While you were away
I took a break from movies the last few weeks, so let’s look at what happened while I was away.
Peevish fish: Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3D did not screen for critics, but still tracked at more than 80 percent approval on Rotten Tomatoes in its first week. A sequel was immediately announced, even though Piranha only grossed $10 million against weak competition, had the advantage of elevated 3-D ticket prices and fell off nearly 60 percent in its second week.
I could have reviewed Piranha 3D last week, but told my editor I was “declining for obvious reasons.” The most obvious reason was The Final Destination 3D, which I already reviewed and loathed earlier this year. Another reason is that ever since my home screening of Avatar surpassed James Cameron’s 3-D screen spectacle, I’ve realized that those damn glasses make every movie worse.
Better than films, still worse than sex: During my hiatus, I watched a lot of television, which has become more consistent and satisfying than films. The good news: Community is the funniest show going, although I worry about its long-term viability; Mad Men is recovering after a miserable third season; and I am willing to go wherever Breaking Bad takes me.
The bad news: True Blood is ending a brain-dead third season; the HBO series Bored to Death never found a consistent tone in its first year; Weeds is pointless and inert, even as the characters flee for their lives; and the funny Starz series Party Down was canceled due to nonexistent viewership.
Mark your calendars: It was announced that Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds are teaming up for an action comedy that People’s website reports “is already being described as an edgier, R-rated version of the Lethal Weapon series” (all four Lethal Weapon movies were R-rated, but never mind). Somebody pinch me!