Bucky Larson Born to Be a Star
lately comedies seem like just an excuse to give ugly people work. This is made by the director of The Comebacks, nuff said.
there is a cavalcade of stars here but Soderberg made faux entertainments. He does not care about audience. This seems like Outbreak without a monkey
If I had to see a wide release this week, it would be Gavin O’Connor’s (Tumbleweeds) Warrior an unlikely UFC movie but one with Nick Nolte (a still reliable actor) and a sense of tragedy about it.
All in all, this looks like a bad week at the cinema and at the box office. I am seeing Rejoice and Shout that weekend at my local art house
I like most of Soderbergh’s faux entertainments. What’s the word on this one, Den?
have not heard a word about Contagion. The only Soderbergh film I liked (or maybe loved) is Bubble
Warrior is getting surprisingly decent reviews. Looking forward to anything Soderbergh does (he’s always interesting, even when he fails).
Mr. Nice getting released in LA this weekend. Really looking forward to that.
Well Contagion wins this weekend hands down, considering that this last weekend’s new releases were disappointing and everyone who truly wanted The Help have already seen it, the only way Contagion is going to fail is not by being number one, but by not being number one enough (not making as much as suspected). I am feeling a positive vibe from the movie, not in terms of quality but in terms of excitement. A few other online places I go to already have had a few people bring up the movie for discussion to show their interest in seeing it. Even though it should be a smaller release, it probably is going to get the new-release starved in the theatres. Finally, it’s good The Help counter-programming in a way the other releases are not.
“lately comedies seem like just an excuse to give ugly people work.”
This is true, and sometimes it is self-aware about it. Knocked Up.
Welp, summer’s over.
lol@that Bucky Larson. as soon as i saw Allen Covert i knew it was going to be a happy madison production.
This looks like another one of those tax write offs for Sandler that will flop at the box office. He makes one every few years. e.g Grandma’s Boy, STrange Wilderness etc.
I’ll give him credit though, he is loyal to his friends, and Grandma’s Boy is underrated as hell
“Well Contagion wins this weekend hands down”
this is two weekends from now. I suspect Apollo 18 will win this weekend and if it is good will hold over. But yeah Contagion will make some good money
I’m fairly excited to see The Warrior. Early reviews are talking possible oscar noms for both Nolte and Hardy.
I’m still hoping Bellflower will play near me. If not then I’ll probably wait till September 16th when a lot of good things (Straw Dogs, Drive, Restless) come out.
If Bucky Larson wanted to thrive on camp value it needed to do better with casting than SNL people.
I don’t know, comedy producers seem to think that just because SNL cast members went on to make good movies in the 70s and 90s that the current cast can do it. These people can barely handle sketches, much less features.
In the germophobe’s nightmare that is “Contagion,” Steven Soderbergh puts an Oscar-decorated cast through the ringer of a deadly outbreak. Think of it as “Stars With SARS” as Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law race to contain a nasty pandemic that picks off Gwyneth Paltrow in its opening minutes. Still, without fully rounded characters, it’s hard to care who lives or dies in what amounts to an extended procedural on how disease prevention orgs might respond to such a scenario. Such disappointments aside, a shrewd campaign misrepresenting “Contagion” as a white-knuckle chiller should ensure healthy returns.
Those hoping for a traditional horror movie — the sort that inspires nervous dates to reach for their partners’ arms during the scary bits — are in for a rude awakening, as “Contagion” will leave auds thinking twice about where they put their hands. Same goes for that symphony of coughing that invariably accompanies any public screening experience: Once an annoyance, the unwelcome noise takes on a threatening edge in this context — a reminder of the scene in 1995’s Ebola-inspired film “Outbreak,” in which someone sneezes in a movie theater and the camera follows the swarm of germs around the darkened room.
The film opens on a bowl of peanuts at an airport bar. Enter Paltrow’s hand. Already highly contagious, she’s Patient Zero on Day Two of the outbreak. A globe-trotting businesswoman on her way home from Hong Kong, her character spreads the disease every time she touches something, and Soderbergh’s camera duly catalogs every possible opportunity for infection, from handshakes to credit-card transfers. The helmer sees endless skin-crawling potential in planes, trains and public buses, alternating between such viral superconductors for the first few minutes as a handful of complete strangers pass the bug.
Dubbed MEV-1, the virus will ultimately become the most fleshed-out player in “Contagion’s” sprawling ensemble. As head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Ellis Cheever (Fishburne) supplies a steady stream of alarmist one-liners. Representing the World Health Organization, Dr. Leonora Orantes (Cotillard) flies to China, where she’s promptly kidnapped and held with the vaccine as her ransom. Elliott Gould, Jennifer Ehle and Demetri Martin play lab scientists trying to find a cure, while Winslet’s no-nonsense Dr. Erin Mears operates on the front lines, attempting to quarantine the sick. All are vulnerable to infection.
Only Matt Damon, who plays Paltrow’s husband, Mitch Emhoff, is immune. After watching half his family drop dead, Mitch becomes that familiar angry-yet-sensible survivor type auds have seen in countless zombie movies. Legend he is not, however, as the pic reserves its moments of heroism for doctors who defy authority in reckless, unrealistic ways (like injecting themselves with a promising vaccine when time is too tight for test trials). As “Contagion” develops, human panic proves more infectious than the virus itself — an intriguing idea that’s increasingly hard to follow as the leaps in geography and time begin to blur.
Though Soderbergh seems to have spared no expense in assembling his cast (a “Talented Mr. Ripley” reunion of sorts) or incorporating such far-flung locations as Hong Kong, San Francisco and Casablanca, the film takes a decidedly anti-glamorous stance. With the exception of Cotillard, who looks lovely in her dead-end subplot, the actors range from haggard-looking to body bag-ready. As conspiracy-prone blogger Alan Krumwiede, Law gets off easy with an unsightly snaggletooth pasted to his veneers — not bad when you consider poor Paltrow, stuck on an autopsy slab as a cranial saw screeches offscreen.
Considering its international scope and multiculti ensemble, “Contagion” should have offered Soderbergh roughly the same potential as “Traffic.” Instead of serving up several dramatic storylines to seize our interest, however, Burns’ script has the bloodless, semi-detached quality of strict news reporting. Gone is the color and flavor the writer brought to “The Informant,” as well as the visual cues that kept the threads straight in “Traffic.”
Armed with Red’s new 5K Epic-X “Tattoo” cameras, Soderbergh squanders all that resolution on downright ugly footage that makes exceptional moments such as street riots and military roadblocks look as unremarkable as scenes set in conference rooms and bio-safety labs. The art of film lighting, already mostly lost in cinema’s transition from black-and-white to color, suffers a deathblow from digital cameras that can make do with available light. What energy “Contagion” can muster owes to Cliff Martinez’s electronic score; the rest is routine.
Soderbergh has often touted his admiration for “All the President’s Men,” with its lean just-the-facts plotting, and “Contagion” is the closest one of his films has come to that format. Still, his execution calls to mind Larry McMurtry’s critique of the Watergate thriller as “a picture full of doors,” in which, “The reporters knock on a lot of doors, but the doors only lead to their story, not the story.” Likewise, “Contagion” is all procedure, with circumstances forcing the characters to do most of their work in isolation or by cell phone. In contrast with the director’s other celeb-filled ensemble, “Ocean’s Eleven,” where chemistry was everything, these stars seldom share the screen.
Camera (color, HD), Peter Andrews; editor, Stephen Mirrione; music, Cliff Martinez; production designer, Howard Cummings; supervising art director, David Lazan; set decorator, Cindy Carr; costume designer, Louise Frogley; sound (SDDS/Dolby Digital/Datasat), Mark Weingarten, Dennis Towns; supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer, Larry Blake; visual effects supervisor, Thomas J. Smith; visual effects, Method Studios; assistant director, Gregory Jacobs; casting, Carmen Cuba. Reviewed at Mann Chinese 6, Los Angeles, Aug. 27, 2011. (In Venice Film Festival — noncompeting.) MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 106 MIN.
maybe I will see contagion and pretend its the unfilmed part of rise of the planet of the apes.
I was a bit disappointed with Rise of the Planet of the Apes-pretty good CGI, writing a bit sloppy, good performances, but a waste of the lovely Freida Pinto. However, after watching it and seeing the Contagion trailer, my thoughts were in line with Air Bud’s-looks like Rise ’s sequel, and likely to be better.
Its premise seems reasonable. The SARS virus caused more panic in Asia than in the West, but sooner or later a highly contagious disease (like the 1918 influenza pandemic) will be magnified by the effect of the increased mobility of people in recent decades, and worldwide panic will follow.
Why do I keep getting double posts lately?
It looks like Gwyneth dies off quickly, which should please certain people I know very much.
from slant magazine (seems this film is getting raves):
With Miracle and now Warrior, Gavin O’Conner can lay claim to being the finest sports-drama director working today. That field is, admittedly, a shallow one, yet faint praise isn’t intended, as O’Conner continues to exhibit a deft knack for melding interpersonal drama with athletic competition in ways that, despite his tales’ clichés, earn their melodramatic manipulations through genuine empathy for characters’ plights. Whereas his prior effort about the historic real-life 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team had built-in rooting-interest, Warrior works from an original dramatic template—original, of course, except for its indebtedness to Rocky, with which it shares not only a Philadelphia setting for its rise-to-fisticuffs-glory trajectory, but a set of archetypes modeled after the Italian Stallion, Adrian, Mick, and Drago. Still, if those connections are sometimes blatant, they’re also embraced as a means of acknowledging the enduring impact of its basic nobodies-make-good template, in which two long-estranged brothers, high school wrestling star and Iraq war vet Tommy (Thomas Hardy) and physics teacher and former UFC punching bag Brendan (Joel Edgerton), seek self-worth and salvation through confronting their traumatic past with recovering alcoholic father Paddy (Nick Nolte), all while vying for a $5 million purse at an Atlantic City mixed martial arts (MMA) tournament.
If Brendan is a loyal family man in a Balboa mold, battering ram Tommy is On the Waterfront’s Terry Malloy, a glowering, sarcastic everyman struggling to both subsist and survive his own inner demons. Tommy and Brendan’s day-to-day lives and self-esteem are wracked by contemporary concerns regarding housing foreclosures and battlefield trauma, which for Tommy is complicated by his having heroically saved comrades by literally ripping a tank’s door off its hinges, but the consistently well-modulated script doesn’t overstate its modern-condition concerns so much as merely couch its uplifting saga in a relatable here-and-now. As with a recurring, understated thematic subplot involving Paddy and Moby Dick, or when Paddy loftily proclaims, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t,” and Tommy deflates the sentiment with a “Yeah?,” Warrior regularly finds a way to meld its more epic impulses in a convincing working-class reality. That’s also true of the story’s guiding moral and emotional conflicts and dilemmas, which—be it Brendan’s refusal to lose his house because “we’re not going backwards,” or Tommy and Brendan’s equally valid anger over Brendan’s teenage decision to stay with his abusive dad while Tommy and their dying mother fled to the West Coast—recognize life as a thicket of complications, misunderstandings and mistakes that rarely can be assessed and resolved in cozy black-and-white terms.
The film’s first half carefully considers its protagonists, with its generous spirit extending to that of Paddy, whose soul-crushing mixture of guilt is beautifully conveyed by Nolte in a performance of tremulous reserve and grace. Hardy and Edgerton are equally compelling as siblings at war with their father, each other, and themselves, providing enough polar-opposite energy to create tremendous friction during the finale, an inevitable showdown between the two that—in light of the preceding, even-handed character-centric material—is most powerful for its ability to elicit desire for dual victory. Shooting with a patina of rusty grays, blues, and blacks, O’Conner handles these segments with aplomb, and once the tale turns to the MMA cage, his action sequences deliver one visceral wallop after another. To its occasional detriment, the plot never upends expectations, ultimately hewing to a predictable happily-ever-after path. Yet on the heels of its compassionate portrait of wounded masculinity in search of stability and forgiveness, his bruising clashes—highlighted by an amazing close-up of Brendan as he attempts to fell an undefeated opponent with a submission hold, his life’s fears and desires manifest in his fraught face and vein-bulging neck—prove so gripping that, even at 139 minutes, Warrior leaves you wanting even more.
I think everyone is happy Paltrow dies early in the film.
I’m glad to see the reviews have been good for Contagion. I saw Haywire last spring and loved it – Soderbergh is definitely on a roll.
Just off hand… “auds”? Variety, don’t be lazy.
this has just been announced for a wide release (1000 theaters)
I will be seeing it on Friday night. I love silly monster movies on Friday nights
Those commercials for Bucky Larson are assaulting my brain.
They’re not even showing scenes from the movie, they’re just having some random actor act like the character, only even more gratingly awful. I can’t imagine that somebody at an ad agency saw that and came to the conclusion that it would make people want to see the movie.
Even if the film is as awful as it looks, it’s got to have enough amusing scenes to fill a 30 second commercial. Come on. That bit about “Why does everyone say I have an accent? I’m from America!” is genuinely amusing out of context. And the premise, where the guy finds out his parents are porn stars and wants to follow in their legacy? It’s stupid, but it piques my interest at least slightly. The commercial doesn’t mention it once.
I have hopes for Bucky
Don Johnson plays Bucky’s father. He has made a career of late playing the father of leads (When in Rome for instance). He is a favorite actor of mine. Christina Ricci is also in it but you would not know from the trailers
Yes, it seems even if it’s awful there are at least some positive notes at some points in the film. A ten year old child could put together a better commercial.
Heck, any random clip of 30 seconds from anywhere in the movie would probably be more effective.
It looks terrible, but i have a penchant for that sort of thing. can’t resist hahah.
early review of Bucky from emmanuellevy.com
Nick Swardson plays the title role, Bucky Larson, a small town grocery bagger, a loser, stuck in menaningless existence, going nowhere in life. That is, until he shockingly discovers that his presumably rigid and conservative parents were once famous adult film stars.
Feeling that he has finally found his calling, and reason to believe in a better, more lucrative future, Bucky packs up his stuff and heads out to LA LA Land, hoping to follow in his parents’ footsteps–and even make it bigger.
For obvious reasons, the studio did not hold press screenings, realizing what a turkey they have in their hands. Columbia is dumping this Happy Madison production (Adam Sandler company) into the marketplace September 9, in competition with Soderbergh’s bio-medical thriller “Contagion” and Gavin O’Connor’s sports melodrama “Warrior.”
Not surprisingly, “Bucky Larson” is written by comedian Adam Sandler (who ten years ago could have played the part himself), Allen Covert, and actor Nick Swardson.
A sampler of a high concept picture at its very worst, “Bucky Larson” revolves around a single idea: A dreamer, a wannabe porn star, who is not equipped (to say the least) with what it takes. (Sort of the opposite idea that guides TV’s series, “Hung”).
Here is how the movie came into being, per star-co-writer Swardson: “We were on the set of another movie when Adam Sandler grabbed me and said, ‘Hey, I have an idea for a movie – a guy whose parents are porn stars.’” And I can see, how this haphazard, schematically constrcuted text was written, or rather orchestrated.
As for the lead character, essentially, Bucky is a good-hearted, gentle and naïve kid—just anpther country bumpkin confused about his future. The writers make the most of this simplistic idea, an innocent Midwestern in the Big City and in the midst of a sleazy and corrupt enterprise. But all of the tale’s decent concepts are explored and depicted in the first reel, and from that point on, it’s all downhill.
The writers would like us to believe that they are telling a “new” story with a “fresh” angle. But what unfolds on screen is such a tired and tiresome formula—yet another version of a fish-out-of-water comedy about a guy trying to find his real identity and home.
If “Becky Larson” were made in the 1960s or 1970s, we could have had a few chuckles, but to produce in 2011 such a silly comedy, which has nothing interesting or funny to say about the much-exploited porn industry, is truly embarrassing, smacking of sheer commercialism
“I think everyone is happy Paltrow dies early in the film.”
Technically she does, but she gets autopsied and then appears periodically in flashbacks throughout the rest of the film.
another Larson review: AO Scott claims this is the worst film Pauly Shore has ever appeared in (yikes):
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” is the tale of a small-town boy from Iowa, with a Prince Valiant haircut, a bad overbite and big dreams, who comes, like so many other small-town dreamers, to the San Fernando Valley to become a pornographic film star. There he meets a bunch of other performers who seem to be desperate for work and willing to submit to unimaginable degradation for a chance to appear on the big screen.
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View Clip… I’m not talking about the characters in “Bucky Larson,” which was directed by Tom Brady (“The Hot Chick”) and written by, among others, Adam Sandler. I mean the supporting cast, whose names I almost hesitate to mention for fear of embarrassing them. Nick Swardson, who plays Bucky and who is also one of the credited writers (Allen Covert is the third), seems immune to any such shame. With more energy than wit, he takes his turn as the latest overgrown man-boy to make funny faces and funny voices in an R-rated comedy.
“Overgrown” that is, in all respects but one. Bucky, who has reached whatever age he is supposed to be — 35? 40? — in a state of complete ignorance about the most basic sexual matters, turns out to be a fellow of exceedingly modest endowment. But this shortcoming proves to be his ticket to stardom, since watching his, er, performances makes average men feel better about themselves.
It occurs to me that “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” may have been made for a similar purpose, to console every actor who has ever been in a movie that is a little less bad than this one. Let me put the matter another way: this may be the worst movie Pauly Shore has ever been in. Think about that. If you dare, go on Netflix and test the hypothesis.
Mr. Shore has a cameo, playing himself hosting an awards ceremony for porn stars. So at least he retains a bit of dignity. I wish the same could be said for — do I have to rat them out? can’t I just pretend I never saw them? — Don Johnson, Kevin Nealon, Stephen Dorff, Edward Hermann and Christina Ricci. Ms. Ricci has the especially thankless role of Bucky’s love interest, a waitress who befriends Bucky when he first arrives in California.
For his part, Mr. Johnson — I’m sorry. I just can’t do it. This movie was not screened for critics, and I should have taken the hint.
Not much to say here except that this Variety review is dead wrong about the ‘ugly’ cinematography of Contagion.
Variety’s review are generally pretty bad.
Here is what yahoo had to say about the film I saw last weekend, and rather enjoyed (I wrote some comments in Last Movie You Saw… thread). I advise anyone interested in seeing the movie this week since it will be gone next week (most likely). I saw it on a Friday night; my fiancee and I were the only ones in the theater; still, I recommend it, a very good time:
While it played to a precious few fans, the indie horror film “Creature” did manage to put the fear of god into its producers, and pretty much everyone else associated with the film, at the weekend box office.
The film grossed only $331,000 opening up in 1,507 U.S. theaters this weekend, making it the worst premiere ever for a film opening in 1,500 locations or more, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
On a per screen basis, the horror film’s debut was even worse than that of “Transylmania,” an indie horror comedy that set the record for worst opening for a film opening in 1,000 or more theaters.
Also read: ‘Transylmania’ Sucks: The Worst Movie Opening Ever
“Transylmania” grossed a miserable $263,941, opening up at 1,007 locations in December 2009, averaging $262 per engagement. “Creature” averaged only $220 per theater.
Putting that in perspective, $220 is about what one row of moviegoers spent on popcorn for the last “Harry Potter” movie.
The story of a swamp monster living in the Louisiana Bayou, “Creature” was produced for an undisclosed “microbudget” and self-distributed by Sid and Jon Sheinberg’s Bubble Factory — Sid being the president of Universal Studios during the release of “Jaws,” “ET” and “Jurassic Park.”
Also read: Horror Movies Hit the Dead Zone This Summer
The film was directed by Fred Andrews, a veteran production designer for TV procedural dramas like “CSI: Miami” and “Without a Trace,” who oversaw a cast of largely no-name actors.
As for the plot, stop us if you’ve heard this before: gang of young adults gets into scary inbred trouble when they venture into a sparsely populated rural area.
The logline: An ex-Navy seal (played by “True Blood’s” Mehcad Brooks), his girlfriend (Serinda Swan of “Breakout Kings”) and their friends head out on a road trip to New Orleans. The group decides to stop at a roadside convenience store owned by Chopper (veteran horror actor Sid Haig), who tells them the tale of Lockjaw, a fabled god-like creature who is half-man, half-alligator.
Of course, their curiousity means that they have to meet Lockjaw themselves … leading to scary results for the roughly 35,000 people who paid to see the film … or maybe not so scary. There was certainly little buzz about this movie, which wasn’t screened for critics prior to its release. (Rotten Tomatoes gave it a “6 percent fresh” rating, which was precisley 6 percent more than Sony comedy “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” received, perhaps meaning “Creature” wasn’t necessarily the worst film, qualitatively, of the weekend.)
The film was promoted, but only to a point.
The producers say they made “significant” TV ad buys, buying spots on low-cost NBCU cable channels including SyFy, G4, and E!.
Also read: Pearl Jam, Cameron Crowe: A Drunken Debacle Changed Our Career
“We produced and self-distributed “Creature” with a great deal of enthusiasm and we knew we needed to be innovative and bold with our release plan," said Jon Sheinberg of Bubble Releasing, in statement shortly before the film’s Friday release.
“Hopefully we will pave the way for independent filmmakers to have a new template for indie films to be released on a national level.”
Well, they’ve got their template, just not the one Sheinberg had in mind.
Yeah I saw the BoxOfficeMojo’s results and was thinking Creature will be known for something other than what it was intended!
I also thought it looked like a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon. Why doesn’t it seem to acknowledge that premise?