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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Avatar, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, Up in the Air

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This weekend has been in the works for many years. Technology has been developed, new techniques created, a tale written, a movie cast and shot, and now the time has come for the unveiling. Now it is our turn to sit in judgment and determine if the wait was worth it. This big ticket opening film comes with one other wide release. There is also a trifle of counterprogramming that will seek to pick up the overflow and the dating couples without a taste for science fiction.

Avatar. (2009, 150 minutes, PG-13, science fiction) It has been a dozen years since we have seen the name “James Cameron” attached to a big time feature film. One has to wonder if he still “has it.” If the early word can be counted at all, he does indeed. I really hope the movie pays off as the trailers have not exactly wowed me. That said, I still hold out hope. The film is an epic adventure with science fiction trappings that centers on a single individual who journeys into a strange new world where he reluctantly becomes their hero. Here’s to hoping….

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009, 103 minutes, PG-13, romantic comedy) This movie holds no interest for me. That does happen once in awhile. It is the story of a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. While trying to rekindle their love, they witness a murder. This gets them into witness relocation where they are forced to live in the sticks protected by the small town sheriff and his wife, thereby creating a mash-up of rom-com and a fish out of water story. The cast includes Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sam Elliott, and Mary Steenburgen.

Up in the Air. (2009, 109 minutes, G, drama/comedy) Jason Reitman’s follow-up to his Oscar nominated Juno. It stars George Clooney as a corporate downsizing expert who lives a solitary life on the road, a life that he loves. His life on the road and frequent flier miles are threatened when he is pulled off the road. The film is certainly already generating Best Picture buzz. I am looking forward to this one.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Crazy Heart
  • Nine
  • Ricky
  • The Young Victoria

Box Office Predictions
Is there any doubt about what movie will come out on top this weekend? Didn’t think so. The question is just how high will it fly. It is expected to open big and I suspect it will. I do not think it will top the century mark, but I would not be surprised. I am sure the early positive buzz will help get people in as the trailers have been less than stellar in my opinion. The rest of the list will be left on its own to catch the leftovers.

Here is how I think it could play out:

Rank Title Box Office
1 Avatar $95 million
2 Did You Hear About the Morgans? $18 million
3 The Princess and the Frog $17 million
4 The Blind Side $9 million
5 Invictus $6 million
6 A Christmas Carol 3D $5 million
7 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $4 million
8 Old Dogs $3.5 million
9 Brothers $2.5 million
10 2012 $2.5 million

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About Draven99

  • Steve Real

    I saw Avatar yesterday and I can’t help to notice the rascists aspects to the movie, especially in the language and music. It reminded me of the Heart of Darkness were the “White man” brings civilization to the “Black Africans” and you can hear this in Africaner style in the music and lanquage. It’s a rascist movie no doubt about it, but I liked it anyways. The “White man” reigned superior to the “Black man” in the end. Check it out and tell me if I’m wrong…
    Hair extensions Jim?
    I can’t be the only one seeing 19th century colonialism.

  • roger nowosielski

    Who is the Avatar?

    Have always wanted to meet him.

  • Christopher Ciullo

    I could see the allusions to 19th century colonialism too, but then why are you angry about that? The Na’vi were shown in about as positive a light as you can show a group in. The “White man” was not bringing civilization, but destruction. That tribal music you say is racist is used because it works well for a tribal people. Which the Na’vi were. You have to have some knowledge about film scores man. And if you saw the movie, you would know that the “white man” did not reign superior to the “black man” whatsoever in the end. I loved the movie. It was amazing.

  • Steve Real

    Avatar is a classic scenario you’ve seen in Hollywood epics from Dances With Wolves, Dune, District 9 and The Last Samurai, where a white guy manages to get himself accepted into a closed society of people of color and eventually becomes its most awesome member.

    If we think of Avatar and its ilk as white fantasies about race, what kinds of patterns do we see emerging in these fantasies?

    A white man who was one of the oppressors switches sides at the last minute, assimilating into the alien culture and becoming its savior.
    These are movies about white guilt. Our main white characters realize that they are complicit in a system which is destroying aliens, AKA people of color – their cultures, their habitats, and their populations.

    The whites realize this when they begin to assimilate into the “alien” cultures and see things from a new perspective. To purge their overwhelming sense of guilt, they switch sides, become “race traitors,” and fight against their old comrades. But then they go beyond assimilation and become leaders of the people they once oppressed.

    This is the essence of the white guilt fantasy, laid bare. It’s not just a wish to be absolved of the crimes whites have committed against people of color; it’s not just a wish to join the side of moral justice in battle. It’s a wish to lead people of color from the inside rather than from the (oppressive, white) outside.

  • xavier zutafun

    I had to comment on this…After reading some of the above posts, I just facepalm’d. Can you guys look for the racist themes really everywhere? Can’t you just let go and enjoy this visual spectacle, just as it is, without researching all the silly imaginary subliminal messages? I just can’t understand this.

    The films are here for entertainment, unless they intend to be some kind of regime propaganda, most people try to relax, they enjoy going out to cinema, just to forget about the real world for 2 hours or so, but there always have to be conspiracy lovers, which enjoy analyzing the hidden content even in the Lion King, or wherever. I am actually surprised, that some of you did not find new terrorist plot to attack America. Grow up, people….

  • bobby bobkins

    Steve Real have you actually watched District 9??? or read Dune?
    District 9 is the antithesis of films like Last Samurai and Avatar. It is basically a strong commentary on racism, to a backdrop of science fiction. I really suggest actually watching it. As for Dune, it is a book foremost, and there is nothing Hollywood about it, unless you count the abysmal adaptation of 20 years ago.

    But yes, Avatar is an astonishingly racist movie. I don’t think it is propaganda or anything like that, I think it is just pure idiotic inherent racism without knowing better.

    Xavier Zutafun.. I enjoyed Avatar emensely, but I couldnt but help notice the massive flaw – if you are sending two infiltrators into an alien civilization, why would you give them thin lips and caucasian style hair, when the rest of the ENTIRE civilization has thick lips and braided hair?????? It sticks out like a sore thumb Im afraid.

    There is only 1 scene in the whole movie where ANY native unbraids their hair, and that is to have sex with the caucasian alien.

    If you didnt notice the racism, or at least even feel that something was slightly 18th century about it, then you must be living n texas.

    Having said that, Avatar is an amazing cinematic experience and I recommend everyone to go. There won’t be another movie like it for a while.

  • Great White Hope ? Really??

    Well put Steve Real. Well put.
    It is not about “seeing racism”
    You don’t have to look very far in Avatar as it is evident pretty early on to those who choose to think critically and not simply be pacified by some great graphics. The fact that it’s premise was a racist, completely overdone one is true. That does not take away from the fact that it was visually magnificent. Both things can be true you know?

  • Some one you should know

    bobby bobkins i kinda loled when u saw your post about the massive flaw…. i really dont think that they were going to try to make the avatars look compleaty like them just slightly…. any ways how the hell would you get past the smell?? “His alien smell fills my nose” quote from the movie xP any ways thats just pointing out something