Scream: The Series. Who’s The Killer?

After five episodes, it’s pretty obvious that a few people just don’t have the ability to be the killer, or if they do, the editing is terrible.

NOT THE KILLER:
Emma- Why would she be sending herself crazy messages, when she’s by herself, and not around other people? She’s clearly the Sydney of the franchise, and there’s a 0% chance she’s a killer.

Brooke- Aside from her not being strong enough for any of it, she also was in a bedroom by herself as a potential victim. She was waiting for someone to show up. She had no idea what was happening. If she’s the killer, we have awful editing.

Maggie- Cause… what, she’s harassing her daughter over her own past? What would the motive be? Why?

HOPEFULLY NOT THE KILLER:
Noah- Let’s be honest. No one wants Noah to be the killer. He’s the Randy of the group we’re all hoping survives the first season. I also don’t think Noah would have killed Riley that quick, especially since they had never “consummated” their relationship.

Audrey- Again, because she seems fairly pegged as in the “good guy” team. There aren’t really any major reasons she couldn’t be the killer. We haven’t seen her in a situation yet that screams “clearly, not the killer”. I’m hoping and waiting.

WOULD MAKE FOR A BORING KILLER:
Will- Because it was already the boyfriend once. Get original.

Sheriff Hudson- He couldn’t do it solo. He couldn’t have possibly killed Riley.

Mayor- Would Brooke’s dad have put Brooke in danger? Yeah, he probably killed his wife, but I don’t think that means he’s texting Emma and chasing Riley up a ladder.

POSSIBLE KILLERS:
Jake- I don’t think he’s smart enough to be the killer, but if there are two… maybe.

Kieran- He’s just so damn mysterious. He has access to files. He disappeared for a while. Maybe it’s the new bad boy.

Branson- He’s spying on his students, he’s having sex with one of them. He’s totally shady.

Piper- I totally think she’s the killer. She even dropped the hint to Emma about her father’s murder never being solved. She seems so nice, but there’s a dark side there. Plus, she clearly knows how to use technology. There’s still a possibility she’s working with one of the other potential killers.

Actor Profile: Stephen Dorff

Ironically, today’s Actor Profile didn’t even make the Top 5 on the cover of IMDB. Which is a shame, because Stephen Dorff is fairly well known, having started acting in 1985. Yes, he does some terrible films. You might also know him as the guy who looks a little like Jon Bon Jovi.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
He almost looked like he was going to have a career resurgence after Somewhere, but that didn’t happen. It’s a shame. He was really good in it.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE
Most of Stephen Dorff’s roles are in D-list movies, so its possible he’s still best known for being Deacon Frost in Blade.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE
Again, Somewhere should apply here, because I doubt many people have seen it.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GOOD, AND HAVEN’T SEEN
I haven’t seen Blood and Wine which Dorff made back in the 90’s with Jack Nicholson or Cecil B. Demented, the John Waters piece.

WORST PERFORMANCE
Good lord, where do I begin? Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star? Feardotcom? Alone In The Dark? Or perhaps I haven’t seen his worst performance. He’s done a lot of straight-to-video films too that I’ve avoided.

Box Office Predictions: Audiences Will Go On An ‘Impossible’ ‘Vacation’

See what I did there? I’m so creative. My mommy always said… so creative.

This weekend, the critically acclaimed Mission Impossible sequel will rule the box office. The last installment had a weird platform release where it opened in 425 theatres for 12.7M and then 5 days later went wide and got another 29M. So, if you figure that potential is around 40M, and that was in December, you can try and guess that Rogue Nation is going to do about the same.

The bigger problem is that the Mission Impossible franchise is starting to show its age. 18 years. 5 Films. One Tom Cruise. He’s still doing his own stunts, but a lot of teens haven’t seen the first Mission Impossible. Or the second. Or perhaps even the third. They’re just now looking at this franchise, and it feels like their parents franchise. So even with fantastic reviews, Rogue Nation is looking at a 40M weekend.

This weekends other new release is also kinda-sorta their parents franchise as well (if not their grandparents franchise by now). Yes, its a reboot, but a lot of teens have never seen National Lampoon’s Vacation. The only thing attracting them is the promise of raunchy comedy, and Ed Helms (who they know from The Hangover). Vacation isn’t getting the best reviews, but most films of this genre don’t get great reviews. Ed Helms, as a solo leading man is basically untested. And you can’t really compare it to the old Vacation films, because a lot has changed. You just have to look at similar like-minded films that opened about the same time, and figure Vacation should do about that. Social media tracking is also really getting more “on point” and their predictions are pretty accurate.

1) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation- 40M Weekend, 40M Total
2) Vacation- 20M Weekend, 20M Total
3) Ant-Man- 14M Weekend, 132M Total
4) Minions- 13M Weekend, 287M Total
5) Trainwreck- 11.5M Weekend, 80M Total
6) Pixels- 11M Weekend, 44M Total
7) Southpaw- 10M Weekend, 34M Total
8) Paper Towns- 6.5M Weekend, 26M Total
9) Inside Out- 5M Weekend, 329M Total
10) Jurassic World- 4.5M Weekend, 632M Total

Actor Profile: Elizabeth Berkley

Today is just… dismal. I’m sorry, but the biggest actors born today are Lori Loughlin, Elizabeth Berkley, Alexis Arquette, Sally Struthers, Peter Cullen, and Dustin Milligan. I don’t really know what to do with that. I’ve seen seven things with Elizabeth Berkley in it. That’s by far the lowest for any actor profile I’ve done so far.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
I really enjoyed her in First Wives Club as the ditzy up and coming actress. I wish her career had gone more in that direction, and that she had never done Showgirls.

MOST ICONIC ROLE
She’s probably best known for being Jessie Spano on Saved By The Bell, though if you’re an old fart you only know her from Showgirls infamy or Dancing With The Stars.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE:
See Roger Dodger. She’s only a supporting role as a hooker, but Berkley seems to slay bit parts in comedies. Also, the pill popping episode of Saved By The Bell was surprisingly good.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GOOD AND HAVEN’T SEEN
She was recurring for a bit on The L Word, which I never watched. I always heard good things about that show.

WORST PERFORMANCE
Showgirls. Duh.

Teacher Of The Year

Starring: Matt Letscher, Keegan Michael-Key, Sunny Mabrey, Larry Joe Campbell, Brenda Strong, Jason and Randy Sklar
Directed By: Jason Strouse

SPOILERS.

It’s not a silly comedy, if that’s what you thought by looking at the marketing for this and thinking “Keegan Michael Key. Must be a comedy.” Its basically propaganda for supporting teachers more. Matt Letscher plays Teacher Of The Year Mitch Carter who is offered a chance to leave the school and make 150K a year lobbying for educators. Ultimately, due to the ineptitude of the Principal (Key), he decides he has to and the school loses its best teacher. A colleague of his is fired for “sexually assaulting” a student, but it turns out she just didn’t like her grade. It’s definitely propaganda, and it’s trying to pull your strings, but it does a decent job of being fairly entertaining propaganda. There are some comedic moments, mostly showing how inept some of the other teachers are compared to Carter.

I went in expecting a sub-par slapstick style comedy, and I got a dramady that wants you to take a moment out of your day and thank a teacher. Basically. Also, your child is probably a lying shit. Just so you know. Teacher Of The Year is now on Netflix.

FINAL GRADE: B-

Actor Profile: Maya Rudolph

BEST PERFORMANCE
She’s had a few really funny roles, and you could argue that her best work was on SNL, but I’d like to think she really showed a different side of her in Away We Go, and I’d love to see Maya Rudolph get more roles like that.

MOST ICONIC ROLE
She’s probably best known for being a SNL castmember. In film, both of the Grown Ups films made enough money for her to be recognized from that, or from Bridesmaids.

MOST UNDERRATED ROLE
Idiocracy, only because probably not enough people have seen it. If you haven’t seen Idiocracy, what’s stopping you? Seriously.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GOOD AND HAVEN’T SEEN
I’ve actually seen most of her starring roles. I’d have to go all the way back to probably Chuck and Buck in her pre-SNL days. I know she’s not a lead, but I haven’t seen the film, and I’ve always heard good things about it.

WORST PERFORMANCE
Grown Ups 2 was awful and unnecessary.

Weekend Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Scores Narrow Victory, ‘Paper’ Crumbles In 6th

Ant-Man barely edged Pixels this weekend for the top spot. A 56% drop (not too shabby) kept it in the lead. It broke 100M in its 10th day of release. Pixels was likely hurt by some truly devastating reviews. Audiences disagree with critics. It has a B Cinemascore, though audiences under 18 gave the film an A. So it plays well with kids. A rumored budget of 88M isn’t too lofty of a goal in the long run, though it is still unlikely to recoup that domestically. Minions was off 55% in week three, but Trainwreck dipped only 42%. The weeks other two new releases were originally projected to be in a different order. Paper Towns was supposed to beat Southpaw, but Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t going down without a fight. An A cinemascore should help the 30M production be a sleeper hit of the summer. Paper Towns, however, earned a B+ cinemascore but has a much lower budget of 12M.

Mr Holmes continues to do well having expanded slightly. Its now in 686 screens, and has a 4,124PSA, which is higher than Paper Towns. Also in limited release, The Vatican Tapes started iffy, with a 1,991PSA. Woody Allen’s Irrational Man continues to be solid with 9,321PSA despite weak reviews. Self/Less completely fell apart this weekend, making less money than Max and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. With a pathetic $516PSA, worse than almost every film tracked, including the pretty old Home, Pitch Perfect 2, and Insidious Chapter 3, Self/Less should be hitting Redbox before people forget it exists.

Vacation opens Wednesday, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation opens Friday. The latest entry in Tom Cruise’s 18 year old franchise is getting really strong reviews. It should easily be able to get #1.

1) Ant-Man- 24.7M Weekend, 106M Total
2) Pixels- 24M Weekend, 24M Total
3) Minions- 22M Weekend, 261.7M Total
4) Trainwreck- 17.1M Weekend, 61.6M Total
5) Southpaw- 16.5M Weekend, 16.5M Total
6) Paper Towns- 12.5M Weekend, 12.5M Total
7) Inside Out- 7.3M Weekend, 320M Total
8) Jurassic World- 6.8M Weekend, 623.7M Total
9) Mr Holmes- 2.8M Weekend, 6.3M Total
10) Terminator Genisys- 2.4M Weekend, 85.6M Total
11) Magic Mike XXL- 1.8M Weekend, 63.1M Total
??) The Gallows- 1.1M Weekend, 21.3M Total
??) The Vatican Tapes- 850K Weekend, 850K Total
??) Amy- 700K Weekend, 5.5M Total
??) Self/Less- 314K Weekend, 11.8M Total
??) Irrational Man- 261K Weekend, 519K Total
??) Infinitely Polar Bear- 106K Weekend, 966K Total
??) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl- 100K Weekend, 6.4M Total
??) The Stanford Prison Experiment- 59K Weekend, 116K Total
??) Boulevard- 12K Weekend, 56K Total

Wet Hot American Summer

Starring: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Bradley Cooper, Marguerite Moreau, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Zak Orth, Paul Rudd, AD Miles, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Chris Meloni, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander, H. Jon Benjamin, Kyle Gallner
Directed By: David Wain

Fun fact. Wet Hot American Summer was a flop when it was first released. It made only 295K at the domestic box office in 2001. Bradley Cooper’s career hadn’t yet taken off. This was around the same time as the first season of Alias. Long before American Sniper or The Hangover. Paul Rudd wasn’t famous for being Ant-Man. He was known for The Object Of My Affection, The Cider House Rules, and Clueless. Amy Poehler started SNL in 2001. This was shot before she joined the cast. Joe Lo Truglio hadn’t done Brooklyn Nine-Nine. You get the point.

Wet Hot American Summer is kind of an absurdist look at summer camps, with actors who are clearly way older than teenagers playing teenagers. Everyone is horny. Everyone is oblivious. No one would ever want to send their child to this camp. There isn’t a single responsible adult here. Yet, sandwiched in this story are some pretty great characters, and some interesting romantic connections. Garofalo and Pierce make an interesting couple, as do Cooper and Ian Black. The most surprising couple is probably who Molly Shannon winds up with at the end of the movie.

I loved Paul Rudd in this. Hilarious. Comedy gold. His performance is so over the top, yet it’s great. It’s exactly what this film needs. David Wain would go on to direct Role Models, Wanderlust, and They Came Together. Sort of a wide net of quality, but Wet Hot American Summer is probably his best work. I also noticed he directed an episode of A To Z, and nothing about that show was any good… so what the hell David Wain. Did your kids school need some tuition?

The Netflix series premieres July 31st, and the movie is currently up for your viewing pleasure there. So, check it out and familiarize yourself with the absurd cast of characters before the series drops. I promise. It’s worth it.

FINAL GRADE: A-

Wayward Pines: Season 1

Starring: Matt Dillon, Shannyn Sossamon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, Melissa Leo, Charlie Tahan, Reed Diamond, Hope Davis, Siobhan Fallon, Sarah Jeffrey, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis

Wayward Pines, for me, had a better first season than Under The Dome. I thought Under The Dome had a great pilot, but by the end of the season, it asked too many questions that were left unanswered. Wayward Pines made the effort to be a fully contained story, wrapping up most of the storyline by the end of the first season. It also had a better evolution of the characters, and some decent surprises. Under The Dome had a stronger pilot, but Wayward Pines had the stronger run. Both are very similar in nature, so I thought I’d compare them.

What I liked about Wayward Pines was that it had a few twists I didn’t see coming. Not planning on ruining any of them, but the truth about Wayward Pines surprised me. I also thought the evolution of Melissa Leo was particularly surprising and strong. If she’s up for Emmy consideration next year, they should definitely take her seriously. Also, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones, and Matt Dillon deliver strong performances over the course of the season. I was a little distracted that Dillon, Sossamon, and Gugino were all suggested to be about the same age, but Dillon is 7 years older than Gugino, who is 7 years older than Sossamon. So, either Matt Dillon’s character waited a really long time to start his training so he would be training with Sossamon, or they thought Sossamon would play the same age as Dillon. She doesn’t.

If you like mysterious sci-fi TV shows, Wayward Pines is a solid bet. The show is mostly contained within the first season, but it does leave a small window open for a second season (should FOX be interested in extending this Limited Series). The full season is currently on Hulu. There’s a lot of unwarranted hate out there for everything with M. Night Shyamalan’s name on it. He only produced this, and directed one episode. It’s an adaptation of a book series, so it’s not even an original concept of his. Ignore the haters. Enjoy Wayward Pines.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Actor Profile: Kevin Spacey

As part of my one-two-punch of profiles, I actually get to do Kevin Spacey, who is one of my favorite actors. The first film I saw him in was Iron Will as a kid, and I had no idea who he was, or that his career would end up being so kick ass. This is going to be a tough profile. I’ve seen 23 of his roles.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
I’m gonna stick with American Beauty for this. American Beauty remains one of my favorite films of all time. Though, his work on House Of Cards is really stellar also.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE
He’s probably best known now for being Frank Underwood in House Of Cards, though I’d argue his roles as Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects and as John Doe in Seven are pretty iconic too. As is Lester Burnham in American Beauty.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE:
Other than my nostalgic love of Iron Will, he was really good as Prot in K-Pax and Larry in The Big Kahuna.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GREAT AND HAVEN’T SEEN YET
I’ve seen most of his major recent releases, but I’ve never gone back to watch Swimming With Sharks. I know I should.

WORST PERFORMANCE:
Not that his performance was particularly bad, but I really didn’t enjoy Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil.

TOP 10 KEVIN SPACEY ROLES:
1) Lester Burnham in American Beauty
2) Francis Underwood in House Of Cards
3) Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects
4) John Doe in Seven
5) Bobby Darin in Beyond The Sea
6) Jack Vincennes in LA Confidential
7) John Williamson in Glengarry Glen Ross
8) Chris Sabian in The Negotiator
9) Eugene Schmidt in Pay It Forward
10) Prot in K-Pax

Actor Profile: Sandra Bullock

A lot of big names born today. I’m going to do two profiles today, the first being Sandra Bullock.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
This is such a tough one because I’ve seen so many of her performances. Dramatically, her best performance is probably Gravity, but her role in Miss Congeniality I thought was the best use of her as a comedienne. There are a few other roles that I thought she was great in, but you’ll see those below.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE:
She’s either best known now for her Oscar winning turn as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, though she’s probably still really recognized for Hope Floats, Speed, and more recently Gravity and The Heat.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE:
I thought she was actually really good in Hope Floats, but she gets written off a lot for that. She was also good in Murder By Numbers, 28 Days, and Crash, all long before Oscar came calling.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GOOD AND HAVEN’T SEEN:
I heard she was good in Infamous, but I never got around to seeing it.

WORST PERFORMANCE:
I really hated Premonition as a film, but her performance in All About Steve was probably worse.

TOP 10 SANDRA BULLOCK PERFORMANCES:
1) Ryan Stone in Gravity
2) Birdee in Hope Floats
3) Cassie in Murder By Numbers
4) Gracie in Miss Congeniality
5) Jean in Crash
6) Ashburn in The Heat
7) Lucy in While You Were Sleeping
8) Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side
9) Angela Bennett in The Net
10) Gwen in 28 Days

Actor Profile: Brad Renfro

No one really met the criteria today, so I figured I’d do Brad Renfro for the actor profile, since his career is finite. Renfro passed away in 2008 at the age of 25.

BEST PERFORMANCE
I’m going with the performance that put Renfro on the scene in the first place. The Client. Some people found it cheesy, but I still think it’s a solid drama, and Brad Renfro is one of the best child actors to ever break onto the scene.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE
This is probably still The Client.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE:
I think he was great in Bully if you haven’t seen it. Or The Cure, an earlier work of his. Also, he had a small but great role in Sleepers.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GREAT AND HAVEN’T SEEN
I’ve never seen Apt Pupil or Telling Lies In America. I heard both were good, and he was good in them.

WORST PERFORMANCE
I haven’t seen some films on his resume, but The Informers was a disappointing film even though it had nothing to do with Renfro’s performance.

TOP FIVE BRAD RENFRO PERFORMANCES:
1) Mark Sway in The Client
2) Marty Puccio in Bully
3) Young Michael in Sleepers
4) Erik in The Cure
5) Josh in Ghost World

Actor Profile: Jennifer Lopez

I finally get to do an Actor profile for an actress. So excited. It’s a little funny that my first actress is Jennifer Lopez, but she meets my criteria. I’ve seen at least 10 films with J.Lo in it.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
I’m gonna give this to Out Of Sight, the crime caper that has always suggested that J.Lo has a bit more in her than her films would want you to know about. She was so awesome, her Karen Sisco even got a TV show (albeit, with Carla Gugino in the role).

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE:
She’s probably better known as a singer, or as a judge on American Idol, but her most iconic film role is probably still Selena. It was her first big break, and she played an iconic singer who is still somewhat iconic today.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE:
I actually really liked her in An Unfinished Life with Josh Lucas and Robert Redford. Also, she was pretty good in The Cell.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GREAT AND HAVEN’T SEEN
I never got around to seeing El Cantante. I heard it was OK, and she was pretty good in it.

WORST PERFORMANCE
I’m not going to pick Anaconda. I’m not going to pick Gigli. I know. It’s just too obvious. I really didn’t like The Wedding Planner. I think she was trying to branch out as a marketable leading actress, but her films prior to that included some really dark indie stuff like U-Turn, Blood and Wine, and the aforementioned Out Of Sight. It’s like she was trying to be a completely different kind of actress, then she decided to do romcoms, and everything went to shit. So I credit The Wedding Planner for turning Jennifer Lopez into a ditzy box office quasi-star. She could have been something better.

Actor Profile: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of my favorite actors of all time, would have turned 48 today.

BEST PERFORMANCE
Yes, Capote was amazing, but… he’s really amazing in other roles too. Take some time and see Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead or Almost Famous.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE
Hunger Games is probably the answer here, but I’d argue he’s just as well known for Capote or possibly even Mission Impossible III.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE
He was also really good in State and Main. It’s a part that’s a little “against type” for him.

BEST PERFORMANCE THAT I HAVEN’T SEEN BUT HEARD WAS GOOD
Flawless. I have yet to see him in this, but I’ve heard he was great.

WORST PERFORMANCE
I hated Punch Drunk Love, but I also hated Synecdoche New York. He wasn’t bad in either, but those movies… just awful.

The Ten Definitive Philip Seymour Hoffman Performances:

1) Truman Capote in Capote
2) Scotty in Boogie Nights
3) Lester Bangs in Almost Famous
4) Owen Davian in Mission Impossible III
5) Lancaster Dodd in The Master
6) Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt
7) Andy in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
8) Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr Ripley
9) Phil Parma in Magnolia
10) Joseph Turner White in State and Main

Actor Profile: Woody Harrelson

I’m going to end up doing two actor profiles today too.

BEST PERFORMANCE:
You could easily say that Natural Born Killers was his best performance, but that would mean he peaked in 1994. He’s still doing great work, as evidenced recently in Out Of The Furnace and The Messenger.

MOST ICONIC PERFORMANCE:
For a lot of people, this answer is Cheers, which ran from 1985-1993 and gave Woody his start. For a lot of young people, he’s best known as Haymitch in the Hunger Games franchise.

MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE
Out Of The Furnace probably qualifies here.

BEST PERFORMANCE I’VE HEARD WAS GOOD AND HAVEN’T SEEN
This is a tie also, between True Detective and Rampart. I also never saw White Men Can’t Jump, but I’m not sure that’s his best role.

WORST PERFORMANCE
Surfer Dude. A film that never should have happened.

Too Cool For Comic-Con

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