Sunday, May 29, 2005

Disagreeing with King on Pop

I saw two movies this weekend: the remake of The Longest Yard and Madagascar. (Haven't done a two-fer for a while. Heck, when I was in graduate school, I sometimes saw three films a day. Radio-TV-film major. Homework, ya know.)

In this week's Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King's monthly "Pop of King" column discusses the movies he predicts will be either hits or flops this summer. As of press time, he hadn't seen any of the films, but at the top of the list is a little sleeper of a film called Revenge of the Sith. A little further down is The Longest Yard, which he believes will be one of the smashes of the summer.

Meanwhile, he predicts that the animated Madagascar will flop big time. One of the main reasons: No one can pronounce the name.

This is one time when I must beg to differ with Mr. King. Now, I LOVE Stephen King, and not just because he's from Maine, one of our more prominent New England states. In fact, I would gladly put Stephen King in an SFNE category of his own. I mean it. I think he was robbed of a Pulitzer Prize for The Green Mile.

But I think he's called this one wrong. The Longest Yard, although a seeming shot-by-shot remake of the original, just proves that Adam Sandler is no Burt Reynolds. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing--Sandler didn't slap some poor assistant producer at CBS last week.) But I believe that if LY makes money, it will be because Sandler has a big fan base. It's not a bad film, just a mediocre one, but once the word of mouth starts spreading, I think this one will see a big drop-off in box office. Chris Rock steals all his scenes, by the way.

Madagascar, on the other hand, while no classic (DreamWorks Animation still can't hold a candle Pixar when it comes to screenplays), it's enjoyable, funny, and beautiful to look at. And believe me, after 10 months of advertising, there's hardly a kid in America who can't pronounce Madagascar. Heck, there's probably not many kids left who couldn't pick it out on a map. The audience, both parents and kids, really liked it. (Coincidentally, Chris Rock voices one of the lead animals. The guy can't lose this weekend.)

Granted, I had the advantage of actually seeing the films in question, although I would have predicted the same outcome based on the two film trailers. I'm an ace at picking winners and losers (especially losers) based on their trailers. I also didn't stick my neck out making box-office predictions in a national magazine. (Although anytime Entertainment Weekly wants me to, I'm ready. Yo--email me, please!) Nevertheless, you're hearing me say it now: Stephen King, you're wrong this time, Bud.

But, damn, I'll never write a book as great as The Dead Zone.


Blogger Mr. Liberty said...


It sounds just how it is spelled. It even looks right, but I can't tell you where it is without peeking at a map. I'm guessing down south somewhere?

I'm gonna ask your Mom.

BTW, I have never seen a Star Wars film.

I guess that makes me a sitthy :>(


3:10 AM  

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