Friday, June 20, 2008

This Weekend's Box Office Battle - Will "Get Smart" beat out "The Love Guru" and other comedic revelations....

And it begins…
This summer is turning out to be a battle of the lukewarm openers. This weekend will mark the opening of “The Love Guru starring Mike Myers and “Get Smart starring Steve Carell. Myers, the one time king of the comedy box office will be pitted against one of the funny men to attempt and possibly succeed in removing the crown. Meyers has not had a “box office success” in the past six years and the last time he grabbed a top spot was with the third installment of the hilarious “Austin Powers” franchise. The reviews are in for both films and it seems that the critics are all choosing “Get Smart” to win the weekend with its fresh take on the classic sitcom from the 1960’s, starring Don Adams. Critics are panning “Guru” and Meyers for the potty mouthed humor and overplayed jokes that are weaved throughout the meditation master spoof. While Myers’ continued commitment to his characters remains strong, viewers aren’t sure there is enough material to really be true to. In an interesting twist, the always lovable Carell took a huge leap, once again, stepping in a role that is almost synonymous with the original creator. Don Adams not only embodied the role of Max Smart, but one might even say that he battled this characterization for the remainder of his years. This is familiar territory for Carell since he became a household name after stepping into the shoes of another funny man, Ricky Gervais, in the American version of “The Office”. “Get Smart” is seemingly winning the battle with the critics, but neither film is being universally touted as a true rip roaring comedy for the summer. In fact that job might have to be taken care of later in the summer with upcoming comedies like ”Step-Brothers” starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, ”Tropic Thunder” starring Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black and ”Pineapple Express” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

This change in the scope of comedy is a long way coming and it seems that whatever Mike Myers had tried this time around, it might have failed. The comedian, who was recently profiled in not the greatest light by Entertainment Weekly, has been battling the rumors of his being difficult and insane dedication to his roles in Hollywood for years now. But isn’t the true battle him and his comedy stylings are having with the viewers themselves? This weekend’s battle could signal more than just one person being funny over another, but could really be the nail in the coffin to 1990’s style comedies. With the success of Judd Apatow and Co. and their more truthful comedies, it seems that the comedy genre audience itself is developing different tastes, making it more difficult for the old standard to continue to succeed. Ferrell recently hit a wall block with his 8,000 version of the same story with the dismal ”Semi-Pro”, which was too painfully bad to even finish. Ferrell hopefully took the clue and will continue to produce funny comedies that utilize different plot synopsis than “kooky, over weight, out of the limelight big name gets his glory again”, well you get the picture right? We live in a world of entertainment where “Saturday Night Live” is no longer the producer for successful box office demons it once was and actually the only ones coming out of the sketch comedian paradise with the goods are the female comediennes, which is a whole other topic to discuss at a later date. The new comedy camp seems reside in the behind the scenes magic of “Apatown”, with its ever presence of funny men and woman churning out heartfelt comedies. I for one hope that comedians can see the writing on the wall and more importantly, Hollywood execs can once again produce rip roaring comedies all the time. I have not had the opportunity to see either of the big comedies opening up this weekend and will present my personal reviews of them next week. I can say though that I have been beyond psyched for “Get Smart” and not only just for the always funny Carell, but to finally see Duane Johnson, previously known as The Rock, to become a genuine all around movie star, a development way too long in the making.












Whether the box office results show “Guru” or “Smart” at number one, the battle has already been won by the next generation.

1 Comment:

patrick said...

Get Smart looks okay over all though it seems like Steve Carell is veering toward an excess of slapstick humor