplicate.

Back to the world of the mundane , lowest common denominator type fare usually released this time of year, Hall Pass, after being seriously threatened for its number one spot it tried to claim on Friday came through on a very slow Oscar-affected Sunday to edge out Disney’s third week ‘toon Gnomeo and Juliet $13.5 to $13.4. This obviously gives Warner Bros bragging right to advertise they have the number one movie in the country this week but it’s obviously a bit of a cheat. Plus those going thinking they are going to get another raunchy Farrelly Brother style comedy ala There’s Something About Mary will be sorely disappointed. This is a middle aged writer/director fantasy flick about two “happily” married family men who feel the need to sew their wild oats when their wives give them a mutual Hall Pass , basically a seven day break from wedded bliss. Of course both, played by Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, are fairly buffoonish losers in love and , well, you can guess where it goes from there. From the first thirty minutes or so you would think this was pretty standard romcom stuff until a couple of the farrelly’s trademarked gross out gags kicks in. Of course this being the Farrellys there are plenty of dick jokes, sick jokes and wick jokes (as in WICKedly funny). Although women might find the whole premise a turnoff they may well be drawn to this tale as the wives get the last laugh, AND the real action here.

It seems every couple of months we have a new Nicolas Cage movie to trash. This week’s edition, the horribly named Drive Angry in 3D is a new low. What has happened to this Oscar winner’s career? He appears to have the need to work so badly he takes on just about any old piece of crap that pays his asking price. The best you can say for this mess is it actually WAS shot in 3D and those effects are decent. Still , with only a 9th place finish and nearly $5.2 to show for it even with hiked 3D prices, this one’s a dud that will drive actions fans right to the exit. It’s sure to be gone from theatres in , oh say 60 Seconds?

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About Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond is a writer, producer, movie critic and film expert whose commentary on the entertainment industry has appeared in numerous publications and on air interviews including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, OK Magazine, NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, Evening News With Brian Williams on MSNBC, the CBC, BBC, Bravo, E!, AMC, Canada AM and the KTLA Morning Show.

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