Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Direct Current #20/Box Office 1990

ITEM!  Tony Laplume - How to Write a Novel
Here's an account of how I figured out how to write novels, the process as it developed from 2004 to the present, and the steps I learned that got me where I am today.  This involves NaNoWriMo, which is nice, because November happens to be NaNoWriMo.  (Currently 20,000 words in the month on my WIP.)

Read more here.

ITEM!  Comics Reader - After Earth: Innocence
A one-shot comic based on a forthcoming movie by M. Night Shyamalan.  Hopefully I begin a few thoughts that make you think something other than, "Ack!  Another movie by that hack!"

Read more here.

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x20 "Horizon"
One of the few episodes that center squarely on Travis Mayweather, the erstwhile Boomer who became one of the least utilized series regulars in franchise history.  This does not by any means serve as indication that you can skip this episode.

Read more here.


After the milestones of the previous year, what could 1990 possibly have to offer by favorable comparison?  Well, see for yourself...

1. Home Alone ($285 mil)
An instant classic of the family film genre, and something that no film (least of all most of the other entries in the subsequent franchise) has been able to duplicate.

2. Ghost ($217 mil)
The late Patrick Swayze achieved immortality with this one, and Demi Moore made a movie that could survive even Striptease.  It was pretty righteous.  Pottery wheels would never be the same.

3. Dances with Wolves ($184 mil)
Ah, so Kevin Costner officially begins his reign.

4. Pretty Woman ($178 mil)
Julia Roberts charms even as a hooker.  She is officially a star.

5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($135 mil)
I get the Ninja Turtles thing.  I was a big Ninja Turtles fan.  I was also ten years old when this movie was released.  But if you were to tell me today that this movie was a hit and I didn't get it, I really wouldn't get it.

6. The Hunt for Red October ($122 mil)
I think this movie's success was based on the fall of the U.S.S.R., though the character of Jack Ryan and author Tom Clancy certainly didn't suffer in the years to come.  Perhaps starring Sean Connery didn't hurt, either.  I'm still sad that he walked away from acting ten years ago.

7. Total Recall ($119 mil)
Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes a bona fide action star after becoming a star thanks to a comedy, and it's pointedly in a movie that at least theoretically casts him against type once again.  I suppose being a top ten hit makes it that much more difficult to launch a successful remake.

8. Die Hard 2: Die Harder ($117 mil)
I think Bruce Willis made a mistake by making more Die Hards.  But it has since become a thread throughout his career, with another one in the works, so I won't protest too loudly.  It may yet be his lasting legacy.

9. Dick Tracy ($103 mil)
Though I'm pretty sure most people have forgotten this one, it was always one of the more notable releases of my youth, even if it remains something that probably could not be duplicated.

10. Kindergarten Cop ($91 mil)
Arnold: "It's notta tuma."  To me that's his most legendary line.

Other notable movies: Back to the Future Part III ($87 mil), Presumed Innocent ($86 mil; Harrison Ford before he quite becomes a post-Indy sensation), Days of Thunder ($82 mil), Another 48 HRS. ($80 mil), Three Men and a Little Lady ($71 mil), The Godfather Part III ($66; I submit to you that what really did in Michael Corleone wasn't Sofia Coppola but a momentarily ambivalence on the part of the movie-going public for what was soon to take over the entire film scene: constant and ongoing and increasingly popular revisits to favorite characters; and don't worry, Michael, Neo became the last one audiences really rejected, so you're not the biggest relative flop), Flatliners ($61 mil; just one of many attempts by Julia Roberts to shatter the mold of the pretty woman), Misery ($61 mil), Edward Scissorhands ($56 mil; another movie whose subsequent cultural impact would seem to indicate a bigger initial success), Problem Child ($53 mil), Arachnophobia ($53 mil; I still remember this as one of the earliest movies whose TV campaigns left an impression on me), Awakenings ($52 mil; a great film whose impact might have been dampened by the familiarity of Robin Williams in a serious role; one of the great Robert De Niro performances), Look Who's Talking Too ($47 mil), Hard to Kill ($47 mil; say hello to Steven Seagal), Goodfellas ($46 mil; I think part of the reason people like this Martin Scorsese effort so much is that it was the first time he was recognizable as a filmmaker in a decade), Marked for Death ($46 mil; Seagal again!), Robocop 2 ($45 mil), Young Guns II ($44 mil), Gremlins 2: The New Batch ($41 mil), Rocky V ($40 mil; again, franchise fatigue years before audiences learned to love it and demand sequels be split into two parts...just because), Joe Versus the Volcano ($39 mil; Tom Hanks attempts to make that transition to serious material), Postcards from the Edge ($39 mil; based on a novel by Carrie Fisher), Darkman ($33 mil; I wrote a whole series on the painful development of the superhero/comic book movie genre, and this was part of it), Predator 2 ($30 mil; tellingly, does not feature Arnold), Child's Play 2 ($28 mil), The Rescuers Down Under ($27 mil), Ernest Goes to Jail ($25 mil), Ghost Dad ($24 mil; Bill Cosby discovers that he is not the king of all media), The Freshman ($21 mil; another reason for Al Pacino not to feel so bad: the original Godfather, Marlon Brando, lampoons his most famous role, to little cultural impact), Hamlet ($20 mil; Mel Gibson in one of his finest and least expected performances, although to be fair, the title character is pretty crazy), Jetsons: The Movie  ($20 mil), Duck Tales: The Movie ($18 mil), Tremors ($16 mil), Mo' Better Blues ($16 mil), The Bonfire of the Vanities ($15 mil; Hanks and Willis), Cinema Paradiso ($11 mil), The Two Jakes ($10 mil; Jack Nicholson does Pacino and Brando one better by making a flop of the sequel to Chinatown), Almost an Angel ($6 mil; Paul Hogan is pretty good in this), Miller's Crossing ($5 mil; Coen brothers at it again)

Source: Box Office Mojo


PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Not a lot of high cards in that hand. Though I like Home Alone and Dances With Wolves and can sometimes tolerate Pretty Woman.

For me the problem with Godfather III is a part of the problem with the Star Wars prequels is that I didn't really want Michael Corleone to redeem himself and be a good guy. He was an awesome bad guy, so why can't he stay an awesome bad guy? Same with Vader. Why do we need to go back and try make these people heroes? Good thing "Scarface" died in that movie so they couldn't try to make him redeem himself 20 years later.

Tony Laplume said...

He was a good guy in the first one. I thought he was worth redeeming, because I didn't particularly like him in the second one.

Maurice Mitchell said...

What coincidence Tony. I found an old copy of "Comics Scene" last week talking about "Dick Tracy!" It was a great movie...except for the dialogue, acting and killing my favorite characters in the first ten minutes. It looked great though. Very stylish.

MOCK! said...

Red October will always be a sentimental favorite, as well as being damn good....one of two movies I saw in the theater with my grandfather!


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