Posted tagged ‘Ben Stiller’

Tropic Thunder Knocks Off the Dark Knight

August 18, 2008

After four weeks on top, the newest installment of the Batman saga, The Dark Knight, has been knocked from its number one spot a top the box office by Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder.

From the Associated Press:

It took four of Hollywood’s biggest stars to take down Batman. The DreamWorks-Paramount comedy “Tropic Thunder” with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise debuted at No. 1 with $26 million, bumping “The Dark Knight” to second place after four weekends on top, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Warner Bros. Batman flick pulled in $16.8 million to raise its total to $471.5 million. “The Dark Knight” passed the original “Star Wars” ($461 million) and now stands as No. 2 on the all-time domestic charts, behind only “Titanic” ($600.8 million).

Taking inflation into account, “The Dark Knight” trails both movies in actual tickets sold, however. “The Dark Knight” would need to gross about $900 million to match the number of admissions for “Titanic” and about $1.2 billion to equal “Star Wars.”

“The Dark Knight” managed to fend off another “Star Wars” movie this weekend. The animated tale “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” also released by Warner Bros., opened at No. 3 with $15.5 million.

Families made up two-thirds of the audience for “Clone Wars,” Fellman said. “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, who has an executive producer credit on “Clone Wars,” intended the movie as an introduction to his “Clone Wars” TV show debuting this fall on the Cartoon Network.

I’ve yet to see the film but have heard great reviews from those who went to see it this weekend. As a Star Wars fan, I would love to watch the “Clone Wars”, but have not been interested in the least bit following the commercials. Dark Knight is on my wish list of movies to see but am fairly certain that I will not have the opportunity until it is released on DVD. Please let me hear your thoughts on any/all of these films.

Wednesday’s Weather Forecast: Tropic Thunder

August 10, 2008

Ben Stiller is up to his old tricks again with his new film, Tropic Thunder, which comes out this Wednesday, August 13, is about to hit theaters across the country. The comedy, also starring Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr., is about a group of actors who set out to make the biggest war film ever get involved in an actual war that’s being fought near their filming location.

Tropic Thunder is an homage to Hollywood war epics from “Platoon” and “Apocalypse Now” to “Saving Private Ryan” and “Rambo.” What will most certainly be the most talked about part of the film will be Downey Jr’s portrayal of Kirk Lazarus, in blackface.

Check out what The Oregonian has to say:

The comedy has garnered a lot of buzz in the last year because Robert Downey Jr. appears in it as an Australian actor so committed to his craft that he undergoes a procedure to have his skin turned brown to play an African American soldier.

Now, that is a lot to ask an audience to swallow in 2008, with an African American presidential candidate and older media stars getting fired and suspended for various racially insensitive faux pas. Blackface is a complicated bit of ancient Americana, and most folks are happy it’s gone the way of other dastardly forms of “entertainment.” So, it would seem to be a third rail of film comedy.

The thought behind this is that the award-winning Lazarus has actually undergone surgery to “be black” in an effort to pull off a more convincing portrayal of what is supposedly a character who existed in real life. To be sure that the film would not be considered too offensive, Stiller showed it to the NAACP for feedback, and several African American film journalists have reacted positively to Downey’s hilarious portrayal.

I’m sure that as always, Stiller will turn in a masterpiece and Tropic Thunder will be a box office success. Thoughts?


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