Oceans 8 took top spot at the box office last week and many news outlets are still feigning surprise.
"Like wow, a movie aimed at 52 per cent of the ticket-buying population outsold a Star Wars spinoff we just spent the last week proclaiming a failure? How can this possibly be?"
It's not that difficult to do the math. More than half of the people who go to movies are women. In 2016, only 31.4 per cent of speaking roles in Hollywood films went to women. You can see how there is a gap.
Oceans 8 has some of the top female talent alive today in a bankable franchise film that was heavily marketed by a major studio. That's like starving a person, giving them three bong hits, then taking them to the Rimrock and wondering why they eat so much.
Also, Rihanna=sales, always and forever.
Speaking of chicks kicking ass, The Incredibles 2 opens this week at dependably climate-controlled Whistler Village 8 Cinemas. A sequel to the 2004 smash Pixar hit, this one picks up right where the first one ended, with Mr. and Mrs. Incredible (and their buddy Frozone) saving the city from some evil villain, only to then be blamed for all the damage incurred during the battle.
The superhero program shut down, Mama Incredible goes to work, while dad stays home with the kids, including a baby who's still finding his powers. And the underdog-superhero/family dynamic good times roll from there.
Returning writer-director Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Iron Giant) has a solid knack for getting just the right amount of heart in with his humour and action and he nails it again with this one. He also inserts a shitload of viable subthemes about the responsibility of power, the ethics of vigilantism, the imperfection of law and political idealism in the real world, and the way society demonizes "the other." The Incredibles is as much "stick it to the Man" as it is good parenting and the value of being yourself.
But Bird weaves his subversion and critique in so expertly that the fun is never at risk. And after a decade-plus of Marvel and DC superhero movies, The Incredibles not only still feels fresh, it kinda shows all those others how it should be done. Solid flick for the whole family.
Also opening this week, TAG is a bafflingly based-on-a-true story about a group of grown men who have been playing the same ultra-competitive game of tag for 30 years. And as adults, the stakes get higher, riskier (and dumber) each year (i.e.: tagging a dude while his wife gives birth).
The game only happens in the month of May and this time around, it coincides with the wedding of the group's only undefeated player.
There were no pre-screeners on this one (bad sign) but the cast is decent. Aside from the four bros featured on the movie poster, this one also has Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb and Annabelle Wallis (all solid, but likely relegated to cookie cutter wife/girlfriend roles.) But no matter what, TAG is still a movie about the game of tag.
So yeah, I'm not rushing out to this one. Instead, I'll stay home, put on my big-boy pants and watch Michael Douglas in The Game instead. That's the flick David Fincher made between Se7en and Fight Club. It slays.
Sticking with the small screen, HBO has an upcoming Robin Williams documentary called Come Inside My Mind that appears to focus heavily on his early career, with unseen glimpses into the creative process of one of comedy's most successful and cherished stars.
Williams didn't tell jokes so much as he invented and inhabited characters. At one point in the trailer he mentions, "the spark of madness," so expect some insight into the actor-comedian's tragic death by suicide in 2014. With lots of archival footage of a legend lost too soon, Come Inside My Mind drops on HBO on July 16.
And if you need a little Robin Williams to build the stoke, check out 2002's Death to Smoochy, a super dark kids-TV-show-mascot-revenge-comedy with Ed Norton, and Insomnia also from 2002, a Christopher Nolan-directed thriller set in perpetual daylight Alaska. Al Pacino and Hilary Swank also star.
For that lighthearted, inspirational Robin Williams, I prefer Dead Poets Society to Good Will Hunting, but either will do in a pinch.
Rest easy, Robin Williams, and for the rest of us: if you see someone going down, pick them up! It's a crazy world but we're all in it together...